/ How much barefoot running until legs not weak?

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ANdrew123 - on 13 May 2017
Hello all
Ive dabbled with barefoot running on and off wearing these( https://www.decathlon.co.uk/100-aquashoes-black-id_8201442.html ) for a bit off protection.
In the easter holidays (4 weeks ago) i started running barefoot everyday (instead of wearing normal shoes some days) and started trying to run with a bit of pace (instead of just plodding along). I am only running round about a mile or so though.
Ive found that afterwards my calf's are like jelly and very shaky. Stretching helps a little bit but not much.
Did anyone else find this when they started? And how long until your legs were stronger? Am I doing something wrong and doing it to much or not doing enough strengthening exercise?
Any advice gratefully received
Cheers
Andy
KeithAlexander - on 13 May 2017
In reply to ANdrew123:

When I first started running in thin flat soled shoes, for some reason I thought the technique was to run wholly on the front of your foot, keeping the heel off the ground. This made my calves stiff and sore. I changed technique so that I let my heels touch the ground too, and then it was OK. If you think this might be your problem, try experimenting with how your foot lands and pushes off to lessen the strain on your calves
Moley on 13 May 2017
In reply to ANdrew123:

About 6 years ago following many Achilles problems I did barefoot (without any shoe covering), but I did a lot of walking and progressing to jogging, running. Yes, there is a considerable difference and different stresses on the legs, but it certainly helped me strengthen my ankles etc.
May also depend on your running background, road, trail, fell? Bound to have different strengths and weaknesses in your lower leg.
Eventually I had to give up, running off road on the hills I had no grip barefoot and could barely stand up on wet grass, broken toes would soon follow!
wbo - on 13 May 2017
In reply to ANdrew123: Have you tried a thin zero drop shoe instead as an intermediate step? I would be concerned that if all I'd done for a month is a mile a day that my fitness would be decreasing rapidly, shoes or no shoes.

how long to adapt? Who knows- are you heavy , light, perfect biomechanics?

druss on 13 May 2017
In reply to ANdrew123:

From experience you should look for 6 - 9 months to hit 10km without post run fatigue. It's better to go slower during adaption phase and spend more time running 4 - 6km during this period, rather than push the distance.

For what it is worth, I've been running injury free for 6 years.
ANdrew123 - on 14 May 2017
In reply to wbo:

I would be concerned that if all I'd done for a month is a mile a day that my fitness would be decreasing rapidly

At the moment im revising for my exams so i cant do any serious training and put in the necessary hours of work which sucks a bit.

Who knows- are you heavy , light, perfect biomechanics?

My reasoning for the barefoot stuff is to improve my form and for strength before the big miles after my exams
Am pretty heavy though (90kilos) so that could be a factor.
ANdrew123 - on 14 May 2017
In reply to druss:

. It's better to go slower during adaption phase and spend more time running 4 - 6km during this period, rather than push the distance.

Yeah ill probably start increasing the barefoot distance after my exams.
Good to know about being uninjured for 6 years though. Worth the sacrifice at the moment
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SouthernSteve on 14 May 2017
In reply to Andrew123:

Are the shoes you wear on a day to day basis flat or do that have significant heel lift. It might be useful to consider all of your pedestrian activities rather than just your running, although you would need to be careful not to change to much too soon on that side also.

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