Well it’s hard to believe now that it’s been fifteen weeks since I first started to experiment with barefoot running. I’ve kept this blog as a volunteer to provide information for Graham Chapman’s research into a book on barefoot running. I’ll keep going with the blogging but the initial fifteen weeks is over, so how has it been?
Very, very surprising really.
It’s a such a strange and different discipline to ‘normal’ running, in that you’re forced to think and plan ahead. You can’t just run out of the door barefoot and see where you end up, unless you enjoy visits to the Minor Injuries Unit.
The slow rate of progress, and let’s face it it is very slow given that I’m up to about two miles at a push after nearly four months, is down to the fact there is so much adjustment going on in your body. In my case I’m working against 43 years in shoes and changing the way my body deals with that means a lot more sticking Compeeds on a few blisters.
My muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments need to adjust not just in my feet and legs, but right up through my body as a fundamental form of locomotion is adjusting to a physically small, but anatomically dramatic, change – moving the strike site from the rear of my foot 7 inches forward to the front.
It’s quite clear from my barefoot diary and others that this process cannot be rushed, and nor should it. It’s too easy to jump into fads, to thrive on novelty and to constantly skip through the amusements of life. These days it’s a lot less often that you have to keep trying, keep reigning yourself in, and keep with it. This is one of those few areas in our life where the pleasure gained is inherently bound up in the time taken. And money and ‘specialist’ gear won’t cut any corners here.
Good luck barefooters – keep on running.
Week 15 Summary:
Total Miles: 10.6, mainly cross country, plus tarmac, cobbles and stone. Dry, sometimes cloudy & grey
Barefoot Miles: 3.6, tarmac, cobbles and stones, dry, sometimes cloudy & grey
Transition Miles: 0