Short and Sweet

Another good short run today…

This one was an 8.5k easy pace run. My intent was simply to go out for a relaxed run, focusing on nothing much except turning my legs over, and running as lightly as possible. The huaraches are big help in that regard, as anything other than a very light, quick step produces a slapping sound.

In order to run lightly and soundlessly, I tried a relaxation exercise from Jason Robillard’s excellent Barefoot Running Book. (I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants to run barefoot.) Jason emphasizes time and again that running well barefoot requires that you be relaxed, and that you can stay relaxed by having the same amount tension in your arms and legs as a wet noodle.

The idea behind that is a time-honoured one – that running comes from the core, and, by leaving the core to do its job by freeing up the arms and legs, you can find better form and performance.

So this morning, once again in my trusty Barefoot Ted huaraches, I ran without worrying about how fast I was going, but thought instead about running relaxed, lightly, and soundlessly.

It worked! In fact, it worked so well that the run became almost lyrical in nature. I ran just after 7:00 AM, when it was 9C and shortly after the sun had risen. It was quiet, sunny, and almost windless – and I moved along far more gracefully than I ever do when I’m trying hard.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, I guess, but my time for the 8.5K was decent, too. Not fast, but not too slow either. It was very good run. Good for my head, good for my body, and good for my spirit.

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