Sunday, February 26, 2012

Facebook page up and running

Distance 39km [total: minimalist 264.6km: Barefoot 2287.1km] Week 8

Tuesday, 21-Feb. 9.5km
I managed to squeeze a run in before going out for the evening to the cinema, the film was starting at 7.20pm so that would give me enough time to get a few kilometres in. The sea breeze was blowing strongly from the south as usual. I ran on the pavement which was warm underfoot but not hot. Running into the wind was hard, to then turn around and have it blow me back to the start point was a relief but it did have a drawback. Despite trying to keep my heart rate at around 135 it was closer to 150 at times and the speed I was running back caused a blister on my left foot. They were also getting sore by the last km. I need to run slower to stop this happening.
I've finally got the Australian BRS Facebook webpage up and running now all I need are a few people to find out about it. I can start by posting a link to it here. It's heating up towards the end of the week so running will get a little more challenging.

Thursday, 23-Feb 7.5km
Time to have a go at a faster run between the jetties. In ideal conditions I have timed around 9m50s. Today wasn't ideal, the beach was very uneven and soft and the tide was on its way in, no flat sand in sight. I managed a 11m 11s, it felt quite warm as well, warmer than it has been over the last few weeks. So the run tonight consisted on a 0.5km warm-up, 2km fast, 3km easy, 2km fast. For the first time this summer I had a swim in the sea after my run, it felt very refreshing. I noticed that while doing the crawl I didn't have the out of breath feeling I used to get when I'd start up my swimming. I put this down to an increase in my aerobic fitness from the running. A good enjoyable run today, maybe my momentum is coming back.

Saturday, 25-Feb. 15km
A warm night, the temperature stayed in the low 20's and increased rapidly as dawn approached. I had an early breakfast so I could get out for my run early but I dozed off again, waking just before 8am. I wasn't in a hurry to get to the beach this morning as the high tide was at 7am and I'd have only soft sand to run on. I got to the beach at 8.30am and the temperature was now 32C. Today would be a test of efficiency over speed, just keep a consistent moderate pace and try not to blow up. I did quite well on the outbound leg, running into the hot north wind blowing off the desert, it took me a longer 49minutes but the terrain was tougher. Running back on the road and grass was easier as the surface was much more predictable. I was starting to dehydrate as the temp crept up to 34C, my mouth was dry and I had no moisture to swallow. I made it back to the jetty at Grange after covering 15km, I raced to the top and drank and drank and drank, water never tasted so good. I waited for a while under the jetty to see if I had the will power to run another 3km, I didn't, as it now hit 35C (95F). I have been drinking water and electrolyte ever since.

Sunday, 26-Feb. 7km
A warm night once again, the temperature stayed up at around 29C for most of the night. I felt a bit more drained when I got up today. I still managed to do a 7km lap of the lake in the heat. There was some cloud cover which helped keep the intense sun off me. The feet coped, they were not as sore as last week even though I managed to add a couple more small blisters to the collection.
A lacklustre gym session followed the run which ended with a slight twinge in the back. I might have to give this gym game away, I'm not getting much in the way of positive benefits at the moment.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sore soles

Distance 39.5km [total: minimalist 264.6km: Barefoot 2248.1km] Week 7

Monday, 13-Feb. 4km
A very sort very easy run, kept heart rate very low at just over 100bpm mainly because I was training with someone else and trying to get them to regulate their heart rate to around 135bpm. 

Thursday, 16-Feb. 13km
I thought about getting a longer run in this evening but the strong wind wore me out. The wind always picks up in the afternoon and by the time I got to the beach it was blowing at nearly 30km/h from the south. Yesterday I had done some leg exercises at the gym, lunges and leg extensions and some calf raises, this all left my legs feeling a little dead tonight. I headed north with the wind behind me and found that even though it was carrying me along my dead legs had lost their spring. I turned around to head back into the wind at the 6.5km point and found it hard going with the incoming tide and the gusting wind. I was taking quite small steps but it was still tiring me, there was no way I was going to add and extra 4km onto my run I decided when I got level with my car, there would be better days.

Saturday, 18-Feb. 15.5km
In complete contrast to Thursday, not a breeze on this early Saturday morning. I'm sure though, if I go down there at 5pm the wind will be blowing. Once again I folded when it came to getting up to the 18km mark for a Saturday, my feet were sensitive after I'd filed away a bit more of the calluses near my toes. Also my Achilles on my right leg was a bit achy. This wasn't the ankle problem I had been getting over the last 4 months. I'll have to do some calf drops to get it strengthened again. Its only a couple of weeks before the Beach Bash at Henley, I'll be way down in time this year as I've done no speed work, maybe the aerobic base I've built up will be enough to allow me to feel relaxed and I'll just enjoy an easy run.

Sunday,19th-Feb. 7km
A loop of the lake before a gym session as last week. My feet were a bit sore today though, I can't work out why after all these miles they would still be tender running over a short distance, what hope would I have of running a full barefoot marathon. The calf dips I did the other day worked on my Achilles, it was fine today. So, the only problem I have now is the sore callus and tender feet. The weekly total was ok though.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Cool Week

Distance 44.2km [total: minimalist 264.6km: Barefoot 2208.6km] Week 6

Wednesday, 8-Feb, 11km.
Nice cool day for an afternoon run. I extended my road run another 500m or so past the caravan park at West Beach. The run went well but I noticed that my form was slipping in the last 2km, I didn't feel as fluid and lose as I was on the way out. I would say it is probably because it will have been the longest barefoot road run I have done since my injury back in mid September. Most of my longer runs have been on the sand so my feet weren't ready to handle the longer distance on the road. I didn't stop for the entire run and my feet were too sensitised by the end. I'm still putting too much pressure on the outer edge of my left foot, the area where I have developed the callus.

