Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The miles keep coming

I haven't had enough running yet. I got up early today (thanks kids!) and got to the gym with plenty of time for a run before my class started. This is one of the nice things about being in a class all week, I can get up early and run in the morning. The part where I drive a little over an hour each way to get there isn't so great though. I followed a plan similar to yesterday's run and left the gym to run out to the Bridle Trails for a few miles of dirt running. Instead of running around the perimeter of the park I just ran in through the middle, up the center powerline trail and then back out of the North entrance of the park. (this all must be terribly exciting for the casual reader who's never run in Redmond, WA).

I had time today to head down to Grass Lawn park and take off the Transistors for 10 laps (2 miles) of barefoot running. My hamstrings and calves were a little sore but the barefoot running still felt pretty good. I felt efficient and smooth with very little upper body movement. I noticed that holding a 7:30/mi pace felt easy except for my calves. I felt like I was barely breathing hard at all. I timed my two miles around the track at 7:31 and 7:14. The shoes went back on and I headed back to the gym to finish up and get showered.

The last few times I've run barefoot I've noticed that after I put my shoes back on and start running again I feel really awkward, especially my ankles and surrounding joints where the Tibia / Fibula meets my Talus bone. It takes about a minute or two of running for my feet to feel normal again when this happens. It's not surprising that it takes some time getting used to the barefoot thing and that the transition isn't seamless.  Sure is fun to run barefoot though.

I read an interesting theory/rant from Josh over at Barefoot Josh about how "wedge" running shoes (ie: ones with big built-up heel cushioning) might have evolved. It's unresearched but an interesting read no less.

So today's numbers:
Dist: 10.0
Time: 1:21:00
Avg: 8:06/mi

My average was over 9:00/mi for the first half of the run but the last few miles really brought it back down. Day off tomorrow or continue the streak?


Tricia said...

as I continue to have injury after issue I am becoming more and more interested in barefoot running. So this was a good read for me.

I got fitted for orthotics today and I keep wondering if I'm going in the wrong direction all together...thanks for giving me something to think about.

nrmrvrk said...

I spent $300 on Orthotics a few years ago thinking that they were the answer too. I gave them up when I realized that the physical therapist I was seeing was a joke and just grasping at straws with my treatment.

I don't know anything about your feet or biomechanics but it shouldn't hurt to try some barefoot running. As long as you start out slow on soft surfaces for short distances, you shouldn't do any damage. I started with about 400 yds on a golf course fairway my first time. It felt great. I've slowly increased the distance since then.

I'm not going to get rid of my shoes but I see the barefoot running as a nice tool to help me transition into better running form that puts less stress on my knees so that I can run more. Just another piece of the puzzle.

Good luck with your injuries which ever direction you take with them.