Day 338 – Is My Running Streak Catching Up With Me?

November 19th, 2013

I’ve reached day 338 in my running streak and I was left wondering at the end of the run whether my running streak is starting to catch up with me. The run was only 6k but it was a race and I was starting with a couple of guys that I know I can keep up with.

It wasn’t very long before they were disappearing into the distance and I was finding it more and more difficult to breathe.

ExhaustedI’m Starting To Get Tired

It has taken almost 340 days of running every day but for the first time this year I have felt absolutely exhausted while I was running today. Could the cumulative effect of the running streak have finally caught up to me?

I mean, I’m still averaging over 10k per day and that has been going strong through day 300 and beyond.

The run was only a 6k run but I knew I was in trouble after the first 2 or 300 metres.

It was a race so the start was a pretty quick one and I expected to lose my breath…that’s par for the course. But what’s not usual is being unable to get my breath back at all. And that’s what I experienced today.

Now, I’m not particularly worried at this point. One day where I feel tired during the run is not that big of a deal. In fact, it is probably amazing that it has taken 11 months for it to happen. What I’d like, though, is some sort of warning that it’s going to happen. What I would prefer is a bit of a lead up where a few runs in a row leave me feeling more tired than usual.

At least then I’d be sort of ready for it.

The only hint that I was not going to have a particularly good run today was when I walked up the escalators at the train station this morning. I usually reach the top and feel a little bit of a burn in the quads that quickly goes away once I’ve reached the top. Today I was left feeling decidedly winded which was a bit of a worry and was probably a portent of what was to come at lungh time.

I am tempted to put it down to giving blood relatively recently but that was more than two weeks ago now. I can understand getting tired quickly the next day or the day after that. But not two weeks later.

There is another factor that is also worth thinking about and it is definitely a factor that has to be significant. I was called from work last night at around 2:30am. I had to get up and log on to work to solve a problem. It took around half an hour to solve but I was awake for around 45 minutes to an hour.

I had gotten to bed around 12:30 so I had only been asleep for 2 hours before I was disturbed and then got another 2 and a half hours before I was up and preparing to go to work.

Am I Simply Sleep Deprived?

Maybe I was simply tired through lack of sleep today and it has just caught up with me. It’s certainly something that makes a lot of sense.

I’m sure there will be any number of sleep experts who would be lining up to rap me over the knuckles over the amount of sleep I get per night.

More often than not I am climbing into bed after midnight and my alarm goes off at 6 in the morning. With a routine of going for a run every day (and averaging 10k over such a long period of time) my energy reserves must often be falling dangerously low.

Hopefully It’s Just One Day

That’s my hope. Tomorrow I will be going out for another run. I will be very interested to see just how my body reacts. It will be interesting to see how I am feeling after the first kilometre or so.

If I were to get a good night sleep tonight and start again tomorrow I would expect that I will feel more comfortable in my next run. I will also be starting off at a more leisurely pace so there is little chance that I will be blowing myself away in the first 500 metres.

The alternative is that I have a longer term problem to deal with but I don’t want to jump to any false conclusions just yet.

Body Management Is Still Key

I remember back when I was at the 200 day mark and was feeling good about my progress. There seemed to be little stopping me at the time and, to be honest, that has continued through the 300 day mark and beyond.

This is another timely reminder that it is all about body management. Today’s run could simply be my body reminding me that every now and then it needs a rest. I think I might just do the smart thing and listen to my body.

There are still another 42 days until the end of the year and I am still on track to complete the full goal of running every day for the year. It’s now a matter of doing it smart and making sure I simply cover the distance without worrying too much about the speed that I’m running.

The Numbers For the Year So Far

So, with today being the 323rd day of the year I have now run…323 days this year. The total distance covered is 3,283km which gives me an average distance per day of 10.16km.

The way November is shaping up this may only be the 3rd month this year where I won’t top the 300km for the month. I’m not overly fussed about that given the way I felt today, but it would be nice to be able to push the 300 mark over the second half of the month.

