Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Barefootin' It

After a lot of reading and further thought about running, I decided to give barefoot running a go. One of the first suggestions for easing into barefoot running is to take it slow, build a base to toughen up the feet. I started about a week ago with a treadmill session of walking one mile and running one mile. The second session I ran two miles and walked a quarter mile. This evening, I ran 3.6 miles and walked a mile. By 4.5 miles, the balls of my feet were yelling at me to stop. While I wasn't running fast by any means at 5 mph, a 12 minute mile, I did feel as if I could have continued (if the feet hadn't been saying enough) for quite some time. This has never, ever happened to me before.

For almost two years I've had this love/hate relationship with running, Mostly hate. My legs usually feel like lead when I run, which makes me dread putting on the shoes and heading out. No matter what I tried, the old legs just didn't like having to go faster than a brisk walk. The first thing I noticed during my initial running session on the treadmill is my legs felt good. Light. My mind didn't focus on the running. I thought about all kinds of other things, and before I knew it, I had gone for 3/4 of a mile without realizing it. This evening, I watched Glee while running, and the same thing happened. I looked down at the panel and saw 2 miles had slipped by. I didn't feel like I was working hard at all.

I know I won't be able to run barefoot outside. Way too much debris to have to worry about. So now I'm researching minimalist shoes. I know I don't want the toe shoes; not my style at all. I have seen other options and have read reviews, and right now, the Merrells are at the top of my list. I'm going to continue checking out what's available while I build my base on the treadmill, and who knows, in a month or so I'll see how things go with a duathlon or maybe even another sprint tri.

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