Barefoot Runners

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Lower temperature running (Read 868 times)

    So I've had some good success running barefoot in the >50'F (10'C) weather. I've worked through most of my problems and I'm happy with the running that I can do.

    Last night I went for my first run where the ground was around 40'F (4.5'C) and it was raining. Also, it was completely dark. Distance was 2.8 miles (4.5km). I was bundled up well (hat, 2 layers of thermal running stuff up top, full length medium weight leggings) and had a headlamp. I made it, without injury...but holy jesus were my feet cold. And the cold seemed to amplify all the pressure/pokey terrain. I ran a normal route that I'm very familiar with...but it was, um, much more sensational than normal.

    I got into the shower with lukewarm water...it took a long time for my feet to warm up. As far as the skin goes, the feet seem fine today. I don't think I have any frostbite or anything.

    So...are there cold weather barefooters out there? if so, who and where are you? Any estimates on how long it takes for feet to adapt to the cold? I'm in Seattle, so the cold is mild compared to say, Boston. But, it's guaranteed to be wet for the next 4 months. I'd like to keep going barefoot...but damn last night was cold.

    I'm reading through Barefoot Rick's FAQ...http://www.barefootrunner.org/winter/winter.htm

    anyone have any other good info pages?

      I'm in N. Florida, but last year I ran a couple of times (in shoes) when it was in the mid-thirties.  I over-dressed and ended up taking everything off but shoes, SS shirt, and shorts after a mile or so.  This year I'm also going to see how cold I will run BF.  I think I can do 40's okay but we'll see - I'll find out where my tolerence is, probably next month some time.

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

       


      Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

        We've had intermittent cool weather so far in Austin, but I have gotten 45f and 50+f runs in. Felt great in the 50's, but cool in mid 40's. Need more time to adjust to the cooler weather tho. Went 4+mi in the mid 40 temps, feet felt a bit numb, but not painful. Problem here is that there is nothing gradual about the temp changes... one day in mid 60's at dawn, the next low 40's.... hope it settles out so I can adjust.

        bob e v
        2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

        Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

        Break the 1000 mi barrier!

        History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

          I can't speak from any experience myself but here's my two cents anyways.

          Is it really necessary to go barefoot through the winter? I think it would be much more practical to wear huaraches so you at least have something to keep the road moisture off. You will lose some of the ground feel and you'r feet will be a little sensitive come spring but it seems like a fair trade when the alternative is risking frostbite and other cold related ailments. Even our unshod ancestors made coverings for their feet to protect from the cold. Would you go out in 30 or 40 degree weather without gloves?  


            Is it really necessary to go barefoot through the winter? I think it would be much more practical to wear huaraches so you at least have something to keep the road moisture off. You will lose some of the ground feel and you'r feet will be a little sensitive come spring but it seems like a fair trade when the alternative is risking frostbite and other cold related ailments. Even our unshod ancestors made coverings for their feet to protect from the cold. Would you go out in 30 or 40 degree weather without gloves?  

             

            Your feet will basically be just as cold with or without Huraches IMHO, but you may be right about keeping moisture that can freeze off of the feet.  I think I will draw the line (to run or not in cold or freezing conditions) when my feet start to get numb. If I lose feeling, then that's probably going too far...    For true barefooting, retaining "ground feel" on a continual basis is important because it keeps the soles conditioned to running surfaces.  Otherwise, they will have to be re-acclimated later.  Personnally,  I need to run BF 2-4 miles at least once every 3 days or so in order for my soles to stay used to the asphalt road surfaces in my area. If I lived in a really cold climate like you do, I'd probably have to use FFs or similar when it was really cold.

             

            I have run races here in N. Fla. in 34-40 degree weather (before barefooting) and wore old socks for gloves - but tossed 'em after warming up; well, because the temp. gets warmer quickly here and I warm up too.

             

            It all probably boils down to a matter of personal choice and individual tolerance.  Plus, climate variations from place to place will make a big difference.   

             

                 

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

             

              Well I've gone out 3-4 more times and I have this to report:

               

              Running when it is cold and dry is fine. Haven't hit freezing yet, but It was 37'F yesterday when I ran; I thought I would try 3 miles, ended up running 7 miles. I'm optimistic for more running, even blow freezing, if it's dry.

               

              Running when it is cold and wet (but not raining) is tolerable, especially if the sun is out. If it's above freezing, I don't think it will be a problem. Below freezing may take a while for my feet to adjust.

               

              Running when it is cold and raining is crap.  When it's dry, or even when it has stopped raining for a little while, I think the ambient temperature of the ground comes into play, warming thing a tad.  When the rain is actively coming down, the surface may be colder, because the rain coming down is cold (duh). 

