This was a a crazy week in regard to minimalist running:
Last Wednesday I had a strides session scheduled. I normally do the strides in flats but before the strides I run between 4 and 8 miles at recovery pace (well, kinda). And I thought that it would be a great idea to do all the recovery session in huaraches. What I do is to put my flats into an hydration backpack, strap on my huaraches and run to the place where I do the strides, there I normally change into the flats, do the strides and run back home...
Wednesday it was raining, windy and the temperature was 5 C, rather chilly, but the run to the park was awesome. I thus decided to try doing a session of 6x 200m strides in huaraches. It was a disastrous session: My right strap loosened and cut my skin (both things!). I strapped it in a hurry at home as I did not wanted my wife to bitch about me running in the rain with "these things". I managed to keep the right huarache on for at least some meters every time and I strapped it during the 30 seconds of rest between intervals. Oh, I forgot to comment that I am stubborn as a whole stable full of mules. So that I did the whole set. During the last one the huarache completely loosened and repeatedly hit my left foot... but I did it! After this ordeal I did the 6 sets of normal strides in flats.
Today I decided to do the scheduled 11miler in huaraches. I ended up with a huge skin abrasion this time on my left foot. Did I already mention that I am 'a bit' stubborn... and I also have a high pain threshold. So well, if I have managed to run home with a broken toenail and bleeding like a pig and with ITBS a simple abrasion will not stop me even for a second. Yes, I know, "there are people runnign ultras in these things", and I do know what I did wrong. Nevermind: As soon as I grow a callus it will stop hurting... either that or I become more careful strapping the huaraches (I use the traditional style).
The run itself was fantastic: On asphalt, dirt road and concrete. A nice long and relatively steep hill and a short a really steep one.
During the descent from the hills I noticed that the heel strap seems to get looser and at some points it almost feel. I need to address that trying a different way of strapping.
My calves felt stiff during and after the run and somewhat sore but nothing a few hours or rest and sleep cannot cure. I was actually more afraid that the balls of my feet would feel more sore but they are demonstrating run after run that even when they start to hurt a bit while running on hard surfaces they do not hurt afterwards, I can feel a sort of stiffness (to call it something) but it's not discomfort or even burn, just that you feel that you have run... not a bad feeling at all because they somehow feel strong.
Running in huaraches does feel good and it is working improving my form. I have said that I am stubborn but I am not stupid and in case I sensed real danger of injury I would stop immediately as I don't want to miss the next two races and throw 23 hard weeks of training overboard.. It just happens that besides some abrasions. minimalist running is proving to be both fun and extremely effective.