My average pace per kilometre has slipped a little over the last month or so and is now at 4 mins 51 per km.

Day 233 – I’m Averaging 10k Per Day

August 22nd, 2013

REDFAY 2013My running streak has extended out to 247 days now and it is still going strong with the body and mind both coping very well. Without getting all superstitious or anything, touch wood.

As if running every day wasn’t challenging enough, I decided back around early June that I would also set myself an additional challenge of trying to average 10k per day. At the time I wasn’t too far away from hitting the 10k mark after a relatively slow and, shall we say, tentative start to the year.

Because I wasn’t exactly sure how the body would react to backing up day after day, the first few months included quite a few short days. By the end of April I had managed to average 10k per day for the month and did it again in May.

The realisation that I was sitting just below a round number such as 10k for my average daily mileage was too tempting to ignore. Many of the runs I do on a regular basis tend to fall just short of the 10k mark so I have now taken to continuing on after crossing what would have been the finishing line and doing a 400m to 600m warm down.

The result is many of the runs that just missed measuring 10k are now just over.

Of course, what this means is that I am now aiming at hitting 3650km for the year. As long as the body remains strong for the remaining third of the year this goal should also be achievable.

Running Pace

As far as my running pace is concerned, it has gradually come down over the year. Given that I have been healthy all year and I’m now doing a hell of a lot of running compared to other years, it is hardly surprising that my fitness is also improving. Fortunately it is being reflected in the pace per kilometre figures.

The pace has gone like this over the year:

Month Pace/km
January 5:01
February 4:52
March 4:49
April 4:45
May 4:48
June 4:49
July 4:46
August 4:53

As so often happens, we can see a dramatic improvement in running times for the first 4 months before a levelling off. This might also have something to do with the fact that just about every single run I do now covers at least 10k.

The first half of August has definitely been slower and that is largely due to the fact that I don’t have any races planned. Consequently, each run I do has been done at a consciously sedate pace. I’ve also been exploring new routes to mix things up a bit and that tends to naturally slow me down as I wander down paths and trails that are unfamiliar to me.

With the second half of the month to go and a planned longer training run this coming weekend (21k) I don’t expect my speed to drop much further. However, September and October will herald training for shorter distance races and this should mean that I can expect my average pace to drop.

I would really like to be able to lower my training pace closer to the 4:40 mark by the end of the year.

Day 200 – It’s All About Body Management

July 19th, 2013

REDFAY 2013Around 2 weeks ago I celebrated the 200th run in my running streak as part of my REDFAY 2013 challenge. Starting this challenge late last year means that I get to double up on the milestone celebrations. Today is the 200th day of the year and that means it’s the 200th day this year that I have gone out for a run. This is another milestone to be savoured, although only because the number of days actually ends in a ‘00’.

A couple of days ago I participated in an organised race over 6km which was actually a teams event. If I had have been running as an individual I think I would have saved my legs to a certain extent and taken it sensibly. But being a competitive individual I took off like a shot and tried to push it as hard as I could.

Fortunately the run didn’t end in disaster (i.e. pulled hammy or strained calf or what have you) but the result was a couple of very sore and tired legs. Considering I was 5 days out from the Sutherland to Surf it was probably not the most advisable build up I could have come up with.

So to make up for the extra effort on Wednesday I ran by myself yesterday and today at my own more relaxed training pace. The distances were both over 10k so I have managed to stick with my goal mileage but I feel far better for the runs because of the easier pace. I’m still hopeful that a time of around 44 minutes is not beyond the realms of possibility.

This means there are a couple of days to go until the Sutherland to Surf. Tomorrow I will be dropping my car off at the finish line and jogging home – I anticipate a distance of around 13-14k. It’s all about the planning and by parking the car at the finish line I will be able to make a quick getaway.

More and more it is becoming clear that this REDFAY challenge is about body management. Taking for granted that the body feels fine is not enough to ensure that injury isn’t waiting just around the corner. One of my fellow challengees has tweaked a hamstring and is going to have to try to run through it if he is to complete the year’s challenge.

