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Most people think exactly as you describe: They think of how sensitive their feet are now and think they couldn't run true barefoot. I pursued it from a slightly-less-than-moderate perspective a couple of years ago. I learned two things very very very clearly:
* Once your feet are conditioned (meaning both the muscles in the feet as well as the skin on the bottom of the feet) that running was not only amazingly fun but things that would have hurt when I started I didn't even notice.
* To condition your feet it takes very deliberate and slow action.
I walked (only walked) outside barefoot almost every day for about 2 weeks before I tried any running. It was quite fascinating: My feet developed this somewhat leathery characteristic that was both tough and soft. They actually turn into the exact opposite of what most think they would: They're not tough or rough or full of calouses. It's this smooth, almost shiny yet tough skin.
Even if someone doesn't want to run barefoot all the time I think it's very valuable to give it a try. It can really teach things about form, landing softly, etc. It's quite astonishing: When the brain knows there is no padding there your whole body lands very differently to absorb the shock. It's fun stuff.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
You definitely can learn some things about mechanics, footplant and form. There is no guarantee you will though. I think it helps if you know something about those things first. I did most of my barefoot running on ordinary paved roads. Pebbles were rarely noticed, though I had to pay attention to avoid larger rocks. Rough pavement could be annoying but didn't hurt. Hot in the summer though. I did some barefoot on a modern, composite track and that wasn't really comfortable - it felt very abrasive. Plus the color came off on the soles of my feet! As for "landing softly", I think that's more a result of shorter strides and planting under your body. That was part of my point when I said I still heel strike barefoot, which research shows actually greatly increases impact forces.
I agree with everything mentione above. I happen to be a fan of barefoot, but it's certainly not the only way. It's just the way that worked for me so I'm happy to talk about it. And I do often run in minimalist shoes, the more minimal the better. But i still incorporate some true bare runs too, and for me it helps to pull my form back if I start to get sloppy. But i know many people who also run in full shoes, who do the same. As mentioned, it's not about being bare footed, it's about the running form that it encourages. Many people find that once they have the form they run without pain in shoes as well. It's about learning to run gently and minimize those impact forces, however that works for you.
I'm just excited I've been able to go a full week now, running or doing extended walks every day and my achilles doesn't feel any worse, maybe even getting better. ( In conjunction with all my icing, PT stretches etc.) Maybe it's the new meds kicking in too...
in any case I can't wait for some more of this snow to melt off so I can get off the dreadmill again.
Happiest that even after some long layoffs, I'm able to get back up to 20-25 minute runs so quickly. Seems the body mostly remembers! I'm a little sore in the muscles again, but nothing unexpected after 6 months rest
And then I let it all go again. More "restarts" than I can count but I haven't given up hope or trying yet. So who knows what's possible.
Shipo: I have been about a week now with only stiffness and that only after sitting for "too long". I am going to try some walking this weekend. If that goes OK for a week or two then it's back to C25K. and I really miss it. I guess sedentary really isn't my style...
Horses: it's not whether you will get hurt it's when and how badly. and they don't usually mean to injure you they just have all that strength and muscle mass managed by a brain the size of an apple. Hopefully your hip will heal soon. I have some lovely memories of falling and horses landing on top of me so count your blessings
Yeah, it's been years (as in many decades) since I've had the pleasure of having a horse fall on me, that said, the guy who owns the farm I live on had one slip on the ice last winter and land on him (breaking his shoulder in four places) just a week before he took his wife, kids, and grand kids to Cancun.
Fat old man PRs:
Hi, I'm new to this group and new to running. My daughter asked me to sign her up for this after school program called Girls on the Run. She will run/train 2x a week after school, and then run a 5k on May 31st. As I was signing her up, one of the questions asked "will you run with your child or do you need a community volunteer to run with your child"? This immediately made me very sad with emotion bc I have never run before and even though I have lost 60lbs over the past yr, I'm still 206lbs, and out of shape. I've made the decision that I would like to run this race with my daughter, I don't want to miss out on things in her life bc of my weight. My biggest question now is which C25K app do you think is the best app to use? I have an android, and there are so many to chose from, I'd like to get the best one for someone whose overweight and a beginner. Thanks for any advice you may provide me :)
Turtlegrl: I personally never used an app but I know someone in this group will help you out. and never fear with a little perserance you will be a runner and will run that 5K with your daughter. My goal was very m,uch the same. Wanted to run a 5K with my daughter at FSU and I did it. Pushing 60 and well over 200lbs. You can do it too.
Shipo: When I was in Michigan on that huge farm with 80 horses in stalls one of the most dangerous jobs was turnouts. Hiking back and forth with horses hot to run and buck walking on every kind of treacherous accumulation of ice, snow etc. Kept you fit if you didn't get hurt.
I am back on the road tomorrow, think good thoughts for me and my old knees.
Good luck with your run! Keep those knees pumping...
