Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cold Temperature Limits of Barefoot Running

Winter is approaching, and the number of days where running barefoot outdoors are unfortunately limited. A sub-freezing night warmed up quickly today though. By the time I left my house it was in the upper 30s, and at the coast it was a bit warmer, giving Blaine and I temps in the mid-40s at the start of our run at Old Orchard Beach.

We got under way at 9am, and a mile or so into the run we both noted our toes were a bit numb. Nothing bad and it was definitely tolerable, but we both agreed that just a few degrees colder would be doable but would pretty much suck. That being said, Blaine showed me a link to a forum where a guy describes a way to acclimate your feet to colder temperatures. Interesting.

As the temperatures continue to drop there's also a natural acclimation. For example, I ran half the run today in a windbreaker. In mid-winter, this morning's temps would have had me running happily and comfortably in just a short sleeved shirt. Point being, I'll see how much longer into the season I can go barefoot as the body makes adjustments, but there will definitely be a point where I'll have to stop until spring, obviously.

The run went smoothly. Body felt great with no aggravations what so ever. Calves did feel a little tight towards the end of the run, but nothing unusual. Sun broke out of the clouds the last few miles and it felt perfect out. Excellent little run.

Ran 8.0 miles @ 8:37/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 140/153
Beaches with packed sand.
Very flat.
Mid 40s to start, lower 50s to end. Mostly to partly cloudy.
Barefoot, shorts, jacket (removed at halfway mark), short sleeved shirt.


Love2Run said...

Smirk! Low 30's here this morning would have given you pause for the tootsies. I'm enjoying your experiment.

Sonriserunning said...

I agree. Interesting experiment--agree with Love 2Run. Keep up with the grueling training.

Luc said...

I enjoy reading your barefoot adventures and love the fact that you are enjoying your runs more as a result (ie. your "zen aspect of the sport" comment).

I've turned one of my friends onto your blog, as he is getting into barefoot running too. I may give it a whirl next spring.

Enjoy this beautiful season in Maine for me please. :)