Sunday, December 16, 2007

week of 10 December -- Nike Free 5.0

It might seem a little impetuous, but I ran Wed through Sunday in Nike Frees. I did one 40 minute treadmill run in them last week as well. I've had these things hanging around in my closet for probably a year. I bought them when I was battling plantar fasciitis (which lingered for about a year so I had plenty of time to experiment) and decided to move to running in "less shoe." I slowly mixed in shoes with less cushion, going from Mizuno Wave Creation to Rider to Precision, and I believe going to less shoe was one of the things that helped me beat it. I stopped at the precisions and never made it to the Nike Frees.

Thinking about my most recent injury, I realized that the loading (eccentric forces) on my shin occurs when I heel strike and overstriding while doing downhill strides was the straw the broke the camel's back. How could I stop myself from heel striking? The barefoot running crowd will tell you that you can't heel strike when running barefoot. It hurts too much and your brain won't let you. I thought I'd give it a shot.

I could tell from the first step that things were different running in the Frees. Leaning forward for the first step, my first step is short and basically underneath my body (like running in place) rather than long and in front of me. Even though there's less cushion, it actually feels smoother and less jarring. I guess my legs and feet work as pretty good shock absorbers when working properly. I kept my mileage low and have been carefully monitoring how I feel, but I'm surprised at how easy the transition has been so far.

My running this week:

Mo - 3 miles - shin bothered me from previous day's 13 miles (too much too soon); mizunos
Tu - Rest
We - 4.7
Th - 4.7
Fr - 5.9
Sa - 5.9
Su - 9.5

total: 33.8 miles, 4h58m, 8:49 pace, 148 bpm avg

Yes, 148 is a bit high for me again, but I'm recovering fine with the low mileage, so I figure why not. Speaking of the low mileage, I can't believe I ran this little.

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