Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost years end

Distance 7km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 784.9km]

An un-timed 7km run today (because I rushed out and forgot my watch) on my usual road/beach combination.
It was going to be a warm 39C today so I set off at about 8.30am when it was still a very pleasant 24C.
The beach was a hive of activity at that time, parking was tight. The cafe's were full, lots of people on the beach walking dogs. The best part of the day.

I parked up at Grange jetty and ran along the Esplanade.
I felt pretty fast today and on a couple of occasions when I heard the tap tap tap of one of my shoed brethren just behind me I accelerated away and left them behind.
That will make sure they don't feel too superior wearing their new Nike or Asics :-)
After 3.5km on the road I had a slight ache in left calf, it might have been caused by some calf raised I did the day before in the gym.
I made it back without problem along the beach. I soaked the legs for a while in the water then cooled off by the cafe.

Tomorrow the heat is on again with a forecast 43C, not sure if I will run yet, see how I feel.


Monday, December 27, 2010

4km puff pant

Distance 4km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 777.9km]

Monday, ah holidays, great when you don't have to force yourself out of bed to go to work.
Three days of running, this time a short 4km dash along the beach.
I do need to get a bit more speed into my legs so I decided a shorter but faster paced run was called for.
The jetty to jetty distance is approximately 2km. To set off from cold is always tough and before long I was puffing and blowing. After a kilometre I settled down a bit, the breathing became a bit more even.
I covered the distance in 10m 20s. I did have a bit of a rest when I got to the end. I let my heart rate drop back to under 100 before setting off to cover the same distance again, this time with a tailwind.
My total time was 20m 36s, so, fairly consistent, that would give me an average of 5m 9s per kilometre.
My average heart rate was 140bpm with a max of 150 so I was working between 81% & 87% of my maximum.
As a comparison, my race on Christmas day was far more leisurely with an average of just 109bpm (gee that seems too low) and a max of 148bpm.

If I could keep that pace up I could do a 10km in around 51m
The question is, could I keep up that pace on the road, at the moment the answer would be no, but that is what training is about.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yearly totals

Distance 8.5km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 773.9km]

Well as the year draws to a close I should try to make an effort to work out approximately how many miles my feet have covered and if I need to buy a replacement pair in case the cushioning has started to deteriorate.

I put in an easy 8.5km along the road and beach today. There was a bit of competition with another barefoot beach runner but I just couldn't catch him, what's my excuse? he must have been younger.
I was concentrating on my form whereas I think he was just running flat out.

Maybe I should say that next year I should work on some more speed and set a goal to run the 13.6km Christmas day run in 70 minutes, that would mean knocking about 30s off my kilometre splits. Should be possible.

Well, the next race on the calender is the 4km Beach Bash in March, can I hit the 20 minute time for that one.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day race

Distance 8.4km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 765.4km]

Finally after much anticipation my first low key race on the roads with some other keen runners who can get themselves out of bed long before dawn to get to the start line before 6am.

A calm day, overcast as far as I could tell in the dim morning light, about 20C.
A decent turnout of people, most would be running the longer distances of 13.6km and 21km. As it was my first barefoot race I stuck to the 8.4km.
I started at the back and tried to keep the adrenaline under control so I didn't mess up my stride.
I had no problem, the run went much faster than I thought. I had company of a friend of mine for 3/4 of the way around before he peeled off to do the 13.6km.
The feet were fine, as were the calves, it felt quite easy once I fell into a steady rhythm. Not a single cut or blister so I was very pleased with that.

I got home in a time of 48m 32s or 5:47/km, slower than my times of 20 years ago but it's a start. The objective was to get around the course rather than do a record time.
I didn't see any other bare feet around, I think Santa must have had sacks full of new runners for most people.

The feet are black but great, why do they get so dirty though?
Happy Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Summer arrives, again

Distance 8km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 757km]

After a dip back into winter temperatures over the weekend when the mercury couldn't get above 20C and the wind and rain lashed down, next weekend is promising to have more typical summer weather, 30C-34C.

Today the temperature just scraped past 20C but the skies cleared of clouds that have blanketed Adelaide for the past four days, blown away by the strong southerly winds.

After work I headed to the beach to put in an 8km run. I kept to the pavements as I ran into the wind then came back along the beach with the wind pushing me forward.
I got a bit of stiffness in the left shin, must have been over-striding a little. This disappeared as I started the run back along the beach.
Had a bit of competition on the last 500m from another runner, as I had plenty of energy left I stepped on the accelerator and left them behind.
Feet are in good condition, not much or an indication that I do plenty of running with no shoes.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting closer to Race

Distance 24km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 749km]

Well with just one week to go before my first real race with other participants how are things going.
During the week I did a short 4km run along the beach on the Monday.
I need to pick up the pace a little on these shorter runs as these are the ones where I am not going to get sloppy in my style as the distance is short.

On Wednesday I did a 8km run, for a change I ran the first half along the road. It was a bit breezy out on the beach so staying on the road was a bit more sheltered. After about 3km I took the path to the beach then ran 4.5km up the nice flat beach non stop before once more taking the path off the beach and continuing back to the start point along the road.
It took me around 55 minutes for the round trip.

