Barefoot Run #1

@syndibee (799)
United States
August 11, 2009 2:57pm CST
Today is a new day. I get dressed, go downstairs and grab a drink and brush my teeth and look at the mp3 player but for go that little item. I grab my nike free's and head out the door, shoes in hand. I start walking up the street on my normal warm up walk and put one shoe in each hand and get myself a good loose grip of them so they are comfortable to carry in my hands and take note of the pavement under my feet. I notice every little piece of gravel and begin to experiment with my footfalls. Be sure to lift my knees, not drag my feet, not push off with my toes etc. I'm now at the street corner where I always start to run. I pick up the tempo, feet still bare. I'm running barefoot!!! Imagine that!!! My feet feel the roughness of the asphalt as I plod along down the road. I continue on my normal route as I know where the 1 mile marker is and Barefoot Rick advised me to run one mile then check out my feet and evaluate. Continue if I feel good or put on my shoes if I feel the need/desire. Still feel the roughness of the pavement and I look at the concrete that borders the sides of the road. I've always been told that running on concrete is harder and if given the choice that pavement is the easier of the two. But man this pavement is rough and that concrete looks so smooth. I move onto the pavement. I'M SOLD!!! This feels fantastic, so smooth. Sure the surface is hard but it's much easier to run on than the bumpy pavement. I continue on the concrete and before I know it I'm at mile #1 and it's time to evaluate. I slow to a trot and look at my shoes. OOOh they make me hot just to think of them. I make a face at my shoes and pick up my tempo again. I continue barefoot to 1.7 miles. Then I hit a roadblock. There are cars parked along the side of the road impeding the concrete path and I have to divert back to the pavement to go around them. I then put on my shoes and run to the 2.5 mile mark. My education didn't stop with putting on my shoes. I've been working on my form this whole run. It was definitely not one of my fastest but up to this point it is the most educational. I try to continue with the same form as I used while running barefoot and the shoes just don't allow it. The built up heal makes it impossible and I have to fight to not hit the road with my heal first. I try to continue imagining gliding over the road lightly. I do have fun with the run but I feel the heat rising in my feet as the shoes keep it trapped inside. I finally just kick off the shoes at 2.5 miles and slow to my cool down walk. This experience was fantabulous!!! I don't see myself ever running in conventional shoes once my feet toughen up to the roads surface.
1 person likes this
8 responses
@kykidd (6823)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Wow, it is amazing how some people can run around barefooted, and then there are others of us, like me, who can barely even stand to walk in the grass or in the sand with no shoes on. I have friends who prefer to be barefooted, but I myself need my shoes. As a matter of fact, I can hardly even stand sandals because I like socks and shoes. LOL I think it is great that you shared the story of your Barefoot Run with us. I hope you have a beautiful day!
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
thanks :) I can't even imagine..so how many shoes do you have? I have 3 pair. My sneakers, my running shoes, my sandals I'm phasing out my sneakers and plan on using my running shoes for every day wear....when I do happen to wear shoes, and of course keeping my sandals, which are flat. They are like flip flops without the thingy between the toes.
• United States
12 Aug 09
I do the barefoot thing around the house but not the pavement. You asked them how many shoes they had and you said you only have 3 pairs!! That amazes me. I have close to thirty pairs it's an addiction but I can't help it. How can you only have 3 paris?
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
I'm laughing as you ask me how I could only have 3 pairs. My gramma had shoes of every color and of course a matching purse and belt to go with each also. She felt it was an important part of accessorizing your wardrobe. Though I have a very scant wardrobe also. I wear my sandals for every possible dress up occasion. I have to dress very casually which is what I'm comfortable with. For my wedding 4 years ago I bought a fancy pair of sandals. I do still have them but only wore them that once for my wedding so I don't count them. They were on my feet for maybe 2 hours. You would probably call my "fancy wedding sandals" very plain and basic. I can't wear anything with more than a 1 inch heal and I can't wear anything that squishes my toes. I never have for my entire 43 years of life.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
12 Aug 09
Yeah, I notice that too sometimes that I will heel strike in shoes. I never will barefoot because if I do, it hurts so bad! So why don't you want to push off with your toes though? I thought that's part of the point of being barefoot, that you are able to use your toes. Congrats on your run! I think I will take the advice of my running group... if I want to try barefoot running again, I will go for the beach.
