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Home My Blog Barefoot Running - I did it!

Barefoot Running - I did it!

Saturday, 23 April 2011 22:34

On Tuesday, I had an absolutely crazy experience - I went barefoot running!  And it was wonderful, amazing and joyful.  I couldn't believe it - it felt so great I didn't want to stop and I felt like I could keep running forever.

What a crazy morning!  Luke and I have been reading a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  I had watched Christopher's TED talk a while ago and was intrigued.  So of course I bought his book.  The full title is Born to Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.  I was reading it on my own but then I thought I would read a bit of it out loud to Luke and he loved it so much he didn't want me to stop.  I  haven't finished reading the book yet but we have been really enjoying it.  I will do a blog on it soon.

The book is full of interesting, colourful and way out characters.  One of the characters we fell in love with was called Barefoot Ted.  On Tuesday morning I searched 'Barefoot Ted' and I had to laugh - there was his website and of course it was www.barefootted.com.  I so love the web.

We checked out the site.  Luke wanted to see a photo of Barefoot Ted and he was intrigued that these were real people we were reading about.  I love Barefoot Ted's motto on his site - one foot at a time; one sole at a time; one hell of a good time.

I quickly read an article on his site called 'So, you wanna start running barefoot?'  He says straight up that barefoot or minimal footwear running may not be good for you especially if your running strategy has been about very specific time or distance goals.

He goes on to say that the hallmark of his barefoot running philosophy is regaining connectedness, mindfulness, and presence in your running and in your body.  I liked the sound of that.

But what really intrigued me were photos of a 100 mile race that he had completed (that is just over 160 kilometres!) and he writes - 27 hours after I had left.  Me feeling great.  Feet feeling great.  It is great to be alive.

So on Tuesday morning I went for a run.  I was trying to step lightly as it says in the book and the run felt great.  I run just over 6 kilometres most days if I can squeeze a run in.  I love running but sometimes I can feel like I am plodding.  This run felt really great and I did a really good time.

Then I thought, why not give it a try!  I took my shoes and socks off and thought I would run to the end of the street.  But I got to the end of the street and I just didn't want to stop.  It felt so light and fun.  I couldn't stop smiling.  I stepped lightly and before I knew it I was more than half way through my usual run, so I just kept going.  I felt like I could keep running forever.  Some mornings I feel like I am struggling a bit and it is hard going but here I was at the end of two laps of my usual run, feeling absolutely fabulous (and the second lap on bare feet was only a bit slower than my first lap).

I felt like I could conquer the world.  It was an amazing feeling.  I felt exhilirated.  I felt like I could keep on running.  And I couldn't stop smiling.  I felt incredible.  You know that feeling you have when you have learnt something new - that feeling of 'I can do it'.  I remember just a short time earlier walking over to the park with Luke with bare feet - he was on his scooter and wanting me to chase him and I had said 'no, I can't run on bare feet'.  But I had changed the 'can't' to 'maybe I can do this too' to 'I can do it'.

My feet were a little bit sore.  Barefoot Ted advises to take it easy and ease into it.  The pavement and roads on my run are pretty rough but it still felt great.

The next day I couldn't do a run until after 6 pm so I thought I better run with my sneakers on.  They are really old, so I figure they aren't giving me too much cushioning.  I concentrated on stepping lightly and I did another good time.  I enjoyed it but now that I had experienced bare foot running, it didn't feel quite so joyful with shoes on.

On Thursday morning I had to do my run quite early.  I only had a limited amount of time so I thought I would just do my usual 6 kms with bare feet.  It was a bit slower this time and there were lots of little stones on the pavement.  I still enjoyed it but I felt like I needed to try a different surface.

On Good Friday, I did my usual 6 kms in sneakers and wanted to try something different so I took my shoes and socks off and ran to Luke's school and ran bare foot on the oval.  It was absolutely divine!  The grass felt so wonderful.  Again I had that feeling of being able to run forever.  I was so happy.  After an hour of running I ran home with a big smile on my face.

Today I ran in shoes to the river and then took my shoes off.  I remembered there were some nice ovals along the river.  I ran on an oval and did a couple of laps and thought I would try the path along the river.  It was lovely - nicer than the pavements around my place - and I found the university grounds and had a lovely time running around on the grass until it was time to head back.  By the time I got home, I had been running for 1 hour and 20 minutes and felt like I could keep going forever.  It is so exhilirating.

I think I am running slower when I am running bare feet but I don't really care.  A part of me would still like to know how much distance I have covered but I think I will get over it.

I get some weird looks - but I don't care.  It feels too good.

I am going to get some of Barefoot Ted's Luna Sandals and I will keep you posted on how they go.

I feel like I am on an adventure and I am not sure where it will lead.  What do you think - do you want to give it a try?


 

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Comments

avatar Gráinne
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HI Mary, I had come across this book and mentioned it to the runners work with. I must mention it again and give them the link to your blog and see if any of them try it out. Gráinne
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avatar Mary
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Hi Grainne
Thanks for your comment. Lovely to hear from you.
I am so loving barefoot running - are you tempted?
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avatar red bottom heels
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Your post is really good. I appreciate it very much. Thank you for sharing.
http://www.redsoleshop.com/
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avatar Mary
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Thanks for your lovely feedback.
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