Barefoot running on the track

Sorry I have been so out of touch lately! I have been so busy reorganizing my life. My re-org is not complete, yet, but I’m working at it.

For months I have been working tirelessly to improve my running form. I have been working out a lot, and I’m getting much stronger, and I am ready to up my mileage now, too.

After my last session on Friday with my PT, only my glutes were tired the next day. That is a really good sign, which means that my glutes are working and I’m relying less on my quads. Being quad-dominant can lead to knee issues.

Today I was walking to the trail to meet my sister for a hike. We didn’t end up meeting so I went to the high school to run on the track. I was bummed because I wasn’t wearing the shoes I would wear running. I just got a new pair of Brooks Pure Flows, and love the lower drop (4mm) and neutral support. I used to wear Pure Cadence but I realized I don’t need pronation support, just some neutral cushioning. So I didn’t wear my Pure Flows thinking I was going to get filthy and didn’t plan to run. So I went to the track in my Brooks Ghosts, which have a much higher offset (12mm), and kicked them off and ran barefoot. It was a little hot, but with my socks on it felt fine.

barefoot running

One note on socks. These are my favorite! I like them better than thorlos, but those are good too. Wright socks are made of two thin layers, so you don’t get blisters. Any rubbing just rubs a layer of sock. They also feel nice and tight, like they won’t wiggle around at all.

My glutes are still a little sore from the workout Friday, so I only planned to run one mile. Perfect for a barefoot day on the track.

Observations running barefoot

  • Calves are tired. After the first lap, my calves were SCREAMING!!!! They were really tight, rock hard, and tired. I took a break to drink some water. It was 85 degrees after all. I tried a few different ways to land, and realized I need to let my heel lower right after the ball hits the ground. I have really high arches, so only the ball, toes, and heel touch the ground at any given time. Letting my heel lower more helped take the pressure off my calves.
  • Ground is a little hot
  • I felt like I was doing a bit of a dance learning how to land on the ball of the foot, let my heel lower, and push off. I was working on taking short steps and making my glutes push me off.
  • I was running… silently!!!! I didn’t hear any slams or thuds, which is nice. Sometimes I can sound like an elephant. 😉 The few times I didn’t land nicely, I felt it. I probably wouldn’t have felt that in shoes.
  • The flatness of the track was refreshing. The trail where I run has quite a few variations in incline.

I felt pretty awesome doing this workout. I have been enjoying training for my half a lot so far, fixing my injury and form, and becoming stronger. I will be back at the track for another barefoot run. I think I will start coming here once a week. I heard the University of Oregon track team runs barefoot once a week on the track. I could add this to my training plan.

What I was so grateful for

There was a little shade. About 5% was shaded, but gave me something to look forward to as I was running along. It was nice and cool on my feet. Hey, it’s the little things in life.

Have you ever run barefoot?

4 Comments

  1. That’s great that you have access to a track! I wish you had posted your sock recommendation a few days ago because I just bought some new running socks from Nike. So far I love them for walking around but I haven’t tested them on a 10 miler yet ;). I think they are good for walking, not hiking. Hope you have a lovely week. When is your next race?

    • Emma

      June 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      Hope you have a lovely week too, Faith!! Yeah it’s funny how you need different socks and shoes for hiking. Which shoes do you wear hiking? I usually wear Pegasus hiking. I like cushy shoes when hiking on the hills and rocks. When are you running 10 miles next? I hope those socks work well for you. I might do a 10k next month, but I’m not sure. I mean I’ll be doing virtual 10ks all the time. Do those count?

      • Yes! I love my Pegasus for hiking and running, especially on rocky terrain because they don’t get rocks stuck in the bottoms. I recently bought a pair of Nike Free running shoes and they are so cute but every run I am picking rocks out of my shoes! On the plus side, I was outside and vertical so I can’t be too bummed 🙂 This weekend I may try running 10 miles into Marin, you are welcome to join! I miss racing so much.

        • Emma

          June 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm

          Oh I know! My flexs would always gather rocks! Yeah as long as you’re outside moving you’re doing good things for your health. I was just in Marin last week–best places to run ever! Maybe you should start training for the Tiburon race I did last year. It was by far the most scenic race I’ve ever done.

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