THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.
Tom Forman: Third week barefoot and I'm still running!
The work life balance - like a baseball – is a hard thing strike right, granted it is always better to play it safe than strike out, But sometimes this means that I just can’t run as much as I would like.
The outline of this week has been a tale of small post-work sanity runs coupled with a nice relaxing 13 mile trail run at the weekend. As with the previous week, the aforementioned post-work runs were around the usual 4.4 miles in length and allowed me to rotate my trainers on a daily basis. The weekend run was the furthest I had undertaken since the transition to a more ‘naked trainer’, so I was pretty nervous at the outset as with a number of events upon the horizon, I didn’t want to injure myself.
Having said that, unlike the Eagles I’m not known for taking it easy, so the concept of jumping from 4 to 13 miles as a step-change seemed like a good enough way to test my progress, after all should the pain start I could always stop and walk home…
The majority of this thirteen mile route was trail; my partner – who is also migrating to a Merrell Barefoot trainer - had prepared a route that covered track, field and public food path, which was perfect. Firstly, I spend so much time running on roads during the week, that at the weekend it’s refreshing to experience the “green” and secondly, the softer ground would be nicer to my feet.
As the main purpose of this jog was to test my feet, we took it steady and therefore took a number of hours to complete, the weather was surprisingly acceptable for a September and it was great to spend it on my feet and outdoors.
Now possibly due to my short-attention span or because I have spent the last three weeks solely in Merrell trainers, I feel like I’ve always ran in them. Quite a surprising statement so early on, I spent my first 5 years of running in other branded trainers so I was expecting to miss them a little at least. But to be honest, I haven’t looked back.
Upon completing this run and waiting a few days to check there wasn’t a delay, I can honestly say that after my longest run to date in my new footwear, I neither ache nor do I hurt anywhere! This is a little disappointing as I wanted to fill this blog post with tales of woe and photos of swollen ankles, but alas, all is going well and I’m injury free.
This however sets me up for my next step-change this weekend, where I’ll be running my last long run before the Round Ripon in a few weeks. This training run will be a 40 mile mix of trail and path thus giving me opportunity to get my feet used to longer distances on the black stuff. I am looking to take a gentle 8 hours to complete this and really confirm that my body has adjusted to the newly found running style.
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Please note Tom is an experienced runner having competed many ultra events. This is his story of transitioning from traditional running shoes to barefoot and as a result we would not recommend that anybody copies his training regime directly. This is what works for him and for more information on how to make your own transition please see http://www.merrell.com/UK/en-GB/Blog/Article.mvc.aspx/a96ebf4b-7a7f-4a00-8cab-d2318ddd3fdc