Sunday, June 19, 2011

Juneathon 2011 Day 19: New shoes

2011 Streak Day 170/365: Run - 2.8 miles, Time - 26min 26sec, Weather - changeable
In yesterday's post I mentioned one of the great things about running in that you can always try things out, measure the results, and either carry on or abandon. You can make experiments, without too much danger, to freshen-up what you are doing, or with the hope of a breakthrough.
The phrase from George Sheehan that 'you are an experiment of one', is something to be constantly born in mind.
In that spirit I thought I would try running in minimalist shoes.
Barefoot running may be a fashionable topic but the idea of running totally barefoot on the asphalt and pavements of Hemel is something I would fear rather than welcome. So the answer is a pair of minimal shoes with a flat and flexible sole to protect the foot  - in effect a move towards barefoot running. 
These are my new shoes - Saucony's Hattari, their first attempt at zero drop, and today was my first run.
It is too early to say how it will work out. I will need more sessions before I can come to any conclusion about their virtues or whether I will move away from more cushioned trainers. My instinct is that I won't - but we will see.
The thing I can say though is that there was no feeling of revelation, no feeling of release, no feeling that this is the way we were meant to run. I did not feel freer and more natural. This could be because I did not have to change my running style very much - I have always landed on my midfoot/forefoot.
The slight adjustment that had to be made was the movement of the heel, which instead of being supported at a slight angle, fell-back flat to the ground. I actually noticed this lack of support and the run felt harder as a result. The calves also felt as if they had done more work.
But we will see. I will use them for a run a week, to get used to them and then make a judgement

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