More travels and more kilometres (560K to go):

Temp2

Eastbourne in the mix

Lots has happened since writing up my shoe post, well actually even before, but just gone unmentioned in that post.

I started out by catching a bacterial infection on my lower leg that went in my blod, now anyone having tried that will confirm it to be some scary sh*t and not something you want to experience more than once. A few visits to the hospital, a really heavy doze of penicilin and week worth of high fever later I was more or less good to go, my leg more or less normal colour and back to normal size even πŸ™‚

I hammered the EL-X five fingers quite hard for a number of things when doing my barefoot shoe write up, but heading off to London I decided to give them one more shot as my travel and London city walking shoe.

I wore them for 12 hours of walking in London (a good 30K) with a 12 kilo pack in some healthy warm weather, my hope is that they will loosen up and break in some, because as mentioned I adore the ground feel of the sole.

Being back in London was amazing for a day by the way. UK and London in particular feels like a second home to me and getting reacquainted with London on a hot summer day was amazing πŸ™‚

In the late afternoon I met up with my girlfriend and we jumped the train to Eastbourne for the weekend.

Most people I guess come her to hit the beach, so did we. Though we hit it walking. Once you get past the tourist nightmare and onto the shore beneath the massive chalk cliffs (at low tide I might add) there is an excellent and quite long walking route on some wonderful terraing of water polished rocks, chalk stone and some other goodies.

And hiking this very uneven terrain in the Spyridons was a pleasure (I have to admit though that I spend a lot of time barefoot when the terrain allowed for it). As the tide came in we hiked up and along the upped edge of the cliff for a long stretch. Β Before heading back to Eastbourne for a pub dinner and a pint.

Sunday was pretty much a repeat story, before catching an evening train back to the Airport and a flight to Copenhagen.

W999

from a 10K barefooter

The Running:

Copenhagen has provided me with two excellent runs this week.

First a 7K speed test, it has been a while since I really have been putting things to a test, thus I strapped into the seeyas and set up to see how solid my running style would be when upping the pace and when it would start to come apart.

Pace was set to 4:30 average, a pace that normally would be my fast half marathon pace.

And the run felt good, really good. Now I could definitely feel my feet getting tired towards the end and the fact that I ran in my seeyas that provides no support really made a lot of difference to at least how long I was able to sustain this in the past normal fast pace.

It felt good to be running faster again though and to verify that my technique and strength are improving also at a faster pace.

Second run was a 10K barefoot run around the lakes in central Copenhagen.

One of my longer completely barefooted runs and intentionally run on a track that is fairly leisurely and easy on the feet.

The lakes are a mix of fine gravel paths and paved paths, add in the flagstones and cobblestones part of my run to and from the lakes and you have an excellent mix of varied surfaces.

I had my doubts about how the gravel sections would feel, but they were entirely OK, only a couple of times did I encounter stones big enough to notice underfoot.

I normally see quite a few barefooters or minimalists on this route, but on this day I was the only one.

Pace and style was a generally good experience. I am still a little “lazy” in my heel pulls for the lack of a better word and I could feel myself getting tired towards the end, but not significantly and my feet and soles in particular were strong enough for a sprint the last kilometre home.

Definitely my best barefoot run so far.

An 8K barefoot run in London (892K to go):

W005I really had to do a daytrip to London to get some pressing meetings completed and spend last night walking a lot of the very familiar streets of central London.

An upside to all of this was that i this morning would have time to sneak in an early run and I decided to use the nearby Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens as my primary route. so a quick dash down Oxford street, around the park and back to the hotel.

Bein slightly worried about the glass and if there would be gravel, I decided to start out in my favourite seeyas.

But just a few kilometres into the run I striped off the shoes and allowed my bare feet to get in touch with the ground.

Route was a mix of flagstones, Paved trails/roads (of mixed quality), cobblestones, gravel and a combination of these.

Some were perfect, the flagstones and a lot of the paved stuff was amazingly smooth to run- Some of the gravel sections were a mess though and particular the gravel/cobblestone mix were quite challenging, as were some of the paved sections as it had a very rough surface and I am not yet light enough on my feet to run it.

The run itself was an 8K, 5:24 pace, 200 SPM average run, so all in all very good. 3 things was very clear to me after the run though.

  1. I need to work a lot on my running style and while it may seem odd then running completely barefoot is the easiest way to work with it, as I have instant feedback from the soles on my feet. Even a minimal pair of five fingers like the seeyas robs enough ground feel that I am pushing it too hard, I will need to work much hard on my self discipline.
  2. Cadence is faster barefooted, thus I need to increase my cadence, shorten my stride a bit and focus on posture, when wearing minimalist shoes, much more so than when running truly barefoot.
  3. Running truly barefeet is so addictive, when you hit those perfect strides where you just “float”. It just feels right πŸ™‚

But again, it would have been too good to be true if my style turned out to be perfect this early on and It will be interesting to work out some of these “challenges” along the way

I am now back in Copenhagen and if my legs can manage, I will be doing a short run again tomorrow πŸ™‚