Fri 1st May 2015
A planned mile barefoot to get May off to a start. It is interesting. I have just listened to a coach taking abiout motivation. he says that everyone has motivatioj but what they lack is structure. He believes in giving people structure. I think that seems right. I like to have things that you can tick off each day and then forget about.
Sat 2nd May 15 – Up early to start brewing and then got involved in family stuff so didn’t get the long run in that I planned so just a barefoot mile.
Sun 3rd May 15 – I was out last night and so just did a quick barefoot mile in the rain this morning. Feet feel good.
Mon 4th May 15
Another barefoot mile. I had grand plans to run a long way today but didn’t really get there. I have not had the urge to write and fiddle with websites for ages but this morning I couldn’t help myself and ended up just doing a mile instead of the 15 I had planned!
Blimey – What have I done. I have enterered the Chester marathon on October 4th. Should be a good course. Have a look. https://ale.niftyentries.com/al-1kzg
Tues 5th May 15
A very wet 5 miler this morning with a marathon very much in my thoughts. I have no idea what sort of pace is right for me to do it barefoot. 10 minute miling seems sensible but I have 20 weeks or so to practice running a bit quicker so 9 minute miling seems reasonable. I will have to have a play with my pace and see what happens. I have no real concerns about the distance, that is just practice. I think.
Wed 6th May 15
Still got toe taped up and ran a barefoot mile with some stiffness in calves this morning. Gone by the time I got back. Achilles a bit tight too. Not sure where that has come from. I have not used the roller for a long time and have no plans to start on my legs but I do like it in the arches. it really stretches out my feet and seems to help with calf tightness.
Managing squats well and can now do a full squat without falling over backwards. that is quite something. The experiment with the book under heels has done its job. I am going to keep on with it. i want to be able to do it comfortably and siti in that position for extended periods. Hip has felt the benefit.
Thur 7th May 15
General election polling day and i started it with a 6 miler barefoot. i decided to head for a route around Stones Bank which has some rough tarmac on the roads. If i am going to do this marathon in October then I am going to have to get used to it underfoot. My feet were sensitive and i slowed right down. A little later, I was climbing a hill and a mountain bike was overtaking me. I raced him for a quarter of a mile or so uphill and was pleasantly surpised at how fast I could go. I then had a mile left and I kept a pretty high pace up. maybe i should do a few 800m reps so that I get to feel what different paces are like. It would be interesting.
Friday 8th May 15
A quick barefoot mile. I ended up running the first half pretty steadily and then enjoyed upping the pace on the return. Good fun but it shows that I am just not used to running quickly. Out of breath but grinning. I know that it will come. I am confident about that just not it a big rush. Had a few beers and then walked home in the evening. Very steep and lots of steps and I breezed up them. I am so much fitter than I have been for a while.
Saturday 9th May 15
The plan was to go out for a 5 miler this morning but the beers from the night before disagreed. We were trying out quite a lot ofnew beers that we are selling on Sunday. remember, I taste them so that you don’t have to.
Just a mile then.
Spent the day at a coaching clinic with Ben Le Vesconte. I will post more about at some point when I get hold of the videos of me running. I learny a lot. You get things when people ask questions and see others running so you get something different each time.
MY running technique initially was pretty good. I was pleased with that seeing as I don’t really think too much about technique and rely of the fact that I am running every day without footwear.
I have slight forward lean which is a hangover from Chirunning, i think. Ben recommended more of a lean at the hips which is more Ken Bob’s way. I have been trying to do this but it looks like I could do with practising.
I do stand up staright but could do with opening my shooulders out and relaxing them a bit more and just leaning back ever so slightly.
The biggest thing was to do with pulling through my hamstrings. I do it OK and that is probably becasue I don’t often run at speed. If I want to run more quickly and for longer, I would benefit from increasing the way I pull my heel through quickly and geting it higher (towards my glutes) and then down quickly. I was much better at it than I thought when i tried. I have struggled with it in the past.
My flexibility is a shocker. I am pleased with how I have done with squats and it looks like my idea of using a book isn’t a bad one. I need to keep going with it. I was shocked how easy some people found it whereas I struggle. The prgression to lifting your bodyweight seems a long way off but I do have every day for the rest of my life to get there.
My quads are tight and this limits lots of things. Good stretch for that. Again, I was shocked at my lack of flexibility compared to everyone else. Lots of things to do every day.
