04 September 2012

Too much is not enough

It could be the motto of the runner coming back from injury, and heading straight for another one. But I have lived by that maxim for my running career to date, and am stopping now, trying to be a little more conservative, acting my age not my shoe size - which, taking the Euro size of my new running shoes (of which more anon) is 44. Even with such a high number for my shoes my actual age passed that twelve years ago now, so it must be time to act my age. Stretch before running, run gently: don't go too far, too fast, too soon, which is exactly what I was doing a year ago.

What I did a year or so ago was transition (overnight, so perhaps "transition" is a misnomer) to barefoot running, in my Luna sandals. Once the calf strain wore off (leaving only a couple of tender Achilles tendons) there was a brief period earlier this year when I seemed to be flying - Parkruns getting faster, and a minimalist half marathon. But a run in cushioned shoes seemed to put a stop to that: they were supposed to be an antidote to the instantaneous transition, but they set my knee off hurting.

This evening I set off for an exploratory few miles, having managed a couple of miles on Sunday before Achilles warned me it was time to go home. Anticipating just that, I had chosen to run laps of the village playing field so I would  never be far from home. This evening it was the loop which, 20 years ago, was the second stage of my development as a runner - I started with a shorter loop, then went up to this 5K course before I really got serious.

These two latest runs have been in new VivoBarefoot Evos, which aren't taking the place of the Luna sandals (though it remains to be seen whether they are still usable after Hugo chewed lumps off them: is SuperGlue up to it?) but which after such a short trial seem great. And I have also taken to wearing, most days, a pair of black leather lace-up VivoBarefoot shoes, which I imagine Alan Clark would have said no gentleman would be seen in but I suppose I have no pretensions to being a gentleman any more ... But I do have pretensions to being a runner.

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