Evolution of barefoot running

We can run longer than other animals

Among mammals, humans show exceptional distance running speeds. However, the amount of oxygen we need for running is insanely higher than in other mammals and running birds1,2. To bypass this paradox, we developed outstanding heat dissipation capabilities, long Achilles tendons, big glutei, short toes and a myriad of evolutionistic precautions to better hunt down other animals in the open1–3. Even though sporadic doubts aroused about the role of persistence hunting and scavenging in the evolution of human endurance running4, it is often suggested that we started running around 2 million years ago2. Ça va sans dire, it is not very likely that we were wearing cushioned shoes at the time.

What if we ran without shoes?

The advent of modern running shoes would last an eye blink (around 200 milliseconds) if we shrank 2 million years in 24 hours. So it makes sense assuming that people, nowadays, would run in a similar pattern as their ancestors’ if asked to run barefoot5. When measuring runners of various experience levels, it is pretty clear that around 90% of people land on their heel while wearing shoes, whereas only around 50% of them would keep the same pattern after taking their shoes off6. While running barefoot, people tend to land on the ball of the foot, possibly due to the discomfort of striking the ground with the bare heel7. This is an indirect proof of how early humans ran.

What are foot strike patterns?

As you might already know from direct experience, your foot can strike the ground in several ways while running. Usually, we distinguish three main patterns, depending on which part of the foot touches the ground first. Here you can see a slow-motion video we took during one of our studies6 on foot strike patterns:

If you divide the foot into three equal parts, the first third would identify the rearfoot, the second the midfoot and the third the forefoot. For simplicity, I will abbreviate the rearfoot strike as RS and mid- and forefoot strike as MFS, joining the two into a unique pattern.

figure1.png

Rearfoot strike (A and B), forefoot strike (C and D) and midfoot strike (E and F). © Santuz et al.Ann. Biomed. Eng. 44 (2016).

Why do foot strike patterns matter?

Foot strike patterns matter because one does not simply change pattern by tuning the ankle angle at strike. On the contrary, foot strike patterns are the effect of many different variables’ adjustments, rather than the cause. In RS, the foot is more dorsiflexed than in MFS, while the knee is less flexed5, thus leading to the typical “seated” running form of RS runners. Moreover, in RS the knee is more compliant and the ankle is stiffer than in MFS8 and the collision impact, measured as loading rate, is higher than in MFS9. However, the ankle loading increases considerably when switching from RS to MFS10. Further, let us not forget that foot strike patterns, especially MFS, are a dynamical parameter, since they are strongly molded by fatigue11.

Do we actually need to run barefoot?

It depends on what we want to achieve. Given the stunning amount of kinematic, kinetic and neurophysiological differences between foot strike patterns, taking our shoes off would add another degree of complexity to the new condition. Despite an evidence for leg and foot muscle growth after barefoot running training12, the foot’s intrinsic muscle activity is higher when running in shoes13. This fact would point towards an unexpected increase in the neuromuscular output due to the presence of running shoes, meaning that the foot would not actually behave lazier, but would be simply activated differently. A less diplomatic but realistic answer could be, paraphrasing Prof. Jo Hamill: “what is the kind of injury you want to be exposed to?”8,14,15.

Can we train to run barefoot?

Yes. With care, patience and perseverance. If muscles adapt quickly (let us say weeks as order of magnitude), tendons require longer periods (e.g. months). What most people do not know, is that bones can adapt as well, but the adaptation might require much more time than what tendons need.

Barefoot or minimalist running?

Despite the lack of a formal consensus on what a minimalist shoe actually is, there is evidence that minimalist footwear with low heel stack heights (e.g. 13 mm or lower) can accurately reproduce barefoot running in terms of kinematic and kinetic changes16. On the market, there are several minimalist footwear options. Just to give a few examples, Vivo Barefoot produces shoes in the most conventional way. Vibram thought to put fingers into normal shoes. LUNA Sandals had the idea, taken from the Tarahumara people, of eliminating any lining and upper and build a very simple sandal. Many other options are available and the market is undoubtedly rising16, thanks as well to social phenomena like the book “Born to run” by Christopher McDougall.

What is the heel-to-toe-drop?

In a shoe, the heel-to-toe drop, also called heel-drop, is nothing but the difference between the heel and the fore foot stack height. Please note that a drop of 0 mm does not imply low cushioning! A typical example is this: drop 0 mm and very low cushioning is your bare foot; drop 0 mm and a lot of cushioning is a shoe like the Altra Paradigm or the Altra Olympus. A detailed description on how to measure the heel drop can be found here.

