Increasing mileage

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Dan Cook, May 20, 2018.

  1. Dan Cook

    Dan Cook
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    I have been barefoot running since 1st April 2017, so nearly 14 months into it. Before that a short time in Vibrams and before that a long time in very maximalist trainers.

    I have made steady progress. It took a few months to be able to run more than 3 or 4 miles but I got there. By the end of September 2017 I ran a half marathon. In the last month I have ran another two half marathons (Sheffield Half Marathon and Leeds Half Marathon) and I ran a 10k in December.

    My limiting factor is soreness in the soles of my feet (eventually turning into small cuts). For several months I have been able to manage around 20-22 miles per week but I am struggling to increase my mileage any further. Running more than that and my feet being to hurt.

    No desperate rush but it would be nice to be able to get to nearer 30 miles by the autumn. One reason for wanting to increase mileage is I feel burnout at the end of a half-marathon, not surprisingly if I am only running 22 miles per week.

    In fact, it would be nice to think that I would be able to run a marathon barefoot. Obviously I couldn't run 26 miles having trained 22 mile per week. (Not comfortably anyway).

    Any thoughts.
     
  2. flammee

    flammee
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    Well, use shoes for a short time after soles start to feel wrong. Something like sockwa, vff kso evo, skinners and such flimsiest minimalist shoes are easily carried pinned between your body and some running belt.. When I run barefoot, I take pain as first signal, then if soon after there is one or two painful hits more to soles I put shoes on. Painful hit on soles is usually about soles getting tense or something like that, no point trying to go on, it just gets worse. Then after something like 15 minutes try again barefooting, should feel better..

    You could also try bending the knees more, if you are not already doing that..
     
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  3. macdiver

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    To me thisthis s like an abrasion issue. I find I will occasionally experience hot spots and abrasion when my form gets sloppy. I think my foot is slipping on push off (though it could be on landing). If I focus on lifting the foot and knee so that the knee is in front of my hip this doesn't happen. When it happens I find my heel is kicking towards my but with the knee still down. Hope that makes sense.

    I read recently that it takes continual practice to maintain good habits (form) while doing a bad habit once is all it takes for it to become the norm.
     
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  4. Christian Lemburg

    Christian Lemburg
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    I guess you are running mainly on roads?

    For me, this is the main cause of abrasion issues. Roads are easy to run, and make you „turn off“, cruising along. Trails will teach better form and avoid the abrasion issue (while introducing other dangers, of course :) ...).

    I would suggest mixing surfaces in your running, with a focus on getting away from roads for about half of your mileage for some time. That usually fixes the issue for me.

    Just my 2 cent,

    Christian
     
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  5. Tristan

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    Hard to say whats going on without knowing a lot more. Where do you live, in the chilly north country? Curious if lack of barefoot over winter is adding to this, as even after many years barefoot and many marathons barefoot I still have tender soles every spring, though by now that shouldn't be an issue unless you're in a much colder climate. I do recall my soles being pretty sore up to around your mileage, took me a while once I hit 6 or so miles per run (doing 3 a week or so) but once I finally strengthened to that then I never had an issue again as I increased, except for winter/spring when they loose conditioning. I've never had it progress to small cuts before, usually if I have issues it will be a burning through skin in the forefoot behind the second toe, and sometimes the start of a blister.
     
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  6. Bill B

    Bill B
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    I would agree with this! Try running on gravel, yeah it sucks, but you will be a much better runner and your feet will toughen up. When I lived in the country, I ran on gravel regularly. Hated it, but did it. Now that I live in town and run solely on pavement, my feet aren't nearly as tough as they used to be. Keep up the good work, it'll come!
     
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  7. trevize1138

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    I was in the same boat about this time last year: really stuck with how the hell do I increase my unshod mileage because my feet were getting so beat up. The root cause? Excess lateral friction.

    Minimalist shoes prove how very little to no benefit cushioning and support are in a shoe but they still hide the realities of lateral friction. When you've got skin-on-ground that becomes obvious in a hurry.

    I was struggling to go longer than 5 miles on a run before limping home because my feet hurt so much. In my case I was still leaping/jumping a bit between steps and "pawing back" too much. This resulted in inefficient friction as I pushed back and then further inefficiencies as I came down in a slight over-stride. To fix this I finally committed to 100% only ever focusing on lifting my feet off the ground quick. Just lift lift lift lift. I knew I was on to something when one day I was able to do 9 miles unshod without pain for my feet and it was the easiest 9 miles I'd ever run in my life!

    You really have to work on running gently and with finesse not pushing hard. Lift your legs quick from the hip flexors and literally ignore everything else. All other running movement should be left to reflex and instinct, just focus on quick lifting from your upper legs. Don't force anything about your stride and get to a point where you notice your feet are caressing the ground.

    Thanks to finally figuring that out I was able to do a full marathon unshod on city streets. My feet got a tad tender in the last few miles but 24 hours after the marathon they were ready to go again. Of course, my legs were so sore I was walking backward down stairs for a couple days... :)
     
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  8. Tedlet

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    This is one of a series of videos put together by the lady that's just run barefoot across Spain..
    There are some sections where she discusses managing feet injuries etc...
    All pretty anecdotal obviously, but maybe of interest to you anyway...
    https://youtu.be/wx8LlV6RAJ4

    (ps -hope the link works!...)
     

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