Saturday morning and I'm met with grey skies and that southerly breeze again. It is ideal running weather though, not too hot or cold.
I put in 12km today on the run from Grange to Semaphore, a nice steady pace and recorded a time of 71 minutes or 8:52 per mile, not too bad. This would imply a time of around 50 minutes for the run next weekend.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

More km on the hard stuff

Distance 10km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 725km]

Saturday was a blustery cool day, the rain had held off though which was good.
Rather than go to the beach I chose to run along the linear park that follows the River to the sea, a run I had done about a month earlier and ended up with sore feet due to the rough surface.
This time I made sure I took small light steps and it did help. After the 8km distance I had just two small blisters at the main landing pressure points on each foot.
Some of the new laid bitumen on the re-vegetated parts of the linear park are a joy to run on, smooth and almost bouncy, but, then its back to the coarse stuff where you have to treat as lightly as you can.
I covered the 8km in 55 minutes, a bit slow, hopefully I can bring it down from there.

Sunday. The only bit of running I managed today was some Pose drills on the nearby field. I was in two minds about running at all today but glad I did, it just seems to energise you once you start to get the heart rate up.
I did a couple of laps as warm up then started the drills with 100m sprints in between.
The sprints feel excellent these days, choppy with good leg speed.
I remember about 5 years ago having a bit of a race comp with my young second cousins. I gave them all a 20m start then had to chase them up to a tree, around and back.
During one of the runs I was stretching my stride out to get the speed up and I locked my knee out and almost felt like I was pole vaulting over my knee, gee that was scary, and it hurt too.
That is one reason why it is so important to always run and land with the knees bent.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Form form form

Distance 4km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 715km]

Umm, I think I have pinpointed the problem that is causing the tendon soreness.
It's the form! I'm pushing too much quantity and not enough quality.

On my short beach run tonight, I just concentrated on feeling the hamstring pull all the way through and as I only ran a 4km distance I didn't lose my concentration due to fatigue.
I felt great this time, short strides with a fast leg speed and a definite pull. I felt no strain at all.
I believe just by leaving my foot on the ground too long there must be a slight push off which, over many repartitions, causes pain.

Revisiting Dr Romanov's Pose website, there is a vast amount more information on that covers all aspects of problems that can be encountered.
One thing I picked up on was the importance of practising rope skipping for calf resilience. Now being a somewhat uncoordinated person at times I have always found skipping hard. I think I find it hard due to the running, let me explain.
With running you are picking one foot up then the other, with skipping you have to pick both feet up and get it in time with a rope passing underneath them. Picking both feet up at the same time is not hard wired into my brain.
I can do some step skipping for a short period, where I move both feet separately and step through the rotating rope. I managed 13 'skips', hey, it's a start.

Lets see if by the end of the summer I can look back and see a big improvement.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

The heat!

Distance 12km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 711km]

A taste of things to come as the mercury rose to 38C today, even now, my thermometer is reading just under 32C at 9.30pm.
I tried to make an early start to get to the beach to do a 12km run but ended up getting there around 8.15am, 30 minutes earlier would have been better.
When I parked the car the next decision was should I take a bottle of water or just drink some now and see if I can hold out until I get back.
I decided on the latter.

The tide was getting near its low point for the day so there was plenty of nice flat sand to run on.
My tendons have been sore recently, maybe I'm not leaving enough time in between runs to recover fully.
I set off at a conservative pace in the warm morning air, already it was 28C. By the 3rd km I was getting thirsty, I managed to keep licking my lips to keep a bit of moisture there but I was starting to dehydrate. I got to the 6km halfway point and came off the beach and found a drinking fountain.
I filled up on plenty of water before setting off back.
The return journey was tough, my tendons were complaining, maybe I was tired and not running in the best form, I took occasional detours into the water to cool off.
By the time I got back the temperature was over 30c and I was exhausted, I could just keep up a slow trot

The pain I get is at the top of the tendons, where they join the lower calf, I may need to rest a bit longer next week, only do some short runs.
I really need to book in for a massage as well, I am long over due for some maintenance.
I am now certain that I will stick to the shortest distance in the Christmas day run.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another 16km under foot

Distance 16km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 699km]

Thursday evening and just had a good run along the beach and back along the road from Grange to Henley on a warm sunny evening.
Even after a year since I first took my first tentative barefoot steps I still find my tendons and lower calves get sore by the time I am on the last couple of kilometres.
I would have thought by now that they would be sufficiently conditioned for it not to be an issue. Tonight's distance was 8km.
I don't think I could tackle longer distances completely barefoot at the moment.
Maybe I just need to get more distance in on the harder surfaces rather than favouring the beach.
Just checking back on my progress from 1 year ago, I'd just put in my first run from work at 12.5km around 4km with the Vibrams leaving 8.5km barefoot.
I do remember that run as my feet were so sore and blistered that I had to take it easy while they recovered.
Well, one year on, that distance on the road would still be quite a test, my feet would be in better condition.

On the Tuesday I put in a 8km mainly on the beach as there was plenty of nice firm sand to run on. The last kilometre was on the road. No injuries or problems with that run.