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?


  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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