Well, as a “well done” present to myself after the 10k last week, I made a couple of purchases… First was entry into the Bristol half marathon in September. Second was a heart rate monitor (a cheap one, only abou £20 from Amazon) and a book about heart rate training (Maffetone’s Big Book of Endurance Running). After spending a couple of days reading, I decided to follow the Maffetone training plan to build a good aerobic base for the half marathon. Following his formula, I’ve got a target heart rate of 144bpm for all my runs from now till about the end of August/beginning of September, when I’ll introduce some speed or tempo running.
I’ve done all my runs this week at 144bmp, or thereabouts, and I’ve found that at that pace (between 10-13 minute miles depending on heat, length of run, terrain etc) I can pretty much keep running for as long as I want to. I’m also fresh enough to run again the next day, so I went out for 4 runs this week – 2x45min, 1x60min, 1x105min. It’s a very slow pace, but I’m happy to run at that pace because it’s easy, it’s building mileage for the half marathon (something I didn’t do last time I did a half, and I suffered for it), and more importantly, it’s slow enough that I can cover most of my miles barefoot, which was kind of the motivation for starting this training method in the first place.
So, there’s a big increase in mileage this week, but they were all easy miles!
- Total weekly miles
- Number of running sessions
- Total weekly barefoot mile
- Number of barefoot running sessions
- Running terrain
Mostly flat, on a mixture of pavement, dirt tracks and road.
- Ground surface of barefoot runs
Mixtture of pavement, grass and dirt tracks.
- Runs in minimalist shoes, e.g. Five Fingers.
Lunas for one of the runs, I’m aiming to run barefoot only every other day at the moment while my feet adapt.
- Weather for barefoot runs (rain on road?)
Blazing sunshine! Which makes a nice change!
- Condition of skin on feet — hotspots, blisters
Absolutely fine, suprisingly! Ran my furthest ever barefoot run this week – 8 miles! This was on a mixture of pavement, grass and dry dirt trails, but even so, I’m very impressed that my feet have come through it absolutely fine!
- Interesting/amusing comments received during the week: e.g. ‘You’ve got no shoes on!’
None, but I did see two other barefoot runners this week. First time I’ve seen anyone else run barefoot since I started.
- Treading on nasty things: e.g. glass, thorns, poo — how you dealt with any
Stepped on a few squishy things and a few painful things this week. But I just carried on and the pain went away after a few seconds! Only had to stop once to pull a thorn out of my sole.
- Changes in your running style that you’ve noticed.
I’m VERY slow at 144bpm at the moment. My cadence has dropped quite significantly at this pace. If I try to get up to anything neat 180 steps per minute, my heart rate goes up to the 150s. I’m hoping two things – firstly, that it will get easier to bring my cadence up as I (hopefully) get faster at 144bpm, and secondly, that at this pace, the impact forces on my feet are low enough that a low cadence won’t do any damage.
- Injuries incurred, or reduction of existing symptoms.
None. My calves don’t even hurt in the morning after a long run now, I’m going so slowly that it’s really low-impact exercise!
- Useful tips and nuggets of info you’ve picked up along the way.
If you try and do heart rate training, you really have to leave your ego at home! I’ve been overtaken by so many people this week… In the past I’ve treated every training run like a race, if I got overtaken I’d write it off as a bad run. But this is a different approach, the focus is very much on heart rate, and time on your feet. At the moment, the discipline of sticking to 144bpm and the novelty of being able to run so far on a daily basis is enough motivation for me to stick with it. We’ll see how long it lasts though!