Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Try a Golf Ball Exercise for Strong Bare Feet

Happy Halloween Barefooters,

I have enjoyed the restful month of October but have found it challenging to keep the feet fit.  My mileage is WAY down in an effort to get to the starting line healthy for this Saturday’s Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis.  All my runs this month have been short in an effort to “do no damage” to the feet -- callous pads, bones & tendons -- between now and race day.  I also put at least 2 rest days in between all runs, usually more.  I have been increasing my use of the “golf ball exercise” in between workouts.  The method is pretty simple.  I place two golf balls on the floor in front of me.  Then, from a seated position, I pick up one golf ball (with my toes) and place it in the opposite hand, and then pick the second ball and place it in the other hand – right to left, then left to right.  I repeat at least five times or more until the toes get tired, alternating which foot goes first each time.

Golf Ball Exercise

This can also be done from a standing position, although it requires a bit of balance.  I think using a seated position allows you to really concentrate on the flexibility of the toes without worrying about falling over.  I also try to alternate which toe is directly over the ball to give the entire foot a workout.  This is best done right after a shower when the toes are nice and clammy to give you good grip.  Some of you may need to start with smaller items, although some may be able to do more.  I know of some barefooters who are able to pick up racquetballs, tennis balls and even baseballs.  But heck, start with marbles if you have to…anything to give the toes a workout and then work your way up to the larger items.

Icing feet and ankles after a barefoot workout

Another helpful method for reducing recovery times after your barefoot runs is the use of ice.  After every barefoot run, I give my feet an ice bath.  Here you can see my favorite method:  two five gallons buckets filled about 4-5 inches deep for about 3-4 minutes.  I’m usually sitting on the edge of my hot tub during the icing, so it mentally helps me to go longer, knowing I’ll be jumping into the 98 degree hot tub right afterward.  I then usually ice the feet for about another minute after getting out of the hot tub as well.
I hope you find these tips useful.  Please say a prayer for me this Saturday morning at 8am for the start of the Monumental Marathon.  I’m still very worried about being able to do this distance and especially on these “less than ideal” surfaces.  If all goes as planned, and of course, God willing, I will run almost as far on Saturday as I’ve run the entire month of October…definitely not my most aggressive marathon training regimen to date!  I’ve also found myself praying A LOT about the weather forecast and so far it looks to be dry, although a slight chance of showers crept back into the forecast just this morning.  Still, I feel fortunate to be running in Indy and attempting my first ever barefoot marathon.  And my heart and prayers go out to the New York Marathoners as their race this weekend is still up in the air at this point due to Hurricane Sandy.  God Bless you all on the east coast as you dig out from this massive storm.  Wherever you are at the moment, take some time and count your blessings!
Enjoy the Trick or Treating Tonight,

Barefoot Dan

October Mileage:  31 miles
 (Week 1 = 11, Week 2 = 6, Week 3 = 11, Week 4 = 3.1)

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