Lately I’ve been conscious of a little stagnation with my barefoot running. I set myself a rough limit to my barefoot running to ensure I didn’t to too much too soon (TMTS). That limit was 5%, and recently I’ve been thinking that I could extend that a little; maybe to 10%.
Today’s run was a short run back home from the office. Like the last time I did this I planned to take the shoes off after a mile or two and then put them back on after another mile or two. The road surface at the removal point is pretty good and I was happily skipping along for about a mile until the surface changed to a much more coarse and somewhat spikey texture. Last time on this run, this is where I put the shoes back on. This time, I carried on but was forced to slow down quite a bit. I discovered that the road surface was noticeably harder to run where the road had tree cover. This is due to the road not getting so warm in the summer from direct sunlight, which allows the tar to soften and the aggregate to be pressed further down by vehicles (and runners) producing a more level and smooth surface. Indeed, sections of road where the tar had surfaced even more and spread made for a very smooth and comfortable passage for the feet.
So I kept the shoes off, never really deciding when to take them off. I got within a mile of home and I felt ok to carry on. By the time I finished I have to say the feet were a little sore, and I’d run 3.8 miles without shoes. The last section of road is one I am now familiar with whilst running barefoot, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it much more comfortable than I have before.
Closer inspection of the feet found no blisters, just a general soreness on the ball of each foot. This morning (the day after the run), the feet feel much better; not quite up to another barefoot run but not nearly as sore as I was expecting — they seem to be recovering more quickly now.
I feel like I’m making real progress now.