I am in the middle of reading "barefoot running step by step". I wonder why I did not read this book earlier.
My running history started after reading "Born to Run". I've bought a pair of Vibram-five-fingers, ran with excitement a mile and pumped my calf muscles to the state in which it was a very difficult to get back home, - was not able to walk, not to run. I think it was short jumps in home's direction with crawling.
First real barefoot runs came half year later, in a very hot summer day on hot black asphalt, resulting in small burn blister. Before getting blister I tried escape black pavement and immediately got bee sting at first touches of the grass.
Later I read "Barefoot Running" of Michael Sanders, and I got used to splints of glass in my soles. I was not able to see them and to take them off until a day or two after the run, when the soles are getting some inflammation around these objects. Most of these glasses came in the wet weather. I ran on the roads, tried couple time to enter trails in the nearest park, but they were too stony and too barby, sometimes couple meters taking a lot of time to get through.
Then I decided to run a marathon. I live in Baltimore, and ran marathon here at 10/13/12. Because I did not read "Barefoot running step by step", I ran in minimal shoes. On the training run a couple months before the race I saw a man in Luna Sandals, asked how he avoids blisters and burns between fingers. He told he likes these better than Vibrams. So I decided to try myself, and it is a separate story. They were so light, and soles feel so good, - I ran faster then any time before in my life, especially downhills. And then had a pain in my right ankle for 2 weeks just 2 weeks before the race. Actually, it was good to have something imposing tapering on me, and pain was gone just before the marathon. And I learned not to trust the protective external sole of the sandals. I ran with the pacer group and finished in 3h 39' 33", with my age 55+ it gives Boston Qualification. And in 3 days after the race, on my training run I easily beat three of my personal records.
Six weeks later I joined my son and run with him Space Coast Marathon. Because I was pretty satisfied with my previous results, I decided to try running barefoot. And did it, even improving my previous results by 19 seconds. (With luna sandals in the pockets). Oh, it was difficult. Last miles my pace was more than 9 minutes/mile. Almost 2 minutes more than it was in the beginning. Pavement was hard, - asphalt with pretty big gravel stones protruding up. And I did not yet know about "Barefoot running step by step", and decided then that running barefoot is harder than in minimal shoes, although safer for the joints and tendons.
As a next goal for me in running I decided to run ultra-marathon. Ultras usually go trails. But I've just recently bought "barefoot running step by step", and got first confirmation of possibility to run long trail distances barefoot. Last Sunday I tried running a very stony and rooty trail in the park, but fortunately not so barby. It was very interesting, - I saw and felt how bending knees and running low helps. A very interesting sensation after the run, at home: I feel my balls of the feet became big and bulging. Never felt this before. Pavement make the sole flat, may be with parts concaved up from the flat.
But just 5 miles on the trail was as much for the workout as, I think, 15 on the pavement. Or 10 on the trail but in shoes. So, my question - will I be able to get ready to run barefoot 50k race in the beginning of February? I don't know. Will see!
And here are the photos:
Baltimore marathon (in Luna Sandals)
Space Coast marathon
Some photos from last trail run