Half Fanatic #846
...on the bottoms of their feet (under the metatarsals)?
When I first started reading about barefoot running several years ago, I noted in several places that "...you'll develop fat pads under your forefeet as you progress, which will help cushion and protect them...". Well, it's been 5 years of running totally barefoot about 2/3 of the time, and I'm disappointed to report that the skin under my forefeet is just a little calloused and close to the bone - no fat, no padding . Even hardened or calloused fat pads would be nice! Does anyone have fat pads? (I do have a few large ones, just not on my feet - those are slowly shrinking due to a diet).
I'm pretty sure my scientific study of one disproves the theory assertion, but I just wanted confirmation. Or I could be an exception.
BTW, I sustained probably one of my "worst" injuries in a few years - about 3 weeks ago while running a trail a sharp stick (?) pierced my right foot. Didn't go to the doc because it was Fri. and ER was the only option - decided I could live with the scar... Ironically, I was wearing trail shoes at the time! Maybe barefooted I could have "compensated" - but that's just a theory for another scientific study...
"I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.
I ran half my last race on my left foot!
Run like the winded
Hey Bill. No fat pads here either. I'm getting 1-3 barefoot runs in a week. Next Sunday going for an Olympic Triathlon (0.9 mile swim' 25 mile bike' 6.2 mile run ). All barefoot!
RUN SAFE. Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28 Oct 2015 joined RUN 169!
2016- lose weight. Run faster.
Aug 21 Canton Lobster Loop 5k (for Mario).
Oct 1 LEGO 5k @ 9am. Cider Mille 5k @1030.
Oct 8 Hartford Marathon FM
When you race completely BF, do you scope out the course to make sure it's compatible for your feet, or do you just wing it and make the best of any rough pavement or gravel? I've only done three races BF (2 10Ks & a 5K), but I knew the asphalt was fairly smooth. Other races I've done shod, and recall in a lot of them rough patches that I don't think I could have run on without hurting myself. (In one of the 5Ks I was told the course was a sandy trail and pavement, then was surprised by two gravel/rock parking lots the course ran through, and had a large bruise from it for a week or two after - the other BF runner seemed to do okay).
Good luck on the Tri - enjoy!
Hey Bill, if I can, I scope out the route.
Ive done several 5ks - Id say most without prior knowledge of the route. A couple 10ks (a 5 and 10 miler) and a HM. The HM I was really glad to have tried out the course. It was about 15 minutes from my home and it really gave me confidence for race day. Recently I wanted to do a HM BF, but I did a 10k on part of the same course BF and decided the road was too pitted. The 5 miler had a stretch of gravel road that was in the description, but it was also a hill, up and down and that got tricky. I also did a 7 miler recently and had a horrible time. It was 84* outside and 1pm start. The road only got hotter and I was in pain by mile 2.5. Since I figured it was out and back, I chose to continue to the 3.5 mile mark, but it wasnt the same route back. Sorry - too many trials and tribulations.
I think if you are doing 5-6 miles consistently barefoot, you can make it through almost any 5k race. But it is a definite confidence booster if you know what the road feels like. I hope to be able to run along the route of my next race barefoot tomorrow.
I haven't been running much the past month and haven't been visiting runningahead much so missed this topic when it was posted.
I, too, don't have much in the way of thicker pads after 5 years of barefoot running. I also still have calluses on the balls of my feet. I think maybe when one doesn't start barefooting til they're older--I was 38 or 39 when I started--the feet don't change so quickly.
Now that I'm trying to start out running more again after this past month of little running, I'm finding that my feet are extra sensitive, even on my short 2.3 mile course. I'm certainly wishing for fat pads right now!
As far as scoping out race courses, I've done it a few times, particularly the trail races. I've only had one bad experience when I didn't scope out a race course--the second mile of a 5k was on the some of the worst pavement I've run on. It was knobby, not necessarily sharp, but I still had to slow considerably.
Getting off topic, but when this is the most active barefoot forum....
I have been going more places barefoot. On the upside, I found out that its completely legal. Everywhere. http://www.barefooters.org/health-dept/
More on the upside, its actually great to feel all the different textures, and temperatures. On the downside its not as widely accepted as it should be. I am very happy that I live where I do. I have been able to walk around and enter all businesses in my state without issue. I have gone to Rhode Island and Massachusetts and even though I had fewer business interactions, the signage and the attitude towards feet is less accepting.
Anyway- back to running. I hit my foot a little over 2 weeks ago on the wall of the pool. Since then I completed my Triathlon training and need to focus again on my Marathon Training. I ran my furthest in the past 2 months last week - 9 miles barefoot and afterwards my foot felt quite sore. I thought maybe Id added stress to a fracture. Xray came out clean, just I just over-did it a bit. Mostly the 9 miles barefoot was fine. The furthest Ive done is 13.4 miles. Im really thinking I could do a full this October barefoot. If my small injuries will allow me to increase milage soon.
I think "fat pads" on the feet is a misnomer. It is my understanding that fat goes where it wants, with no control outside liposuction. Now, the muscles in the feet, that can be controlled and likely more beneficial from many standpoints. I have very little fat anywhere and the muscles are what is going to make the foot falls tolerable. My 2 cents...
My feet have developed very thick skin behind the toes. Maybe fat pads, I don't know. Whatever it is, it's a nice cushion.
Bill Wagnon / stl
Fat pads is a myth, your plantar skin becomes more conditioned though.