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How I Transitioned into Zero Drop Running

As I came back from my injury this spring I had some problems with what shoes to go for when retiring my Asics Gel-Neo33. After eyeing the SKORA Running shoes for more than 6 months I finally took the leap and ordered myself two pairs. It’s been a bit over three months since I started transitioning into my SKORA’s now and I figured I’d let you see what my process was going from a traditional shoe to a neutral zero drop performance shoe.

Walking for Boston in my first ever race shirt and the SKORA Forms.

Walking for Boston in my first ever race shirt and the SKORA Forms.

This is how I did my transition from Asics Gel-Neo33 (10mm heel-to-toe drop) to SKORA Form (0 heel-to-toe drop):

I've been taking my SKORA's pretty much everywhere on this island. From grassy walks, to lava hikes, to the mall, to the forest.. They are pretty much glued to my feet :)

I’ve been taking my SKORA’s pretty much everywhere on this island. From grassy walks, to lava hikes, to the mall, to the forest.. They are pretty much glued to my feet :)

First 4 weeks: Walking around, hiking, gardening and running (walking) errands in town in the new shoes which I loved from the first moment. Super comfortable, no problems with blisters/hot spots or anything. I noticed the increased usage of muscles compared to using my Asics due to the zero drop construction, but nothing alarming.

End of week 4: Went on my first “run” with my SKORA Forms. One day 0.4mi as the warm up before my planned run. Took it really slow and short to ease into running in the shoes.

Week 5: Repeated the same deal as week 4 before two runs. 0.75mi and 0.8mi. Felt great! Total: 1.55mi.

Week 6: Used the Forms for my warmup 4 times during the week with the farthest stretch being 1.28mi. Total: 3.95mi.

Week 7: Took the Forms out on two easy short runs out of the weeks four runs. Total: 5.3mi.

Week 8: At this point I felt pretty accustomed to running in the zero drop SKORA’s and took them out for three full (but short) runs. Total: 6.95mi.

Week 9: Had a bad week with life coming in the way of my running but got a “Steady State” in with the Forms and was able to perform really well and feeling great the whole way. Total: 5mi.

Week 10: Ran half of the weeks miles in SKORA and felt great. Total: 7.47mi.

From there on I’ve been all in when it comes to my SKORA shoes. From day one of putting them on they felt great and have been treating my feet (and the rest of my body) very well. No, excellent actually! I had the advantage of running low mileage in general since I’ve been trying to really slowly get back from my injury and building  my body up/getting used to running again. Today I’m sitting at a total of 21 miles for the week and I am very happy with being transitioned into my dear neutral and zero drop SKORA’s!

From my last long run. SKORA's treating me great (Hawaii is also pretty great to me)

From my last long run. SKORA’s treating me great (Hawaii is also pretty great to me)

Here’s my personal advice to you if you, just like I was, are nervous about taking the leap into a zero drop shoe:

– If you are planning on getting and transitioning into zero drop shoes – start doing slow and short barefoot strides at the end of your runs or when you have a few moments over. Take it really easy and be aware of how you’re feeling. This will activate the muscles you are using when running in a low profile shoe as opposed to high heel-to-toe drop shoes. I did and still do these barefoot strides regularly and I love them!

– Take your time to just spend time in the shoes before heading out for a run. Walk around, use them for work, to pick up the kids from school etc. Make the new shoes your best friends for every day wear! I’d say a fancy pair of running shoes are better than any high-heeled ones anyway (but then again, I’m not really you typical girly girl – I happen to be a crazy runner)!

Be aware of how your body is reacting to the new shoes. Any pains/aches? Went for a longer walk and feeling a bit sore in your calves maybe? Use the foam roll to roll them out.

– Stay on top of strengthening, foam rolling and stretching that body of yours! In general when being a runner it is important to keep the muscles strong and happy so that we won’t get “unnecessary”  injuries.

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– When you do start running in the new shoes, remember that it’s better to take it a little bit too slow than to rush into it both when it comes to distance and pace. I know it can be really frustrating (I sure thought it was!), but when it comes down to it a controlled and slow transition is probably going to work better in the long run as you will give your body the chance to not just adjust but to also embrace the new “conditions”.

Have fun! Always! 

– If you after starting to run in the new shoes are feeling any niggles in muscles etc – take a step back. Don’t push it! A new shoe with a totally different build than the traditional “high-heeled” (and maybe even “motion controlling”) shoe is a big change for your body. It might be a niggle naturally caused by the activation of “new” muscles (ones that might be weak on your body), but it could also be that these shoes don’t work for you? Don’t feel defeated, just take it easy and take the time to figure out what the reason for any aches might be before you move on.

