Barefoot Runners

1

Are different pains normal? (Read 498 times)

    I havent done a ton of barefoot running - so far just once a week for a mile or so at a time. But I have been having some weird pains in my feet/ankles that I have never had before and am wondering whether barefoot running is the cause. My mind then becomes torn as to whether I just need to do more BF running to strengthen my feet muscles/ankles or to give it up and let them get back to normal. Just wondering. Typical pains are on the top of the foot, and on the outside of the ankle just above the ankle bone. Thanks Jeff


    Half Fanatic #846

      I've had similar aches as you described from running barefoot some last year. I gradually got up to a 4 mile treadmill run in a couple of months (in addition to shorter BF distances inside and outside 2-3 times a week) before I stopped for a while. I was thinking it would take me about 6 months to a year or more to strengthen those particular foot muscles that ached and that I just hadn't done enough BF running. I didn't really have "pain" or I would have stopped then. (BTW, I stopped BF'ing and now all running due to a prior and continuing PF issue). Maybe someone else can confirm this is a normal transition.

      "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.                          Run like the winded

       I ran half my last race on my left foot!                   "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt"


      Queen of 3rd Place

        FWIW, I've had some of this as well (mostly the left ankle) , it seems to go away in a day or so and is not getting worse so I plan to continue with small amounts of BF running.

        Ex runner


        #2867

          It seems pretty normal; I'd say maybe back off a little and do shorter runs until you build up more strength. Whenever I get back to barefoot running I literally just do striders to start out, then build up from there over a span of months before I'm able to do a mile straight barefoot. (I'm not willing to take the time to cut my running short for all barefoot running, so my gains are pretty slow.)

          Run to Win
          25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

          Noni


            I've been having similar ankle issues - I've been increasing my barefoot mileage over the past few weeks, maybe too fast?

            But here's the thing - in previous training cycles in regular running shoes, I get the same ankle aches once I start hitting higher mileage (for me, that's consistent runs over 6 miles or so).  So is this an underlying issue that I need to address with a doctor (probably, right?  I'm fishing, I know) or something I can minimize by backing off some of my barefoot runs until my feet are stronger?

             

            Noni


              Oh, and to give a little more backgroun - I'm currently running under 15 mpw, I've been keeping miles low for a few months while recovering from IT band issues.  Over the past 4 weeks I've gone from 1 - 2 runs a week barefoot/vibrams to all runs a week.  Max run of 5 miles (yesterday).
              Ed4


              Barefoot and happy

                Sounds completely normal to me.  Those are areas where you have muscles that are atrophied from wearing shoes.  It just takes time. 

                Even one mile is a lot when you're just learning. 


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                  I did it again - I think I started with too much BF running again.  Last week during two of my normal 7 milers I took off the shoes and did 2 miles of it barefoot.  I have those pains back again (top of foot and ankles), but also some aches in my lower legs as well (calves seem extremely tight)

                   

                  So what is a normal build up phase for BF running?  Shoudl I start at 1 mile or less, and how much should I build up each week.

                   

                  The problem is that the actually BF running part feels great.  I like it a lot.  It is the "after-effects" that are killing me.  My legs felt like crap last night on my 5 miler.  I was struggling (really struggling) to hold a pace that was probably 30 seconds slower than what normally woudl be an easy pace for me.  I ended up dumping the shoes for the last mile, and it felt better to do that at least.  But I had to ice my ankles last night because they were a bit achy.

                   

                  Any helpful advice?  My plan was to do 2-3 of these 1-2 mile BF sessions in the middle of some runs during the weeks for the next week or two and tehn try to increase to 3 miles after that.  Should I just suck it up and the pains will go away as my feet strengthen and just consider this my transition phase, or should I back off and go slower?


                  Half Fanatic #846

                    So what is a normal build up phase for BF running?  Shoudl I start at 1 mile or less, and how much should I build up each week.

                     

                     Well, I really don't know what is normal, but I do know what is working for me at 62.  Early last year I worked up to 4 miles BF very gradually when injury stopped me for a few months.  Now I'm back at it; started at 1/4 mi., then increased every other day or so, BUT by only .05 mi. (.25, .30, .35...).  Today I'll do .90 mi.  I can sometimes feel weird temporary "pains" (not really pain - probably new or different muscles being stressed) but only once in awhile when I'm running BF.  When I get to one mile, I plan to keep it there 3-4x a week until the end of the year, then slowly increase from that BF base.

                     

                    Although you run a lot and you run every day (man I wish I could do that!!),  basically starting out BF at 2 miles and only once a week or so would be a big change for anyone.  Run a half mile BF every 2-3 days for a while and adjust from there. Just one way of doing it IMHO - YMMV   Look at your long-term goals also...

                     

                    Bill 

                     

                     

                     

                    "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.                          Run like the winded

                     I ran half my last race on my left foot!                   "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt"