December 17-23 in Review and Barefoot Running and Running Economy
Monday: 5 hours telemark skiing, ~45,000'
Tuesday: 6 hours telemark skiiing, ~55,000'
Wednesday: X-country skiing in the flats of the valley. 1:42, 500' gain, 9 miles.
Thursday: 5 hours telemark skiing, ~50,000'
Friday: 7 hours standing and walking. Night fartleks on the Winter Park hill course. Worked on both short and longer intervals during the run, mostly on all of the hills really pushed as well as some shorter sprints on a couple flats. 1:04, 1,000' gain, 8 miles.
Saturday: 7 hours standing and walking. Cross training at the gym. Mostly high reps, cross-fit stuff, stretches, etc.
Sunday: 7 hours standing and walking. Night hill run on the WP hill course. :54, 1,000' gain, 8 miles.
Trying to keep a good base for when spring rolls around, but right now simply getting in lots and lots of vert skiing. Really works the legs, requires some good endurance, and is a nice break from the pounding of running. I think I will be much better off then last spring, when I didn't start running until April 1. I have a couple FKT's that I want to do this summer, as well as continue to dabble in racing, and keeping a base over the winter will really help when I start to ramp up the miles, unlike last spring when I took a crash course in racing and running.
I've posted several times on new articles on barefoot running (on forefoot striking and lumbar spine range of motion; on barefoot running and ground forces; on barefoot running and lower extremity movement; and a meta analysis on barefoot running). Well, now another study has been published on barefoot running and running economy. Based on this single experiment with fifteen runners over four weeks, barefoot running or running with a forefoot striking patterns is better for running economy then classical heel striking. The difference is significant, but the study fails to examine the longer-term effects, as well as whether the four week period is long enough to really change running economy over an athletes career. Still, another study that emphasizes the benefits of forefoot striking compared to heel striking in terms of running economy, ground forces, lumbar spine range of motion, among other things.