barefoot / shod percentage ?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Sly, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Sly

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    Hi everybody

    so,
    its more than three years now that Im playing with my bare feet.
    I started from zero, dead feet, and wrong and violent gait.

    so, very soon and very fast I started to run better faster, and developed stronger and more flexible feet at the same time. what a joyful discovery !

    But still, my feet are not made of iron,
    and if I run too fast (it means : with less precision), or on too challenging terrains, or too long distances, the next days I need protection on my feet if I want to keep on running.

    so here is my question,
    are you 100% barefoot runners ?
    do you still need protection sometimes ?
    what is your relation with the barefoot training ?
    how many years of preparation did you need before a painless and joyful barefoot marathon ?

    I guess we all are different, and it depends a lot on how were the feet at the beginning of the game...

    thanks for your feedbacks !
     
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    #1 Sly, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
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  2. Lorri

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    I've been walking and living barefoot for over 12 years but only started running (on the beach) 2.5 years ago. Then progresses to tarmac and now on treadmill for winter.

    I found that beach was great, but the council let the dogs on the beach from Oct through April so it's not very runner friendly. And then, in summer, when the tide is in you have to go on the tarmac prom. The tarmac prom started giving me IT band issues. Bought treadmill and started to run totally differently. IT band issues solved. I thought i ran well until i started running on a treadmill barefoot - some might be surprised at the impact noise they'll make (really recommend treadmill running for barefoot runners). I now run quieter than the treadmill motor which isn't loud at all.

    It's been an amazing journey. Learning to walk barefoot and then run barefoot. It takes time.

    Back to your question though. I plan on doing some big runs (ultras) in future on Dartmoor and if i don't know that the path is safe or when i'm running at night i will put on some minimal footwear (merrels - i've had them 2 years and still haven't worn them) with the socks i spoke of in my other thread as i know how easy it is to injure you feet.

    The way i see it is that 1000's of years ago barefooters didn't have to put up with trails worn, fucked and stoney as caused by shoddies who've trodden them and eroded them before them. There weren't fences and defined footpaths so the stoney trails that we know today didn't exist.

    Don't hurt yourself to make a point. If you don't know the trail or you can't see properly because of night time then put something under your soles. It's just not worth injuring yourself. A broken foot bone will stop you running for a long time and you'll lose all your fitness.

    My view is always that unless you can walk it comfortably with perfect form then don't run it. Check out trails barefoot walking and only if you decide that you're fully comfortable with how they are then, and only then, run them barefoot.
     
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  3. Anders

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    For my part I run 100% barefoot. Last winter I had socks on some days when it was below freezing, but this winter I haven't felt the need of any socks.
    I've only come up to 23km in distance barefoot, so I cannot say about the full marathon distance. But others seem to be doing it? I don't see why not?

    As for sole pain: In the book "Barefoot running step by step", Ken Bob says: "listen to your soles, they will keep you from getting injured" (maybe not an exact quote). His point is that if you don't run those days when your soles are complaining, then you're less at risk over-training injuries.
    I think it's sound advice, and live by that?

    (I run on asphalt bicycle paths at my maf heart rate = low intensity)
     
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  4. Sly

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    thanks for your answers.

    it is a good advice, that's for sure.

    but after three years, I still feel frustrated, like this week.
    patience, patience, patience.
    sometimes I'm just afraid it wont come. like, being free with my bare feet.
     
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  5. skedaddle

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    I think the lesson is that everyone is different and to never compare yourself to others or others experiences.

    Do what feels good to you at any given time and focus on the good things. Strong heart, strong lungs, clear mind. Think about the whole, not just the feet.

    I happily slip between shod and mostly unshod, depending on how I feel on any given day, or where I intend to run. Percentages mean nothing to me, but that's me, i'm unique and represent in my own way.
     
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  6. Tedlet

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    The comments already made all sound pretty good to me.

    For me I also run 100% skin to ground. Not because I'm particularly pursuing percentages, but because that's just the way I like to run -simple as that really. As has been said, we're all different and best advice is probably to focus on what works for you as an individual.

    I generally tend to go to the gym the day following a run, rather than running two days in a row. That way the 'running' parts of my body get to recover a little whilst I still work out. -I find the rowing machine is a useful tool -even though it's ever so slightly boring- as it seems to put less load on the calf muscles in particular.

    My distances are still a long way from more seasoned runners, but I think the 'listen to your soles' recommendation is good as it obviously helps to make sure you allow yourself sufficient time between runs. I was always told that recovery is an essential part of any training program & it's something I generally try to keep in mind (having lived through my 'youthful and therefore indestructible' period some time ago you understand!)..
     