It’s a timely reminder to keep scheduling in the recovery runs every few days to give the body a bit of a break.

My Rest Day Run

July 17th, 2013

Yesterday I mentioned that I needed a rest day and promised myself that I would take it easy on my daily run. That’s what I did, although as the accompanying screen shot illustrates, I still ran a little faster than the pace that was suggested would be ideal.

Recovery Run RBG

 

I went out for my run by myself, put on my iPod and cranked up the Kings of Leon, Green Day and The Killers and enjoyed the bright sunshine in the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. The pace felt fairly easy to me and I basically just explored the Gardens, turning down random paths as I got to them. My plan was to try to slow myself down to at least 5:20 per k but ended up averaging around the 5:00 mark.

I still decided to complete the full 10k that I have been trying to average every day for the year. I figured that at a slower pace there would be no problem with unduly tiring myself and that’s exactly how it turned out. The fact that the course was relatively flat also meant there would be little stress on the body.

By the end of the run I could feel that my legs were starting to feel more refreshed and ready to go for the rest of the week.

Running Every Day Requires Rest Days

July 16th, 2013

REDFAY 2013The title may sound as if it conflicts with itself but it is crucial that I remind myself of the importance of taking it easy every now and then.

Perhaps unsurprisingly I’ve been doing some reading about running every day. Participating in my own challenge has prompted me to find out more about what other people are doing and what they might have experienced along the way.

The main things I am looking for are possible pitfalls that others have fallen into. Some of them I can recognise in myself and am consciously trying to avoid them. I’ve just read a good little article on the SKORA Running website about the value of including a sensible rest day into the running streak schedule.

Training Too Hard Has Got to Stop

A mistake that many people make is attempting to perform their workouts at a pace that is too hard. This is particularly relevant for me because only yesterday I went out for a 10k run with 4 other runners who I regularly run with and felt as though I pushed it way too hard.

One of the guys I run with is naturally quicker than me and decided that he wanted to push things along. My mistake was to try to match his pace for as long as I could. The pace was too much for me, particularly because I should have been simply jogging along as a recovery for Sunday’s run. The result was my second fastest time for the course on a day that should have been a recovery day and a set of muscles that are very tender.

In response I am going to head out and do my own thing today to ensure the pace is light and easy. Today has to be a true recovery day and to do that I want to run alone so that I don’t feel obliged to run at someone else’s pace.

One of the traps I constantly fall into is attempting to beat the Virtual Partner on my watch. A feature of the Garmin Forerunner 610 is the Virtual Partner which allows you to nominate a training pace. During the run the watch will sound an alarm when you have fallen behind or moved ahead of the Virtual Partner.

Some days I start out with the plan of taking it easy…and then the Virtual Partner alarm goes off telling me I’ve fallen behind the pace. I can’t help myself and convince myself that it won’t take too much extra effort to beat the VP. Before I know it I have completed my recovery run at a pace way too fast.

Recovery Day Pace Suggestion

From the SKORA article I particularly liked the suggestion of the pace you should be aiming to run for your recovery run. The rule of thumb they provide is to aim for a pace that is 1.3 to 1.4 times your 5k pace. So a 5k pace of 4 minutes per km would be adjusted to a pace of between 5:12 to 5:36 per k. This is around where I am at the moment and a nice casual run at this pace today sounds perfect to me.

The fact that I am conscious about the need to put in a recovery day today, essentially a rest day, means that I have been pushing it too hard over the last few days. So for today I will be running on my rest day and will simply follow my nose as I ramble around the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens.

Lead Up to the Sutherland To Surf

July 15th, 2013

This week I am participating in the Sutherland To Surf Fun Run. This is an 11km run that takes us from Sutherland to Wanda Beach and is one of the few local runs still around. It will be the 42nd time the run has been held and I estimate I’ve participated in around 20 of them.

There are a number of reasons why I keep running in this race, not the least of which is its close proximity to where I live. The fact that the majority of the course is downhill is another big drawcard and you can usually count on a pretty quick time if you are fit.

