Is anyone else wary of running on grass?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by ATL Oso, May 5, 2011.

  1. Barefooting Bob

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    Grass can be a treat for your

    Grass can be a treat for your feet, but it has to be familiar territory. Like Shacky, I use the grass as a rubbing surface to knock off unwanted debris like small rocks, etc. But when I get a chance to just kick it up a notch on grass like a well groomed soccer field or football field, I am all over it.
     
  2. zapmamak

    zapmamak Barefooters
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    Holy cow. Never thought about

    Holy cow. Never thought about grass being bad to run on. :O I actually prefer to do my tabata runs and speedwork on it since it allows me a softer impact landing. I feel like I can go much faster on grass than I can on asphalt.
     

  3. miqie

    miqie Barefooters
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    Most of my running is on

    Most of my running is on grass. I love it. My legs and feet get a workout with no residual effects. I do occassional runs on asphalt to check my form but there's nothing like running through a field of grass. Feels like being a kid again.
     
  4. Matt

    Matt Barefooters
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    zapmamak wrote:Holy cow.

    I'm not sure I could ever go as fast on grass as I do on concrete or asphalt. I think part of it is the unsureness of the footing. I think the other aspect is the lack of firmness. A solid, firm surface is perfect in terms of returning energy and best using the springiness of my feet and legs. At least that's my experience.
     
  5. zapmamak

    zapmamak Barefooters
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    Matt wrote:zapmamak

    I'm hoping that will change for me soon, and its looking like I'm getting close. I've had some issues with my achillies and doing my speedwork on grass seems to alleviate that pain. One day I might be able to run fast on asphalt or concrete. We'll see.
     

  6. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
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    I love running in well

    I love running in well manicured lawn. But I've had a few too many experiences doing exactly what was mentioned, hopping off gravelly stuff into not nice grass/weed and prickered my feet. Most of the areas I run in I know where the good and bad is. Sometimes I hop on the good stuff for fun.
     
  7. Barefoot Larry

    Barefoot Larry Barefooters
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    I have a hard time running on

    I have a hard time running on unfamiliar grass, you never know whats in there.
     
  8. ATL Oso

    ATL Oso Barefooters
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    Who knew this would be such

    Who knew this would be such an in depth discussion!

    I'm just glad I'm not alone. I want to wean from my VFFs, but I still really need them for the dark asphalt this time of year.

    I also have run my best 1/4 mile times on asphalt rather than grass.

    It gives me a new "giggle factor" when people attack the evolutionary arguments for barefootedness by saying there are no natural hard surfaces anywhere in the world!
     

  9. LavaRunner

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    Running on grass, especialy

    Running on grass, especialy around roads or sidewalks, scared the bejesus out of me. Often times running I see broken bottles on the road or sidewalk, there are total douchbags out there that throw them out there windows. Weeks later there is no sign of the broken bottle. Where did it go? I can only imagine it was wisked away by the sidewalk or street genie that takes care of BF runners but I have a more logical brain and get that it is all there still lurking in the grass just waiting to bite my PF, heel or toes.

    By my house we have 18 soccer fields. Those I'll run on. They take great care to keep them maintained and it feels good sometimes to just run on wet grass but unmaintained grass in any proximity to a hard surface is out for me.
     
  10. Phil Hart

    Phil Hart Barefooters
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    I think Nature Runner summed

    I think Nature Runner summed it up after 3 pages - "Know your grass."

    I, too, run in Atlanta (actually mostly within Fort McPherson or in my neighborhood in McDonough), and I also have found the tiny, prickling, almost-heart-shaped 1/16"-sized green things among small bluish flowers with a single thorny point. They generally stick in my feet, and I then have to stop and/or hop while pulling them out. Unpleasantness galore when you're expecting soft grass.

    That said, Grass and soft/dry/dusty dirt are still my absolute favorite surfaces on which I would run exclusively if I could, although I run mostly on asphalt both at Fort Mac and at home, or I have for the last several months until the sun has almost reached the asphalt-melting point. The last 10 minutes of one of my started-late-mid-day runs last week must have looked like the Pepsi "hot beach sand between the ocean and the Pepsi stand" commercial of several years ago, with lots of quick foot-lifting after setting them down for as brief an interval as absolutely necessary, accompanied by an "Ow! Ouch! Ooh!" soundtrack.

