That is a total of 24 Minutes of Jogging & Walking which I did early this morning!
Exactly a month ago, I had an injury on my left calf muscle that made me completely out from running. It was a “blessing in disguise” to force my body to take a break for a much-needed rest and recovery after 11 months of marathon and ultramarathon races. For the past weeks, I’ve been on a “rehabilitation” mode from my self-anointed “physical therapist”. My activities were confined to eating, resting, reading, sleeping, (blogging), walking (forward & reverse), “cross friction” massages, and a little of stretching.
After two weeks, I was instructed by my “therapist” to do a daily 5-minute backward walking using my “Islander” slippers. I did this religiously over a loop of unpaved ground for almost another two weeks. Those daily 5-minute backward walking drill had been very challenging on the first few days but I became relaxed and composed later as I can see what is on my back while glancing on my sides. (Note: I suggest you should try and incorporate this in your running “drills” as you could feel some “sensation” that will strengthen your calves!)
Early this morning, I decided to put on my running shoes and jogged for straight 8 minutes on unpaved ground! The pace was slow but I can feel that I could show myself for tomorrow’s start of the FAT ASS event with a very conservative goal and marks the formal start for my training program for the year. I started to perspire when I started to walk after 8 minutes of jogging.
After the jog, I immediately removed my shoes and socks and started jogging barefoot on the unpaved road/ground. It is good that the ground was smooth and had no stones or gravel which made my feet comfortable for my first experience of barefoot running/jogging. After a few seconds of “tingling” sensation on my foot, my foot landing started to adjust and I was jogging at a regular and smooth pace. it took me another 8 minutes continuous jogging with my bare feet and it felt great on my calves and legs.
When I started to perspire again, I started to slow down and walked. After one minute of walking barefoot, I started to walk backwards and I was able to complete my usual 5-minute backward walking, for the first time, on barefoot. The rest of the two minutes were devoted to walking forward slowly for my cool down.
The distance I’ve covered for the total of 24 minutes of workout was insignificant and it will not be a part of my daily running log. But the feeling was great that I am back again to pound the ground with my feet and legs!
My brief workout this morning was great and the experience of jogging and walking barefoot was also significant. However, it does not mean that I will embrace “barefoot” running and go immediately to the running stores and buy those VFF and “almost socks”-looking shoes! I still prefer to run with those racing flat shoes which shoe makers call now as “minimalist” running shoes.
But I would strongly suggest that you incorporate backward jogging/walking and “barefoot” jogging/running in your weekly workouts or the combination of both. I will give you the assurance that these “drills” will strengthen your calves! Try them!