Barefoot Runners

1

Barefoot Running (Balls of my feet are raw). (Read 645 times)

    I posted this in another forum and another user pointed out that there is a Barefoot forum. So here's the post.

     

    I decided to run a 1/4 mile barefoot yesterday after my long run. Now the balls of my feet feel raw. What's the best way to build up leathery soles. I plan to add very short barefoot runs to my weekly runs to build

    strength in my legs and feet. I will slowly build my distance. I don't plan to be barefoot full-time.

     

      Walk everywhere barefoot.

       


      Imminent Catastrophe

        Start with short distances on a treadmill and build up if you have access to one. That's where I'm at now.

        "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

         "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

        "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

         

        √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

        Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

        Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

        Running in Socks


          It may sound obvious, but stop before they get too raw.  Make sure you're building calluses and not just shredding skin.  You want blisters, not scabs.

           

          Walking barefoot everywhere would be ideal, but wearing sandals or breathable shoes will also help toughen your feet.  Just as long as you're getting air to your feet, and keeping them dry.

           

          I've been running in socks for over a year, and my feet still feel raw after every run.

           

          Good luck with the barefoot training!

            What is your experience with being barefoot in general?

             

            If the answer is, I shower barefoot and sleep barefoot, and that's about it, then you're going about it all wrong by dropping right into running barefoot. Even more so if you're a heel striker to begin with.

             

            You need to ease into it. Baby steps here. Everyone has different suggestions of course, but mine are:

             

            1. Start walking around the house barefoot. Walk around your home, your apartment, your yard — wherever your normal travels find you. Remember what it’s like to feel the ground beneath you. There are an incredible number of nerves in your feet that are neglected when covered.
            2. Begin walking outside, as far as you can handle, without getting blisters. For most folks this will be as little as a quarter mile, or as much as a full mile. You will feel the plantar skin gradually become thicker as it adapts to the stresses of being barefoot. Perform these walks for at least 3-4 weeks on any surface you can tolerate. The more variety, the better off you are.

              If you can't get outside, walk on the treadmill as a warm up before a shod run. Be sure to feel what your feet are doing as they are going down and coming up. Are they twisting going down or coming up, are you scuffing? This would wear down your feet significantly faster since you're creating much more friction.
            3. Finally, Time to run! Begin running in small amount, being certain you’re not going so far as to get blisters. For most folks this will be the same as your initial walking, anywhere from .25 miles to a full mile. Be sure to listen to your body and shut the running down before you feel overwhelmed (i.e. rawness).

            Remember the keys are don't force it, ease into it, listen to your body. Just like you don't want to go out and drop 20 miles on a sunday if your longest run to date was 5, you don't want to pretend that just because you can run 10 miles shod, you are able to just toss your shoes aside and stride away.

             

            Happy trails, and as always, let us know how it goes. I am forever interested in peoples experiences.

              What is your experience with being barefoot in general?

               

              If the answer is, I shower barefoot and sleep barefoot, and that's about it, then you're going about it all wrong by dropping right into running barefoot. Even more so if you're a heel striker to begin with.

               

              You need to ease into it. Baby steps here. Everyone has different suggestions of course, but mine are:

               

              1. Start walking around the house barefoot. Walk around your home, your apartment, your yard — wherever your normal travels find you. Remember what it’s like to feel the ground beneath you. There are an incredible number of nerves in your feet that are neglected when covered.
              2. Begin walking outside, as far as you can handle, without getting blisters. For most folks this will be as little as a quarter mile, or as much as a full mile. You will feel the plantar skin gradually become thicker as it adapts to the stresses of being barefoot. Perform these walks for at least 3-4 weeks on any surface you can tolerate. The more variety, the better off you are.

                If you can't get outside, walk on the treadmill as a warm up before a shod run. Be sure to feel what your feet are doing as they are going down and coming up. Are they twisting going down or coming up, are you scuffing? This would wear down your feet significantly faster since you're creating much more friction.
              3. Finally, Time to run! Begin running in small amount, being certain you’re not going so far as to get blisters. For most folks this will be the same as your initial walking, anywhere from .25 miles to a full mile. Be sure to listen to your body and shut the running down before you feel overwhelmed (i.e. rawness).

              Remember the keys are don't force it, ease into it, listen to your body. Just like you don't want to go out and drop 20 miles on a sunday if your longest run to date was 5, you don't want to pretend that just because you can run 10 miles shod, you are able to just toss your shoes aside and stride away.

               

              Happy trails, and as always, let us know how it goes. I am forever interested in peoples experiences.

               

              Good advice! My experience barefoot is the shower and sleeping. I'm a mid-foot striker and wanted to add a little barefoot running to my weekly runs to hopefully help my form. Is 1/4 mile in the grass a baby step? I plan to run barefoot in the grass only. And I doubt that I will go over a mile.  

               

                It's actually much easier to feel what you're doing right/wrong if you run on smooth concrete like sidewalk. You'll get a feel for if your feet are twisting and the softness of your landing hard. You'll also get a good feel for how smooth you're running.

                 

                If you're going for form, and not doing sprints, the more "Real" feedback you can get, the better. Most grass surfaces are a bit "natural" in that you have your ankle moving around quite a bit more. I've found that it's great strengthening, and I do enjoy running on it, but it's not the best place to feel if I'm running correctly.

                 

                Obviously ignore this if you're cruising around on astroturf or a golf course, or something like that.

                Ed4


                Barefoot and happy

                  Toughening your feet helps, but it's not really the most important thing.  The most important thing is learning to run smoothly so you generate very little friction.

                   

                   Running on grass won't help very much to teach you to run better.  Instead, run on something smooth and hard, like a new sidewalk or a bike path -- the kind of place where people inline skate.

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

                    I want to strengthen my legs/feet and grass sounds the best. However, I would rather focus on my form. I'll try the hard surface for better feedback. I'll do my best to run light on my feet to avoid friction.

                     

                    Thanks for the great advice!

                     

                    Ed4


                    Barefoot and happy

                      I want to strengthen my legs/feet and grass sounds the best.

                       

                      You'll get much more of a strengthening workout on a hard surface.

                       

                      The ultimate strengthening workout is barefoot running on a rough, uneven trail, but obviously you have to build up to that.

                      Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                        Thanks for all the feedback. At the end of my run today, I added barefoot on concrete for .2 miles. It felt great! No issues with the balls of my feet. I'll increase slowly to strengthen my feet. I forgot to mention in my original post that I wear orthotics. I think they caused me more harm than good. I think my feet are weaker after wearing them all the time for 2 years. Adding barefoot running is my first step towards running without them.

                         

                          I tried barefoot again. This time on asphalt. Big mistake. I tried to say light on my feet, however, the surface was too course for my soft feet. Now, I know that flat concrete works well for me and I will stick to that.