Go slow to go fast.

Beat the New Year 5K - sugarhouse park

Previous YearRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesAaron Kennard's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth View
Graph View
Next Year
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!



Member Since:

Nov 11, 2009



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

Finally started learning how to run in '09 after totally botching it up for the 14 years prior and dealing with chronic IT injury...have had zero IT band pain since fall of '09 and have run way more than ever before in my life...loving it.


Road Mile: 4:44 - Pearl St Mile August 2011 

2K: 6:32 - Uni HIll 2K 2011

3K: 10:07 - West end 3K 2011

5K - 16:53 - Turkey Leg 5K 2011

10K - 38:38 - Butte to Butte Eugene OR 2003 

Half - Never raced a half

Road Marathon - 2:57:19 - 11/12/2011 - solo.

Trail Marathon - 4:48 - Kings peak August 2011

55K - 4:59:54 - Moab red hot 55K 2011

Short-Term Running Goals:

Be healthy, run injury-free, listen to my body.

Sub 16 min 5K

Sub 34 min 10K

Sub 2:40 Marathon

    2012 Tentative Schedule

  1.  Quicker Quaker 5K January
  2. Boston Marathon - April
  3. ??

Long-Term Running Goals:

Get stronger, faster and more fit as a runner and biker to allow for bigger adventures as the years go on.

Still be running in my 80's.  


I'm married to Nan Kennard and she kicks my butt at running.  She has beat me handily in every race we have done together except for a downhill mile we did once.  She is my running inspiration.  I'd like to run a marathon with her someday and actually keep up.  

My Personal Blog

My Family Blog

My Business Blog 

Favorite Blogs:

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 282.68
Cycling 2011 Lifetime Miles: 291.40
Altra Instinct July '10 Lifetime Miles: 637.35
Altra Instinct Sep '11 Lifetime Miles: 481.45
Altra Lone Peak Lifetime Miles: 157.50
Altra Instinct Black Lifetime Miles: 69.00
Altra Adam Lifetime Miles: 27.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Bare Feet Miles: 52.17Five Finger Sprints Miles: 136.62
Night Sleep Time: 160.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 161.50Weight: 189.68
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run around my neighborhood.  

I tried to change my form while running in my running shoes.  I tried to not land on my heals the entire run.  By the end my calves were really sore. But I was able to run farther than I had in months with no knee pain.  That was motivating. 

Bare Feet Miles: 0.30
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Gorgeous weather.  I ran 3 miles at 7:40 pace barefoot on a smooth asphault trail by the Jordan River in Draper Utah.  We were staying with my parents Friday night.

It felt really good.  I'm trying to keep the mileage low right now to allow my leg and foot muscles to adjust to the new form.  My calves were pretty tight, but it felt good to get out there. 

Bare Feet Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I went running for 2 miles barefoot today.  It felt good, except the ground was a little cold and my calves were screaming at me.  

I went to REI and bought some Vibram FiveFingers and ran 1 mile on a rocky trail to test them out.  It felt great.  We'll see how it goes with those tomorrow.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 1.00Bare Feet Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 193.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 4 miles at 8:35 pace in Vibram FiveFingers on a really rocky trail in the dog park by my house.

It felt really good.  It was like a 30 minute foot massage, plus a beautiful, sunny, fall afternoon run, what a great deal.  

I had a couple sore spots in the tendons in my feet afterward, but zero knee pain.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 193.00
From Sasha Pachev on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 22:14:44 from

Aaron - welcome to the blog!

From Nan Kennard on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 14:20:21 from

Yeah! You joined the blog!! Awesome! I'm excited to see you work your way up to ultra long runs. I like your long-term running goals. Run as far as you want whenever you want until you're 81. Then walk. Haha nice.

Just to clarify, you could never run in my shadow. You cast a much bigger shadow than me. ;)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

3.6 miles around the pond by our house at 7:45 pace.

My calves were a little tight at first but warmed up and felt good until the hill coming home at the end.

The left side of my left foot was a little tender, and the tendon/muscle under my right ball felt a couple tender twinges.  But both feet felt better than I expected them to.

It felt great to be out moving on a sunny 55 degree morning.  I'm getting kind of impatient with the small mileage, I would really like to go out for 10 miles.  But I'm going to keep holding off on longer mileage until I feel like my legs and muscles are fully accustomed to running without shoes. 

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 3.60
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 190.80
From Kelli on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 13:05:24 from

Welcome to the blog! It is awesome that you are so supportive f your wife, I am sure it is what helps her be so fast! However, I can see that you are fast as well!!

From Nan Kennard on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 14:24:56 from

And you already added yourself as one of my favorites. Thanks!

From LuzyLew on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 14:40:30 from

I'm finishing Born to Run now and don't know what I think about the whole barefoot running. Other books I've read include Lore of Running, which is huge on biomechanical correction (through orthotics and shoes, etc). I know it would take many miles to strengthen my feet and ankles back up from years of running on shoes. Without a big huge grass field to start out on, I'd be worried to give it a go. Thanks for blogging about this experience with the 5 fingers! I look forward to learning how it goes for you.

From Burt on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 18:02:07 from

Welcome to the blog Aaron. I don't know why, but as soon as I saw your name under the New Kids on the Blog I thought, "I wonder if that's Nan's husband."

From Carolyn in Colorado on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 16:51:43 from

Welcome to the blog. I don't know if you remember me. I live in Highlands Ranch and I came up and ran with Nan one day a few weeks ago.

I'll be interested to see how the barefoot thing goes for you.

From Sandy Dune-Howard on Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 08:54:28 from

Welcome to the blog Nans Hubby Aaron, wow hardcore Fivefingers nice one. :-)

From MichelleL on Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 13:39:24 from

Welcome to the blog. It'll be interesting to see how your barefoot running goes over the long haul.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today was the most enjoyable run I can remember in a looong time. And ironically it was on an indoor track at the gym without an ipod which I used to despise. My body just felt really good. My legs and feet have pretty much recovered from the shock of changing my running form, and so running just felt absolutlely great today.

I ran 6 miles barefoot at about 150-155 heart rate in 45-46 minutes.

A little blister on my left big toe started to grow around mile 3, by mile 4.8 it was annoying so I put on my FiveFingers and it didn't hurt anymore.

I didn't feel any knee pain at all. In fact, my knees and lower back are feeling great, better than I can remember them feeling in a long time. Its very obvious that changing my running form has significantly reduced the negative impact on my knees and back.

And on another note, while I was prancing merrily around the track for 6 miles, Nan was killing it in Longmont at the Turkey Trot 10K. She won (no huge surprise) the female race in 36:10 I believe. Nice job Nan!

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 1.20Bare Feet Miles: 4.80
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 190.00
From jun on Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 01:34:57 from

Welcome to the blog. This place is amazing. I really like your goal of running 30 miles on your 30th birthday. A few weeks ago I celebrated my 37th birthday by running my age (although I continued to run a bit further after I reached my goal). It was really cool. Like you I am also starting to change into a barefoot runner. I tend to feel better when I'm barefoot. I'll have to keep shoes for technical trail runs, but I plan to do everyone on the road in 5 Fingers (as soon as I get some). Good luck and welcome.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today felt like a huge breakthrough for me.  Here was the result:

The roads were icy and snowy and it was 18 degrees outside so I did 6 miles of running around a 1/13th of a mile Gym indoor rubber track at about 7:35 pace.  It was so enjoyable I didn't want to stop.  Again I didn't have an ipod.  I was just really happy to be running and working on my form.  And it made WORLDS of difference today.  I was very, very pleasantly surprised.

Last night I read up on barefoot running tactics from Barefoot Ken Bob at runningbarefoot.org.  So today I was really looking forward to trying to apply his advice (since he ran 4 marathons in may of this year without getting injured I can assume he is doing something right.)  I can't believe what a difference it made in how it felt to run. 

I thought I felt great on Saturday when I ran six miles, and I did.  But later on Saturday the left upper outside of my calf and my lower lateral quad were kind of tight and sore.  I didn't feel pain when I was running to really speak of, but I felt I definitely needed a day off on Sunday to let that recover.

But today I felt REALLY great.  The major change that I made was with my cadence.  That was the missing piece that I didn't understand before last night, and it makes a HUGE difference I found out.  Ken Bob recommends running at a minimum of 180 steps per minute or preferably more.  If you care to know why, which I think is very helpful and legitimate information after trying it today, read his blog.  In any case, I did it today.  I periodically calculated my cadence by counting my steps for 6 seconds and multiplying it by 10 (much easier than initially when I tried to count to 180 in a minute while running...don't even bother trying that, believe me it sucks).  Every time I counted I was going between 200-220 steps per minute.

I played around with running faster speeds and slower speeds, raising my heart rate to the 170's for a quarter mile and timing it (doing around 6 min/mile pace), then scaling back to a heart rate of mid to low 150's and cruising at a 7:30-7:45 pace.

