Mini Distance Widget

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I'm having doubts.

I really want to be a strong runner, to be able to run barefoot or in minimalist footwear whenever and wherever I want; but so far I've injured my feet twice already, and it seems a third time is inevitable.

I really want to run/walk the Nike Women's (half) Marathon in San Francisco in October, but I'm afraid that if I try to do barefoot running and try to train for a half marathon within the same six months, that the patience needed for barefoot running and the mileage needed for half marathon training will conflict and I'll just end up injured.

(I understand that I should probably be posing this question next week when I actually know whether or not I've gotten into the race.)

I'm wondering if maybe I should start training in my Nikes to get back into running again? I would try this time to focus on good form and a midfoot or forefoot landing. I would also try to incorporate small amounts of barefoot activity before or after runs, perhaps like a warmup, in an effort to strengthen my feet and still work towards minimalist or barefoot running in the future.

I know it seems like this is a backwards step - but all I really want to do is run the hell out of this thing for my Dad. I can't do much for him, but this is something I CAN do to support him as well as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

And really, isn't the running the most important thing? Not necessarily how I do it, but that I do it at all? Have I just gotten way too far ahead of myself here?

Any thoughts on this topic would be welcome.


  1. A classic dilemma faced by runners that want to include or introduce barefoot-style or midfoot running. Unfortunately you can't have your cake and eat it too. Injury-free running will naturally DECREASE your mileage and/or speed. So only you can decide if you prefer to block the receptors that nature provided you to simply 'do the distance' or you want prefer to remain strong and injury-free for life through the patient process that is 'natural running'. Good luck and Run Real.

  2. For what it's worth. I think that it's the running form that's the most important. Don't rush barefoot/minimalism if you really need to race that race go with what you know works and then after you finish it, come back and take the time to progress steadily.

  3. Maybe you blogged on this already and I missed it, but what were your first two injuries? Also, how long exactly have you been running bf?

  4. @Daniel - My first injury was a stress fracture in my left foot in late November when I went minimalist-happy and ran with bad form and at the same (though low) mileage I had been doing before with sneakers. I was out of the game until April.

    I then started very slowly to begin to walk and run barefoot. I only did five minutes at a time, and then ten minutes per run a couple weeks afterwards, but though my left foot felt fine my right foot started having similar stress-fracture-y feelings. I think I know the day that it happened, because I felt a twinge right as I walked out of my door, stretched it out, then proceeded with my run. Hindsight is 20-20.

    I'm a complete newbie when it comes to running barefoot, I've only been at it successfully for a month (because of the injury that came before). But when I was running barefoot it felt absolutely great. I guess I just don't know where the line is.