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Monday, March 5, 2012

Today's Run: Success! (Jan 11)

Hi guys, I just went for a short run and it was awesome!  This morning when I got up I knew I wanted to go for a run but I wanted to watch some more videos on form.  What I found caused a couple of epiphanies to occur, which finally fixed my form (or so I think)!

First I watched:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkF61mAJZxI

Which compared running forms.  What I took away from it was the reinforcement of rolling the foot from the outside in, and that toe striking is best and the hardest for shod runners.  However, when looking at his barefoot form he almost midfoot strikes, but I digress.  I had been going back and forth over toe and midfoot strike, this video encouraged me to stick with the toe strike (a form I had even with conventional shoes before my barefoot awakening) over new attempts at midfoot strike.  It also returned me to the foot roll, which Steven Sashen talks about on Living Barefoot:

http://www.livingbarefoot.info/2011/07/we-interview-steven-sashan-owner-of-invisible-shoes/

Next I rewatched a favorite,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd1QvXJS9m4

here we see Tirunesh Dibaba, an Ethiopian Olympian, doing a 10K.  What I take away from this video is her kick back with her feet, how far her knees come out in front of her, most of what the pop up comments say.  Today though, the biggest thing that stuck with me was that there was minimal up and down motion and maximum forward motion.  This was a central part of my run today that really improved my form and speed.  

Finally I watched "My transition to barefoot running - 7 months (#4)"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUP0-q_wjPU

This video further reinforced the idea of rolling the foot from the outside in and also brought my attention to his kick back.  It isn't as significant as Dibaba's but still more than what I believed myself to be doing.  In the previous video, it noted that Dibaba was leaning forward slightly; however, here he is straight up and down.  I played with this on my run, but mostly agree with a straight body position.  However, there may be a slight lean forward at high speeds.

With this new found/renewed video form knowledge I took to the streets and went for a 15 minute run.  Another thing I thought about from the second part of the first video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlm4SCzpCkU

is that because I haven't been minimalist running every day, my feet and calves aren't as strong as they should be.  I do walk around barefoot or in my Soft Star Runamocs ALL the time, but it may not be enough to keep me in "barefoot shape".  Keeping this in mind I limited my run, also considering the cold.  Today the temperature came in right around 30 (nice and warm!) with no wind.

On the run, I focused on rolling my foot from the outside in, landing on my toes, keeping my body straight (although sometimes leaning slightly forward), stepping under my body, although the knee is allowed to come in front of you a bit, minimizing my up/down motion and really flinging myself forward down the road, and finally kicking my feet back and up.  My main focus was definitely moving forward quickly.  I know many sources say not to push/pull the ground but to place/lift your feet, however my mindset was to throw myself with my steps so as not to just bob up and down.  This made me a LOT faster.  At the same time I made sure to step light, being conscious of rocks under my feet, and to keep a high cadence (many steps per second).  Between my speed and the cold, I found myself having trouble breathing and my heart rate up before I became cold or felt any pain!  This is a first (at least for a long time)!  I actually was quite warm having worn long spandex and my winter jacket.

Overall I had a great run and look forward to many more in the future with the confidence of success!  Nevertheless, I am open to the fact that this form may not hold up over long distances, but I'll let you know as I experience it!

 

A shout out to Robert Ingram from the first and last videos of this post!  I loved his idea to record himself running everyday for a year!  He has some great info on running and it's fun with the snippets he throws in about his life.  It's easy to relate because it's just him running, no exceptions, no matter how he's feeling.  Check it out.

Thanks for reading and as always take off your socks and shoes and go barefoot!  Until next time.

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