Regardless of how fast I was going, or how high my heart rate was, I was surprised to note that my cadence stayed pretty much the same.  When I was going slower, I kept my cadence high, and I just wasn't leaned forward into it as much.  When I went at 6 min. pace my cadence was the same but I was just falling into it more.  

I let my whole body relax and I focused on that, and it felt great.  For the first time I think I've ever done, I let my hips relax and focused on allowed them to freely rotate forward and backward with my legs, instead of staying rigid while my lower legs did all the work.  I kept my upper body upright over my hips and thought about keeping my butt under me and leaned forward from the ankles with my hips forward.

The time flew by, and I when it had been 45 minutes I was tempted to keep going so I could keep playing around with it.  But I also felt I should be moderate with my mileage as I work into a new form.

The thing that was the greatest though about the faster cadence and improved form, is that my legs never seemed to feel tired at all.  My calves and feet felt relaxed, like they were hardly working and all, as compared to when I first started barefooting my calves were screaming at me the whole time.  I realize now that was due to 2 things.  1 - the muscles needed to adjust, but 2 (and more importantly) I was doing it wrong.  I was still taking big strides with a low cadence and that forced my calves and feet to do way more work than they really need to be doing.  I could feel a very stark contrast today in the six miles I did compared to Saturday.  My calves and feet feel very fresh and almost unused as compared to Saturday afterward.  My inner/upper thighs and my upper hamstrings I'm noticing got more of a workout today with the adjusted form, but they don't feel painful. 

And this goes without saying at this point, but the left knee pain that basically debilitated me 3 weeks ago from even running 1 mile, is non-existent now.

Now here's the bad news...there was 1 minor set-back that happened today.  The Gym Manager Nazi.  At about 30 minutes into my run I noticed the Gym manager 'Todd' walking around the track very casually looking down at the gym below appearing to be inspecting how things were going.  Conveniently (or cowardly, whichever) about 3-4 minutes later one of the trainers Jerry came up and stopped me, informing me that I was not allowed to run barefoot at the gym.   I was really happy until then, because I thought it was completely ridiculous, and I kind of challenged him on it for a minute or two until I realized he had been sent by Todd.  So I went down and nicely approached Todd about how he might be able to "help me out".  He sadly said there was "nothing he can do"  and "its corporate policy" and I think I heard a "blah blah blah" in there a few times...and a "you can try those 'aqua socks'" which I thought was kind of funny but didn't laugh out loud.  But I politely thanked him for trying and went back and apologized to Jerry for challenging him (I'm pretty sure I wasn't overly nice to him initially).  Then, although I wasn't stoked that I couldn't run barefoot anymore because I was really enjoying it, I was stoked that I had brought my FiveFingers.  And I was happy to be able to slip them on and continue to run.  I was really glad I had them with me.

But I was also really glad I had about 5 miles to test out running fully barefoot because I think it really helped me improve my form immensely.

I wonder why I didn't ever try to learn "how" to run before now?  I just kept getting injured, all the time, and I don't remember ever thinking to ask anyone "how" to run properly so that I could stop getting injured. I just looked to better shoes to solve my problems.  Until I actually had given up and written off running for some day in the future when something miraculous would happen and my body could all-of-a-sudden run far without getting hurt.  Nan kept saying I should run a marathon with her (because we had always talked about doing it since we met, and I wanted to), but I just felt defeated and lacking hope that I ever would really.  But not anymore...I feel very grateful for this new found knowledge of how to run, because now I believe I can run a marathon with Nan next year, and do it without getting injured and love it.


Five Finger Sprints Miles: 1.00Bare Feet Miles: 5.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 190.20
From Nan Kennard on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 15:54:39 from

One word: WAHOO!

From Carolyn in Colorado on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 00:08:50 from

My one word is WOW!!!

From jun on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 00:09:42 from

It sounds like today was a real turning point. This may actually be one day that you look back on as the 'real' first day of your running career. I still remember mine and it was at least a couple months after I 'started taking running serious'. But that day was a turning point for me and I think this will be one for you.

I appreciated your comments on my blog. I'm going to really try moving more towards barefoot running, at least on the roads and low-impact trails. I find that not only do I feel better, but I actually have more fun. Good luck on reaching your birthday goal. I think you'll nail it.

From Aaron Kennard on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 00:52:21 from

I think you may be right about the turning point jun. Running feels entirely new to me all of a sudden and today I was on a running high all day. I just wanted to be out running again, all day.

I have found running to be way more fun barefoot too, and its probably largely due to it being so much easier on my body. It feels almost effortless in comparison to my previous long-striding, pounding, heal-striking form.

From Danny on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 01:25:33 from

Awesome and inspirational! A very timely entry since at the moment my calves are on fire after my five fingers run today. I wonder if I need to increase my cadence. I'll look into it more. I also had some interesting encounters today with people who were unaccustomed to seeing toes wiggling freely in public. Wearing my five fingers out of my office building and around downtown Seattle drew lots of stares and many comments. I'll try to write more about it on my blog. Keep up the good work!

From Sandy Dune-Howard on Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 16:31:51 from

Well done what a great and informative blog today.

I think barefoot running is great and I re-learnt to run about 4 years ago, using the pose technique and other ideas I read about, although I dont do pose as I dont believe in the theory of it, But I did go back to running as I did as a kid/teenager and that was forefoot striking which at first does really effect the calves, and you do need to strengthen them in turn... and I do still have problems with calves, hammies and other such things, but this is due to other things and not the fact I run forefoot.

I do try to run every now and again barefoot, I also use minimalist trainers for walking around in, but have had to go back to some cushioned trainers for the majority of my mileage due to lower back problems! Yes higher cadence is great and easier on the body. I really get what your trying to say in your blog and have read allot on these things I love it when someone just finds out and re-learns to run. Although it is muscle memory and taking small steps too. I found one stepping stone was doing running in Puma H streets they are really minimalist. Happy Running :-)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 4 miles.  Time: 34:20  Pace: 8:35/mile.  Heart rate was between 145-155

I would like to have run outside today, but Nan went to an early training group run so I took the kids to the Gym.  I  did the first 2 miles on the treadmill to see how I liked that.  I didn't like it much.  My upper/inner thighs and my hamstrings were kind of tight, still recovering from being woken up from a long hibernation yesterday when I adjusted my running form to include them in the fun.  I don't care for treadmill running that much, its better than nothing, but I prefer moving around. So I got off and stretched.  Then I went up to the track and ran 2 more miles and enjoyed it.  My upper legs were still feeling it so I decided to stop there, but everything else felt great.  No pressure from the Gym manager today since I was wearing FiveFingers 

I'm going to swim tomorrow instead of running, to let my upper legs recover. 


Five Finger Sprints Miles: 4.00
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50Weight: 190.00
From Burt on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 19:02:07 from

What you need to do is use both hands, take your two forefingers, point them down at your shoes in a vee shape with your thumbs out, then point them at the gym manager, and lower your thumbs like a gun hammer. No words will be needed.

From Danny on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 23:00:19 from

Have you had any problems with your five fingers rubbing you raw? Mine fit really well, and yesterday I was bragging to my running friends how they don't cause blisters because they fit so well. Then at the end of my run I had a screaming sore spot on the inside of my arch. It didn't bubble up like a blister, it looked more like a burn. Any similar problems?

From Aaron Kennard on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 01:01:02 from

Good idea Burt, that will really show him I can't be stopped!

Danny, I have only felt them rub on the tip of my left pinky toe, but it only bothered me the first time I used them. I keep the straps on the back really loose now to give my feet room to move. I also think mine are slightly big on me because all my other toes don't touch the ends of the toe slots. I'm doing a longer run tomorrow in them, I'll let you know how it goes. Sorry to hear you got chaffed.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I didn't run today.  I lifted weights at the gym.  2 sets of 25 with pretty light weight on about 15 different positions.  I like the way endurance style lifting 2 days/week has made me feel over the past year.  My body is a lot more toned and I feel strong, but not bulky.  I look at the rock star heavy lifters in the gym with upper bodies 3 times my width and calves 1/3 the width of mine, and I keep watching to see if they will tip over if they lean wrong.  Its funny how different we all are.  They probably look at me lifting my 80 pound bench press and just fear for my life if I were to ever get in a fight.  Fortunately I don't have to be strong if I can run fast right?

I also swam for about 20 minutes.  Lifting and swimming feels really great to do a couple times a week. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Very enjoyable run today.

