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  1. #21
    kbria is offline Senior Member
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    I'm a barefoot runner, it is the only way I can run without injury. I don't have a lot of milage under my belt. Back in 2006 I ran barefoot 5-6 days a week anywhere from 2.5-3 miles each time. This time around I've been running barefoot since June and average 2.5 - 3 mile 3 - 5 times a week. Atlhough it is starting to get to cold. Well more that I'm lazy and don't want to budle up to run it is much easier to just through on a t-shirt and shorts and jump on my treadmill. Anyway, so I have some exeprience.

    First as far as learning to walk before you run, didn't work for me. It took me 1 month to learn to run barefoot, took me almost 3 yrs to learn to walk barefoot. For me the rougher the surface the faster I learn. In 2006 I went from running 1 mile to 3 miles litterally in a month. With no injury. I was running on blacktop though that was made from recycled shingles, think sandpaper. I didn't take me long at all to learn to land gently. This time around I live in a different area, now I have pretty much smooth blacktop, and I don't land nearly as softly and have a lot more soreness, cramps, ect then I did back in 2006. So bottom line if you have a rough surface that is relatively flat, it may help you learn technique a lot quicker.

    Now as far as injuries go just like with everything to much to soon. BUT ALOT of people claim they run barefoot when in fact they are running in shoes. Running in shoes I don't care how minimalist they are is simply not the same as going full barefoot. It is not barefoot running. You can land harder, you can twist, turn, without getting blisters or sore spots that you woudl get barefoot. A pebble in shoes you can ignore a pebble barefoot you learn to either distribute your weight differently, learn to bend your knees more, pick your foot up faster, ect. They are different techniques. Have you ever wore latex gloves (or the non latex gloves)? Although you can feel through them they are not the same as going without the gloves on, simply because you can't feel as much. So a lot of people go out buy 'barefoot" shoes, claim to run barefoot, don't even research the technique, then wonder why they got injured. Us true barefooters just shake our heads, to us it is a no brainer "You are running in shoes".

    Now I agree that it is only self limiting if you listen to your body. If you don't listen to your body you will get injured. So if you try to push through it and ignore the signals of course it isn't going to be self limiting. It is like when I pulled a muscle doing a overhead squat. I knew I was tired, I knew if I pushed myself I woudl probably get hurt, but I ignored the tension I was feeling tryign to get in that one last rep and ended up pulling a muscle.

    As far as running with your ankle being sore, it depends. Sometimes it is ok to push through it soemtimes it is not. I know my body well enough that I know when I can push and when I shouldn't. Sadly I'm talented and tweaked my ankle doing yoga. As was mentioned I took one of my dogs balls and several times rolled it under my foot massaging the fascia of my foot. After a couple of days my ankle stopped bothering me and I was able to start running (and doing yoga again). So you tell me, does it feel like just soreness, or does it feel more like an injury (pull, inflammation etc).

    Oh as far as exercises I don't do anything for my calves. My calves are rarely sore, and if they are it is because I was running up/down hills and my achilles tendon was getting stretched to much. Had nothign to do with over use of my calves more over use with the achilles.

  2. #22
    305pelusa Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbria View Post
    I'm a barefoot runner, it is the only way I can run without injury. I don't have a lot of milage under my belt. Back in 2006 I ran barefoot 5-6 days a week anywhere from 2.5-3 miles each time. This time around I've been running barefoot since June and average 2.5 - 3 mile 3 - 5 times a week. Atlhough it is starting to get to cold. Well more that I'm lazy and don't want to budle up to run it is much easier to just through on a t-shirt and shorts and jump on my treadmill. Anyway, so I have some exeprience.

    First as far as learning to walk before you run, didn't work for me. It took me 1 month to learn to run barefoot, took me almost 3 yrs to learn to walk barefoot. For me the rougher the surface the faster I learn. In 2006 I went from running 1 mile to 3 miles litterally in a month. With no injury. I was running on blacktop though that was made from recycled shingles, think sandpaper. I didn't take me long at all to learn to land gently. This time around I live in a different area, now I have pretty much smooth blacktop, and I don't land nearly as softly and have a lot more soreness, cramps, ect then I did back in 2006. So bottom line if you have a rough surface that is relatively flat, it may help you learn technique a lot quicker.

