Author Topic: Barefoot running  (Read 7055 times)

Offline shadowfoot

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
Re: Barefoot running
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2011, 10:35:49 AM »
yourits007,

There is a very large difference between running barefoot and with shoes. http://tsaklis.com.p6.hostingprod.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/ARICLE-NATURE2.13221323.pdf

In short, when running in shoes people tend to heel strike, which causes a sudden impact. When barefoot, people land on the balls of their feet and gently set their heels down, creating a much lighter impact. This translates into less injury long-term.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 10:37:36 AM by shadowfoot »

Offline dee

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Barefoot running
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2011, 08:12:31 AM »
Thank god you replied instead of me, shadowfoot. I was going to answer "take your shoes off and try it."

Offline Mercurial

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Barefoot running
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2011, 11:54:54 PM »
I love barefoot running!  It's incredibly freeing.  I prefer to go barefoot whenever I can, though for social reasons and also due to not trusting city streets I've compromised with Vibram 5-Fingers - and am generally quite happy with it.

I have a question, though.  I managed to mess up my ankles a little under a year ago doing barefoot running and I haven't fully recovered yet.  I was following the FBI's suggested training regimen, figuring that was a good baseline for health and ability.  I was even trying to be careful about getting into running slowly, going just 4mph on a treadmill for about two minutes at a time and switching to a walking pace for another two minutes and then week by week slowly increasing the time I spent running between each resting period.  That was working really well, so much so that I was running for 15 minutes straight and decided to start upping the speed a bit.  I upped it by a tenth of a mile per hour about every three to seven days, based on what I seemed to be able to conservatively handle.  That continued until I was going at 6mph for the duration.  But the moment I went up to 6.1mph, my ankles startes screaming blood murder at me.

I've been to a number of therapists, although for ridiculous reasons related to insurance I haven't been to a physical therapist more than once.  The short version is that it seems that either my flexor digitorum longus or my flexor hallucis longus has been damaged in some fashion.

Now, I know it has gotten a lot better.  I had to spend about two weeks walking on the blades of my feet to keep from being in limping agony, and now I can walk pretty much normally.  However, if I spend too much time practicing with a sword for martial arts (which apparently involves some arch-collapsing bad habits on my part), my ankles start hurting again.  And if I sprint for more than about five seconds, my ankles hurt again.

I learned how to change where my weight lands so that my ankles support my weight better and don't collapse my arches so much.  That has been a grand boon of wearing the Vibrams.  (Wearing insoles in proper shoes didn't help at all.  Hormetism in action once again!)  But I really want to get back into running and sprinting, and at the rate at which I seem to be recovering I'll be able to start doing that maybe in a year.  That seems absurdly long to recover from a single injury.

Does anyone here have some suggestion for me?

Thanks,
~Mercurial

Offline shadowfoot

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
Re: Barefoot running
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2011, 05:52:19 AM »
Mercurial,

I don't have any suggestions for healing faster, but I do have some for keeping this in check in the future. When running barefoot, my biggest problem has always been my ankles, which would start to ache after 10-15 miles. I was able to ameliorate this by improving my form: bending my knees more, increasing my cadence, etc. I would try experimenting with your running technique and find what works best for you. It took me about a year and maybe 200-300 miles to really figure out what was best for me in terms of form.