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  7. petit-pied

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    sorry I can't in english so I hope for the other that google translate make a good job ;)

    slt Sly,

    je tombe sur tes inquiétudes, je suis surpris vu que je te considère comme un barefooter aguerris avec autant d'expérience que moi.

    En ce qui me concerne je suis 100% pieds nus, mais absolument pas du tout sectaire : si je pouvais retourner au chaussures je le ferais ! Mais ne pas sentir le sol me perturbe et donc je ne supporte plus.
    Je préfère perdre de la vitesse par moment sur des parties plus facile que de remettre des chaussures. Par contre si tu veux chausser j'ai juste comme expérience les newfeel many (qui ne sont plus vendue mais de toute façon qui sont pour moi trop glissante pour de la course à pieds et qui ont une toobox trop étroite) sinon des aquashoes qui je trouve sont acceptable pour de petites portions je ne sais si de longue course c'est supportable.

    pour ce qui est des courses je me prépare sur bitume bitume bitume... et je fais mes courses nature quand je le sens bien en général par ici en Ardennes c'est plus agréable que le bitume... je ne sais si ce serait pareil partout ! il y a bien des portions fréquente de pierres mais jusque là j'ai toujours réussi à passer.

    sinon je préparais une distance marathon avant mon hernie discale et si sur les début 20 par moment c'était dur vers la fin j'arrivais facilement au bout sans trop souffrir. ça faisait 4-5 mois que je travaillais cette distance chaque lundi pour la suite je ne sais pas je comptais passer aux 30 km avant mon incident donc à suivre si j'arrive un jour à retrouver mes perf' d'avant...

    sinon je ne pensais pas trop en terme de mes pieds ne le peuvent pas en fait je pense plus en coureur sans trop me dire que je suis pieds nus je veux faire tout comme les autres coureurs et donc mes questionnement concernant les grandes distance sont plus sur suis-je apte à le faire et quand je pense ça ce n'est pas de mes pieds dont je parle mais de tout le reste du corps... pour moi les pieds c'est une évolution qui vient avec l'entraînement.

    et pour de tel défis je pense qu'il faut parfois se faire un peu mal avec un juste milieux... la douleur "sportive" celle qui te fait évoluer pas celle qui te bloque durant 2 mois dans un fauteuil:p

    sur ces distance de 20 km les 5-6 dernier km j'ai eu longtemps cette barrière qui ce dressait devant moi : malgré un départ avec des pieds en forme ces derniers kms m'était une torture ((mais sportive je le voyais dans le sens que le lendemain c'était déjà plus ou moins un souvenir) et soudain ça c'est débloquer et j'ai peu deux trois semaine courir sans soucis cette distance.

    bref il faut forcer un peu la nature mais sans trop en faire car tant que tu n'es pas prêt ça n'ira pas plus vite... le forcing c'est juste pour voir quand enfin tu peux aller enfin à l'étape suivante.

    Et flute, il est tard et du coup j'ai eu la main légère sur les touches du clavier. les mots sont venu tout seuls..je ne sais même pas si j'ai été cohérent et je n'ai plus le courage de me relire :wtf:j'espère que tu trouveras le reconfort

    mais pour résumer tu es un bon coureur pieds nus et je trouve ta manière d'aborder la course assez intéressante. je suis sur que tu y arriveras et puis si une fois de temps en temps tu chausse pour pouvoir avoir le plaisir de faire une course plus hard... il n'y a pas de honte fait toi plaisir. Bref, ne te pose pas trop de questions, prends tes "pieds à ton cou" (ça risque de ne pas être top ce jeu de ot pour google translate désolé) :Det cours pour le plaisir"

    allez bye à + et bon courage pour ta préparation marathon (si c'est le cas)
     
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  8. Sly

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    merci petits pieds.
    il y a des semaines incroyables, et puis des semaines, sans comprendre pourquoi, les pieds refusent.
    c'est surprenant et frustrant !
     
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  9. petit-pied

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    oui ça ne t'aidera pas maisje connais aussi :p Je pense que ce n'est même pas uniquement réservé au vas nus pieds. il faut juste se dire demain sera meilleur ;)
    Courage !!
     
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  10. Barefoot Gentile

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    I am mostly a road runner and my first choice is always barefoot. In the winter I challenge myself to see how far I can run barefoot, but if Mother Nature has other plans, footwear goes on. I don't sacrifice a run just because I can't be barefoot. When it comes to technical/rocky trails I have no issues wearing footwear.