    Now as far as injuries go just like with everything to much to soon. BUT ALOT of people claim they run barefoot when in fact they are running in shoes. Running in shoes I don't care how minimalist they are is simply not the same as going full barefoot. It is not barefoot running. You can land harder, you can twist, turn, without getting blisters or sore spots that you woudl get barefoot. A pebble in shoes you can ignore a pebble barefoot you learn to either distribute your weight differently, learn to bend your knees more, pick your foot up faster, ect. They are different techniques. Have you ever wore latex gloves (or the non latex gloves)? Although you can feel through them they are not the same as going without the gloves on, simply because you can't feel as much. So a lot of people go out buy 'barefoot" shoes, claim to run barefoot, don't even research the technique, then wonder why they got injured. Us true barefooters just shake our heads, to us it is a no brainer "You are running in shoes".

    Now I agree that it is only self limiting if you listen to your body. If you don't listen to your body you will get injured. So if you try to push through it and ignore the signals of course it isn't going to be self limiting. It is like when I pulled a muscle doing a overhead squat. I knew I was tired, I knew if I pushed myself I woudl probably get hurt, but I ignored the tension I was feeling tryign to get in that one last rep and ended up pulling a muscle.

    As far as running with your ankle being sore, it depends. Sometimes it is ok to push through it soemtimes it is not. I know my body well enough that I know when I can push and when I shouldn't. Sadly I'm talented and tweaked my ankle doing yoga. As was mentioned I took one of my dogs balls and several times rolled it under my foot massaging the fascia of my foot. After a couple of days my ankle stopped bothering me and I was able to start running (and doing yoga again). So you tell me, does it feel like just soreness, or does it feel more like an injury (pull, inflammation etc).

    Oh as far as exercises I don't do anything for my calves. My calves are rarely sore, and if they are it is because I was running up/down hills and my achilles tendon was getting stretched to much. Had nothign to do with over use of my calves more over use with the achilles.
    Very nice very nice. Thanks for sharing!
    They aren't sore anymore, and it was on the calf (so I knew it wasn't an injury, and sure enough it went away the next day). I think I will play it safe and work when I'm not sore to make sure nothing bad comes my way.

    And yes, I literally go barefoot. I do, however, want to try socks. It seems to me like a good bridge between total barefoot running, and not injuring the actual skin of my foot (as so often happens due to the concrete).

    I also expect my calves to get sore very little from running in a few weeks. It's just that I'm starting, so soreness from the exercise seems like something understandable.

  3. #23
    kbria is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 305pelusa View Post
    And yes, I literally go barefoot. I do, however, want to try socks. It seems to me like a good bridge between total barefoot running, and not injuring the actual skin of my foot (as so often happens due to the concrete).

    I also expect my calves to get sore very little from running in a few weeks. It's just that I'm starting, so soreness from the exercise seems like something understandable.
    Btw I wouldn't do the socks. Remember when I said the rough surfaces help? Your feet need to not only adjust, but you also need to learn to land soft enough that your feet don't get injured. Any cushioning or protection is going to prevent you from getting the proper feedback. If your feet are getting injured you are not ready to really push yourself further. And as far as soreness, some soreness is expected, but I've never had soreness last more then a week whenever I start a new program.

  4. #24
    305pelusa Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbria View Post
    Btw I wouldn't do the socks. Remember when I said the rough surfaces help? Your feet need to not only adjust, but you also need to learn to land soft enough that your feet don't get injured. Any cushioning or protection is going to prevent you from getting the proper feedback. If your feet are getting injured you are not ready to really push yourself further. And as far as soreness, some soreness is expected, but I've never had soreness last more then a week whenever I start a new program.
    However, it's not the actual foot that is getting injured. It is the skin which, with the concrete, simply rips! Pretty painful.

    The socks would be there to act as a barrier to prevent my skin from getting "destroyed" by the pavement. I'm NOT thinking of trying them on to prevent a foot injury though.

    Although I guess a person can make the argument that the socks prevent the skin from adapting, and maybe I'm running incorrectly if the balls of my feet start getting blisters?

  5. #25
    kbria is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 305pelusa View Post
    The socks would be there to act as a barrier to prevent my skin from getting "destroyed" by the pavement. I'm NOT thinking of trying them on to prevent a foot injury though.

    Although I guess a person can make the argument that the socks prevent the skin from adapting, and maybe I'm running incorrectly if the balls of my feet start getting blisters?
    Ok let me rephrase what I wrote. Your SKIN is getting "destroyed" becuase you ahven't learned how to land softly enough or you are rubbing/twisting when you shouldn't be.

