Tag Archive | TERRAPLANA

My feet and I got in a fight

This has been the most intense training week ever. Ever.
We know there are a lot of things that make our running better. And because I am not willing to diet or do much speedwork, I’ve submitted myself to pretty much everything else this week. It was my do or die test week!
I know about all the stuff I should be doing: drills, core workouts, arms, hip & glutes strengtheners,  plyometrics, yoga, hill sprints, stretching, flexibility, etc., etc., etc.
So, I made lists, lists of lists, and then a master plan for the week. It was grueling. It was ALL running related, and around two hours every day, including the runs. I’d start with the drills I learned on the natural coaching course, and after 5 minutes I was exhausted and done.By Wednesday morning, before I was to do 3 mile repeats, I was already slow and sore. Fabulously, Texas Dan was there to pace me (poor him!), and man, was I a whiny and tired puppy! I managed the three reps (unwillingly!!) and then finished with 9 miles! Dead. Thursday, I could barely walk normal, but I kept at it. By Friday, no running and 2 hours of core and hip related stuff later, I was a big tired mess. 
And I did all of this in my Evos. I love these shoes. I have been doing everything in them, even speedwork. My feet are SO comfortable. Ah, it’s pure love.  
But I know they require a lot more foot strenght, so I felt I had to back off for the long run.

Feet felt really tired Saturday morning (I had also been out all day Friday after my super-workout-week!). So, as I was heading out on Saturday for my first Chicago training “longish” run, I figured my feet needed an easy alternative for one day… I have been wearing the same asics model for 6 years (and you know I have lots of shoes!), there’s a few pairs that have never failed me and I know I can trust them to run for me. I felt my feet had earned the rest and comfy of the super cushioned and heely asics, fine.
I obviously had no idea. My feet started fighting the shoe. I was uncomfortable and with every step; my feet, now trained to feel the surface, kept pushing and trying to dig through. It felt like a cast and every 2 or 3 minutes and I would get a sudden urge to take the shoes off and throw them at something. Suddenly, I couldn’t land well and was doing midfoot. WTF????!?!?!! Luckily, my cadence wasn’t affected much but my legs had to work harder to pivot and land well. Yuk. I started feeling some tender spots and blisters growing in my arch by mile 5!!! I felt like I was a traitor my well trained feet, forcing this crap under them. It’s amazing how a shoe that was like my second skin for so long, is now the most uncomfortable thing (and it sucks that I have so many of them now!). It’s also really good news! Dear feet, thank you for being so OSOM, I promise I’ll be smarter next time!

My feet and I got in a fight

VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program: What I learned this week

was invited, along with 9 other people from all over (UK, St Barts, California, etc.) to participate in the first ever VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program.

About The Course

The Coaching Program was a full-time, week-long training based on the eBook recently published by VIVOBAREFOOT: 

Proprioception – Making Sense of Barefoot Running

Master the skill of Barefoot runningProprioception is the body’s awareness of its own motion and position. It’s essential to enjoyable and injury free running and is the secret to optimum performance. Understanding and developing your proprioceptive sense is the first step on the journey towards awakening the skill of natural movement. This training resource cuts through the myths and misinformation to bring you the ultimate guide to barefoot running. 

About The Instructor

Lee Saxby

VIVOBAREFOOT has chosen to partner with Lee Saxby, ”the world’s best barefoot running coach”, to create the definitive barefoot running resource because he understands barefoot running and natural locomotion better than anyone else.Lee has spent 20 years studying with the leading researchers across the fields of biomechanics, nutrition, athletic training, evolutionary biology and functional medicine.The coaching drills he uses are based on a deep understanding of the biomechanics of movement and his extensive practical experience of fixing injured runners and developing performance athletes.

Chris McDougall – Author of Born to Run“The first time I saw Lee Saxby was the last time I ever had a running injury.”About three years ago, I was in the midst of researching my book, Born to Run, when I developed a nagging heel pain. This was puzzling: I thought I’d learned ideal running form from Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians and would never be injured again – and yet I was. So I made the usual round of visits to podiatrists and sports medicine physicians, and got the usual useless advice. They said I needed orthotics and Ibuprofen and a night splint. I should stretch my calves, and roll my foot on a golf ball, and take time off. They all warned me about the dangers of distance running, but none of them – not one – ever asked to see me run.

Professor Daniel Lieberman – Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University“I’ve never seen anyone better able to diagnose and correct a runner’s form, and he has that ability — special to good coaches — to translate his advice into words that make sense and which you can follow.”

What Really Happened

I learned loads about proprioception, kinetics, kinematics, mechanics, physics, natural laws and chemistry, running form, drills, posture, balance, rhythm, cadence, the foot, rockers, blockers, evolution and adaptation, metatarsals and phalanges, footwear, hybrid/unnatural movements, biomechanics, injuries, balance, morton’s toe, flat feet, high arches, trailing legs, plantar fascia, elastic recoil, gravity, calcaneograde, diggigrade, plantigrade, subconcious vs conscious posture, head chasers vs pelvis chasers, ground reaction forces, centers of gravity, levers, observational science vs conceptual science, myths vs science, plyometrics, chemical cost, coupling time, motor systems, anatomy, axes of leverage vs axes of balance, fears, our animal brains, movement, muscle action, shapes we make, forces we create, runners vs joggers vs sprinters vs walkers, flexibility, milestones to master, how to diagnose, how to coach, how to run relaxed, and how to relearn the skill to run. And some british jargon too.

