Home > Uncategorized > Twitter…..Barefoot Running…..Cramps & the possible causes….How Long is the “Off-Season”?

Twitter…..Barefoot Running…..Cramps & the possible causes….How Long is the “Off-Season”?

Become a KETfitness follower on Twitter
KETfitness is now on twitter. I’ll be tweeting fitness tips (exercise, nutrition, stress management,etc) each day to help your training or to stimulate you to train:)
So become a follower @KETfitness
Video Analysis of Your Swimming is Affordable
This is a good time of year to start considering your weak link. If it is swimming contact me for a Video Analysis. It includes: under water, above water and side views plus stills with my comments. You will recieve a copy of the videos, stills and pool side feedback via laptop. The cost is $75.
Barefoot Running: Is there a place for it in your training?
A lot has been published in print and internet about how beneficial barefoot running can be. Many believe it will reduce the likelihood of injuries and strengthen the arch. Many believe it would cause injury. I have discussed this topic with many physical therapists and endurance athletes who have used the Vibram Five Finger sandal like running foot wear (can’t call it a shoe). After much thought and attempts at incorporating bare foot running into my own training regimen I believe it has a place at minimum to use for cadence training.
Here’s a minimalist approach to barefoot running. Take your running shoes off following a 5-10 min warm up on the treadmill and run in just your socks for only 5 min. During those “bare foot 5” you will midfoot strike because of the possible pain during a heel strike (the heel was not made for heel striking) and your cadence will increase a good 4-6 steps per minute if counting one foot (count one foot striking the treadmill for 15 seconds then multiply by 4). Track your cadence with and without running shoes. You will notice a difference. If you run in bare feet longer than 5 minutes you risk blisters. Of course be careful on the treadmill. You may want to use a slower speed then the warm up but make sure you track cadence at the identical speed.
If you practice the “barefoot 5” periodically it will help you establish a higher cadence and a midfoot strike which means your foot spends less time with the ground. Of course stop if you have any aches or pains while trying this training. Its most likely not for you.
Cramps & The Possible Causes
Many of us suffer from cramps during our endurance training. Usually the cause is multifactorial.
The several causes are:
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water during each day and/or caffeine, alcohol, medications 
  • Depleted Electrolytes: A proper balance of potassium, magnesium and sodium are needed for proper muscle contraction
  • Inflexibility: Tight muscles can contribute to cramping
  • Training Intensities: Not training at expected race levels or higher (this is a small percentage of the total training volume)

So, if you sip on water during the day, “strive for 5” servings of fruits and veggies each day, stretch, and practice some speed work, on a regular basis you should be fine. But be patient. It takes time.
How Long is the Off-Season?
The off-season is used to recover from all of that structured training completed to achieve your endurance goals. As well as prepare mentally and physically for the upcoming goals you have set for the approaching season. The time will vary. From a month or 2, especially if the goals were an ironman or a marathon, to 1 or 2 weeks of mountain bike riding in another state. Having an off-season does not mean becoming a couch potato. It means recovery and planning the goals for next season as well as trying some cross training modalities.
Goals may be:

  • Working harder on nutrition
  • Spending more time improving the swim stroke and technique
  • Starting resistance training
  • or spending more time on core exercises and the bike trainer
  • An Ironman in Sept and a marathon in February

Happy Training!

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