Just been out for a 6k run and I felt stronger and tighter with my form then ever before. It really was the best run yet. I think I may have really cracked this barefoot running lark. But I think it’s important that I don’t become complacent about it and will continue to think, ‘form, form, form’.
At a couple of stages of this run my form felt so efficient it reminded me of the T-1000 Terminator from T2 and the way he ran – obviously not quite as fast though!
I think my speed is improving though. Although I’m not bothered at all at how fast I’m running – one of the great things about this style of running is that you actually enjoy it, so what time you’re making becomes an irrelevancy – I was interested in how it’s comparing to my former running style. So before I set off I started a stopwatch. I didn’t take this with me – I’m not training for the Olympics so really didn’t need to know my splits along the way. I used to do a complete circuit of Clapham Common, plus to and from my house in 28-29 minutes. As barefoot running involves a shorter stride, it feels much slower. Supposedly the speed comes after you master the technique, so as you’re learning this you’ll be quite slow, and it feels like it. But how slow?
Well, I was amazed when I got back and checked the stopwatch. It showed 31 minutes! Considering that I have to cross about 5 busy roads on this circuit and I’ve a mind to wait for a proper gap in the traffic these days, rather than risking my life and nipping between the traffic, I reckon that’s about the same time. I was sure it would be about 40 minutes or more.
Another observation was that the condition I reached the end of the run in was vastly different than before. Before I would be very out of breath, would have to squat whilst I regained my composure and got my breath back. Before I would be looking forward to the run ending long before it did. Yesterday I could have ran on further – much further. I wasn’t really out of breath, although obviously my breathing and heart rate were increased, but it was manageable, sustainable. I really felt strong. I wonder if that is a result of barefoot running simply being more efficient?