Barefoot on Treadmills?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by James Auman, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. James Auman

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    Is running barefoot on a treadmill a thing? a good thing? been thinking it might help me get acclimated to barefoot running.
     
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  2. Random

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    I've tried it in the long-ago past. I didn't have a problem with it, but I did not find the running surface very comfortable.

    (I'm sure there should be a lot of disclaimers in this post, so consider this the disclaimer about safety: the machine could swallow your toes. ;) )
     
  3. dutchie53

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    Tried it and found that the heat of the belt by the time I got 15 minutes in was usually enough to make me get off


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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    It might help, but the belt does get hot. You could try socks on the treadmill at least to get some of the benefits of zero drop running, elongated calves, tendons, etc.
     
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  5. Janne

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    I've tried the treadmill and I try to run from side to side to allow one part of the band to cool, staying in the middle was unbearable. Not the most fun but an easy way to get some running done. It is also useful if you want to film and analyze your run ;)
     
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  6. Barefoot TJ

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    Don't get tired or distracted though. I once sliced/burned my left foot open on the side when I looked away for just a moment because my foot slid against the converyor's railing.
     
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  7. Kyrrinstoch

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    I've had similar experiences, especially when running for more than 15-20 minutes. Only thing I've found that helps is to have a big air circulator type fan aimed down at the belt - not often appreciated by others who were just enjoying the air circulation..

    My big problem with running on treadmills is the "belt slap" caused from the slight gap between the belt and the deck. When my feet make contact with the belt, my body's expecting that to be solid ground. But with the gap, I get the impact of hitting the deck a fraction of a second after contact with the belt, resulting a very jarring run. It usually takes me a good 4-6 runs on a treadmill for me to adjust, then when I move back outside, I have the opposite problem (expecting the contact/impact latency) for the first few runs outdoors again.
     
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  8. macdiver

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    While I prefer to run outdoors, I have a treadmill that I use during the winter. I also have used treadmills at various hotels over the years. My treadmill belt doesn't get hot. I have run on some at hotels that get really hot and I have had to switch machines after 15 minutes to keep running.

    My running form is different on a treadmill too. I tend to let my feet get in front of me more though am still landing on my forefoot. I think outside my body catches up to my foot as I land but indoors my body doesn't move so the foot is not under me. Hope that makes since.

    Also I have never had anyone say anything negative to me about running barefoot on the hotel treadmills. I'm always waiting for that happen.
     
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  9. Noodles

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    Like macdiver, I prefer running outdoors if possible, but I've never had a problem with the belt getting hot at home when I use it. However, I usually only run on it for around 30-45 minutes. In the hotels I've been to, they always specify "appropriate footwear", so I wear my Xero Lenas. I'm definitely more comfortable barefoot, but that may be because the Lenas are not really a running shoe.
    I agree that the running form is different on the treadmill from outdoors, but I find it an interesting opportunity to try to practice some of the barefoot techniques such as increased cadence while the belt keeps me at a steady speed.
     
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