Speedwork is something I have nearly avoided doing while conditioning my leg, feet and soles to running either completely barefoot or with a barefoot style in ultra minimal shoes.
However being in Copenhagen with no hills and flat trails I needed something to do while running and it all started out one late evening after arriving in Copenhagen.
I had a massive time difference to cope with and at midnight my body felt like anything but sleeping.
Thus I strapped on my running clothes a pair of seeyas and set out into the night and the rain.
I had nothing particular in mind, but as I ran the pace was just going up and up and before I knew of it, I was back at a 4:30 average.
Six kilometres later I arrived home and realised that maybe I was ready to run at sub 5 minute averages again.
The run felt amazing and with a great flow and a running style that seemed to have been compact and solid. Just great 🙂
A few days later weather was a bit iffy again, but I really needed a run and felt like testing my style at speed again. I decided on a 10K and settled on a 4:30 average pace, pretty close to my old half marathon PR pace. It just turned out to be one of those perfect runs, even though I quickly realised that I was not half marathon ready yet, at least not in that pace. But the 10K went very smoothly. I had to work it all the way not only maintaining acceptable form, but also to maintain a constant pace.
What it made me realise though, was that running barefoot has advantages at speed too and it felt great just to run hard for more than just a single kilometre or two here and there.
A few days later in the Netherlands, I decided to spend a rainy evening running along the canals. In retrospect I probably should have stayed at home though.
Admittedly I skipped the usual warm up exercises and the first two kilometres was amazing. I ran effortless at a very fast pace, heart rate was surprisingly calm and the running style under tight control.
A gentle slope came up and I open up a little more and… SNAP!
A sharp pain shot through my calf as I could feel the muscle being pulled… The 3 K home was a hobble and very sorry looking excuse for running:(
So I relearned an old lesson; do you warm up before running, otherwise you may end up injured. A pulled calf is no fun and it cost me two weeks without running.
The two weeks were not a total loss though, as they did include a gorgeous hike to the peak of Deer Prong Mountain outside Nuuk.
A gorgeous hike that is well worth it for anyone, but also one of the last chances to go there before winter and darkness sets in.
I completed the hike in an old pair of vivo neo trail, that even survived having cramp on mounted, but let it be said that for cramp on work real boots are probably the way to go.
And I will bring big boot for those sections in the future.
It was amazing to be back in the mountains under alpine conditions though, while not suited for minimalism, it will always have a place in my heart.
An 8K test run at a very leisurely pace has been run too and I can now slowly ease into easy runs again so it is not all bad 🙂