Sunday, November 27, 2011

Received my treadmill today!

At the beginning of November, I went to the University's sports center, to check out how many treadmills they had and whether I could run barefoot or at least in socks on them. Turned out that for insurance reasons people are required to wear shoes to run on public treadmills. That immediately disqualified them for me, and motivated me to buy my own treadmill. We have one spare room at home for it, and my wife Marion, who is a runner as well, will be able to run with the kids at home. We bought the LiveStrong 13.0T. They delivered it today, and after a couple hours setting it up, I ran 30 minutes barefoot on it to test it. It is perfect! I had read that one could not run barefoot on a treadmill because the heat from the friction of the belt would burn one's feet. Well, after 30 minutes at 6.6 miles per hour, the belt was just warm and very comfortable to the feet, especially after having spent the whole summer running barefoot outside!

Looks like my tendonitis has healed: I could feel no more pain on Thursday, I ran 15 minutes slowly outside barefoot on Friday (the cold was barely bearable for my feet), and did not feel any pain, then I ran 30 minutes today on the treadmill. I think I can get back in my training program, but I'll do only 3 sessions per week for the next couple of weeks at least.

Distance this week: 7.40 km.
Distance last week: 38.36 km.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Already injured...

Damn, my body never seems to be able to follow my will... OK, perhaps going straight from 3 runs per week to 5 runs per week as part of my new training schedule was too much. Thankfully, the problem did not come from my right foot arch, but from my right foot tendon, which started to hurt on Wednesday this week. I was at a conference on Thursday and Friday so I could not run, and the tendon pain had almost completely disappeared by Saturday morning, so I decided to go for my long run, and guess what? The pain came back even stronger! So I have learned a lesson I had already read about but had not really believed until now: don't increase your running schedule by 2 days per week at once! I have read you should not increase it by more than one day per season (although it was not specified whether a season was 4 months or 6 months long). My friend Davy says it is useless to run more than 3 times per week, which would just wear you out. But other people say it is better to run frequent but shorter sessions than fewer but longer ones. I don't know who's right...

But I know 5 times per week is too much for me right now. So I'll wait one week for the tendonitis to disappear, then I'll try to find a training program with only 4 sessions per week (3 seems not enough to complete 35 miles). Frustrating...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Running Over The Limits

We all have limits, but they are not necessarily where we think they are. One year ago, when I ran my first marathon in Honolulu, I thought I had reached my endurance limit for running, as I hit the wall around kilometer 33 from overheating (it was quite a hot environment to run in after training in the snow in the UK just before the race!). I finished in 3 hours and 56 minutes and thought I could not have gone any longer. Then, 4 months later, I ran the Paris marathon, and finished in 3 hours and 37 minutes, feeling as if I could have run longer. Since the Paris marathon, I have not run any long distances again, as I have transitioned to barefoot running. I ran my first barefoot race by completing the 10K race at the Rimouski marathon, in 39 minutes and 54 seconds. Unfortunately, due to the cold weather on race day, I made the mistake to run in my socks, and got awful blisters. My feet are all mended now and I have started training for my next challenge: to run 35 miles (56 km) on my 35th birthday, this coming February 28th.

I am following a 50K training program in 16 weeks. This week (Week 1), I have run 57 km, but my right foot's arch is aching a bit at rest. This foot has not yet fully adjusted to the change in my running form since I have transitioned to barefoot running style. I have to watch it attentively: if it hurts when I run (which it does not yet), I'll have to stop running until the pain disappears. Better listen to your body than damage it. But I won't go back to my former heel-striking running form. Barefoot running form feels so much more natural and gentler for the rest of my body!

I hope my friend Davy will join me in this challenge, and the ones to follow...