Monday, 23 April 2012

Golf balls and barefoot

8:47am on Monday morning and I'm sitting at my desk rolling a golf ball under my arch to stretch the tendons/muscles/stuff (I don't actually know what's down there) as I've heard it's the right thing to do. Calves and arches. Thems the things to stretch too make sure they're in good condition when you start running 'barefoot'. Or minimalist as I'll call it.

I blame 2 people for this foray into minimalist running, eatingtrees and New Balance. eatingtrees as he's been doing it a couple of years, raves about it and I've seen the improvements in his times and New Balance as the replacement for the faithful 1063's and 1064's that I've worn since day dot, was the the 1080 and quite frankly, it feels like you're running on pillows and last time I checked, running on pillows wasn't very efficient!

Not very efficient

Efficiency... I guess that's what I'm looking for with this new direction. Less wasted energy. A way of running that gives me the ability to run the same distance with less energy used and less impact on the legs and knees.

Slightly more efficient

Now the science of 'minimalist' running is a bit woolly to stay the least. It seems there are as many advocates as there are detractors and the old saying that you can prove anything with stats seems to apply. I've kind of gone with the logic that I can comprehend which is that forefoot runners have a softer impact with the ground than that of heel strikers and because of the springy nature of a persons arch, we don't put as much weight and impact through the knees and hips. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

So Saturday was my first trip out in the brand new BRIGHT RED beauties! Knowing how my feet swell when I run, I thought I should go out first in the cushioned shoes to warm up so I went for a lovely run with @MrsSophieHMC. As I run slower when I'm with Mrs HMC, I did a few extra bits, like pushing myself round the lake twice at a quicker pace and then catching her back up but it was a very pleasant 7 ish km which at the end of, I changed into the new shoes and went back out around the block. With all the advice being don't overdo it, I planned to run just a kilometre at a 5 min/km pace but it was feeling good and torn between turning home early or going that little bit extra, I pushed on and ended up doing 1.5km in which the shoes felt fine and I had no awkward aches or pains. Result! 2 days later and still the calves, arches and achilles are all fine. Tomorrow has run number 2 written all over it.

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