New from MN

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Becky, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Becky

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    Hi, I've been trying to barefoot run for the past 2 years. I'm mostly here to be inspired by others and learn more! I can only get to 3 miles because I put shoes on for the winter ( and dont run as much), then have to start over in the spring. This time I am going to try my best to train through winter.
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

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    Welcome, Becky! A lot of folks have the same dilemma. Minnesota is one of those places that is particularly hard to run barefoot during the winter, so good for you for not wanting to give up altogether but give next winter a try.

    It can be done with patience. We have a Winter Challenge that might possibly help you get some winter barefoot miles in too with a lot of friendly people to guide you, but just don't push it beyond what is safe. Slowly and in the right conditions, you can acclimate your feet to the cold. :coldfeet: <--- That's a cold barefoot smiley. So cute!

    Have you joined the Minnesota Chapter here yet?
     
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  3. Kyrrinstoch

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    Welcome! As a fellow Minnesotan (who now despises running in shoes and on treadmills...), I truly do understand the whole "having to start over every spring" challenge. :mad:

    One of the things I'm hoping to do to help me with this is to find at least one other running partner (barefoot or otherwise) somewhere in the metro and get together for an informal 5K-ish once week (like Sat or Sun mornings). I figure this would help motivate me to get out more during the week in between.

    I know Mill-City Running in Minneapolis does their Wed Evening run and had no issue with the idea of someone running barefoot when I asked a while ago (at your own risk of course), but I can't count on being able to make it from work by their scheduled start times...:(
     
  4. Barefoot TJ

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    What about a gym with an indoor track to keep your feet conditioned, as long as they allow it, of course?
     
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  5. Kyrrinstoch

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    TJ, I've looked. Unfortunately, very few fitness places up here have indoor tracks anymore, and every one I contacted said no (and for the usual gamut of "reasons").

    At some point, I'm either just going to have to move to a warmer climate, or "suck it up" and figure out how to deal with running in shoes in the colder weather here (lack of traction on ice/snow and insulated/waterproof uppers are kind of a necessity for dealing with the slush/wet snow...).

    Though I did find one place that allowed me to run on the treadmills barefoot there, due to my new work schedule/commute, I haven't had the time to take advantage of it... :(
     
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  6. Barefoot TJ

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    You might have to set aside the time. That's cool that you found a gym that would allow barefoot running on their treadmills. That doesn't happen too often.
     
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  7. BareFootHeath

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    Same dilemma for me, lots of fluctuations in temperatures and conditions. I found that using Insulated Vibram Trek Ascents extended my outdoor possibilities. I won’t say they’re the perfect solution but they did allow me opportunities to get out and enjoy the benefits of minimalism. I ‘waterproofed’ them but upon reflection I don’t see much for benefit doing that- feet sweat and if you get ankle deep in slush/wet snow/water whatever you’re trying to keep out comes in anyway. I was able to wear the Insulated Vibrams (with Injinji socks) down to -15C/5F with reasonable comfort if conditions were good.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Kyrrinstoch

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    TJ, I agree - you don't find many of those. Unfortunately, the new job has turned a 10 minute commute to the better part of an hour each direction, so trying to find the time to get out and run (and still doing everything else on my plate) has become quite challenging. That being said, with the warmer weather and longer days arriving, it should help with finding the time.
     
  9. Kyrrinstoch

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    BFH- Unfortunately, the new VFF designs aren't as compatible with my feet as their earlier designs were, and the Trek series just don't fit comfortably.

    I have been eyeing up a pair of the Xero hikers though, as they're an over-the ankle style and apparently quite water-resistant (though not insulated). My only real concern is the minimal tread they have (same as the Prio and Hana) - should be fine on asphalt, but I have my doubts about them on snow and ice.
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

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    Well then, cut out some sand paper in the shape of your feet, and stuff them on top of your shoes' soles! Ha! Not funny, I know. :oops:
     
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  11. Kyrrinstoch

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    6" of snow last night and more on the way (Yes, in April...) - maybe I *should* have ordered those Xero hikers.. o_O
     
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  12. trevize1138

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    Another MN barefooter! Welcome!

    Here's my take on "having to start over every spring." I used to worry about that a lot more when I was foolishly trying to somehow pound my feet into being tougher. My own personal running breakthrough didn't come until I stopped doing that and worked on running barefoot as gently as possible. Rather than gritting my teeth and suffering through blisters, bruises and stinging feet I heeded that extreme sensitivity and focused on quickly, lightly lifting my feet off the ground. No pushing off and no "striking" or "landing." Just focusing on lift.

    In fact, I leverage the "toughness" lost over the winter to help re-center my form in the spring. I go unshod as much as possible March/April and really work on making sure I'm running in a way that doesn't hurt my tender feet. The dividends that pays for helping keep my form light, quick and efficient are well worth it.

    Over the last several years I do think my feet have gotten tougher but I don't at all rely on that for barefoot. Instead, the real benefit of barefoot for me has been letting my super sensitive feet instruct my movement.

    As for winter running I bought a pair of Luna Tabu split-toe booties and run in huarache sandals even down to about 0 degrees. Use 72" laces coiled up around the ankles with a pair of windbreaker pants and you can be nicely sealed up:

    https://i.imgur.com/WvOuQEI.jpg
     
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  13. Barefoot TJ

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    Other than relaxing, I also think the lift is most critical to running barefoot without injury. Good advice, Trevize, as always.
     
