My second year of running in the 4km beach race at Henley.
It’s usually held at 6.30pm on the first Friday in March, usually the really hot weather is out of the way by that time but there can be surprises. A couple of years ago mid March saw us gripped in a heat wave with high 30′s Celsius temperatures.
The temperature on the Friday the race was held this year was 27C , a slight breeze from the south to cool us off on the way back. Out of the 116 runners I only counted about 5 running without shoes. You would think that a beach race would be the ideal situation to leave the shoes behind, but I guess, it must be the insecurity.
My barefoot running has come a long way since last year. I have passed the transition phase and am now getting more kilometers under my feet. I have been injury free now for over 6 months ( after the usual problems with calves & tendons) , the perseverance paid off and all the helpful advice from Ken Bob and many others.
How come it took me a year to learn what Ken meant by relax relax relax, it seems obvious now but at the time made no sense. If ever I feel myself tensing up I give my hands a bit of a loose shake to regain that feeling.
I was very happy to reduce my time from 24:10m last year to 20:40m this year, next year to break 20m will be the target.
Running in soft sand is quite a challenging to your stability but in the end it gives you very strong ankles and great balancing skills. I remember running the first few kilometers in the sand just under 2 years ago when I took up barefoot running. I managed to work up a blister on each foot and severe tendon pain and I wasn’t even running fast.
These days my longest training run comes in at around 17km and I get none of the problems I got years earlier with my knees and back.
I feel like I have taken running back from the shoe companies and podiatrists that stole it away from me with their wrong product designs.
I read through Gordon Piries book, Running Fast and Injury Free (available free online) and he forecast that there would be an avalanche of running injuries with the invention of the modern running shoe. He was a runner from the 1950′s and would run in very flat shoes.
Also an acquaintance of mine Ron Hill, he used to run barefoot back in the 1960′s and he was a commonwealth record holder.
How did we go so wrong!
Keep up the good work Ken and many others, without you lot I would probably be still plodding along from injury to injury cased by shoes and orthotics.