    Adding a sock to protect the skin is still masking feedback your body is trying to give you. If your skin is getting destroyed then you are not ready to push yourself any further.

  6. #26
    305pelusa Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbria View Post
    Ok let me rephrase what I wrote. Your SKIN is getting "destroyed" becuase you ahven't learned how to land softly enough or you are rubbing/twisting when you shouldn't be.

    Adding a sock to protect the skin is still masking feedback your body is trying to give you. If your skin is getting destroyed then you are not ready to push yourself any further.
    Understood.
    So, umh... any advice as to what I should do?

  7. #27
    kbria is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 305pelusa View Post
    Understood.
    So, umh... any advice as to what I should do?
    Just focus on listening to your body. You essentially have to experiment to see what works for you. If it hurts to land your foot a certain way try to land it in a slightly different way. Bend your knees more when you land let then act as a spring. Try to sit into your hips. Make sure you are not pushing off, pretty much start lifting your feet off the ground as soon as you feel the ground. Make sure you are not landing with your feet out to far in front of you, shorten your stride see how that makes you feel. Make sure your heel is gently touching the ground with every step. A forefoot landing may not be natural for you. My natural landing is really midfoot, almost full foot with my heel touching a split second after my midfoot.

    I haven't read it but KenBob apparently gives a lot of tips in his book. Tehre is also a lot of tips on his website: http://therunningbarefoot.com/ Take the tips, experiment and see what works for you. If your feet are getting torn up then give them a couple of days in between each run to heal.

  8. #28
    305pelusa Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbria View Post
    Just focus on listening to your body. You essentially have to experiment to see what works for you. If it hurts to land your foot a certain way try to land it in a slightly different way. Bend your knees more when you land let then act as a spring. Try to sit into your hips. Make sure you are not pushing off, pretty much start lifting your feet off the ground as soon as you feel the ground. Make sure you are not landing with your feet out to far in front of you, shorten your stride see how that makes you feel. Make sure your heel is gently touching the ground with every step. A forefoot landing may not be natural for you. My natural landing is really midfoot, almost full foot with my heel touching a split second after my midfoot.

    I haven't read it but KenBob apparently gives a lot of tips in his book. Tehre is also a lot of tips on his website: http://therunningbarefoot.com/ Take the tips, experiment and see what works for you. If your feet are getting torn up then give them a couple of days in between each run to heal.
    I see. Thanks for the quick pointers. Very useful checklist.
    I seem to follow most of these, though I definitely have to constantly think about it. I guess my skin will just slowly adapt to it.

    I'm very happy that the MUSCLES and actual soft tissue aren't getting painful. It's good news. Sincerely, skin always regenerates, and in short time. Muscles/ligaments are always more important (at least in my eyes), and those seem to be fine for now.

    Thanks for the great help!

  9. #29
    green is offline Member
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    I've found great tips for injury prevention and strength work from Runner World's videos:
    http://www.runnersworld.com/video/1,...-1-0-5,00.html

    My top three tips for running barefoot:
    1. Start slow (which you've already understood)
    2. Do calf/ankle exercises (check)
    3. Stretch/massage after run, foam roller is a great tool here. Also, try massaging your fascia with a golf ball (I found this great when coming back from plantar fasciitis)

    Now, you said in your opening post that you wanted to do running for conditioning. That's fine, but remember that it will take months before you are ready to take long enough runs. That's why I suggest you consider the approach I took when starting barefoot running, which is to run with shoes and slowly replace that with barefoot running. You can do this by training barefoot first only 1-2 times a week and slowly building up over the months. I did this by having 1 barefoot jog/walk (max 30 mins) a week and 2-3 normal runs. Slowly I would take my shoes off on my longer runs farther and farther away from home and running barefoot the remaining of the run.

    Now there are people who will say that running both with shoes and barefoot will slow you from learning the proper bf technique, but I say thats bs. They are two different sports. Would you say walking interferes with your running technique? No you wouldn't.

    One extra tip which I've found great for ankle strength and mobility: running technical trails. I mean forest trails with lots of rocks and boulders and roots. Just try it if you have a chance.

    Good luck with your training!

  10. #30
    dragondanica is offline Junior Member
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    Start slowly. I mean, take it step by step.

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