New Member - Hello!!! - Some questions (big surprise, I know...)

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by ericmeyn88, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. ericmeyn88

    ericmeyn88
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    Hey all, (actual question starting points in bold underline)

    Been running trails since 2013 and running minimus since about 2015. I found my chapter here in Oklahoma but the last post was 2018 so that looks fairly dead. LOL

    I love running minimus (was using New Balance Minimus for a long time but have recently switched to Witin and they are amazing) and yes, I finally got around to reading Born to Run so the barefoot thing kind of bit me. Thought I'd give it a try anyway.

    I did go read all the new member stuff (there are several dead links, including Barefoot Ted's, which was disappointing) and I don't want to be "that new guy" that shows up and wants everyone to tell me what to do.

    But I'll tell you what I did and then you can pile on. LOL

    I guess the first thing that surprised me was that I see a LOT of talk about shoes in conjunction with barefoot running. That kind of surprised me. So I guess my first question is, is minimus footwear considered a part of the barefoot community? If so, I guess I should have joined a long time ago!

    That said, after reading the info for new barefoot runners, I think I've passed a lot of the usual new guy wickets because I've been through the Achilles pain and most of the other issues that people deal with when they go minimus.

    So the other day I just went out to my usual local trail, sans shoes, and ran the 4 mile loop barefoot. I've never said "Ow!" so many times in one hour in my life! LOL I kind of expected some pain. I'm a bit of a tenderfoot to begin with. But the trails around here are quite rocky. I made it through the 4 miles but man were my feet burning from all the abuse I put the nerve endings through! (Yes, I'm kind of an ALL-IN type of person. When I do something, I go do it. Sometimes that's not a good thing!)

    After that first run my feet were a little raw feeling but didn't have any wear areas, blisters, or injuries. I did feel like I had some bone bruises or deep tissue bruising in the underside of my heel area. So I gave myself 3 recovery days before heading out today for my second attempt. I normally average about 10-12 minute miles on the local trails. My speed today was about 16.5 minutes per mile. In some really rough areas I had to "walk" because the rocks were so bad.

    So in the interest of keeping this reasonably short I'll ask my second question: With trails that have a lot of rocks, roots, and other things that poke the underside of your foot (think, running across a gravel parking lot with rocks that are marble to quarter size) is it reasonable to think that I'll ever be able to toughen my foot to the point that I can run them without a lot of pain? Asked another way, are there only certain types of trails that barefoot runners go barefoot on, and they use minimus protective footwear for the rest and still consider it "barefoot" running?

    Any and all advice, help, or ridicule welcome.

    Happy to be here!

    Eric "Psycho" Meyn
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    Hi again, yes, I pop up everywhere.

    I deleted your other thread (from the Barefoot & Minimalist forum) and have mirrored this one (from the New Members Intoductions forum) back to the other forum where you posted it, so you can keep your replies and convos to one chain. If that makes sense. :confused: Go ahead and look. You'll see it in both locations.
     
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  3. Barefoot TJ

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    I think Oklahoma mostly consists of tumbleweed and alien :alien: abductions. Am I right? Perhaps you can post there to see if anyone will respond, or you can make a new friend with an extraterrestrial. :blackalien: It's worth a try anyway.
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    I've never actually thought about it, what percentages make up true barefoot, minimalist (minimus, ha, loves it!) only, or a hybrid of the two, whether it be out there in the real world or just in here, in our own little world. It's a good question. I'm pretty sure, though, that there are more minimalist runners than barefoot only runners (some call them purists), and I would guess there are more hybrids than purists. You could start a poll (in this forum) and we can get an idea, but the answers will only come from those who actually respond, meaning we'll never really know, unfortunately.

    Regardless, yes, you should have joined us a long time ago, because we've always been accepting of minshoe runners, knowing that most people aren't going to try barefoot running to start with, but they will try minimalist running, and knowing that those who try minimalist running will most likely then give barefoot running a try. (See the little trap we've set there?! All by design, my friend. :troll: ) We also created this forum, Barefoot & Minimalist Running, to minimize the arguments that sprang up from "that other forum" at "that other place" between the purists and the minimalists. In fact, I'm happy to say, we've never had a "we versus them" argument here.
     
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  5. Barefoot TJ

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    If you wear minshoes, it's never considered barefoot; it's considered minimal.

    If you're running on along barefoot, then decide to put your minshoes on, you go from barefoot to minimalist.

    And yes, you can condition your soles, muscles, and tendons to run long distances in gravel and rough terrain. A lot of diehards do that. Others only do it for short distances now and again to condition their feet, and that is perfectly fine. In fact, it's encouraged to do so on those difficult surfaces because it teaches us how to run lightly, gently.