My legs felt great after a day of rest so I strapped on the FiveFingers and headed out.  It was 34 degrees and sunny and I was really comfortable in a long sleeve shirt, beany, light gloves, shorts, and FiveFingers.  I wondered if my feet would be cold, but they were never cold at all even though I was running over ice patches and ice hardened dirt trail most of the time.  I was happy about that.  Here are the stats:

10 Miles - 1:23:30

8:21/mile average

153 bpm average heart rate

 I took it easy and had an enjoyable run.  By about mile 8 my hamstrings and groin were getting pretty tired and it was uphill for 2 miles so my pace slowed down.  The first 6 miles were 8 min/mile.  The last 4 probably averaged closer to 9 min. I think my form got a little more sloppy at the end because my upper legs were tired.  When I stopped I noticed I had some minor pain in my left foot between my two littlest toes like I felt last week.  My calves and feet otherwise felt great during and after and I'm pretty happy about that.  Its a huge contrast to 2 weeks ago when my calves were in severe pain.  I think after another rest day and doing some lower mileage on Saturday, my hamstrings and groin will probably be getting up to speed with the rest of my body.  Since this is the first week I have really started to put them to work its probably going to be a few more days before they get with the program completely.  I'm glad my calves are fully on board with the new regime now.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 188.00
From Carolyn in Colorado on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 14:51:57 from

When you get all of your body parts to be happy at the same time, you will have reached runner's nirvana.

From Aaron Kennard on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:47:37 from

I think it's coming soon...and I'm looking forward to it!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today's workout felt good.  I've got a looong way to go to get my fitness level and pace to where I would like it to be, but it feels great to run and get my heart rate up.

Ran 5 miles. Lifted for 30 minutes. Swam for about 10 minutes.

My gym membership at Bally Fitness is pretty nice, they have free childcare so while Nan is at her Saturday morning workouts for 4 hours, I can take the kids to the gym and not go stir-crazy sitting around the house.  When I got done after 2 hours today my 1 year old Ali was sprawled out asleep in the middle of the day care with 15 kids running around, she looked like she had passed out or something...it was kind of funny looking.

Here were my splits for my run workout on the track:

Warmup for 2 miles

Mile 1 - 7:59  - HR: 150 bpm

Mile 2 - 7:35 - HR: 158 bpm 

 Stretched, drank water, and walked for a few minutes.  My Hamstrings were feeling loosened up by this point.

Mile 3 - 7:40 - HR: 1:55

400 Meter: 1:15 - HR: 154 bpm (Went out way faster than I wanted to, 5:00 min/mile pace, my heart rate spiked and I ran 3/4 of a mile really slow to recover.  I meant to do 6 min/mile repeats at 400 meters)

400 Meter: 2:13 - HR: 163 bpm

400 Meter: 2:06 - HR: 151 bpm

400 Meter: 2:06 - HR: 155 bpm

Mile 4 - 7:09 - HR: 172 bpm

400 Meter: 1:25 - HR: 173 bpm (5:50/mile pace, a lot more comfortable the 5min/mile)

400 Meter: 2:11 - HR: 169 bpm

400 Meter: 1:26 - HR: 174 bpm (5:52 pace)

400 Meter: 2:07 - HR: 172 bpm

Walked for a couple minutes to rest 

Mile 5 - 7:02 - HR 172 bpm

800 Meter: 2:58 - HR: 172 bpm (5:56 pace)

800 Meter: 4:04 - HR: 172 bpm  

Total time: 38:04 - Avg Pace total: 7:36 - avg HR 162 bpm - max HR 186 bpm

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 5.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 187.50
From Carolyn in Colorado on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 15:09:39 from

You sure kept track of a lot of data on that run. How did you do it?

From Aaron Kennard on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 15:12:22 from

I just used my garmin forerunner with a heart rate monitor strap. I just pushed the lap button at the end of each 1/4 mile or mile when I wanted to keep track of a split.

From Danny on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 17:44:50 from

Nice workout! How do you like sprinting in the FiveFingers?

From Nan Kennard on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 23:09:19 from

Hahaha. Poor lil' Ali. Glad she didn't get stepped on.

From Aaron Kennard on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 23:10:58 from

I like it a lot, it's really cool to feel so light and smooth. I wish I were going straight though. Running around the 1/13 of a mile track really fast isn't the greatest (gave me a blister on my toe from the same turn over and over and over). I'm looking forward to Monday when I can run on the trails by my house again.

From jun on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:30:24 from

Cool workout. I would imagine sprinting in five fingers is awesome. As for running outside on Monday, did you get hit with the big storm we got last night? Hope you were able to get out today (monday) before it hit.

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 12:58:03 from

Fortunately we didn't get a storm here, it was sunny out here this morning. Still kind of cold, 34 Degrees or so, but pretty good dry weather for a morning run

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I decided to do some 1 mile threshold repeats this morning on the Dry Creek Trail by my house because I wanted to get a feel for what kind of pace I might be able to do a Turkey Day 5K in.  I felt kind of tired and weak today though, I couldn't ever push my heart rate over 175.   I was going to do 3, but I only did 2 because it was wiping me out.  I guess it was just one of those days.  I would like to do the 5K in under 19 minutes, but after today I think beating my last time of 20:33 in August may pushing it for me.  We'll see I guess.

Here are my splits for the run:

8:27, 8:28, 6:34 uphill, 1/4 mile slow (10:03 pace), 6:29 downhill, 1/4 mile slow, sat down to rest and stretch, 9:55, 10:27.

Time: 55:15 - 8:31/mile - 145 bpm avg heart rate. 

I could tell it was going to be kind of a slow run when I was only going 8:30 downhill on my warmup.  I think I came down with something last night because my head hurt and I couldn't fall asleep until about 12:30.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 6.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 2 miles slow outside, lifted weights, and swam for 15 minutes.  Not much eventful to write about really. My left quad is tight from pushing too hard on Monday and Saturday, so I'm taking tomorrow off running, I think I'll bike instead...its been a month or so since I did that.  Depending on how I feel I may do a 5K on Thursday for fun.  I'm fighting a cold off right now though, which is why I felt sluggish yesterday and is kind of annoying.  I'm just pounding Emergen-C and water and hopefully it will pass quickly.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 2.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 190.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

What an amazingly gorgeous day for a run. I took the day off yesterday because I wanted to save my legs up for a longer run today.  Fortunately my cold was basically gone by today, I think drinking 4 Emergen-C's and a couple Airbornes per day along with a lot of water helped a lot.

This morning we got up early, packed up the kids, and went to Ft. Collins so Nan could do a fast 4 mile race with a competitive field.  She ran really fast, 5:32/mile avg I believe.

We got home at 12:30 and I threw on just my shorts and fiveFingers and headed out. I also brought a hip pack with water and 3 gu packs. Our friends house where we were going for dinner is about 13 miles away if you take the Big Dry Creek Trail which is a great trail.  It almost goes from our doorstep to theirs which is pretty cool I found out.  I decided to run to their house. The longest run I have done before today was 12 miles about 8 years ago and I remember it completely wiped me out because I didn't take any fuel and wasn't prepared. As I headed out today I felt great from the start at about 8 min/mile (slightly downhill). So I just kept that pace the whole time until the last two slightly uphill miles wich I averaged about 9 min/miles.

Total running time: approx. 1:47 - stopped for about 4-5 minutes total at a couple different points to drink water and stretch a bit.  I ate the 3 gu packs at mile 3, 7, and 11 and my energy was great the whole run.

It was sunny and in the 60's, could not have asked for a more beautiful day. I felt great the whole run and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I would have liked to go even farther but everyone was waiting on me to take some pictures.

I really love running now that I know how to do it better. It feels great.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 13.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50Weight: 188.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Change your knowledge and beliefs to change your experience.

About two weeks ago I tried to run barefoot on a dirt path around the pond by my house.  I went about twenty feet and stopped because it was too painful on my feet.

 I've since read about people who are perfectly comfortable running barefoot on dirt trails, and even in the snow, without pain or freezing their feet.  Before reading about other people's experiences my belief was that if it was cold outside my feet would surely freeze running barefoot.  And I had experienced for myself the pain of running barefoot on a dirt path, so I KNEW that was painful.

Then I read accounts from people who enjoy running outside barefoot in all conditions, and it caused me to question my beliefs.  Then I remembered that the last time I tried running barefoot on the dirt was before I learned how to run light with a quicker cadence and less pushing off my feet.  So I began to open my mind to the possibility that maybe I was wrong or was missing something.

I went out to try out some new beliefs this morning, and I can report that I have successfully installed a new version of beliefs that I like better than the old version.  I just returned from a 5.61 mile barefoot run around my neighborhood.  Over half of it was on gravel/dirt trails, the other half was streets or sidewalks.  It was thoroughly enjoyable and I was perfectly comfortable running over the dirt and the concrete.  At first I was really surprised when I took my first few steps on a dirt path and off the cement.  I kept wondering when it would start to hurt.  Then I was back on the sidewalk again.  Ok I thought, that was just a fluke.  That must have been a softer than normal, no rock, dirt trail.  Then came the bigger test, a 1 mile stretch of hard pack dirt and gravel trail through the golf course.  As I got on the gravel I noticed my steps become a little lighter, my arms swing a little higher, but no pain.  I ran on, in a sense of wonder, at the fact that I was running barefoot on a rocky path and it was actually enjoyable.  I passed a guy who gave me a strange look as I smiled and waved at him.

