Saturday, July 3, 2010

Days Off -- Part of Being a Beginner

I ran yesterday and my feet did not get the "sunburnt" feeling of slight soreness that came afterward during the first few barefoot miles.

Does that mean I can go out again today?

So far I'm only going out 3 times a week for one barefoot mile.

But someday I would like to have a daily running habit.

When is it right to do more?  I have planned to listen to my body.

One thing that I've noticed about this barefoot running is that I recover much more quickly from a run than I had in the past when running in shoes.  Now, there might be some advanced runners out there who might think it was funny to talk of "recovering" from a mile run, but, since I am at the bottom rung of conditioning, I have needed recovery time.

Recovery from a mile run when you are trying out barefoot running is not so laughable because there are skin issues.

However, when I was run/walking last year and trying to build gradually so I could try the Disney half marathon, I had a lot of stiffness after my runs and it would take a full day to recover, especially after the long run/walk day.

But I am just so amazed at how great I feel after running barefoot.

There are so many choices facing a person who is trying to build a foundation to be a runner.  My first choice was to build consistency.  I chose 3x a week because I also cross train with Kung Fu.  I didn't want to run on Kung Fu days yet.

Eventually, I would like to run 5 - 6 days a week.  I would like to be able to run a small amount on Kung Fu days.  I have no idea if that is going to be a good idea or not.  Will I never want to run at all on the same day as I work out with Kung Fu?  Or will a small amount of running on those days be okay in the future?

I see all these young people at Kung Fu who take many classes in a row.  "I've been here all day!" they'll announce proudly as they come into the dressing room to get a drink.  "I took the basic class, then Tai Chi, then the advanced class, and now I'm going to do Chinese Kick Boxing."

I think of myself being so-o-o-o careful.  Too careful, even.  When I'm finished with an intense Kung Fu workout, I see the kickboxing people come in.  Some of the people from my class continue on to the kick boxing class and as I'm leaving the school I can't even imagine working out again after the intense hour I just spent.  As I'm walking out the door, one of the instructors might say, "Going to join us for kickboxing?"  And I'll smile and say, "Maybe some day I'll be fit enough for that."

But I wonder if doing so much is good?  Is that what I'd like to build to?  Just being able to do intense workouts all day long?

My own impression is that "less" truly is "more."  I have this kind of "slow and steady wins the race" philosophy, and this belief that recovery time is valuable and that good stuff is happening, and that things should be paced and spaced out.

Am I just kidding myself with these beliefs in this slow way of proceeding?  I am so afraid of injury, but my slow careful run/walk approach to getting back into running resulted in an injury last year.

I just really deeply believe that going slowly, taking my time, working on form, building bit by bit and in a smart way will result in something better in the long run.  The danger is that one can go too slow and not progress.

But progress to what?  And what for?

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