This year I am hoping to get close to running 4 minute k’s for the event which will hopefully give me a time of around 44 minutes. The first half of my latest half marathon was covered in close to 4 minutes a k so that gives me confidence that I can repeat that this Sunday.

Today’s training run was a touch over 10k and it felt as though we were pushing along at a fairly solid pace, although only the middle couple of k’s were anywhere near the 4 minute per k mark.

We’ll see how the body responds to the solid pace.

For the rest of the week as a decent lead up I plan to do a flat 10k on Tuesday at a slower pace. Wednesday is a pairs run over a 6-7km course. It’s a race so I can use it as a mid-week speed session. Thursday and Friday will both be 10k runs by myself in the morning and that means a nice leisurely pace. On Saturday I will be parking the car at the finish line of the Sutherland to Surf and jogging home. This should give me a 13-14k run as a final warm-up.

The planned distance for this week will see me closing in on 2,000km for the year and a solid part of my REDFAY 2013.

Injinji Original Weight No Show Socks Review

July 15th, 2013

My quest to try new pairs of socks for the ultimate in running comfort has led me straight to the Injinji line. I spoke about my reasons for wanting to try the toesocks from Injinji here. Well, today I received delivery of the first pair of socks that I have bought so far which happened to be a pair of Injinji No Show socks. There was no time like the present so I took them for their first run to gauge their performance.

Featured below is my in-depth review of the Injinji Original Weight No Show socks starting from my impressions upon opening the package to how they felt while on their first couple of runs.

You can buy Injinji Original Weight No Show running socks here.

About Injinji No Show Socks

Here is what the company printed on the packaging of the socks. According to the packet the Injinji no Show running socks feature a 5 toe fit system. This system is made up of the following features

• Anatomic 5 toe design properly aligns toes, prevents blisters and promotes proper posture and balance.
• LYCRA fiber dual welt band with increased compression that holds sock in place.
• Mesh top provides maximum ventilation and breathability.
• Reinforced heel and toes along with COOLMAX Xtra Life fiber for increased durability.
• Designed to support arch.
• 55% Polyester, 40% Nylon, 5% Lycra

The package also reminds us that Original Weight is a moderate interface, everyday performance sock.

Here is a look at the socks as they were appeared in their packaging when I opened them.

Injinji No Socks In packet

The socks are certainly thin, thinner than the running socks I have been wearing and this gives them a lightweight feel. The inclusion of the LYCRA means that there is some stretch to the socks and this also keeps the weight down.

I was very impressed to find that there are no seams around the toe region which is a typical problem with many traditional running sock. Many is the time I have pulled on a pair of socks only to find that either side of the sock has a honking big knot that rubs on the smallest and largest toes. These socks have no pronounced seam and that bodes very well for its chances on being comfortable.

The Injinji No Show Running Sock Colour Range

This might be a good time to provide you with a look at the complete range of colours that are available in the Injinji No Show running sock line. I bought the Grey socks but they’re only 1 of 9 different options. Seven of the nine color options are made using the CoolMax XtraLife fiber while the Oatmeal and the Charcoal options are made using Nuwool Australian Merino wool. Here they all are below.

 Injinji No Show White Socks  Injinji No Show Teal Socks  Injinji No Show Pink Socks
 Injinji No Show Grey Socks  Injinji No Show Green Socks  Injinji No Show Blue Socks
 Injinji No Show Oatmeal Socks  Injinji No Show Charcoal Socks  Injinji No Show Black Socks

Putting The Socks On

Not surprisingly, putting these socks on is a little more involved than what you might find with a more traditional pair of socks. First of all, you’ve got to line each toe up properly so they go into their assigned spot. Once the toes are partway in you need to individually push the material down so that the toe is fully fitted into each sleeve.

I’ve got to admit, when I pulled the socks on for the first time and had them properly adjusted to my toes it felt a bit strange. That stands to reason seeing as how I have never worn these types of socks before so I would expect them to feel somewhat different.

