I’ve been running regularly for around two months now. I run mainly in the mornings, two days a week, in addition to my usual bike rides and weekly visits to the climbing gym. My regular route is 5.4 miles long, and in the beginning, I walked about half of it. I’m now up to running all of it except a tiny bit at the beginning and end, so let’s call it 5 miles. Initially, I mainly wore my Altra Escalante shoes, but more recently, I’ve been wearing Vibram V-Runs. I’ve been focusing on form, posture, cadence, and breathing, all of which I think are improving. My pace has been hovering around 10:30/mile. All in all, I’m pretty happy with my progress after just 2 months.
I’m no stranger to running. I did it a lot in my 20s and early-mid 30s, but my form was awful, and as did many others, I suffered from numerous nagging injuries, and eventually gave running up in favor of biking and other activities. I tried to pick it back up several times in my 40s, but invariably, some injury shut me down each time. Now, at 51, I’m hoping I’m finally over the hump. I credit this to three things: proper form, minimalist footwear, and perhaps most importantly, much less time spent sitting. Walking on a treadmill 3 to 4 hours a day at 2mph while working, has made a huge difference. I’ve been wearing minimal footwear full-time for 3.5 years, and have studied proper running form for about as long, but the treadmill is a recent addition, and as I’ve written before, I believe it has been a game-changer.
I’ve had to overcome some minor physical issues over the past couple of months. The plantar fasciosis that I struggled with for most of 2020 is not 100% gone, but it’s so mild that I don’t even notice it any more other than my first couple of steps after getting out of bed. I have some occasional tightness in my right hip flexor as well as my right groin and hamstring, all of which are helped by light stretching and yoga. I expect all of these will improve further as my body continues to adjust to regular running. A month or so back, I developed some nerve discomfort in the ball of my left foot, which was helped by wearing Strutz metatarsal pads over my socks during activity. The nerve pain has mostly abated as of this writing, though I’m still running with pad on my left foot as a precaution.
I don’t really have a running goal, other than to incorporate it as another way to stay active. My biking has fallen off somewhat as my running has ramped up, which I expected, and eventually, I’d expect to split my time about 50/50 between the two activities. Eventually, I’d like to run longer distances. I guess the next step would be to run 10K, and I’m pretty close to that, but am not in a hurry to get there. First, I need to get my body to the point where I don’t feel like stopping at the end of my runs. A lot of that is pacing, and possibly also diet, which is an aspect of long-distance running that I haven’t yet studied. I’ve still got some work to do, but I am happy with my progress so far, and hope I can keep this going.