Posts Tagged ‘barefoot


Improving form with 100-ups

For the last year I’ve integrated “barefoot” (actually done in my Vibram Five Fingers) running into my regular routine as a method to work on different muscles and improve my form. I’ve worked myself up from only a couple of miles to a maximum of 17 miles this past summer. However, after 17 miles my heels were killing me, which is strange because barefoot running shouldn’t have a heel strike. Observation of my form showed that after long distances running barefoot my form goes to total crap and I take on a flat foot or almost heel strike in some cases. This really isn’t all that ideal, so I’m looking for alternatives.

As part of their coverage of the ING New York City Marathon this weekend, the New York Times is dedicating a large portion of their Sunday magazine to running, including some guest articles from folks like Christopher McDougall, the author of “Born To Run”. This includes a video where McDougall, and, for some strange reason, Peter Saarsgaard, demonstrate some exercises for proper barefoot running called 100-up. In short, this exercise has you almost run in place with a concentration on the proper way to bring your feet back down that will cause minimal injury.

While I’m in taper mode for the NYC Marathon this weekend and I don’t want to try anything new, this seems something that is simple enough that I could do it in my office over my lunch breaks.

Anyone else have good suggestions for simple training exercises to improve form?


A Litany of Excuses

There’s lots of reasons why I haven’t blogged much recently. The main reason? I haven’t been running as much. Since the Fourth of July I have only run a single race, the Twin Cities Duathlon. I was pleased with my performance in the 5k run – 18mi ride – 5k run race, both of my 5k’s were around 23:00. Otherwise not much in my running world. Here’s why:

July was actually a pretty good month. Almost 150 miles of running in. August started off horrible. At the beginning of the month I got the bright idea to do a Friday run barefoot. Normally I do not run on Friday and I do not run barefoot. Needless to say, this did not end well. After 1.3 miles my feet were bloodied and blistered. I could barely walk for the next four days.

I managed to come back a week later with a 20 miler and a good solid week, but then I got the norovirus that I lovingly spread to my wife because I thought it was non-contagious food poisoning. If you haven’t ever had the norovirus, here’s how it works. First, it lies in wait for a day or two. Then it cleans EVERYTHING out of you from both sides and makes sure you can’t take anything else down. Then you’re just left dehydrated and exhausted for a week after. Thus, I missed a whole week of runs.

At the end of the norovirus week I did a 17 mile run and the next day was the duathlon. My knee was killing me, so I took a few days off. Did a 5 miler then a 20 miler. My knee still hurt. To cap off the 20 miler I went and boarded a plane for Europe that evening and spent two weeks in Europe. I didn’t run at all in Europe. Lots of walking, but no running. This was probably a good thing. After some long days of “museum walking” for eight to twelve hours my legs were killing me. Running would have been bad.

I returned to New York yesterday night. This weekend called for a 20 miler, I’m not jumping right into that. I’m going to build some mileage this week after my nice early morning six miles today. On Saturday I’ll run the Fifth Avenue Mile and then on Sunday I’ll do a 20 miler.

This leaves me with a very short taper for Chicago. I had hoped to peak there, now I’m just hoping to finish. Life is like that. I love Chicago, I’m going to love the race. I just won’t be down around 3:30 for it.

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Marathon Times

2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
2011 Hartford Marathon3:58:17
2011 Chicago Marathon4:20:16
2011 Grandma's Marathon4:07:43
2010 Big Sur International Marathon4:22:49
2009 NYC Marathon4:37:05
2009 Twin Cities Marathon4:43:28
2009 Pittsburgh Marathon4:14:38
2008 Erie Marathon5:11:40

Upcoming Races

  • Nov 6 - New York City Marathon, New York, NY
For previous races, check out my Race Log