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  14. trevize1138

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    I always push the idea of lifting being the focus and lifting quick because that's such a good way to get your springy tendons engaged. It may be true that running is "jumping" or "leaping" from one foot to the other but it's a mistake to try to do that too forcefully when you can let reflex, instinct and your elastic tendons do it for you. I think of it as lifting my legs quick so I get "out of the way" of my tendons recoil to let them do the work.
     
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  15. Barefoot TJ

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    I tried the 180 cadence thing, and I do believe it can be very helpful. I could do it for a time, but then I get complacent and go back to being me, just an average runner.
     
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  16. trevize1138

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    Here's how I think of the 180 cadence: there's nothing special about it.

    And what I mean by that is you say you're "just an average runner" you should be around an average 180 cadence. I fully believe it's a truly average cadence whether your marathon pace is 12 min/mile or 5 min/mile. It's an optimal cadence for human beings. If you're an average runner your speed at 180 won't be as fast as elite runners at that same cadence because you aren't nearly as strong, trained or conditioned as an elite.

    But if I were to run against myself I know my current 175 cadence self would run circles around my old 160 cadence self. I've always been in good shape, spent nearly two decades riding and racing mountain bikes and have powerful, long legs. On a ride I can beat most people on hard mountain bike trail hill climbs. As a result of my overconfidence in my strong legs when I got back into running 10 years ago I was over-striding and stepping with a powerful-but-slow cadence thinking I was getting the most out of my advantage. All I got there was a few weeks of legs feeling ripped up from the inside and an inevitable injury that sent me right back to the bike.

    If someone like me with big, long, powerful legs can't really hack it at 160spm what chance does someone without my legs? It takes a lot more force to push that slow cadence than it does to spin those feet quicker. I pretend I've got the shortest, weakest legs on the planet when I run and the results are a lot better than "urgh! Me strong leg man! Push hard!"

    I know a lot of debates flare up over the 180 cadence because plenty of people think it's an arbitrary number but I really swear by it. There's optimal cadence and sub-optimal. But the danger of a too-slow cadence is more than just being less efficient, it means a lot more stress and strain on your legs as you push off too hard and land too hard with each step. If you step at a little too-high cadence you'll be stepping a lot lighter and the only downside might be that you're not as optimally efficient.

    So, I'd recommend trying maybe a 190 or 200 cadence at slow speeds for a while to really "explore" the other end of things. After a week of that 180 will feel a lot more comfortable.
     
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  17. Barefoot TJ

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    I appreciate what you've said here and your thoughtful reply. Good advice. I guess I was a below-average runner then, even feeling the sluggish, heavy legs trying to turn a good cadence. I just could never stay conscious to keeping a decent cadence going. It's a mute point though, since I'm a disabled runner now anyways. :(
     
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  18. trevize1138

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    Shoot! Sorry to hear that. I've been away from the forums a bit until recently and didn't know you'd had a setback. What happened if I may ask?
     
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  19. Acorn63

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    Here in Finland we have the same issue with winter. Many of us solve it by running just in socks. Wool socks or maybe double in cold days. For slush and wet snow Sealskinz or similar waterproof, and maybe other socks over them to add traction.
     
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  20. Barefoot TJ

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    It's okay. A lot of people on the forums don't know that I actually can't run anymore, not since 2012. I took my last run in November of 2011. I developed Morton's Neuroma (interdigital perineural fibroma compression is the actual term) in the main nerve branches that run between the metatarsals. It causes deformity to the nerves (bundled up) and a buildup of scar tissue around the nerve sheath. It's a condition that is caused by wearing the wrong types of shoes (and in my case, mostly from running in the wrong kinds of shoes, those with narrow toe boxes and elevated heels like Nike, Brooks, Saucony...). It can come on acutely or build up chronically over time. I was more prone to the condition because I was born with narrow spacing between the metatarsals. If I had stayed barefoot from birth, I never would have developed this condition. I was brainwashed by "western society" into thinking that I must wear shoes in order to run, so when I first started experiencing pain in my forefeet, I sought help. I first received a cortisone injection in (yes, directly into) one of the nerves on my left foot that went right through my foot (I could hear and feel the pop as it excited the bottom); then I had 16 alcohol sclerosing injections to kill the nerve--yes, go figure (one in each neuroma, two in each foot, over the course of four weeks); then electro-shockwave therapy to give life to the nerves--yes, go figure (with 8 numbing injections given every other visit over five visits); then cyrosurgery (with 12 numbing injections between the webspacing to prep for); then four neurectomies (but all four nerve endings grew back into stump neuromas, which is worse than the original condition); and finally having re-neurectomy surgery with rerouting and reimplanting the "new" nerve endings into my arch muscles to stop them from regrowing back into stumps, and it worked, but it caused a lot of other problems in my forefeet, burning and extreme sensitivity being the worse. At that time, I also had tarsal tunnel decompression on both ankles which failed to alleviate the aching, burning pain I still have in my heels and arches when I've been on my feet for too long. I am left with fat pad atrophy in both forefeet that feels like I'm walking on the bones in the balls of my feet from all of the treatments and surgeries.

    Sorry for the boring play-by-play, but that's actually the short version.

    I still get around barefoot, choosing to shun the shoes that caused me so many problems, but I will wear very light footwear with open toes and no heels on occasion.

    The Runner's World Barefoot Running Forum and the Barefoot Runners Society were both born out of my need to understand what was happening to my feet and to connect with others who were learning to shed their shoes for better foot health.

    Now, I run vicariously through all of you. Hee.


    Post note: I've added this story to a blog post to help others understand should they wonder too. Saves me some time.
     
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