Thursday, March 15, 2012

“Barefoot Running” WTF? LOL


Just for fun – in response to this “infographic”, here are my thoughts

1. “Barefoot running shoes” are still shoes. And despite considerably less materials and research, still cost about the same.

2. Bikila won the Olympic marathon barefoot in 1960. True. He wore shoes in 1964. His fastest marathon time was in 1964. Also true.

3. I have read articles that say that podiatrists have seen more running related injuries since the “barefoot revolution”. Especially cuts, bruises, plantar fasciitus, second metatarsal stress fractures, and Achilles tendonitis.

4. Most race winners wear shoes. Except the Tarahumara. Oh wait, they wear huraches. Which are sorta like sandals, which are a sorta shoe, which is sorta not barefoot.

5. I imagine that running through dog crap (broken glass etc) is considerably more pleasant in shoes than not.

6. I could write a book (well, at least a blog post) that hypothesizes that more injuries are caused by running too fast than anything else. It is just as plausible as McDougall’s theories.

7. How many of those 65-80% that receive an injury annually, don’t train regularly, run too fast, slip on ice, trip on trails etc.? Could it be a bit of a false correlation, kinda like saying “65% of cars have engine problems, all cars have tires, therefore we should drive with no tires.”

8. “1.25 more likely to have an injury in an expensive running shoe”. Here’s a thought – those who spend more money on shoes, are more likely to run more.

9. Just because it is in “Born to Run” doesn’t mean it is true.

10. Just because it is on the internet, doesn’t mean it is true. Please consider that this article is on the internet also (‘article’ LOL, WTF? article??)

But here is my honest opinion. Barefoot running and running in lightweight shoes can be fun and enjoyable. I certainly enjoy running in my Merrell Trail Gloves. It gives my feet a good strength workout, and over time can build up and strengthen Achilles and calf muscles etc. It also drastically reduces the risk of ankle rolls when trail running. Also, I enjoy the light weight of my Kinvaras, NB 101’s, [101’s – Best.Shoe.Ever.] I also enjoy their cushioning. The problem is that there are some who are promoting barefoot running as the be all and end all of running. It isn’t. Or at least that’s what I think. But WTF do I know?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Accountability update and some cool runnings plus a little bit of numerology

Last week’s 5k was another “Jimbo Best” 22:25. Not so shabby. This fatboy can run fast from time to time.
That said – I noticed a minor tweak in my left Achilles tendon. It hasn’t bothered me when I run slow, but when the pace picks up, it is pretty sore. Not so much during a run (after the initial few minutes of pain anyway) – but more so afterwards.

With Umstead 100 approaching, and some high volume weeks coming up, I think the smart decision is to rest it and skip the sub 24 minute 5k this week. If all is well healed, I will try and do two next week.

Some Cool Runnings

Work had me in California again this week, so I took the opportunity to run in the Henry W Coe State park, just like I did a few weeks ago. What a beautiful place to run – fabulous trails, glorious mountains. The 12 mile run was shrouded with awesomeness. I really felt strong on the climbs, and felt that I have picked up some confidence on the descents. Still haven’t had the guts to throw caution to the wind and just let it fly downhill yet, I still feel as though I need to hold back some and remain slow to keep my footing. Maybe though, that’s just the nature of the beast with hills this steep.

I’m hoping that being able to shave a couple of minutes per mile on the climbs for TRT 100 will make a huge impact on my time. Not to mention, there could be a significant payback on the less significant hills of Umstead too.


This weekend sees me run the Umstead Trail Marathon – I am going to use this as my launching point to kick off a month of high volume. Thus far, I am averaging just over 40 miles a week – with a hectic travel schedule and what with me being a wuss and all and not enjoying winter running, I have used these last few weeks to get some short fast runs in. There is a noticeable difference in my pace now, quite how that will translate into a 100 mile run, I am not sure. I have already shaved off 18 minutes from my last year’s time at Pilot Mountain Marathon – Umstead Trail Marathon will give me an additional opportunity to see if I am faster. Last year’s time was 5:14, it is going to be interested to see where I finish tomorrow.

Now is the time to up the weekly distance – especially once the clocks change, and it looks like I won’t be travelling for a couple of weeks too.

A little bit of numerology

Something else I noticed. And it is a pure coincidence. I am currently just over 10 weeks into a running streak – (1 mile a day is all  I need in order to count the day), but anyway, I noticed that the day before Umstead 100, will be my 100th  day of running should I keep it up. It’s a sign I tells ya.

And here is another sign. February 2012 was the 25th month straight that I have run at least one marathon or ultra. It will be my 4th appearance at Umstead. 4x25=100. See?

And, for some real spookiness, my first ultra was in April 2009 – Umstead 50. Umstead Trail Marathon will be my 50th race of a marathon or above.  It is also the second time I have done this particular race. 50x2=100

If you really want to get into some even more strange coincidences of numerology, Umstead Trail will be my 53rd lifetime marathon or ultra. It takes place on 3/3. You will note that there are 2 number 3’s in the date. (53-3)x2=100.

Also, the year is 2012. ((53-(2+0+1))x2=100

Yep, all signs are pointing to a successful 100 miles at Umstead.