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nanny-rosy
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Author Topic: Is my barefoot dream over before it has begun?  (Read 1317 times)
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Larry
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« on: September 16, 2011, 07:57:42 PM »

Hi folks,

I've been kicking around the idea of getting into barefoot running for a while now, as I spend most of my time barefoot around home and really only wear shoes for work, gardening, and golf (most of the time).  I bought myself a pair of vivobarefoot casual shoes a few weeks ago, and have worn them around the office and at home for two weeks with no problems.  Barefoot running is a better fit for me, because I live by the beach and if I can get myself running I'm planning on doing most of my training on hard sand at low tide.  No need for shoes there, right? 

I'm a bit of a reluctant runner, but after after a few aborted efforts earlier in the year I finally got back on the horse this week, but I'm not sure if I've shot myself in the foot, so to speak. I've set myself for 12km run in a couple of months, which is a bit ambitious for my current fitness level. Decided to start last week with a couple of short, shuffling barefoot runs along the beach at home, then try a 6km run on a flat track in shoes.  More beach running and then a transition to FiveFingers for the hard surfaces and barefoot on the sand.

Wednesday I did a fraction under 3.5km at around 5:15 pace, and felt a little buggered, but OK. Pulled up a bit sore in the lower calves, but otherwise feeling fine. Yesterday I did 4km at around the same pace, and felt pretty good (other than sore calves and a little blister on my big toe). I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I drove for about an hour for a weekend holiday, then got out of the car and found that my right foot is now really, really sore. It didn't hurt at all while running, and the pain didn't start for at least 6 hours after I finished running. Weird.

It's hard to describe where it hurts, but the pain is on the outside (i.e right side of right foot) of the foot, about half way between the base of the little toe and the heel. It doesn't hurt at all when I'm just sitting around, and I can jump up and down on my toes without any pain at all, but when I walk or put my foot flat on the floor it feels extremely sore and walking is difficult. Has anybody ran across this before?

I've seen a few threads with a similar description of the problem, but I haven't seen anything firm about what I should expect.  Should I rest it for a week and not go back until I can't feel any pain?  Should I try to 'run it out' instead?  How will I know how to manage it, given that I was completely painless while running?

My research tells me that I probably need to look at my running style - I did try to shuffle a bit and keep the cadence up, but I don't think I would have been anywhere near 180 steps per minute.

Anyway, lots to think about and I'd love some advice - I'm really keen to get into this and I'm feeling a bit deflated as I hobble around our holiday house.  I'm hoping this is just a hiccup, and not the sign of a major problem.
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« on: September 16, 2011, 07:57:42 PM »

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John
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2011, 11:36:44 PM »

Let it rest for a couple days to a week and tell us how it feels. Might've overdone it. Actually, after a day, how does it feel, Larry?
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Larry
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 02:59:12 AM »

Hey John,

One day on and maybe a little better, although the outside of the ankle is getting in on the action now and I suspect that's because I've been hobbling.  Walking is still a chore.  I think the week off is the best course of action, and I'm hopeful that things are improving.  Doesn't help to be on a holiday with the family and constantly walking around, but you can't exactly bail on a weekend vacation because of a sore foot.  The worst thing was having to kick a football around with my little 8 year old nephew - "Your uncle can't kick the footy because he has a sore foot" just doesn't cut it with an 8 year old.   Smiley

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Jeepman
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 12:00:10 AM »

Slow it down - way down. You are doing too much, too soon. This forum is full of warnings about doing too much. Start slow, and proceed slowly. Do a search for "TMTS", lots of plans and advice on how much to increase your running at the beginning.
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 12:00:10 AM »

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Larry
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 09:12:07 AM »

I hear you Jeepman, and I'm more than happy to listen to my feet on this one.  I just wish they had started talking to me before I stopped running!   Smiley 

Strangely enough, my left foot developed the same problem for an hour or two yesterday (Three days after the run, believe it or not!), but both feet feel OK now while walking and I think I'll be running again in a few days.

Yes, I know this is a classic case of TMTS, but in my defence I've actually been walking and running around barefoot for a long time.  I'm in the habit of taking long barefoot walks carrying my daughter on an almost daily basis, and I frequently run about quarter of a mile barefoot to the beach and back when I check the surf a few times a week.  I figured this covered the first couple of steps in your typical 'couch to barefoot running training plan', and I was prepared to be ultra-conservative and stop at the slightest sign of discomfort with my feet.

That said, my next forays will be shorter, and I'll ramp it up slowly.  My biggest problem will be knowing when to stop to avoid damage, but I'll probably start with 500m, then 1km and then go with the 10% rule.  I like the look of this plan - http://runningquest.net/2009/10/16/12-step-program-to-run-shodless/ - starting with step 6.

A couple of questions:

-  Should I opt for road running over hard sand in the first instance to improve technique?  I'd prefer the sand because I enjoy running on the beach, but I do want to get my running technique sorted ASAP.
-  My only blister was a very small one on the middle of my big toe - what does that say about my running style?  Too much pushing off with the toes?
-  The heels on my old work shoes (now abandoned since I got my vivos) are heavily worn on the outside only - on a 30 degree angle.  Does that ring alarm bells for anybody in terms of pronating, and if so, do I need to do anything special?

And lastly:, most importantly:
 
-  If my 12km Run is in 8 1/2 weeks, can I get there in time if my goal is only to finish, in VFFs, or should I do more training in shoes and forget the barefoot option for now?  I know it's a short time to get up to speed, and just developing the endurance is going to be an effort on my part.  I'd love to do it, because it is a fundraiser for a hospital that has helped my little girl, but I'm also prepared to be realistic and avoid injuries.
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The Yeti
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 12:09:44 PM »

Just my opinion, you may want to do the 12k in regular shoes. After you give yourself a week or two to recover, you are short on time to train to do the run in vffs. It took me about 4 months to build up to 10k, and had setbacks along the way. Don't give up on the minimalist 'dream', just give yourself a week or two off and dial it waaay back. You'll get there, just give yourself lots of time to build up to running longer distances.

Once your foot feels better you can still restart your transition, just do a short distance in your vffs and then toss your regular shoes on for the rest of your run. Also yes, it would be better to get your form down on a harder surface than sand. It's hard to get your form down when the surface you are running on is so soft and moves on you.

Hope the foot is better soon!
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Larry
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 02:20:49 AM »

Thanks Yeti.

I walked 18 holes at the golf course yesterday (in True Linkswear golf shoes - no heel), and pulled up sore again.  Turns out the fruit and veg delivery man is a qualified podiatrist, and he told me he was pretty sure I have peroneal tendonitis.  A bit of googling, and it sounds like he's right.  Rest and ice.  I think the 12km is looking a little bit problematic, shoes or no shoes.  Oh well, wait and see.  I guess this will give me time to read a few barefoot running books before I start.  Smiley
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