Final considerations on barefoot running

Do it, do not overdo it. As a longtime track & field athlete, I strongly believe that we must keep busy with trying new things in order to maintain the motivation high. Barefoot or minimalist locomotion is an amazing way to better understand our own body and if done carefully and patiently, can bring more satisfaction than you can think of!

 References

  1. Carrier, D. R. The Energetic Paradox of Human Running and Hominid Evolution. Curr. Anthropol. 25, 483 (1984).
  2. Bramble, D. M. & Lieberman, D. E. Endurance running and the evolution of Homo. Nature 432, 345–52 (2004).
  3. Lieberman, D. E., Bramble, D. M., Raichlen, D. A. & Shea, J. J. in Contributions from the Third Stony Brook Human Evolution Symposium and Workshop 77–92 (2009). doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-9980-9_8
  4. Pickering, T. R. & Bunn, H. T. The endurance running hypothesis and hunting and scavenging in savanna-woodlands. J. Hum. Evol. 53, 434–438 (2007).
  5. Lieberman, D. E. et al. Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature 463, 531–5 (2010).
  6. Santuz, A., Ekizos, A. & Arampatzis, A. A Pressure Plate-Based Method for the Automatic Assessment of Foot Strike Patterns During Running. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 44, 1646–1655 (2016).
  7. Santuz, A., Ekizos, A., Janshen, L., Baltzopoulos, V. & Arampatzis, A. The Influence of Footwear on the Modular Organization of Running. Front. Physiol. 8, 958 (2017).
  8. Hamill, J., Gruber, A. H. & Derrick, T. R. Lower extremity joint stiffness characteristics during running with different footfall patterns. Eur. J. Sport Sci. 14, 130–136 (2014).
  9. Boyer, E. R., Rooney, B. D. & Derrick, T. R. Rearfoot and midfoot or forefoot impacts in habitually shod runners. Med. Sci. Sport. Exerc. 46, 1384–91 (2014).
  10. Rooney, B. D. & Derrick, T. R. Joint contact loading in forefoot and rearfoot strike patterns during running. J. Biomech. 46, 2201–2206 (2013).
  11. Jewell, C., Boyer, K. A. & Hamill, J. Do footfall patterns in forefoot runners change over an exhaustive run? J. Sports Sci. 1–7 (2016). doi:10.1080/02640414.2016.1156726
  12. Chen, T. L. W., Sze, L. K. Y., Davis, I. S. & Cheung, R. T. H. Effects of training in minimalist shoes on the intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscle volume. Clin. Biomech. 36, 8–13 (2016).
  13. Kelly, L. A., Lichtwark, G. A., Farris, D. J. & Cresswell, A. Shoes alter the spring-like function of the human foot during running. J. R. Soc. Interface 13, 20160174 (2016).
  14. Perkins, K. P., Hanney, W. J. & Rothschild, C. E. The Risks and Benefits of Running Barefoot or in Minimalist Shoes. Sports Health 6, 475–480 (2014).
  15. Murphy, K., Curry, E. J. & Matzkin, E. G. Barefoot running: Does it prevent injuries? Sport. Med. 43, 1131–1138 (2013).
  16. Squadrone, R., Rodano, R., Hamill, J. & Preatoni, E. Acute effect of different minimalist shoes on foot strike pattern and kinematics in rearfoot strikers during running. J. Sports Sci. 33, 1196–204 (2015).

July 2015 – Training recap

Holidays time! July has been quite easy. “Only” a tough, hilly race: the terrible Nordberliner Zugspitzlauf, a wonderful mix of up- and downhills in a lovely park (GPS here and a couple of pictures below). I managed to lower again my PB (49:10 in 2013, 46:00 in 2014 and 44:55 in 2015) and to receive back a solid hill session. After that it has been all about congresses (International Society of Biomechanics in Glasgow) and holidays. In August I’ll start again with some mileage and very few sessions on the track.
Pushing but smiling! © 2014 Teamwork Sport + Events e.V.

Quite happy that the uphill is over. © 2014 Teamwork Sport + Events e.V.

Fighting hard downhill for the 6th place. © 2014 Teamwork Sport + Events e.V.

As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.

