Sunday, February 27, 2011

1000km, Over The Line

Distance 39.5km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 1023.4km] Week 8

Monday, 21-Feb. 8km
An 8km road and beach run on a cool breezy evening. I did a bit of higher speed running on the way back, just the 2km between jetties, I struggled on the broken sand though and only managed around 10:20m.
It looks like these are the conditions I can expect on March 4 for the Beach Bash, there will actually be a beach to run on this year due to the council building up the beach with extra sand. Maybe the shoe wearing runners will keep themselves dry this year.

Wednesday, 23-Feb. 8km
Today I ran the 8km along the river as an alternative to the beach. A runner passed me about 1km into my run and I tried to use her to pace myself, she was going slightly faster and by the time I got to the river mouth she was around 150m in front. My running felt good, feet felt good.

On the way back they started to get tender, the bitumen was hot as the sun was shining directly onto it, I could feel my feet on fire. I ran down the white dividing line as it was smoother and slightly cooler. I was a full 5 minutes slower on the return journey 50:21 total.
My feet were tender by the time I got back to the car. The path on the south side of the river has much more debris over it, small stones and tree seeds.
After giving the feet a good clean I used some Isocol alcohol rub to clean up any abrasions. After a nights sleep the feet will be ready to go again.

Friday, 25-Feb. 7km
It's getting close now!
I could have put 1000km in this posting but to be honest, on my Saturday 14.5km run I walked the last 4.5km, I ran out of energy.
It may have been that on the Friday I went on a 7km run in the heat, then rushed out to go into the city to watch some comedians who were part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival, so, I had a few drinks and eventually got home at around 11.30pm.

Saturday, 27-Feb. 14.5km
So I blame the late night, drinks and dehydration for my lacklustre performance on the Saturday. Mind you it was warm, even at 8am, 25C and an hour later it was 30C, it seems to knock me out more in the morning than when I run in the heat during the evening.
Even on the run up to Semaphore jetty I had to stop a couple of times. ON the way back I just ran out of steam, I felt hungry and thirsty.
So now, I'm sitting just below the 1000km barrier, my run tomorrow should break through that.

Sunday, 27-Feb. 2km
I think I can now say I've got 1000 barefoot kilometres under my feet.
On a warm Sunday with the temperatures getting up to 31C I pulled out of my usual early Sunday morning run, I decided to listen to my body and it said 'have a lie in for once, relax' so that is what I did, no early run and no gym later.
The urge to run came later in the day so I waited for the temperature to drop and headed across the road to the sports field to run some laps.
I didn't bother taking my watch for timing, I don't need that pressure.
I did a couple of nice easy warm up laps the ran 5 x 350m at a pace fast enough that it would take me a minute or two to recover at the end.
After those I did some Pose drills with 80m sprints in between, I did around 10 x 80m in total. I just love that feeling of speed.
The longer distances are harder as your breathing has to catch up with your legs.
I'm hoping that practising these sprints might just help in my race on Friday.
The temperature is forecast to be 27C on Friday so that sounds ideal.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wind assisted

Distance 30.5km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 983.9km] Week 8

Monday, 14-Feb. 4km
Back at the beach at 5pm, the south wind is still here and it is quite strong around 24km/hr (from BOM). The headwind slowed me down considerably on the outbound part of the run and I recorded 11:43m, wow very slow. On the way back I did it in 10:02m a big improvement but still not under the 10m mark.

Thursday, 17-Feb. 8km
It was a pleasant warm day while I was at work.
During the lunch break I head out to the south parklands and lie under the shade of a big old gum tree for 30 minutes of relaxation, a semi snooze before the afternoon session in front of the computer screen.
By the time I'd finished work it was beginning to cloud over and the wind picked up. By the time I got to the beach at around 5.15pm there was a 30km/hr wind whipping up from the south.
I ran along the road to the river then onto the beach. The para-sailors were out in full force by the estuary, the strong winds were giving them good rides and roughing up the sea.
My hamstrings were a bit tired from the deadlift workout yesterday at the gym, but no where near the extent of stiffness that experienced the first time I did them around 3 weeks ago.
I entered the Beach Bash race, paid my $7 for the privilege of thrashing myself for 20 minutes in a couple of weeks. I think this time there will be plenty of sand to run on as the high tides don't seem to be reaching the seawall this time, probably due to the sand replenishment program.