    I'm looking for Barefoot Ken Bob's (he's the guru mentioned in the book Born to Run) fast, downhill gravel run video for you, but in the meantime...
     
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  6. Tedlet

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    Hi Eric-welcome... Minimal is fine..:)..be sure to keep us posted on your progress..
     
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  7. ericmeyn88

    ericmeyn88
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    Thanks. And sorry for the trouble.
     
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  8. ericmeyn88

    ericmeyn88
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    Appreciate the info, especially on the aliens. LOL Oklahoma has a lot more to offer though. I have 3 dirt trails I run in the Oklahoma City area that total about 45 miles. Not a lot of bulk elevation change, of course, but they are "hilly" in that they have a lot of short steep climbs and descents. And all of it is in forested area with streams so it's quite nice. Lots of deer and other critters. Although last night I ate about 30 spiders and 50 or so mayflies in the dark. Blech!

    I did my third "barefoot" run last night after sunset. I've done two true barefoot runs so far but with the dark there was no way to go barefoot, at least not at my current experience level, so I lost my socks (injinjies normally) and the inserts to my Witin Barefoot Cross-Trainers, and did a hot muggy 9 miles in the dark.

    This run was actually quite useful. After my two runs last week with no shoes at all and some study online about running barefoot and proper form, I started off with about 30 minutes of daylight and really tried to work on form. I got into a good 180 cadence with a forward tilt of the body and could really feel the difference in impact when I went to a fore-mid strike on my foot plants. (I actually could "hear" when I was running wrong as the impact translated up through my body if I was heel striking) I also noticed that when I was running right I was running faster. Short quick steps to "catch myself from falling" at the 180 tempo actually resulted in a faster pace than I'm used to. It will require an adjustment to my breathing as I have to be careful to stay below about 130 on the heart rate. I have an unusual heart anatomy that gives me about half the normal vO2 capacity of most runners. That's one of the reasons I'm exploring barefoot as the studies show that barefoot form is very economical and permits longer distances. I've done a 50k trail race at 8500' but in general my distance gets limited by my heart and I want to find a way around that.

    I say the night portion of the run was useful because with the dark I had to slow down to where proper barefoot form was not really possible. I really got a lesson in how much impact I was putting myself through, and how much I transitioned to using big muscles instead of small muscles and connective tissue, when I stopped using the forward lean and quick cadence. This has inspired me to stick with trying barefooting, even if a lot of it is just super minimalist while focusing on a barefoot style of running.

    Anyway. Glad I found y'all. I'm not sure how much true barefoot running I'm going to be able to do as my trails are just pretty darn rough. But I did manage to find some pretty clean stretches last night on the 9 miles I ran and I'm going to try to at least do hybrid runs. Over time my hope is that my feet do toughen up and I'll be able to add in more and more of the trail system as I progress.

    Appreciate the responses and advice.

    E
     
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  9. Barefoot TJ

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    Sounds like you got a good plan going! I would take socks when I knew I would be encountering a rough terrain. That way I could keep running barefoot, but get through the worst of it with the barefoot running form (although most anything I put on would deter me from that form; lesser is better to that end though). Good luck!
     
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  10. ericmeyn88

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    Honestly, at least at this point in my experience, with the type of rocks and sticks I'm dealing with, I don't think socks would take much of the sting out. But I have been taking my Witins with me stuffed in the back pocket of my hydration vest. Last night I found a couple of good stretches that looked pretty clear so I think I'm going to try to run those stretches barefoot and slip my shoes on for the rest. I'll figure something out. LOL
     
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  11. Barefoot TJ

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    That should work! Let us know how it goes!
     
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  12. Noodles

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    There are quite a few posts on what to eat whilst running. I don't remember seeing spiders and mayflies though. Do you cook them first? I'm imagining that they could work well crushed up with some peanut butter and dates?
    Just kidding! Really pleased that you're enjoying your barefoot experience, bugs 'n' all.
     
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  13. macdiver

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    I run a mix of both trails and roads. On trails I have found that I pretty much need to wear my Xero Genesis Sandals as there are a lot of pointy things like monkey balls, sand burrs, goat heads, thorny sticks as well as the rocks. The sandals provide a few mm of protection so I can focus on not tripping on the rocks, sticks and roots. On roads I do most of my running skin to ground except in the colder months I wear socks with my sandals. If I head out late on a hot day and the asphalt is hot, I will wear my sandals too.

    All of that was to give some background to say thay you may be running on trails that may require protection. You should try to run some on the road to help toughen up your soles first.
     
  14. BareFootBC

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    I’ve found that as it warms up and the local trails are see more use that that they get sun baked, packed down, and a lot tougher to navigate. For short trail runs I’m staying barefoot but when I’m looking at several hours I’m putting the FiveToes on...
     
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  15. BareFootBC

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    The best way to add flavour...
     
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