Lately at track, I’ve been rewarding myself. Not with cupcakes (although other Running Junkies have spoilt us with some on the odd occasion) but by doing something that makes me really feel my body!
I’ve taken my running shoes off and run the last lap or two barefoot! Let me tell you, it’s the most awesome feeling in the world!
The grass is always cool and once I step out of my shoes, my feet feel a little lost and off balance. When I start to run, the ground feels hard after having been so cushioned in my asics. Suddenly I feel somehow connected to the ground. I can actually physically feel every footstep that I take. It’s as if I awaken my body and electricity shoots through my feet with each and every step.
I’m not only faster on those laps but I feel freer (if there is such a word?). It’s difficult to explain but if feels like after a stressful day at work, and a hard quality session around the track, that I’m giving something back to my body in that final lap. That I’m in tune with both my body and my mind.
We don’t often make time to truly connect with ourselves. I will *Google* and find out more because there must be loads of benefits to barefoot running?
For now, it’s bliss!
Since committing to training with a running coach just over a month ago, I’m already seeing certain benefits. If I promise to pitch up at training and work hard, he pretty much takes care of everything else. In a way, it’s actually a relief.
For starters, my coach decides on how much running I do in the week. It’s such a weight off my shoulders knowing that someone else is watching my mileage. For a change, I’m not stressing over not having run really long LSDs on a Sundays. And it’s okay just to do 5kms twice a week. It’s in his hands. He has a plan.
Another thing I’m learning is what he means by consistency. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality and learning to read my body.
Ironically, my coach is making sure I slow down a bit. *Wait a minute, I’m in this to speed up aren’t I?*. At the last track session, I felt strong. I’ve noticed that I’m doing a lot more running than walking. Just as he promised, I’m building that strong base foundation first. Speed work can only start once this is in place.
I must mention though that perhaps the biggest benefit is that I’ve learnt to run on grass! For me, the finish of any race is always the worst because it always feels like after running on the road, the grass on the field slows me down and sucks me in. Quite funny that where we train, the track is grass and it’s not that bad. Not that bad at all.