The toe exercises wheree also fascinating. can’t do those either although my big toe does engage with the floor when I run and feels strong. i will be engaging it when i squat from now on.
All in all, a really useful day. I confirmed to me that this experiment is working and that I am not doing something stupid and that I have lots of things to work on in my quest to be a lifelong runner. My feet and lower leg bones and structure is building up gradually to be strong but my flexibiliy and sterength in other areas needs attention. It can be done.
Sunday 10th May 15
A barefoot mile before heading off to Rammy Farmers’ market. I think I get it. When I ncrease speed, my cadence goes up rather than pulling through and liftingnhigher with hamstring. I think that to help with that, I could run with a metronome for a while. I need to get a new one.
Monday 11th May 15
Life is busy and I am struggling to motivate myself intoo longer runs. Ticking along too easily. need to get back in groove (or is it a rut.) Quick mile this morning practising with hamstring pulling through.
Tues 12th May 15
5 barefoot miles this morning. I am pretty lethargic at the moment and fell asleep very early last night. One of those where I sat down but was too tired to even go to bed. I had done some kneeling to work my quads and found it a challenge. Looks like I now have a regime to follow that can help with flexibility.
I did squats this morning. I am turning over the pages of Heritage of Britain and thereby reducing the heel raise I am using to squat. Last month I was squatting over Magna Carta. This month I am over Henry V.
I set of slow and sluggish but by the last couple of miles was upright and thinking about my form. When i run fast, I either lean too much or increase my cadence. It would be good to set a mtronome and pratcie running at quicker speeds whilst maintaining cadence and minimising the lean. I need to push hips through and get that foot up and through a bit higher as my speed increases.
Feeling hip a little which i out down to not running any distance for a few days and a few days off squatting. It could also just be because I am trying one or two new stretches and things need to settle down. Good to get that run out of my system.
Wed 13th May 15
First run for a while without toe being taped up. I must have smacked it harder than I first thought. It is bruised and still a bit tender. I do keep catching the same one which is interesting in itself.
I ran the first half of my barefoot mile this morning nice and steady and then the return as quickly as I could. I started by concentrating on form and pulling through using hamstring. In the end, i just ran as fast as i could and only thought about the hamstring pull. Out of breath quickly which is good. It can only get better and it makes my mile runs a bit more fun.
Thursday 14th May 15
5 barefoot miles this morning without scraping my toe. Sitting here dripping with sweat because I ran the last mile as fast as I could. No idea how fast that is but I needed to concentrate hard to keep going. My natural style has a high cadence but I sort of lean forward slightly and almost reach out gently to touch the ground and then I pull myself through. I feels natural and quick. This morning I resisted that and kept myself upright and tried lead from my hips. Sort of like the chirunning prompt of imagining being pulled forward from the naval but I did it from my hips. Everytime I visualised that it seemed to click into place (My techinque – not my hip!). I then focussed on the lift and pull through using hamstring. I fatigued quickly and it was mostly my core that struggled. I think I might do that a bit more often. My soles threatened to get sore but in the end didn’t and I just get going. Bumped into friend and brewing partner Phil running the other way this morning.
Friday 15th May 15
A barefoot mile before work. Ran quickly and then sttod on something sharp coming round the last bend. amazing how quickly I can stop when I need to. No damage done.
Saturday 16th May 15
Up at 5.30am to fit in a 8.75 miler barefoot his morning. The road was damp and my feet were singing by the end of a couple of miles. It is rough uunderfoot. I can pretty much run on any surface now but my speed is affected. I let myself go down hill and concentrated on lifting heel rather than knees and pulling through quickly. On these longer runs, I think I just need to go with the flow and enjoy being out and let the form take care of itself. I am definitely improving though. The short runs with focus on tecnique are helping me to run more quickly.
Got thinking about targets. I think a good way to decide whether it is healthy is if a second makes a difference to how you feel about yourself.
Sun 17th May 15
A quick barefoot mile before heading off to the market today. Feet a bit tender but still manged to run pretty quickly. I speed up when I push my hips forward. Targets wise, Imaging running a 2:59 marathon or a 3:01 marathon. Would it make that much difference to you? If it would, the maybe the 2:59 target wasn’t a healthy one in the first place. Attaching so much importance to arbitrary figures seems crazy when you stand back and have a look at it. There moust be much mre worthwhile things to set yourself as overall goals than that.
Mon 18th May 15
A barefoot mile in the pouring rain after posting about how setting goals can bash your resilience and what to do about that.