After about a mile I was back in the neighborhood.  Soon I was running on another dirt trail, this time I was really looking forward to it because I found it more fun to run on the dirt than on the road.  This trail went up a hill and I was running through some wet spots, some ice patches, some snow patches.  It didn't ever feel uncomfortable on my feet.

 Then at about mile 4 I was at the pond where I initially didn't want to run more than 20 feet on the dirt path a couple weeks ago.  I jumped on the path and it felt just the same as all the other paths I had been running on, no problem at all.   There were many walkers whose conversations seemed to reach uncomfortable silent lulls as I passed and they stared.  WEIRD!  Why did it hurt so bad two weeks ago?  I haven't been running barefoot outside at all since then.  My only logical explanation is that my form is much different than it was two weeks ago, much lighter, quicker, and more smooth.  In any case, my belief about running barefoot is much different today.

But, it wasn't ALL fun and games it turns out.  As I crossed the dam of the pond, the trail was a lot more dry and hard, with significantly larger marble sized gravel very thinly spread.  It was impossible to dodge the rocks, and no matter how quick my steps were, the steps were pretty painful for a couple hundred yards.  I walked for a few feet, and ran quite a bit slower through this section.  Then it was back to normal trail and it felt fine again. 

During the run I decided that this loop is going to be my barefoot benchmark loop.  I was running a pretty slow pace, I averaged 9:13/mile.  I'm interested to compare how I feel in the future weeks/months and how my 'comfortable barefoot pace' changes.  My finishing assessment today is that I didn't get any blisters and in general my feet feel fantastic.  The skin feels slightly tender on the pads of my forefeet, but it doesn't hurt to walk on.

I feel great that I have broken through the barefoot mental barrier, I'm going to start doing more and more running barefoot.  It was very enjoyable.

Bare Feet Miles: 5.61
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 191.40
From Nan Kennard on Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 14:56:46 from

NICE! I'm glad you made me read the story rather than just retelling it to me. The top quote is SO true! Its all in our head. Similar to how childbirth doesn't have to be "painful" if we just change our thinking.

From jun on Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 17:48:29 from

Congrats, that is a big breakthrough. I've done some trail running barefoot and you are right, it just takes some getting used to and a change in running form (generally to a better form). I need to test the coldness theory myself. I haven't yet dared. Maybe I will do that Monday when I'm back at work and can run the JRP trail (nice pavement).

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 12:41:02 from

yeah..the jordan river parkway is a great smooth trail, my Dad lives right on it in Draper and that was where I did my first real barefoot run earlier this month, it was really nice how smooth it was. I noticed that running on a dirt trail forced me to focus on my form even more though, which I liked. I'm interested to hear about your experience...I need more barefoot runners to compare notes with!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran the same loop today in FiveFingers as I did barefoot on Saturday to see the difference in feel and mostly pace at the same exertion.  But I ended up exerting more, I guess because it is easier at this point for me to push a harder pace with the FiveFingers than barefoot.

I did the 5.61 mile loop today in 44:00 (7:51/mile) - avg HR: 154 bpm.  Then I added 2 more miles at the end because I felt like going for an hour.  

On Saturday I did it barefoot in 51:46 (9:13/mile) - avg HR: 140 bpm.  Obviously based on my heart rate I was taking it a lot easier on Saturday.  But today didn't feel hard, I kept it at a pretty comfortable pace.  HR in the mid 160's is a multiple hour endurance race pace for me, so mid to low 150's is a really comfortable pace.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 7.61
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 189.00
From Carolyn in Colorado on Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 12:34:04 from

I enjoy watching your progress and your comparison of barefoot and the FiveFingers. Thanks for sharing.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I learned something new today, that's for sure.  And it was a really fun run.  There's something really cool to be said about trail running.  I'm probably not equipped to say it at this point, but I know there is something really cool to say about it...help me out if you know what it is.

Nan and I did our first real training run together I think since she was in college.  We planned to do a 12 mile trail run into Eldorado canyon, but then it snowed 6 inches over night and was 15 degrees in the morning and still snowing.  So we did it anyway, because hey, we already had the babysitter.  And what else were we going to do...run 12 miles in the snow on the road?  Besides, I had been looking for a good excuse to test out my FiveFingers in the snow.

 It turned out that we went just over 13 miles, because we ran an extra segment up a long hill when we didn't know where we were going.  Nan went a little farther than me because in the last few miles, especially up the 13th mile which was a 400 foot climb, I was putting along MUCH slower than her.  So she circled back for me a couple times.  But here were my stats:

13.1 miles - running time 2:13:38 - 10:12/mile.  Elevation gain and descent: 1461 ft.  Avg HR: 147

Its hard to go very fast in 6 inches of snow, especially up steep rocky trails where you have no clue what you're going to step on next.  It really forces you to take quick steps so you don't come down too hard on an invisible rock.  It was really fun though.  There were a couple steep downhills with drifts up to a foot deep where we had to take it really easy because there were a lot of big huge rocks completely invisible.  Most of the trail though was pretty smooth dirt pack with only 4-6 inches of snow.

As I started the run, within the first mile I commented to Nan that I was almost certain my feet were not going to last for 12 miles in the snow without me getting frostbite or something and that I would probably only want to do a 3 mile loop.  The first mile or so they seemed to be getting colder and colder.  Then it slowly started reversing and by mile 2 I couldn't feel any cold, and surprisingly they weren't numb either.  As we stopped to go through a gate, I looked down and the snow was just melting off my feet and my feet felt warm.  It was a cool experience.  I had read that it would happen, but I certainly didn't believe it until I experienced it.  For almost the entire rest of the run my feet were perfectly comfortable and warm.  In fact at mile 10 when we were on the road, it felt refreshing to go through puddles and have cold water run over my feet.  It was pretty strange, but I was not complaining!  I was kind of in awe.  When I stopped to drink some water and stretch, it was pretty weird to think about having just run 11 miles over snowy mountain trails with nearly bare feet without discomfort.  It just didn't seem to add up...but aparently that's how it goes with barefoot running.  It tends to not coincide with the commonly held beliefs of our day and age, and yet it works wonders.  So what did I learn?  I learned that it can be completely comfortable to run in the snow with bare feet exposed.  And that makes me happy, because I live in Colorado and I like running barefoot.  Next snow run for me is going to be without the FiveFingers...when I'm on more familiar/smoother terrain.

Here are a couple pictures of Nan and I after the run posted on her blog 

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 13.10
Night Sleep Time: 7.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.00Weight: 189.00
From Jon on Wed, Dec 02, 2009 at 17:31:58 from

Yes, trail runs are the best. And trail runs in fresh-fallen snow are even better. Sounds like you had fun.

From Lyman on Wed, Dec 02, 2009 at 17:39:11 from

You are an animal (and I mean that literally). I started running once a week barefoot but bailed when it started getting cold. So now I'm going to try it again in the snow with my five fingers on. If I get frostbite I'm blaming you.

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Dec 02, 2009 at 18:20:15 from

Uh-oh, I guess I better be careful what I post! I'm not sure I want that kind of liability! Just know that when you start out its probably going to be cold but once your blood starts really flowing to the feet will they start feeling really good. It's pretty incredible actually.

I totally understand not wanting to run in the cold...I've been through phases of that. But if you dress warm (except on your feet of course) its really enjoyable, much more than treadmill running in my opinion. But I don't like stationary training much either biking or running.

Do you run with FiveFingers on the treadmill a lot?

From Little Bad Legs on Wed, Dec 02, 2009 at 21:14:41 from

The pictures of your feet in FiveFingers and snow are awesome. Very impressive run today!

From Danny on Thu, Dec 03, 2009 at 00:34:40 from

So here I am, bummed about my little injury and wondering if barefoot running is worth the effort, and then you post something awesome like this. You've inspired me, I'll keep at it. I think I need to get off the pavement and onto the trails more, especially during the transition. Great run man!

From Aaron Kennard on Thu, Dec 03, 2009 at 10:58:58 from

Well Danny, I still owe you...if you hadn't called me a month ago and convinced me to ditch my shoes, my runs would probably still be maxing out at a mile with my knee locking up on me.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

It was about 30 degrees outside so I bundled up. Beanie, under armour tights and shirt, another long sleeve shirt and running pants, 2 pairs of gloves.  It was sunny but cold out.  It was a beautiful and very enjoyable run, most of it on snow packed trails, with a couple miles on the roads to and from the trails.

