Thursday, 17 September 2015

17th Sep 2015

Ok, so I've now been for three runs following 10 days off (just my usual end of season rest)

I'm right down at 3 or 4 km per run, for two reasons:
  1. After my post t&f season break, I always start off with small distances, as for some reason the aches really "come out" after having been deliberately ignored during the racing of the past 2 or 3 months
  2. The Book says so!

This is what I've noticed.
  1. I really ache! This could be to do with the company cycle ride that I took part in last Friday - 110km of Hertfordshire hills (albeit slow pace)
  1. There's a definite pattern to warming up.  At first, running feels awful and heavy.  And slow.  But I'm not worried as this concurs with what Keith says in the book.  The pattern of warm up that I'm noticing is that over the first 2km:
    1. the torso and neck loosen up and rather than deliberately "holiding back" the head and neck (almost to the point of creating a double chin as I said last post) that these two body parts relax into a more natural form
    2. The legs land lighter, and there seems to be more suspension in the foot
    1. I start off, conscious that I don't see my feet, but try not to think about this.  I guess it's just a novelty at the moment!
  1. After a couple of km, I stop and do, at most, 60 seconds dynamic stretching - some lateral and transverse leg swings, touch toes, etc.  Then, when I set off again, I suddenly achieve the "float" that the book talks about.
  1. My easy runs are now much faster.  An easy run previously came in at about 5:15 to 5:20 per km.  Now without any more effort, I'm hitting 4:50 to 4:55 per km.  This is really surprising.  I haven't tried a tempo run yet, but I'm only 3 weeks or so into the new regime, and I'm not ready yet.
  1. I have also noticed that the length of time / distance that it takes to warm up is coming down a bit.  But I doubt that it will ever come down to 500m like it was in padded shoes.  In the old style of running (hunched, maxing the benefit of the padding in the shoes etc) it was easy to hit max pace pretty soon (although I was often conscious not to).  With the Bateman gait,  there's no way you're hitting max pace in the first 2km.  And that’s nearly half my usual recovery run.
  1. On today's run, 90% of the route was on loose stones on hard earth.  It's really easy to notice "slip" on the floor, either at landing (not happening much) or take off (happens if I'm trying to "walk the feet forward")  Actually, it's a really good surface for a beginner to run on, as it's just so obvious when it's happening.  What's surprising, though, is how easy it is to reduce the slip to nothing, by concentrating on pushing UP and not FORWARD

For the three runs since my 10 day break, I've worn shoes in this order: minimal (2km) structure padded (5km) minimal (4km).  Of course with the padded shoes I still maintained the hip lift style, but actually its harder to do, because the heels drag more easily.  I'm really liking the minimal shoes, but I hope that's not the "fad" effect.

4th Sep 2015

Another warm Friday lunch time session in the park - bliss!!


I introduced one new thing today - my first run in the Merrell Glove with the vibram sole.


I've noticed (and blogged) that it takes quite a bit longer to warm up to the new style of running.

In the bad old days (ie last week) when wearing heavy padded shoes, I could be out the door and up to a decent pace within 500 metres.

But with the hips forward style it can take pretty much 2km

I noticed last week that Keith talks about this in his book.  But he does say that without shoes warm up is sooner.

I really don't get that floating feeling at all in the first mile.  In fact far from it. [Edit: three months later, I still don't]


At the park, I did about 8 "Keith game changer" exercises, bare foot, moving into a run of about 80 meters.  The last 6 or 7 reps were at the highest cadence I could manage

I concentrated on trying to feel if I was slipping back or forward during landing and take off, and in fact you can make small adjustments that mean you can feel it, and also small adjustments that mean it FEELS like you're making a perfect landing and take off.


After those reps I tried Heidi's "toe fist" exercise, and got cramp in the left foot!


Then I put the shoes back on and ran the 1 mile home.  Wow.  Talk about floating.  Now warmed up, the same route home felt like a different running altogether.

2nd Sep 2015

Try this, right:

Warm up, get to some grass, and take your heavy shoes off.

Do 5 or 6 Keith Game Changers, each easing into a fast stride out of about 50 to 80 meters.  You only need about 30 seconds between each effort.

Now put your shoes back on, and try one more Keith Game Changer, easing into 50m stride!!!!!

That blew me away!  It felt like I couldn't move my feet once I'd put the shoes back on - it felt like trying to run in wellies.  It made me wonder how on earth I ever ran with shoes that heavy on the end of my legs!

I am, however, conscious that I'm deliberately holding back my neck and head - almost to the point of causing a double chin!  My neck aches, and in fact there's no way that I could hold that shape for more than a few hundred meters.

It's also weird, but pleasing, that I don't see my feet on runs any more!!!