Where am I? This week was my longest barefoot run to date at a whopping 2.5 miles. Here's the summary:
|Jan 6 ||Jan 8 |
|Distance ||2.04 mi @ 6.4 mi/hr ||2.54 mi @ 7.6 mi/hr |
|Conditions ||Warm, dry pavement ||Cold, wet, pavement + gravel trail |
|Issues running ||Pain in right knee, right groin muscle, left achilles ||Feet stinging |
|Post run issues ||None ||None |
Slight detour -- I've been using Cardio Trainer on my Nexus One to track miles and pace. The app also tracks elevation change and has some other nifty features, but I'd have to say that the killer feature is that it talks. I was actually shocked to hear it the first time I used it. I was running along and after a bit it called out my pace. A bit later, it called out the distance I'd gone. I've used a Garmin wrist GPS before, but the talking aspect is much better as I don't have to focus on a small screen as I run.
Back to the main program. The good news is that my feet performed like champs. Or alternatively, I've learned to be gentle on them. The cold and wet is a bit uncomfortable, but the dry pavement feels great.
In the 'not so great' category, I've got work to do on being gentle on the rest of my drive-train. During the run, my knees felt tight and my right groin muscle felt like I'd pulled it. I'm not sure if it's technique, weak muscles, not enough stretching (or too much stretching?). Time will tell.
So my favorite tip from Born to Run is to imagine that when you run you are being pulled back by a harness. It really does seem to improve posture, but maybe more importantly it seems to get your lower body to line up underneath you and keep you forward on you foot. That my help you knee pain.
Also for years I felt holding my core tight was the way to stability. Lately in an attempt to keep my hips and back from tensing up while running I have been focusing on belly breaths and relaxing my core. It has really reduced my tension. I now think that having a fluid strong core will let you react to the motion instead of constantly fighting against it.
Well that's what I'm playing with anyway.
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