Quick Tips: 10 Ways Barefoot Running Resets the Body

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 2.15.48 AM1. The feet become thicker and softer.
2. The skin, muscles, bones, and tendons have become more resistant to injury.
3. The skin becomes tough and pliable so it can shape around objects.
4. Running attentively helps to avoid hazards.
5. Form flaws are corrected.
6. There is more work in barefoot running, especially when the surface is not super smooth.
7.  Muscles and tendons feel discomfort, joints do not.
8. A little soreness is a training effect as tissues get stronger.
9. Running is mostly elastic recoil.
10. The small but essential springs are the intrinsic foot muscles; the large springs stabilize the foot and recoils one off the ground.

2 Responses to “Quick Tips: 10 Ways Barefoot Running Resets the Body”

  1. Jim H says:

    I have two elements to my training: barefoot/minimalist & below anaerobic threshold. I’m a 56 year old who only became serious about running after reading ‘Born to Run’ 4 years ago.

    The one reset I notice is that, when barefooting, surface affects heartrate. If I run in my 5-fingers or my Zero shoes huaraches, I can go much faster at a given heartrate (for me, according to Maffetone, 134). But when I unshoe, I have to slow down. Around here (ATL) we have a lot of what’s called ‘chip and seal’ which is chunky granite sealed with tar or something. Running on that not only hurts, but sends my heartrate through the roof. Even more so when its 90º!

    I suppose that’s covered in your #6, but it bears repeating.

    Thanks, and I enjoy your blog.

  2. Niel R. says:

    Jim, I agree and have experienced the same. I’m a 44 yo runner 2-3 yrs minimal with vff, merrell bfg, inov8, xero shoes and past 4 weeks added true barefoot. I run almost all runs in maff range and see the same, likely combo of adrenaline (due to discomfort), increased total body tension and some small work load, all giving the resultant elevation of HR. My MO has ben to slow down pace whenever I encounter increase pain from my feet and this helps. Sometimes I’ll walk but I carry my xero shoes with me for security also.

    FYI I recommend a run or two “naked” a week ( without watch GPS HRM) and run by feel. I’ve found this to be really enjoyable and my perceived exertion is lower. My stress relief is maximized. I’m trying to learn to listen to my body rather than an extrinsic device. The bare feet really accentuate this also, acting as a natural governor along with my breathing, etc. Give it a try.

    I love this site and blog. Thanks for the work!!

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