At this point, too, I should add that I already have a bit of a problem with athlete’s foot so the skin between my toes is a little tender. For a few minutes after putting the socks I was acutely aware of the material between my toes.

The Socks On the Run – First Run

For my first run with my Injinji socks I decided to wear my old Asics Kayanos. I’ve owned these shoes for over 2 years and they have done around 700-800kms including a marathon. They are definitely molded to my feet and a reliable pair of shoes over the longer distance.

I went for a 10k run at a moderate pace so that I could get a real feel for how they performed. My overall consensus was very positive with a few observations to be made.

Firstly, I wear a size 11.5 shoe so the socks are Larges which are designed for a shoe size range of US 11-13. They fit fine and felt fine when I was walking around and stretching before my run. The first 500m of my run is a reasonably steep downhill gradient and I couldn’t help but notice that the socks were allowing my feet to move just slightly within the shoes. This is not something I have noticed with other socks before and while it didn’t hurt my feet or affect my running style, it was noticeable. This could be attributable to the newness of the socks and is something I will keep in mind as the socks get older.

Once I hit flat ground there was no movement within my shoes and the socks felt very comfortable. I felt the socks sort of settle and the slight movement first noticed subsided. This could also have been due to heat and perspiration causing the slipperiness of the brand new material to be reduced.

The initial feeling that came with getting used to the toes quickly disappeared and after the first kilometre they just felt normal.

The Socks On the Run – Second Run

The second run with the socks was a couple of days later and I wore my Nike Free 3.0 shoes. These shoes are around 5 months old and I have done just over 300km in them. I have a feeling they are responsible for a painful callus on the end of my second toe (which is longer than my big toe…I’m abnormal) but other than that they are very comfortable shoes.

The slippage issue that I noted on my first run was completely absent this time and the socks performed very nicely. I have quickly become used to putting the socks on as well as the feeling on the toes.

There was one issue that I noticed after the run. I have already mentioned that I was suffering from a case of athlete’s foot and this involves peeling skin between my toes. The skin was stinging between my little toe and its neighbour following this run and I believe it has happened because of the material from the socks irritating the damaged skin.

I can’t blame the socks for the small amount of discomfort that I’ve experienced because it was really caused by a pre-existing condition. Using the socks has highlighted the problem and has prompted me to get it treated properly.

My recommendation is to get any skin problems fixed before using these socks if you want to avoid any irritation.

They Keep Your Feet Dry

The socks are thin but not overly so. They allow you good feel and natural movement within the shoes. But it wasn’t until I reached around the 8 or 9 k mark that their true strong point became clear. Although sweat was pouring down my face and running into my eyes (as is normal on most runs) my feet were going through a different experience.

The socks were still completely dry at the end of the run. This is going to be a big plus when running in the warmer months because hot and sweaty feet can be a problem. The wicking performance of the socks was impressive but I’ll be interested to see how they perform over a longer run and on a warmer day.

When I took the socks off at the end of the run I was interested to find that they were virtually gripping my toes and had to be peeled off. This is obviously part of the key to preventing blisters because there is no movement between skin and material.

No Raised Seams

I think this is something worth highlighting again – there are no noticeably raised seams anywhere on these socks. The absence of raised seams anywhere on the socks ensures they are completely comfortable. The toe sleeves are only an issue in as much as I had never used them before. I quickly adapted to the feeling of each toe being “held” and it wasn’t a problem at all after about a kilometre of running.

I will also be interested to see if there will be any improvement in the health of my toes which have become pretty knocked around from running every day.

Take Care After Washing Your Socks

This warning may possibly sound obvious to some people but it’s better to mention it and avoid the problem rather than assume people will notice.

Injinji toe socks are left and right foot specific.

This is important because it means you’re going to have to be careful to match up the pairs back up again after they have been washed together.

You don’t want to throw them into your gym bag only to find when it comes time for your run that you have two left foot socks or two right foot socks. That will definitely make your run an uncomfortable one.

