I'm pretty new to barefooting, but have been taking it slowly and interspersing BF with shod miles. I'm currently doing two mile BF runs without significant problems. I think I could do three miles any day now. I'm enjoying it, too, being unencumbered with the shoes.
So here's the deal. There's a local 5K coming up August 7. This race is potentially a fast one. It's run on the airport tarmac, so it's perfectly flat. Last year I set my PR and fastest pace and won my AG, in shoes. This year, maybe I could run it even faster, but not barefoot. I'll have to go a lot slower and more carefully if I ditch the shoes.
What would you do?
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.
I've been barefooting 10 months now - have recently passed 500 miles and currently doing 14-18 BF mpw. I marked two 5Ks I wanted to do BF on my calendar recently, but ended up cancelling because I just didn't feel ready to race. Try to run one faster mile BF the way you would in the race - then decide. Or do a tempo run to see how you respond to an increase in pace. In my case, I'm still acclimating. My pads are still developing, and I bruise my feet if I run too fast, too far, or too many hills. Even so, I'm pretty sure my first "race" BF will be slow and mostly just to finish, like you described.
OTOH, tarmac should be very smooth, shouldn't it? And you could carry shoes in your hands just in case. Good luck whatever you decide!
"I can do 440 in 220" Half Fanatic #846 "90% of running is half mental" If I collapse, please pause my Garmin
I say run it barefoot, just don't go faster than you're comfortable with. Sure, you could PR in shoes, but if your experience is anything like mine was, you'll be beating that PR barefoot in a few months anyway.
However, if it's hot, the tarmac can be a pain. And your barefoot "readyness" plays a factor, too; especially since you're also still running in shoes, you might get caught up in the excitement of it all and run as if you were in shoes (ie, pushing off, etc).
That said, I say go for it but be careful.
Blaine Moore (MM#2867)
Running a race barefoot is fun, but I would tend to suggest caution before jumping into it until you've got a bit more experience.
Increasing distance and increasing speed shouldn't necessarily happen at the same time.
If you weren't going to race it but just wanted to see what you could do, then barefoot would be fine, but if you want to be racing I think you might be better off delaying it.
It will be fun if you go barefoot though.
Run to Win24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)
Good points, all. The race starts at 8:20 am (after a kids' one-miler), so I don't think it will be too hot. I'll see how the next week or so go for me, and keep my options open pretty much up to gun time.
(So did you like my wordplay on Shakespeare? Didja? Didja?)
And that's a very respectable time, shoes or not!