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Barefoot, Marathon, Road Running, Trail Running

Which is faster – barefoot or with shoes? And what exactly is faster?

Last week I informed you all I ran a Park Run with shoes, being my New Balance Vibram Minimus Zero Drop..Yes, I do apologise to all, that it has taken me so long to work out exactly what type of shoe I run in..and I have been reliably informed they are the Trail version.  Good to know as that was why I bought them in the first place, for trails.

In my Park Run last week I ran a 23:27 time, which was a PB for me, and my first time out in a Park Run.  I am not sure wether this is good or not.  I have subsequently found out I set a new record for my age group – whoo hoo!!  Not too bad for an old duck who trains herself when the weather is good and I do not feel lazy.  Although I have very recently signed up for a speed training course.  Now last weeks effort was measuring me with all the techno gadgets I have for my running.

Interestingly enough, on Tuesday, a mere 3 days later, I was doing speed intervals with my group.  And according to my pace and MapMyRun & Garmin measurements, I did 5km in 20:40min, and I certainly got some raised eyebrows from the group.  That is 3 minutes faster..What was different?  No rain for starters, but most importantly back to running BAREFOOT.

Impressing myself with these results.  So send them off to the coach to ask what next?  Coach sends me a pace chart to measure my times for improvement, only the pace chart starts at 22 minutes, so I am kind of off the chart as the saying goes.  Means I just have to do more research then.

What it does tell me is for me personally, barefoot is better.  I will do a couple of more sessions, and then hit the park Run again barefoot, and see if there really is difference on the same course.

The other conundrum for me, is what do I prefer running?  Shorter 5km’s or longer 10kms, or the halfs and full marathons?  This really has been eating at me lately as I feel I should find a distance and stick with that.

What I have worked out is that I love running.  I love running barefoot.  I love trail running.  I DO like winning and or getting a place – as I am a goal oriented individual.  The distance I run off my own bat is entirely dependent on the mood I am in.   Long runs sooth my soul.  Short runs feed my ego (yes we all have one).  Trails call out to the inner child in me. Many  of the long runs I do are actually associated with another goal – such as doing a marathon barefoot, or proving that I have the ability to sign up tonight for a half marathon on Saturday (which I am s.t.i.l.l. thinking about doing or not) and know I can complete it in my goal time without any specific training, just because I can.  Doing the 5km races – well I do them because I know that I can win them, but I always feel so cheated afterwards..cheated that there are not many woman in my category that run 5km’s, so it is not a huge field, and cheated that I have only just done a warm up…

So the result of all this introspective thought is that I should get myself a personal coach and see where they take me?  or join the Master Athletics Association?

About Dale-Lyn

Hi, I am in my mid forties and run barefoot. Mostly really barefoot, sans any form of foot protection. My claim to fame for this blog, is that I have run my first full marathon completely and really barefoot, in a respectable time of 4:16. Scroll through my posts and enjoy them - all with a good sense of humour too. My story is simply my story of running barefoot, brought about by all the various questions people ask me. I am not a specialist of any sort or any particular athlete or doctor or guru. I am an average woman who runs barefoot, enters a few club runs and a few fun runs. I run races from 5km to marathon. I love trail running, and include chats about my trail adventures. To date, although I only started running end of August 2013, I have done nearly 2000km, of that at least 1500km in barefeet. Real barefoot. No minimalist shoes. Although when I do run in shoes I use my zero drop mimimus ones (haha - they are my ONLY pair of running shoes..) The blog tells of my journey through life, on the road, barefoot. The journey my real barefeet go through when they connect with the road. The emotions my real barefeet bring out - in me, in passers by, in fellow runners. The aggressive reactions and debates as to the well being of the real bare-feet I run in. The passive acceptance of my real bare-feet and their exposure to the elements. The humour to show those real bare-feet of mine are not just a piece of running equipment, a statement, a leftie or a rightie, but real flesh and blood feet with real issues. An interesting post note..I commenced my first active run in August 2013 progressing sporadically. But it really was only from May 2014 that I started running on a consistent and slightly more serious note and slightly faster than walking pace. I am scheduled to run my Comrades Marathon in May 2015..that is a massive progression from walk/shuffle er um excuse me look at me run.. to aiming to run a World famous Ultra. Some one pinch me please!



  1. Pingback: Its official. Barefoot is faster! | realbarefoot - October 5, 2014

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