I have done three runs now since my massively informative session at Vivobarefoot. The advice was to just do short runs in the barefoot shoes, 1km at a time to begin with. However, I am Miss “I Won’t Get Out of Bed for Less Than 10km” so I haven’t followed that advice.
I have run in my Nike Zoom Vomeros, they have a heel drop that is a bit better than my much loved Adidas adiStars. I have concentrated on smaller, quicker steps and making sure that I stand upright and push the ground away from me landing on mid or forefoot instead of reaching forward with my heel.
The good news is that my runs haven’t been slower than what they normally are and that running this way isn’t more effort on my cardiovascular system. The bad news is that it is a lot more effort for my arches and lower calves / achilles. The worst (or maybe actually best) news is that even when I decided today that I was going to run ‘normally’ this one time, I just could do it – the 180 is stuck in my head and I just spent the entire hour counting one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four… I’m sure my cadence isn’t actually 180 but I cannot feel the buzz of the metronome when it’s clipped on so I’m just going with this improvised plan of quickening my steps but not chasing the perfect 180 (and I’m not sure 180 is the One&Only anyway, 175 might be quite ok too :).
Right now my left leg feels a bit off from the knee down. The right leg is fine. Tomorrow and Friday is Crossfit, Saturday is a day off and hopefully the leg is fine for another run on Sunday.
To be honest this transition is hard. There’s so much information about running technique out there, everyone claims they know the right way to do it. Yet there are so many different styles.
I think I do believe that ‘barefoot’ forefoot running is the ‘correct’ way to run BUT my regular heel striking hasn’t injured me in the 3 years that I’ve been running so – have I just been lucky and disaster is just around the corner OR is it not too bad for me running this way since I don’t run crazy mileage???
Who knows. In general I tend to believe that everyone has to find a way that works for them – whether it’s eating or exercising or any other aspect of someone’s life… but then again running is the one sport that most people do without any coaching so now I really don’t know what I think anymore.
Lets see what the next weeks and months bring.