I was at Wellington Zoo the other day with the whole Wellington family including my baby son, wife and two sisters in law. It was not the best day to go as it was pouring with rain and freezing cold but it was enjoyable anyway. Of course I wore my Vibram shoes to give them a good workout. Little did I know it but one of my sisters in law had discovered that Victoria and I were wearing very similar outfits including a black Kathmandu coat, blue jeans and then she saw what we where wearing on our feet. Victoria had a nice white pair of sand shoes on (something I would normally wear), but I had my Vibram's on. Apparently they "freaked" my sister in law out. What I did learn though was whilst the rest of me was soaking wet from the weather my feet were warm inside the Vibram's despite the wet conditions, even if it just was walking around.
It was swim training again today and the session was huge and it hurt! I can't remember the whole set but I do recall that it was a 500 warm up followed by 12 X 25 metres with a focus on stroke length. That was then followed by a 200 metre freestyle to warm up for the next set which was Technique Golf.
The idea behind this set is that you try and score the lowest score you can by combining your strokes for 50 metres with the time it took you to complete the set. For example if you count your strokes and you do 45 strokes for the 50 metres and it takes you 45 seconds then your golf score is 90. You have to maintain this score for 10 sets. My first score was 79. I was able to do 38 strokes in 41 seconds. From there my strokes spread out to around 40 and I maintained anywhere from 40 to 41 seconds. My range for the whole set was 79-82 which is a good range to have. Anything more than 3 and you have not got the right mix between strokes and speed.
Following this was another 200 metre warm down before we started the sprints. This was done in 2's so I was up against a guy in the lane who is a good sprinter. The set composed of 12 X 25 metre sprints on 45 seconds. Basically for a full sprint for 25 metres it will take you around 20 seconds to get down the other end. You then have around 20 seconds rest before you do it all again. You are absolutely gone by around 6 of them especially doing all the swimming before but you are in a race with the person in your lane next to you so it motivates you to push hard. Finally to finish it was a nice 500 warm down that included 2 laps of freestyle followed by 1 lap of backstroked and 1 lap of breaststroke.
I spoke to a friend today who is a swimmer and runner and her mum and sister are professional triathletes. I was talking to her about this blog and barefoot running. She looked at me funny and said "You don't have those finger shoes do you? They freak me out!!"
When I got home I put on the "Freaky" shoes and head out for my 20 minute run. I want to do a longer run but am starving tonight from this mornings swim and need to eat. I had a longer run planned that would take around 40 minutes but that is going to have to wait for another day. I start out and my calf's feel fine from the start. I do notice that the bottom of my foot is a little sensitive today but I believe that is due to my new walking style. I have noticed that when I am walking around in my work shoes that I am doing that slow march that I felt that I was doing when I first wore the Vibram's. I am thinking that all this walking on the middle of my foot rather than heel toe is causing the sensitivity. During the run it doesn't bother me though and I am feeling good today especially running down hill. My calf's are still not hurting and I have successfully made it down the hill and onto the flat. I am feeling good and although I am tired I notice I am still running upright rather than leaning forward like I do when I run in shoes when tired. It almost feels like my posture has changed and it feels very comfortable. I am heading to the long run up the hill home and although tired still feel good. I finally make it home and know that I have gone pretty hard. I look at the time and it has taken me 18 minutes, my quickest time yet!
My legs still feel a little jellyish after each run but they are getting better. I have a good stretch and my legs feel fine for the rest of the evening. It will be interesting to see how my calf's are feeling tomorrow. Hopefully they are not sore like last week and I will be able to have that longer run tomorrow in my "Freaky" shoes.