Here the diary entries for the past July:

We 01/07/2015 Slow 30′.
Th 02/07/2015 Easy 15′, 20′ jog, 35′ XC, CD.
Fr 03/07/2015 Arms, legs and core strength.
Sa 04/07/2015 Easy 10′, 10′ XC, CD. Easy, hilly, 25′. Core strength.
Su 05/07/2015 30′ XC.
Mo 06/07/2015 Easy 30′ with some progression, CD.
Tu 07/07/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides, 8×100 m steep trail uphill reps (downhill jog rest), CD.
We 08/07/2015 Off. Trip.
Th 09/07/2015 Off.
Fr 10/07/2015 RACE: 12 km (Nordberliner Zugspitzlauf – Berlin).
Sa 11/07/2015 Easy 40′ with 1×800 m float.
Su 12/07/2015 Easy 20′. 15′.
Mo 13/07/2015 Easy, hilly, 55′.
Tu 14/07/2015 Easy, hilly, 20′.
We 15/07/2015 Off.
Th 16/07/2015 Slow 35′.
Fr 17/07/2015 Off.
Sa 18/07/2015 Hilly 35′ with some XC sections. Hiking in Unst, Shetland.
Su 19/07/2015 Hilly 60′. Hiking in Unst, Shetland.
Mo 20/07/2015 Hiking in Fetlar, Shetland. Hiking in Fetlar, Shetland.
Tu 21/07/2015 Hiking in Whalshay, Shetland. Hiking in Whalshay, Shetland.
We 22/07/2015 Hiking in Walls, Shetland. Hiking in Walls, Shetland.
Th 23/07/2015 Hiking in Sumburgh, Shetland.
Fr 24/07/2015 Hiking in Sumburgh, Shetland. Hiking in Sumburgh, Shetland.
Sa 25/07/2015 Hiking in Sumburgh, Shetland.
Su 26/07/2015 Off. Trip.
Mo 27/07/2015 Off. Trip.
Tu 28/07/2015 Easy 50′.
We 29/07/2015 Easy 45′.
Th 30/07/2015 Easy 25′, 2 strides, 3×200 m uphill strides, CD.
Fr 31/07/2015 Off. Trip.

June 2015 – Training recap

Finally I did it! The amazing Sparkassen Gala meeting gifted me with my first sub-10, 9:58.22 to be accurate. Given the high level of the field I had to run most of the race alone (finishing last, even if a slower competitor dropped out). But the crazy support of the LG Nord Berlin team, and particularly of the chairman Klaus Brill, injected me with a fair amount of motivation. Keeping the pace appeared incredibly easy and I have been confident almost all the race that I could do it. The splits revealed a solid sequence with 3:15/3:22/3:21, with a quite relaxed second km.
Perspectives now clearly changed. Translating a difficult target into reality gives you the chance of looking at things differently. Now I’ll slow down a bit, aiming to increase the mileage from the second half of August focusing on preparing some longer stuff before the exciting winter season.
A crowded start in Regensburg.

Towards PB…and beyond!

As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.

Here the diary entries for the past June:

Mo 01/06/2015 25′ progression, 4×100 m strides (100 m jog rest).

Tu 02/06/2015 Easy 30′.
We 03/06/2015 Off.
Th 04/06/2015 Slow 25′ with some hurdles and strides, stretching.
Fr 05/06/2015 RACE: 3000 m SC (Sparkassen Gala Laufnacht – Regensburg).
Sa 06/06/2015 Off.
Su 07/06/2015 Arms and core strength. 50′ with 30′ XC.
Mo 08/06/2015 Easy 50′ with some progression.
Tu 09/06/2015 Off.
We 10/06/2015 15′, 3x(30-60-90-60″, same time jog rest), CD.
Th 11/06/2015 Slow 40′.
Fr 12/06/2015 Easy 30′.
Sa 13/06/2015 170′ sailing (Flying Cruiser).
Su 14/06/2015 110′ sailing (Laser Bahia).
Mo 15/06/2015 Easy 50′.
Tu 16/06/2015 Easy 25′, 2 strides on grass, 2×150 m strides, 1×1000 m in 2’58”, 4′ walk rest, 1×2000 m in 6’27”, 4′ walk rest, 3×400 m in 70″ (200 m jog rest), CD.
We 17/06/2015 Slow 30′, legs, arms and core strength.
Th 18/06/2015 Easy 40′.
Fr 19/06/2015 Slow 20′ with some random strides.
Sa 20/06/2015 RACE: 5000 m (NDM Göttingen).
Su 21/06/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides, 5×200 m uphill strides (downhill jog rest), CD. 50′ jog.
Mo 22/06/2015 Slow 30′.
Tu 23/06/2015 30′ progression, 5×100 m strides (100 m jog rest), CD.
We 24/06/2015 RACE: 5 km road (16. Berliner Wasserbetriebe 5 x 5 km TEAM-Staffel, Day 1).
Th 25/06/2015 RACE: 5 km road (16. Berliner Wasserbetriebe 5 x 5 km TEAM-Staffel, Day 2).
Fr 26/06/2015 Off.
Sa 27/06/2015 60′ easy MTB.
Su 28/06/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides on grass, 3×300 m (48″3-46″6-45″3, 100 m jog rest), easy 3×200 m (200 m jog rest), CD. Easy 40′.
Mo 29/06/2015 50′.
Tu 30/06/2015 Easy 25′, 3 diagonal strides on grass, 1×400 m (57″8), 6′ walk rest, 300-200-100 m (43″5-31″0-13″8, 200 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 6 diagonal stride on grass, CD.

