Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yikes, blisters!

Distance 15km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 596.5km]

Wow, I thought I'd seen the last of blisters on my feet, I must have been doing something wrong this time!
Actually my feel were a bit tender from Thursday, the warm evening were I ran 8km, 5 of those km on the road, tender but not sore.

Forward to Saturday, the weather is cool, windy and rainy. I headed to the beach at 9am with the intention of doing 12km along the beach from Grange to Semaphore and back.
I was looking forward to a smooth flat expanse of beach but was met with an incoming tide, big waves and well trodden sand. I decided that this was all too hard, especially as I would have to battle a strong headwind on the way back. After running a few hundred metres up the beach I turned off the beach and back onto the road and changed direction and started running south into the wind.
I didn't have too many problems on the outbound leg but by the time I got to the river my feet were feeling a bit tender again.
On the way back I concentrated on getting my feet off the ground as quickly as possible.
Halfway back I was aware of the pressure on the balls of my feet and how they were starting to hurt. I slowed the pace and took shorter steps but found the wind pushing me forward was disturbing my natural rhythm.
I made it back to the car but my feet felt sore on the underneath, I wasn't sure if this was a blister of just some skin taken off because my feet were wet when I started running.
After getting home I checked the feet and I have a couple of small blisters on the bottom. I think they will be fine in a few days.
I think that as most of my running is on the sand that the feet need to be a bit tougher to handle longer distance on hard surfaces.
I'm still aiming to run the 8km Christmas Day run at West Lakes and that will be hard surface all the way. It is the shortest of the 3 distances they run that day so I shall be conservative rather than a hero, well, I'll decide in about 6 weeks time.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fixed again

Distance 10km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 581.5km]

Well here we are at the end of a warm Thursday.
The temperature got up to 30C today, it would have been just below that when I set out on my late afternoon run.
Plenty of people out on the beach this afternoon on this unseasonally warm day.
A change is due in for tomorrow and that heralds a wet weekend ahead.
I ran 8km tonight on sand and pavement.
I think I have shaken off the tendon soreness in my right leg. I think it was due to bad form and calf weakness.

I kept up the concentration on form during this run but the mind does wander a bit as I got tired due to the heat. The feet were a little tender at the end as I had been running on some stony ground as well as the concrete.

Earlier in the week (Tuesday)I did a 40minute session of drills as I have let them slip over the past few weeks. I felt a bit rusty at them.
A little later that evening as I was heading out to the cinema to see a movie, I drove past the football stadium which has a training area east of the ground. What did I see but fellow Pose runner practising drills. If I hadn't been in a harry it would have been good to stop and compare notes.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tendon pain

Distance 0km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 571.5km]

umm, having a bit of enforced rest since midweek as I have developed a bit of pain in the right Achilles tendon, not enough to stop me walking around but the running causes it to increase.
I've tried doing reverse calf dips but that has not made much difference.
I thought at first it may have been caused by running on the soft sand over the course of a few weeks, the uneven surface means your feet and ankles must withstand the twisting.
It seems ok when I run on the pavement, a more uniform surface.
It could also be the fact that I boosted my distance up too quickly after coming back from the calf strains.
I may go back to doing more drills and less distance even though distance is what I really want to do.
The Achilles/ankle pain first became apparent when I went back to doing the longer home runs from work, a distance of around 13km.
I thought it was the VFF shoes that were causing it but maybe that wasn't the case. It may have been more to do with too much too soon.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Taste of heat to come!

Distance 7km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 571.5km]

A warm spring day today where I think the temperature peaked at 29C.
When you get a hot day in the middle of cooler weather it knocks you out a bit.

I wanted to get my runs out of the way early this week as the rain is heading in an the temperatures will be back down to 16C.
I went to the beach to run my 7km course. I didn't feel that energetic when I got there and I had a slight headache, maybe dehydration from not drinking much during the day.
What a revitaliser a run actually is, after a couple of km's the headache had gone and the energy returned.
The sand was soft and challenging at the north end of the beach turning into damper hard sand at the south end.
On the way back I avoided the soft sand by running along the brick path, it was a bit easier on the tendons as you don't need to balance as much on the firm surface.
The warmth is returning to the pavements and I wonder how long it will be before the heat gets too much to run barefoot.
I will be interested to see if my heat tolerance is better this time around and if I can move my feet faster.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


Distance 26.5km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 564.5km]

Well, I've made it to the first year anniversary of a new way of running and despite some of the setbacks I experienced along the way I can say that they were all learning experiences.
One year ago I could hardly even walk with bare feet on concrete without getting pains in the feet. They must have been so weakened over the years from the shoes and orthotics that they couldn't even cope with the most basic of things that feet were made to do.
This truly has been an interesting adventure.
One year ago, as now, the first of the spring weather was coming through.
At the beginning of October 2009 I went for my last run in my Asics running shoes, it was a short run of only 1km before my shins were so painful that I couldn't place my foot on the ground. I walked home angry and frustrated.
After running for 30 years I thought maybe I was getting too old and these were all the signs.
But no, that wasn't it. The blame lay with the shoe designers who have gradually been increasing the thickness and cushioning of the shoes over this period, making it impossible to run correctly.

Now on this anniversary date I am now teaching others how to run correctly.

Reviewing this week, on Wednesday I ran 7km against a strong southerly wind blowing up from the Antarctic, the tide was high and sand soft which made for a challenging run.
The return journey along the road was much better.
On the Friday I did my second run from work and this time it took me 1hour 25mins for the 12.5km shaving 12 minutes of last weeks run.
I was experiencing a little tendon pain in the right leg so will do a few calf raises to correct the imbalance.
On the Saturday the weather was calm sunny and warm.
I was going to do just a short 5km run but as it was so nice out there I did 7km.
My feet were getting a bit tender, a sign that I was moving my running distance up too fast. I'll ease back next week, I'll keep the total distance down to around 25km.
The forecast for Friday next week is cold, back to a winter temperature, I will make that a rest day.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More km underfoot

Distance 23.5km [total: minimalist 128km: Barefoot 542km]

Just a quick summary of some of the running over the weekend.
The weather has shifted into Spring like temperatures, low 20's which is far more pleasant than the 15C we have been having for the last 3 months.
Friday the temperature got up to 21C and sunny, a perfect afternoon for a a run home from work.
I was a little worried that the distance might be a bit too much seeing as I have only been running 7km distances recently. I didn't want to overdo it and get injured again.

I ran through the city centre area with the Vibrams then removed them after 4km to run the rest of the distance barefoot.
It takes me about a kilometre or so to get into the rhythm when I do the switch as the Vibrams give the feet less feedback so you run with more force.
When you remove them, the ground feels hard because you have to re-adjust how you make contact with the ground.
I also tried out a little program on my Android phone called My Tracks a great little program that plots where you have run and gives statistics like average speed, distance, elevation.
The GPS is accurate to within 10m so that can give some strange off path movements but generally it is pretty good.
It told me the distance I ran was around 13.45km in around 1.5 hours. That sounds slow but I was not racing, I stopped plenty of times for a drink and to change out of shoes.
I did get a bit of pain in the lower calves but nothing came of it, it is usually a sign of bad running form.
The feet were a little sore after I got back but by the next day they were fine.

On the Saturday I ran a short 4km along the beach then back along the road as the very soft sand was quite tiring to run through.

On Monday, which was a public holiday, I ran a further 7km and felt pretty good, especially on the road section of the run. I even put on some good bursts of speed when I could hear the thud thud of some shod runners behind me.

If I can get my weekly distance up to around 30km by the end of the month I'll be well on my way to being able to complete the casual race on Christmas day.