12 Weeks to Barefoot Running: Week 3: Stimulating Padding Growth

The Plan:
  • Pace: Jogging
  • Distance: 1-2 miles
  • Objective: Stimulate feet to grow padding
The Reality:
  • Tuesday Tempo Run on Wednesday – 4.5 mins BF, 22.5 mins shod, 3 mins BF. Felt like a struggle and good simultaneously. Nice and cool yet sweated copiously.
  • Thursday Hills – 4.5 mins BF, 23.5 mins hill sprints, 5 mins BF. Either I just missed a skunk (or he missed me), but I got a nice whiff each lap.
  • Saturday LSD – 6.5 mins BF, 43 mins LSD, 5.5 mins BF a real struggle of a run, already humid at 4:30. Kept going though wanted to quit many times.
XLMIC asked last week: “(D)o you run on asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt, gravel or carpeting when you run barefoot? How fast do you go?”
There are two schools of thought when starting barefoot running:
  1. Find the softest surfaces you can find and BF more comfortably.
  2. Find the roughest surface available so your feet get used to it and form needs to be perfect for it not to hurt.
I, of course, chose 3. Sidewalks, which are somewhat rough but not like running on gravel. I’ve run BF on grass and can tell that my form is much more sloppy. Speed varies depending on how dark it is, how I feel, etc., no different than shod running.
Overall, I’m still not totally convinced. I don’t mind BFing it, but still prefer shod running. I’ve found that I prefer the 2nd barefoot portion over the initial, probably has something to do with being warmed up. Sometime in the next several weeks I’m going to try 2 new things:
  1. Embedding the barefoot portion, rather than at the start and finish; and
  2. Run barefoot on trails.
I’m thinking either one or both will make a profound difference.

It’s Independence Day, we’re celebrating out at the Boondocks (my in-laws’), probably grilling and hanging out by the pool. Tomorrow we’re headed out to Union Pier for a couple of days, really looking forward to further exploration of the area and trying out the Boogie Boards we got for the kids. Surf’s up!


5 thoughts on “12 Weeks to Barefoot Running: Week 3: Stimulating Padding Growth

  1. Interesting that you haven't fallen for BF yet…I wonder why some do and some don't? I'll be interested to hear how it goes when you switch things up.

  2. Well, I for one am going the opposite of barefoot. I'm going the Hoka shoe route. If you look at all the serious ultra trail runners this is certainly the way to go.

  3. The asphalt in front of my house is pretty okay for the 100-yard dash I did for my video. I don't think I have much more than that in me as far as barefooting is concerned. You go, man 🙂

  4. I am much happier on sidewalks AND I have no desire to run on gravel. Been there; done that – this is why cave men found something to wrap their feet in!

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