Friday, February 26, 2010

Barefoot!

I feel like I just wore my XC or track cleats for the first time of the season - my calves are SORE! At yesterday's PT appointment, they put me on the treadmill in my socks. Without that big cushy heel, things get a bit more stretched out than usual. It was JUST like the old days after wearing those racing flats for the first time of the season. A little tight today but I feel GOOD.

First, Mr. PT (who is quite a bit younger than me, btw, but PhD and everything) put me on the treadmill in my runners, Brooks Axiom. I was supposed to run without the big heel "THUD" followed by the toe "SLAP." Concentrated on lifting my feet, think light, think high, think relaxed, remember to breathe, listen to the feet...pretty hard to relax when you gotta think about so much stuff! Anyway, it was tricky and the only way for me to avoid landing so hard on my heels was to shorten my stride, which felt choppy.

Next, Mr. PT had me take off my shoes. Think relaxed, think light, think quiet, think high, remember to breathe. It was actually a lot easier! It naturally made me lighter on my feet, shorten my stride, land mid-foot. Hmmm...Maybe there is something to this. I tried to intentionally run the way I do in shoes, with a longer stride and big heel plant and it felt horrible. Jarring to my entire body from the heel up through the ankle, knee, hip, and jiggly muffin top.

Last came the negotiation. Last week I was allowed to run 2 min, walk 1 min for a total of 10 min every other day (I actually did 12 min because that's a 3 min cycle and I wasn't going to stop at 10 min mid-cycle.). This week, I negotiated up to 16 minutes total (!!) with 3 min run, 1 min walk. Also, I get to (yes, get to - it was fun!) run in socks on a treadmill for 3 - 5 minutes. The idea will be for me to copy my barefoot gait when I've got my shoes on.

This is going to be an interesting week. Plus, next week marks the first official training week for the North Olympic Discovery (Half) Marathon Walk. It's a pretty aggressive training schedule to jump into from couch tomato but I'm not going to try to set any records and will throw my PT running into the walk milage:

Mon: 3 mi walk
Tues: 3 mi walk
Wed: 4 mi walk
Thurs: cross train/rest
Fri: 6 mi walk
Sat: cross train/rest
Sun: rest

Finding the time is definitely going to be my biggest challenge. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are my days off so I might have to juggle those walk days around to find the right fit.

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