Inspired by Keith's reply to my last reply, I've ditched the shoes! Well, for one run, so far!
I have a lovely local park, it's well maintained because young kids play football matches there, and it's a cricket pitch in the summer. It's 500m away, so it's usually where I've done my friday strides prior to a saturday 800m race.
Yesterday I jogged there, took off my shoes, and ran 3km in bare feet. I'd like to say I felt liberated, or connected to my ancestors, or something. But I didn't. It just felt like, well, running on grass in bare feet!
I confirmed what I knew before: that concentration is still required - you can still let the hips and shoulders drop and heel strike on the soft ground. So after the session I was left thinking "I wonder what that will achieve". Although it was a nice day yesterday, and the temperature was still about 12 degrees C, my feet got so bitterly cold that the hurt. The grass was wet and about 10cm long, so that probably had something to do with it.
Anyway, having wondered what the gain would be, I can report that I definitely ached in new places this morning! Aches, and not pains, I have to add. The aches are in the muscles in the feet and ankles, and possibly the lower calves. But most certainly the ache of muscles that are not used to being recruited!
So I can see what Keith means when he says that you'll get there quicker with minimal shoes, and quicker still with no shoes at all.
I also realise that if I went out and did the same session again today, and every day, then there'd be a high chance of injury. So Heidi's 20 mins every other day for a few months sounds about right. This isn't going to happen over night.
But I'm absolutely loving it!