It was quite intense and loaded with lots of data and science, but we also got to test out every single natural or physics law during the course. We would work on our flexibility, drills, and plyometrics throughout the day and that would tie up nicely with all the hard data we would get from the presentations.They gave us these amazing little (and super light) cameras with which we would video everything (and slow down to 60 frames per second right on the spot) so you could not miss anything in anyone’s form. We taped each other’s form. We would coach each other and then we would tape the change.  

my before and after

We played with loading plates to see where we leveraged or balanced depending on locomotion choice. We would go outside, tape anyone who would inadvertently go by (notice I didn’t use “run”!) and then analyze their form and what drills they would benefit more from. Luckily we were in Chelsea Piers so we had lots of subjects! We had a very varied group of participants, some were crossfitters, some were trainers, some were sprinters, one super amazing biomechanics genius… and we all had very different feet, arches, toes, postures, rhythms, and issues. It really added a lot to the great learning experience as we all had a completely different background and approach.

The Barefoot Nerds!
Overall, not such a bad time… 😉
It was challenging, but really fun and englightening. And spending most of the week barefoot, doing drills, jumping on treadmills, squatting and learning a lot about biomechanics surrounded by fit people, is textbook definition of a fun 8 to 5.Lee is a genius. I have learned a lot and can already see the change. And I am excited to share this though I still need to complete the certification. There was a written test on the last day, and I now have to send in three case studies to be fully certified.And then… let the fun begin!!!

VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program: What I learned this week

A Shoe Meltdown

I’ve been really frustrated with my shoe situation for over a year. That is too long, right?

I blame the VFFs. Since I started using them, every single shoe feels like a brick, and who likes that?
Right now, I have 11 pairs of running shoes (how many do you have?).  Eleven seems like a lot, more than a lot for a NYC apartment.
Let’s divide and conquer:
My top choice: The VFFs! I have the classics (I don’t like all the new ones, they have way too much stuff in the bottom for my taste: not naked enough, yes I AM a snob!). I am extra careful, so I am still increasing mileage in them very slowly: after 14 months I am up to 7 miles. No long runs in them, no racing, and couldn’t wear them much in the cold (even though the injinjis helped). So I needed other shoes for the rest of the week/winter….
The regular choice: My first running shoe was an Asic 2120, and I’ve been running on them since; but I hate them when they are new (brick!). I have a brand new pair of the 2160 waiting to see the light. I also have the DS trainers 13 I got last year before the NYCM. They have almost 200 miles on them and they still feel like concrete to me -and they gave me blisters in the marathon ;-(
The preferred choice: I have three pairs of old Asics 21XXs. I like them because they’re super beat up. They all have over 500 miles in them so they’re starting to “loosen up”. I wear these mostly for long runs and easy runs. I would sleep in them if they weren’t so disgusting.
The specialized choice: I wear my Nike Lunaracers for short races (10K and under); I love that they are so light. But they’re an oven in the summer: blisters! I also really like the Karhus, they are super light and bendy, the closest I have to the VFFs, and I can use them in the trails with no pain and when it’s muddy! But there’s no support and I am too scared to wear them for runs over 8 miles.
But something had to change. I shouldn’t have to put shoes in the oven.
I am still looking for THE shoe I could rely on for marathons and halfs, something closer to the VFFs but with a bit more cushioning…
Now I have three new pairs I can’t wait to get into the rotation!! Hoping for THE one!
Meet the contenders:
I had wanted to try out these shoes since they came out. They were one of the first minimalist shoes out, and still one of the lightests and most minimalist there is. But, unlike the VFF, they LOOK like a shoe so you can wear them in more places (bumpy trails, mud, the gym, etc.). They are so bendy and light it’s ridiculous. It’s VERY EXCITING. I love them already.
This shoe looks like an MBTalmost, but there’s no big heel to strike on so it’s pushing you forward when you walk, per the fulcrum technology. It still feels quite light and might be really helpful to get the foot to break any heel striking habit!
I am in love with this shoe. I attended the “Natural Running Symposium” last week and heard a lot about POSE and comparisons between all differents shoes and running forms. And it seems like this shoe could become my regular long distance option in the future. Ian Adamson (check him out, he’s amazing!!!) fit me the shoe himself. It has these bars in the front you’re basically standing on… it’s a little weird in the beginning. Your heel can’t touch the ground, and it SO makes sense to my VFF addiction! The only thing is that the mesh is quite open so he warned me it would get messy int he trails. I am still really excited.
With a total of 11 shoes, I still have just 1 option for the DC marathon: the DS trainers. I don’t love them but I would not wear a new shoe without more testing, or any of my older Asics.
Hoping to remedy this situation for Chicago/NYC or earlier if possible!!!!