May 2015 – Training recap

Well, it seems that the hard work starts paying off! After a couple of races without any particular target (a 3000 m SC, a 3000 m flat and a 1500 m), I traveled to Zeven with a high dose of motivation. The 34th Pfingstsportfest was promising a very variegated field, potentially giving a lot of athletes the opportunity to find their pace. I planned 3:20/3:25/all-out for the three km splits in order to attack the 10-minutes wall. I ran 3:18/3:26/3:20, finishing in 10:04.82 (PB of over 10 seconds). Now I can’t wait to write a “nine” in front of my PB!

The beautiful track in Zeven during the 34th Pfingstsportfest 2015.
Results of the 3000 m SC race.

As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.

Here the diary entries for the past May:

Fr 01/05/2015 65′ sailing. Easy 20′ with random hurdles.
Sa 02/05/2015 80′ sailing. 90′ sailing.
Su 03/05/2015 110′ sailing. 90′ sailing.
Mo 04/05/2015 Legs and core strength.
Tu 05/05/2015 Easy 25′, running drills, 2 strides on grass, easy 2×150 m, 2×1000 m with 5 hurdles/lap (3’22”-3’25”, 200 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 2×400 m with 5 hurdles (73″-76″, 200 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 2×200 m with 4 hurdles (34″-35″, 200 m jog rest), 4 diagonal strides on grass, CD.
We 06/05/2015 Easy 30′.
Th 07/05/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides, 5×300 m on grass (100 m jog rest), 5×100 m strides (100 m jog rest), CD.
Fr 08/05/2015 Slow 30′.
Sa 09/05/2015 RACE: 3000 m SC (open Kreismeisterschaften – Hildesheim).
Su 10/05/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides, 3×300 m with 16 hurdles each (100 m jog rest), CD.
Mo 11/05/2015 25′ progression, running drills, 2 strides on grass, 2×150 m strides, 1×400 m (57″5), 8′ walk rest, 3×300 m (50″5-48″9-46″6, 100 m jog rest), 4-10-6 hurdles on grass (4 hurdles/lap, 1/2 lap jog rest), 4 diagonal strides on grass, CD.
Tu 12/05/2015 Easy 40′.
We 13/05/2015 Slow 30′.
Th 14/05/2015 RACE: 3000 m (8. Berliner Läufermeeting – Krumme-Strecken). 100′ sailing.
Fr 15/05/2015 Easy 30′.
Sa 16/05/2015 RACE: 1500 m (3. Spandauer Läuferpokal in Berlin). 95′ sailing.
Su 17/05/2015 95′ sailing.
Mo 18/05/2015 Core, legs and arms strength. Easy 40′.
Tu 19/05/2015 Easy 20′, running drills, 2 strides on grass, 2×150 m strides, 1×600 m (1’32″9), 8′ walk rest, 3×300 m (48″1-46″8-46″5, 100 m jog rest), 8′ walk rest, 2+2+1 laps on grass with 4 hurdles/lap, CD.
We 20/05/2015 Slow 30′.
Th 21/05/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides on grass, 5×200 m on grass (200 m jog rest), slow 15′.
Fr 22/05/2015 Off.
Sa 23/05/2015 Slow 30′ with 3×300 m (16 hurdles each, 100 m jog rest).
Su 24/05/2015 RACE: 3000 m SC (34. Pfingstsportfest der LAV Zeven and NDM Hindernis – Zeven).
Mo 25/05/2015 115′ sailing.
Tu 26/05/2015 Off.
We 27/05/2015 Arms and core strength. 25′ (20′ progression + easy 5′), 2 strides on grass, 2×150 m strides, 1×400 m (57″3), 6′ walk rest, 6×200 m with 5 hurdles (200 m jog rest), 6 diagonal stride on grass, CD.
Th 28/05/2015 Easy 40′ with some progression.
Fr 29/05/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides, 4×150 m uphill reps (downhill jog rest), 3′ walk rest, 3×150 m strides, CD. 125′ sailing.
Sa 30/05/2015 Easy 20′, 2 strides, 6×200 m with 11 hurdles each (200 m jog rest), CD.
Su 31/05/2015 Arms and core strength. Long (63′).

