Barefoot?…no question!

Sharp-eyed fans will notice we’ve evolved from “Barefoot? Phil” to “Barefoot Phil.” When I started up the blog in January, I was a little self-conscious about calling myself BP with so little to back it up. Early on, I somewhat arbitrarily decided that I’d lose the “?” when I could do three miles. I then added the caveat: …with no blood. (That was after three miles with blood.)

Yesterday came that watershed event. We’re in the middle of some incredible weather for Boston, a full week of sunny and 50s. I had a beautiful three mile run yesterday and my feet felt great. I continue to coax my Achilles tendons to keep up with the rest of the bod, but on some good advice from Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton, I’ve found that consciously bending knees is helping them along as well.

So, here I am, coming up on ten weeks into it, hitting my personal goal and with the weather trending in a barefoot direction. I’m psyched to keep push forward. You might suggest that the subtitle, “A possible running adventure,” is due for an update as well. From that outset, though, I meant “possible” not in the sense of maybe/maybe not, but rather meaning achievable or doable. So, the subtitle stays. And, I have come to believe that I am capable of running as much and as far without shoes as with.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Background, Barefoot Running, Experience

5 Comments on “Barefoot?…no question!”

  1. ludo Says:

    Congrats Phil for the achievement!

  2. Ranji Nagaswami Says:

    Phil – Bo Hopkins’ wife Ranji — will be glad to follow your adventure!! Must say I am rather timid about starting, thinking that I might actually get some of those Vibram sleeves for my first outing. THoughts? Also would you recommend a workshop BEFORE the first attempt? Finally, did you try running barefeet on a tread mill? Is that easier/wiser….

  3. Phil Odence Says:

    Ranji, I wasn’t particularly timid about running but many other people are, so don’t feel alone in that. I think going to a workshop when starting would be nice, but it is unnecessary and practically it may be hard to find one.
    I ran on a treadmill twice before heading outside. But that was in January. I’d start outside today. The pundits will pretty consistently tell you to start without Vibrams while you are getting your technique down.
    Here’s a good getting started guide:
    http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/howtostart.html
    You have to start with short distances and work your way up over several months. And, most people find that their soles will be in shape well before their calves and Achilles.

  4. judy neugold Says:

    Hi Phil, most of my roads @ here r tarred w/pebbles on top. very country… vibrahms or should i tough it out? haven’t been bare foot for 20 years, although i loved being barefoot all summer in Moorestown!

    • Phil Odence Says:

      Sounds tough, Judy. I’d have to see ’em/feel ’em to give you a definitive answer. Try this: if you can run 1/4 mile without a lot of pain, it might be worth trying. If not get Vibrams but you might want to hold out a few weeks for Bikilas. Even if you go that route I’d still see if you can toughen them up and maybe give it another shot down the road. Or maybe get Doug to run for mayor on a Smooth our Roads platform.


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