running

Minimalist Run #12: A Small Breakthrough

minimal_run_12If there’s one thing I’ve truly learned with this transition to minimal running, it’s patience. Over the course of 2.5 months I’ve had (only) 12 runs with a few long breaks for injury. Everyone said to take it slow and I thought I was…but my body has told me otherwise.

Running in these Vibram five-fingers, I’ve been pushed to really think about and digest each step and stride on my runs. I’ve felt muscles and other parts (tendons? ligaments?) that I’ve never felt before. My feet, achilles, and lower calf are sore and tired. And I feel great.

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running

Minimalist Run 4: A Bump in the Road

minimalist_run_4So after my third run, upping my distance a quarter mile, I was feeling pretty good. Took the weekend off and came back on Monday ready to do it again. My body had a different idea. Right off the bat part of my left calf was uncomfortable but I pushed on thinking it would go away. Right after the half-mile mark, it locked up and hurt pretty bad. It didn’t quite feel like a cramp; felt more painful. At least there was more pain than any cramp I’d had in a while.

I limped home pretty frustrated. Everyone saying “take it slow” was echoing in my head and I was pretty frustrated. How much slower can you get than .5 mi every 2-3 days?! Guess my answer was in the pain shooting through my left calf.

I stretched a bunch, took some Advil, and the next day it was better. Still some pain, but at least I could walk without a limp. Did my cross-training workout today with only a little discomfort and think I may give it another go tomorrow. Taking it slow is taking on a whole other meaning for me with this minimalist running.

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running

Minimalist Run: 3

minimalist_run_3Got out again today after a good long rest since I was a bit more stiff/sore after run numero dos. Upped the distance a bit to .77 miles and increased speed to just under 7:59/mi. Felt good all-around but at 3/4 mi I definitely felt I should stop. No pain per se, but could feel a limit approaching.

This is a pretty tough exercise for me trying to slowly ramp up miles and curb my urge to be competitive. I have to say it’s been kind of therapeutic to slow down, be patient, and focus on how my body feels—how each muscle and tendon feels—and actually just try and run because I enjoy it. And I’ve realized being back out there, even at just .77 mi, I really have missed it.

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running

The Journey Begins: Minimalist Running

minimalist_run_1My first real minimalist run was today, but this journey began long before today. It started back in December when, after running consistently for a year, my right knee would take no more. I was no “super runner”, but I averaged 30-40 mi./mo. at 7:48/mi. I took a few weeks off, started back up in January (2013), got 4 runs in, then had to stop due to more pain. I started back up a week-and-a-half later and the pain was so severe in my knee, I thought it was going to explode, leaving me in a sad little heap in the road. I limped home defeated.

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