Running barefoot on the roads. Indiana summer heat.
by Clint Voris
(Fort Wayne IN)
Barefoot Running Foot Close-Up
Hi there. It’s me again! Still running barefoot, even in the Indiana summer heat. The asphalt roads that I run on are definitely hot, but not so hot as to prevent me from running barefoot. Several days ago I stepped off my back deck, and did a two mile run completely barefoot. It was fun! It wasn’t a ‘workout’, it felt more like ‘play-time’. Accelerating was instantaneous. The hottest day I ran barefoot was about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and mostly sunny. That was a brutal run, with or without shoes. There is no ‘trick’ to running on hot asphalt or pavement. You just do it. Jumping off the side of the road onto grass is about the only way to get relief from the hot asphalt. Either way, it’s just not that daunting.
During my two mile run the other day, I noticed that the second toe on my right foot was hurting. I knew what it was without even looking at it; a blood blister. Normal blisters are filled with clear fluid. Not these. Dark red. I determined the cause was my running form; too much push-off with my toes. That’s the neat thing about running barefoot; it will illuminate all your running faults, and rather quickly, too.
I changed my gait, running back home a little bit more slowly. The photo below is about three days after that run. The pain only lasted about a day, and on a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being worst,) I would rate this pain about a 3. Maybe a four. No big deal. For the next two days, I used a lot of lotion on my feet. See first photo.
On a similar topic; road surfaces. I’ve talked before about the roads I run on; mostly ‘chip-n-seal’, which when new can be extremely sharp. I’ve found two methods to deal with this type of texture. First, run where the tire tracks have worn the pavement down a little bit. It’s smoother (more shiny,) and hence easier on your feet. Pay attention to traffic. Do not wear headphones or ear buds. The second method is less obvious. I’ve never seen or heard of anyone else mentioning this. Run on the pavement markings. You know; the white or yellow stripes on the edge of the road. Usually these stripes are spray painted on, but sometimes they can be a type of adhesive tape. Either way, they are much smoother than the asphalt! Trust me, you’ll be amazed at the difference.
Until next time; keep running, and keep running barefoot!
Fort Wayne, IN.