barefoottc

my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise

Longest barefoot run so far!

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First of all, I incidentally stumbled across the fact that it was International Barefoot Running Day (IBRD) yesterday!! I’m pleased to say that even though I didn’t know this until about 9pm on the night, I had managed to get out there and run some barefoot kms in the beautiful sunshine yesterday morning. Reprazentin’!

Here’s what I managed: http://app.strava.com/activities/52405105 (2.8km)

I looked into it, and there was only one organised event happening in the UK to mark the IBRD occasion…in Brighton, so too far anyway realistically, even if I had been aware of it. You can find out more about IBRD here: http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/pages/IBRD/. Barefooting even has it’s own society, how cool!!

On the plus side, I now have a year to work out and maybe even organise an event in Nottingham for my fellow barefoot runners to participate in! Maybe by then I’ll be able to manage 5km too!

I’m not there yet though. On my way home after a 5 mile tempo run at sub 6:00 mile pace, and a further 5 miles at a more languid pace, I was excited to take my shoes off and just enjoy running barefoot because I could.

However, this wasn’t my main reason for posting today. I wanted to talk about my longest ever barefoot run, which was a whopping 3.6km and completed on Friday 3rd May. It took me 17:11, and my speed was 4:44/km.

You can see it here: http://app.strava.com/activities/52051009

My longest ever barefoot run was the first part of my morning run in to work. It was a beautiful clear, sunny morning, but as it had rained overnight it was a bit wet underfoot. My run actually false started in that it was bin day and I forgot to take it out! I remembered two minutes into my run, so quickly did an about turn and went back home to do my duty before getting back on with getting to work!

What I did for the first time on this run was run on grass…and it was awesome (although brief)! Sadly, any fairly direct route to work is pretty much all on pavement, so my opportunities to run on other surfaces barefoot is limited until the weekend. And then I have a long run to fit in, so spending some time running barefoot on fields is again something I’d have to plan in and consciously do. Anyway, this run in to work was great. The roads were quiet at 7am and as there are tram works going on in Beeston, even less traffic and people around than normal! The surface is mostly good, until I run out the far side of Beeston. Then the surface is quite poor and my feet were really feeling tingly and alive. I enjoyed the challenge of concentrating on my running form, where I was putting my feet and trying to stay light too. I really think that running barefoot two or three times a week is benefiting my running form, reminding my body how I’m naturally meant to run.

I checked my smartphone to see that I’d managed 3.2km, but at this point, I wanted to get to 3.5km. As I entered the University campus I checked again and I’d made it! 3.6km and I stopped the clock. I took a well deserved sit down while I baby-wiped my feet clean and dry (it’s all about preparation!). Then I set off in my trainers and straight away I could still feel my feet tingling, but with the protection from my shoes, I could be more confident in my stride and I was moving much faster.

I’m sure that I’ll get quicker running barefoot as my skin ‘thickens’ and becomes more at ease on the ground. If the Olympic marathon can be won by a barefoot runner (Abebe Bikila in 1960 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abebe_Bikila), then it must be possible to run fast AND barefoot (maybe even for me!).

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my goals (again!) and reading a fellow blogger’s blog who had identified monthly goals for themselves. This gave me some food for thought.

So, for the month of May, these are my goals:

1. To run 5k barefoot in a single session, without stopping.

2. To get up to running 12k at tempo pace (sub 3:45/km) in preparation for my ten mile race on 7th June. I can currently run 8.5km at this pace…but I have only tried this once so far!

3. To run a sub-18 minute 5k at parkrun (I will have a couple of opportunities coming up soon – well, 25th May and then 1st June!!). This is a stepping stone on my way to hopefully achieving a sub-17 minute 5k at parkrun later on this year.

I think they will be enough to be getting on with this month.

What are your goals for this month? Do you set monthly goals? Weekly? Yearly?

How about barefoot running too. Have you tried it? How did you get on with it? Or how are you getting on with it? What made you try it? Or, what would stop you from trying it?

Run light and smooth,

barefoottc

Next up: A review of running accessories: a hand-held water bottle, a running ‘bumbag,’ an arm wallet and a running waist belt – coincidentally, they are all from the same brand (cheap from a local sports discount store!).

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