Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Barefoot Running

Ever since I got into running, I had heard of the benefits of barefoot training. Personally I thought it was just some way to subject yourself to toarture. Who in their right mind would willingly run around barefoot!!! I was, however, intrigued. After doing some reasearch online, and discovering http://barefootted.com/ , I decided that I could try it.
Not long after that, I ran over to an asphalt track, cast aside my shoes, and started running. about 4 miles later, I no longer had soles left on my feet. So I ran another couple miles.... Stoopid! It was night time when I was running, but I am sure that had I been able to see a little better, the inside lane of the track would have appeared red. I dont believe I'll ever forget the pain of trying to put on socks after doing that, and then I had to hobble a mile and a half back home!
That was my last barefoot experience until I discovered my Vibram Five Fingers http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ during the 2007 Sri Chinmoy 6 day race. One of the 10 day runners, Glen Turner, wore them for what seemed to be half the race! I, quite frankly, thought he looked rediculous, but after asking about them, I decided to give them a try.

Not too long after the conclusion of the race, I drove out to Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge to purchase a pair of Sprints, and I absolutly love them! I wear them almost everywhere I go, except for work. They feel just as though I am barefoot.

When I first got them, I noticed my feet feeling a little sore, but it wasn't that I was injured, I was using muscles that I wasnt used to using. I also started out by running no more than 2 or 3 miles in them, and my feet toughened up nicely. Now I can walk around in them all day on concrete and not feel sore, or I can even run on asphalt and not leave a good amount of skin on the track.

I still only train in them twice a week or so, and I havent run more than 13 miles in them, but I have definatly noticed an improvement in my running form, and alignment issues. Also, you should see the looks I get when I walk through the mall in those things!

Well, until next time, keep on running.

Tim Lawson


Jodsyerge3 said...

Insane, I just looked at the April 21st nymag article, "You Walk Wrong," and wasn't very surprised to see this idea return to popular thought. My father used to spout out what I thought was solely rhetorical drivel about the issue, but never actually swearing off shoes completely. I am about to run my first ultra-marathon and am looking for different ways of cross-training as it were. I curious to hear more about this, but kudos, this is a seriously insane effort.

Sean Dietrich said...

Before my back surgery, I was running 30 miles barefoot on the weekends. I eventually switched to the Vibrams because broken glass was becoming a big problem. Every run, it seemed like, was peppered with glass bottles. I was picking glass out of the foo (if I could) almost every night. I would really like to do an ultra barefoot, but now I am addicted to the Vibrams. Oh well, one can still reap the benefits with the 5 fingers.

Anonymous said...

Failure to agree with them is 'heresy'. Failure to behave properly is a 'sin'.
have lost or abandoned religion in the traditional sense by now, or have retained only a tenuous, formulaic connection, or have veered off into various unsatisfying concoctions of "spirituality"....................................

Anonymous said...

barefoot running is the ultimate goal, but to warm up to it the vibram shoes do help.

I've ran in them for the past year and a half and its really helped me stay with the program of running because I wasn't getting as many joint pains. This site has some decent information:


not quite kenyan said...

sounds like you have been spending some time in them...I would suggest that you get the Ken Mierke video Evolution Running to help with form and start running in your vibrams with improved form...I have been following his advice and find that I am starting to speed up with less effort. Good luck running.

The Running Man Ray's Words said...

Hey Tim, I am aware that this blog is very old but I just bought some fiv fingers and at the current moment I am not able to run due to a torn ACL reconstruction Surgery, now my questions in, do your feet sweat much on runs, and do you wear the 5 finger socks? if so how do the feel while wearing the 5 finger shoes? Thanks fr the help!