Skins A400 Men’s Compression Power Shorts

It is no mystery: even the most avid runner would give a leg (well, maybe an arm) to run the preferred distance with less effort. In the past, I already posted something about the training load and the relative rating of perceived exertion. One thing, though, should be clear without reading that article: good results are very likely to happen if the perceived exertion is low.
There is a company called SKINS that is taking this matter quite seriously since almost twenty years. Their philosophy is just simple: improve blood circulation and you’ll work harder, longer and recover faster. That sounds like the Holy Grail of anyone doing sports, right? Actually, this idea seems to be more than a legend. The fundamental principle is to use compression clothes for increasing the blood velocity by reducing the blood vessels’ cross sectional area. This should help reducing muscle soreness and speeding up recovery. To date, positive results are supported by a fair amount of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Moreover, I had the chance to test a pair of half tights. So here I am, a scientist in the role of Thomas the Apostle sentencing a poorly scientific “Except I shall see, I will not believe”.

The A400 Men’s Power Shorts.

The SKINS A400 Men’s Power Shorts are half tights that should be specifically “designed to maximise explosive power and increase strength and speed”. The compression technology they include is very well explained here, but the main message is the one I wrote a couple of sentences above. For sure, the first impression is mesmerising: the “JUST ADD SWEAT” printed inside a packaging worthy of containing a diamond necklace is simply a subliminal push to try them on immediately.
Pretty sweet packaging, right?

The first impression, I have to say, is kind of contradictory. These half tights are tight indeed! But come on, compression must exist somewhere in a pair of compression tights and after realising this key concept you basically forget to be wearing them. Mainly because they are freaking comfortable. No laces, no zippers, no rough elastic bands touching the skin and, yet, a very useful back pocket (you cannot close it since the lack of a zipper, but you are not going to lose anything, guaranteed).
During running, they feel great; the low waist is a right choice to help the freedom of movement. Until now, I have already put on a fair amount of hours in them and I did not have any problem with the fit. The size is very important; one should really take a look at the remarkably good sizing guide provided on the website. If you follow the guidelines, you will not place a wrong order.
About the improvement in performance, I do not have a lot to say, since it would not be fair to draw conclusions out of a one-subject, super-biased sample (tester, subject, writer and reviewer? Come on…). One thing is for sure: I am very happy with the half tights and I am so convinced that I would be very curious to try the recovery-specific products. To facilitate your work, I summarised hereunder all the important articles you can find on the SKINS science page. Have fun!

Jakeman, J.R., Byrne, C., and Eston, R.G. (2010).

European Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(6), 1137-1144.
[…] This study indicated that individuals who wore Skins […] experienced up to 20% less functional muscle decrement and lower perceptions of muscle soreness […].
Scanlan, A., Dascombe, B., Reaburn, P., and Osbourne, M. (2008).
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 3(4).
[…] Results showed increases in muscle oxygenation economy and improvements in cycling economy, suggesting SKINS LBCG may delay the onset of fatigue and prolong optimal performance […]
Higgins, T., Naughton, G.A., Burgess, D. (2009).
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 12, 223-226.
[…] greater distances were travelled at a faster velocity (3.5ms-1) when wearing SKINS gradient compression garments compared with wearing usual netball attire and a placebo garment. […]
Trenell, M.I., Rooney, K.B., Sue, C.M., and Thompson, C.H. (2006).
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 5, 106-114.
[…] The results of the study shows that wearing SKINS resulted in an increase in cell membrane turnover (PDE), which helps alter the inflammatory response to muscle damage and accelerates recovery processes.
Gill, N. D., Beaven, C. M., Cook, C. (2006).
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40, 260–263.
[…] The authors concluded that […] wearing gradient compression garments […] promotes better physiological recovery than passive methods in young male athletes.
Duffield, R., and Portus, M. (2007).
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41, 409–414.
[…] the authors indicate the potential benefits in utilising gradient compression garments as a thermal insulator in cool conditions, and as a recovery intervention tool after high-intensity exercise to reduce post exercise trauma.
Hagan, M., Lambert, S. (2008).
Medical Journal of Australia, 188(2), 81-84.
[…] results found that participants wearing gradient compression garments (SKINS) during air travel experienced […] decrease in ankle swelling […] improvement in leg pain […] improvement in leg discomfort, demonstrated improvements in alertness, concentration, energy, fluid retention and improved post flight sleep.
Sear J, Hoare T, Scanlan A, Abt G, Dascombe B.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2010) 24(7), 1901-1910.
[…] Results showed wearing SKINS WBCG increased total distance covered during the protocol suggesting that wearing the garments may increase physical performance during field based team-sports. This may be attributed to the increase in muscle oxygenation. […]
Jakeman, J.R., Byrne, C., and Eston, R.G. (2010).
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(11), 3157-3165.
[…] It was concluded that if available, the combination of sports massage and Skins compressive clothing after exercise may be positive in terms of perceived soreness, but in terms of functional muscle recovery, it is no more beneficial than wearing Skins compressive clothing alone. […]
Kieran M. de Glanville and Michael J. Hamlin (2012).
Journal of Strength Conditioning Research 26(2): 480–486.
[…] The authors concluded that the wearing of graduated compression garments during recovery is likely to be worthwhile.

