Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sometimes I run with a metronome set to 180 bpm to keep my cadence up. Lately I've been using the "Run One Eighty" playlist on my iPod, an eclectic mix of music that has only one thing in common: eighth notes ticking along at 176-183 bpm. And when I say eclectic, I mean it. I've got Benny Goodman, Dire Straits and Owl City in a big mish-mash with Dave Brubeck, The Academy of Ancient Music and David Bowie.
Gradually my leg and foot muscles have seemed to acclimatize. I've had two injuries relating to uneven ground, both small tears in my calf muscles. One happened as I ran up a curb near Vancouver (we don't have curbs here in the boonies). The other happened when my heel dropped suddenly into a mini-pothole on the road near home. But those setbacks aside, my legs seem to be getting used to this.
In the past week or two I've begun running unshod a bit and I've now got 20 kilometers logged on my bare feet. The soles of my feet are beginning to acclimatize. My first barefoot run was three quarters of a kilometer and even that gave me a blister on my big toe. But now I'm up to 5-6 kms and my feet are getting much tougher. This is my foot after today's 5k run. My feet aren't exactly lovely, but they aren't covered in calluses and blisters either. I got a new little blister on my 2nd toe today, mostly because the asphalt was hot and I think my feet were sweating a bit. But I expect they'll get used to that too.
Because I love trail running so much I'm still using my Asics Kayanos. Maybe in another year my legs and feet will be ready to run the rough long trails around here with just VFFs. For now I just keep my cadence up, concentrate on not heel-striking, and wear shoes.