Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Barefoot Running Form

In training for my first barefoot half marathon, I ran 5 miles last week (longest distance to date barefoot).  Unfortunately I got my first blisters after 3 months and 40 miles of barefooting.  I gave my feet about a week to recover - I didn't want to drain the blisters lest I get an infection on my foot and have to wait longer to run bare. 
Last night I ran just about 4 miles.  I focused on two main things - putting my foot down as vertically as possible and no pushing off (my mantra was "lift the foot, lift the foot).  I got back from my run without any issues.  Important observation #1 - I didn't tear my blisters.  I think this was my best indicator of proper running form.  I figured if I got lazy like on my 5 mile run, I'd tear my blisters for sure and come limping home.  Observation #2 - no hot spots.  On occasion at the end of a run I would often have a couple spots on the balls of my feet that were a little sensitive.  NOT A SINGLE ONE last night!!!
My conclusion is that prior to my 5 mile run, I was doing okay on form.  The blisters at 5 miles were indicative of me slacking off.  Focusing on proper form not only prevented the tearing of the old blisters and no appearance new blisters but eliminated all hot spots.
Lesson learned - take your time, run with attention and have FUN!!!

P.S.  Saw a boat load of glass on a 20 foot stretch of road even in the dark with only a little light from the street lamps.  Ran through most of it with my eyes open.  Hey mom, I DIDN'T STEP ON IT!  Followed the advice from Last Place Jason - made a mental map of the area and placed my feet accordingly.

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