Sunday, October 18, 2009

Distance 4km [total minimalist 4km: Barefoot 4km]

After searching about on the net to see if there was information on how to run correctly in unsupporting shoes or shoeless found plenty of tips, the best of which is that running on your toes is not the way to do it, especially after coming from a background of wearing shoes with a heel.

They way is to bend the knees more to make the heels lighter.
So, the amount of bending will depend on the surface you are running on, less bending for soft grass and quite a bit more for hard concrete.

I trialled this new knowledge last weekend and did another run along the beach with no shoes, a distance of about 4km, this was far easier, and it actually felt good to feel the cool sand beneath your feet.
I monitored the Achilles Tendons along the way and got no pain like the week previous. The only problem that did occur was a blister on the right big toe, umm.
It must be an unevenness in my running, more force on the right leg causing friction on the sand.
I guess these are what runners would call tuition fees.
The last part of the run was along a brick pathway, I ran along there with more bend in the legs and shorter strides and that was fine. The rough surface does act as a bit of a file and wears away at the skin on the forefoot.

Most animals walk around without any protection on their feet and think nothing of it, we are so far away from being natural that our feet can't cope with anything except nice cushioned floors. Isn't it strange.

The feet ache in places I have not ached in before, mainly around the ankles. Its the kind of ache a recognise from going to the gym, it's that good ache of muscles that have been exercised, I think I have just found a whole new set.

The weather during the was cold wet and blowy, typical spring weather in S.A. a good opportunity to take it easy and let the legs and feet recover.
Only exercise carried out was walking the VFF's about six laps of the rugby field near the house.

On the Wednesday did a few km on the treadmill, all in the cause of strengthening the lower legs.
The Vibram shoes are very comfortable and once you get over the fear of possible ridicule for the strange look they are great to walk around it. They do get a few heads turning in the supermarket but most of the time they go unnoticed as most people are not looking at the floor.

I have noticed that when I have to go back to wearing standard shoes I find them intensely irritation, heavy, inflexible just horrible.
I am going to spend more time and consideration when it comes to buying shoes the next time around.

Friday is casual day at work so I wear the VFF's while at my desk and walking around the office, with jeans on they are hardly noticeable except if someone sees them from a distance.
I then had one of the OHS people come up and say I shouldn't wear them, there had been complaints he said in a false sympathetic voice.
I just wondered what they thought I was going to drop on my foot, my keyboard, umm that computer mouse may cause some damage if it falls from a few meters.

Oh well, I have a reserve plan up my sleeve in the form of some of the Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot shoes that I am hoping are winging there way to my door.
They are disguised minimalist shoes that will fool even the stuffiest of bureaucratic dictators as long as I keep my mouth shut.


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