After many years of knee pain, cortisone injections and synthetic synovial fluid injections, I was told today that I AM a candidate for knee replacement. It's nice to know that it isn't in my head, but truely in my knee...of course, being 200+, it was recommended to drop a few pounds pre-op. Better results post op is the reasoning there. Now, willpower and exercise.
I've never had much willpower, hence being 200+. Put a baked good in front of me and it won't last long....Sigh...
With that being said, time to get serious about the exercise part. I know this blog was started to provide support for us larger runners-which I was told I will never be again. I'm hoping I can still jump on here for encouragement with walking or bike riding.
Turtlegirl (I love your name!) you CAN do it! Be active with your daughter. Start slow, alternating walking with running, as C25K says. Follow that plan and I think you wil be golden. A huge benefit will be making memories with your daughter that can never be replaced. The people here have been supportive and encouraging. You Can Do It!!
Hmmm, very strange, I responded to your post last night and now it's gone. Annoying.
Anyway, congratulations to you and your daughter. While I'm not of a demographic to be actively involved with GOTR (more like OMOTR, Old Man On The Run), I am a great fan of the organization and volunteer my time to act as a course marshal during their semi-annual events.
As for which C25K program to use, I cannot comment first hand as I've never done one, but from the anecdotal reports I've read, they all contain pretty similar content/workout routines. What differentiates them is the form in which they are delivered; if you can find one for your Android, that's probably as good a place as any to start.
Have fun and keep us posted on your progress.
Fat old man PRs:
Sending good vibes to your knees.
As for the horses keeping me in shape, yeah, that is the complete extent of my "cross training".
Fat old man PRs:
Thank you all so much! I researched most of the apps, and you're right, they are basically the same- 3days a week, approx 30min, alternating walking/jogging. Do most of you run on a treadmill during the winter? B/c we're still in the midst of a polar vortex here in MD, I will have to start my C25K on my treadmill. I would get bored walking on it so I'm wondering if that will be the same for running. I'm an outdoors person, and I really enjoy hiking and walking- but not in the cold!
I really appreciate all of the encouragement and support here. I'm sure I will have lots of questions and look forward to posting/chatting here often :)
Hello! New the group... I am at the very beginning with training. I am just under 250 pounds. I am curious if you guys have any advice training when I have major foot problems. (3 foot surgeries in the last 4 years) I used to run quite a bit but now I am starting from scratch.
Speaking strictly for myself, I cannot use a dreadmill, I just cannot stand exercising in one spot for more than a few minutes. Said another way, I run outside all winter long; the only times I let the weather get to me is when it's icy (and even then sometimes I brave the elements). I find that the best places to run in the winter are well maintained cemeteries and rural snowmobile trails which are well groomed. I have to tip my hat to folks who can endure running on a treadmill.
Fat old man PRs:
My situation may or may not be relevant, but here goes anyway...
In January 2003 I suffered a badly broken leg and partiall torn off foot; the surgeon who screwed and sewed me back together early the next morning told me I'd walk with a limp for the rest of my life and I'd never run again. For the next six years I tried (and failed) to prove him wrong; each attempt to start running again was ended by some form of an injury, and the more time that went by, the heavier I got. By 2009 I was somewhere north of 250 pounds (I'm only 5'8"), well into the "Morbidly Obese" category; I got "downsized" due to the economy at the end of March of that year, and to help deal with the stress of looking for a new job in the midst of a recession I tried to start running yet again.
In April 2009 I found a new dirt railtrail to run on (my previous trail from 2003 had long since been paved over), and started working out. Per my logs from 2009, I managed a whopping 8 miles in April (not 8 miles a run, E-I-G-H-T miles for the entire month), and put in a somewhat better 18 miles in May. By September of that year I had gradually worked my way up to 25+ miles per week, and I was able to sustain that level of running through the end of the year.
I told you the above to suggest this; find a good dirt trail to run on (or a golf course or something), and go really-REALLY slow. I know this advice is difficult for someone who used to run, and trust me, I've been there and had to learn to cope with the humiliation (for lack of a better word) of going out for a "run", going barely faster than a walk, and then stopping after only a half of a mile.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Fat old man PRs:
I'm new here. Thanks for sharing your story!
I haven't ran since I was about 12, I'm now 25 and weigh 250lbs at 5' 4". I had a baby via c-sec 15 months ago, not the bikini cut either like some lucky moms get. I bought running shoes and bra. I live in Michigan and it's way too cold to be running outside right now. I have a treadmill but I live on the second floor of my apartment and afraid of feeling like I'm gonna fall through the floor, so I'm just walking for now.
I signed up for a 5k on May 31st. That gives me 3 months to train... I have the C25K app on my phone, which I like, but physically I'm unable to do the 1m in walk to 1.5 min run yet. I'm at 5min walk to 1 min run... Do you think 3 months is going to be enough time?
Any advice, tips or helpful links?