April 2015 – Training recap

Track season finally arrived. And with it, an incredible peak of tiredness through the second half of the month. Something very close to what the Germans call “Spring Tiredness” (wikipedia link) or, to be fair and formally correct, “Frühjahrsmüdigkeit”. Non-German readers: please don’t close the page now. It’s three words in one, nothing more than that, don’t be scared.
Anyway, despite this huge lack of forces that asked for more than one day off, I can definitely say I started with the right foot. First race over the 3000 m SC and personal best (10:15.75), simply controlling the splits and running as smoothly as possible. Nothing great, but another small brick in the wall before the intense month of May.
As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.
Here the diary entries for the past April:

We 01/04/2015 Hilly 35′ (float uphills).
Th 02/04/2015 – 20′ with 10 waterjumps, running drills, 2 easy strides on grass, easy 2×150 m strides, 1×400 m (57″5), 10′ walk rest, 1×400 m (60″2), 200 m jog rest, 1×200 m stride, 10′ walk rest, 6×200 m with 4 hurdles (200 m jog rest), 2 laps on grass (float long sides, medium short sides), CD.
Fr 03/04/2015 – Hilly 60′. 20′ jog, running drills, 2 easy strides on grass, 6×100 m with 8 hurdles (W 100 m hs – 4 feet), 2 easy strides, CD.
Sa 04/04/2015 – Slow 20′, 2 easy strides on grass, 1×1000 m (2’58”), 8′ walk rest, 2x(200-300 m, 100-200 m jog rest), 8′ walk rest, 1×1000 m (3’00”), 2 laps progression on grass, CD.
Su 05/04/2015 – Slow 30′.
Mo 06/04/2015 – RACE: 11.3 km (Marcia dell’Angelo – Vittorio Veneto). Off.
Tu 07/04/2015 – Off.
We 08/04/2015 – Easy 60′.
Th 09/04/2015 – 25′ progression, 2 easy strides on grass, easy 2×150 m strides, 1×800 m (2’13”), 6′ walk rest, 4×400 m (70″, 200 m jog rest), 8′ walk rest, easy 3×200 m (200 m jog rest), CD.
Fr 10/04/2015 – Easy 40′.
Sa 11/04/2015 – Arms and core strength. 15′.
Su 12/04/2015 – Easy 20′, 2 easy strides, 6×300 m with 16 random hurdles (200 m jog rest, road), CD. Hilly 30′ (easy 10′, 10′ with float uphills, easy 10′).
Mo 13/04/2015 – Easy 50′.
Tu 14/04/2015 – Slow 30′, 20′ rowing machine, legs and core strength.
We 15/04/2015 – Easy 15′, easy 15′ XC, CD.
Th 16/04/2015 – 25′ progression, 2 easy strides on grass, easy 2×150 m strides, 4×600 m with 5 random hurdles/lap (1’55”-2’00”, 200 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 3×300 m with 5 random hurdles (55″, 100 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 4 diagonal strides on grass (short side jog rest), CD.
Fr 17/04/2015 – Easy 30′, legs and core strength.
Sa 18/04/2015 – 55′ XC roller ski. Slow 30′.
Su 19/04/2015 – Easy 25′, 2 easy strides, 4×300 m with 16 random hurdles (200 m jog rest), 5′ walk rest, 3×200 m with 3 random hurdles (100 m jog rest), CD.
Mo 20/04/2015 – Off.
Tu 21/04/2015 – Easy 20′ with random hurdles, arms and core strength.
We 22/04/2015 – Off.
Th 23/04/2015 – Off.
Fr 24/04/2015 – Off.
Sa 25/04/2015 – RACE: 3000 m SC (Verdener Bahneröffnung – Verden).
Su 26/04/2015 – Easy 45′ with some random hurdles.
Mo 27/04/2015 – Legs and core strength.
Tu 28/04/2015 – Easy 20′, 2 easy strides on grass, easy 2×150 m, 1×400 m (59″, 200 m jog rest), 1×200 m (31″), 5′ walk rest, 2x(3×300 m with 5 random hurdles, 100 m jog rest), 5′ walk rest in-between, 5 diagonal strides on grass, CD.
We 29/04/2015 – 20′, 2 easy strides, 10×300 m on grass (100 m jog rest), 15′.
Th 30/04/2015 – Arms, legs and core strength.