Ran for exactly 1 hour.  9:09/mile.  

Just took it easy, enjoying a fun barefoot run in the snow.  In general everyone at the dog park I was running through either looked at me incredulously or made some comment that I didn't hear because my ipod was turned way up as I was really enjoying running, and singing along to my favorite songs.  I just smiled and waved.  I was running at sing-able pace, and just really enjoying being out.  I noticed that not ONE of their dogs were wearing shoes, and they all seemed to be having a great time running around too.  Apparently you only need shoes to keep your feet warm if you're just standing or walking around.

Bare Feet Miles: 6.56
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 189.00
From jun on Sun, Dec 06, 2009 at 23:59:33 from

You beat me to the snow running. That is so cool that it is true that you can run in the snow. I really think I'll wait till I have fivefingers before I try it since the thing I fear most is what might be hidden under the snow. But I'm excited to try now. Great job the last couple of days.

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Dec 07, 2009 at 12:14:00 from

Thanks. Running on packed snowy trails doesn't pose much of a risk, but 6 inches of fresh powder over a rocky trail leaves a lot of surprises for sure. I was glad I had the ff's on for that. It still kind of boggles my mind though that its possible to run comfortably barefoot in the snow.

From redrooster on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 14:08:53 from

I think I will try a couple miles tomorrow in the FF in the snow. You have the sprints, right? thats what I have. I guess I will put on some injinji socks and see what happens! Are you going to run the bolder boulder in May in your five fingers?

From Aaron Kennard on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 15:20:07 from

Cool, good luck with that redrooster. I do have the sprints. It took me a mile or so to feel like my feet were really warmed up when running in the snow. Then they seemed to just feel pretty great. I may run the Bolder Boulder, and if I do it would either be barefoot or in my ff's. I'm planning right now on doing the Ogden Marathon in May and I think that's right before Bolder Boulder so we'll see. I am building up to barefooting a marathon distance, but I may be tempted to do ff's at Ogden if I think it will help me go faster...we'll see.

What do you say jun? Ogden marathon either barefoot or in ff's? I'm planning on it either way, I know you have a bunch of other big plans.

From jun on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 15:29:19 from

Sounds good to me man. I think I would do it in FFs. I doubt I'd be ready for that distance barefoot. In FFs I think I could almost do it now. I'll have to test my distance out when I get a pair.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

After taking 2 full days of rest from running my feet and legs were feeling pretty well recovered today.  I ran for 50-55 minutes, about 6 miles, at about 8:40 pace around the track at the gym.  I just felt like taking it really easy and enjoying a slow run.  It was on the other end of the extreme spectrum from my last two runs which were in the snow, and it felt good to give my feet and mind a break.  Its a lot different running in the elements without shoes, you're forced to think a lot more about what you're doing.  Today I was listening to the end of the book Born to Run and just enjoying it for the second time.  I heard some good stuff the second time around that I must have missed when the kids must have been screaming in the back of the car the first time I listened to it.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 190.00
From Burt on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 15:14:56 from

Hasn't the prophet said you learn something new every time you read it? Or was that a different book?

From redrooster on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 15:19:16 from

nice picture! I am getting out in the FF tomorrow. If I freeze my toes off you may hear from my lawyer though.

From Aaron Kennard on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 15:26:04 from

burt- Ummm...I know barefoot Ken Bob looks like an old school prophet (www.runningbarefoot.org), and he would probably say so, does that count? You might be thinking of a different book though.

redrooster - I hope to hear from you and not your lawyer, but I will disclaim that I haven't tried it in below 10 degree weather, it was at least mid teens or higher when I ventured out!

From jun on Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 15:33:27 from

I can attest to the attention level when running barefoot. You actually get mentally tired after a longer run. Nice job taking a break.

From Adam RW on Wed, Dec 09, 2009 at 11:30:57 from

I'm glad the rest paid off. I definitely have to revisit that book. The first time through was so motivational.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

6 miles - 46:17 - 7:43/mile avg - On the treadmill for 5 and then 1 around the track.

warmed up for only a mile (too short I found out) - then did 3 x 800 meter repeats at 6:30/mile pace with 200 meters at 8 min.pace in between.  After the last one my heart rate was in the high 170's.  I scaled back to 8:34 pace for 3/4 mile to try to get my heart rate down but it wouldn't go lower than 169.  I didn't warm up long enough apparently.  So I figured if my heart rate was going to be that high anyway I might as well run fast.  So I did another repeat at 6:30, except I stopped after 400 meters because it hurt my heart and I was kind of done with that.  Then I kind of suffered through the last mile at 8 min pace.

After 5 miles I got off and sat down, I was drenched in sweat.  After 4-5 minutes of sitting there my heart rate was down close to 100, so I went to the track and did another easy mile at 8:12.  That felt good, I didn't want to end my run on a painful slug-it-out note, because those notes aren't all that enjoyable necessarily...and I like to enjoy running.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 6.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00Weight: 188.00
From Carolyn in Colorado on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 12:27:10 from

It's nice to have evidence of the importance of a proper warm up.

Inquiring minds want to know: did you drip sweat all over the TM? I've been doing that lately.

From redrooster on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 14:59:30 from

you are looking good, keep up the great work. and it looks like your calves are holding up in in the FF? I did about 4 and a half in them on the indoor track today. But running to get over there- boy did my feet soles get cold. I don't think I am brave enough to take them outside this winter. it was about 10 degrees though.

From Aaron Kennard on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 19:50:31 from

carolyn - I don't think I even dripped once because my shirt was completely saturated...or not...I don't know, I probably drenched the equipment too.

Red- yeah, 10 degrees I haven't tested yet, I've been fine in them in the 20's and 30's. But it also takes a good mile or so to warm up the feet, so even in 30 degrees mine are cold at first until the blood gets flowing.

My calves don't get sore at all actually. They did at first but I realized it was because I was running wrong. Once I learned how to relax and lower my foot all the way, and not push off my feet so much my calves haven't had any pain at all. Even on the 13 mile runs my calves feel great. My feet tendons and muscles are still going through growing pains here and there though. I can tell I need a break when my feet are really stiff the next day. But my right pinky toe got broken 2 months ago and that has not been helping my right foot.

From Aaron Kennard on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 20:03:49 from

actually I remembered better redrooster, the real turning point for my calves not getting sore was increasing my cadence to over 180-200 steps per minute. That is what allowed my calves to relax.

From Adam RW on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 22:51:23 from

I like the point about your calves. Mine still tighten up before anything else. That is are really nice pace for the repeats. Also, I think the heart rate is reasonable, what are your race pace and max HR?

From Aaron Kennard on Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 23:55:32 from

That's a great question Adam, I'm not entirely sure. I'm interested in what your race pace is relative to your Max HR. I'm not sure what my race pace HR should be really. I'm sure it's different depending on the race length. I think I can hold 165 for multiple hours. 155 I could hold all day. 175 I can only hold for 30 minutes or so.

When I did a 5K in August, I did it in about 6:30 pace. My heart rate was at 175 within the first few minutes and was up to 185 by the end before I slowed up in the last 100 meters because I couldn't hold it anymore. I think my max heart rate is about 190, I've spiked it in the high 180's, but I can't remember the last time it was up to 190.

Based on that what do you think my racing HR should be for a 5K vs. a 10K vs. Half marathon, in order to go out evenly or negative splits?

From Adam RW on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 15:29:24 from


Though I did my thesis work in a cardiology department there are a number of other people on this blog that are much more qualified to answer training and HR questions. So others please chime in.

I’ve only worn a HR monitor for my last few marathons and have been in the upper 170s. My max HR is ~200 and I have done so recently but that is usually for sub-5 min pace and only a very short amount of time on the flat or with a slight up. My 5K PR (on an aided course, downhill) was at 5:10 pace but I didn’t get a HR. My mile PR (also aided) was 4:46 with a HR of 182. Correction my mile PR was the first mile of the above 5K at 4:44 but no HR. This is the Magna 5K here in UT and it is BLAZING fast perfect downhill grade. So obviously course makes as much difference as pace for me. My last 6K was at 184 HR so my difference between 6K and marathon is not that large…

That being said I remember reading that marathon race pace should be about 75% VO2max. Where this fits on the HR scale I am not sure. So roughly if my max is 200 and I’m racing at 175-180 and your max is 190 and you are racing in the 175 I would say you are racing at a harder effort and if you are having problems in the second half could back off a little.

I’m not sure if this helps answer any of your questions but I’m sure someone will chime in. I’m also pretty sure that this has been discussed in detail on the discussion board. If you search heart rate in quotations there are a number of related discussions.

