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#Pretty Strong Training Program-Week 1. Let's go!

Before I dive into my experience with the first 4 days of the Merrell barefoot Women’s Training Program, let me give you a little background about me.  I am a girly girl. I love nail polish, lip stick, shoes and fitness! I am new to the marketing team at Merrell but love my new role.  As for fitness I recently completed a boxing class which was both a lot of fun and tons of work.  I enjoy running, swimming and biking.  Currently I have been running 2-4 miles a day, 4 days a week and was a little worried that starting this training program might slow me down. Trust me ladies, it doesn’t have to! All I did was mix in the training program with my normal routine and I was good to go! I also have knee problems and heard that running in correct form (Bareform!) could help.  Let’s begin!

Day 1 – 

The training program starts off pretty simple in terms of transition but can be awkward if you don’t have room in your place to walk around barefoot for 30 minutes. I considered going outside but it was cold (I’m in Michigan!) and I was afraid of stepping on something and cutting my foot. I decided to go upstairs to the workout room and walk barefoot on the treadmill. Other than a few people giving me a confused look, this method worked perfectly for me. I was able to get a 30 minute walk in while strengthening my feet. While it felt a little weird at first, I quickly started to feel the muscles in my feet and legs going to work! After I completed all three activities I made sure to add in my normal routines that wouldn’t upset the transition. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and then did my ab workout. Off to a great start!

Day 2 – 

I haven’t done jumping jacks in ages! It’s funny because it’s a simple exercise that gets the heart rate up but yet I never think to do it.  Anyway, after doing my ankle circles, jumping jacks and posture resets I got back on the treadmill to do the 30 minute walk.  For some reason I could feel the “burn” in my feet even more on the second day.  I guess I have really never (except for as a child) walked a long distance barefoot.  

Just like the day before, after completing my walk, I jumped on the elliptical machine. After doing that and some upper body workouts with light weights, I felt great!

Day 3 – 

Today was a free day! It was perfect because it was 60 outside (again, I’m in Michigan). I decided to just explore my surrounding area with a friend. We walked and ran for about an hour. It was a good time!

Day 4 – 

I was excited for the workout today because I saw that squats were on the agenda and I haven’t done them in ages.  As I am sure you know, these are great for lower body strength.  I did 12 reps and could feel it!  Next was the 30 minute walk. I was excited that I could put shoes on this time. It was the first day that I was able to walk with my Merrell’s on.  I was really tempted to run at some points but I knew that would be a bad idea in terms of transitioning. Instead I just concentrated on my form.

After the walk, I put on my non-barefoot shoes and did a 30 minute run. It’s okay to incorporate non barefoot shoes into your routine, especially while transitioning. 

Four days down and am feeling great…36 more to go!

Come back next week for my experiences with the next 5 days of the training program! If you want to try the training program yourself, download it at www.merrell.com/barefoot-women.

- Steph