Hello from The Netherlands

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Erik82, Jun 4, 2022.

  1. Erik82

    Erik82 Barefooters

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    My name is Erik and I'm 40 years old. I've always been walking barefoot indoors and outdoors as much as I can. In my life I've never found normal shoes to be very comfortable as I've got wide feet and a size US14.

    About 1,5 years ago I bought my first pairs of barefoot shoes, Skinners and Saltic, for slacklining for in winter time or whenever the ground had too much hard stuff that hurt my feet. For the rest of the time I do slacklining barefoot which is also the best.

    A couple of months ago I bought the Freet Flex Black which I absolutely love and last month also ordered a pair of Feelground Original luxe for more casual use. My third pair, the Vivobarefoot Geo Court II are on it's way right now and I'm more and more switching to barefoot shoes on a daily basis.

    About a month ago I started to do more research into barefoot running as I've picked up running outside again during the pandemic. I already did some running on the treadmill in the gym as warmup and cooling down for 15minutes per session at 13-14km and hour twice a week. For the last year I've been doing 10KM runs twice or three times a week in around 45minutes and focused on landing on the ball of my feet.

    So here comes my progression which I wouldn't recommend to anyone. I thought my feet would be stronger then most beginners as I was used to walking barefoot, slackline and do climbing. My first "barefoot running" (on Vibram 5 fingers) was a smaller run of 7KM and I couldn't walk for the next 5 hours as my calfs totally cramped up, fortunately I didn't hurt myself. After that the next 1,5 weeks was figuring out what my starting point was doing 1000m running, 200m walking in intervals working up to 1800m running and 200m walking for 9KM as my starting point. Now after a month I did my first 10km on the vibrams in one session without walking in between which felt great and I broke my PR at 44:30. It all feels so nice but my calfs still need to get a bit stronger as I do have a tight feeling in them after running but that goes away after an hour. I'll never go back to normal shoes for running as this transition made running so much more fun. Looking forward to getting my calfs up to strength and doing the 10KM easy and maybe do it completely barefoot sometime.
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Welcome, Erik!

    Don’t overtax your calves. Continue to work up slowly to distance, time, and pace to avoid injuring yourself. You have an advantage over someone transitioning from traditional, boat anchor running shoes to barefoot because you have spent some time running/walking/climbing zero drop. But it seems like your calves are still going through the pains of stretching to a limit they would naturally be at if you weren’t restricted by the high-heeled footwear you’ve worn in the past. This is where you need to be careful. Imagine a typical running/athletic shoe that has a 2-inch drop. The wearer has been used to their calves being shortened by this amount with each step. Then imagine removing those 2 inches. Now the person’s calves have to stretch 2 inches with each step. This can be injurious if you’re not cautious.

    Minshoes tend to give us a false sense of security making us believe that we can run as far and as fast as we “want” instead of “can” by drowning out crucial feedback that we would otherwise get from the skin on our feet. We end up running as though we were in our big, clumsy, traditional running shoes that deafen important signals which can lead to injuries. Running true barefoot, skin on ground, will help to discipline your running to a safer level because we tend to feel those signals that our feet are sending and adjust our footfalls accordingly.

    Keep progressing well, and let us know how you do.
     
  3. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    BTW, feel free to drop into our Netherlands Chapter to introduce yourself and say hello. It’s been mostly inactive for some time, but perhaps you could get the conversation going. :barefoot:
     
  4. Erik82

    Erik82 Barefooters

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    Hi TJ,

    Thanks for the warm welcome. My calfs just need some more training. The last 2 runs of 10km where all pretty easy on the calves and I could do other sports after a couple of hours without them being sour the rest of the day. Everything is getting easier by the week. I just need one more month to really get up to strength.

    And in a month it'll get warmer here and I can try to do a 10km truely barefoot. Then I need to take the bike paths nistead of the gravel I'm running on now as those stone can also hurt with my Vibrams on.
     
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