Tag Archives: running

Easy does it.

Today I achieved my most important goal: Totally carefree and easy running. After 5.3 km I ran home for dinner. Then I ran another 3.6 km, burping vietnamese food all the way.

Not fast, but more enjoyable than ever. If it continues in this direction, I’ll be able to skip my way through the half marathon in April. While whistling.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/71051884

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/71052490

Edit: Maybe the reason it felt so good was the temperature. A comfortable +5°C (41°F)!
Spring is here.

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Fatherhood and intervals

Since my last post I’ve become father of a beautiful daughter who enjoys milk a lot. She hasn’t got a name yet, but we call her “Lanugo” after the little baby-hairs on her shoulders. She makes life a lot more enjoyable and that includes my interval running. Also, a few days without running makes running more enjoyable.

Interval work: Second km 4:15, fourth 04:13.

(Short term-goal: 3 1km laps under 4:10. This earns me new shoes.)

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/149451554

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Barefoot running fun.

A good sign that barefoot running is becoming mainstream is the inevitable Youtube parodies. And since barefoot runners are “simple”, to quote the first video, they are happy to laugh along with ordinary runners, the ones in high heels I mean.

I am not a barefoot runner myself, but I do subscribe to the general concept. Our legs have a great suspension system so why not use it?

Here are my favorites so far.

“The Barefoot Runner”

This one popped up two months ago, right about the time everybody, including me, grew a mustache. On a serious note, I have read, from a certified podiatrist, that 80% of runners are overpronators, and need supportive shoes. 80%! I know we are a degenerated poulation, but that just can’t be right.

“Sh*t Barefoot Runners Say”

Another installment in the Sh*t people say-series. And very realistic.

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Investments

We are expecting a baby soon, so I think twice before making any investment. I customized my own hip bag into a fuel belt for the neat price of 15 Danish Kroner. That’s about 5% of what a fuel belt would cost. I may add more flasks later on if I need to. Can’t wait to try it out. I also bought a jump rope for about the same price.

This totally justifies buying a pair of NB Minimus Zero for the next race, right?

Home made fuelbelt

My needlework, just to show that anyone could do it.

Supposedly good warm up.

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Weird tracks

I’ve noticed that when I run streets it makes cool shapes on my Runkeeper map.  At runningalphabet.com people write letters with their running routes. I’m definitely going to make something, though I’m not sure what I want to draw yet.

Details at Runkeeper.

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A walk in the park.

I felt like crap today, but I managed to keep a consistent tempo anyway. I have been doing a lot of manual work these last days, guess I’m just a bit tired. Or maybe I just ate too many Swedish cinnamon rolls (see below).

Tried to pass another jogger for a while but he kept running off on a shortcut every 2 minutes. Caught up with him at a traffic light, but it didn’t feel like I won my little mindgame. Nice trip anyway, form was decent. Details @Runkeeper.

Buns of steel

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The value of cheap sneakers

My old H&M sneakers have a similar last to the Vivobarefoot Neos.

When I started reading about barefoot running on the web I ran in a few different pairs of very cheap sneakers from the supermarket or H&M. I have always preferred shoes that are flat and not too tight, so it turned out I had a lot of “minimal running shoes” in my closet. I would advice anyone wanting to try minimal running to run a bit in normal sneakers before buying minimal running shoes. Preferably they should be “lowtops” (with a low heel cap), and a bit wider than Chuck Taylors (just for reference).

Four reasons to buy real minimal running shoes later on:

  1. Durability. Cheap shoes wear out quickly.
  2. Sneaker soles usually have less grip.
  3. Cheap rubber is heavy.
  4. Cheap shoes usually breathe very little.

In other words all the things that make running shoes different from other shoes: Durability, traction, weight, breathability. What cheap sneakers do well, on the other hand, is NOT supporting your foot too much, and NOT having a padded heel. In terms of biomechanics they are far better than ordinary running shoes, if you want to run natural-style, that is.

My old sneaker easily passes the ball-test.

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A perfect fit – Vivobarefoot Neo

Vivobarefoot Neo

The right fit.

I think I’m in love with a shoe. This is the best fit I’ve ever had in a shoe. I originally bought the EVO (the previous model), because it is a little bit lighter. Some barefoot running bloggers complained the Neo was too heavy. For my taste, that’s not the case. The Neo actually feels lighter than the Evo, probably because it hugs my foot like a racing flat. It feels snugger around the midfoot, but with even more room in the toe box. It also feels a bit more like an ordinary shoe. I really like them a lot.

Different kinds of mesh.

Be aware there is a newer model of the Neo with a lighter, watertight (but less breathable) upper. The material is called “hydrophobic” on their website. Actually the new Neo is supposedly even lighter than the original Evo. I am thinking of getting it as trail shoe. It does not look as awesome as the Neo Trail, but I think it works better for road, and is therefore more versatile. But then again winters are long here in Denmark; The Neo trail might be good for running in snow and ice. And then there’s also the Breatho Trail, due in spring. God, I’ve become a shopaholic.

The black lining is soft and breathable. The yellow "suede" around the heel is for increased durability.

Vey breathable mesh.

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My favourite piece of equipment.

My way back to civilization.

For some reason most of my running clothes don’t have pockets. I have a jacket with a pocket that can hold one key and one credit card, but in the summer I don’t use a jacket. Still I always need a pocket, which means I have to spend time planning what to wear, as I need at least one piece of clothing with a decent pocket. I don’t know who these targeted consumers are who don’t need to bring their keys when running.

I complained about it in an earlier post. Now I finally went and did something about it. Voilà, a portable pocket! It seems the fanny pack is not dead, just expelled to the back of the store with the hiking equipment. I look forward to stuffing it with biscuits, chocolate, camera, phone, ID, money, maps, chewing gum and other things I might need.

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Running on tour

Another good thing about minimal running shoes: They are small and light and easy to pack. Currently touring in Sweden and glad I brought my running shoes. It makes me forget a long, stressful day, and it’s a nice way to get to know a town. 4,5km today, consistent forefoot form, and a loooong shower.

I’m starting to want a GPS watch or smartphone:

  1. To keep better track of my running.
  2. To find the way home.
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Aqua Jogging

This does not look cool. But it actually felt great!

I usually swim breast stroke with a bit of crawl, but today I tried to crawl all the way. Also trying to get a slower, more relaxed crawl. Afterwards I tried something that usually is reserved for people in rehabilitation: Aqua Jogging. I guess my running abstinences are getting bad. It felt really great, and built up plenty of lactose acid in my legs. Will it make me a better runner? Who knows…

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First barefoot run.

This post should be called “Run barefoot first!”  Because that’s where I should have started six months ago. I can’t recommend it enough. Again, I’m running slowly, focusing on running lightly and smoothly. After my run today I tried a bit of barefoot running on the street. I was shocked at how different it was to “minimal” footwear. I go barefoot indoors a lot, and in the summer i play badminton and walk around barefoot, but it’s a very different thing to run barefoot for a while. I was much more careful than in shoes. I’ll definitely do that again Saturday! Shame winter is around the bend.

This days run was followed by a nice two hour sauna and freediving session. Life is good.

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