Yesterday – bedecked in fivefingers and comedy running leggings I bought years ago and my NUFC top – I ran further barefoot than ever before. 8.1 miles round my local park. As with last week, I ran the first two miles at an aspirational pace of about 8mph – 8 minute miles. Not a great speed by many people’s standards but good for me. After the two miles I let my body decide on pace. The feeling of tirelessness – being born to run – came again despite having been full of cold all week.
As the time rolled on I slowed, partly due to going off track and the ground being muddy and wet causing me to slip and slide with less traction. However, when my run keeper app lets me know I’m slowing down, I notice my technique is off as well. I raise my head and quicken my legs and the result is surprising. Without any added effort other than concentration, my pace increases, my body relaxes and I listen to my feet.
During the run, I had little discomfort or pain – some good pain that made me correct my technique. It’s interesting that whilst running barefoot you are able to change what you’re doing to ease any rising aches and pains. I never managed this when shod in trainers; I just thought my body wasn’t up to it.
The mid foot strike discussed last week was certainly in use again and no calf muscle pain during or after. I’m now more relaxed about how my foot makes contact with the ground, but I still don’t think I’m anywhere near a good technique yet. It’s hard to tell sometimes if I strike my heel, particularly off-track in the mud. So, after further research, here’s a link about the Chi and Pose styles of barefoot running. The comments on that post expose the differences of opinion on this. I’m aiming for more of the Chi method which spreads the weight across more of the foot. I imagine as my pace quickens, I will use the Pose method more.
This morning, other than some expected stiffness, I have a sharp pain on the inside of my right foot about an inch below where the ankle bone protrudes.
This week is half term so I’m on holiday, but I am running a touch-typing club specialising in dyslexia. I might use the school treadmills to do fast short runs during my lunch hour.