Barefoot Runners


Cold Roads (Read 619 times)

    Went out for a 2 miler this morning, and is it just me or does the cold (it was about 45 degrees this morning when I ran) make your feet ultra-sensitive.  There were a few points where I thought they were about to warm up and start to feel okay, but then I hit a wet section of road that I couldnt avoid and they froze up again.  My feet were really hurting for a bit.


    No blisters though, which is a plus.  But how do you deal with cold pavement/asphalt/cement when you are running.  I dont get my Vibrams till Christmas .  Maybe I should break out the water shoes and just use those.  Any other tips for cold roads?





      It would take sub freezing temps to do any real damage to bare feet so....  HTFU


      Its the only way.   Unless of course you put on some shoes.  but thats no fun 

      The right path is my path.

      Barefoot and happy

        Yes, cold can make your feet more sensitive.

        While you won't get frostbite at 45 degrees, you might lose circulation and go completely numb, and then you're not getting the feedback that makes barefoot running work and keeps you safe.  So you'll need to respect your limits.

        Circulation is the key.  When you're running your core has plenty of heat, the trick is getting the heat down to your feet.  "Peripheral vasoconstriction"  is the problem here: your body defending the core organs by decreasing blood flow to the extremities.  The good news is you can train yourself to keep circulating even in the cold.  There's even a medical term for this ability: cold-induced vasodilation (CIVD) response. 

        I once heard a talk from a scientist at the Army's cold weather research center, Dr Murray Hamlet.  He described a technique they developed for training people to keep their hands and feet warm.  Soak them in hot water for 2 to 5 minutes before going out in the cold.  Then go out in the cold and continue soaking in hot water for 10 minutes, so that most of your body is exposed to cold but your hands/feet are warm.  Then repeat the 2 to 5 minute indoor soak again.  He claimed that 30 days of this conditioning could make a major improvement.

        I haven't tried it yet.  My cold tolerance has been getting steadily better each year anyway, just from being barefoot a lot. 
        Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.

        Barefoot and happy

          Oh, and stay well-fed.  It makes a big difference. 
          Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.


            Ed - I shared your hot water treatment post with a buddy this weekend while we were out running a barefoot 8 miler on the beach.  We kind of did the opposite, though - we ran with our feet in decidedly not hot water (although it was warmer than the air, which was high 30s/low 40s while we were out there.)

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