A barefoot running friend of mine passed along the following ‘recipe’ to toughen up the soles of one’s feet to run barefoot. It contains 1 cup of each of the following:
* hydrogen peroxide
* baking soda
* Epsom salt
* apple cider vinegar
Mix in a bowl & soak your feet for 10-20 minutes per day. My friend recommends doing this continuously as you gradually increase your barefoot running distance.
Other techniques that I have used successfully include:
* scraping the feet repeatedly over rough asphalt for 2-3 minutes daily
* running on a small stone/gravel road for 10-20 metres at a time daily, gradually building up to 2 to 3 kms.
* running over freshly poured asphalt to slightly singe the soles. The skin will callous quickly with minimal peeling, thus allowing you to run barefoot further with virtually no discomfort.
For those less ‘adventurous,’ try running on smooth asphalt or concrete – you’ll find this almost as easy as running barefoot on a grassy field – once again, gradually increasing the distance covered as your feet toughen up.
You’ll find that up to a certain temp. (around -5C), running barefoot actually keeps your feet warmer than running in any of the so-called ‘toe’ shoes. As hard as this is to believe, it makes perfect sense when you think of the warmth created by the toes being in contact as the blood flows into & out of them. In the ‘toe’ shoes, you don’t get the warmth ‘transfer’ – thus, your toes get progressively colder to the point of potential frostbite.
As we approach the Spring season in Canada, the best barefoot running weather is almost upon us. Jump into Coach Jeff’s Transitional/Natural Running Clinic that begins on Monday, March 26 @ 6:30 p.m. (Runner’s Mark store in Port Credit: 289-813-3999).