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
If you push off with your toes you will cause abrasions or blisters on the balls of your feet. The key to good running form is to almost lift your feet before they land thus gliding across the surface you are running on. Yes easier said than done but you watch elite runners and they accomplish just that and I think learning it in bare feet is easier than with shoes because your feet tell you so much about what you are doing right or wrong. To correct the push off with your toes I think the key is to concentrate on your center of gravity and launch rather than push yourself forward. I'm still learning so can't go into great detail.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
13 Aug 09
Oh ok, that is interesting. I don't really tend to push off with my toes, and I thought that was a problem before. I notice I tend to use my toes a bit if I'm in my VFFs, but it's more like they just grip the ground at times if the surface is uneven or something. I always hear about pushing off with your toes like it is a good thing. That makes sense about the gliding though. I mostly use my midfoot to land on and maybe I should video it sometime to see what I do to push off. But I can tell I don't usually use my toes much since when I do try to use my toes, I can really feel it and can't keep that up for long.
@imsilver (1669)
• Canada
12 Aug 09
I'm not much of a runner but I walk barefoot all the time. It won't take long for your feet to toughen up. Invest in a good foot cream. Keep your skin healthy as you toughen it up. And always carry bandaids with you.
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
Thanks :) I go around bare foot all the time as well and was rather surprised at how tender my feet really were.
11 Aug 09
Yeah, once you get used to running barefoot, it's not that bad. Regular shoes just slow you down and your running progress. Some people can't even stand if a little pebble or sand scratches against their foot.
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
Funny you say that about pebbles and sand. I have rather sensitive feet. Though because they are sensitive I can't stand having shoes on. And for me I feel that running barefoot is liberating, not at all just "not that bad". I don't think I'll ever go back to shoe running.
• New Zealand
11 Aug 09
Incredible. Personally I couldn't run barefoot. I have a bad memory of running barefoot. I still remember when I was four my childhood home was surrounded on all sides by a very large garden. One day I was playing barefoot running around the concrete garden path. There were no rocks, nails, glass. However I soon became thirsty so I went into the kitchen. My mum was in the kitchen and was horrified to see blood red footprints on the kitchen tiles.. Yes the soles of my feet were bleeding yet up untill this point I had no idea. My poor mum was so worried about me and to help clean and bandage up my feet. I've got really sensitive feet, even hot sand at the beach scald my soles. However those nike free shoes sound like an interesting concept. Do you recommend them? I've heard you can only wear them a few days a week, and that your feet need to get used to them?
1 person likes this
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
Wow that is a horrid memory. Did they ever figure out how you made your feet bleed like that? Hot sand makes my feet scald too, I won't go on hot sand. I like my nike free's, I have read that the later versions are too shoe like, I do like their flexibility for shoes. Since I used them before going barefoot I do remember my first impression. I felt like they molded right to my feet which I loved. But they don't let enough heat escape which I hated and thus why I looked into alternatives.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
11 Aug 09
ouch but you are right, it is hard to walk around anywhere without shoes, its odd to think that our anscestors all walked around without shoes. i even where shoes (slippers or flip flops, depending on the season) around the house just because i hate the feeling of stuff under my feet.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Aug 09
Well, I guess you don't have to buy anymore new running shoes. I would think it would be some what painful because even the smallest rock with all of the pressure of your step could be pretty painful. But, whatever floats your boat I suppose!
@syndibee (799)
• United States
12 Aug 09
hehe my hope is no more running shoes. I'm still a beginner but my shoes will definitely get more mileage on my hands as I carry them still on my runs until I no longer need that crutch. As for the small rocks. When you learn how to land on your feet properly and not heavily they won't hurt either.
• United States
12 Aug 09
I actually like running around barefoot but once i step on something I'm pissed and I go in and put my shoes on because what I usually step on ends up cutting me most of the time.