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Barefoot Running Step by Step (2011)

Always Remember…

  1. Running Barefoot should be comfortable (on almost any terrain)
  2. Running Barefoot should be easy
  3. Running Barefoot should be FUN!
If any of these are not true for you right now, then play with how you are running until it is more comfortable, easy, and joyful.

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Barefoot Running Step by Step (2011)

Fore-foot Lifts

Toe Lift exercise - use small weights, and many gentle reps

Toe Lift exercise – use small weights, and many gentle reps

Summary

I accidentally found an exercise that helped me when I was suffering a similar pain in the top of my foot, after torquing my foot backwards when I kicked a sand hill while pulling my foot forward. To be fair, I did not begin this exercise immediately after the injury (and that may or may not be good – I suspect letting it heal for a bit may have helped). But, anyway, if you feel sharp pain while doing this exercise then stop doing this exercise (or try to figure out if you’re doing it wrong).

Purpose

Exercises the muscles and tendons on the top of the feet, balancing the strength between the tops and bottoms of the feet.

This exercise may not be necessary if one avoids excess or improper stresses while running (in other words, avoid bad running technique). But, in the event that you do experience the all-too-common top of foot pain, from using bad technique, or as I did once, accidentally kicking (also a form of bad technique) a sand hill as I pulled my foot forward while running on the beach, then this exercise may help strengthen the affected area, AFTER allowing a few days or more for healing the initial injury.

How to do Fore-foot Lifts

There are many ways to do this exercise, basically, we’re going to lift our fore-foot, or fore-feet, against some sort of GENTLE external pressure, feel free to use your imagination, but here are a few ideas to get started:

Rest small weights on the toes while resting the heel on the floor and raising the fore-foot.

Lay in bed on your stomach with your feet hanging over the edge of your mattress, then push your fore-foot against the edge of the mattress.

Stress Fracture Therapy

After an initial healing period, this exercise may help to rehabilitate the injured tendons or bones. As always, be careful, be aware, listen to your body. Do not continue this or any exercise if it hurts, until you figure out how to do it without pain, or until your initial injuries have healed enough to exercise.

Alternatively

You can get the same exercise simply by changing the way you run. With your trailing foot, be sure to try to lift your fore-foot, not just the heels. Lifting the forefoot on foot-lift not only exercises the top of the foot, it eliminates the strain from excess push-off that is the most common cause of this type of pain/injury.

Also be sure NOT to strain your calves and NOT TO TRY to run up on the forefoot. If you need to TRY to run on the forefoot, there’s something wrong with how the rest of your body is moving, and you’ll be putting far too much strain on your foot, which far too commonly results in stress fractures of the foot.

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