I notice you tend to get a lot of blisters when you run barefoot. Is this a result of your technique or lack of padding and callous on your feet?
I am still learning but I believe my blister problem is caused by my form. On my run last night, I worked on shortening my stride, quickening my cadence and pulling my feet straight up to avoid friction and they felt way better than they usually do at the end of a barefoot run. I think the blisters will decrease as my form improves.
More so a statement, but what you are training to do is amazing! So much dedication, for real. Keep the training up! What sparked the interest in barefoot running?
Thanks! Only 2 months into training and I’m realizing what an undertaking this is going to be. Barefoot running is definitely a test of patience. And to answer your question, I wrote a little summary of how I got into barefoot running here.
Have you tried the Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot Evo? It is a like a mix between the Vibrams and a normal running shoe. No cushioning, light, 3 mm sole, but it does not have toes. I do my running in them and normal running shoes because I do not want to run in my Vibrams or barefoot right before the tournament season (tennis) starts.
I’ve heard about the Evos but haven’t tried them. My sister has been looking at Nike Frees. I’m pretty sure my next running shoe purchase will be something minimal like Frees or Evos.
How long have you been running barefoot for and what kind of mileage are you doing? Up to this point, I've only done striders in the grass barefoot and a 3 mile run on a crushed granite trail, so I'm kind of curious what steps you've taken to get where you are.
I’m still a newbie. I just started barefoot running in early April. I am still doing a majority of my running in shoes since I want to keep my miles up and stay in shape. I run with a running club on Tues/Thurs and usually do my warm-ups, drills, strides and cool-downs there barefoot (on the track or on grass). If the surface isn’t something I’m up for (i.e. trail or dirt track) I will warm-up/cool-down in my Vibram FiveFingers KSOs. I am hesitant to run the workouts barefoot because they are usually fast and I can’t concentrate on my form as much. I try to get at least 1 completely barefoot run in each week, trying to up the mileage each time. My farthest is 3 miles on the sidewalk. How did 3 miles on a crushed granite trail feel? Sounds brutal.
Where do you get your iskiate?
I make my own. I found chia seeds at Whole Foods and at some Mexican markets around town. I just mix about a tablespoon of chia seeds with a cup of water and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes until it gets gooey. Shake it up and drink. Tastes better if you add lime juice to it.
Do you have any advice you'd give to someone else slated to do a vey similar event (Ragnar Relay Woodstock to NYC) in two weeks? What was your favorite part?
The relay was a blast. My favorite part was definitely my team. We had so much fun together. Advice:
I've come to believe (perhaps incorrectly) that running barefoot requires more of your calves and less of your thighs than running with conventional footwear. Do you perform any exercises specific to your legs, and perhaps your calves, besides running?
I’m still learning but you definitely work out muscles in your calves, shins and ankles more when running barefoot. That and a bunch of muscles in your feet (i.e. arches). I’m not sure if you use your quads less. Right now I’m not doing any special exercises other than running drills once or twice a week (high knees, butt kickers, high skips, karaokes).
For me, I think just slowly increasing my barefoot mileage and giving proper recovery time in between runs will strengthen those “new” muscles. I think some of those muscle were already pretty strong from the amount of running I was doing (just finished a marathon in February) and the cross training (cycling, mountain biking and swimming).
I can't help but notice all your love for the Vibrams. I'm not a runner, but I've been toying with buying a pair for other activities, particularly kayaking. You obviously seem to be enjoying them, but I'm curious to know how long it took you to get used to them and if they are comfortable enough to just wear around. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
I wore them to the airport today to fly to Chicago and have been wearing them to walk around here. Doesn’t really take much time to get used to them. Part of my foot started getting a little sore when I first started wearing them (I wore them 3 days in a row right when I bought them). I think they work out some muscles in your feet that aren’t used to being worked because of the toe separation and using your arch more. I say get some, try them out and just listen to your body. I’m sure each person reacts differently to wearing them.
You must know about Barefoot Ted. But, well, do you know of Barefoot Ted?
I do know about Barefoot Ted. I recently read Born to Run and am actually in the middle of reading it again. He’s going to be speaking at a local event here in a couple weeks but unfortunately I’m going to miss it. I just joined his Minimalist Runner Google group today.
I just did the Warrior Dash on Sunday and there were a handful of people representing the Vibrams! I saw ONE person barefoot, too! ;)
Rad! I am super jealous. I wanted to sign up for Warrior Dash but it was sold out. Don’t you jump over fire?!
There was a guy at the triathlon I did Saturday wearing Vibrams on the trail run. They are definitely the way of the future.