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There are a lot of guides out there which can give you information on how to safe and sound transition into a minimal/low heel-to-toe drop shoe. Read what Peyton Hoyal (via SKORA Running) has to say about transitioning into “minimal” shoes or look around online for additional advice if you feel like you need it. I ended up going a lot on how I felt, and less about what guides were “telling” me to do and it seemed to work good for me.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a professional runner nor am I a running coach. My personal thoughts/advice in this blogpost are just that – personal and not professional. Please ask a qualified person if you have problems with injuries etc as I can only give you my own thoughts regarding my own experiences. 

 

Q: Do you run in zero drop shoes or are you thinking about transitioning? Are you happy with the shoes you are using or are you on the hunt for new shoes?


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Less Running, More Sightseeing

June started off with a few great runs and then our friends from Seattle showed up to celebrate a ten day vacation with us. We hadn’t seen our close friends since early December and it was so nice to spend some quality time together and get to show them around on “our” island. While I might have been a bit grumpy at times due to missing out on a bunch of runs it kind of turned into a vacation for us too. A lot of sightseeing, hiking, swimming, nice food, surfing, but also movie watching at the house while just enjoying the company had those ten days turning into BUSY days and we sure slept good at night. A lot of fresh air, driving, swimming and hiking tend to do that to you I guess?

Here’s some of it in photos (turned into quite a few photos even though I decided to leave a bunch out), get prepared for some Hawaii action:

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Beautiful rolling hills on the Saddle Road.

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Sunset over Mauna Loa

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Sightseeing on this island is so much more fun with friends. We had a great time. And it (almost) doesn’t matter that the four of us used all our water and we’re now waterless at the house. Haha. Living of the grid gets interesting at times!

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Run/swim/shower trip. Oh the things I do to get my runs in!

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Yep. I use my SKORA’s for everything (except swimming). That, and the fact that I LOVE them, is the reason there are so sooo many photos of them.

So here I am. With pretty much no water at the house and really in need of running. While I managed to get back on track post “vacation”, getting those runs in AND staying somewhat fresh is at the moment a little bit of a problem. Send all rain my way and my running will be easier! (And not to mention, I will smell a little bit better and maybe even have clean hair?!)


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A to Z: Some Old School Blogging Action

I have so many great things to write about in the near future I’m almost too excited. Don’t know where to start!

So in the meantime I will jump on the old school train and follow PavementRunner and others with this A to Z: Old School Blogging list.

A. Attached or Single?
Taken.

B. Best Friend?
My lover.

C. Cake or pie?
Pie pie pie. Always pie!

D. Day of choice?
Monday! New week, new start.

A to Z SKORA

E. Essential Item?
SKORA Running shoes.

F. Favorite color?
Purple right now. But to be honest, this changes pretty often.

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Whatever shape, as long as the gummy candy is SOUR.

A to Z Jungle

H. Home town?
The jungle.

I. Favorite Indulgence?
Almonds? In any shape or form.

J. January or July?
July.

K. Kids?
Maybe one day.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
Running.

M. Marriage date?
Last of August.

N. Number of brothers/sisters?
Two wonderful younger (but not smaller) brothers. They are my sunshine.

O. Oranges or Apples?
Apples. More to chose from!

P. Phobias?
Uh, I don’t really like feet/toe nails. Although, running entering my life have made me a bit better at handling them.

Q. Quotes?
“The world is your treadmill. Run all over it.” – PavementRunner.com  <– This was PavementRunner’s answer and it’s actually too good to delete! Seriously, go run ALL OVER IT!

R. Reasons to smile?
Love. Running. Running. Love. Pretty much the same thing, right?

S. Season of choice?
Winter. I mean, come on.. Living in Hawaii I never get to have it, and I MISS it!

T. Tag 5 People.
Skipping in Seattle, Barefoot Marathon Momma, SkinnyChickBlog, Run Like A Grl, Pittsburgh Runner.

U. Unknown fact about me?
I used to dye my hair black.

V. Vegetable?
Sweet green peas. LOVE ’em!

W. Worst habit?
(Best habit?) Coffee drinking. I Can. NOT. Stop.

X. Xray or Ultrasound?
Well, I guess I’ve had more of the ultrasound action going on in my life.

Y. Your favorite food?
Halloumi.

Z. Zodiac sign?
Leo.

That’s it. Happy Weekend to you all! I’ll be back with some more posts shortly.

Feel free to copy this list and jump on the old school train, you too!


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Friday Favorites

Huma Logo

I love Hüma Gel and I just have to send some love their way on a Friday like this. Hop on over to their site and grab yourself a sample pack (or maybe a whole box of them? I know I could put it down easily!) if you haven’t tried them yet.

