Thursday, November 16, 2017

Is It working?

I wrote recently about my goals, how I currently train, creating and finding motivation, and a little about my running routine.  Apparently a few people have found this interesting--at least they clicked on the link!  When I have spoken to people in the past about working toward a goal, I told them to set the goal, develop a plan to achieve their goal, work the plan, then reassess.  Essentially, I have told you about the first three steps in my personal program.  Now, it is time for me to reassess.

Yes!  It is working, at least in some areas.  I have not taken a lot of measurements and a lot is subjective, but that can be positive as well.

1.  I am feeling better at the beginning of my runs, even if I do not warm up.  The legs are responding to a moderate pace right away.

2.  I have been sore.  This is great!  I am actually working hard enough to earn delayed onset muscle soreness.  Previously, I had thought I was working hard but would not be sore.  I think this is a direct result of doing the CrossFit-style workouts, logging my times/weights/rounds, and working each time to do better.  I have PR'ed almost every workout in the last 8-ish weeks!

3.  I hopped on the scales once recently--the first time in months.  My weight was slightly up, but my percent body fat was down.  Thus, lean body mass was up which means, more muscle!  At least that is the inference I am making.  Of course, there is error to consider along with water...probably some other stuff if I thought about it.  Whatever!

4.  I have changed my running routine a bit, so I cannot be sure if I am yet any faster.  As I have already said though, I feel good in the Merrells and I feel good at the start of each run, certainly better than in previous months.

5.  My watts on the bike are going up.  I am getting off the bike afterward completely spent too.

So, the plan is working; at least I am moving in the right direction.  I have made some minor changes in the routine, but I will write about that later.

Thanks for reading.  I hope someone is deriving some benefit from me sharing my journey.  I know writing about it is helping me.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Minimalist Running

Great shoes for rowing, by the way.
Several years ago I tried barefoot running.  I will not bore you with why, but I did it.  I tried the Vibram Five Fingers and later had two pairs of Merrell minimalist shoes--one for trails and one for roads.  I covered a lot of miles in all of them, even a few half marathons.  At one point, I bought another pair of more traditional running shoes, a New Balance stability shoe.  I think this was after I hurt my foot and I returned to running.  Some would blame the minimalist running for my foot injury--maybe; maybe not.

My point is: I am back in my Merrells (I discarded the others prior to the move.)  I had been thinking that I needed to lose some weight before I ran in them again.  However, I tried them on a short run during the summer and I felt fine.  I do not run in them all the time right now, but I am doing most short runs and speed work in them.

As an older runner, i.e. over 40, I need to protect my feet and ankles as they account for about 50% of all injuries in runners over 40 or so.  I also have an annoying on-again-off-again case of what I believe to be posterior tibialis tendinopathy (sore foot in simple terms) that I need to manage.  To do this I have been doing work in the agility ladder (also good for the hip musculature which will help protect the knee) and I do a lot of strength workouts, including some plyometrics, barefoot (in my living room).

Result: my feet are feeling good in the Merrells and I think I am faster in them.  Bonus!  Also, I think I may be tripping less often.  So, when the barefoot running craze comes back around, be sure to strengthen your feet first.

This is what I run in now, most of the time.