Saturday, 19-Feb. 14.5km
Well, the rain was so heavy yesterday they cancelled the opening parade at the Adelaide Fringe. I usually go down to that each year as there is a great atmosphere, thousands of people, the weird and the wonderful come out to play for the next 3 weeks.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights would have been very damp where on most occasions in the past it has been turned into a dust bowl by the hot summer sun.

The bulk of the rain had stopped by morning. I woke up later than usual and rushed some breakfast down but I knew by the time I got out for a run it would only be 30 minutes from eating. Not a good combination.
I put on the Skins compression gear today for my run just in case the sand was cold, the theory being, keep the legs warm and the feet will follow.
As it turned out the sand was warm enough. It was raining by the time I got to the beach, not heavy but drizzle.
I can't say it was my best run ever, I felt kind of slow, maybe it was the breakfast, maybe it was the compression gear. One thing I was aware of was that the tightness of the compression gear around my ankles was making my tendon sore because it was kind of bunched up.
When I reached the halfway point I stopped and pulled them higher so they were more around the calf rather than the ankle, that felt much better.
I would say though that although they look cool I would prefer to run in just shorts. I don't know if I believe in all this Stops muscle vibration that is supposed to make you sore. Maybe you only get muscle vibration if you pound your heels into the ground, maybe barefoot runners don't get this. I'll enquire on the BRS forum.

Sunday, 20-Feb. 4km
Today was my attempt at a bit of a faster run.
The problem I always find is that it takes me around a km to get the breathing steady and not feel like your about to have a heart attack.
Once again I was running into the wind on the way south (24km/h) and managed a time of 10:48 on fresh sand.
One the way back I knocked almost exactly a minute off and did 9:49 so I guess if you averaged that it would mean a time of around 10:25, slower that I was hoping for.
a few photos from around the beach area that I like to run at.
The first are the old heritage houses on the beach, the only ones like it in South Australia as far as I am aware.

Heritage houses viewed from Grange Jetty

The jetty at Grange looking out to sea on the blustery Sunday morning just after I did the 4km run

Grange Jetty

Foamy seawater frothed up by the wind and blown onshore


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Easy 23

Distance 23km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 953.4km] Week 7

Thursday, 10-Feb. 7km
A hot day of 35C so I left it until the evening before I ventured out for a run.
I drove to the beach at 7.30pm when it was around 32C.
The good thing about leaving it until later is that it gives the pavements time to cool off. I would guess that the pavements were around 35C, they were warm underfoot but not uncomfortable.
I started by running along the road from the Grange cafe to the river outlet 3.5km.
It was thirsty work. The form felt good but I was aware of a little less fluidity due to the gym workout yesterday where I did some hamstring deadlifts once again. This time my body has adapted to the exercise and the soreness is minimal.

Once I got to the turn-off to the beach I could see what the sand quality was going to be like on the way back.
The tide was on its way in, probably an hour from the high point. The sand was soft and churned up by hundreds of feet and a few vehicles, this was going to be tough.
It was slow work and sweat dripped off me freely, I just concentrated on the short distance directly in front of me. You really have to pick your feet up and have good balance when running on such an unpredictable surface.
I came off the beach after 2km feeling exhausted and finished the run off on the road. It took a while adapting to the firmness of the road after the soft sand, it was much faster though.

While going through some old paperwork I came across an instruction sheet supplied by my podiatrist when he fitted me with the orthotics that were supposed to sort all my problems out.

It makes interesting reading in that you can see how the dependency on them develops. They will feel unnatural and you have to adapt your feet to the orthotic. This just strikes me as completely the wrong approach, no thought of strengthening the feet, in fact, just the opposite.
Thankfully it has been 16 months since I kissed goodbye to them and my feet have never been better.

Saturday, 12-Feb. 12km
Saturday morning run and my tendons were still slightly sore from the soft sand training on Thursday, I think I worked them pretty hard.
A cloudy morning which would shield me from the sun so no yucky sunscreen to worry about.

There was a nice stretch of wet sand but this had been ripped up by the horses that undergo training along the beach in the early morning. It must be part of the trotting group that pull a kind of chariot behind them.
The horses leave deep prints in the beach and you have to stay alert to not twist an ankle by plunging your foot into hoof print.
It would be nice to run on a pristine beach but unfortunately unless you go well out of the city you are not going to find one. Of course the beaches are better in winter as less people go there so they stay in better condition.
I took it nice and easy and covered the 12km in 1:13:12.
After the run I have a soak my lower legs in the sea until my heart rate slows to under 80bpm. Next come the dynamic stretches to slowly clear the lactic out of the muscles.

