Thursday, 8 January 2015

Journey to minimalist running: 2 to 3k.

In the past week and a half I've been running often and I've reached 3k in my minimalist shoes now! A couple more weeks and I'll be able to run my usual milage in them. Let me tell you how my short runs have been!
The 2.2k run went amazingly well! It was a very cold day and my toes went numb, but after the first kilometer or so they warmed up again. I was very focused on relaxing my shoulders, arms and legs. That seemed to do me good as I barely felt my calves as I did in most of the previous runs. (It may have helped that I did not run whatsoever the day before, which may have given my legs some rest.)

On the 30th, I went for the 2.4k run. I did wear socks this time around, but things didn't go as well as on the previous run. It felt as if it was my heart that was holding me back rather than my feet or legs, so I was running slower than last time.

The first run of 2015 was the 2.6k one. This time I ran a bit faster again and played around with techniques that I read about in 'Barefoot running step by step". Pushing the hips forward and letting the feet follow. That does make you run faster, but my heart can't keep up with that pace for long so I automatically slow down again. I also focused on relaxing and tried out several degrees of knee bend. But it was a nice run and my calves and feet felt just fine!

Two days later I ran 2.8k. I'd told myself to run relaxed and not go fast at all. I had a relaxed run indeed and even though it was slower than the last one, it seemed to pass by quicker! Towards the end I thought I was getting a blister on one of my feet. It stung, which altered my movements. Then I realised that I had a bug bite in the spot where it stung, so that must have been rubbing against my shoes. When I took them off, it did seem more like a blister though.

I'd really looked forward to the next run since it'd be a 'milestone': 3k. Unfortunately I was disappointed afterwards. It just didn't feel right that day. I could feel I was landing on my heels sometimes, so towards the end I used a bit of imagery: I imagined I was cycling with smooth round movements. That seemed to help, but still, overall it was an odd run... Also that bug bite or blister was bugging me a little towards the end. It didn't bother me as much as in the previous run, but when I took off my shoes I saw a tiny bit of blood.

Even though that 3k run was no fun, running in these shoes has brought about interest in running! I'm looking forward to my runs rather than dreading them. Now I'm making progress in distance every time, without pushing myself too far and I can play with technique!