 

 

Roga Revolution! @ Oiselle.com

I mentioned Oiselle’s Roga Shorts in my June wish list blogpost and I have to mention them again, because right now you can get 20% off on the Roga’s with the code ROGAREVOLUTION. If I had the money at the moment I’d RUN to their online store and get them right away! If you can, you should!

 

 

 

SKORA blog

SKORA wrote about strides recently, and I happen to be a big fan of them. Actually both SKORA and strides. I add strides to my runs regularly, both during and at the end of my runs. Sometimes I keep going in my shoes, sometimes I do them barefoot. Check the blog out, get inspired and while you’re at it make sure to look around on SKORA’s webpage and read some more of their informative and inspiring blogposts.


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Is There A Normal When It Comes To Running?

The other day someone ended up on my blog after searching “the normal time it takes to run a 3.1” and it got me thinking. What I have learned and keep reminding myself of is that there is no “normal” when it comes to running.

First of all – runners are not normal. We are a bunch of crazy people!

There is no “normal” speed. You run your own training run/race at the pace that is yours.

There are no magic shoes. You might have tried a super popular shoe just to realize that it doesn’t work for you? I know I did, with the Saucony Kinvara’s.

There are no fuel alternatives that works for everybody. What makes me feel amazing might taste awful to you.

There are watches that fit one wrist, but doesn’t work at all for others.

There are surfaces that fit me perfect, but hurts another runner’s knees.

There are clothes that are comfortable and make one runner feel awesome, while a completely different style/material works wonders for another runner.

We are all running, doing our thing. What is fast for me might be slow for you, or the other way around.  There are long runs and short runs and there’s really no “normal” when it comes to that either. Right now my “long run” is 5mi, while others run 30mi when they head out for their long run.

What works for me, works for me. What works for you, works for you.

my normal

My advice:

Forget the “normal”. We are all some kind of crazy in this world, let’s not compare ourselves to others, but instead get inspired and motivated by each other!


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Running Pop Quiz

I found this little Running Quiz over at Emily’s blog Running for Boston, Emily in her turn found it at Hungryrunnergirl.com. I thought I would do this too, while waiting for the camera to load some photos onto the computer and my friends+husband to get back from the grocery store (and yes, I might be a bit bored).

Before going out to get my 10k PR in December.

Before going out to get my 10k PR in December 2012.

1.  On average how many races do you run a year?

I only started running and racing 2012, but I managed to get 4 races in from mid August to December last year. During this year no races so far, which is a total bummer, but what to do?! I’m hoping to get 5-7 races in before the year ends. Wish me luck!

 

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Cheap sunglasses, hairpins and hair tie.

2.  Head accessories, things you have to run with:  a hat, a visor, sunglasses, chapstick, sunscreen, head band, ponytail, braids, sweat band?

Always always a hair tie, can’t have my hair blowing around my face. Most of the times some hairpins to keep the bangs from flying around on my forehead. And always sunglasses. I wish I could honestly write sunscreen too, but that’s just not true. I am way to bad at remembering to use sunscreen (yes please, hit me, it’s so freaking stupid!)

 

3.  Where do your workouts come from?  A training plan, a coach, whatever you feel like doing that day or what your training partner is doing that day?

As mentioned recently I have a running coach helping me out with my training since a few months. I love getting the personal training plans and always look forward to see what’s up next! Btw, get in contact with my coach to get to try his coaching service and get your free consultation now.

 

4.  How many miles on average do you put on a pair of shoes?  

I put about 250mi on my old Asics, but have switched to SKORA now. Some SKORA runners have used their shoes >1000mi without problems, trust me when I write I’m very curious to see how far I can make it?!

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5.  Cell phone: do you bring it with you on your run or leave it at home?

I rarely bring my phone with me out running nowadays. There’s little to none cell service here in the area and the phone usually gives me more problems than it has the potential of helping me. I do however carry an iPod shuffle with music sometimes. And of course, the Garmin watch.

 

6.  What was your last running related injury or have you been an injury free runner?

I started the year with what I believe was a stress fracture in 4th metatarsal. Since coming back from that injury I’ve had some problems with PF, but not so much it will keep me from running. Icing, massage and KTTape helps a lot!

 

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7.  Is your current running goal about running a farther distance (adding more mileage) or getting faster or BOTH?!?

First of all my goal is to get back to where I was before my injury. Then.. Yes, I aim att getting both faster and being able to run farther. Look forward to the challenge!

 

8.  Speed work – at the track, on the treadmill, on the roads or never do it?

I’ve never tried running on a treadmill. It’s just me and the roads, for whatever kind of run. So speed work, definitely happens on the paved road!

