It’s surreal that for the last 85 days we have woken up and had the slightly intimidating realization that we are in fact running 500KM … barefoot.
There have been many lessons learnt along the way.
Here’s what we’ve learnt so far
When we first started training it was obvious we’d need to stack up our kilometres ASAP - both for the sake of building calluses but also achieving time-under-tension. We successfully ran ourselves into injuries and frustrations which eventually led us to Dr. Corey and Dr. Jordan Peterson at Foundation Sports Therapy. There we learnt the importance of cross-training and dialled in core strengthening moves that made us overall stronger athletes with increased endurance.
When we first started this journey, sleep got tossed out the window. There was a website to build, content to capture, workouts to design, sponsors to find, donations to gather, news to spread and SO much more. Because of all the demands there were many compromised nights that only sunk us into deeper exhaustion, muscle fatigue and brain fog. As we shifted our perspective and priority of sleep we received the mental clarity, endurance energy and overall positivity we needed to train with better intention and enjoyment.
Oftentimes we just eat to suppress hunger, but when you begin putting your body through such a strenuous routine it’s not about counting calories, but instead making calories count. For Sav her appetite was less than none after running meaning every bite had to include the restorative ingredients she needed for muscle recovery. For Asha the need for
extra protein left a sugar craving like none other. Working with Sam from A New View Nutrition eliminated
Both of us move at the speed of lightning. Which also means we crash HARD. But pretty quick into training we started to recognize the difference between just vegging and active recovery. For so many of us we experience an injury and just let our bodies become a sack of potatoes. With our strict deadline however, we had to be strategic over our recovery and ensure we were taking active steps to resolve any areas of weakness. This meant exchanging heavy training days with mobility exercises and doing little physio moves just before bed. All these things added up and accelerated our overall recovery.
There’s one unfortunate thing about our legs … they host our biggest muscle just above our most vulnerable joint … the knee. What does that mean? By the time we reached muscle failure our joints had long since reached the grave. Because we both were already heavily engaged in exercise, their muscles would keep going despite their ligaments, joints and tendons throbbing. It was frustrating at first because it’s hard to feel you’ve put an adequate amount of effort into a workout if your muscles aren’t rumbling and sweat isn’t dripping. But that balance was essential in preventing injury. Things like calf raises, dead bugs and side planks became the new norm - the necessity to keep on running.
We found plenty of good (and free) advice on good ol’ YouTube, but how do you get relevant advice when what you’re doing has never actually been done before? The barefoot runners helped us with our strides but led us astray with a pace that would last 500KM. The ultra-marathon runners helped us with our pace but completely disregarded our feet. We were getting half truths in every direction making it almost impossible to know who - and what - to believe. Once we recruited professionals and were able to actually tell them our story, suddenly things started to click into place. However good you think you are - however independent you pride yourself in being - creating a team of pros is going to pay off in the long run … big time. Some of the incredible individuals to help us train for the #500Barefoot have been :
Vital Massage Therapy
Foundation Sports Therapy
A New View Nutrition