running

Achilles Heel

You see, the funny thing about that title is that maybe you were expecting an interesting retrospective on some weakness I have, or something I struggle with—but no, this is literally about issues with my achilles. Both of them actually. A new chapter on injuries from minimalist running.

I had been cruising along pretty good there for a minute—no pain beyond the usual wear-and-tear of running for months—but after being sick in May and taking almost two weeks off from running, I came back to it, taking it easy, and both my achilles had sharp pains in them. I had experienced this before, on and off, but I was able to just slow things down a little for the first mile and the pain would fade. Sure, the next day my achilles would be sore and stiff, but I wasn’t too concerned. Heading out mid-May was different. I handled the pain for each run, but the next day I was significantly more uncomfortable. And it didn’t fade even with time off.

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running

20 Minimalist Runs in and Gaining Traction

20_minimalistLast week I completed my 20th run without conventional shoes. I’ve been making the transition to minimalist running and to say it hasn’t been easy is a little bit of an understatement. I might go as far as to say that my moral fiber has been put to the test. I started the journey on April 23 using Vibram five-fingers and pretty much up until July, I was plagued with minor injuries and much discomfort. The discomfort I can handle—I knew there would be sore feet, calves, achilles, etc.—but my left calf muscle was swear-out-loud painful on and off through May and June, which kept me from making real progress.

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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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