Friday, February 22, 2008

First Barefoot Run

Well why not? I read about it, now how about experiencing it?

The parking lot at the Ein Gedi public beach seemed like a good place to try it, but when I got there the wind was blowing quite hard. Remembering the finish line from last week's race I went looking for that little paved path leading to the finish line by Ein Gedi Spa. Ah yes, much better. My plan was to start slow and build up very gently. I also put a time limit of no more than 30 minutes in order not to overdo it.

At first it felt a little weird--probably overly sensitive from a lifetime of wearing shoes and believing that going barefoot was uncouth. However, after a while I was liking the "freedom" and my feet were striking the asphalt with very lightly. A few minutes into it I started feeling a little sting on my fourth toe but I came all this way to do a workout and didn't want to stop. That was a mistake. When I started cooling down I noticed that I was bleeding. Rule #1 when trying out something new/different--stop at the first sign of pain.

This is what my feet looked like after my first 30 minute barefoot run--actually it was a very slow run but since I didn't strap on the foot pod I'm not really sure how far I went.

Just for the record, here's the Polar chart for the run. Note the bumps in the altitude graph showing the number of laps I did.

The rest of this week was good. I ran 3k three times. Tuesday it snowed and Wednesday it was cold and raining so I stayed indoors and did weights and stretching.

HR Pace Cadence
Sunday 162 7:35 83
Monday 160 7:19 84
Thursday 163 6:58 87

This is good feedback. My heart rate is at a respectable "aerobic" zone while my pace and cadence are improving. Once I get to a cadence of 90 (180 steps per minute) I can start working on speed.

So--will I run barefoot again? Yes, once my feet heal. Hopefully my soles will be a little tougher and my steps a little lighter.