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Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Barefoot YOW, Sep 22, 2014.
I do. Tactile stimulation beats everything.
Yah, I meant no one I know outside of our little club. It's great to be able to come here and discuss these things. Pretty much everyone else I know just rolls their eyes or humors me.
BG is right Lee, last spring it took only about 1-2 weeks and I was back to running barefoot with no tenderness associated with just "starting" up after spending most of the coldest winter we had here on record in KIGO's.
as a single data point for reference purposes, i happened to roughly note what happened during my run today (~5.1mi at 34F and 20+mph winds). for the first few miles, i was trying to run fast-ish which warms up the core, but seems to keep the feet cold. after mile number 3, i slowed down a little which seems to tell the body that we're not actually trying to escape a bear, so it's ok to loosen up a bit. between mile 3 and 3.5 (or about 25 minutes) the blood started going back into the feet. around mile 4 they were pretty much warm except for possibly one side of one inner toe on the right foot. from there on out, it felt more like "i am heating up the ground" rather than "the ground is cooling me down".
so, i guess that means that if you're remotely like me and you are doing runs of less than 4mi, you might be stuck with cold feet the whole time. at which point the question might be whether you are able to or wish to embrace the cold if, in fact, it doesn't actually hurt you. of course, if it does hurt or cause injury, it's a no-brainer to not repeat the unpleasantry.
on a related topic, i wonder if we could open a can of worms and start a "very nearly barefoot, but not totally nuts like those other idiots" division for sandals/min-shoes/etc. we might then be able to guesstimate a handicap system or "tolerance benefit" for future reference on how much of a barrier you need for different levels of deep freeze, wind, and water/slush/snow/ice. then people can pick the appropriate level of mental instability for the conditions.
I've done 10 miles at 12°F - no frostbite or frostnip. Others have done marathons within our temperature ranges. As Lee mentioned, my feet fall into Numb Plunge I but after 3 km I feel them heat up and even sweat. If they do NOT heat up then on goes the backup footwear. Ego = frostbite
For me, I enjoy running in the cold, and when possible go barefoot.
Update - Week 8
We've reached 2000+ miles (3260 km).
Check out page 18 of the PDF, "Acclimatization to Local Cold Exposure". I think it may explain why some of us are more barefoot tolerant of the cold.
However, my hands are not as cold tolerant, as I don't have much opportunity to do handwork in the cold.
Okay back in the game now. Ran 3 miles this morning after a 5 day lay off. I had my marbles snipped (vasectomy) last Wednesday! The crazy thing it was 50 degrees this morning.
Makes sense. Same here. IMO human feet are designed to handle more cold then hands (shorter toes, thicker blood vessels, thick fat pads on soles for insulation)
I agree with the other points in your posts but this goes to show we can be very different too... I haven't run in the dark now for, I dunno, a year maybe? One of my most motivating and inspiring things to get me to run is a beautiful blue sky and bright sun. I'll take sunset runs too, and even evil looking incoming storm clouds (though not dull boring solid grey skies). I'm not a morning person at all, and the only times I have got up early to run this year have been the 3 races I've done. Everything else usually after 10am. So this blends well with my winter running, as I naturally tend to run at the warmer times of the day.
Of course this has a lot to do with work schedule. My dayshifts start pretty early so its not really even an option for me to run early, except on off days. If I worked steady mon-fri, and didn't already get up too early, I might be running in the AM. When I'm on nights I'm getting up shortly after noon, so that works in my favor then. When I'm on days I just don't run at all (like this week). Also the bike paths I typically jog are closed at night, as well as the nature trail just across from my house.
I do miss the occasional night run though. It was kind of fun strapping on the headlamp and going for a jog in the dark. You could see the eyes of wolf spiders or whatever they are all over the place shining back at you. Cars out here in the country I think get a little confused though with my lights and such. And its dangerous anyhow to be on the road, so I have still run a few times on the nature trail. Kind of eerie running in the woods in the middle of the night.
