I'm 51 years old, no great athlete, but have completed two full marathons and 3 halfs. I've been seriously running for about 5 years, and started adding barefoot segments about a year ago. I can go a mile barefoot on kind of rough asphalt. I walk around barefoot whenever I can--mostly around the house, and have always done this. Here's my question--I love trail running, and have been running quite technical, rocky (i.e. rock creek beds) trails in regular trail shoes. I want to do a couple of things. I want to transition out of the regular Asics I've been in for my next half marathon (hopefully in November), and I want to use minimalist shoes for the trail running. Do I need to start and run completely barefoot for all my training? Can I start barefoot to train for the half? I hate the idea of reducing my mileage, but I'll do it to prevent injuries. As an older woman, I'm afraid of stress fractures (had one about 4 years ago--hopefully NEVER again!) Thank you in advance!
Half Fanatic #846
"I want to transition out of the regular Asics I've been in for my next half marathon (hopefully in November), and I want to use minimalist shoes for the trail running. Do I need to start and run completely barefoot for all my training? Can I start barefoot to train for the half?"
Hi - Welcome to the Barefoot Runners forum!
Hopefully I can answer some of your questions and others will chime in also. The biggest hurdle to overcome IMHO as far as making a transition is having the patience to do it. I think the idea of trail running in minimalist shoes is a good one for starters. (If you have a log here, consider making it public - I have no idea what you are doing, so I'm having to guess some). If your trail runs are long, start by doing just a portion of them in min. shoes. If the trail runs are short, maybe do every other one in min. shoes. If calves or feet hurt, go back to reg. shoes or rest for a short time. In other words, build your leg and foot muscles gradually over the course of months. If you can do more, that's great.
You can start barefoot training anytime. I know you can run one mile BF now, which is very good on rougher asphalt. If you want to be ready for a Half Marathon race barefoot in Nov. (I'm not sure if that's what you meant), that's probably pushing it IMO - too much, too soon. But why not start and find out what you can do? Increase your BF mileage very gradually, listen to your body (don't push too hard). You shouldn't have to reduce mileage in a transition - it will just take a while for your BF mileage to surpass your shod mileage (if that's what you want to do).
Here are some other "tips" that helped me:
- Run BF on a variety of surfaces (concrete = bad)
- Walk barefoot outside several times a week.
- Running BF on wet pavement is okay.
- If you are thinking BF might hurt your training, it will actually strengthen your feet and legs.
- Consider wearing minimalist shoes for work and/or casual use.
- Always be willing to switch to regular shoes if appropriate.
- My def. of minimalist running shoes: about 4-8 ounces and with 0-4mm heel lift or heel-to-toe differential.
I ran half my last race on my left foot! I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, I usually roll my ankle
Barefootbill--Thanks that's exactly what I wanted to know, but I didn't phrase my question well. I was worried I'd have to completely stop all shod running and go back to the very beginning running BF, but it's great to know I can do a crossover--decreasing shod running while increasing BF running. That was really the reason for putting in the part about the half marathon in November--I just wanted to still be able to run it, even if it's in shoes.
I took a break this summer, and am only running trails, and for only times/fun. In other words, I go out and run until it's no fun, then stop. Usually that's 45 -90 minutes. I got a pair of vivobarefoots and ran in them last Friday (90 minutes--stupid, stupid) and strained something near the 5th metatarsal/cuboid. I hit a rock and sort of over flexed my foot, so I'll do easy and short runs in my regular trail shoes until it feels OK.
I do walk outside BF a lot, but we live in the country, and there are lots of thorns and stuff, but I have a question--why is concrete bad and wet concrete OK?
Thanks sooo much.
Seems that I didn't phrase my answer well - ha ha.
What I meant was that any concrete, wet or dry, is really hard on the body. I see college kids running on the concrete sidewalks in town frequently - but they are in their teens or 20's. I'm 65 and if I run on concrete, I'm sore and achy all over for a few days, although a short distance won't bother me. I think I've read that concrete is 6X harder than asphalt. (I believe that asphalt actually has a little "give" to it).
As far as being wet, I meant that other running surfaces are fine to run BF on even if the surface is wet (people assume that running BF on wet surfaces will soften and abrade the soles - kinda like being in the pool for a while).
Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k
I'm a 65yo city boy and do most of my BF running on concrete, both smooth and rough. Depending on time of day getting out on the asphalt can be hazardous. I still have a rough time on gravel tho, mostly because I don't get on it often enough.
Minimal daily where shoes - Tom's - when I first wore them a few years ago my feet hurt... then I realized that I was using muscles I hadn't been before that and it triggered my migration to minimal/BF running. When not barefoot I generally wear Tom's or Croc's. I've seen some flip-flops that might be useful as well, but don't wear them. I'm retired now but did wear Tom's & Croc's to work. Careful shoe selection helps if you work outside the home.
+1 on the go slow. Having gone a mi BF already is great. build on that a bit at a time and you'll do fine.
Welcome to the group!
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.