Report from Howard Jeffrey for this and the Leeds Park run:
I had felt jaded during the week after the Guy Fawkes 10 and could not gear up to do any speedwork in the week. Got the ‘call to arms’ for Saturday to support one of my second claim club mates at Valley Striders, Roy Huggins, who was doing his 250th park run at Hyde park. Good excuse to do some speed (and fiddle de dee to tomorrow) and try out my new minimalist racing flats ( all 2.3 ounces of them! Mizuno Universe 5 so named because they are the lightest in the Universe ..geddit?). Whilst warming up for the park run I felt so jaded that I nearly went home; even the shoes felt a bit insubstantial. No, I was there so I could always jog round. Come the start and when we got moving I actually felt great, the shoes were also imperceptible and my target for the day of 20 minutes pretty well hit at 20.03 and the bonus of first o/60 with 79.97% effort (the best to date). Calves a bit stiff for the rest of the day but I kept stretching and could ‘always jog’ the Dalby Dash if I had to!
I went up to Dalby Forest to do the 10K Dash today. Cloudless blue sky, sunshine without wind, perfect cool temperature in a picturesque part of the world. What could be better? Even had a new pair of minimalist trail shoes to try out. Back in the Otley AC vest again and the only one ( I recommend it). The course is 500m slightly down then 3.5K up a moderately steep private tarmac road on which I held my own, I think due to the cycling I now do. Surprisingly my ears ‘popped’ before I got to the top which normally only happens at altitude! Then… not to everyone’s delight but certainly mine…4.5K of downhill (on well compacted, dry trail). Yesterday’s blast forgotten I flew down the hill in passing mode (shoes were awesome) and kept up the momentum to the finish in 36th place out of 375 first o/60 in 41.36. The race was won by Mike Burrett of Leeds City in 32.14. First Lady Heather Tuffs (‘Unattached to York’!) in 40.02. Full results on ukresults.net here.
Note of caution: I have been progressing towards minimalist footwear for 3 years. My old running shoes now seem like Frankenstein boots by comparison but I did not do it from one day to the next. I had reasons and it has worked for me. I won’t go into details here but happy to explain to anyone if interested.