Friday, July 29, 2011

Flashback Friday: Barefoot Technique

Every once in a while a pebble will embed itself into my sole. This must happen to every barefoot runner, unless I have uncommonly sticky feet. The sensation is not unlike a pebble finding its way into your shoe.

In the event of a pebble, I have devised two techniques to dislodge it from my foot, all the while keeping stride (more or less).

First is the sole scraper, wherein I plant my foot and purposefully drag it against the ground to remove the stuck pebble. This works most of the time, although sometimes requiring repeat attempts.

Second, if the first doesn't work, is a quick foot wipe, which requires a bit of flexibility and quick reflexes. I bring  the foot with the stuck pebble higher in the air and reach down with my hand to brush off the annoyances. This acrobatic maneuver could go horribly wrong, I fear, but so far, so good.

On the rare occasion that neither of above techniques work, I stop and remove the pebble.

Sometimes, I just grit my teeth and ignore the stuck pebble. I don't recommend this option unless you only have a short way to go until your run is finished.

Back Talk
Wherein the only bird gets the worm. 

BrianFlash, the only person to comment on a post so far this week, wonders if my forgetful legs might require a run/walk race strategy: "Are you considering Gallowagging in Akron? When I head into a long race undertraining, I think it works as a strategy."

Answer: I've never been disciplined enough to correctly follow a run/walk plan. And after reading about Jeff Galloway's baseless opinion of running barefoot or in minimalist shoes, I'm a bit dubious about subscribing to any of his advice.

Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates! Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!


Julie @ ROJ Running said...

Thought about you yesterday. I went running w/ Crooked River Trail Runners out at the Covered Bridge Perkins/Riding area. A rep for barefoot running and Merrell was there and we were able to test the pace glove. I can see why it would take a learning curve to do it without any shoes! Although I must say I ran it smoother and faster in minimal shoes than I have previously in regular trail shoes.

Jamoosh said...

I believe the premise of this post is:

Viper = Acrobat!

Carolina John said...

i get the "pebble in the bare sole" thing just walking around barefoot inside my house. Can't imagine how irritating that would be running a trail.

Drink well brother!

misszippy said...

I could not attempt technique number 2--would end up on my ass without a doubt. I have tried and succeeded with number 1, however.

And take that Jeff Galloway!

BrianFlash said...

I don't think I can bring myself to do a reader feedback feature. I'd like to, but I think I'd run into a 'lack of comments' situation quite frequently!

On walk/run - Notwithstanding Galloway, according to 'Lore of Running' there have been multiple studies on alternating running and walking which shows that this delays the onset of fatigue.

Of course, this is intuitively obvious - run less hard, get less fatigue. Maybe you should just take it easy during the Marathon!

BarefootJosh said...

You know what would fix that? Shoes.

Sorry, just beating Nitmos to the punch.

Over time the skin of your soles will get thicker and less, uh, indentable, so fewer pebbles will stick. But I still have to brush off a hanger-on one way or another from time to time. A few strides through the grass (just be careful!) does the trick nicely, too. Easier to wipe the foot.

Just to clarify: the pebbles are just sticking, right? They're not actually lodged in your skin? Blood doesn't come gushing out when the pebble is removed?