March 2015 archive

Mar 01

Barefoot Beginner Training Blog March 2015

Sun 1st March

6 miles barefoot this morning. I felt very unsure when i woke up. my soles felt tender and so I set off knowing that I could bale out early if needed. My soles felt great though. it is amazing what a dry surface and a bit of sunshine can do. I ran 78 miles in Feb, all of them barefoot. I have not run in footwear for a long time now and have got through the worst of the winter and managed to run every day. 78 miles is my biggest monthly total since before I began barefooting properly and I am on way to 1000 miles across the year.

I am becoming wedded to the idea that running should be a nurturing pursuit and not one that is boom/bust. If running is making my back and sides stiff then I reckon that i need to change something so that it doesn’t. Why should it. the body is more clever than that. we should be able to run to some extent daily. I think that it is to do with the way i hold my shoulders and upper body when i run. I have been so focused on my lower half that i have forgotten about the rest. I think that i need to extend myspine and run tall but i doing that through my shoulders and I need to relax and drop them. That was the advice that I got from Gray Caws a couple of years ago when I started with this whole thing.

Mon 2nd March 15

It was snowing heavily when i stepped out of the door this morning and my toes got cold. If I had been going longer than a mile, I am sure they would have warmed up. I have just lost the skin off the underside of toes on both feet from where I got ice burn 4 weeks ago. Didn’t feel it, just saw it when I was scrubbing my feet.

Did squats and side extension things today. Weighed in at 12st 10oz which is heavy for me. Going to add fruit to my diet this month. 3 pieces every day. Let’s see how that affects my refined sugar intake.

Tue 3rd March 15

Every day between 6 and 7am, I give myself a period of quiet contemplation where I process whatever is troubling my mind at the time. I just happen to be running at the same time. Sometimes it is 10 mins and sometimes an hour but it is quality time that helps me cope with the whirl of things that I have going on.

This morning, I was processing asll sorts of things to do with school uniforms and a coaching talk that I am giving this evening. It was clearer by the end of my 5 miler.

I am also pondering the realtionship we have with our running gear. What do the things we wear say about us and our relationship to running. Interseting when looking at where we are at the moment.

Rocksalt everywhere this morning. Millions of tiny shards. Pretty sure I stood on most of them.

Wed 4th March 15

My feet were very tender this morning on my barefoot mile. Maybe all yesterday’s rocksalt has melted into the rain and that is the cause. Feel like it is imoprtant for people to know that I have days like this. It is not all plain sailing. Feels like going back to the start…but that is OK. I will probably feel different tomorrow.

During my fascia type exercises, my left side was very stiff this morning. Doing the squats on a lower heel raise stretched my lower back more than usual too. All in all, an ingteresting morning. we will see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday 5th March15

5 barefoot miles this morning. My feet felt great on the nice dry surface. This was in contrast to yesterday when they felt the burn straight away and a mile was a challenge. Quads felt a bit tred though. I ahve been up latefor a few nights working on assignment. It is taking its toll. It will be good to get it finished. Gave my feet a good rolI before setting off. it felt good. Not done that for a while and they felt that needed the stretch.

I keep talking about being at peace with my running. Having a time each day that is just for me helps. My running is not now in conflict with my family life. There is no tension there. I run before they get up. Running after work is hard because everything is so busy and there are jobs to do. If I go running, someone else has to do them. It is working for ma at the moment.

Fri 6th March 15

A barefoot mile in the dry with no problem other than feeling sluggish because of my poor diet yesterday. i think it is fair to say that what I put inot my body is not nurturing. If I am aiming to nutrure myself through running then I need to get a grip of what i eat but I struggle with it.

I have a couple of niggles. lower back, right achilles and left calf and a couple of theories. one is that i ran last week through tender footedness and maybe i am now feeling the effect.

The other one is is linked to squats. I have dropped my heel raise by a couple of mm and am struggling with them. i am certainly stretching my lower back to keep my balance. I am going to persevere through March but if it is not working then go back to my original squat and see if it goes away. Feeling like i might run an 8.5m in the morning. I think that i will if it dry.

Sat 7th March 15

9 barefoot miles this morning. my soles were not the limiting factor this morning. I set off do do 9 and the road was dry. I could have carried on for some time. Was feeling it a bit by the end. Not run 9 for a while. I really enjoy long runs and I am looking forward to the warmer months and getting out there and gradually going further.

