Sunday, July 31, 2011

NB Minimus: Hot Coals (video)

NB Minimus: Hot Coals

This video promotes barefoot running, specifically using New Balance Minimus barefoot running shoes.

NB Minimus is like barefoot, only better. Watch as our barefoot buddy takes NB Minimus for a spin and discovers the advantages of running minimusly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All You Wanted To Know About Top of Foot Pain

I was recently asked about my experience with TOFP, or Top Of Foot Pain. It seems to be a common ailment barefoot runners suffer from.

Being that I personally do not, and have not, suffered from TOFP, I had to do some research to discover what it was, what caused TOPF and how to avoid it and get rid of it.

After researching Top Of Foot Pain, I wrote my article on it on my Run Barefoot Marathon website. All you wanted to know about Top Of Foot Pain; what is TOFP, how to get rid of TOFP and how to avoid getting ToFP.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Serious Trail Barefoot Running

This past Friday we went out on the trails of Park Brittania. I have run through Park Brittania many times before, but always on the main paths, not the trails. This run was going to be a mostly trail run, anywhere from 13km to 16km.

The trails in Park Brittania, I quickly found out, are very hard trail, extremely rocky. Making the rugged terrain even more difficult is the constant fluctuating between ups and downs - we were going uphill, then downhill, then back up, then down, etc. you get the point. So it was not just the difficulty of the rocks and the feet, but the concentration of running on the rocks to avoid pain and injury along with the frequency of changing style from ups to downs and back.

Far more difficult than running barefoot on rocks is running barefoot on rocks when running uphill, constantly looking for good footing. And even more difficult than that is running on rocks downhill, as you try to avoid going too fast, as you are sure to misstep and hurt yourself on a stray rock.

I must say, this run was a lot of work. I was wiped out by about 12km, but had to keep going. It was a great run, until I tired from the over-concentration. After that it was mostly a struggle.

The other runners were amazed that I was able to do it at all, considering how rcky it was. My feet are mostly ok with it now, considering that I have run numerous trails and my feet are fairly well-conditioned for it by now. I still have to be careful, and my heel came out a little bit sore from some obvious missteps, but overall it was pretty good and mostly painless.

Running trails in Vibrams FiveFingers is very doable. It takes some effort, and a lot of practice building up the foot. Start out on soft trails, and move up carefully to more difficult trails. Your feet will adjust their abilities.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Running Early, Running Often

The week has been pretty decent for running. It has been pretty hot, and I have so far been successful in scheduling my runs not in the heat, as I usually end up doing. Saturday night, and then early Monday and early Wednesday mornings when it was still cool.

Monday my running partner overslept, so I ended up running myself. i was a bit pressed for time, so I did a siple loop around RBS, about 5km. I ran it at a recovery pace, taking it easy - something I have not done in a while.

Wednesday I met up with my running partner and we ran an extended loop around RBS. What has become our extended loop is a circuit around RBS. When coming down Kishon, we turn on to Ein Gedi and run down to the end. We cross Tzeelim and enter the path through the fields. This path takes us up along HaYarqon to the top.

At the top we split ways and I run back down the hill towards my house. The total extended loop for me is about an estimated 8.5km.

I am feeling great and running great. The only problem is the distance. I am not running any significant distance runs. I guess that will have to wait until marathon training season begins in September.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Runner's Guide To Israel: Tel Yarmout

Today's trail run was unplanned. Our small group met up at 6 am for a local run of 10-12km. When we met we decided to run a trail instead of our normal routes in the area.

We ran down and headed out of RBS towards the 38. At the bottom we turned on to a trail and ran across the trail, almost parallel to the highway. At some point we would have to follow the trails up to the left and climb the mountain to come around the other side.

Tel Yarmout is the site of an ancient village from biblical times, currently an area very rich with archaeological finds.

After running across the trail, we located the correct trail heading up the mountain to tel Yarmout. Coming across the top, we ran through the edge of the site of construction of the new neighborhood of RBS C, and then down the steep decline to the fields at the bottom and across back to RBS A.

