Barefoot Runners

1

Saying hey (Read 471 times)


Prizefighter

    Hey, gang!

     

    Wanted to introduce myself here, and say hi and that I'm excited to venture into the world of barefoot running. I tore through Born To Run a week ago and felt encouraged and inspired to try it out. (Especially by the brief statement by one runner that his flat feet arched up and shrunk, and became stronger after foot strengthening exercises and barefoot running; I've had flat feel all my life and am excited about the prospect of remedying that.)

     

    I had been going for five mile (shod) jaunts through the neighborhood, but inevitably ended up shnorking my knee or my foot if I ever pumped it up to 8 or 10 miles. At that point I'd be out of commission for a couple weeks while I iced and otherwise nursed myself back into shape.

     

    So I'm anxious to see if I had been limited by my shoes.

     

    I started yesterday on my treadmill, and ran half a mile. It felt great right away and I was tempted to keep going. But I'm glad today that I didn't: there's a new kind of soreness along the bottom of my feet and up my Achilles that I haven't felt before.  Not crippling, and not even bad, but enough to let me know I'm working different muscles, or at least the same ones in a different manner, and that it would have been easy to over do it.

     

    Has anybody else used a treadmill to help them ease into BF running? It made sense to me, especially since it has been snowing and yucky while I've been anxious to start.

     

    I also wonder if I won't be able to take to it more quickly since I am in the habit of going barefoot anyway. (Not to further a stereotype, but I'm from the south! ) Does anybody have any input on such a thought?

     

    Above all though, hello and glad to find yall!

     

    -Chris

    PCHOOOOO!

       

      Has anybody else used a treadmill to help them ease into BF running? It made sense to me, especially since it has been snowing and yucky while I've been anxious to start.

       

       

       

      Welcome Chris!

       

      I stared barefooting on the TM a few months ago and slowly worked up to 4 miles each run.  But I ran into a problem, because the belt seemed to keep giving me blisters on one foot if I did this on a regular basis. So now with good weather, I'm out on the roads - starting with only a mile and soon going to 2 miles.  I guess what I'm saying is that I wasted some time thinking I could get the same benefits on the TM as I could on the road - at least in my case (YMMV!).  So far, the road had treated my feet better than the TM did.

       

      If I had to do it over I would have used the TM maybe just to build those foot and ankle muscles, but would have done my serious BF running outside.  My impetus to take it outside was to sign up for a 5K which I will run barefoot in mid-May.  There's a Barefoot/FF division in that race (here in NW Fla.).  Now I feel I'll have to be able to do a few miles easily on the pavement  to do well unshod at the race.

       

      Good Luck! 

      "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

       


      under a rock

        Hi, I'm new to barefooting too! I started with my first run on grass just over a week ago, only .25 miles. The next day I did the same but on asphalt and liked that better. I've slowly inched my way up over the past week to .5 miles and haven't had any unusual soreness. I'm still doing regular runs in my shoes but I'm making sure I concentrate on my stride length and foot strike. I don't have any advice other than start with a ridiculously short distance for the first week and slowly build so you won't get injured and discouraged. Good luck!

         

         Goals: 1)Get my IT Band to cooperate 2) Run lots of trails. 3) Get my back to cooperate.

        RFErnst


          Hello to All,

           

               I got my VFFs a month ago, and started with 1 mile on the tm (it's pretty cold in Buffalo this time of year), next week was 4.25, then 4.75. I took them outside on the first Monday in March for 12 miles, and paid in calf pain the next day. Being a glutton for punishment, I ran 6.4 miles with my Tuesday night group. The calves hurt , but it was just muscle pain; getting stronger, I hope!

               I'm in Austin now visiting my daughter, and I did 5 miles Saturday and 11.1 miles Sunday. The legs are feeling good now. I went out Monday and did 20 miles, but opened up a blister on my right foot from a seam in the shoe. Big disappointment! Hoped to run long distances in the VFFs, but now I'm not sure if I can. Any long distance runners have this problem yet?

           

          Ray


          Prizefighter

            Thanks for the tips, Bill and Ashley!

             

            I'll look forward to getting off the TM and onto the trails soon: the weather sure is starting to look up!

            PCHOOOOO!
            Ed4


            Barefoot and happy

              Welcome aboard!

               

              Getting outside is definitely better than the treadmill, and some people do find it's actually easier.  I think that treadmill's are often so smooth that you don't realize you're generating friction until it's too late and you've got a blister.  On a somewhat rougher surface it's harder to make that mistake.  (Of course if it's still snowing out you've gotta do what you've gotta do.)

               

              Ray, lots of people run long distances in VFFs without problems.  But because the shoes are so form-fitting, they just don't work for some people.  Successfully jumping from normal shoes to 20 milers in VFFs in only a month is unusual.  Maybe you're just naturally gifted, or maybe you're about to injure yourself.  VFFs make that easy to do, by giving an illusion of safety.

               

              That's one reason I encourage all beginners to mix in some barefoot running too.  It's a good sanity check that you're really running in a smooth, efficient barefoot style.  If you can't run well barefoot on an easy surface like a new sidewalk, then you're unlikely to survive high mileage in VFFs for very long. 

              Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.


              Deacon

                Welcome Chris - I am like you...read through Born to Run in the fall and started some BF running to try it out.  I switched to exclusively BF at the end of December.  My first 2 months were entirely on a treadmill (I live in Mass).  I thought it was a great way to slowly build up miles and strengthen my lower legs and feet.  The TM belt is certainly different than the road...it is smoother in some ways, but I found that the sandpaper-like texture provided good feedback in that at the end of the run I would have some real hot-spots if my form was off.  So I'd recommend TM work to start out if you can't get outside. 

                 

                In February I picked up some VFFs and have been running outside for the most part, and my mileage is starting to build.  (Still taking it slow though).  Once it warms up a bit more here, I will get back to BF as much as possible outside...

                 

                Good Luck!  (And definitely listen to the advice of the folks here that have been doing this for a while... they have been right-on from my experience so far).


                Prizefighter

                  Thanks for all the welcomes and all the advice, guys!

                   

                  The temps are almost in the 60s this week, so I look forward to taking a BF spin around the block!

                   

                  I always try to do too much too soon, so I'll have to be real careful to dial back. It'll be hard work to do less, but ultimately, and from what I hear, the results will be worth it.

                  PCHOOOOO!
                  Ed4


                  Barefoot and happy

                    I always try to do too much too soon, so I'll have to be real careful to dial back. It'll be hard work to do less, but ultimately, and from what I hear, the results will be worth it.

                     

                    Yeah, most of us only learn that lesson the hard way. 

                     

                    That's one of the things I like about barefoot running though -- it really is harder to overdo it, at least for a beginner.  Not impossible, just harder. 

                    Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.