Monday, November 30, 2009

Go Wagon and Buckeye Outdoors Training Site

I found a couple cool websites that will help me with my training. is a community website for training that integrates the Buckeye Outdoors Training Calendar in it.  I was using but I think will be nicer in that I can include a workout log in this blog.  Check it out in the column on the lefthand side.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bryant Lake Loop

I was able to set up a 1 mile loop of trail running at Bryant Lake Regional Park yesterday and completed 4 loops.  It was between 35F and 40F degrees and misting.  Running in my Vibram FiveFinger KSO's felt really good at this temperature despite my feet quickly getting wet and the ground being muddy and slippery.  I am wearing Injinji socks inside the KSO's that certainly help insulate my feet from the cold.  I think I will be able to used them successfully down to about 25F as long as I'm not running in snow.

I haven't been timing myself yet on any of my runs, as I don't want the pressure of the clock to affect me re-learning how to run using this new method.  I have been able to really relax while I run as well as keep my body straight even on the uphills and downhills.  I find that if I think about pushing my hips forward while I run, it helps my form tremendously.  It doesn't necessarily feel like I am falling forward, but at the same time, it quickens my cadence and keeps my upper body more upright.  When I do this running uphill, it makes the 'attack' a lot easier.

Additional clothing I am wearing for this type of weather.
Bottom Baselayer: Icebreaker Bodyfit 150 Leggings
Bottom Shell:  Smartwool Synergy
Top Baselayer: Icebreaker Bodyfit 150 L/S
Top Layer: Icebreaker Crew 260 L/S
Hat: Smartwool
Gloves: Black Diamond WindBloc Gloves

Observations of clothing:  Smartwool Synergy Pants are just too warm yet at these temps.  I should probably go with a midweight Long Underwear under my running shorts.  The Gloves were also too warm and I quickly shed these and just carried them.

I am still loving running in my VFF's.  They are super comfortable and I find I can maneuver around rocks and other obstacles on the trail easily.  I feel there is still much too learn with this new running style, but I am loving it!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cold Weather Running, Feelmax Kuuvas & Steger Mukluks

I ran two loops around Meadowbrook golf course last night which brings my barefoot/primal running up to 4 miles.  I ran 3 of it in my VFF KSO's and 1 in barefeet.  It is definitely easier to find the right form in barefeet, but at 45F, my feet were going numb after about 5 minutes.  This was fine on the grass, but as soon as I hit some gravel/asphalt, I could tell that I couldn't feel the bottom of my feet well enough to react to what I was stepping on.  Oh well, I will have to wait until next spring to truly run barefoot.

I would like to get a pair of Feelmax Kuuvas to run in this winter, but they are pretty pricey...  I'll have to see if I can sell some more stuff around the house to get enough money to buy these.  They have received some good reviews so far even though they were just released.

I just don't think my toes are going to stay warm enough in my Vibram FiveFinger KSO's.  But I will run in them as long as I can.

I also bought a new pair of Steger Mukluks that I am going to try to go running in as well.  They are big and bulky, so I don't know how reasonable it is to do this, but it is worth a try.  I used to have the Yukon model, but I found that in any sort of exercise, I would sweat under the portion that had the canvas, but where it was leather, I wouldn't.  To me that was a simple formula of the canvas not breathing as well as the leather.  The Ojibwa Short model that just arrived in the mail is the full leather version which I am hoping will breath better. As soon as it gets cold enough here and we get a little snow on the ground, I will test them out and provide a full report.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You Walk Wrong

Fascinating Article from New York Magazine that sums up the whole minimalist shoe approach.

Supplements for Ultra-Running

I'm looking for some healthy MYO supplements. Here's what I've found so far...

Electrolyte / Vitamin Drink: Mix 100% Coconut Juice with Water. Mix any 100% Fruit Juice with Water. Maybe 1:4 mix ratio for the Juice to Water. Add Emergen-C packet to any of the above.

Gels: Mix Honey, Molasses, Maple Syrup, and Brown Rice Syrup in any combination.

Protein/Carb Goo: Mix Peanut and/or Almond Butter with Cinnamon, Chocolate, Honey, and/or Maple Syrup. Add Coconut Oil or Sesame Oil to make it gooey.

I plan on putting both the gel and the goo into a Coghlan squeeze tube that I already have. recommends the following combinations for the gel.
*75% Brown Rice Syrup + 25% Agave Nectar
*60% Brown Rice Syrup + 40% Honey
+ 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt per 300 grams

Fill squeeze tube only 2/3 full, close, run under hot water to reduce the viscosity and then rotate to mix.

Update on barefoot/primal running

Besides my calves being really sore in adopting this new running style, I have had NO knee pain. My balance and core strength is way better and most importantly, I now LOVE going out for a run. So much so that I have put a couple 25K trail runs on my schedule for next spring and a 50K trail run for the middle of the summer.

Last weekend I went for a hike with my 30 lb kid (plus 5-10 lbs of carrier and gear) on my back and literally ran down a big hill with him on my back (in my VFF KSO shoes!).   I couldn't believe how good that felt to be able to do that with no pain!!! I was ecstatic!

Primal running is defined by using a minimalist shoe like Vibram Five Fingers, Feelmax or a racing flat type shoe. Barefoot running (I've only done this for very short distances a couple times) is just as it says.

One BIG note, you need to modify your running style when you run this way. AND, give yourself some transition time... i.e. TAKE IT SLOW. It's like learning how to run all over again. If something hurts, you are doing something wrong!!

Check out these three websites for some great instruction and dialogue on barefoot/primal running:,,

I also highly recommend getting the book "Born To Run". This has a great story that is centered around minimalist running.

Good Luck!!!