    I ran my first barefoot marathon 1.5 years after my transition. Trained for it barefoot as well, with no issues and felt great. I have four marathons and 50k under my belt so far, all barefoot. I have been away from the marathon for some years now, but will be running one in 2017, barefoot.
     
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  11. Christian Lemburg

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    After nearly three years barefoot, I run barefoot all the time. I do not run marathons, so I can't comment on that. I do run daily, and with that I mean every day, for nearly three years now. I used to get some problems with wear down of my soles when running too much on roads, so I started to run more trails. About a year later, the problem has disappeared. However, I also run less distance than I did in the first year. And I run more actively, feeling the ground at each step, no more shuffling mindlessly along. If you want to run each day, I would suggest you cut it down on some days - less distance, less speed, less challenging terrain, so you get some rest. And if wear-down is getting in your way, run more trails, and less roads. Hope it helps ... be patient and have fun ...
     
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  12. BroadArrow

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    let me play the devil's advocate: what has worked well for me (and probably no-one else) is to find the nastiest, roughest surface and run on that. well, almost: actual gravel shifts under your feet and thus forces you more into walking, which is not running. if you can find rough pavement or what i call "chip-n-seal", it is great. at first, you run really slow and you have to keep at it, but success will come.

    roughly a year and a half ago, i attempted a 50-mile race that is on a prepared walking/biking trail so it is grit, but not gravel or stones. it was very cold that day and i failed miserably, dropping at the halfway point. the reason seemed to be my feet: they took a week and a half to recover. i realized that i had trained on very smooth concrete sidewalks for most of my training and thus my feet, skin, and "fat pads" were very weak. so, i decided to run on the rough chip-n-seal as much as i could. despite the police (no, really), i stuck with it as best i could until the cold part of winter set in. in the spring i started again, but it was still tempting to run on the smooth pavement. finally, it happened that i was on a business trip to ethiopia and went running with a colleague (a dutchman, so no false glory of "training with the ethiopians"). the loop we had available was half very rough pavement and half sharp rocks on a dirt road. now, he was wearing shoes, so my pride forced me to run much faster than i would have liked over the knife-filled surface. however, it taught me in my emotional heart that i really could deal with it whereas before only my intellectual mind knew that. when i got back home, i really hit the chip-n-seal hard. the result was that this year, i was able to finish the race with strong and happy feet.

    so, i guess i am, again, simply reiterating what our wise elders (barefoot ken bob!) have taught us: slow down, swallow your pride, and run slowly on horrible surfaces. your feet will get stronger, your fat pads thicker, your mind more clear, your technique cleaner, and you will recover faster. oh, and then when you return to smooth surfaces, you will be screaming fast (in comparison, at least).

    i have been living and running barefoot for 4 years (and not running at all before that). i do resort to moccasins or socks and plastic bags when there is an excess of snow or slush or high winds combined with very low temperatures. i managed to finish my first marathon within my first year (with a whole lot of walking in the second half; no speed demon, here) and not finish a 50-mile race (dropped at about 31 miles). i finished both the marathon and the 50-mile race the second year (again, not breaking any records). considering the distances involved, my feet were fine. it is when i stuck to the smooth, even surfaces that bad things happened in year #3. emphasizing the rough, cold, and hot ground restored success for year #4. presently, i am just trying to get through the cold this winter. however, forcing myself out in the very cold for 2 weeks has allowed me to run today for 1/2 an hour in 13F (actual temperature, not windchill equivalent) without any issues (dry pavement is important, though).

    thus: courage! strength! persistence! joy!
     
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  13. Jaqa

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    I have been running barefoot for 18 months and just did my first marathon. I run almost exclusively barefoot on the road, and on trail wear Inov8 shoes, 0 and 4mm drop. The only time I run with shoes on the road is under certain light rain conditions that cause the pavements to become too slippery and after 45 min my calves become blocks of wood because of the uncertainty and stress of sliding out a lot.

    What I found helped a lot was track, hill sprints and tempo runs. Seems counter productive, but it forced me to run faster and with a better technique. Plodding too much leads to bad technique. And on every run, regardless of the intensity, I remind myself that it is a technique run. If I can't hold my form when pushing hard, I stop, because I have then hit the limit of some part of my body, just maybe not the legs.

    As I live in Singapore I struggle to find rough surfaces like chip and seal so am constantly looking for the roughest part of the road to run on.

    The nice part of hard sessions is that they come in under an hour usually, the distance is minimal with all the breaks, so your joints take less strain but your muscles and cardio get a solid work out. For instance I did a 12 x 1min hill sprint session this morning at VO2 max. Total time was 57min and total distance was only 7.5km. And I am feeling pretty tired now but feet feel fine.

