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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Like-minded soles

In the last week or so I spotted three separate runners wearing Vibram Fivefingers on their runs, and this was all within a 6 kilometre radius of wear I live. Based on this alone it looks as though they are getting more acceptance as a legitimate running shoe. I am in the middle of my biggest mileage month since I transitioned and look set to get to at least 120 kilometres this month with long runs reaching 14 km.

Currently, I am basing my training on slowly building up my long runs to 2 hours and fitting in what I can during the week. This will take a couple more months but I am just happy that I am doing as much as I am right now. My feet and lower legs are as strong as they’ve ever been and the only problems I have been having recently are blisters developing on longer runs. I’m interested to find out if other VFF users are experiencing this, and I wonder if it simply relates to the longer duration producing conditions conducive to blistering. Hopefully some blistershield-like product will help with my 90 minute run on Sunday.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Being There

Again, it's been a while since my last post but it has more to do with the fact that I am happily running regularly instead of having nothing to say.
Only midway through September and I am about to surpass my highest monthly mileage total in minimalist shoes.
This Sunday, I'm preparing to run for 80 minutes having completed 70 minutes for the last 2 Sundays. I have also consistently trained 4 times a week for the last few weeks and feel as though my fitness is improving.
The best thing about the last few weeks is that my running has now become more about my running rather than about my transition to minimalism. Now I just cannot imagine running in anything other than my Vibram KSO's (I've given up on the Trail Gloves. Still feels like too much shoe on my foot.). Everyday I wake up and feel like running, not like I shouldn't because my calves are to sore. I'm beginning to think about races I'd like to do next year, introducing some speed sessions and generally taking my running to the next level.
I have now convinced myself that I can be as fast as I used to be when I was shod. I'm already nearly there.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


I have been quite slack posting on here lately, but it is because I've actually been pretty slack with my running. But I'm back with some renewed enthusiasm which has been brought on by the advent of Spring here in Melbourne and a brand new toy. The Garmin FR 610 was baptised this morning and more on that in a moment.

The reason there hasn't been more running is simply not making the time to do it. Whereas I have been doing alot of my running in my lunch break, I have simply been too busy at work so I haven't found time in the morning or after work. This has to change otherwise I will make no progress at all. August was only half the kms I'd done in July and I had actually gained 1.5 kgs, so September is going to mean some action.
The weather will start to get warmer and it will be lighter earlier in the morning so I will be setting my alarm to wake me and go from there.

Here are details of my run from Garmin Connect:

My right calf still hasn't caught up with my left in terms of recovering after a run, but other than a recurring blood blister under my middle right toe, no injuries.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Back and better

I haven't posted for a while but I've kept running. August has seen quite a shift for me in terms of pace.
In July my average pace for all my running was 5:54 per km, so far this month I've been averaging something like 5:30s per km. This has been very encouraging for me that I am on the right track, as has been the fact that my legs and specifically, my calves, seem to have made adaptations to the minimalist form.
This has inspired me to some extent and the result is that I am now beginning training for a new race here in Melbourne. It will happen in November and is 14km in distance, and this also means that I can use the 10k race at the Melbourne Marathon as a warm up. I've decided to use a training program closer to the half-marathon distance than a 10k program.
Hopefully with my training ramping up, I'll start to see some weight come off as well.

Monday, 1 August 2011


My running stats for July read like this:

69 kilometres at an average pace of 5:54 min per km

My weight is 93.5 kg

In June I ran the same number of kilometres at an average pace of 5:56 mpk and my weight was 93.8 kg.

Although both months were very similar I had 22 days of no running in July compared with 17 in June. What does it mean? It means I ran less frequently but when I ran, I ran longer. This wasn’t on purpose as at the start of the month, I had a whole week off because of a lower back complaint.

What’s ahead for August? Go beyond my longest run of 1 hour and try for at least 80 kilometres for the month. Hopefully, I can continue to bring my average pace down and also continue to lose some weight. I wasn’t very happy with the amount of weight I lost in July, but I didn’t exactly avoid some of my danger foods. I was good for brief periods but obviously not enough.

The weather in Melbourne is really nice at the moment considering its virtually mid-winter here. I’m really getting a sense of excitement about the coming warmer months and really ramping up my training and just generally enjoying all my runs.

My last run on Sunday was 35 minutes at 5:27 pace. What pleased me most about this was I wasn’t really trying to go that fast and I was just running how I felt like running. That was the result.

Happy days.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Where art thou KSOs

After a couple of days off due to some general soreness and time constraints, I set out for a lunch time run.
The plan was for 30 minutes at a relaxed pace. I did try someting different today in that I wore my Merrell Trail Gloves instead of my Vibram KSOs. Fail. I did this partly because I was getting a bit self conscious about some of the looks i was getting walking out of my work building. After today I've decided that I don't care about that anymore. I think the problem with the Trail Gloves are the aggressive lugs on the outsole. When I run in my fivefingers I am very quiet, but in the Trail Gloves there is a distinctive slapping sound and they just feel a little stiifer to run in. Based on this I sometimes think that it's never going to be easy to surpass Vibram's designs as a minimalist shoe. Vibram, please don't mess with the KSO. Having said all that I still had a good run of 5.23 km in 30 minutes but would've been better if I wasn't so conscious of my shoes.
On a separate running related matter, I have started reading "Run - The Mind Body Method of Running by Feel" by Matt Fitzgerald. I'll post some kind of review when I'm finished, but the first few pages have got my attention.

Monday, 25 July 2011

No news = good news...maybe

I've been having a good week running-wise and really have been enjoying my running more than thinking about it. A bit of this has to do with the fact that my body has finally adapted to some extent and am running up to an hour at a time comfortably. I am choosing to limit my running to a maximum of four times a week to still allow me 3 full days for recovery and so far this has worked fine.
I ran on today and on Sunday and plan on running tomorrow and Thursday before having Friday and Saturday off....hang on a minute that sounded suspiciously like a Rebecca Black song.

On Sunday it rained alot in Melbourne and found myself with saturated fivefingers at the end of the run. This resulted in some painful blisters on the knuckles of my big toes from the wet fabric rubbing on the skin. I ran again today using band-aids to cover the sores but I may have to use my Trail Gloves for tomorrow's run as they have a bit more room in them and no rubbing on the area. Hopefully this will let the blisters heal.
I have been noticing that my overall pace is beginning to come down which makes me happy.