Should I avoid rough surfaces until I build up more calluses on my feet?

Ken Bob Saxton 2007 August 25 Park City Marathon UT

Ken Bob Saxton 2007 August 25 Park City Marathon UT

Rough surfaces are the ideal terrain to begin on; You won’t be tempted to do too much too soon, before you have learned to run gently enough so that rough surfaces won’t be so “un-bare-able”, and before your feet are ready.

Rough surfaces are often “bare-able” if one has practiced on rough surfaces enough to learn to run more gently than is necessary for smoother surfaces. Being able to “bare” these terrains has a lot to do with learning to relax, despite an initial urge to tense up. But tensing “up” results in pushing our feet “down” with even more pressure into the rough surface making it even less “bare-able”…

Also tensing up tends to put us up on the balls of our feet (or worse on our toes), so that now all of our body weight is distributed over a smaller surface and few points. Think of a bed of nails. If we put our full body weight on a small part of our body the nails will puncture. If we spread our weight over as many nails as possible each nail has only a small amount of pressure and the many many points can support our entire body. Each point only has a few ounces pushing down on it.

Making Sandals

Todd Byers making sandals during the marathon to avoid rough gravel in the final few miles 2007 August 25 Park City Marathon UT
Todd Byers making sandals during the marathon to avoid rough gravel in the final few miles 2007 August 25 Park City Marathon UT

Alternatively, or before you have learned

Posted in: Terrain

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