I went back a step and did my squats with the heel raise I started with. This felt good and i could feel my hip opening up. When I drop it by 2mm, it becomes a strain. I will play about with it i think. Achilles a bit bit tender in right leg before setting off. It was tight from the moment I got put of bed.

Sun 8th March 15

A barefoot mile before heading off to Rammy Farmers’ Market.

Mon 9th March 15

5 barefoot miles. The weather has gone from 17C to zero. I wasn’t expecting the ice but at least the roads were dry. I am beginning to think quite a bit about pace. I feel very one paced. I set off almost at a shuffle this morning and had to work to get a good stride going. By the end, my stride is fine but my pace is pretty sedate in all my running at the moment. I am not too worried about that.

It may be that I am just building a strong base. Not aerobically which I know is happening but I amm talking about the whole structure of my feet and lower legs. I am laying down some steady daily mileage that is building those areas up and hopefully this will be the foundation on which I will build my lifelong running. It feels like that is what I am doing.

Tues 10th March 15

A weary barefoot mile after staying in bed much longer than usual. Burning the candle at both ends. Not good.

Wed 11th March 15

5 barefoot miles this morning. Cold again. I did my squats and felt much easier (Heritage of Britain under heels) for the last one I turmed alot of pages back and managed fine. I think that the change was the thing that was restricting me earlier in the month. I ran loose and pretty quick this morning. Maybe I am just thinking about it more and keeping the pace up a bit. not too fast.All relative. 9 minute miles rather than 10 minute miles.

Thursday 12th March 15

Did squats with book open which drops it by the thickness of the cover. It is a big,pld cover and it made a difference. The stretch in my hip was notoceably greater and I am hoping that it will improve things further. I noticed it whilst on my barefoot mile this morning. Feet felt robust considering I had run 5 on them yesterday. I was jumping on and off the pavement to avoid cars with no problem. Started slow but got faster as the run went on particularly on the downhils. Didn’t freewheel but did let myself go more than usual.

Fri 13th March 15

Very wet barefoot mile on a cold and rainy morning. It meant that I was running through cold, standing water for most of the run and this made my toes numb. Not too bad though. I was moving along pretty quickly, or so I think. I started to analyse my style. I feel like Mo Farah but am probably moving at a quick shuffle. Very little up and down. There is certainly an economy of movement and my feet never get high off the ground.

Sat 14th Mar 15

5.66 barefoot miles this morning. Right achilles is tender and think that I need to work out what to do about that. The runstreak got me out of the door this morning. There was no way that I was not running but an hour extra in bed would have been nice. Had an early night last night and that always helps. The road was rough and made my feet feel the barefoot burn but the sensation felt different. I was aware of it but didn’t feel pain at all. Going down a hill, I had an image in my head of me riding a penny farthing. Knees up and a slightly backwards lean so the pacde didn’t run away with me.

Sun 15th March 15

A barefoot mile and a half this morning to keep up the 20 mile a week. I feel that the consistent 20 mile weeks are having an impact on my body shape and weight.

Mon 16th March 15

Another barefoot mile to keep the streak going. Damp and cold and my toes were feeling it.I kept up the reduced raise squat and am feeling it in my hip and groin. I can feel it at night and am hoping that if I continue this will improve.

Tues 17th March 15

5 barefoot miles this morning and first proper niggle for a while. After about 2 miles, I got a sharp jab in the centre of my left calf. it was at surface level as though someone had stuck a fine needle in there. It was in a line across the centre. When getting ready to set off, it was a,ittle tight there but nothing that i really gave a second thought to and I set off pretty quick. It happened on a long shallow descent and this type of gradient seems to be the most problematic for me. interesting. i ceoncentrated on liftting for a while and managed the rest of my run with no problem but I will need to keep an eye on it. At the time, I was daydreaming about running a 10 miler this weekend. We will see how it goes.

Doing a fiar bit of reading at the moment about making chnagines by disrupting the habitus in which we live. the taken for granteds that we don’t even think about. Time of day, route, clothing, running alone, speed, distance. It jolts us out of the comfortable rut we have made for ourselves.

Wed 18th March 15

Barefooting is amazing. That calf issue I had yesterday was one that would have put me out for weeks previously. By the end of today’s mile, I had forgotten that I was suppoesed to be worried about it. I roled the soles of my feet this morning and that freed things up before I set off. I am going to take it easy but the fear of doing myself big damage has gone from my running life. It is amazing. I ran in fear for many years. That is what i mean when i say that i am peace with my running or at least it is one aspect of it.