March 2015 – Training recap

Constant commitment, a fair mileage and the first hurdles of the season: this was my March. During the last month I put together a lot of hills workouts and some speed on the road. In the last days, I started touching some Tartan: track season will start in the end of April.

As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.
Here the diary entries for the past March:

Su 01/03/2015 45′ XC skiing.
Mo 02/03/2015 Easy long (60′).
Tu 03/03/2015 Arms, legs and core strength.
We 04/03/2015 Easy 45′ XC.
Th 05/03/2015 30′ progression + short CD.
Fr 06/03/2015 Easy 40′. Slow 30′.
Sa 07/03/2015 Learning XC roller ski (40′). Easy 45′.
Su 08/03/2015 Easy 20′, 3 easy strides, 6×170 m hill reps (downhill jog rest), 5′ walk rest, 3×200 m hill strides (downhill jog rest), CD.
Mo 09/03/2015 Easy 50′.
Tu 10/03/2015 Easy 20′, 2 easy strides, 3×300 m (road, 100 m jog rest), 5′ walk rest, 5×200 m (road, 200 m jog rest), CD.
We 11/03/2015 Slow 20′.
Th 12/03/2015 Arms and core strength. Easy 60′.
Fr 13/03/2015 Legs and core strength.
Sa 14/03/2015 Easy 40′. Easy 15′, hilly 15′ pushing the hills, CD.
Su 15/03/2015 Easy 15′, 35′ XC, CD.
Mo 16/03/2015 Slow 40′.
Tu 17/03/2015 Easy 20′, 2 easy strides, 12′ tempo run (10k race pace), 6′ walk rest, easy 3×200 m (200 m jog rest, road), CD.
We 18/03/2015 Easy 20′.
Th 19/03/2015 Long (55′).
Fr 20/03/2015 Easy 20′, 2 easy strides on grass, 5×300 m (100 m jog rest, grass), 5′ walk rest, 3×200 m (200 m jog rest, grass), CD.
Sa 21/03/2015 Arms and core strength. Easy 30′.
Su 22/03/2015 Hilly 45′.
Mo 23/03/2015 Easy 30′, legs and core strength.
Tu 24/03/2015 Off.
We 25/03/2015 Easy 20′, 15′ float XC, CD.
Th 26/03/2015 Off.
Fr 27/03/2015 Easy 40′.
Sa 28/03/2015 Easy 15′, easy 25′ XC, CD.
Su 29/03/2015 Hilly 50′ (float downhills).
Mo 30/03/2015 3h30′ hiking on Mt. Pizzoc. Easy 20′.
Tu 31/03/2015 Slow 20′, running drills, 2 easy strides on grass, easy 2×150 m strides, 1×1000 m (2’54”), 8′ walk rest, 4×400 m with 5 hurdles (300 m jog rest), CD.

February 2015 – Training recap

During last February I tried to cross train as much as I could, mainly by doing some XC ski. Moreover, I started to add some hills and 10k race-pace to my medium/long workouts. Not a huge running volume then, but quite a fair amount of aerobic hours.
As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.
Here the diary entries for the past February:
Su 01/02/2015 RACE: 3000 m (NDM Halle – Berlin).
Mo 02/02/2015 Easy 45′.
Tu 03/02/2015 25′ on snow and ice.
We 04/02/2015 Easy, hilly 20′ on snow and ice, 2 easy strides, 5×200 m uphill reps on snow and ice, CD. Legs and core strength.
Th 05/02/2015 68′ XC skiing.
Fr 06/02/2015 50′ trail circuit on snow. 1h40′ XC skiing.
Sa 07/02/2015 55′ XC skiing. 2h XC skiing.
Su 08/02/2015 Off.
Mo 09/02/2015 11 km progression from 4’20” to 3’20″/km, CD.
Tu 10/02/2015 Off.
We 11/02/2015 20′, 2 easy strides, 5×200 m on grass (32″, 200 m jog rest), 5′ walk rest, 5×300 m on grass (52″, 100 m jog rest), CD.
Th 12/02/2015 Easy 25′, 4′-3′-2′-1′ intervals (1′ jog rest), CD.
Fr 13/02/2015 Slow 30′.
Sa 14/02/2015 40′, 2 easy strides, 10×80 m uphill reps, CD.
Su 15/02/2015 Easy 60′.
Mo 16/02/2015 Slow 25′. Arms and core strength.
Tu 17/02/2015 Easy 20′, 2 easy strides, 2×750 m XC laps (2′ jog rest) + 5×200 m uphill reps (downhill jog rest), CD. 45′ ice speed skating.
We 18/02/2015 Easy 50′. Core strength.
Th 19/02/2015 Easy 20′, 4′-3′-2′-1′-5×30″ intervals (60″ jog rest), CD.
Fr 20/02/2015 Slow 40′.
Sa 21/02/2015 Arms and core strength. Slow 40′ XC.
Su 22/02/2015 35′ progression.
Mo 23/02/2015 Off.
Tu 24/02/2015 Arms and core strength, easy 20′.
We 25/02/2015 50′ XC, pushing through the second half.
Th 26/02/2015 Easy 45′.
Fr 27/02/2015 30′.
Sa 28/02/2015 60′ XC skiing. 45′ XC skiing.

