New Member from the frozen prairies

Discussion in 'Chapters' started by Ryan Schmidt, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Ryan Schmidt Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Message Count:
    3
    Hello Everyone,
    Thought I would introduce myself. My names Ryan Schmidt, and I live in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. When I re-introduced myself to running two years ago I started with regular running shoes and immediately started at a physical therapist with the intent of going barefoot. Ironically enough I developed horrible hip and knee pain from healstriking in my running shoes and was given poor advice from my physical therapist to continue slowly transitioning continuing to use regular shoes and not drop them and build up. Without having found Ken Bob's book yet or having any barefoot resources in Saskatoon, I trusted my PT who is endorsed by a shoe shop and went for NB Minimus shoes over actual barefoot. As I completely dropped regular running shoes going completely "minimal" running forefoot striking 6 month ago I have been injury after injury after injury grinding my running progress to terrible halts. As I read Ken Bob's book and started to find online resources, I realized I had randomly taken in some bad advice. I had read that you should NEVER let your heal touch the ground, ONLY running on the balls of your feet and pawing and digging yourself forward. I even had my PT do a video analysis of my running and was told I was forefoot striking under my body and had great alignment. I am suspecting now that he hasn't read all the latest info on how to barefoot run properly, because he missed me not letting my heal land and drastically overloading my foot and calf.
    Unfortunately I have also done ALL of my running to date on a treadmill. When I finally kicked off the shoes and started my run, within 20 minutes I had learned two lessons: 1. No matter how minimal shoes are, they will NEVER feel the same as bare feet. 2. Treadmills suck, causing heat and friction on your poor feet. Only 1/3rd through my run my feet were burning and blistering bad and I was forced to toss the shoes on, but even then it was too late.
    So the goal now is to SLOWLY introduce my feet to true barefoot running on the treadmill for the winter while I continue to use minimal shoes to keep my cardio up. Then once I am completely cut over, I plan on doing a 3D gate analysis at my PT office to see how to correct some form issues.

    To wrap up this very long introduction post, a few questions for anyone who managed to power through that:
    1. Does anyone know of barefoot trainers or resources in the Saskatoon area?
    2. What do the other frozen tundra folk do once the long winter hits? Treadmill (barefoot or shoed), track, or outdoor and if so what is your choice of shoe?
    happysongbird and Barefoot TJ like this.
  2. Henry Chapter Presidents
    1. Canada

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Message Count:
    82
    welcome to BRS, Ryan, great story, I loved running barefoot uphill, on cold weather, I do hill repeat w/ two layers of socks and flip/flop.
    http://www.dailymile.com/people/HenryP4
    I wrote most of my barefoot experienced on my dailymile site.
  3. Barefoot YOW Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Message Count:
    627
    Ryan, welcome to BRS. Send Barefooting Bob a message. He may be able to line you up with other BF runners. As far as I know, we have members in Alberta and Manitoba. Bob is a great resource.

    As far as running barefoot in winter ... yep we do that too. It certainly is challenging but doable. It is something that you need to acclimatize to. Most indoor facilities do not permit barefoot running. Treadmill running is an alternative. Decrease your speed and run shorter distances. Each of us is different. We need to find the happy path towards barefoot running. You can spend the $$ to have a gate analysis done, or simply run on gravel roads. Pointy rocks will guarantee you run with great form. In the winter I run barefoot or minimalist. A dry sunny day at -5 is something most people can handle. I bought water shoes from Walmart ($8) and they got me through the winter. I run in a gravel bucket to help maintain conditioning of my feet. Take your time and listen to your body. It will give early warning signs for Too Much Too Soon (TMTS).

    One approach is to run a portion of your run barefoot. Say do 1-2 km then throw on the minimalist footwear. You can do the reverse too. Warm up your feet then run barefoot then throw on footwear. Be sure to select footwear that is easy to put on. I don't like 5 fingers because they are too difficult to put on once your feet are cold.

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  4. Bill B Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Message Count:
    186
    Hi Ryan!
    Contact Tina Dubois, Natural Running Coaching.
    http://naturalrunningcoaching.com/
    She is awesome and has lots of resources that will help you! Cheers, and welcome!!

