(May 2012 Update)- I have been running in my Vibrams now for about 8 months and finally ran my first race, a 10k in Bristol. Finishing in 45:34 makes it my fastest 10k to date.
As I creep into my 30s, I can happily claim to have been a runner for more than half of my life. Despite not being built really for running (weighing in at about 190 pounds on average), and suffering a couple knee injuries over the years – one from skiing and another while playing tennis – I’ve kept going and hope to be a life-long runner.
Marathon (26.2 Miles/42.2K):
- MT Governor’s Cup Marathon, 9/20/09, 8th in age group, 63rd overall, TIME: 3:50:51.
1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles/21.1K) (athlinks results):
- Bristol 1/2 Marathon, 9/30/12, 4155 out of about 10,000 runners, TIME: 01:53:15.
- Bristol 1/2 Marathon, 9/11/11, 3903 out of around 8900 runners, TIME: 01:57:03.
- Missoula Half Marathon 2010 – Half Marathon, 7/11/10, 21 in age, 241 overall, TIME: 1:45:54.
- Two Bear Half Marathon 2009, 9/13/09, 3 in age group, 13th overall, TIME: 1:39:18.
- 2007 Missoula Half-Marathon, 7/15/07, 32 in age group, 401 overall, TIME: 2:20:05.
- Wheat Montana 5K, 3/21/09. 4th in age group, 12th in gender, 15th overall, TIME: 22:17.
Up until October of 2011 I ran with the Asics Gel-DS Trainer. Previously I used the ASICS GEL-Nimbus. My philosophy is to find a good (GOOD) running shop and try out various shoes with a pro. If they don’t have you walk barefoot with their head on the floor watching, they’re not a pro (imho). Things like that will tell them if you you pronate, supinate, or land with a neutral gate. Different shoes adjust for subtle differences.
I supinate. And I have a very low arch. In fact when I was 15 or so a doctor during a physical told me I was essentially flat-footed and that I’d never run distance.
Some of my friends have tried and most rave about ‘barefoot’ running (book) – usually prefering the Vibram Five Fingers running shoes. The authoritative book on the subject is Born to Run, which I read in May, 2011. I bought my first Vibrams in June 2011 and over a slow (lazy) 4 months broke them in. When I ran the Bristol 1/2 marathon in 2011 I was still in my Gel-DSs.
I am currently working on my own version of running, similar to Chi Running. I’ve read Danny Dreyer’s excellent book and took an intermediate/advanced seminar on the technique. For the most part I’d simply recommend Chi Running itself, and as time provides, I’ll write about differences between my own method and Chi Running.
One of the most interesting books I’ve read on the subject, however, is Body, Mind, and Sport: The Mind-Body Guide to Lifelong Health, Fitness, and Your Personal Best. Author John Douillard argues for the use of ONLY nasal breathing – even during long runs. Those who have done yoga have probably heard the benefits of exercise restricted to nasal breathing, but it’s quite a feat to run only breathing through your nose. I did that on my first half marathon (2:20 in Missoula, 2007) but I haven’t returned to nasal breathing as a runner.
“Running meditation” is a concept I’d like to work on more as a yogi, meditator, and runner. Chi running itself is a lot like yoga, seeking to find proper balance in the body to create a smooth, effortless motion. But it can be taken further, incorporating mindfulness of breathing meditation, for instance, and subtle body-scans to check and adjust one’s posture mid-run.
For now, that’s a start. Feel free to email me (via the about me page, or use the comments) and be sure to check back from time to time for updates.