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nanny-rosy
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Author Topic: How soon can I really start loving running?  (Read 635 times)
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JD Hammo
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« on: October 12, 2011, 11:06:01 PM »

Hello Cheesy

I guess I'm still relatively new, I think this is my second or third topic.

If you'd like to skip straight to the question it's right below this wall of text...

So a few (not so) quick points:  I am currently 17, weigh around 145-155, am about 5' 7" and I'm relatively small.  I'm in decent shape because I play tennis for my high school in the spring.  I ordered my first pair of VFFs about a month ago and started running little by little barefoot.  Only about a quarter mile running and walking every few days at the most.  My feet were pretty well calloused beforehand from tennis and my calf muscles were in pretty good shape from shuffling in tennis and being up on my toes. So running BF and in VFFs only really hurt the muscles in my feet, though nothing more than what can be expected.  However, I had stopped running barefoot for a while because three weeks of an enormous amount of homework and decided to go again the other night.  I ran a mile and walked a mile alternating every 1/4th.  After the run the skin on my feet felt pretty raw for a few days and a blister seemed to form under my callouses on the right foot, which appeared to have popped and made a ring of blood under the thick pad, which didn't really bother me just for the fact that it looked quite neat and only stung a small bit (think a paintball bruise if you've seen one).  I'm working on building up my distance and comfort while I run, and I try to get in two miles every other day (Working with a couch to 5k app that I had started on the second week).

Q) My biggest question though has to deal a bit with the book Born to Run if you've read it.  When telling Barefoot Ted's story it almost seems like he dropped his shoes and within a relatively short time was pounding out full marathons.  And from what I've heard running is actually enjoyable for a lot of people *gasp!* right? Like that hasn't been said on this forum... Anyhow, I enjoy running, somewhat.  Currently it's a huge stress relief for me (Senior year is way busier than it should be) but once I hit two miles I cramp up in my side like I'm out of shape and if I run any harder than a quick jog my right shoulder and neck get super sore and my vision gets spots (the shoulder might be because of my back which has alignment problems, seeing a Chiropractor for that currently).  It's as if once I hit that two mile point or try to push hard my rhythm gets unstable, my form becomes rough, and running becomes a chore.  Now I'm far from being out of shape, though not quite fit, but how long should I expect before I start to really love running longer distances?  In five years I'd like to be attempting my first Ultra, though at this rate I feel frustrated some days and that goal seems far too far away.

Thanks! (sorry for the double walls of text...) Smiley

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« on: October 12, 2011, 11:06:01 PM »

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The Yeti
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 01:35:11 AM »

I'm also about your build, maybe 5'8 and about 140. It's only been a month since you have had your VFF's, so you are still very early on in transitioning into minimalist/barefoot running. During your transition time it's pretty normal to be frustrated at how slow you are progressing or at any setbacks along the way. Best advice is to stick with it, and relax!

From what you are describing it sounds like you are definitely landing harder on your right foot, and that may be causing a slight wrenching movement. Where on your feet is that blister?

From my personal experience, my first run in VFF's was surreal in how much different it felt than in trainers. It took about 2 months to build up to doing 5k, and I gave myself two bouts of tendonitis in the process. It took a while to get back up to running 5k without injuring myself. At that point, I didn't focus on speed. I focussed on keeping my form together, and staying smooth and light. When coming back from an injury I made sure my form felt good on every footfall until it became muscle memory. I didn't follow a plan or program, I just ran a little further each session. If it didn't feel right, I would either dial back on the distance or take the day off. Unfortunately it was winter, so I didn't have the option of running barefoot. All of my running was done on the indoor track.

Since you were just starting off barefoot and took some time away, maybe coming back running that much was taking it a little too far. The best way to start running barefoot is listen to your skin. When it starts to get even slightly uncomfortable, throw your shoes back on and finish your run off. I think maybe by cutting yourself off before you get to that uncomfortable point in your run, and doing that distance a number of times before increasing may be a great benefit to your form.  Transitioning into VFF's/barefoot running is usually a long drawn out process, but if you really relax and take your time you will learn to love running. If you rush, you'll be hating yourself. Let your feet heal, and focus on taking short, light steps on both feet.

It's been since January for me, and I'm now up to running 12-14k comfortably. I just run in my comfort zone, as I've never been an overly fast runner. I've had setbacks along the way, but I've taken my time coming back from each one, and I do thoroughly enjoy plodding along the local trails. Once you are able to run a half marathon or so, adding distance becomes easier, as your body is then able to cope with the stresses of doing the long distances.

As for Barefoot Ted, he is big on 'running by feel'. Going by that, it likely took him at least a year or more to be able to run a marathon. He's got a thread on his site here:

http://groups.google.com/group/huaraches/browse_thread/thread/6450590475d5db99?hl=en#

You can even shoot him a line if you would like some more expert advice. Hope my rambling reply helps!
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Horse Rider
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 01:21:04 PM »

For me it took 3 months for it to stop being a chore and feel so good I can't go more than 4 days without running. I have huge back issues too (huge scoliosis) and I use an elastic orthopedic corset (found in any drugstore) around my waist where I need the most support, which eliminates the paralyzing soreness in my lumbar muscles when I run. If you can get a Polar heartbeat monitoring system, you can make sure you stay at about 80% of you max heart rate and so you don't overexert yourself. Then run little sprints followed by slower intervals to improve you cardio. But once it gets confortable, it's amazing!
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Olarte
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 01:43:28 PM »

All I  can say is take it slow for  now, it will PAY OFF in the end.


It took me about 4 months to go up to a mile another few to go up to 4, then next thing you know I'm running between 10 and 26.2 miles all barefoot with no pain, and a whole lot of fun.

In fact I just posted a story about my trip to NYC to meet all the greats. Maybe this will motivate you, and even get you to go to NYC next year. You can find the story here:

http://ivanolarte.com/2011/10/12/nyc-barefoot-run-2011-a-life-changing-weekend/

Trust me, if you take it slow  and do not get hurt, your feet will do what they were meant to do, and you will truly enjoy being out there on the road running free.

Ivan
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 01:43:28 PM »

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JD Hammo
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 10:29:51 PM »

Oops! When I said right I meant left >.< My mistake.

Yeti, in the beginning of my runs I usually do feel tighter on the left calf, but the blister was on the ball of my foot just behind my big toe.

Thanks for the advice Horse Rider Smiley

Olarte, I loved the article, it really does help with the motivation and dealing with having to be patient with this, it's pretty great to know that there are plenty of people who've been in this situation before me.  And even more so that they have all been great and friendly so far Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 11:39:50 PM »

Oops! When I said right I meant left >.< My mistake.

Yeti, in the beginning of my runs I usually do feel tighter on the left calf, but the blister was on the ball of my foot just behind my big toe.

Thanks for the advice Horse Rider Smiley

Olarte, I loved the article, it really does help with the motivation and dealing with having to be patient with this, it's pretty great to know that there are plenty of people who've been in this situation before me.  And even more so that they have all been great and friendly so far Cheesy

I'm glad you enjoyed my story. I look forward to raising about your own progress and adventures in BFR!

Ivan
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Instead of anticipating the goal, learn to enjoy the Journey for this is where we spend 99.9% of our time.

The Journey is  the reward...
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