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Couch to 5K
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"Barefoot" running

Hello, fellow runners.

I was wondering if there are any "barefoot" runners in this community. I had just started the program again (and Zombies, run) and I had to quit again because of my knees. I waited a few weeks until the pain was gone.

I get emails from this website that sells shoes for "barefoot" running and they share tips in these emails. Last week there was one that talked about landing on the ball of the foot instead of the heel. I'm a heel walker naturally and it always sends a surge through my legs. But when I take a sprint when I happen to be barefoot I land on the ball of my foot first and I always love how I feel. Light and springy and no hard landing.

So today I wore my Vibram Fivefingers and tried it out.

It. was. so. good! I felt so light and not like the bulky, slow beginner I am. My steps were bigger and felt so much better. I felt like I was flying.

And the best part? No annoying pressure on my joints, like I normally have. But I was out of breath, which doesn't usually happen either. So, by running this way, I felt the parts of my body I'm supposed to feel. I'm guessing my calves are gonna kill me tomorrow. But I'm definitely keeping this up.

7 Replies

I think yatesco is a vibram man! I am not a barefoot runner but I do run on the balls of my feet. I don't think my heels actually even touch the ground as I run! It's from a lifetime wearing high heels and my calves actually hurt more if I put my heels down. I'd imagine if you find a way of running which feels comfortable and helps you then do it but others may be able to give better advice. :)


I think Googleme is a minimalist runner.

I swapped to lower drop shoes after my shin splint when I was learning to run again and having to go through the whole of the gait cycle, heel first, for physio purposes.

You build up your calf strength through slow running. Walking, cycling, swimming and doing strength work to build up your body all helps our running. It's all in the calves - and if these are weak as they are when we first start running - we can soon hit trouble if we try and do too much too soon. If you have a problem with your calves Duchess then you could do specific exercises. Heel drops, foot lifts, heel raises etc. All very good!

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Luckily my calves are alright. I work as a mail carrier and I walk for 4 hours a day. But today I definitely notice I used my legs differently yesterday ^_^. They're the good kind of sore, that makes you feel you used your muscles but not overused them. If everything continues to work like this, this might be something I'll continue doing. It just felt so much more natural.


Oh that's good then ! You should have legs of steel with all that walking

Have a day off or two between runs and you should be fine.

The most minimal shoes are the leather "Luna" sandals. Bit hardcore for me but I think our Googleme has experience of those.

If you do your daily rounds in lower drop shoes you should get used to them quite quickly. I keep my old trainers for walking in

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Awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback. Much appreciated ^_^.


Welcome to the club where you can expect:

- a surprisingly refreshing run

- much less impact through your joints

- ridiculously, and I really do mean RIDICULOUSLY stinky shoes no matter how you try and clean them :-)

You might also want to get some 'fingered socks' as well.

(for funny pictures: healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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Thanks! 😄 Glad to be part of the club.

I've had the most insanely sore feet, ankles and calves I've ever had after that run. But in a good way, you know.

I loved reading your post from the link. It described perfectly how bare foot running feels. It's like we try to run so hard from our natural way and we need to just let our bodies do what they were designed to do. Go with the flow!

I'm definitely a convert. I just need a few more rest days in between every run until my body is fully used to using those muscles to this extent.

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