Thursday I was lucky enough to be let out early from class, so after a quick stop for a new pair of running shorts at the Woodbridge Running Company I was all fired up for a run of some sort. By this point in the week my legs were barely sore so it was about time to put some distance on them.
Distance is a relative term. In the past 3 runs I may have at most ran 5 miles, which really should be one run, but I think a nice and slow attitude to the barefoot running would lead to a healthier transition. Don't need to jump to quickly into this and walk out with some injuries from to much stress on muscles not ready for the challenge.
I ran at most a mile on the sidewalk/grass. I kept on trying to think about my form, about how heavy or lightly I was making my steps, but the ground seems to remind me to step lightly pretty well. Also tried to keep track of my breath, but my recent return to running put a stop to that. (I need my lungs back.) A ran another mile and a half on Friday. Surprisingly, my legs felt good today.
One thing I noticed about barefoot running, was the difference between running up and down hills. While running in shoes, a down hill is almost always welcome. You get to relax your arms, shake out any tension, and catch your breath. Barefoot running I found it easier to run up hills, and while keeping my form, almost as easy running on flat.
Ah form, this leads me to the final thought for the day. I spent a bit of time this morning and on Friday to look up some pointers about barefoot running. Over the past 3 runs I have been focusing on my foot placement, and because of that my upper body straitened it self out and ran from the hips. (Sounds strange, but it feels like your body is just along for the ride, and your hips simply pull you forward.) This is a wrong approach to archive the same effect.
The basic principle, from what I understand, is that your body learns to run smoothly and properly because of the pain caused from running the wrong way and putting more stress on your body then you need. The blogs, say that this will be archived by making sure that my body is strait and my hips lead the run, from this your feet naturally follow.
Today and tomorrow I am taking a break from running, give my feet some much needed rest. From the point of view of never having to run distance barefoot, I have asked a lot of them this past week. Monday, if I have time, I will try to run 2 miles. A slow build up.