Monday, April 2, 2012

Training Commences, the Barefoot Experience

As my blisters healed from my first trial with barefoot running, I have been simply walking and doing muscle strengthening, slowly working up to barefoot running again. This new running style has been more difficult than I expected to work into, but I am determined.

I have been walking 40 minutes a day on my lunch hour, and either jogging or walking in the evenings. One of the big things I ran into while starting barefoot training was the sheer amount of information that warns against starting too fast, doing too much too soon, and basically how important it is not to hurt yourself while starting. Barefoot running is difficult to get into, here's my first 3 experiences with it.

#1: I ran 3/4ths of a mile barefoot, got 3 huge blisters, and my calves were very sore for the next two days. I did only walking for 3 days after that, and have been doing toe raises and carefully stretching my achilles

#2: I only ran about 2 blocks. I've been practicing the steps and such, but after two blocks the healing blisters started to burn, rather than aggravate them I stopped running, and simply walked again. It's annoying especially when I really love to run, but gotta listen to what my body says! (2 day break between this and next trial of barefoot)

#3: I did 3/4ths of a mile again. This time I was able to go longer without getting winded, and I ran on a field instead of on smooth pavement. The experience was really enjoyable, and I only stopped because I knew that my calves would protest. Sure enough, today they did, but hey, I'm working into it!

So go slow, and train right. It's a lot of work, but I'm hoping it will be worth it! I've been asked if I'm doing the Tough Mudder barefoot. After training, I kind of doubt that. I came across another blog that detailed barefoot half-marathons and winter training. That blog had some gruesome pictures of toes being split open, frostbite, and other injuries that seemed to be over-the-top. I'm not aiming for that, injuries to say that I'm tough. I just wanted a goal to aim for, and now I have one! I am definitely going to invest in some Vibram Five Fingers, but I've gotta save the money first! Plus, I hear those shoes are tough to break in, and if it's really like running barefoot, then my feet aren't strong enough to handle them anyway.

My next thing is I'm going to read 'Born to Run' by Christopher MacDougall. I'm waiting for eBay to ship my copy out to me, but from the reviews, I hear it's an interesting look at barefoot running and how it started with our ancestors. Plus, there's apparently an awesome race between the indigenous tribe the author is studying and some hard-core marathoner's. I'm hoping to get informed, and maybe even a little inspired along the way! So, that's it for now, see ya'll next time!

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