By the end of the run the feet and tendons felt good again. Lets see if I can get a bit of speed work in tomorrow.

Sunday, 13-Feb. 4km
I got out on the Sunday to practice a bit of speed to get my tempo up higher than on my longer runs.
It was a cool morning, must have been around 15C.
My first thoughts as I stepped out onto the sand was 'Gee, it feels like autumn is on it's way' , the sand was cold, or rather colder than it has been for the last 4 months. There was also a sharp southerly breeze blowing
This all slowed me down, I just couldn't get the leg muscles moving quickly enough. Southbound I managed 10:47m while northbound I recorded 10:03.
The sand was hard but had plenty of footprints breaking up the surface.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Under 10min

Distance 17km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 930.4km] Week 6

Monday, 31-Jan
The start of the week was notable for the hot temperatures.
Monday was 43C, far too hot to run, at least if you want to stay safe so I opted for a workout at the gym, postponing the run until the middle of the week when the temperature is a more reasonable 34C.
I tried an exercise at the gym I have done only rarely namely hamstring deadlifts, I've done plenty of hamstring curls so I thought these would be a breeze.
I was only using 25kg and they were fairly easy, I was making sure I had the correct form so I didn't injure myself as I have had back problems in the past.

Wow, next day my hamstrings were sooooore, I only did 3 sets of 10 with a light weight. I'm expecting them to be sore tomorrow as well.

Wednesday, 2-Feb. 7km
Not as cool as was forecast, it hit 36C today but luckily a cool change came through when the wind changed direction to blow from the south dropping the temperature down to 30C.
The hamstring were still sore and I was a bit worried it might mess my running form up and my timing.
The run was good, just tiring as I had no power in the hamstrings as it was a bit painful to really run at a fast pace. They felt better at the end of the run and I think tomorrow I'll be back to normal.
Obviously hamstring dead lifts are a powerful exercise and something that I'll have to incorporate into my strength training as the hamstrings are one of the key muscles used in Pose running.

Thursday, 3-Feb. 4km
I was hoping to do a fast run this evening to get my speed sharpened up but my hamstrings are still aching, I guess I am fortunate I didn't lift a heavy weight at the gym or else I wouldn't be able to walk for the week.
I did my short jetty to jetty run but found it hard going today, the heat and it felt humid as there was some cloud cover.
Running south was fine as there was a slight breeze, coming back the other way and the breeze could not be felt then the sun pops out from the clouds and and I can feel my head overheating.
I took my singlet off and tied it around my head, that helped keep the sweat out of my eyes and shielded me from the sun.
I had to stop a few times on the way back as I was just too hot. Interestingly my time on the way back was 12:20m while on the way down it was10:46m.
The slower time was around the same time I ran the Beach Bash last year but my time this time included a couple of rest breaks.
Hopefully the March temperature will not be as hot as the Jan-Feb temperatures.

Sunday, 6-Feb. 6km
(2km x 2) lap 1 10:08.8m, lap 2 9:52.8

The cool change is here, the temperature was just 15C at 8am. The sand felt cold underfoot just like in winter.
There was a nice strip of around 4 metres of wet sand left after the retreat of the tide, some a bit too soft and spongy but higher up more firm.

I did some warm-up Pose drills first to get a bit of blood moving before setting off. Faster paced running is so hard mentally, always the voice in you head telling you to rest, your lungs bursting and pulse racing.
It takes around a kilometre for my heart to steady and to get a regular breathing pattern, the running feels better then but still hard.
I completed the run in 10m 8.8s which was one of my better runs but still not below 10m.

After a rest for a few minutes at Henley I set off back, this time I felt more relaxed, in my mind I felt I was running slower but wasn't concerned about time, just keep a steady pace. I pushed it a bit harder towards the end.
What a surprise when I checked the stopwatch to find I'd run this in 9m 52.8s, 16s better than my first time and now I can run below 10m for that distance.
Compared to what I could run in my early 20's though it is slow, I should be able to cover the distance in 7m 15s, wow I think that would kill me now.
It felt good to get under 10 minutes though, I need to do that on a regular basis now.

I found some good You Tube clips of Zola Budd running in the 1980's what a fantastic barefoot runner she was.
Zola Budd 1984

Just completed a second bit of training for the day. I did 400m x 5 laps around the local oval, no one need get worried about any world record times being broken here, I was averaging around 1:45m per lap, only a one whole minute slower than the top runners, oh well you have to start somewhere.