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  5. Ryan Schmidt Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Message Count:
    3
    Thank you for the warm welcome everyone! Having browsed through the Video Analysis section, I went back to a video I recently took of myself and started picking out a few areas I need to improve on. I look like I am doing a crouched shuffle. I'll definitely touch base with Bob and see if he knows of any local runners/coaches. If not I will certainly check out Tina. I looked at her site and liked what I seen. Cheers!
  6. Barefoot Ken Bob Chapter Presidents
    1. California -...

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Message Count:
    342
    Ryan,

    Many people in the frozen north have successfully adapted to running barefoot on treadmills.

    Be sure that when your feet land on and lift off the treadmill, that they are traveling at precisely the same speed as the treadmill. There is (practically) no friction unless the speed of the foot is traveling at a different speed or direction as the surface you're running on.

    Video analysis of running technique, as you have discovered previously, will be only a comparison to your form, and the opinion of the person giving the analysis.

    There is no better stride analysis than how running feels to your body and bare soles. All the forces that injure or cause chronic pain to our bodies while running, must pass through the soles of our feet. When running barefoot on a variety of terrains (including rough gravel) is comfortable, enjoyable, and easy on your bare soles, then it will necessarily be safe for the rest of your body.

    more info (in addition to my book):
    http://how.barefootrunning.com

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  7. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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  8. Barefooting Bob Administrator
    1. Canada
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    Jul 18, 2010
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    Welcome Ryan, I have responded to your message as well. Hopefully my good friend Dave will be able to help you out. Anyway to reiterate what everybody else above has said, it is definitely possible to run outside in the winter (yes in the snow). it just takes build up of tolerence and knowing what your limits are. Lots of good resources here and also in the link that TJ put just above. Any questions, let me know, I would be more than happy to help in any way that i can.

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  9. Ryan Schmidt Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Message Count:
    3
    I think this group and the Winter Challenge may be just what I need to get me off the treadmill and outside. May also help tame my TMTS problem :). Also as I said to Bob in my reply, I think you all have created an amazing resource and community here. I'll post an update here if/when I get the nerve to toss the shoes and brave the cold. Cheers.
    Barefoot TJ and Barefooting Bob like this.
  10. Grant Chapter Presidents
    1. Canada
    2. Presidents

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Message Count:
    26
    Welcome Ryan! Sorry to hear about the blisters man. Basically everything everyone has already said is spot on, my only contribution is t say that when you run, run in a fashion that doesn't hurt the soles of your feet. If you are blistering you are not running in a manner that is suitable to your physiology. Tenderness is to be expected and the more that you learn to relax the foot the less tenderness will occur. I personally strongly advocate walking barefoot, the mechanics between a proper barefoot foot plant when walking are much more akin to the same foot fall when running when compared to shod mechanics.

    I really think that the next piece of advice I have to give is a Ken Bobism. Start slow, running slowly is a much more technical exercise than running fast.

    imho it seems that the load on the central nervous system is much higher when running at slow speeds which means that you are developing better form. If you feel like you are not getting enough cardio load grab a bicycle, kettlebell or rowing machine and have at it to maintain your conditioning. Speed develops alongside your technical ability when running barefoot unlike the short cut of foot pillows which allow much greater speed in developing cardio.

    Cheers!
  11. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Carry your shoes with you until you are comfortable and confident in the frigid temps, okay? Maybe even try running in some thick, wool socks for awhile. Get your tootsies used to the cold gradually. Don't jump in all at once. Good luck, and have fun with it!

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  12. Barefooting Bob Administrator
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    Very important and good advice TJ........ That was my first year, a lot of sock running. But backup footwear should be taken with you whether you are just starting out, experimenting or an so called experienced runner like me. I always carry something that can quickly slip onto my feet. Better to be safe than sorry.

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  13. Barefoot YOW Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Message Count:
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    Ryan ... any update on your barefoot progress? Did you give winter running a try? If you're restricted to the treadmill, follow Grant's advice. Go short and slow. The treadmill will eventually give your feet that glossy smooth sole. Come Spring you'll be ready to hit the roads.

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