Tag Archives: Running Injury

Week 1: Building Up

This is my first week of proper barefoot running with the majority of  my runs all totally barefoot. First run was on Monday around 1.5 miles and the second on Wednesday I managed to increase that to 2  miles.

Feet are still hyper sensitive and the discomfort limits how far I can go, I guess this is a good thing forcing me to  work on my form. Running on the muddy trails is no problem at all, still have to be mindful of whats under my feet but it’s generally ok. The route I have been running has a gravel section on it and that’s a different matter, I have to practically pigeon step my way along it and will divert to the grass occasionally if it all gets too much.

Friday I went for a run in my Xeros just so I could get a reasonable distance in, however I still made sure my technique was correct and kept the pace easy so I didn’t get sloppy.

I (along with my wife) are both a week into the Paleo diet and that has been having an impact on my energy levels, going cold turkey off coffee, Haribo and Relentless and any other caffeine/high sugar product made me feel for the first few days like my head was going to explode but I am getting there and am now feeling much better. I am looking forward  to see how  this benefits my running along with the barefooting.

  • Barefoot Runs: 3.54miles
  • Xero Runs: 3.00 miles
  • Cycling: 58.00 miles

Ditching the shoes

I have always liked the idea of minimalist running but never really got  into the idea of  totally barefoot running, however recent experience with injury, plus reading Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton’s book, Barefoot Running Step By Step (Barefootrunning.com), has drastically altered my understanding and my perspective.

I was always under the impression that what I should be doing was running in the minimalist shoes to make the transition to zero drop ‘barefoot’ shoes, this seemed logical as I had always run in normal shoes before.

Kens book makes a sensible point when you sit back and think about it, essentially running in barefoot shoes is not running barefoot, they are still shoes and looking back on my time running in minimalist shoes it does ring true,  it really isn’t like barefoot because you don’t realise when you are not running correctly.

I have spent most of my time running on the ball of my foot putting too much strain on my calf muscles (rather than relaxing them), pushing off the ground (rather than lifting) and slowly overtime worn my body down to the point where it is just one injury after another.

So as the title of this post suggests I am making the  leap to barefoot only running from now on, building up the technique as the book suggests with a hope that by doing this I will be able to lead a mostly injury free running life

I have already completed my first proper barefoot run, leaving my house with no shoes and returning with no shoes and I can say that the experience was exhilarating, albeit “painful”.

I say “painful” as it’s not like pain in the classic sense, its like the feet are being overloaded with stimulation which they are not used to and it just gets to a point where the nerve endings can’t cope anymore. Also what I did notice was as per the book that if you are not running correctly you soon have to adjust as anything but correct form is uncomfortable.

So after a dry spell of blogging, I have something to write about again in my journey from injured shod runner to (hopefully) happy barefoot runner.

You can buy the book direct from Kens website, I got mine from Amazon however
You can buy the book direct from Kens website, I got mine from Amazon however

Snowdonia Marathon: Not long now

Only Friday to go before I will be standing at the start line for the Snowdonia Marathon 2014.

I had another physio appointment yesterday from a lady (who is also a triathlete) and had the whole of my lower body given a sports massage, which as well as being quite painful, highlighted the numerous areas of tightness/weakness which is all highly likely to have culminated in the calf strain. It is now obvious that the 4 years of on/off training and very little in the way of stretching and conditioning has taken its toll.

I will learn from my mistakes and will be undertaking a program of work supplied by my physio to build back the strength in my calf and address the weak areas such as my glutes, however first task is to get around the marathon on Saturday.

Hopefully on Saturday night I will be writing a race report saying that I got to the finish with no significant issues, even if I am the last person across the line I will take finishing as win.

Fingers crossed……..

Less than 3 weeks to go to Snowdonia Marathon

And I have managed to strain my right calf!

Training seemed to be going so well with my mileage, pace and general fitness improving week by week but it seems that my objective of besting my time for the marathon is unlikely.

The actual injury happened about two weeks ago, I had run in the morning and cycled to and from work and feeling good I thought i would go for a short evening run. My calf had been a little tight in the morning but I just put it down to needing a bit of a stretch, not anticipating that what was about to happen.

0.4 miles into my evening run I had what felt like a stabbing pain in the inside of the right calf, causing me to stop immediately. Thinking it might be cramp or something I tried to stretch and carry on but all I could manage was a hobble. It was clear that all I could do was turn around and limp home.

I had a about 5 rest, with my limp disappearing and did some cycling and on Saturday 4th October I my calf felt ok so decided to do a short run. First mile felt fine albeit but around half a mile into the second my calf felt like it was swelling and the pain returned. I took this as a sign to stop and walked home very disheartened.

I am now into day 3  of complete rest, no cycling and only some core work, stretching and foam rolling. I am looking to book a physio appointment this week to see what the issue is and how severe, good thing is that following Saturday I haven’t been limping and while I can still feel that something is wrong, there isn’t any pain.

So, no running for 3 weeks and the vain hope that my body will repair itself for Snowdonia.

I’m still alive

The next post I wrote was meant to be my write up of the North Downs Way 100 and I have started but the last few weeks have been somewhat hectic. I will leave my commentary on the NDW100 to the post when I get it done but what have I been doing since then?

Well, I am keeping up with the cycling to and from work although having moved home (this is why I have had no time!) my commute is just under half what it was to and from work. Getting to work is now easy as its all down hill, but this means that getting home is all up hill and pretty taxing on the legs at times.

Running wise I have focused on rehab of my various injuries and the mileage has come right down. At the moment I am actually running very little but have joined my local Parkrun and have been working on running faster resulting in a new PB for a 5km run, 21:25. With a Duathlon on the weekend and a 10km in OCtober the distance running is put on the back burner, my plan is to complete these events and start introducing the distance again to build up to the NDW50 next year, my plan is to smash my previous time!