Low HR Training


OT - Barefootin' (Read 250 times)


    Apologies in advance - this is somewhat off topic.... I've been doing most of my running with the Nike Free 3.0 for the past year or so, and decided to try and take the idea of the Free even further with the Vibram Five Fingers. I don't plan on wearing them all the time, but want to try an even more minimal pair of footwear for my running from time to time. After a few days for a "break in" (including a couple of verrrry slow 1 mile jogs) I took my new footwear out for their first real ride today - a gentle trail run of about 4 miles. Now, a couple of hours later, I've got some mildly sore spots in places I've never had soreness before (outside of my hips, behind my knees, front of my quads). Definitely didn't have this experience when I switched into the Nike Frees. Any barefoot runners out there who can give me an idea of how long it may take to get my legs used to nearly barefoot running? Thanks.
      I have been barefoot living for a long time, maybe 8 years now, but I have not done running before this summer. First of all, if you have not been barefoot that much before, your foot muscles are, most probably, quite weak. Your feet have got used to the support that shoes provide and also your walking technique might be used to "high heel" walking and running. Even 1cm high heel have influence on your achilles tendon and shin muscles. So, start slowly with short periods of barefooting. You absolutely pushed too fast and too far. First, do only walking for few weeks, every day. Preferably, total barefooting, no any shoes on. This also let you sole skin time to stiffen up and also gives all those sole nerves time to get used to natural feedback. Soles of shoe feet are overly sensitive. They are desperate to send some impulses to brain but they are cushioned away from the ground. Not a good situation. After few weeks of walking, start running less then 10min per day for a week. According to your feeling, you can start to increase the distance, slowly. It might take up to 2-3 months before you can run 6M without risk of injury. When I started my running, my lower shin muscles got achy, healthy pain, only muscles. Ache peaked at the end of first week and then slowly diminished until it was gone when I started my 3rd week. Now I do not have any pains any more, expect I went for a walk last Saturday, when it was 30C outside, and my soles started to feel the heat after 40min of walking. After the walk I gave them some cream and they were OK after 4h, but on Sunday long run my left sole started to form a blister after 6M mark and I came straight back home. No problems any more with that. Barefoot running technique and shoe feet running technique are totally different. This causes the muscle pains in different part of your body. On shoes, we tend to strike the ground with our heels, but on barefoot your heel just cannot stand that kind of punishment. So, you naturally change your technique to strike on mid-foot or ball of your feet. If you do not give your body enough time to adjust, you do risk a chance to injury. Slowly, slowly, slowly... So, 1st week 1M of barefoot running. 2nd week 1.5M, 3rd 2M, 4th 3M, 5th 4M, etc. Listen to your body and keep rest if you feel so. Advice: When you go to your normal run, take your shoes off after you have warmed up and run the barefoot distance at the early part of your run. Carry your shoes in your hands. Then put the shoes back on and run rest of the run normally. Slowly increase the distance. Do not immediately use 5fingers, or if you insist on using 5fingers then run the distance after your normal run. Pay attention to keep your legs directly under your body weight, do not let the foot to strike the ground on front of your body, even on shoes. I have noticed that even during my short barefoot running period, clicking on my left knee is gone. I do hope to be able to ditch my running shoes totally after few months and if I need shoes then only use 5fingers or some minimalistic cushioned shoes.
        Just to clarify little bit. So, 1st week 1M per run of barefoot running. 2nd week 1.5M, 3rd 2M, 4th 3M, 5th 4M, etc. Listen to your body and keep rest if you feel so.