               

              Looking forward to at least seeing what it's like to run when it's snowing. a lot will depend on whether it's wet snow or dry snow. Wet snow seems a sure path to frostbite, quickly. Dry snow might be conquerable with some training. we'll see. 

              As to why...because the more I run barefoot, the more I don't want to run in shoes.  

                My experience is like yours, Jimmy.  Cold and dry is usually fine--and becomes easier the more one runs in the cold.  I've run below freezing with no problem.

                 

                Cold and wet, though, sucks--especially in the dark (no sun) or in the rain. Usually when it's 40F or below and wet, I have a problem.

                 

                Yesterday was my first cold running day of the season (and was a race, no less).  Was in the mid to upper 30s.  I didn't get a chance to warm up before the race--and wore slippers and socks until the race start, but my feet were still cold.  My feet got slightly damp from some dewy grass I walked thru between packet pickup and the start line.  Took a mile to warm up my feet in the race, and the feet felt horrible during the race and worse afterwards.  Probably the worst they've felt after any race.  Limped all afternoon.  This morning, fortunately, they're feeling much better and should be runnable tomorrow.

                John

                  Took a mile to warm up my feet in the race, and the feet felt horrible during the race and worse afterwards.  Probably the worst they've felt after any race.  Limped all afternoon.  This morning, fortunately, they're feeling much better and should be runnable tomorrow.

                   

                  wanderingoutlaw,

                   

                  Were you limping because of damage/irritation to the skin, or something structural? The first run I did in real cold, I tweaked my ankle about 2 miles in. It felt like something I might normally do if I just go full tilt right out of the door--running too hard without warming up. I was able to keep running, just had to adjust speed and make sure I landed properly on it. I noticed another time that my ankles were behaving like they were really stiff, something I don't normally get. I assumed that the cold was causing it, and I needed to allow for my time or clothing to keep warm.

                    Ran again. 37'F dry, dark. Feet were warm. felt good. 3.1 miles.

                      Jimmy, I was limping cause I went too far for conditions that day.  I just had tender, irritated soles and toes (from pushing off, which seems to happen in some road races).  Wearing shoes later that afternoon because going barefoot was too painful exacerbated my limping motion due to the uneven shoe sole; I probably should have worn my slippers that have a flat sole.

                       

                      My feet are mostly fine today, but I'll probably take one more day off from running.

                      John
                        Racing, right. I haven't run one of those yet. They cost money. Smile

                          I ran yesterday (in warm lunchtime temps) even though the feet were still a little tender, but they feel good this morning.  Too bad I won't have time to run today.

                           

                          I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to run in the cold again, though: the forecast is for relatively warm temps for the next few days.

                          John


                          Prince of Fatness

                            I do just 2 miles a week completely barefoot and feel fortunate that I have continued into November.  There have been a couple of times where temps have been below 40 degrees and it wasn't bad.  It's only about 20 minutes though.

                             

                            Eventually I'll have to quit for the winter, both because of the cold and the dark.  I did just buy some Merrell Trail Gloves so I will work those in one day a week.  I'll also sneak a barefoot run in when I am able.

                            Semi-retired.


                            Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                              Interesting cold weather running results. The other day I did 4+mi ~42F on asphalt at around 8am & sunny which warmed unshaded parts of the parking lot. No post run foot sensitivity. Could have run BF again the next day. This morning, 38F, pre-dawn, I ran 3.3mi in my neighborhood on both concrete sidewalk and asphalt and have had sensitive feet all day. Almost like when I started increasing asphalt miles. Ball of right foot has a small crack. Not sure what gives but am thinking that I need to reduce mileage until the feet get used to colder weather. Also, feet were much cleaner in the cold weather! Guess with no sweat and cold sidewalk/roadbed they didn't pick up much dirt. Couple of other things to note; concrete sidewalk noticeably cooler than asphalt road bed, toes numbed up pretty quick, early twinges in balls of feet but went away, raspberry on left big toe - no idea how I picked that up!

                              bob e v
                              2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                              Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                              Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                              History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                                1. Did 8M Monday in 56 degree weather, but it was on wet smooth asphalt in overcast, windy and very humid conditions - it really felt chily to me. My feet felt fine but some of my toes and the outside edges of my feet felt cold on 3-4 occaisions briefly (probably from being constantly exposed to surface moisture).

                                 

                                2. Ran 4.7M this morning in 46 degree weather on dry asphalt in cloudy, humid conditions and feet were fine the whole time.

                                 

                                3. It's going to be in the high 30's in the morning (but sorry, I'm giving my soles a rest by wearing my Hattori's. One day soon I'll be forced to do my BF run in the 30's & I'll report back then, unless something changes beforehand).

                                 

                                MTA: And Bob - my feet stay cleaner in dry vs. wet conditions, and after it has rained recently. I think rain washes the dirt off the road, especially what I call black "tire dust".

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

                                 

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