Back to basics

Dawn view over Moreton Bay

Over the past two days I’ve had two ‘back to basics’ training sessions.

Yesterday morning I went out mountain biking for the first time in a few weeks. It was dark the entire ride and after a few weeks off the bike I struggled with my balance at first. I am still a relative novice at mountain biking so the few weeks off really affected me. The wet tracks were slippery and I was riding fairly blind (my head lights aren’t that bright). So the session turned into a skills and balance session. I enjoyed the ride despite the challenges and am looking forward to my next MTB outing.

Back to barefoot running

This morning I sent out running with my club mates. They were heading out for a 1hr 20 minute trot along the waterfront at Redland Bay. I intended to join them but am having some frustrating leg pain. My right shin and ITB are sore, and my left knee cap has been bruised (or at least I hope it’s only bruised). This is the type of leg pain that I used to get when I first started running again last year and I thought it was a thing of the past.

The leg pain has been bothering me for a few weeks and I thought I could ignore it. However, a magazine article I read recently reminded me that pain should not be ignored if you have a history of injury in the same areas. So after 20 minutes I stopped, took off my shoes, said goodbye to my running friends and turned for home. I alternated between running barefoot and walking for the 3km back to my vehicle.

I felt a lot better by the time I got back and found myself able to relax into a slow light stride now that I was back in bare feet. When I started this triathlon training gig last year I switched to barefoot running to try to alleviate the leg pain after reading about the late Barefoot Ted inย Born to Run. It worked for me. The leg pain eased and I started to enjoy running again, especially on rainy days when I could jump in barefoot in puddles.

I only started wearing shoes again in February or March after I bruised my left foot in the Convicts and Wenches Half Marathon and couldn’t get it to heal (the run was on hot concrete that had sharp gravel on it). It’s healed now so I think I will run barefoot again. But I have to take it easy and start with short runs so that my feet get strong again.

So it’s back to basics for me this off-season.


  • Tuesday – MTB in dark 9.41km @ 11.0kph with average temp 12.1’C and average heart rage 72% max
  • Wednesday – Barefoot run 6.44km @ 8:06 pace with average temp 16.8’C

2 responses to “Back to basics

  1. Hello, have you come across this site before? I haven’t delved into it too much … I like the idea after reading the same book as you but not quite brave enough to take the plunge! (apart from doing general walking around in ‘minimalist shoes’)

    • Yeah I’ve read that site. I like it. I find barefoot running relaxing and enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚ I have run through Brisbane city (Australia’s 3rd largest city) in bare feet on a number of occasions so am not afraid of the ‘grossness’ of the concept ๐Ÿ™‚

      I haven’t really got into minimalist shoes because they are still shoes … and because they are so expensive. I’d love a pair of Vibrams but at $180 they are way overpriced for something that is supposed to replicate nothing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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