My first barefoot run

I’ve mentioned before about how I really enjoyed the book Born to Run. A big topic of the book is barefoot running. I’ve been very intrigued by the idea ever since. About a month ago I finally worked up the courage to try it, in public, to put my pride (and maybe even foot safety?) on the line.

That first barefoot run was great. It wasn’t exactly what I originally expected it to be but thankfully I had read up on transitioning to barefoot running and that helped me know what to expect.

I had imagined the moment my bare feet hit the pavement that my posture would change, my speed would increase and the Chariots of Fire theme song would start playing. I would find the freedom of running without shoes so liberating it would trigger a cellular response that enabled me to be able to breathe without trouble and bring me back to my pre-puberty days when running was easy and I was fast.

That didn’t happen.

I’ve had these dreams for years where I would be running away from something but not be able to run fast enough unless I got down on my hands and knees. Then I could run like the wind. Lately I’ve been thinking and reading so much about barefoot running that I’m dreaming about it. Last week I dreamed that when I kicked off my shoes I could run effortlessly.

That also didn’t happen.

What did happen: I was surprised at how natural it was for me. Years of walking on gravel in the country and enough running barefoot in the torrential rain because I hate wet shoes somehow prepped my feet to not slam down on my heels. I alternated between walking and running and didn’t push myself, like all the instructions said. After my little run the pads of my feet were tender, which makes the end of the day the tenderness was gone but the muscle pain started. I had been using the muscles in a new way/ actually using them again.

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  • vegbarefootrunner

    Yay!! Congrats on your first run, very exciting. What’s so great about running barefoot is that as the pads of your feet get tougher, your muscles/tendons and bones in your feet will also gain strength. Each barefoot run has become more enjoyable for me! If you feel anything start to get sore, like the pads of your feet, time to call it a day, then see how you feel tomorrow. 🙂 Happy running!

    • Jess Versteeg

      That’s how it went for me the first time. I’m glad I read some primers on how to start. It was really intriguing how I used muscles in my legs I wasn’t used to! It was a short run due to foot-pad/leg soreness but I know that’s pretty normal.

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