So it’s been two months now since I wrote on here that it had been five months since I’d last ran. Moving back to live right next door to Clapham Common was just the inspiration I needed to get going again.
Now since I’d had a break, the skin on my soles had become soft and unconditioned. I was starting again (almost) and I wanted to learn from my previous mistakes of overdoing it. So I read back through my blog, and came to the same conclusion I’d come to each and every time before. I’d overdone it. I’d got excited how easy it was to up the distance and simply overdone it. No matter how many times this happened, I seemed to make the same mistake time and time again. It was next exactly the same issue, but overdoing it was the cause every time. This time would be very different.
I considered that there were two things I needed to start to recondition. The musculoskeletal makeup of my leg, and the planter surface of my foot – my sole. So I started on one at a time. Initially I didn’t do any running at all, I started walking. After work each day, I walked (in barefoot shoes) the 5k route around the perimeter of Clapham Common – which is my initial goal to be able to run. I did this for ten days. Then, while continuing to walk this 5k each day, I started running. My initial run is a small offshoot of the Common called Westside. It’s about 1 mile around. I ran this mile once, then didn’t run again for seven days. Each day I still did the 5k walk.
Then after seven days I ran again, the same mile route, while still walking the 5k every day. Six days later I ran the mile again, five days after that I ran again, four days later I ran again… you get the idea. I decreased the rest days from running by a day each time, so that within 4 or so weeks, I was up to running a mile every other day. Once I reached this stage I stopped doing the walk. This wasn’t by design, I just feel out of the habit. I had planned on doing these walks barefoot once the weather go warmer. I still think this is probably good preparation for longer runs, but we’ll see.
So I’m currently running every other day for a mile. The idea is that little and often will produce a faster and more consistent response from my body in terms of toughening up my feet, the soles and the musculoskeletal bit. I believe that trying to up the distance but only running twice a week is not enough to get a proper response from your body for change. My plan is to increase to doing this mile everyday. I’ll try and take another month to get up to this frequency. Once there I can experiment with increasing the distance on only one run a week, and up that upped frequency in the exactly the same way I introduced the initial run in the first place. This is the slowest conditioning I’ve ever tried, so I really hope I complete it, injury free. We shall see how long it takes to move all this up to a complete circuit of Clapham Common everyday.