Transitioning to Barefoot running

This is just some notes I thought of sharing. I might comeback and make this more structured.

I'm not going to talk about what is better, running shod or barefoot?
There is ample information online which talks about this.
Also there is enough scientific evidence that says an optimally cushioned shoe with a zero mm drop is what one should transition to when running. There is a trade off between weight which slows you down and intensity that one can maintain when running barefoot.

Many runners tend to transition to barefoot running too fast and by doing too much. This results in injuries and a sense of disbelief.

A traditional shoe (sports and non sports) typically has a 10-15mm heel toe drop. This means that your heel is raised when running and walking. In certain individuals it also ensures that you naturally heel strike when running(I'm not saying this is bad. Meb Keflezighi is a heel striker) . Prolonged use results in the shortening of your calf and achilles tendon.

When one runs in zero drop/canvas shoes or barefoot there is no artificially induced raising of the heel. The impact of running causes over stretching of the shortened achilles tendon and calf muscles.
Also when running barefoot your brain will automatically cause you to land on your forefoot/mid foot instead of heel. The toe off in barefoot initially will be exaggerated causing additional stress on the calf muscles (One needs to learn to use your hips and glutes when running or to be more precise improve their running form).

If you do not show patience then in certain cases this will lead to calf strain, metatarsal fractures, plantar fasciitis etc since the body hasn't adapted to this as yet.
If you want to run barefoot, then run barefoot (don't use shoes). There are many ways to transition to doing this. 
I would say start of with 1km at a time slowly. Allow your body to adapt to it and your feet to strengthen.
You should gradually build up distance and get up-to 5km over a period of 6-8weeks.
A barefoot progression would be around 6-8mths to do a Half Marathon distance.

The other alternative is to progress towards lower heel toe drops and transition to a zero mm drop by going from the traditional 12-15mm drop to a 7mm, 4mm and finally 0mm.

In either case I cannot stress the importance of patience, strength training and well patience..

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