Monday, November 19, 2012

Toughening My Feet

We Ultrarunners are understandably cognizant of how tough our feet are.

In my first 100 miler I had no specific system for foot management and as a result paid a huge price in terms of  HUGE blisters that covered most of the bottoms of my feet.  Self-inflicted, of course, but it was quite an ordeal.

In this post I'm not going to get into shoes, socks, duct tape to protect the feet (I'm not a fan), etc.  I'm just going to provide one simple tip that has worked for me.

Go barefoot.  No, not on your runs--to me, that's insane.  I'm suggesting you simply go barefoot around your home and yard whenever possible.  You'll toughen the soles of your feet over time.

And do it under poor conditions.  For example, I just walked down to my mailbox to get the morning paper.  It's probably 200' + one way, close to 500' round trip...in other words, nearly 1/10 of a mile.  The temp was in the upper 30s F.  This definitely stresses--and thereby toughens--the feet.

Now, I don't do the mailbox thing Valley Forge style when there's snow on the ground (although I suppose I could), but barefooting it to the mailbox is my normal routine all year.  Give it a try.

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