The last couple springs its taken much longer than that for me. But it might not all be skin toughness... since my mileage also slacks off in the winter as well. So I'm building miles and skin toughness back. Takes a good month+, probably not until mid May I feel I'm back to normal, although I usually do a half marathon the first weekend in May (its always been the first time hitting those miles each spring) so I'm at least up to that with distance and toughness by the beginning of May. So that's a huge reason why I'm trying to go bare as much as possible and maintain normal distances this winter. 1-2 months to build back up really sucks.
Would be interesting... maybe if there was like a checkbox for barefoot or minishod. Barefooters could count for extra miles, or shoddies could get a slight penalty But I'm fine with leaving it as is. I thought toes on the road was barefoot only too (hence the name) but guess I misunderstood.
Ran the local Turkey Trot (5K) on Thanksgiving morning - temp was 32F with absolutely no wind. Pretty comfortable conditions actually. A light snow was falling for most of the race, but not enough to stick. I thoroughly enjoyed the run.
Races like this come with their own problematic logistics for barefoot runners. With over 4,000 people in the race, parking is at a premium. I got there early and managed to park within a quarter-mile of the start/finish area. So I sat in the car until about 15 minutes before race time, and then walked to the start line. Parking lot was wet gravel (pretty uncomfortable to walk on at 32F). Then another ten minutes or so of standing still on the cold asphalt waiting for the start.
By the time the starting gun sounded I had already been walking and standing in the cold for 20 minutes. My feet were freezing!
After the race I stood around at the finish line waiting for my wife to finish (she was doing the 5K walk). She finished walking about 20 minutes after me, and then we walked the quarter mile back to the car. So in total I spent about an hour and a half barefoot in 32 degree air, but only about 34 minutes running.
If it had been wet, or windy, I would definitely have had some problems!
Certainly got a LOT of comments on my bare feet though!
Hi there, after reading some of the weekly mileage posts I wonder: do barefoot walks in winter conditions count towards winter challenge mileage?
Yah, the last three winters I've tended to run during the warmest part of the day, and have driven to streets that tend to be clear of snow and traffic in the fairgrounds, in order to get in my bare running. I may still do this once in a while this winter, in order to maintain some semblance of plantar callus.
It took me a while to adapt to early morning running, but it's also a nice way to go, especially in the city, when there's little traffic around, and especially in the summer, when it's the coolest time of the day. What I like most about it however is that you start out your workday having already accomplished something.
And during the winter months, when it's always dark around 4-6am, it's almost like a dream, disconnected from the waking world in which you emerge a short while afterwards. The cold, snowy landscapes in the dim urban light highlight the dream-like feeling.
I started delivering newspapers in the middle of the winter when I was 11 years old, so I guess that's why I'm used to waking up pre-dawn and going straight out into the elements.
It would be great to run out in the country like you do though. I love running out in space. My neighborhood feels claustrophobic, even more so when it's dark. That's why I've been driving down to the river.
Awesome report BFSailor!
I can feel my plantar callus starting to wilt. Luckily it should warm up in a day or two.
And that's why I wear flip flops at the the start of races when it's that cold, and just like BG I carry them with me in my hands so I can put them on after the race. It's the waiting and standing around on cold ground that can drain the heat out of you pretty quick. Well done on your perseverance.
I had the exact kind of weather conditions and turn out for the turkey trot I ran as well. I have a pair of Soft Star moccasins which come in handy for these types of conditions and waiting around. For short distances I don't mind carry my footwear in hand. From experience nothing worse starting a race with numb feet. Even you if you purchase a $5 dollar pair of water shoes at Walmart comes in handy waiting around for a race to start.
I actually do have a pair of Walmart water shoes that I use when it's really cold. Two years ago I did a 5K on snow at about 23 degree, and I wore the water shoes for the first mile and then carried them the rest of the way. I've also used flip-flops before the start sometimes. At 32 and relatively dry roads, I'd rather just not carry them. It's easier to just be stoic and whine about it later.
Exactly my approach too
Well done bfsailor.
Walks count too ... as long as you're barefoot.
The penalty for frostbite should be disqualification. It's not worth the risk.