7:00 pm: It’s been almost 1 month to the day since the Cleveland Downtown Olympic-distance tri. Aside from Linda’s first 5k, I’ve done absolutely nothing since then. Methinks it’s time for a nice short run to kick off the post-season training.
7:03 pm: Pretty slow pace, so I’m trying to spice it up. I’ve been thinking a lot about barefoot running lately, mostly wondering if it’s really as good as some say it is, or if (as I suspect) it’s just another passing fad to make more money for shoe companies. I’m gonna try running more on my toes and see how it feels.
7:05 pm: We’re about 3/4 of a mile out. Toe running kind of sucks. It just feels like I’m sprinting really really slowly, which makes my shoes scuff the sidewalk and honestly slows me down, but we just hit a stretch of really smooth paving, so let’s take of the shoes and see if it feels any different.
7:08 pm: Wow. This feels nice. Like REALLY nice. My feet touch down softly and I spring from step to step just using my calves and the natural stretching of the spring ligament in my foot’s arch. Who knows…maybe there’s something to this crazy fad after all. Meanwhile, Linda tells me carrying my shoes makes me look like I stole them, and since we’ve gone about a mile so far, I think it’s time to turn around.
7:09 pm: I’m starting to see some of the downsides of running without shoes. There’s a lot of force pushing my metacarpo-phalangeal (MCP) joints away from each other (basically spreading my toes at the balls of my feet), and running like this forces me to angle my feet strangely, causing some pretty harsh pain in the side of my knees (although it feels muscular rather than ligamentous or bony). Even so, not too bad. Maybe I’ll start running without shoes all the time.
7:11 pm: OH DEAR GOD MY FEET BURN!! SWEET BABY J, WHY DID I DO THIS?!?!
7: 16 pm: We just finished our run. My feet hate me. I now have the worst blisters I’ve had in YEARS. Maybe I should take this slow.
7:30 pm: Just tracked down an article from New Balance about their Minimus minimalist shoe. They recommend barefoot or barefoot-style running no more than 10% of your training at first with slow advances so as to minimize damage. REALLY wish I’d read that before. Anyway, I’m thinking I’d like to start incorporating these types of workouts during this post-season. I’ll give updates as they occur as a first-hand experience with the growing public fascination with minimalist running, as well as try to review a couple minimalist running shoes, so you can decide whether you’re up for it yourself or not. Now excuse my while I go soak my feet for a few hours…
Read more barefoot adventures!