Friday, 12 February 2010

Bare foot experience

My experience with getting off behaviour modified foot wear.
This began with my first endurance race:
A sponsored walk at primary school based on laps of the playing field.
I quickly found my feet were getting very wet and causing sore spots on my feet, never having experienced this before I did the logical thing and took the trainers off.
This knowledge stuck with me only occasionally surfacing through the overwhelming trainer marketing, I suspect this was aided by the slow evolution from flat to wedged trainers.
Thinking back the flatter models became unavailable until the Brit pop retro thing.
Unless you were a serious runner who bought racing flat - because they were lighter according to the propaganda.

I came across the five fingers (VFF) (classic) several years ago when it was the only model.
As you see I now have all 3 models.

Here is the evidence that my opinion is built on substance - 4th and 5th metatarsal impact wear and worn through patches.

I ran the Marlow half marathon in VFF in 2008 slowly due to lack of training.
No foot damage at all, in trainers I typically got blisters running half or longer.
Huaraches may be better for loose rocky trails just the thickness of the soles to prevent rocky intrusions.

I am going to try a trail ultra in huaraches this summer, Ted has some new studded blanks.
The VFF's are just like running barefoot I know because I do both.
At the moment I run in VFF flows with gaiters good below 10 Celcious.

The idea of this post is to pass on my experience to date and minimise discomfort.

Follow the advice given here:

Run on tarmac until your connective tissues adapt, 6 weeks minimum.

Also do a full foot and leg massage immediately after each training session, I found quadriceps get less knotty as feet and lower legs are absorbing the shocks.
[Logically also less risk of knee injury also cf. popularity of solid ski bindings has caused more serious knee and major bone breaks - instead of ankle injury.]
This bloke has a series of instructional videos this one is for feet:"

I have also found stretching useful, I overdid it massively when getting started bruising feet and tweaking a calf muscle.
One thing I found was both calf muscles need to be stretched so - standing bent knee stretch then standing straight leg stretch.

Just run, you do not need to change your style, you will not heel strike more than a couple of times.
There is no need to consciously think about increasing cadence, if you increase your speed your feet naturally get picked up and foot strike moves forward.
In fact consciously running on your toes may overload calf muscles weak from heel striking.

If anyone knows where to buy Vibram sheets cheaply in the UK please let me know.

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