Sunday, November 12, 2017

Midnight "Almost" Barefoot Hill Intervals: 13 Sets by 1 K

Today was a big day for me. I had 13 sets by 1 K hill intervals scheduled for the night. After fueling myself with a big fat Chinese dinner I took a short nap to store up some energy for the challenge.

I woke up around  11:00 p.m., and quickly threw myself into athletic gear. I was originally going to run without any footwear, but I decided to wear 98-yen five-fingered socks from a nearby supermarket, and aqua slip-ons I bought from Amazon. They have a thin synthetic rubber-like sole and an insole that is about 3 mm. There is no cushioning like that found in a regular running shoe. That's good, because I am practicing minimalist running. Then why didn't I just run barefoot? Two reasons. One I had two blood blisters on my right sole, and another on the other, and I didn't want them to get worse. Two, I have a 10 K road race coming in a week, and any unrecoverable injury could potentially lead to cancellation. I didn't want to let that happen. So for a protective purpose, I wore a pair of five-fingered socks for intervals, and for additional protection before and after the intervals I put on the aqua slip-ons. But once I reached the hilly stretch where I always do hill intervals, I took off the slip-ons, and took off only in socks, which was a new experience for me.

The result of today's training session is shown below:
Warm Up 2 K: 11:40.18
<Hill Intervals>
1st K: 4:20.36
Rest: 2:.00.38
2nd K: 4:15.41
Rest: 2:00.59
3rd K: 4:22.01
Rest: 2:00.44
4th K: 4:31.62
Rest: 2:00.33
5th K: 4:28.75
Rest: 2:00.40
6th K: 4:26.63
Rest: 2:00.31
7th K: 4:22.93
Rest: 2:00.37
8th K: 4:24.05
Rest: 2:00.46
9th K: 4:27.77
Rest: 2:00.50
10th K: 4:29.00
Rest: 2:00.35
11th K: 4:29.21
Rest: 2:00.51
12th K: 4:24.32
Rest: 2:00.48
13th K: 4:27.83
Warm Down 6.3 K: 36:12.27
Total 21.3 K: 2:09.27

Although the socks were not so much for cushioning but rather for minimum protection of the sole from abrasion, I was glad that I put them on. As you see in one of the pictures above, they got holes on the heel, ball, and toe. I felt the left sock got a hole on the ball when the 8th lap was over. Then after that the number of holes grew larger as I went through the sets. When the last lap was over, the socks that were almost new when I started off had become pieces of ripped cloth hanging on my feet!! It's amazing to see how much friction my sole usually has to withstand when I run completely barefooted!!

Anyhow, THE biggest training session is now over! From now on until the race all I do is minor conditioning with short-distance training. I will probably do a 3 K build-up on either on Wednesday or Thursday night, and do a quick 3 K pace run on Saturday night just to stimulate my cardio vascular system. Running longer than that could have a risk of getting my leg muscles unrecoverably fatigued. I will also do some stretching between running days to allow smoother circulation of blood so that fatigue substances will break down faster.

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