Posts Tagged ‘God’s Engineering’
As much as I love running barefoot, the combination of the distances I run, the roughness of the trails I run, and the temperature most of the year in the early morning on Pikes Peak, I need primal running shoes.
Like many of the folks in the ever more popular sport of primal running (running barefoot and/or with minimalist shoes), I have tried a lot of shoes and they’ve all (so far) fallen short of what they need to be.
Here’s my list of essentials for a minimalist shoe:
- zero drop (no raised heel)
- zero cushioning
- zero support
- thin (4mm or less), natural material, gripping sole that mimics the foot’s natural shape and flexibility. Leather and rubber are the two I’ve found work best.
- curved outer edges
- lightweight and breathable
- Foot shaped (broad forefoot, narrowing though the mid-foot and narrower heel). Most shoes are last shaped, which is further limits and damages our feet.
I’ve worked with a number of custom moccasin folks and while I love an all leather sole, I’ve not yet found a traditional moccasin maker able to meet the demands of longevity and flexibility. The top simply causes blisters on the top of my foot when worn without socks (essential). See previous posts for some info on that adventure.
Terra Plana Barefoot line offers some great primal footwear. Their Evo, designed specifically for running, unfortunately uses a narrower last than their other barefoot shoes and is poorly engineered to cause blisters (they claim it’s been fixed, but multiple folks I know on the list have tried 2nd-3rd run Evos and they still cause blisters. TP’s claim that they just need breaking in is absurd considering it takes several hundred miles.
So, what do I currently run in? a modern moccasin, made by Terra Plana, called the Oak. They are pricy, but offer occasional coupons (worth signing up for) and are made exceptionally well. I have nearly 200 miles on my first pair and they are holding up well.
Everyone experiences, it just hits us brain bludgeoned harder. Brain fog from drop of protein, fat, and sugar in our blood. Granted, there are other reasons for low brain energy, but if eating something tasty can not only burn off some of our brain fog, but keep it from coming back, what a gift!
Here’s what I do. Every two hours I eat. If I’m running or exercising, I eat more frequently. Not a lot, just a handful of gourp (trail mix).
Peanuts, along with other nuts and seeds, yoghurt, cottage cheese, keefer, and other foods have a good supply and balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate. As these drop in our blood supply our bludgeoned brains are extra sensitive and can’t draw on reserves most people have.
Experiment with what works for you, both food and timing. I make a gourp (trail mix) of pumpkin seeds, peanuts, dates, craisens, dark chocolate chips, refried bean flakes, and oats. I keep this or other similar food with me at all times for this exact reason.
Eat often enough that you stay ahead of the fog. Try and avoid foods with a lot of sugar, as the brain can easily get a sugar high and sudden crash after.
All kinds of science backs up the brain’s need for protein delivered via fat and carbos as brain energy.
Sometimes the simplest solutions can make a huge difference. This one has for me!
Let us know in the comments section how it works for you!
Today’s run was amazing. I ran 3 miles on my “easy trail” (just 200 feet drop and climb in 1.5 miles). Then I added in a more vertical road loop that climes 200 feet in a half mile to see how I would do breathing. I entered into the climb and while my breathing deepened it was still slow(er than it used to be) and relaxed. I could feel I was really raising the CO2 in my blood supply and also reaching my threshold at which I could maintain my pace.
On a second run, I did one of my favorite trails, a 4 mile out and back, with a 900 foot climb in the first mile. I definitely pushed my limit the whole way up, but literally within steps of the trail getting less steep I was already able to have a short pause in my breathing.
It is truly amazing to be running in “primal glide” while breathing slow with a pause. No billowing cloud of breath in my visual way in the 5F air. No cold mouth or lips. Just properly warmed air by the time it got to my lungs. This sure feels like how we’re born to run!
Plus 8.5 miles
Total: 427.3 Miles