Sorry I couldn’t be more help, Adam

From redrooster on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 17:37:45 from

heart rate? I have never even measured it while running. I kind of figure if I get chest pain that is bad...VO2 max? too technical for me. I just ignore all this stuff and follow the tables in "Daniel's running formula" for paces to meet certain race goals. So if my goal is to run a 10K in 37:30, then I try to do the intervals, reps, and threshold runs at the paces his tables provide. I figure VO2max and heart rate will take care of themselves if we follow the training schedules. But I am just a hack amateur runner so my advice means little. I just can't micromanage all these quantitative numbers or it would drive me nuts. So I just let Daniel tell me what pace to run and do it. Or better, let Paul Petersen do it.

From Aaron Kennard on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 13:03:26 from

That's interesting data Adam.

I always track my heart rate generally because I think its interesting to know what it was relative to how I felt.

But I like your philosophy too redrooster. It's definitely easier that way. Although I like tracking mine because then I can use it as a guide to reinforce my decision if for example I'm out pushing it one day and my HR is extraordinarily high, I can notice that and back off the pace rather than overdoing it when my body needs a break.

From Adam RW on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 14:09:38 from

The main reason I wear the HR monitor is because the Garmin came with it. I do not spend a whole lot of time looking at it other than oh look there's my heart rate. That being said when the weather conditions were bad at SLC in '08 I looked at my HR instead of my pace so that I wouldn't get discouraged. One day I would like to do something with it but haven't really taken the time. I like your example of using it to know when to back off. I've also used it to notice when I'm overtraining. i.e. easy runs at HR higher than 170...

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Nan and I are in Steamboat Springs for the weekend.  It has been a really nice, relaxing morning.  We got up at 8 and ate something light and went to the fitness center.  I did 9 easy miles in 1:15.  That felt great.  Nan did 12.  We stretched and rolled our legs for a while, then went outside and relaxed in the natural hot springs that happen to be connected to the fitness center.  Ahhhh.  That felt good.  Breakfast at noon.  

It was -9 degrees this morning but really beautiful.  We're going snowboarding now for the rest of the afternoon, its a lot warmer now, its really sunny. 

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 9.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Nan and I are super hard core when it comes to snowboarding.  It's nearly 1 in the afternoon and we just got done eating lunch/breakfast after sleeping in until 8, working out at the steamboat springs fitness center, and relaxing in hot springs all morning.  Oh yeah...and I guess we should sneak some snowboarding in this afternoon since we already have the free pass anyway right?

 Today's treadmill run was surprisingly enjoyable again.  I just warmed up really slow (9 something pace) for the first couple miles.  Then increased the speed for the 3rd mile to 8:40.  Mile 4 I increased the incline to 2.  Mile 5 increased incline to 4 - HR up to about 160 at this point.  Mile 6 decreased it to 2.  Then I just finished the last 1.5 at about 8 min pace with no incline.  It felt great.  Total time was just about 1:03 to 1:04. 

** I just noticed after posting this that today I ran my 100th mile in my FiveFingers...that was fast...they don't show any real wear yet, but my feet are certainly a lot stronger than they were 100 miles ago...I wonder how the ff's will be holding up at 1000 miles.

Today marks the end of my 6th week of running since I bailed on the running shoe scene, changed my form, and started running only barefoot or in Vibram FiveFingers.  My legs and feet have worked through many different pains and sorenesses in lots of different areas over the last 6 weeks.  I feel like I have come a long way and my body is feeling really great.  I think it is due to the combination of rest days frequently, massage therapy and personally stretching and massaging with a roller and with my hands, getting out there consistently, and especially focusing on and continuously working on my form during each run.

I currently have some minor stiffness in my right foot around my broken pinky toe, but I have noticed significant and almost immediate improvement there when I have done my own combination of rolfing/push therapy to my foot (which is simply trigger pointing sensitive spots and moving my foot and toes all around). 

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 7.50
Night Sleep Time: 8.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 0.00
From Danny on Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 20:25:23 from

Congrats on the 100 miles! It sounds like you may be convinced that running is even more fun than speedwalking.

From jun on Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 23:25:03 from

Rough day, man. I'm glad you guys made it through. Love how many miles you've already logged in your FFs. I wonder how many total miles you've done barefoot and in FFs. I think I'm up to about 25 total miles barefoot. Nothing near where you are. I do get the feeling I'm getting some KSOs for Christmas. I'm extremely excited.

From Aaron Kennard on Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 00:07:38 from

Thanks Danny, but its race walking, come on, get it straight. Just kidding, I did it once, said I would never mock it again, but I'm going back on that now that I can run again, race walking is for goons (unless I can't run again sometime, then its cool again).

Jun, thanks for all your support, we couldn't have done it without you, it was pretty rough...especially the last trip down the mt. out of bounds in 2-3 feet of powder...it was harsh.

I've actually only done 27 miles straight barefoot, I'm logging barefoot and five fingers totals at the top of my blog.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

It was an absolutely beautiful day to run barefoot.  About 35-40 degrees and sunny.

I did a loop around my neighborhood and then up a 1.5 mile hill climb.  I LOVED the barefoot hill climb and descent.  I wanted to do it again, but I felt like I should get home and get going on my work for the day.  I can foresee more hill runs in my immediate future.  This week I think I'm going to go barefoot for every run, my feet and legs felt fantastic today and I didn't feel like any tenderness anywhere was holding me back.   

8.1 miles - 1:10:38 -  Pace: 8:43/mile -  HR 149 avg - Ascent/Descent: 1064 FT 

Bare Feet Miles: 8.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
From jun on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 23:19:32 from

So that was a straight barefoot run, no FFs? Not that the snow is bad, but how were the roads? I still fear the pebbles. I'm pretty sure I still have one in my foot from last week.

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 23:45:14 from

Yeah...no FF's today. The forecast is so awesome this week I'm really looking forward to barefoot every day.

The roads feel the best! My steps have to be super light and quick on the icy frozen dirt paths...once I get back on the road or sidewalk it feels amazingly smooth. It only took 2 or 3 barefoot runs to get the soles of the feet less sensitive to the minor stuff. The main thing to know is if it ever hurts, that's just telling you to change the way you are doing it.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A sloooooww but enjoyable barefoot run today.

10.3 Miles - 1:45:00 - 10:17/mile - HR: 129 avg - Ascent/Descent: 1097 FT

I used to always feel like if I wasn't running fast it was just a waste of a run.

I felt like I was training my body to go slow if I ran a slow pace. Well...I don't know if that's the case or not, but at this point I DON'T CARE! And it's a beautiful thing.

Why should I really care how fast or slow I run all the time? The point is I enjoy myself and I feel great. 

I guess I used to really care how fast I did races, and wanted to win, or be the best in my age group, etc. etc. But I also used to be injured a lot and very limited in my ability to race at all. And I got burned out very easily. And what was I really getting out of caring that much about beating other people? Not much really, it wasn't a good enough reason to keep me into it for very long.

These days I can't seem to get enough running. I am pretty sure that if I listen to my body, and enjoy myself, and run a lot, I will naturally get faster and stronger over time, but it doesn't matter to me like it used to. I like the thrill of racing, and I will be happy and feel good to race faster. But I don't need to prove anything to anyone like I used to. I hope to keep the new attitude, because my old one was pretty lame I realize now.

Some days I feel really rested and recovered and I naturally and easily go much faster. Today was not one of those days. Last night I only slept 5 hours because I got distracted working on projects until about 2:30 am. Plus I ran 8 miles yesterday at a decent pace, for me, so today my body was not feeling fast. But I loved the run.

I didn't know how far I would go, but I was listening to a good book on my ipod and pretty soon I was 5 miles away from home and I happened to be at the far point of a 10 mile loop, so I just kept going rather than turning back.

The run had a lot of hills, which I also enjoyed quite a bit. The temp. was in the high 30's, it was sunny, the roads were dry. I am really grateful that my body feels so good and that I can run for multiple hours and not feel like I'm hurting my body, but helping it.

Afterward I worked on my hips, gluts and legs with a roller to really relax and loosen the muscles and that felt great. Then I spent about 20 minutes working on my feet with my hands. There were multiple little tender areas in both feet, and after working on them, most of the tender areas had significantly decreased or gone away and both feet felt loose and happy. I am really glad I learned that technique, it has helped my feet recover so fast and feel great. It has been VERY helpful in transitioning to barefoot running because the feet are so integral. My feet are feeling much stronger and more healthy than ever before in my life.

It actually feels pretty empowering to be able to run comfortably outside barefoot I have found out. There's something about it...I'm not sure what it is exactly.

Bare Feet Miles: 10.30
Night Sleep Time: 5.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 5.00Weight: 190.00
From Danny on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 22:48:57 from

Wow, I swear you can read my mind. I just posted on my blog how it's discouraging to run slowly, and I wish I could pick up the pace comfortably barefoot. Maybe I just need to relax and enjoy the journey, eh?

From Carolyn in Colorado on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 00:27:48 from

Very nice new attitude.

