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Ran for 30 minutes at lactate threshold using a mid-forefoot strike the whole way. That’s the furthest I’ve run while maintaining form.

I didn’t run in the Five Fingers but instead went with a beat up, old school pair of New Balances that were in the back of my closet. They have no cushioning to speak of, a nearly flat sole, and even the padded insert is long gone. Although my goal is to run in the Five Fingers all the time, there is no way my feet are strong enough. These old school trainers let me focus on form while also letting me get in enough distance to make for a workout.

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Today is the last day of the six week work capacity cycle (that actually took me 8 to complete).

Next I’m dropping into Rob Shaul’s “Big 24” 4-week strength cycle.

For the rest of the week.
Thursday: Vibram acclimatization drills, Pose running drills, short run.
Friday: Big 24 I – going light, focusing on form.
Saturday: Long Bike Ride
Sunday: Rest or Hike.
Monday: Start Big 24 cycle heavy
Tuesday: Vibram acclimatization drills, Pose running drills, short run.

Just a 3.75 mile run at a decent pace (29:30 something = 7:50 something miles). That’s what I needed for a “rest” day between gym efforts.

A lot of folks will tell me that I’m wasting my time running. That cardio is incredibly mode specific. Here’s what I know: The purpose of my training is to be able to skin up a mountain for about 30-40 minutes at a time. So, an aerobic effort of the same length with some incline is probably a good idea. Not perfect, but not useless either.

I do plenty of interval stuff in the gym (tomorrow is going to be killer). I know that there is a lot of research out there that strongly supports the use of interval training. However, I also know that very little of what passes as interval training in the gym or in a fitness setting is done at the necessary intensity or frequency to elicit the endurance gains found in a study setting. Likewise, the science has been done for short training periods (4-6 weeks). We don’t have hard evidence that these short-term results replicate over the long-term. (See Lyle McDonald’s discussion here for more on this). So that’s why I still run. Soon I hope to be doing all this running in my Five Fingers, but my lower leg and ankle strength isn’t there yet.

On Sunday I decided to go for a run. It looked beautiful outside and I figured “why not”. Rather than go with the running shoes I tried the Five Fingers. I’ve used the five fingers for sprint practices and such, but never for longer runs. Despite only running 20 minutes, I woke up the next day with incredibly sore lower calves. So I’ve been hobbling around instead of doing the Mountain Athlete workouts. Yesterday I threw in an upper body strength day. It felt weird going to the gym and doing just static lifts. Today I’m still deeply sore. I have been doing a lot of myofacial release with a foam roller and a lacrosse ball along with plenty of stretching. Good news is I can tell I’ve turned the corner and didn’t actually hurt anything. Today I’ll swim 25 minutes or so and then tomorrow I should be back on the ball.

Lesson learned – it takes a long time to condition you lower legs, ankles, and feet to run in Five Fingers. Since I walk around in them all day I thought I’d be fine. Not so. From now on I’m going to have to add a short jog at the end of all my workouts so I can condition my lower leg, ankle, and foot muscles.

July 2018
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