Let Your Toes Be Individuals

The bottom line is that it is surprising that running socks featuring individual toes weren’t introduced earlier. It makes sense that the toes should be allowed to perform independently of each other and be protected from rubbing against each other while they do it. We pull on a pair of shorts with our legs in separate holes and the same with gloves so why not socks?

The price is reasonable at around $12.00 a pair.

After trying these socks a couple of times I can safely give them the thumbs up for runners no matter what their ability might be or how serious about running they are.

More Customer Reviews

If you’re not convinced by my experiences you might like to read more customer reviews at Amazon.com.

Although I am mainly concerned with the running socks produced by Injinji this is not all the company focuses on. Injinji also makes a line of trail socks, yoga socks, liner socks and compression socks. For the complete range of socks made by the company as well as far more information about each you should visit the Injinji website.

How Well Timed Was My New Injinji Sock Purchase?

July 12th, 2013

I don’t know if it was a sign, fate or a nasty coincidence but when I took my shoes off this morning after a fairly standard 10.5k run I was greeted by the sight of blood all over the end of one of my socks.

Bloody Sock

The bloody result of today’s run

Coming only a day or so after announcing that I was going to be trying out some new brands of socks, it couldn’t really have happened at a better time. The fact that the socks that I have just bought are Injinji toesocks adds to the coincidence of the situation because I believe that if I was wearing the new socks my toe wouldn’t have gotten cut.

The cause of the bleeding looks as though it might have been from a sharp corner of toenail that may have dug into the surrounding skin on the same toe. I’ve had cut toes in the past where the nail from one toe nicked the skin of a neighbouring toe but I can’t remember it happening on the same toe. In my experience toe problems like this are a pretty common occurrence and extremely minor, although lots of blood is the result and a thorough cleaning required. I haven’t really let my nails grow terribly long but I obviously left a sharp corner the last time I cut them.

With a pair of the Injinji socks on I wonder whether the cut might have happened at all. With each toe encased in its own sleeve it is possible that it may have been better protected.

I tell you what, though, I would have been dirty if this had have happened next week when I was wearing my new socks. Blood is a bitch to remove from the weave of socks and I’d like to think my new socks will have the appearance of being new socks for at least a few weeks.

So all in all, I reckon my timing was pretty well spot on as far as deciding on buying a pair of running socks that take care of the protection of each individual toe.

I’m Buying Some Injinji Running Socks

July 11th, 2013

There’s always something new to try out when it comes to running equipment and apparel and while I can’t bring myself to wear a pair of Vibram Five Fingers running shoes, a pair of Injinji Toesocks kind of has some appeal. It’s time for me to update my socks and I have ordered some Injinji’s online. I’m just waiting for them to arrive.

The Search For Comfort

I’ve figured that I tend to spend a fair amount of time and effort (not to mention money!) on my running shoes so it would stand to reason that I should make an effort to complete the deal with a good pair or running socks. If I’m going to be on my feet for long periods of time, my socks are going to play an integral part in their comfort. So I’m prepared to pay a little more than what I have in the past (under $20 for a pack of 3 pairs) to ensure my feet feel good.

It makes sense that a good pair of running socks is a very important addition to the runner’s kit. After all, it’s the socks that are actually in contact with the foot every step of the run. Blisters, sweaty feet and blackened toes are all going to be minimized with the help of a good pair of socks.

I’ve started with the Injinji brand and the difference between these socks and other types of running socks is blindingly obvious when you see them. They come complete with toe sleeves.

A big deal (at least for me) is that no-one needs to know that I’m wearing what looks like gloves on my feet. Once they’re in my shoes they will look like normal run-of-the-mill running socks.

I can see that socks that encase each individual toe will keep the feet drier and that should result in a more comfortable running experience. By all accounts from those who have been using them they are particularly comfortable.

…And So I Have Ordered…

The socks that I have already ordered are a couple of pairs of Original Weight Run 2.0 Mini Crew socks (in Mariner Blue) and a pair of Original Weight Micro socks (in Grey). I was curious to see what the difference was between the two styles. To finish off the comparison test I have also ordered a pair of No Show socks in Original Weight (also in Grey).

