How much is too much – too soon?

Here is an interesting thread from the Runner’s World forum’s Barefoot Running sub-forum that asks readers to describe their barefooting beginnings.

Here is my post:

1) What condition were you in before you started BFR/MR?  (physical condition, usual running, shoe experience, how often you walked around BF, etc)

I’m 38 and had been running in neutral trainers for about 8 months before trying .5mi bare on a treadmill. I had become frustrated in trying to choose new shoes and sought alternatives. I was in decent shape despite becoming sedentary and gaining some weight in the last few years after about 4-5 years working as a bicycle messenger where I was in cycling shoes ~8 hours a day. No physical issues.

2) What level of BFR/MR did you do during transition?  How far, how often, etc.  How long did transition take (or how long until TMTS injury)?
3) What were the consequences of starting out like this?  (injury free?  TMTS injury?)

I, foolishly, went from my regular trainers to KSOs in a few days. I was doing doubles, shod for a few miles in the morning, KSOs for a couple in the afternoon or vice versa. After that it was just KSOs for the next couple weeks until blistering got bad enough for me to have to take a day off. I also remember hobbling around during that time with the top-of-the-foot-thing a lot of us encounter. So, I guess it was about a month between switching to KSOs and being able to use them pain free.
I ran in KSOs exclusively for the next couple months with few problems, with socks mostly as I found that most comfortable. A couple weeks ago I noticed my calcaneofibular ligament was sore about 3 miles into a run so I headed home…it was very sore for a week or so, RICE helps and I’m still working through it. I should take a break but I’m foolish. yep...


I’ve been going bare exclusively for the last couple weeks and realize how beneficial starting bare in the first place would have been. There is no substitute for the level of feedback you get going bare. My form is getting better as I can run farther with less damage to my soles as time progresses. I still suffer some pretty good blistering on runs longer than ~5 miles but look forward to seeing that total rise as I develop. I’ve been surprised by how quickly my soles have become more accustomed to going bare in a short amount of time as my tolerance for rougher surfaces seems to have become a better already.

/Notice in between the blisters marker and the ligament injury marker…too many miles in KSOs…


~ by Barefoot Bonehead on August 10, 2009.

One Response to “How much is too much – too soon?”

  1. Wow, thanks for the post. I’m inspired to now start documenting my own barefoot running progress. I also use shoes minimally. Only when the pads of my feet are “toasted” though or when I’m venturing out on to gravel, a surface I’m gradually easing myself on to. Even then, toasted pads are a sign that I really should be resting, but it’s hard when barefooting is so much fun. Here are some tips on transitioning into barefoot running and pad development.

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