Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barefoot running on the treadmill.

Well I haven't had much to post lately on the running front. Still waiting for my calf strain to feel better. Generally now during the day walking around, going up and down stairs I have no trouble. I can even run half a block to the mailbox and back without pain so I know it's coming. I have also been making progress on the weight loss front so that is good. Seriously if I wasn't at least losing weight I think I would be unbearable to be around. Running has helped so much with my stress and dealing with the general ups and downs of my moods. Right now without running we are all riding the roller coaster of my moods. Not fun for anyone.

So I thought I'd post about how things have been going with my weight loss and what I've been doing. I am now down to 148 which seems just crazy. I can't even remember being this light. Well I can but I was in grade 10 so it was quite sometime ago. What I have been doing is the same as when I began a year ago. I am counting my calories, 1500 a day, and eating every 3 hours. So far it hasn't been very difficult. I did get used to eating a lot more food than this while I was running but I am getting back into the swing of things. Lots of water, lots of tea when I feel like eating but am not hungry. I also eat on a schedule like a toddler. I am home all day, surrounded by stress and food. I use a schedule to be sure I am not mindlessly eating. I eat at 7, 10, 1, 3 and somewhere between 5-6. If I have leftover calories I eat a fruit sometime after supper. My biggest downfall has been coffee. I love coffee with cream and splenda. Each cup costs me 40 calories, no big deal really, but when I have a couple cups of coffee with snack I am not getting enough real food to help me stay full till my next meal. When I first started counting calories I gave up coffee and switched to black tea. I fell in love with Teaopia teas and have lots different kinds. My favourite right now is their Pumpkin Spice black tea. So good. I think that I am going to have to go back to tea until I can get running again and up my calories.

On the running front I did 1.65 miles on the treadmill on Tuesday. It felt great. I stopped as soon as my calf got sore. I started off in my Ghost 4s and just ran 'normally'. I cannot believe how easy it is to heel strike in normal shoes. It was almost impossible to get the right form because the heel keeps getting in the way. I very quickly ditched my shoes and socks and ran barefoot on the treadmill. Kyle decided to take video of my form so that I could post it here. Kyle has met some pretty great guys who have been barefooting for a long time, and they have been helping him with his form. I have mentioned that I am jealous because I have no idea what I am doing and I don't have anyone to watch me run and let me know. So I am going to post the video here and you guys can correct me and then I'll be a better runner. The run on the treadmill felt great. The belt felt like it was getting pretty warm though by the end. I also had some pretty great treadmill belt imprints on my feet. Should have gotten a picture but I forgot. I think that for now treaddy and I will be good friends. I can run just a little and know that I won't have to limp home if my calf hurts. Also it is one of the only flat areas to run around here. So that's how I've been doing. If you take a look at my video please let me know how I'm doing. What do I need to change?

First section in slow mo, second at regular speed. Please excuse the messy basement I do have 7 kids.



  1. My recommendation is to bend your knees much more than your are now. This will result in a much quieter landing (lower impact), will help you to land with your feet directly under your center of balance / gravity, will increase your cadence (steps per minute - aim for 180), and will reduce wasted energy in upward movement. Your feet land a little in front of your body, which can lead to top-of-foot-pain. An efficient gait limits unnecessary energy expendiature (up and down movement) and focuses on forward momentum instead. Take note of your waist line in reference to a stationary object (treadmill) in your video. It appears you are bouncing several inches in between steps and are straight-legged at times. The higher you bounce, the harder you land. Bend those knees! Get outside and run barefoot on an uncomfortable surface. You will see that you will naturally adjust to a exaggerated knee bend as this reduces impact and pain. It's nearly impossible to land improperly when your knees are bending properly. This will feel very unnatural at first.

  2. Hey girl!! Thanks for reading my post on women in minimal running. Glad you got something good out of it. At the very least I hope it inspired you. Saw you over at BRS, too! So nice to meet you (albeit virtually... ha!)

    I agree with Jake. When I was struggling with calf strain in the beginning I got advice from Angie Bee to bend my knees and it was amazing how much that helped. It kind of forces your body to land with a more mid-foot landing and more centered under your body.

    There's a lot of nuances that you will learn that help your form a lot. Start with something simple like bending your knees slightly. It may feel weird at first, but just try it and stick with it for a bit. Then when you're feeling more comfortable, increase your cadence, focus on lifting (rather than pushing off), etc... All these little details will help you hone your landings. Pretty soon running will feel effortless and you will be going faster and farther without pain.

  3. Thank you so much for the help. I am amazed at how helpful the barefoot community is. I am going out running tomorrow and will work on lifting my knees higher. I tried in around the house and it felt amazing. I am sure I looked weird running around my kitchen counter like my kids do but I'll take what I can get. I am really enjoying learning how to barefoot. So grateful for every step and every run. It is so much fun!!

  4. Great blog!

    I am looking at a treadmill for barefoot running this winter also. Check this link out, if you haven't already, for some great tips from Michael Sandler on using a treadmill. Also, his Barefoot Running book is GREAT. Hope the calf heals up quick!