From jun on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 11:25:47 from

Love that attitude. You are meant to run ultras sir. The trail/ultra attitude is so different from road races. While 10% are really concerned with how well they finish the other 90% are just out there to enjoy their surroundings, meet new friends, and try and do their best only for themselves.

And man, 10 miles barefoot. That is awesome. Your feet are really coming around. Way to go.

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:42:46 from

I think there's no maybe about it Danny! What's the point in not, right?

Thanks carolyn and jun. Today the pads of my feet are a little tender, 3 hours of barefooting rubbed away some of my soles so I'm going to give them a day or two to grow back...I'll probably go with the FF's tomorrow.

From Metcalf Running on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 14:07:49 from

Amazing run!! Great attitude!

From Adam RW on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 13:21:47 from

I agree with Carolyn.

Also, I've found that since I do my easy days EASY. I tend to have less injuries. I wish injury free but at least less...

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Well that was LAME! I got nailed with a cold or something on wednesday that kind of wiped me out through yesterday.  Maybe it was a good thing because my legs and feet are feeling pretty good today with 3 full days of rest, and now my sickness is gone which is a relief, so today is looking promising...

I think I'm going to explore a new trail run for 2 or 3 hours when Nan gets back from her workout...I'm excited. 

Later -

That was fun.  It kind of beat the snot out of my feet and legs though.  I ended up doing the same trail I did a couple weeks ago in the snow with a slight variation adding another loop with and additional 500 feet of climbing.  This time it was a mixture of rocky trail, rough hardened ice/snow sections, a 1/2 mile of downhill in ice/snow I had to walk, and a lot of mud.  Good times.  It was very slow going for a lot of the time though because of the rough trail.  There were a lot of gorgeous and fun sections of the trail, then there were a bunch of really slow difficult sections where the ice or mud made it hard to go.  As I got higher and higher, it got better and better.  Until I got to the top and went down the north facing slope.  That was the worst section, trying to go straight down a steep hill for 500 yards of pure ice and snow coming down from the high point of the run.  In FiveFinger Sprints it's a lot easier to go uphill in snow than it is to go down...probably would be in any shoe though.  I had to walk/slide that whole section.  

Totals: 11.61 Miles - 2:15:00 - 11:38/mile avg - HR: 140 bpm - Ascent/Descent: 2,251 ft 

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 11.61
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 187.00
From Lyman on Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 21:01:36 from

Nice run Aaron. You need to see if the vibram folks can start putting studs on the bottom for winter running.

From Adam RW on Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 22:08:42 from

There has to be a way to convert your training for toughness points. You sure know how to test your limits.

From redrooster on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 00:00:29 from

great run, makes me want to get out there in the snow in my five finger sprints.. just gotta get the courage up... and get my calves a bit stronger too.

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 20:04:20 from

Thanks all. They do make some new FF's with tread now, the KSO treks which look pretty cool. I think I will eventually get some of them for trail running.

Hopefully those toughness points will get me something right? If the beatdown doesn't kill or injure me it should theoretically make me stronger?

Now I'm taking a few days off to recover because my upper calves are really feeling it from all that steep descending they were not used to. I'm cautious to jump back out there too soon after thrashing myself like that because my legs and feet are still sore. I still have nightmares of being sidelined for 6 months from any physical activity for IT injuries...having fun running and avoiding injury are my top goals. The cool thing is that now 6-7 miles barefoot feels easy and doesn't take much recovery, where 1 month ago that was beating me up pretty badly.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I tried to run in the shoes I was wearing to the gym tonight to try to remember what all the shoe hype was about. After 2 laps around the track I had to kick them off and go in my socks...ahhhhh, that was better. My knee was already getting annoyed after 2 laps with those shoes, even though I was trying to run just like if I was barefoot. If I ever feel the need to run in shoes, they are going to have to be light, flat, flexible and have little to no padding I think.

I just did 3 miles super easy tonight at about 8:15 pace to loosen up my legs and feet.

They're feeling almost totally recovered from Saturday's beatdown, tomorrow I think I'll feel like going for a little longer again.

I also lifted light weights for 30 minutes tonight.

Now I'm just about done with a 30 minute spin on the bike in the gym that went by almost instantly since I was reading people's blog entries the whole time.

By the way...anyone in salt lake on new years should come finish 2009 running with Nan and I and do the new years eve sugarhouse 5K. I'm working up the guts to run it in my shorts only. I'm not worried about my feet getting cold, but my hands...I don't know if I'll wuss out and wear gloves or not...you'll have to come do it to find out.

Bare Feet Miles: 3.00
Night Sleep Time: 9.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 9.00Weight: 190.00
From TBarlow on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 00:30:32 from

Awesome! My sister in law and I are running it. I've never done a race at night - should be fun. I'll watch for you and Nan in the winner circle!

From Carolyn in Colorado on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 00:45:14 from

I'm thinking about running it, but it's my oldest son's 18th birthday and so my first allegiance is to him. I'll have to see if there's something else he wants me to do. He would be hanging with friends if we were home, but since we'll be in Utah, he'll be stuck with family.

From jun on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 13:01:20 from

Is it actually at New Years? One of those races where the first one to finish at exactly 12:00 wins? I would love to, but I don't know if my wife would let me. I'll have to ask.

As for running in shorts only, would you even have to ask me? Shorts, tank top, 5 fingers, THAT'S IT! If my wife will come to watch I'll do it with you for sure.

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 13:15:59 from

Jun - You should do it! Hopefully she would come support you in your craziness just to get the photo if nothing else. The race starts at 11:30 PM. The winners and a large portion of the participants will be done by 12.

But I'm talking about short shorts, and nothing else. Bare feet, no shirt. I may wuss out of part of that if its sleeting or something...But I'm definitely going barefoot regardless of any conditions. Maybe a headlamp?

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 13:19:02 from

Here's a link to the information and active registration:


It says there is an award for best costume, c-c-coldest runner, and fastest Male and Female. My only hope of winning anything is the coldest runner award, but I will be highly surprised if anyone else shows up with no shoes

From redrooster on Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 20:34:20 from

eunning in barefeet- no five fingers even? wish i could be there just to see this, but I think I will stay where it is 65 degrees, thanks anyway!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Merry Christmas! 

What a great day.  I love Christmas at home.  The kids woke us up at about 6 am and I guess I didn't explain the rules all that great to Abe because by the time we were out of bed there was already wrapping paper all over the floor and he had opened 3 or 4 presents already.  It was pretty funny actually.  I guess it was reasonable logic for him: it was Christmas, they had his name on them, so he might as well go for it!  Next year hopefully I'll remember to explain the rules of waiting for everyone in order to prolong his agony and suspense.

 After eating candy, playing games, eating lunch, playing more games with the kids, and taking a nap, I went for a run.  I felt really well rested since I only had run 3 super easy miles since last Saturday.  But I felt really good that I took the time off, because my legs and feet really appreciated the rest.  

Today I must have been itching to move though, because I felt great and I kept getting faster the whole run.  It felt so smooth to run today, I was loving it.  Mile 4.5-5.5 was a 120 ft steady hill climb and I just hammered up it feeling awesome.  By the top of the hill my HR was at 173 and when I crested it and started going down I felt an awesome rush of endorphins or something.  It was awesome!  I don't even know how to describe the feeling, but it was really cool.  I thought it felt like winning a big race or something.  Not that I would know, because the biggest races I have actually won were podunk town 40 person triathlons with no competition.  Anyway, it was a fantastic feeling, and was one of those many things that make me love running.

I ended up going out for 3.1 miles and then back for 3.1 miles.

1st 5K - 23:46 - 7:40/mile - First 1.5 miles were pretty slow warming up and running over snow and ice, then I started running 6:30-7/pace as I was on the dry street.  It was a lot of down hill.  HR:  152 avg - Ascent: 161ft Descent 280ft

2nd 5K - 23:00 - 7:25/mile - HR: 162 avg - Ascent: 257ft - Descent: 135ft - most of the run back was fast and clear road, except the last 1/4 mile of snow/ice that was a nice cool down anyway.

What a great day!  I love days like this.  Playing with my family.  Working out.  Resting.  Relaxing.  Life is good. 

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 6.20
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 8.50Weight: 0.00
From redrooster on Fri, Dec 25, 2009 at 21:09:42 from

nice run, you are really turning it on! your dedication in the five fingers is awesome. I can't believe the feet don't freeze but I guess the motion keeps them warm!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

It was in the low teens this morning in Salt Lake.  

I met up with my good friend Danny, we both happened to be in Salt Lake for the week from out of town.  We had a really easy enjoyable run for close to 2 hours.  It was great.  It's crazy how fast the time flew by since we were catching up on stuff and chatting the whole time.  I felt like I could have kept going for a long time at that pace which is a good feeling.  

