What is barefoot running?
Running without shoes OR running wearing shoes such as Vibram Five Fngers.
Can anyone be a barefoot runner?
Absolutely! But, keep in mind that certain people are more apt to be barefoot runners than others. Barefoot running is more suited for front foot runners, as opposed to heel strike runners. It also takes a bit of training and conditioning!
How do I tell what type of runner I am?
Next time you go for a jog/run, look at you feet. If the ball of your foot is the first thing to hit the ground every time you take a stride, then you are a front foot runner. If the heel of your foot is the first to hit the ground, then you are a heel strike runner.
How do I get started barefoot running?
Keep in mind that barefoot running doesn't happen overnight. Our feet as so accustomed to wearing shoes with lots of padding, so our bodies are not used to the natural strike of bare feet. When you first start out you WILL be sore and your feet and legs WILL hurt! But don't get discouraged because its all part of the conditioning process.
I highly recommend purchasing a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes. Get some with a tough sole if you are going to be running outside. If you have a treadmill you can do it without shoes, but I recommend getting a pair anyways for when your feet are sore.
Note: once you start the process of transitioning to barefoot running, DO NOT go back to wearing regular running shoes. Not only will it be painful, but it will hurt your progress.
Ready to start!
If you are already a runner, don't expect to be able to go your regular distance/time when you first start out barefoot running.
If you are a beginner runner, I recommend starting the "Couch to 5k" program.
Start off slow.
I'm going to be honest, barefoot running can be very painful for the first few days. Typically your calves, shins and inner thighs will be sore. I recommend taking some sort of pain medicine BEFORE you go for your runs. It can take a couple months before you stop having pain at all when you run barefoot. But remember, it's just your body adjusting. ALWAYS remember to stretch before AND after each run! This will help prevent injury and keep your body limber!
If you bought a pair of five finger shoes, I would suggest you wear those for the first couple months. I've found that it makes the transition to complete barefoot a bit easier. (if you never want to switch to complete barefoot, that's fine too. Whatever you are comfortable with!)
After a few months.
By this point, you should be completely (or mostly) pain free! Of course, this depends on how frequently you go running. If you haven't switched to complete barefoot, this would be a good time to start. Make sure where you run is free of debris and dangerous things like glass! Always watch out for things that could harm your feet and/or cause injury/cuts/infection/etc. Personally, I only run completely barefoot on my treadmill or on a track (or sometimes on the sidewalk in a nice neighborhood). I never run completely barefoot on the road or in the park.
When you first start out completely barefoot, your feet might get a little raw. If they start to hurt, stop and put on your five finger shoes. If you get blisters or raw spots, here is a nice remedy: before you go to bed, slather your feet in Aquaphor (and I mean COMPLETELY cover your feet in this stuff, don't be shy!) and put on a pair of socks. Sleep with it like that for a couple nights, or until your feet are healed. (Aquaphor will heal them fast). Repeat until your feet are nice and calaced.
Good luck! I'd love to know if anyone starts barefoot running (or if you already do). And I'm always here to offer helpful tips! I've been a barefoot runner for almost 1 year now and I LOVE it! I'm planning to do a Mud Run this summer completely barefoot!
As always, make sure to stretch, drink plenty of water and eat food that fuels your body!
Vibram Five Fingers: www.vibramfivefingers.com
Aquaphor: www.aquaphorhealing.com (you can buy this stuff at Walmart or any drug or grocery store)
but what are the benefits to barefoot running?
Why is going back to normal running shoes from barefoot painful?
This sounds really painful... maybe I will try someday o.O
Also, check out this article: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercis...ealth-benefits
anyone tried running full marathon on barefoot?