I often hear the following:
- How do you toughen up your feet to walk/run on rough surfaces such as pavement and gravel?
- I am such a tenderfoot that I can’t imagine running on the street or gravel, or in fact anything except a lawn or a beach.
- My feet are really tender when walking outside barefoot. I can’t imagine running when I can barely walk now. Did this go away after a while?
The answer is that with time several things happen simultaneously:
- The pad on the ball of your foot will become thicker and denser (not callous, but soft and supple like a fine leather).
- All of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your foot and lower leg will strengthen (NOTE: this takes time and cannot be rushed without causing injury).
- And, most importantly, you will learn to use the feedback from the nerves in your feet to develop a new light style of running with good form (upright posture, high cadence, forefoot strike, bent knees, light steps).
As it turns out, streets are easy and are probably the best place Read the rest of this entry »