17th Sep 2015
Ok, so I've now been for three runs following 10 days off (just my usual end of season rest)
I'm right down at 3 or 4 km per run, for two reasons:
- After my post t&f season break, I always start off with small distances, as for some reason the aches really "come out" after having been deliberately ignored during the racing of the past 2 or 3 months
- The Book says so!
This is what I've noticed.
- I really ache! This could be to do with the company cycle ride that I took part in last Friday - 110km of Hertfordshire hills (albeit slow pace)
- There's a definite pattern to warming up. At first, running feels awful and heavy. And slow. But I'm not worried as this concurs with what Keith says in the book. The pattern of warm up that I'm noticing is that over the first 2km:
- the torso and neck loosen up and rather than deliberately "holiding back" the head and neck (almost to the point of creating a double chin as I said last post) that these two body parts relax into a more natural form
- The legs land lighter, and there seems to be more suspension in the foot
- I start off, conscious that I don't see my feet, but try not to think about this. I guess it's just a novelty at the moment!
- After a couple of km, I stop and do, at most, 60 seconds dynamic stretching - some lateral and transverse leg swings, touch toes, etc. Then, when I set off again, I suddenly achieve the "float" that the book talks about.
- My easy runs are now much faster. An easy run previously came in at about 5:15 to 5:20 per km. Now without any more effort, I'm hitting 4:50 to 4:55 per km. This is really surprising. I haven't tried a tempo run yet, but I'm only 3 weeks or so into the new regime, and I'm not ready yet.
- I have also noticed that the length of time / distance that it takes to warm up is coming down a bit. But I doubt that it will ever come down to 500m like it was in padded shoes. In the old style of running (hunched, maxing the benefit of the padding in the shoes etc) it was easy to hit max pace pretty soon (although I was often conscious not to). With the Bateman gait, there's no way you're hitting max pace in the first 2km. And that’s nearly half my usual recovery run.
- On today's run, 90% of the route was on loose stones on hard earth. It's really easy to notice "slip" on the floor, either at landing (not happening much) or take off (happens if I'm trying to "walk the feet forward") Actually, it's a really good surface for a beginner to run on, as it's just so obvious when it's happening. What's surprising, though, is how easy it is to reduce the slip to nothing, by concentrating on pushing UP and not FORWARD
For the three runs since my 10 day break, I've worn shoes in this order: minimal (2km) structure padded (5km) minimal (4km). Of course with the padded shoes I still maintained the hip lift style, but actually its harder to do, because the heels drag more easily. I'm really liking the minimal shoes, but I hope that's not the "fad" effect.