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Preview: Barefoot in Cedar Rapids

Barefoot in Cedar Rapids

A story on my transition to barefoot running

Updated: 2014-10-02T22:08:48.090-07:00


I did TMTS


I have the case of To Much To Soon(To much To Soon). I seem to have a very hard time relaxing when running on cold pavement. Wet pavement is even worse. Because of this my calves are very tight are. Pavement seems to get colder faster than dirt. I ran the Timber Trek trail race in the Amana Colonies on Saturday and had a pace of 39:24 for 4.2 miles and felt great. On Tuesday I did about 4.5 miles and did not feel as good. I did myself in when I when up the giant hill on the loop. I should have just walked up it instead of running. I will have to take a couple of days off and the try the huaraches again.



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Today I was focusing on having proper running cadence and taking short strides. This video by Evolution Running explains it very well. They have 5 videos on proper running form and they are all very helpful. Before long I had done 6.5 miles at about an 11 minute pace. I know I need to hold back but everything just seems to be falling into place at this point.

Finished the 4 mile race


Well I finished the 4 mile Indian Summer Classic with a time of 40 minutes. My calves never tightened up and felt great throughout the whole race. I think this was because about 3 of the 4 miles was on a trail and I was more relaxed in anticipation of stepping on rocks. I need to work on stepping lighter so I do not get the bruises from the rocks on the trail. Towards the end I started dragging my right foot and need to focus on lifting it up higher.

Overall most of the people at the race were very inquisitive about barefoot running. I got a couple WTF looks from people running in the race but most poeple were very positive.

Longest barefoot run to date.


I think I have gotten past most of the calf pain so far and now it is just a minor anoyiance and I will have to work on strengthening them. I did about 4 miles in about 45 minutes, partially in the wet grass from the rain and on the road. It seems like running on grass is so much easier than running with shoes on the grass. Your feet naturally adjust to the subtle changes in the ground. The steep downhills and uphills are still a challenge and I have to walk on them and that will come with time. Since my calves are good I plan on doing the 4 mile Indian Summer Distance Classic this comeing Saturday.

Form is key


I did just under 3 miles today with a focus more on form and not running fast. My calves are starting to adjust to being used the proper way. It is mid-afternoon and there is not much soreness. I need to forget everything that I have learned about running with shoes on and learn the proper form barefoot. Because I was still trying to run like when I wore shoes I irriteated my heel and it felt like the early stages of plantar factitious. After a couple of days of rest and stretching my arch pain it is all but gone. Running barefoot almost feels like a controlled fall forward. When your foot hits the ground it is directly under your hip, not in front of it. There is never a push-off of your heel. You just lift your foot with your hamstring and then let gravity do the rest.



The ankle soreness now is completely gone now and never is a problem after a run. So far I have to limit it to a 2 mile run at a 9 minute pace. Towards the end of the run when my calves get sore my form starts falling apart. This is when I notice that the bottoms of my feet start bothering me. There must be a small amount of friction between my foot and the ground on one specific spot.

Nike is in buisness to make a profit


I have realized after 8 months of off again on again running due to hip injuries that shoes where the root of the problem. They do not encourage good form. The last two times I have run the recovery time is getting shorter. At first couple of times my ankles were sore for a couple of days after my now that is none existence. Tonight it was just a tight calf and sore hip flexor after 1 and 3/4 of a mile that made me stop, probably for the better. The occasional stone on the trail has not been much of a problem. The natural reaction to the stone on the trail is for your foot not to put a lot of pressure on it. Part of the learning process for me is how to learn to run lightly and silently. So far I surprised one person on the trail when I came up behind them. I am trying to decide which gets a better reaction from people, roller skiing or running bare foot.