Barefoot Q&A for Rookie Murph the Pirate

My buddy Murph (who is a pirate) has been following the blog. He started running a little over a month ago. I think he told me he’d done a few miles already. Murph just came back to Barefoot Phil with a few questions. I thought I’d share my answers.

How quickly did you ramp up your running? I don’t want to rush it but I am anxious to add time/mileage to the routine.
It took me about two months before I could do 3 miles. It was hard to hold myself back as I’d been doing 3-5 a day for a number of years. I actually did 3 miles once by accident about a month into it and got a bloody toe, so I sound it back a bit.

Did you experience blisters due to ramping up too quickly or bad form? Ok perhaps I ramped up too quickly (I don’t think so) or perhaps I am using bad form (more likely) but I have blisters between the balls of my feet.  Blisters are on the front part of foot, between the two front pads or balls of feet. Situated between the 2nd and 3rd toe. I think I am pushing off instead of lifting and I need to stretch my toes before I land. Based on BKB blog it is likely form (step lighter, lift, lift, lift, relax, relax, relax)
I did get a few blisters. the bloody toe mentioned started as a blister. A couple other times I got blood blisters on the outside ball off my foot at least one of which I attributed to very hot streets. Although I’ve not had blisters in the location you are describing, it is a spot that I find somewhat sensitive at times, even 7 months into it. Recently, on very hot days I felt some soreness, but it was subcutaneous, not blister-like.
You’ve got BKB down pretty well, I’ll have to say that. But I think you ramped too quickly. Cut back a bit and my guess is you’l be fine.

Does the different terrain affect the distance you run? How is running in Cotuit? Are you doing Main Street or the side roads. The side roads are not as smooth and I was wondering if that shortened your run.
Most of the places I run are a mix of asphalt and some rougher spots. I don’t run less because the roads are rougher, though after a rough run my feet may tingle a bit more. And, I find that’s true after runs in Cotuit. Main Street is baby’s butt smooth, however as you say, the side roads are rather coarse.
My running style doesn’t vary much over that range, but on rougher stuff like gravel, broken asphalt or shells, I definitely change my gate. BKB taught me to drop my hips a bit and shorten my stride. I can run on some crazy stuff that way, but I rarely do so for more than 100 yards or so.

Hope this is helpful.

PS Don’t do a Google image search for “blister.”

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