I just tried my first barefoot run! I've been trying to come back from a very frustrating foot/ankle injury for about two months. I've invested in a new pair of shoes with almost no drop from the heel to the forefoot (hoping to encourage that forefoot strike), and am going to try to slowly work some barefoot mileage into my runs.
Today, I ran just under 2 miles in shoes, then did .2 miles in the grass around the soccer field by my office. It felt great! No ankle pain, and going barefoot felt easy. I'm not going to be fooled by that into increasing my barefoot miles too quickly though. I think I'm going to continue to throw that distance in every now & then with gradually increasing frequency before I try to increase the distance.
Good grief, I hope this means I'm back into running, b/c NOT running has been making me crazy!
Just remember to ease back, since if I were you, I would be tremendously overzealous. It sounds like you're doing to intelligently though. Good luck and many injury free miles.
Creator of RunForth | @robraux | shodless.com
Welcome back to running!
You're absolutely right to keep your barefoot distance low for now. When you get a chance, find some rough asphalt to run barefoot on. It hurts a little at first, but your body very quickly finds a way to make it not hurt.
You don't have to run far on the rough stuff to get the feeling, just a hundred yards or so at first, then you can jump back onto smoother ground. Trust me. It works!
I'm learning that, more than anything else, barefoot requires a massive amount of patience. You'll have some bad days when you wonder whether it's helping you at all. Don't let those days discourage you. Just keep coming back to it, and eventually the good days will outnumber the bad.