Friday, October 1, 2010

Running Barefoot? Some Rookie Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest obstacle is fear, It's a scary thing to take your shoes off (to run) - Michael Sandler

An article about barefoot running was re-tweeted.  It shared some pointers on how to start running barefoot.  And some of the rookie mistakes that we can avoid

How To Start Running Barefoot
  • Go slow to go fast. Running expert Mike Sandler stresses you must ease into barefoot running
  • Start by running only 200 meters on your first time out (about halfway around a high school track), running with shoes in hand like 'hand weights,' Sandler suggests. Then, put on your shoes and finish your regular run. Do this 2-3 times a week
  • Next time out, increase your distance in bare feet by 10 percent. That is, if you started with 200 meters, make it 220 meters the next time out
  • If you feel hot spots, or stinging on you feet, stop and put your shoes on
  • Stretch. Sandler suggests grabbing a golf ball with your toes and holding that for 30 seconds. Do that 2-3 times for each foot before going for your run
  • Warm up with a 5-10 minute walk

Rookie Mistakes To Avoid
  • Running too far. Running barefoot or in minimalist shoes means running on the front of your foot. So it's like doing 100 calf raises a minute
  • Running too fast: Your feet will feel fleet and you'll go out way too fast. You'll run out of steam and find yourself winded early on
  • Not wearing socks: If you decide on minimalist shoes like the Vibram FiveFingers, you may want to wear special 'toe socks.' Some people get blisters in these shoes if they are worn without socks. Try them without socks first, but if you feel hot spots cropping up, you may want to try Injinji socks
  • Throwing away your old running shoes: You need to transition into barefoot running. Work into the Vibram FiveFingers or completely barefoot over the course of several weeks or months. Remember, you've been in cushy shoes your whole life. It takes time to strengthen your feet
To be honest about it, I committed the first two when I was starting.  It wasn't a good sight.  I was limping after my run.  So run lightly and don't go all out.  Remember that running barefoot does require additional set of feet muscles, the ones that you don't regularly use or exercise


Jermaine Scott said...

I've tried running on barefoot before and the experience was terrible. My feet got sore and it lasted for days. I guess it was a rookie mistake. However I've tried using barefoot shoes like Vibram which also mimics our own feet.

Anonymous said...

You share some tips that are "oh so true". :) Btw, have you heard of the Barefoot Runners Society? It is a community of barefoot/minimalist runners that I think you would find you have a lot in common with. Visit our website at and see what you think. If you would like to join, just go ahead and register. If you like what you see, drop me an email to miker(at)barefootrunners(dot)org. I have a blog stamp idea I would like to have you look over. Good Running!

Daves said...

hey there jermaine, thanks for dropping by. i do agree that VFF's are great but it just not working for me. the ground feel isn't enough. unless i can go and run in MOCs

Daves said...

hi mike! talk to you soon

Unknown said...

don't be scared running by barefoot shoes,feels like nothing to wear..
barefoot running shoes

Daves said...

not scared at all. among the minimalist footwear available in the market, vff is one of those i shy away. i find its sole think. i'd probably be more comfortable wearing aqua socks from walmart. thanks for dropping by cheer

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