Barefoot Running at the Beach (plus a PF update)

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Last time I posted about how switching back to my old bike pedals was a magical cure to my Plantar Fasciitis woes.  Well, it seemed that way at first.   But then I went for a speedwork run about a week later, which irritated my PF.    So, it seems, I am still not out of the woods.  The pedals were a contributing factor to be sure, but running is also a problem.

This past week I was at the beach for a family vacation.   I love the beach, so relaxing and fun.   I did about 1000m of open water swimming every day.   And even did a crossfit swim workout on the beach.  Fun in the sun!  And… I am still trying to conquer my fear of sharks.

I also did lots of fun family bike rides around the island.

And, I discovered barefoot beach running.     It sort of happened by accident.   I was running on the beach.    The only good firm sand was down near the surf, so my socks were getting soggy wet and my shoes were filling with sand.   I trudged along about a mile this way.

Then two barefoot runners passed by me.    Hmmm…I thought to myself,  “if there is a time and place to try barefoot running, this is it”!

So, I ditched my socks and shoes near a yellow lifeguard chair and continued on my way barefoot.  I felt like a little kid running along the beach just having pure fun!    I didn’t care if my feet got wet.  I hopped in and out of the crashing waves.

After about a mile running barefoot, my feet started to feel a little bit sore.    It was a different kind of soreness from what you get when you pound out the miles on pavement (in shoes).  It was  a general all around soreness due to all the muscles and tendons being used in a new way. It felt good.   Still, I turned around and ran a mile back to where I’d stowed my shoes.   I put them back on and continued running back to my starting point.    It felt truly awful to run in heavy water logged, sand laden shoes after the freedom of barefoot running.

The next day my PF was bothering me.     So, I skipped running.

The day after that, I felt okay, so I ran barefoot on the beach.    I ran 2 miles out before my feet started to feel sore, and then turned around and ran another 2 miles back.

The next day my PF was bothering me again.   That was my last day at the beach. I wanted to run again barefoot, but thought I should rest.

Back home on Saturday, I did my planned 1 hour run with hard intervals.    Today, my PF is really irritated.

I guess as long as it feels okay by the next time I am supposed to run, I will keep trudging along with my training plan.

I wish I lived near a beach so I could do more barefoot running. Love, love, love it!


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Posted in >Running
4 comments on “Barefoot Running at the Beach (plus a PF update)
  1. Dave Jensen says:

    If you don’t switch to barefoot shoes, I found that off-the-shelf shoe inserts helped alleviate my PF. I was also recommended to do stretches of both my foot and calf which seemed to help too.

  2. Carol, I had a similar difficulties as you and so they didn’t go away until I devoted to barefoot running shoes. I use vibram five fingers shoes I’ve been advised it should do more with the firmness of my calf muscles pulling the tendons of my feet so when you run in regular shoes.

  3. I believe it depends on what terrain one will be running on. If it’s a beach or grass there’s no reason to be wearing foot wear.

  4. Kristin says:

    Carol, I had the same problems as you and they didn’t go away until I committed to barefoot running shoes. I use NB and Merrell shoes and my plantar fasciitis is totally gone. I have been told it has to do more with the tightness of my calves pulling the tendons of my feet and when you run in regular shoes, this aggravates it. From reading your blogs, I don’t know if you are wearing barefoot or not, but if the beach running seemed better, it could be because it is.

    Also . .. you can run barefoot on the beach at our Morro Bay Triathlon! 🙂 (I had to say it.)

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