Barefoot Runners


I really didnt think I went too far (Read 339 times)

    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




      Take an extra day of rest, and maybe go back a few workouts to a shorter distance and start up again from there?

      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.

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



        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.  Smile

        Good luck!

          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.

              Thanks Greg.


              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.