The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

...here ends the barefoot running experiment

I strapped up for my run last night: heart rate monitor strap, Polar A1 receiver strapped on the right wrist, Timex Ironman Sleek 50 strapped on the left wrist, "ID on Me" bracelet also strapped on the left, reflective straps on each ankle... Livestrong bracelet strapped on the right wrist to balance myself out. The only thing missing was the Fuelbelt, but I was only going out for 5K, so the additional strap would have been overkill.

Socks? we don't need no stinking socks. I know a lot of people that run without socks. It would speed up T2 by approximately 20 seconds. I'd run a measly 2K sans-socks and it turned out ok, why not try 5K.

Off I go... not remotely intending to run hard, I took my first split: 4:50 (7:46/mi)... second split.... 4:42 (7:33/mi)... at the 2.5K turnaround point, I knew split 3 was going to be negative too... it was... 4:26 (7:08/mi)... I hadn't intended a fast run, but I just couldn't hold back.

I spied the 4K marker about 50 meters ahead, "This one's for Flatman!" I called out (in my head), and moved my legs faster.... 4:24 (7:04/mi). "Ok, now ease up fella... don't go and hurt yourself" I put it down into jog mode, and hit the driveway at 5:31 (8:52/mi). A decent effort for 5K in 23:55 @ 160 BPM avg.

...but back to the experiment. It was obvious to me at about 3 K that barefoot (not really barefoot: shoes, but no socks) running was not for me. I could feel the blisters forming at my heels and under my arch. Certainly not Marathon Blisters, but the kind that could turn nasty over a longer distance. On top of that, and I've done this to myself before, my reflective strips dug into the flesh above my ankles, leaving nice gouges that made me cry like a baby in the bathtub afterwards.

Actually, I ran another experiment concurrently: running in a cotton T-shirt. Again, not a good idea. I'm not sure who Mr. CoolMax is, but he sure makes nice fabrics.