Tues 19th May 15
A quick barefoot mile and I turned right instead of left. Immediately found myself on a steep, slick slope and footing was a bit harum scarum. Rough is one thing but slippy is quite another. Give me gravel any day of the week. Squats challenging today. I have been using a table to hold onto to bounce once I am in the squat and this is waking up places I didn’t even know I had places. My right knee is a bit crunchy on the way down which is a surprise. i also feel it when running. Last time I had this sort of thing was when I doing some lunge type exercises and I thnk I am stretching stuff around the knee. Not a worry but something to keep an eye on and back off from if needed.
Wed 20th May15
Felt pretty awful in the night and woke up with a pretty bad stomach ache. 5 barefoot miles sorted it out but to be honest I am still feeling a bit ropey. I am more convinced than ever that giving yourself structure helps with motivation. Things to tick off. If I had not had the structure then I would only have arun a mile this morning and in the end, a 5 miler was well within me and was no problem. I could do with doing the same thing for my blogging and also beer writing. It would help with a bit of focus and stop me drifting. Create an experiment with my time and see if it works. I am nothing if not a pragmatist.
Thursday 21st May 15
A quick mile barefoot everyone got upp on my wife’s birthday. I set off slowly within 5 minutes of getting out of bed and it took a few hundred yards to iron the creases out and then I felt good and was away. Iran quickly for the second half mile and kept my hips forward and chest and shoulders open. Running more quickly increases the friction on my soles and it is good practice because it sorts out your form. I might have slipped into bad habits now that my soles are more robust when running at slower speeds.
Friday 22nd May 15
Planned to run 5 this morning but was very tired and sluggish so ended up doing a barefoot mile. Ate too much yesterday and was up until well gone midnight with school work. Feel better having got it done and not too bothered about missing the 5 miler this morning.
Sat 23rd – Tuesday 26th May 15
I a bit of a slump but still manged to run a barefoot mile each day. I did come out of it a bit on Tuesday by running a different route with hills. I have been preoccupied by the artisan newtwork market we did on Monday. It was causing some stress and looking back it took its toll. It was new venture for us as we were running a bar as well as just our stall. It went well but worn out. Hip threatening to flare up because of lack of real miles.
Wed 27th May 15
6 barefoot miles this morning. Just took my time and I was full of running. A little tired in the last mile or so but feet felt good. I am learning to go with what my body needs and I think it needed me to back off for a few days and recover. I have slept a lot and feel better for it.
Thursday 28th May 15
A mile barefoot with my son this morning. The weather was sunny but blustery and as usual he set off at a cracking pace. I pitter-pattered along behind him and the first thing that I noticed was how good my soles felt. I think that laying off and reducing miles for a few days has done me some good. I caught him up pretty soon and the second thing that i noticed was how fit I feel. Running every day for over 7 months is going to do that to you but it creeps up and today I was flying alongside him with no problem at all without raising a sweat. Sometimes, we just need to go wiht the flow and back off.
Friday 29th May 15
Tipping down with rain and streams running down the centre of the road. Fantastic to run in although my toes did get cold to start with. Thinking about some of the Vivobarefoot training. The before and after vids don’t compare like with like. it would be more interesting if there were 3 videos. A before followed immediatley by a barefoot with 180bpm metronome and then one after coaching and drills. It would be interesting to see where the biggest change came. between video 1&2 or between 2&3. Just a thought that has been niggling away at the back of my mind and I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I can see how important the drills are and for me that was worth paying the session fee for.
Sat 30th May 15
A quick barefoot mile this morning. The weather was great but it was a heavy night out but it was a brewing day today and I needed to get out to the brew shop whilst mash was on rather than run.
Sun 31st May 15
Another mile this morning instead of the 10 planned. 2 thngs going on. My mileage has decreased significantly since entering the marathon. It might be that the pressure of geting in some bigger miles is meaning that I just don’t fancy it and I might be better forgetting the marathon and just putting in the 2 goals that are easy to understand. Run every day and 20 miles a week. I could do with changing the secons one to a simple to understand structure that I can just tick off. Too woolly at moment.
The second is to so with structure. I find it so much easier to run when my days are structured. i don’t seal well with a lack of structure. I carry around a feeling of guilt with me. Guilt for not running as far and also my food intake has not been as good. I find myself longing for a bit of structure and being back at work. Something to think about for the the long summer holidays.
I also have so many other things that I need to get done during the holidays that running gets put in the back burner. Shame!!