So I have started running barefoot again - following a general plan for increasing mileage from Barefoot Running University which basically has you running every other day and increasing by 1/8th of a mile each time.
Now, here has been my progression
and I thought this was pretty good - not exactly the 1/8 of a mile each time but at such short distances trying to plan a route can be tough when I head out the door. Now I was doing fine until last night. I ran yesterday and did my longest run of 1.3 miles, but it was also my biggest jump up in mileage at a 1/4 mile. I didnt get the normal TOFP that I usually get when I go too far, but I did have some foot pain on my right foot kind of on the outside and inside of the arch last night. I iced it and took some ibuprofen last night and this morning.
I am supposed to run BF again tomorrow but am wondering whether I should take an extra day rest. My foot doesnt hurt right now, but I dotn want to injure it more. Also, do you think I should go back in mileage a bit and continue up or just go for my next run which would be 1.4-1.5 miles, or maybe do the 1.3 again?
I have been feelign better about this attempt at running BF - been running a lot slower and really trying to concentrate on my form. When I tried before I jumped right into my easy 8:30 pace, but now working on form I am closer to a 10:20 pace, which I am fine with if it helps my progression to higher mileage BF. Just wondering how to proceed the next few days so I dont injure myself and knock myself out for a few weeks (or months) like last time.
Thanks in advance
When I was getting back into it I went more based on time running than I did based on distance. I've got a short, flat stretch of road in front of my house so I stuck to running back and forth there so I could avoid running on hills barefoot until I was ready.
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I have been doing an every-other-day barefoot schedule too, but I've been trying to run each distance at least 2 or 3 times before increasing. So far it's working well for me. Yesterday I hit 2 miles barefoot for the first time.
Of course, nothing works the same for everyone, and your step-up looks pretty reasonable.
This may or may not be useful for you, but for what it's worth, the real key for me (not that I have this all figured out yet) has been to get out of shoes altogether. For a few months I was trying to alternate between shoes and barefoot, and the barefoot portion never seemed to get better for me. I think it was because I lapsed back into my old bad habits every time I put the shoes on.
To be honest, stopping shod running has really sucked -- I really miss my long runs -- but it seems to be paying off. I'm trying to replace my lost shod miles with time on the bicycle until I can get my barefoot miles up.
So many other people have managed to do this. I see no reason why we can't if we take it slow.
Oh, one other thing I've been doing is to put my feet in a bucket of ice water, as cold as I can stand it, for about 20 minutes after every barefoot run. My feet feel immediately better after they thaw out.
RTW - Thanks, I think I will do that. I have been keeping to areas around my house where it is flat and there is a lot of smooth concrete sidewalks to run on - no hills (yet).
Greg - Thanks for the input. I am actually considering going completely barefoot as well. But... I have plans to try for a BQ this Fall and am in the middle of marathon training for that. AFter the marathon though, I might just go that route. My other issue is that I am a "streaker" - I have run every day (at least one mile) for over a year and a half. So I want to make sure that before I go completely barefoot that I will be up to running at least a mile barefoot every day.
Going to take tomorrow off and try a mile on Friday, then I'll go back to going up the 1/8 of a mile a day - or maybe I'll go to time and just increase by a minute every other day, that might actually be easier, even if I have to stop and walk back home a bit if I mis-time my route.
Thanks again for the input.
Good luck with the BQ, Jeff. I can certainly understand why you don't want to go completely barefoot just yet.
To be honest, I'm not 100% certain I will remain completely barefoot for the long-term. I just committed myself to go barefoot until the end of the summer. At that time I will reassess where things are and whether I want to continue. At this point, I'm thinking there's a pretty good chance I will continue as I seem to have made some good breakthroughs recently.
I can't stress enough how helpful it has been to submerge my feet in ice water after barefoot runs. I think it does a lot to speed healing of the little tears that take place in my feet and ankles as they get used to going without shoes.
At this point I am thinking I might submerge my whole leg in ice water. I have noticed the last couple weeks that my hamstrings are really really tight. Unfortunately I cant tell if it is from barefoot running, or the fact that I started doing some track work again along with my marathon program.
I stretched and iced the hamstrings last night and they felt a bit better on today's run. Not going to give up on barefoot running yet, but if I have many more miserable runs like yesterday, I may have to back off so to not upset my marathon training. For now I am just going to keep to a regimen of stretching and icing them whenever I can.