DAY 34 - Tabata Run and a Gym Workover

Tabata run on grass. Finally a decent sprint!
I finally changed the lightbulb in my brain. Yeah. The one that popped right about the time I started the Paleo thing. Well, actually, I can't blame it on Paleo anymore since my memory and concentration issues have pretty much subsided now that I'm over two months in, but I was starting to question my sanity there for a while. Its all good now. And my brilliant self finally discovered how to get my interval training in without wrecking my heel or knee. I can't tell you how happy this makes me! I'm back to Fiyah!

Most of you already know when it comes to barefoot running... I like it rough. I've always stuck to the chip and seal or concrete because historically uneven trails or running on sand or grass inevitably lead to my knee or heel pain. I figured tearing up my feet was less price to pay compared to a swollen knee or a sore heel. Superficial wounds just seem easier to take for me. My thought was that my plantar skin can adjust to the running surface, eventually toughening the skin and making it less sensitive the more I do it. My knee or my heel? Um. Not so much. I don't think there will be any adjustment happening there. At least not until I get myself all sorted with strength training and such. Plus, I hate strapping an ice pack around my leg or having to be immobile even for a few minutes after a run. The only problem with this strategy is that I can't really push myself on the hard surfaces. No sprinting. No intervals. Whenever I push myself on hard surfaces I land much too hard and and with much more impact. So if I run on my old standby asphalt, its gotta be a relaxed and somewhat middle-of-the-road run. No pushing it there.

So this thinking (I really gotta stop that) led to my doing my tabata run on grass today. For those of you who don't know what a "tabata" is, its a kind of workout where you do a certain activity at a high intensity for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Then you repeat that interval 8 times. So I'm thinking I will be in a world of hurt if I try and do a tabata run in my VFFs on pavement or asphalt. So I opted for totally barefoot on grass. I was thinking I'll just see how I feel after the first two intervals and if there's no pain I'll go for it. You guys are probably thinking... "Well, duh. Just run on grass." Seriously, folks. I hadn't thought of this before. So by my third tabata I was running as fast as I could handle and feeling no pain. I was working hard and finally getting a quality workout in. Awwwwyeah. Its about time.

Consequently, my tabata run was definitely the quality workout I've been craving lately, especially with all the biopsy drama that's been going on with me. It felt good even after my squirrely workout from the night before that rendered my legs almost useless to walk home after. Yup. A 300meter row, tabata squats, 4x6 kettlebell lifting 1.5 pood (this word totally makes me giggle! Just think around 53 lbs or 24 kilograms), 4 rounds of 8 split squats (each leg), 10 box jumps and then a 300meter row almost did my legs in last night, but it definitely felt good to get back into the swing of things.

I was able to do my strength workover at my local gym near my house that has the basic equipment I need. I don't do the "dreadmill" or the ellipticals or the fancy-schmancy machines. Never have. Well, except for a small bit back in college just to squeeze in a quick workout between classes. Now, I just need access to free weights, a rower and a few other odds and ends. I had been in and out of this gym a lot before signing on the dotted line surveying it for my needs, asking stupid questions, answering stupid questions (mostly about my VFFs). Originally I had wandered in there several months back asking if they had anyone knowledgeable in minimal or barefoot running. Um. That pegged me in a square hole right away. I forget sometimes. I live in Rocklin. Not exactly the most open-minded of places. And the look on some of those guys faces was a trip. One guy actually winced when he discovered I was a barefoot runner. Damn. I should learn to keep my big mouth shut sometimes. 

So I wasn't surprised to find that on my very first night at the gym a couple of the guys knew me as "the barefoot runner girl." Yeah. The one that asks a lot of questions. Oh well... the gym works. Maybe it will grow on me.

So day 34 (er...actually, I've lost count by now so we will just call this day 34 of my barefoot running journey. Honestly, its probably more like day 50.) was a great one! It feels good to be back on track with my training and workovers.

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  1. I'm so glad you got your barefoot sprint on! I bet it felt so good! I got to do that a couple of weeks ago, not on purpose for a workout, but just racing the kids across the front lawn. And I was sore the next day. i was shocked. But I just don't sprint anymore and it was a shock to the old body of mine.
    You ought to be proud of that title "the barefoot runner girl" at your gym! At least you're not a nobody!
    Yay for you!
    Oh, and I ordered a few more shirts! I can't wait until they get here!

  2. Hi there,
    That is a new one to me, I've never heard of Tabata before. It sounds like the equally odd name that the Swedes have for the Fast/slow running Fartlek (very IKEA don't you think). Running on grass is the best isn't it, although I do like smooth concrete too.
    Good to hear that your training is coming together. How does the squats affect your running? It usually screws me up, I've given up on any load bearing exercises on my spine, too dangerous.

  3. @ Neil - I guess the tabata is just a form of interval training, kind of like the fartlek. Another word that makes me giggle. :-)

    As for the squats... I haven't had any issues with them whatsoever. In fact, I think they are helping to balance out my strength with my quads, glutes and hamstrings. My knee has given me no trouble at all since I started doing those workouts.


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