Sunday, January 31, 2010

Critical Mass

With the publication of Lieberman's Harvard study of barefoot running, combined with the lead in effect of the publication of Born To Run, running barefoot has been in the news every day.  Discussion of barefoot running has leaked onto the running forums of many web sites, most recently onto my running club's Yahoo! group.

One of the best things coming from this discussion is the concentration on running technique. Too long that has been ignored in favor of ever more distance and speed work. The great thing about running barefoot (not so much for using "minimal" shoes, except for VFF's) is that you have to correct your running technique. You can't land on your heels. You eliminate heel to toe pronation. Once you eliminate pronation, then most injuries that are caused by it disappear.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Preparing for The Watchung Winter Ultra 50K

I ran with Joel, Kyle, Steve & Lauren at Watchung Reservation yesterday.  (Garmin Data)  I wanted to preview the trail conditions for my first attempt at 50K on January 9 at the Watchung Winter Ultra, next weekend.  Last year I fell and broke a rib attempting the trail marathon there.

Yesterday, the trail was frozen in a few ways.  There was trail that had been hiked into slush, then the slush refroze into lumpy crunchy ice.  There was trail that had turned to mud and footprinted, then refrozen.  And there was crunchy few inches of leftover snow.  Sometimes those conditions were mixed.  There was a little foot slippage in all directions, even wearing my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes with the deeply waffled sole.  So on the way home from breakfast after the run, I stopped at Home Depot and got a couple dozen 3/8" sheet metal screws.  I made my first pair of screw shoes.  It took only about 5 minutes per shoe.  This week the forecast temperatures are pretty much under freezing, with some snow flurries.  The modified Brooks Cascadia shoes should be perfect for next Saturday!