Thurs 19th March 15

Woke up with a headache this morning and the fact that I have been being careful about my calf meant that it was just a mile this morning. I felt my calf only when doing squats this morning. Maybe the extra strecth is what triggered the upexpected tweak in my calf. I forgot all about it whilst running and will be back on the usual 5 miler in the morning.

Fri 20th March 15

5 barefoot miles this morning and no problem at all with my left calf. Rolling my soles seems like a good thing to do for my calves. I am not looking for hot spots, i just want to stretch things out a bit. In the last couple of hundred yards or so, I could feel where the problem had been. It seems to be when I land going down shallow hills. my speed is pretty quick but i am not letting myself go. I am continaully braking and this is when the probl;em arises. Need to think about that.

Sat 21st March 15

A barefoot mile with Dan in the evening. Only second evening run in 5 months. Prettty quick.

Sun 22nd March 15

Whoooooh!!! – 10 barefoot miles with the sun on my back. I found myself running quickly and flying along. Where did that come from? Felt excellent. I felt like a runner again. I ran with freedom and found myself with my arms out wide and flying down hills like a plane. At one point, I stepped aside to let a car go and did the whole Rocky arms above the head bouncing up and down thing. My right hip protested in the last mile but I don’t care.Whoooooh!!!

Mon 23rd March 15

A mile barefoot. Between toes a bit flaky. used the athletes foot gel that you only need on application.

Tus 24th March 15

Another barefoot mile. Difficulty getting out of bed. Very tired at moment.

Wed 25th March 15

Back to -2C this morning and fleecy hat. The combination of cold and rocksalt meant that my feet weres tinging pretty much straight away. managed the 5 mies but all a bit sluggish. Slight hotspot on uderside of left ankle. Achilles fine.

Thurs 26th Mar 15

Snow – Where did that come from? Ok -The sky. I knew that… but nobody told me to expect snow! Deep and soft and a bit slushy. Rubbed a bit of Mushers Secret between my toes which is where I have a bit of irritated, flaky skin at the moment and put on my Runamoks and walked to the road at the top of our street. Sliiped of Runamoks and ran a mile altogether in the tyre tracks on the road. Slipped Runamoks back on and slid all the way back down our street to home. Feet are fine and it waas quite nice really. I have learned to respect the snow though. Not doing anything daft.

Fri 27th March 15

Exhausted this week and woke up with a bad headache so didn’t run in the morning. I have also been struggling with a cut or something on the underside of my middle toe on my left foot. It is in the crease where the toe jojns my foot and it is sore. I think the origin was standing ona  sharp bit of rocksalt a few days ago followed by runs on rocksalt and in the snow which have just dried my skin out. I felt like it needed protecting so have limited myself to a mile. Whilst running though, it has been fine and I don’t think that it has been caused by poor form and friction. It does need to heal though. i got out my trusty spray plaster which acts as a good antiseptic and barrier and put on a layer or two.

Sat 28th March 15

I was full of running on my mile this morning and was dashing along almost from the off. I think that it will be fine and I will probably do a long one tomorrow to keep the 20 mile a week thing going.

Sun 29th March 15

A mile and a bit along a quiet road. It is usually full of pedestrians but not today. it was raining hard. first time I am have worn my rain jacket in a long time. Just didn’t feel like a long run today. Sometimes, the thought of a 10 milert can be off putting. I am better off getting out of the door and seeing what happens.

Mon 30th March 15

Well March is closing in a bit of a lull. I am tired and have so many things going on in my head that I feel that a mile aday is OK for a couple of days. I know that I will come out of it and don’t really feel pressured into doing more than feels right. Maybe that is one of the things that I mean when i say that I at peace with my running.

A mile today and the ground felt warm and smooth and I was running well within myself.

Tues 31st March 15

I tweaked my hip yesterday in a non-running related thing. It went from under me a couple of times. I did the squats this morning with no trouble and ran an expolratory mile also with no trouble. In fact, the running seems to help.

86 barefoot miles during March which is my furthest ever barefoot month and also the furthest and most consistent month I have had for a long time. It tailed off towards the end of the month because of a slight cut on the underside of one toe and just a general feeling on needing to rest after an intense period at work.

So far this year, I have run every day and have covered 241 miles. For the first quarter, I am pleased. Only 9 miles short of the 250 that would bring in 1000 barefoot miles across the year. Not bad considering the darkness and the ice and snow.