    Just as we were designed to run without shoes, we were designed to run on earth, not concrete or asphalt.

    I really don't want to run in my VFFs, so I'm thinking about going earlier in the day. If that doesn't work out due to timing, I'll probably end up just going in circles around the parade field here at Fort Mac, which is about 0.75 mile per loop. I hate running in circles, but the mid-day time works best for me in place of lunch.

    To bring this full circle, that is grass I that I know, marched flat routinely by thousands of soldiers, manicured nearly as lovingly as the golf course, on which we cannot run (post commander's orders), and big enough to at least not allow the circles to make me dizzy. It still feels as pointless to me as NASCAR - 1000 left turns in 4 hours. Wow. But at least it's an option.

    If you can really get to know a patch of grass, it might help ease your mind. One side benefit of mid-foot striking in my experience is that rolling an ankle, which was not uncommon for me in my 25 years of shod running, seems to be a non-existent threat with a mid-foot stride. The muscle and connecting tissue support that engages upon forefoot-touchdown seems to never leave my ankle relaxed enough laterally to even consider rolling on me.
     
  11. megabarefoot

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    Oh Good!  It's not just me

    Oh Good! It's not just me :) Thus far I have been fine as I try to use my best discernment when going thru grass. Even grass that is short cropped can hide little nasty stuff. It's not the sharp stuff that may be hiding, it's the poop with all the little parasites it may hold.
     
  12. Barefoot TJ

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    And don't forget the holes

    And don't forget the holes you can't see that you can easily turn an ankle in.
     
  13. Barfuß Chelsea

    Barfuß Chelsea Barefooters
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    Although I find that my

    Although I find that my ankles feel much more stable maneuvering the hidden holes and dips in the grass while barefoot than they do in shoes. The quicker reaction time is pretty awesome, actually! Almost as if our feet were meant to be able to handle that kind of terrain... ;)
     
  14. Matt

    Matt Barefooters
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    Barfuß Chelsea wrote:Although

    I agree. I feel much more stable barefoot than I ever did in running shoes. I can't recall ever coming close to turning my ankle barefoot.
     
  15. Barefoot TJ

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    At the other forum, we used

    At the other forum, we used to have a poster who was a shod runner who would visit there just to tell people he refuses to run barefoot anymore because he turned his ankle in a hole. I would always say it was because his ankles had become weak from running in shoes all that time.

    Yes, definitely, we are much more able to handle movement in our feet and ankles and adapt to varying terrains than those who are new to running barefoot, since their ankles and feet have atrophied while wearing/running in shoes. This is why it's not a good idea to "learn" how to run barefoot on surfaces that are less stable, like grass and sand. A hard, flat surface will not only teach proper barefoot running technique, but it will also help beginners build up the strength they need to handle the softer, more unpredictable terrains.
     
  16. Jeepmonkey

    Jeepmonkey Barefooters

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    Three words......BEE STINGS

    Three words......BEE STINGS SUCK!



    I think my reaction time is pretty quick, but it wasn't faster than the bee that stung my toe a couple weeks ago. The actual sting only hurt for a couple minutes. It was the week after that my toe was constantly itching that was a real pain in the foot!
     
  17. LavaRunner

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    I thought all the bees were

    I thought all the bees were dead. I never see any when I run. At least not this year.
     
  18. Not really because I'm

    Not really because I'm wearing barefoot running shoes and it's somewhat safe because they're well designed for different types of terrain...including grass.

    http://barefootrunningshoes.org
     
  19. Barfuß Chelsea

    Barfuß Chelsea Barefooters
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    Yeah TJ, very true. My feet

    Yeah TJ, very true. My feet and ankles feel strong now, but when I first started out, that certainly wasn't the case, and I can still run much further without getting tired on pavement than on grass or trails.
     
  20. Gkikas

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    There's that $^&#@ phrase

    There's that $^&#@ phrase again... 'barefoot running shoes.' It's like saying using a condom feel like the real thing because it's really thin. I'm not against minimal shoes... just this oxymoronic phrase. (Tamara, please take no offense, I'm speaking only rhetorically)

    Old news and off topic though, so... carry on.
     

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