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six months of running

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  • Wednesday, December 01 2010 @ 01:28 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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After 6 months of running, I am feeling pretty good. I lost 20 pounds and have avoided developing any serious running injuries. I totaled over 400 miles. I finished a half marathon. I have successfully converted my running stride so that I land with a midfoot strike rather than a heel strike. I believe that this conversion has made a huge difference in my long distance running capability.

I am now generally running 15 - 35 miles per week which includes at least one long run if possible (10 - 15 miles). I can only manage to squeeze in 3 or 4 runs per week due to busy family schedules.

Thanks to dailymile, I can show you a nice graph of my weekly mileage totals:


In Search of the Perfect Running Shoe

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  • Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 07:13 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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The worst thing about trying to choose new running shoes is that it is almost impossible to know how they will perform without testing them in the wild on a few runs (or 10 - 20 miles).

Six months ago I decided that I was going to start running regularly again (after about an 8-year hiatus) so I could drop some pounds and maybe even feel fit again. Over this past half-year I have tried running in a variety of shoes and running in no shoes at all. After a false start with "marshmallow" shoes, I was introduced to Barefoot Running and minimalist shoes. Thus began my journey away from the heel striking towards a more natural midfoot strike. I agree with the notion that the human foot, at least for most of us, is not defective by default. I choose to run in the least amount of shoe possible.

I omitted a picture of my bare feet, but just to compare with the shoes mentioned below, I have run 88 miles barefoot out of a total 390+ miles. Barefoot running is great and I feel very strongly that it has helped improve my technique and form. I already wrote about my early Barefoot Running experiences. However, there are times when I want to be able to run in a shoe. It is getting colder. This time of year the trails are "crunchy" with pointy tree debris. I frequently have to run after dark, especially during the work week. I live in a college town and for some reason when school is in session my favorite sidewalk running routes become littered with broken beer bottles.

It is the first week of November, 2010. All of the exciting new minimalist running shoes from New Balance, Altra Running, Skora Running, Merrell, and others will not be available until February or March of 2011. Until then, these are the shoes that I have tried over the last 6 months in the search of the "perfect" running shoe (aka: a shoe that helps keep me injury-free so I am able to run more miles):

Distance Medley Relay at 2010 Penn Relays

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  • Wednesday, November 03 2010 @ 08:48 PM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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I always enjoyed the relay meets when running track in high school and college. Here is some nice video of the 2010 Penn Relays - Distance Medley event.

The Distance Medley is comprised of four runners each running a different distance: 1200M, 400M, 800M, 1600M.




barefoot running foot strike slow motion - adult and child

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  • Wednesday, October 20 2010 @ 06:07 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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I took some video of myself and my 3-year old daughter running barefoot to compare our foot strikes / running form.

Each segment is at full speed, then slow motion at half speed, and then even slower at quarter speed. I have a forefoot strike. My daughter has a midfoot strike (and quite a loud, slappy one at that!).

The video was edited using OpenShot software on Linux.


John Holmes Trail Run - Race Report

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  • Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 04:42 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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Saturday I ran the John Holmes 16 Mile trail run at the John Holmes 50k Trail Run and 16 Mile Fun Run in the Withlacoochee State Forest, Florida (the area is sometimes known as the Croom hiking trails).

I finished! That was my longest run ever in my whole life... and I ran it barefoot.

The course consisted of challenging single track over undulating terrain with a trail surface that varied between packed sand, loose sand, sand covered in pine needles or oak tree debris with enough tree roots to keep things interesting. It made for very intense barefoot running!

I had planned to run this race barefoot because I heard it was sandy. I also wanted to scope out the course for a potential future 50k trail race. I felt ready for 16 trail miles since I had completed a 15 mile barefoot training run two weeks ago on the trails of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. However, during races things do not always go as planned.

This picture is from early enough in the race that I am still smiling:



Here is a more detailed race report:


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