January 2015 – Training recap

After quite a disappointing 2014, January 2015 has been the month of long-term plans. Around 30 km on indoor track trying to put together some speed and a 3k race to test the goal-pace for the outdoor season. In addition, I was curious to try a 1k and so I did. No big plans, thus, for the indoor season, but a lot of motivation to build up the basis for the upcoming steeplechase commitments.
As usual, you can see all my training sessions details on the SportTracks mobi service.
Here the diary entries for this January:
Th 01/01/201560′ free ice skating.
Fr 02/01/2015 Easy, hilly, 25′, 2 easy strides, 5×200 m uphill reps (200 m downhill jog rest), CD.
Sa 03/01/2015 Slow, hilly, 20′, easy 5×100 m strides on grass (100 m jog rest), CD.
Su 04/01/2015 RACE: 10 km (23. Lauf um den Caputher See – Caputh).
Mo 05/01/2015 Easy 30′, legs and core strength.
Tu 06/01/2015 20′ WU, running drills, 2 easy strides, easy 1×200 m, 400-600-400 m (64″-1’37”-66″, 200 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 5×200 m (29″8, 200 m jog rest), 2 laps with faster straights, CD.
We 07/01/2015 Slow 30′. Arms and core strength.
Th 08/01/2015 Easy 10 km.
Fr 09/01/2015 Easy 30′.
Sa 10/01/2015 RACE: 1000 m (Gerhard-Schlegel-Gedenksportfest – Berlin).
Su 11/01/2015 Easy, hilly, 35′. Arms and core strength.
Mo 12/01/2015 Easy 30′, legs and core strength.
Tu 13/01/2015 20′ rowing machine, legs and core strength.
We 14/01/2015 Off.
Th 15/01/2015 20′ XC, easy 3×80 m, easy 1×200 m (29″4), 1×1000 m (2’48”), 6′ walk rest, 3×300 m (44″-47″-50″, 100 m jog rest), 6′ walk rest, 1×1000 m @ 3k race pace (3’03”), easy 4×200 m (200 m jog rest), CD.
Fr 16/01/2015 Easy 40′.
Sa 17/01/2015 Legs and core strength. Easy, hilly, 30′.
Su 18/01/2015 Hilly 20′, 3 easy strides, 2×750 m XC lap (3′ jog rest), 3×200 m uphill strides (200 m downhill jog rest), CD.
Mo 19/01/2015 10′, 10×30″ (30″ jog rest), 10′, legs and core strength.
Tu 20/01/2015 20′, easy 2×80 m, easy 1×200 m, 1×1000 m @ 3k race pace (3’03”), 3′ walk rest, 2×400 m (69″, 200 m jog rest). Stop for mild contraction to left GL. Core strength, CD.
We 21/01/2015 Slow 20′.
Th 22/01/2015 Easy 50′.
Fr 23/01/2015 Arms and core strength.
Sa 24/01/2015 Easy 30′.
Su 25/01/2015 RACE: 3000 m (BBM Halle – Berlin).
Mo 26/01/2015 Easy 45′.
Tu 27/01/2015 20′, easy 3×80 m strides, easy 1×200 m, 2×200 m (25″9-26″6, 200 m walk rest), 6′ walk rest, 2×400 m (61″5-64″4, 200 m walk rest), 6′ walk rest, 3×200 m (30″-30″-29″, 100 m jog rest), CD.
We 28/01/2015 20′, easy 2×80 m strides, easy 1×200 m, 1×1000 m (2’54”), 3′ walk rest, 4×400 m (70″-69″-68″-67″, 200 m jog rest), 2 laps with strides on straights, arms, legs and core strength, easy 2×200 m (100 m jog rest), CD.
Th 29/01/2015 Slow 40′.
Fr 30/01/2015 Off.
Sa 31/01/2015 Easy 30′ on snow.