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12 Weeks to Barefoot Running: Week 1: Growing New Skin

Posted May 23 2011 8:54am
Guilford County Forest Preserve

Last week was my first attempt at incorporating barefoot running into my training. I'm using the 12-week plan that's included in Michael Sandler's book, Barefoot Running . Here is the plan and the 3 days I ran last week
12 Weeks to Barefoot Running: Weeks 1-2: Growing New Skin
Pace: Easy Jogging
Distance:a few hundred yards to one mile
Objective: Stimulate feet to grow new skin

Day 1: 38 degrees outside, so barefoot running starts on the treadmill. 1/4 mile barefoot, felt good, strange to run on toes/forefoot, really felt it in the calves and lower legs. 3/4 mile sockless, felt okay. Started watching "American Dreamz," funny movie.

Day 2: Indianapolis trip – did not sleep well, never do in hotels, but got up in time to fit in a run. First ½  mile barefoot, did not think about form, just ran, felt good. Ran at a fast pace(6:40 first mile!), didn't know I had it in me. Stabbing pain in right heel when stretching over the last week or so, bummer. Doesn't affect walking or running, yet.

LZ Peace Memorial

Day 3: Rockford trip – Gaigai’s soccer tournament, decided to make an overnight trip of it, stayed at the okay, but tired Residence Inn in Rockford. Two bedrooms suits our family well, but cold pool and general aged infrastructure made this a skip next time, probably. It isn’t easy to find hotels with adjoining rooms or 2 bedroom suites these days. Early morning run - 6/10 mile barefoot, then on bike path through forest preserve. Found reenactment area and historical village, then peace memorial , lots of things to see. Once again I didn't focus on my form, just ran comfortably - once I my feet started feeling hot, I stopped to put on shocks and shoes.

Barefoot running has started out relatively promisingly, though from the onset, I don’t see myself giving up on shoes long-term, but it is the first week. A bigger difference I noticed was that pulling on socks after barefooting it is more uncomfortable than donning shoes. Barefoot running really allows for the feet to breathe, which even the best socks don’t.
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