    The other good thing about interval sessions is that if you have a pulse and cadence measuring watch, you can focus on one aspect of your technique per set and compare how fast you went versus your effort, perceived and actual, and cadence, and compare it to your other sets.(Today was higher knee lift, for instance) You start to quickly learn that playing with your running style is fun and very productive.

    But it was only about 2.5 months ago that I got to a point that felt comfortable pushing my body to breaking point on hard sessions and long runs and not being worried about my damage to my feet etc. And please do some core exercises on your weak points after every run.
     
  14. JosephTree

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    I'm now entering into my 8th year of this BF adventure. I am, however, of the more faint hearted brigade. I concede the roads to Winter when it starts to get wet and icy, falling back to my Vibrams. I return to BF as soon as I can in the spring, and every year have had to experience a rebuilding phase, as my feet toughen. This winter I intend to find enough gravel of the right roughness to create an indoor jogging bin. I should have gotten this together already, but there you go.
    It's -10C here this morning...ugh!
     
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  15. Tristan

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    I agree with Skedaddle, and try not to compare myself to others. But sometimes you really want to, I understand. Sometimes we set goals and fall short, and look for answers why. I know I am not where I wanted to be, but I am still very happy with where I am at. A lot of it has to do with local conditions, some of us have smooth roads others have far worse barefoot conditions. But anyways, I'll answer your questions...

    are you 100% barefoot runners ?
    Yes, except for temperatures well below freezing. This will vary of course with climate, around here I often have to put on minimalist shoes for half of my runs December-March. My cold tolerance greatly increased my first two years of barefoot running, but then has been about the same the last 3 years, it appears I've reached about my limits of cold adaptation. Somewhere around 20F / -5C is my sustainable limit in good weather, can go colder for short runs, or can't go that cold if it's windy/wet.

    do you still need protection sometimes ?
    Usually just when temperatures are well below freezing for thermal protection. Very few times I have run rough trails with shoes, but usually I stick to paved surfaces. If I had more trails close by that where scenic but rough, I'd probably run with shoes more. But I've been spoiled by the mountains growing up, very scenic. Around here the nature trails are not that beautiful. I run mostly smooth asphalt bike paths, an ideal easy barefoot surface. I do run roads by my house too, but probably less than 25% of the time, maybe 10% by distance. These roads are rough and eroded in sections, some are chip-seal. For quick runs from my house when I have not time to travel to the bike paths. There are no good nature trails close by my house. Sometimes I travel to trails but only a couple times a year.

    what is your relation with the barefoot training ?
    I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. Besides 4-6 races a year all my running I guess you could say is training. But I don't follow any kind of training plan, I just go out and run however I feel. It's hard to follow a plan when you're on shiftwork and some weeks you flip back and forth between nights and days, being on-call, or have 4 days in a row you can't run, etc. I do try to get in fast intervals, and long runs once a week or every other week during spring-fall, then after my final race in the fall I do mostly easy run / MAF runs through winter.


    how many years of preparation did you need before a painless and joyful barefoot marathon ?
    I ran my first marathon 2 years and 1 month from when I started running barefoot. It was a joyful barefoot marathon I think I would say, and my soles were fine (no abrasion/blisters/etc) but they were a little fatigued in muscles/tendons/ligaments because they were not used to such distance and I didn't train enough. My feet were in much better shape then my leg muscles though, my legs were toast. I've run two more marathons since then, one being this past October. Feet were fine, but again my legs were pretty sore. This last one I didn't race fast, I purposely went slow and even walked at times because I knew I was not trained well enough and didn't want to stress my legs like I had done in previous marathons. My legs were still the most sore part of me, but less so than previous years. All 3 marathons I have done are the same race which was on good smooth roads mostly. Only a few short stretches of cobblestone/brick, and rougher asphalt. If the road surfaces where not as good then I might have had tender soles after.
     
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  16. Sly

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    hi everybody
    thanks for your answers and tip !
    its good for me to know how you guys are playing this game, since I dont have barefoot friend here.
     
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  17. BroadArrow

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    well, i don't know that any of us really have any barefoot friends, either. :)

    we are mostly hermit nuns and monks in that regard, carefully guarding the flame of the "one true faith" so that centuries from now, the knowledge will remain and be ready to be rekindled into a more useful fire. or something like that. in the meantime, we have a fun time running around enjoying ourselves.
     
    #17 BroadArrow, Dec 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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