Sunday, May 8, 2011

Barefoot Running Update

I still haven't put my barefoot sandal kit together but I did manage to get a pair of Vibram 5 fingers minimalist shoes. I thought they would be warmer but alas they are not. I bought a pair of toe socks to go with them but honestly am not too fond of the way they feel with the socks. Without the socks they are great. That's an actual picture of my little hobbit feet in them.

You're supposed to ease into this barefoot running thing rather than just throw the shoes on and head out for a 3 miler. I decided to try using the Couch to 5K program since it starts with only 8 minutes of running and builds up slowly over 9 weeks.

I've checked out a bunch of C25K podcasts and these are the ones I enjoy most. Laura, the woman who cheers you on telling you when to walk briskly and when to run is from the UK. She has a wonderful accent - well if you aren't from the UK she does. If you're from the UK you won't even notice. :) I think of her as Laura the saucy Aussie - not strictly correct but Aussie rhymes with saucy while UK doesn't and I'm not schooled enough in accents to know the difference - though I'm sure there is a difference. The music changes often and is pretty motivating - well to me it is. If you're not a runner and have no desire to run you could use the Mp3s and as walking interval workouts, simply picking up your pace when she tells you to run.

At first running and even walking was very slow in my vibrams. I'm naturally a midfoot striker but it was still strange having my toes and feet totally unchained and without all that cushioning. Yesterday I did my first session for week 2 of the program - you do 3 a week - and I was finally able to cover 3 miles.

I haven't had the extreme soreness I've read about but then I'm taking a very moderate approach. What I do have is muscle awareness and if I twist my feet around, pointing and inverting and everting them I can *find* slightly sore muscles in my lower legs the day after my C25K session. It's gone by the next scheduled session. I've been doing simple foot restructuring exercises 3-4 times a week and I truly believe that they've helped.

I've finally managed to get a pretty detailed description of a few of those exercises written up and will post it early in the coming week.

One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world - making the most of one's best. - Harry Emerson Fosdick

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