My first run barefoot

Regular readers will know I’ve been interested in the barefoot running movement for a while.

Today I decided to jump in and give it a go. I went for my first barefoot run. Literally. As in no shoes at all. No Vibram Five Fingers. Nothing.

It was great.

It was a short run. I’ve read it’s better to ease into it because you use different muscles, so I didn’t want to risk it. I ended up doing 4 kilometres in just over 26 minutes. I also ran at a fairly slow pace.

So how did it go?

Well, there are good things and bad things:

Barefoot Running – The Good

  • It’s true that you feel connected to the ground.
  • I felt muscles I didn’t know I had. Especially around the Achilles heel and the back of the calf. It felt good.
  • I ran on pavement, grass, and beach. Feeling the different textures is actually pretty cool. Running on the beach barefoot is nice.
  • Although I used different muscles, I didn’t feel more tired than usual.
  • Changing my stride to hit the ground with the ball of the foot is actually comfortable and feels strangely familiar. This is how I used to run as a kid.

Barefoot Running – The Bad

  • Rocks in the pavement hurt, but they’re easy to avoid.
  • Dry, thorny leaves in the grass hurt. A lot. And they’re not easy to avoid. It’s been dry for a few days, which made it worse. I stepped on one and it was bad.
  • Running downhill feels weird. Probably just need to get used to it, but I had to slow down on downward slopes.
  • I was afraid of having to stop suddenly. The idea of skidding barefoot is not nice.

Overall, I liked it and I’ll do it again. I think I’ll give it a couple of weeks and see how I feel. Then I’ll decide if it’s something I want to continue and look for some barefoot running shoes to help with the “bad” parts.