I'm currently training to be able to run 30 miles on my 30th B-day in February and I don't care at all about how fast or slow I do it.  My only goal there is to build up the endurance to comfortably do that without needing a lot of recovery and without injuring myself.  Here are the stats for today:

13.1 miles - 1:54:07 - 8:43/mile avg - HR: 136 avg - Really flat, easy run along the JRP trail, redwood road, and the legacy trail for a bit. Some sections of the legacy trail were slower going due to snow/ice/crud all over the trail, but most of the run we clear asphault.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 13.10
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
From Jon on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 14:57:01 from

If you can run some/all of your 30 miles on dirt or grass, it might help avoid injury.

From Lyman on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 14:58:11 from

I was sooo tempted to run the Legacy Highway trail today but ended going to the gym wife my wife. Should have gone, I would of seen you guys.

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 15:03:02 from

Thanks Jon, I probably will. There are some really great single track trails that I can easily piece together 30 miles on right by my house. I just hope there's not snow on them that day.

Lyman - you didn't miss much on the legacy trail, it was all cruddy and icy for a lot of it, so we bailed on that and went on the roads back to the jordan river trail which was nice and clear.

From redrooster on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 16:16:58 from

you deserve an endorsement contract from vibram with these kind of miles in the five fingers and in this weather. nice job.

From jun on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 13:19:13 from

Way to go Aaron. I still can't get past 7 miles in my VFFs without my calves getting really tired. I'm trying to keep my running in them to about 3 days a week or so until my muscles can get stronger.

Good luck in the 5k tonight.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

we went to the bountiful rec center and i just did a few easy miles and lifted weights and did pullups and stretched.  it felt good.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
Race: Beat the New Year 5K - sugarhouse park (3.1 Miles) 00:19:39
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today I did a 5K road race barefoot, there's a first time for everything right? Maybe...not. 

My wife Nan, myself, my sisters Emily and Ashley, Emily's husband Adam and my friend Steve Wilson went out to run. It was a fun way to end the year. Nan and I warmed up taking a 1.5 mile loop around the course and I was wearing a lot of clothes and gloves and my fiveFingers with socks. 

Then I stripped off all my clothes except for my really short shorts. It felt great actually, It was annoyingly hot with all the clothes on. It was in the 20's I think but it felt good. The weather was really calm and the course roads were really clear. 

We got to the start line after almost everyone and I was really surprised to notice that I was the only one around in bare feet. I mean come on, where was the competition? There were plenty of bikini sporting ladies and speedo wearing guys, but they all seemed to forget to take their shoes off for the coldest runner competition. 

Needless to say, and skipping to the end here, I won the award for the 'coldest runner'! A plaque! Hurray, it was so worth it. Mmmmm, ok , maybe not so much, the jury is still out actually, we'll see how the bottoms of my feet feel tomorrow. 

Anyway, the race was really enjoyable. I didn't wear a watch or heart rate monitor or anything which was kind of cool for a change. I just tried to not go out too fast. I ended up falling in about 50 feet behind Dane the 52 marathons in 52 weeks guy who wrote a book about that. I didn't know it was that guy until I chatted with him after. I couldn't quite catch him, but he said he had a slight advantage on me because he had done a 50 mile warmup run earlier that day. Advantage?!? I guess you could say that. Or that was his not so subtle way of saying he can totally kick my butt. But probably he was just using it as an excuse to share his running accomplishment, which is pretty amazing in my opinion, that he can run a 19 something 5K after a 50 mile run in the 8 min pace range. I thought that was pretty cool and kind of inspiring. He was dressed in short compression shorts and racing flats I think. I ran behind him the whole time and just tried to keep him in my sights and reel him in but I never could catch him. 

But I felt great. My legs felt fantastic, my heart felt great, and my feet felt great until the very end. And I didn't go out too fast. The whole time I could tell I was getting faster. Until the end which is uphill, and my left ball and toe were starting to get sore. I was definitely not used to running that fast barefoot. And because the ground was cold and I was racing I had a harder time keeping my feet from rubbing weird. I have never attempted to go that fast barefoot before, I'm pretty sure 20 degree weather wasn't the ideal weather to be testing out new barefoot speeds. 

As I finished the 5K I felt great, my time ended up at 19:39 which I was really pleased with. I thought I would be a minute or so slower than that being barefoot, I didn't know what to expect. And I know I could have gone faster if I had worn my FiveFingers. I couldn't really push the pace any more at the end because of the couple sore spots I was getting in my feet. 

Nan finished a couple minutes ahead, first for women in 17:48 I think. 

Now in the aftermath my feet are pretty tender. They felt fine until the end of the race but it was about an hour after that they started to feel really tender on the pads and big toes. We'll see how fast they can recover from that one I guess. They are getting a lot better now. I think I'll stick with the FiveFingers in that cold of race conditions in the future. The race felt great, but my feet had a pretty painful spell about an hour afterward. 

***next morning*** 

Ouch! Here's my plan from now on when I run barefoot: listen to my body. 

My feet aren't very happy with me right now, because I didn't listen to the small hints of pain signals my body was sending me. 

The pads around the balls are really sensitive and I have a blister on each of my big toes. When I ran 8 miles and then 10 miles barefoot over 2 days recently, my feet were slightly sensitive after day 2, but I didn't get blisters and they didn't hurt to walk on. This time after 3.1 miles they are SUPER sensitive. 

Remind me to listen to my body when I run from now on. To me, the pain and potential injury of not listening to my body is not worth getting a faster time. I'd rather stick with proving to myself what I can do without hurting myself. 

I'm pretty sure my feet will feel better pretty quickly, but I still don't think its in my best interest to run faster than my feet are ready for. 

It was a fun race though. And now I have more experience and understand my body and current fitness level better. 

***Later on at night*** 

My feet feel pretty good now and my blisters have died down so I'm good to go for a run with jun and scott tomorrow in the ff's

***Next day***

My Feet felt great, and I went for a 6 mile trail run in the snow with no problem and no sensitivity. I guess the sensitivity was just from a bunch of my skin that I wore off my pushing too hard and my feet recovered within a day. I'm feeling pretty pleased with that.

Five Finger Sprints Miles: 1.50Bare Feet Miles: 3.50
Night Sleep Time: 6.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 6.50Weight: 0.00
From jun on Fri, Jan 01, 2010 at 11:35:47 from

Awesome race. That is so cool you did it barefoot. I would have liked to have been there and tried doing it barefoot. I definitely would have done it in VFFs, but you are a super champ to go barefoot. Nice job. Still up for tomorrow's snowy slog?

From Burt on Fri, Jan 01, 2010 at 15:15:32 from

Nice job Aaron. Way to get some hardware, as they say. I'm going to live vicariously through you for the barefoot running so that I don't ever have to do it myself.

From Twinkies on Fri, Jan 01, 2010 at 15:16:41 from

Congrats on the coldest runner award. You earned it. Take care of those feet.

From Bec on Fri, Jan 01, 2010 at 16:55:56 from

This report is awesome! I love that you are getting into barefoot running with such great speed. I am excited to hear how your running will change because of the strength you will gain in your feet. AMAZING! I don't know if I could ever brave that.

From jun on Sat, Jan 02, 2010 at 22:14:23 from

Thanks for the run this morning. That was a lot of fun. I hope you guys got home safe.

From Little Bad Legs on Sat, Jan 02, 2010 at 23:32:02 from

Great report. I hope your feet have recovered!

From jess1 on Sun, Jan 03, 2010 at 01:09:02 from

That was a great time without the bare feet...in the freezing cold...at midnight. May your feet heal quickly.

From Aaron Kennard on Sun, Jan 03, 2010 at 20:15:53 from

jun - thanks, someday we'll get out and do a race in FF's.

Burt - I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way, but its a nice thought!

Twinkies - Thanks. Off topic, can you tell me the style of New Balance shoes you bought and where you bought them that don't have a thick sole? Jun was telling me about them and that you loved them.

Bec - thanks. Running barefoot or in FF's has changed everything for me. Its not as daring as it sounds though, I'm sure you could do it. I think you have to have a really good reason though. I'm sure I wouldn't do it otherwise.

little bad legs - thanks, the feet were great after a day of recovery.

jess - Thanks. And your wish came true too, thanks spending one of your 3 wishes on my feet!

From Adam RW on Mon, Jan 04, 2010 at 00:14:01 from

Sounds like a fun and interesting way to end the year.

From redrooster on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:58:20 from

finally reading some reports- that is incredible, I am amazed. congrats to both you and Nan on excellent times! get an A wave qualifier for the BB, you are almost there, and we can run together on memorial day!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Bare Feet Miles: 52.17Five Finger Sprints Miles: 136.62
Night Sleep Time: 160.50Nap Time: 1.00Total Sleep Time: 161.50Weight: 189.68
Debt Reduction Calculator
Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):