I am noticing subtle changes though. The first time I ran, my hip sockets would immediately hurt. That subsided after the first few weeks. My ankles and feet would hurt too. I'd get shooting pains, like my ankles were rolling even though I was on flat pavement. Not any more. Running is feeling less laborious now. I haven't changed my pace in two months, but the pace I'm running at is feeling easier and easier. I've run five miles several times now around a 7:30 pace. This is slightly above conversation pace for me. The most pronounced thing I am noticing is how much more solid I'm starting to feel on my feet. Whether it is going down stairs or jumping off of something, my lower legs no longer feel like a 15A circuit breaker with a toaster oven, microwave and fridge all plugged in at the same time.
Manchester, Burque, Daniel Webster loop.
I've had to deal with an issue already though. My old, poorly adapting body didn't adapt quickly enough to running in Nike Free shoes. Being minimally padded, they force a forefoot landing, which puts a big impulse through your calf muscle. As my pace picked up to sub-8 minutes and distance went over three miles, my right calf would get all knotted up on me. It would take a day or two to go away. I picked up a pair of Soucony traditional style running shoes, and the problem mostly went away. I still get some tenderness on five mile runs. Perhaps I need to run more than once or twice a week to toughen up my calves.
I've picked up a few lessons learned and have made a few observations along the way:
- Don't let your toe nails grow out too long. They will cut into adjacent toes and make them bleed.
- Don't trim your toe nails too short. They will become ingrown and cause great pain.
- Layering for cold weather running is not the same as layering for cold weather riding. About 1/3 as much will do.
- Recovery days used to be 45 minutes L1 on the bike. Now I run 30+ minutes on my "rest" days. I don't get rest days anymore.
- A moderate 30 minute run spikes metabolism more than a hard 1 hour ride. I tend to be hungrier in afternoons after running five miles than riding 25 miles.
- Running is just as effective in achieving a Zen state of mind as cycling is.
- When running against traffic, drivers rarely look right when pulling out right.
- Never trust a fart when you are running.
Joe Friel recently posted a series on bone density in cyclists, with a summary of recent studies. The consensus is plyometrics is best for building bone density, sprint effort running next best, followed by distance running. I just don't see myself getting into plyo. Not unless some part of my body bulks at running. I'd much rather be outside. Who knows, if I keep this up for a year, maybe there's a duathlon or winter triathlon in my future.