Friday, 10-Feb. 8km
The cold wintery weather is still with us, very unusual for it to hang around for this length of time. I did a beach run this evening, running into a gale force wind. It seemed to take me ages to get a comfortable pace, I was forced to take small strides as the force of the wind pushed me backwards. On the return journey with the wind at my back it was almost like running down hill, trying to stop taking too long a stride. I used to opportunity to try to boost my leg speed over 180 steps/min. The para sailors were out in force on the windswept beach getting some great speeds up in the rough water.

Saturday, 11-Feb. 18.5km
Another long run. I tried a different tactic on this run. Usually I set off from my parked car the run the long leg of the run, turn around and head back to the car then add the 4km bit on the end by passing my car and running to the next jetty and back. Only problem with this is that you can feel tired and then miss the last 4km as the car is close by. So I did the short loop first then ran the 7km north from the car so I had no choice but to run the distance back. Once again the weather was cold and blustery, I though at one point I was going to get a good soaking from the rain but it passed further north.
I was starting to get tired in the last few kilometres but I managed to keep one foot landing in front of the other. I was also trying to keep a steady 136 BPM heart rate which according to Dr Phil Maffatone is the optimum heart rate for my age and fitness level. It started to drop back to 132 towards the end as my pace slowed but on the whole it was fairly consistent.

Sunday, 12-Feb. 7.7km
A beautiful Sunday morning, 20C, blue sky in exchange for the dark rain clouds of last week. The lake was calm with only the rowing club boats out practicing in the early morning. I took it nice and easy this morning, a loop of the lower lake on smooth concrete for most of the way with brick making up the rest. I passed a few runners along the way, three serious looking triathlete types with matching gear, gotta look right. One guy who passed me commented that barefoot running looked too hard, I told him I was a professional, he wasn't convinced. I ran a time of around 45min keeping an average heart rate of 136bpm


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Highest km week

Distance 48.8km [total: minimalist 264.6km: Barefoot 2164.4km] Week 5

Monday, 30-Jan. 6km
A very windy day today, almost got hit by a falling branch from a gum tree while walking during lunchtime, it fell about 2m in front of me, if I hadn't have seen the movement as it fell I think it would have nearly knocked me out. The wind was still strong when I went for a short 5km run along the river. The day was only a 24C day but the bitumen was still quite warm underfoot, not painfully so but enough to make me run along the white dividing line on the path. The path was littered with branches and seeds blown from the trees but I managed to navigate through them quite well. I would never have thought I could do this 2 years ago. I understand why people must think I'm crazy when they see this barefoot guy running through all this debris and tough terrain.

Thursday, 2-Feb. 8.3km
Another quite windy day so once again I am running alongside the Torrens River which is slightly more sheltered than running along the beach. The wind was a strong westerly so it was a headwind on the way out and a tailwind on the way back. Despite the wind it was a warm day or 28C and so I wore the Vibrams as I would be running along black bitumen and it would be hot. Just doing a brief test run before setting off I could feel the heat and I know how your feet get more sensitive to the heat as you accumulate the distance. My form is a lot better in the Vibrams these days, I run quietly and try to keep the legs nice and springy. The river course is picturesque and with the landscaping they have done over the past few years the river seems to retain more water than it did when it was basically a drain out to the sea. There are quite a few undulations in the kilometre closest to the beach so it tests your muscles and gives them more varied training. Time for the distance 48m 31s (included a bit of traffic wait and walk)
Saturday, 4-Feb. 18.5km
I abandoned my plan for a run yesterday when I had a sore back, it came on in the morning and was painful through the day. I don't know what started it off this time but I suspect it may be been the leg presses I did at the gym on Wednesday. I have to be so careful when it comes to weights at the gym, no lifting heavy stuff that can compress the spine, so, no squats, no heavy shoulder presses, no weighted standing calf raises, all these have caused me problems at one time or another. This morning I popped a pain killer and headed to the beach, now I know that doesn't sound like the wisest of moves but I was well prepared to abandon the run if I thought it was causing me more problems. As barefoot running is quite gentle I was counting on the shock absorbing capabilities of my feet ankles and calves. I took it nice and easy and I got no pain from my back. The weather was perfect, 20C, sun just emerging from clouds. I ran from Jetty to Jetty, Grange to Semaphore then down to Henley Jetty. I was feeling quite tired by the time I got back to the car, and as I'd not taken any water with me I was probably a bit dehydrated as well. I drained my water bottle when I got back to the car. I loaded up on electrolyte drink when I got back to replace any lost mineral salts. My back feels much better now, maybe the gentle running acts like a massage on the problem area.
Sunday, 5-Feb. 6km +10km
Quite a bit of rain during the night, very un-summer like weather, the rain had eased off my morning, replaced with a blustery westerly wind. A day of exercise, I did a lap of the lake at West Lakes taking around 33 minutes for the 6km loop. No rain fell on me during the run and it was a great run, the feet are getting used to the hard surfaces again. After the run I headed straight to the gym for a workout, did lots of back strengthening exercises to fix up the weakness in my back, also did some calf work as well.
Late afternoon and I headed out for the second run of the day, this time along the coast path. A para sailing comp was on at the Grange sailing club and parking was short, I managed to get a spot right at the end. The wind was whistling off the sea, big waves being whipped up. As soon as I set off a squall hit, horizontal rain, it passed quickly and the wind started to dry me off. The run was smooth and felt good. On the way back a guy on a bicycle, Brian he introduced himself as, rode alongside me asking questions about my running, it was good company and made a couple of km go past fast. Apparently he runs and told me of how he changed his running style 10 years ago from heel striker to a forefoot lander and the difference it made to him. I told him to check out the BRS website and spread the word that barefoot running can give older runners a new lease of life.