 

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9.  Stretching after a run:  hit the ground after a run and get stretching, stretch in the shower, stretch once you get to work/school, skip the stretching?

I stretch and foam roll after every run. On a yoga mat on top of the big Turkish(?) rug in the living room. Sometimes even days when I’m not running, after a little walk or similar. Love/hate my foam roller and firmly believe that it’s making my running better. At least my body seems to like it!

 

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10.  What was your reason(s) for starting to run?

My dad has been running for a bunch of years and I’ve been cheering him on while he’s been running Stockholm Marathon, being that proud daughter who always cries (of course trying to hide it) when he finish his race. I finally started running after seeing my dad getting ready for his training runs before the Jubilee Stockholm Marathon last summer. I was awake, sitting at the kitchen table reading or playing a game on my phone as he was heading out. 2-3 hours later when he came back after his run I was still sitting at the kitchen table, probably having my third cup of coffee.. After a few weeks of this happening I just got an impulse, put my old sneakers on and got a few tips from my dad before I got out and “ran”. Since that day I was hooked and I am so thankful for that inspiration and motivation my dad gave me during last spring, and he keeps on giving me daily.

 

 

Thanks HungryRunngerGirl for a fun Running Pop Quiz! Do you want to join in the fun? Below you’ll find the questions, easy to copy and paste into your blog. Answer away! I look forward to reading your answers!

1.  On average how many races do you run a year?

2.  Head accessories, things you have to run with:  a hat, a visor, sunglasses, chapstick, sunscreen, head band, ponytail, braids, sweat band?

3.  Where do your workouts come from?  A training plan, a coach, whatever you feel like doing that day or what your training partner is doing that day?

4.  How many miles on average do you put on a pair of shoes?

5.  Cell phone: do you bring it with you on your run or leave it at home?

6.  What was your last running related injury or have you been an injury free runner?

7.  Is your current running goal about running a farther distance (adding more mileage) or getting faster or BOTH?!?

8.  Speed work – at the track, on the treadmill, on the roads or never do it?

9.  Stretching after a run:  hit the ground after a run and get stretching, stretch in the shower, stretch once you get to work/school, skip the stretching?

10.  What was your reason(s) for starting to run?


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My Wish List – June 2013

When I started running a little over a year ago I was stupid enough to believe that the only thing I really needed to be able to run was a pair of decent shoes. It didn’t take me too long to realize how wrong I was.. As months go by my wish list grows longer and longer, and while most of it might be more so wants than  needs, there’s nothing stopping me from actually feeling like I do need all those things on that wish list.

At the moment, these are the top items on that wish list:

PickyBars

PickyBars

A shit ton of it! I received a Sample Pack of these bars to review (coming up on the blog very soon!) and let me tell ya.. They are the BOMB when it comes to bars. I do love me some healthy bars to have around for that post run snack or as an in-between meals solution and these ones.. Could get in my belly all. The. Time!

vielet.com

Vielet Tara Merino Bra Tank Top

I LOVE natural fabrics and merino is such a wonderful one. Even though I live in Hawaii and deal with mostly hot and humid weather I use merino a lot for running and working out. Merino keeps me comfortable for a long while, won’t cause any chafing for me and it doesn’t get all nasty smelly like some workout clothes get after use. I love the design of this top and know that I’d wear it not just for running but also for everyday wear – got to love that quality when it comes to running gear right?!

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Oiselle Roga Short

There’s no limit to just how much I love the few pieces of Oiselle apparel I have. Oiselle do a great job, creating clothes by women for women. These shorts are some of the best And I need all of the different colors

Injinji

Injinji socks

I’ve got two pair of Injinji socks which I love, but am craving some more of them in different color and maybe even the compression kind? Definitely on the lookout for a good deal on these. Might have to wait for my birthday. Bummer!

oiselle.com

Oiselle Stride Short

Ok ok, I know. I already put another pair of Oiselle shorts on the list, but I CAN NOT stay away from them. I need more of this. Haven’t tried the Stride Shorts out, but am more than willing to take them out on some runs in the future. Need to.

Amphipod.com

Handheld Water Bottle

I have a 72oz (?!) CamelBak and have been using it for lunger runs (15-17k) before the injury, but now when I’m back to running shorter distances it’s just too much of a hassle and it carries WAY too much water for me to bring it with me. I’m giving in to the thought of having a handheld bottle. I’m on the lookout for one (preferably cheap, with free shipping to Hawaii) to bring along on my runs. The one on the photo is from Amphipod and you can find it right here.

I could keep going for a while, but I think I’d bore you all with all my cravings.

Q: Do you keep a list going with things you need/want? What number one on your list right now?

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