Hi

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Ian Chilley, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Ian Chilley

    Ian Chilley
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    Barefooters

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    Hi, my name is Ian and I am based in the UK. I have been running with minimalist sandals for about 2 months now and barefoot for about a month. I first started with Xero Z trails, which I found pretty good. But due to the smooth sole, I found that my feet were forming calluses instead of tougher skin. So I then tried walking my dog twice a day barefoot which had the effect of rubbing the calluses down so that my feet started getting more leather like rather than hard. This very quickly led to me trying out barefoot running. I am now at the point where I can run about 15 miles in the sandals and do one 5 mile run barefoot a week. I can now run on smooth and rough tarmac without any problems and I am now no longer bothered by small stones. I understand that I am only just starting out, so I still walk my dog barefoot and can now walk fairly well in the woods, on gravel and on wood chip. I have been doing this in the hopes of toughening my feet up and learning how to place my feet in a controlled and safe way. I tend to do 2 runs a week in sandals, 2 in shoes and 1 barefoot at the moment. I will be slowly extending the distance I run barefoot and also taking different routes just to mix things up a bit. I have had a few aches and pains in my feet but for some reason I’ve found that they are normally caused by tight calfs. Which after a quick massage the aches disappear. At the moment I have found that this works for me, but if anyone can see any glaring omissions or have any advice for me, then please let me know. I hope to get some useful info from the forum and slowly progress in barefoot running to the point that I am happy to run races. I run Ultras at the moment and did a 100 miler last year and will be doing a continuous 250 miler next year with a 100 hour cut off. Thanks for reading
     
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  2. Noodles

    Noodles
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    1. France

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    Hi Ian :)
    I'm not going to offer any advice, as from the sound of it you're already way more advanced than I. So... just "hi".
     
  3. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    Welcome, Ian! Please feel free to join the UK Chapter, link above.
     
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  4. Tedlet

    Tedlet
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    1. United Kingdom

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    Welcome Ian...
    Impressive stuff already.
    Good to have you here..
     
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  5. XoseM

    XoseM
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    welcome Ian. Thanks for sharing your experience
     
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  6. trevize1138

    trevize1138
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    1. Minnesota

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    Welcome, Ian!

    Sounds like you're right on-track, especially if you're able to do as much as 5 unshod miles. The only red flag for me is the common "I need tough feet" thinking. Be very careful there! Feet get "tougher" in very specific ways. The benefit I've found to unshod has a lot to do with how feet are always going to be very bad at handling excessive horizontal braking forces. As your skin thickens it gets better at avoiding punctures but too much horizontal braking with that thicker skin really just means thicker blisters.

    I leverage that by working to run in a way that avoids creating blisters. The result is more than just avoiding pain: it helps me maximize efficiency. So far in my own ultra experience the longest I've gone is 50 miles and the first 11 miles of those was unshod before I slipped my huaraches on for the last 39 miles. But I've also done two unshod marathons on city streets. For those 11 miles of rocky trail at the start of the 50 miler and both marathons my feet didn't suffer any damage.

    But then I ran a 1/2 marathon in October and got major blisters! I wasn't used to that kind of faster pace for that long. Just further proof that "tough feet" don't matter if your form is sloppy like mine was for 13.1 miles. A bunch of ultra training didn't leave a lot of room for training at faster speeds. This year without any races I'm doing 100m sprint repeats unshod on the street to work on form at speed. So far that's yielding good results.

    Enjoy! Unshod trail running is really quite a lot of fun. I've been doing about 8 miles a day this summer which is about 5 miles of paved highway, 2 miles of mild gravel and 1 mile around a singletrack trail. Today things were a tad muddy due to rain earlier. Mud between the toes feels AWESOME!
     
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  7. Ian Chilley

    Ian Chilley
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    Thank you Trevize, that is great advice which I will heed. Have tried running through mud and your right, it is awesome lol
     
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  8. The Mole

    The Mole
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    Hello Ian, Wow thats impressive !!!!!!!!
    Trevize your just a legend/machine !!!!!!
    Just love your words of wisdom
     
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