Marathon Training #7 – Low-Impact Running

After keeping my ankle on ice for two weeks, I was ready to “pound the pavement” once more. I use the term “pound the pavement” facetiously because, with the injured ankle, the last thing I wanted to do was pound anything.

My first venture out after the ankle sprain was only two miles in my new Vibrams (I had been close to 11 miles before the injury). After the injury I was afraid to put on my old running shoes. It was nice to get back out there, but my ankle started shooting pain after two miles. I tried wearing my new Vibrams without socks, but obtained a blister on the injured foot. It is very possible that my ankle injury was causing me to run improperly, which caused the blister. I decided to go ahead and purchase the Injinji toe socks anyway for future runs.

Taking It Slow?

I completed two more relatively short runs my first week out, three and four miles. These two times I wore the new socks and Vibrams. When transitioning to barefoot running, (with or without the Vibrams) it is always highly recommended to take it slow! It is likely that I was not taking it slowly enough, because the bottom of my feet felt slightly bruised. The ankle didn’t feel ready for much more than four miles either.

Because I am training for the Disney marathon in January, I need to keep increasing my mileage. My next three runs were 5, 6, and 7 miles. Because of the bruising on the bottom of my feet, and the need to increase mileage rather quickly, I decided to wrap my ankles and put on the old running shoes. These running shoes are not actually old (2 months), they are just older than my new Vibrams. The ankle wrapping was recommended by a massage therapist.

No More Shooting Pain

Almost a month after the original sprain, my 7 mile run felt really good. It was a run through Arcadia state park, on a quiet, shady dirt road on what felt like a New England autumn day, cool and crisp. I felt like I could have run the marathon that day! My ankle held up for the full 7 miles.

Let’s get back to the title of this blog, Low-Impact Running. As I attempted to increase my mileage on a healing ankle, I was very aware of the technique that Barefoot Ken Bob describes on his webpage How to Run. The technique focuses on, back straight, knees bent, “lift, lift, lift” the feet, and “relax, relax, relax” the whole body. I was very aware of NOT pounding the pavement. Instead I focused on “light and easy”. Barefoot Ken Bob suggests focusing on the rim of your hat and trying to limit the amount of bouncing or side-to-side motion. He explains that we want all of our energy moving forward, not up and down. And obviously, less upward motion means lower impact.

I am still logging my runs at, and you can too. My training log is below.

Run for a Cause

The Perfect Supplements family will be running their first marathon at the Disney Marathon in Orlando in January of 2011. We have decided to raise money for The American Cancer Society.

We chose the American Cancer Society because we believe that cancer is not just a health issue, but also an environment issue. Would you like to run for a cause? Join the Perfect Supplements for Perfect Health Team. You can join us at the Disney Marathon in January 2011, or walk/run/bike/swim at a local event near you. Joining the team allows you to raise money for the American Cancer Society, too.

Or simply donate at our team page! Perfect Supplements will match every dollar up to $500. Raise $50 and subscribe to our Perfect Supplements for Perfect Health Newsletter and receive a free team t-shirt.

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