The trails up to Tel Yarmout were probably the hardest trails I have run barefoot. They actually alternated between very soft trail sections and very hard, rocky sections. Thankfully my feet have adjusted nicely and, while I had to take certain sections slow being more careful, overall I did pretty good and came out of it mostly painless. Had I known in advance I would probably have worn my Vibram Five Finger Treksport shoes rather than my Bikilas, but I did just fine with the Bikila.

The total run for me was about 13.5km, and was a beautiful scenic route, with a nice early-morning cool breeze.

I closed this week with 4 runs, the longest being the hilly trail of 13.5km, with a total of an estimated 39km.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Damsel In Distress

This morning's run was really a killer. With the hot weather in full force, we got started a bit after 8:30. Truth is when we started the weather was still reasonable. It was hot, but not bad, a slight breeze, the sun was not strong, and it was mostly pleasant.

We had a good run out to the end of Road 10, and then after a few moments of a break to cool down, we continued out on the 375 to Eziyona Junction. By then it was already getting hot enough to start becoming uncomfortable. We stopped at Eziyoina and sat in the shade for a bit to cool down.

After a short break we turned and headed back to RBS. A few minutes in we came across a damsel in distress -  a woman was biking and her chain got all tangled and knotted up. She was on the side of the road stuck. We stopped to try to help, but after 15 minutes or so of wrestling with the chain unsuccessfully, we could only give up. She called her husband who was now on his way to pick her up, so we continued on our run.

By now it was getting REALLY hot, and the stretch back on the 10 and then up the hill to RBS was very difficult. I finished the run today feeling completely drained, and drenched all the way through with sweat.

I felt bad for her, as she headed out looking for a good morning workout - in the end her morning was now killed, she didnt get her workout, and the whole morning would probably end up wasted as she would have to take the bike in to get the chain fixed and whatnot. That can really kill a persons day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Hot 9KM Run

Had a fabulous 9km run this morning. Despite the heat, we decided to go for a run. It is going to be hot the rest of the summer, so either we run at 11pm, 4am, or we buckle up and run in the heat.

We met and ran about 9km, around RBS, then down Nahal Ein Gedi and up the path through the fields across RBS to the top of Yarqon, then we split and I ran the last 1.4km home.

The only animals we saw today were when we passed the flock of about 150 or so sheep grazing in the field. There was also some scurrying in the brush at times, but we had no idea what animals were there.

It was hot, but not as bad as yesterday. It was bearably hot this morning.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Saw Deer On Today's 15km Run

Just because I don't write (here), does not mean I am not running.

I ran four times this week, Saturday night, Tuesday Morning, Wednesday morning, and Friday morning, but am only posting here now.

The Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday runs were about 8-9km each, and today's run was about 15km, though I have not worn my Garmin GPS watch all week, so these are estimates. That makes this week's running total to be in the range of about 41km.

Today's run was the toughest. I have been feeling very strong recently, and despite running with no watch I have felt that my ace and running strength has been improving recently. Maybe it is my imagination, since I am not wearing a watch, but my most recent runs have been at hard paces and i felt strong on them.

Today though was a killer. the first half out was great. We ran hard, maybe too hard, and went out about 7.5 km to just a couple hundred meters past the Aderet Intersection on Highway 375.

Then we turned around, but when we got to Tzomet Etziyona we turned in and took a trail back to Road 10. the trail through the fields was nice, and it was my first time on this trail. We saw some deer running a bout 150 meters way from us in the field. There was no way we were going to catch up with them! The prancing deer were far nicer than the dead snake and dead hedgehog we saw the other day...

The road run from tzomet Etziyona back to Road 10 is a slight downhill making it a great stretch for a tempo pace, but this trail took us mostly, until near the end of it, on an uphill incline, making it unexpectedly difficult.

My Vibram FiveFinger Bikila are still holding up nicely, but with all this added trail running (not really a lot, but more than usual), they are probably starting to wear down faster than expected. it might be time to prepare new ones soon.

Today's run was a nice mix of road running, trail running, flat and hill running, and seeing the deer prancing ahead of us was an added bonus!