Here is a look at each style of sock to get a visual idea of how they might differ from each other. Obviously the No Show socks are significantly smaller than the others and should align with the tops of my shoes, the Run 2.0 Mini Crews feature a breathable mesh section and the Sport Micro socks are a standard looking material.

Injinji Micro Crew SocksRun 2.0 Mini Crew Socks (Mariner Blue) Injinji No Show SocksRun 2.0 No Show Socks (Grey) Injinji Sport Micro SocksSports Micro Socks (Grey)

When all three styles of socks have arrived I will take them for a few test runs so that I can compare them. I will be reviewing each of the different styles and will endeavour to make comparisons between the lot of them.

The Injinji running socks have been designed in three different weights giving runners the choice of thicknesses:

• Light Weight

• Original Weight

• Mid Weight

The recommendation is that the Original Weight socks are the ones that have been designed for the everyday runner and will perform well over most distances and all terrains. They have also been designed to be paired with all types of running shoes making them the ideal type of all-purpose running socks. As their website says, the Original Weight socks are ideal for the first time Injinji experience and that is good enough for me.

For the record the Light Weight socks have been designed for the minimalist and barefoot style of runners. The socks are ideal for running in milder temperatures and over shorter distances. They add minimal weight while providing maximum performance and protection.I own a couple of pairs of minimalist shoes and these types of socks might be perfect for them.

The Mid Weight socks are the most cushioned option and have been designed to provide plenty of protection for the foot. They are designed for people who require a great deal of padding when running over longer distances or when engaging in a hard workout.I don’t believe I need a pair of Mid Weight socks knowing that I am not a fan of thicker running socks as a rule.

About Injinji’s Sock Technology

Here is what the company says about the technology behind its design. The individual toes are referred to as AIS or its Anatomical Interface System. This has been used so that the toes are allowed to be separated while protecting them with an anti-friction membrane that is lightweight and breathable.

The seamless construction means that the sock is able to contour the curves of the foot and with the individual toes built in, that means from the heel right the way to every toe. The individual toe sleeves allows each toe to be activated which means the entire foot will be biomechanically correct in its movement. Activation of the toes also means that the foot will be more stable and will be capable of better grip.

These socks are made using COOLMAX® XtraLife fabric to help keep the foot dry and comfortable for longer. Added to that is LYCRA fiber to ensure a better fit which adds to the comfort of the sock. For superior durability the socks have also been made with COOLMAX® XtraLife fabric which means that it will continue to perform after the socks have been worn and laundered repeatedly.

All of the above comes straight from the manufacturer which gives you a pretty good summary of what the socks have been designed to achieve.

How Good Are The Injinji Socks?

Do they work? There’s a question that everyone wants to know and when you take a look at the Amazon website you get a pretty definitive and resounding YES. How do I know this? When you check out the customer reviews section for the Original Weight Mini Crew socks you can see that there have been 287 customer reviews left, of which only 6 were 1 star reviews and 10 were 2 star reviews. Conversely there were 197 5 star reviews.

So by any measurement you would have to say that the Injinji socks are extremely good socks and definitely worth pulling on for a test run.

Running Every Day Half Year Observations

July 10th, 2013

REDFAY 2013Halfway through the year and my Run Every Day For A Year challenge is going well. I thought I would stop and do some reflection on how the challenge has affected me. It might be instructive for others who are also considering taking on this type of running challenge. My running streak is now up to 205 days in a row but the challenge is to run every day in 2013, so I am officially at day 190.

I have behind me around 21 years of running experience where I would term my attitude as serious. Over that time I would estimate that I have averaged around 3 – 5 runs per week. I strongly subscribed to the belief that running every day was dangerous to the body’s well-being. Naturally, I based this belief on other people’s opinions and the dire warnings of experts.

The important point to highlight here is that my body has become used to doing a lot of running. Something that anyone who is considering this should take note of.

Strava Activity to July 9 2013How Did The Challenge Come About?

The challenge of attempting to run every day for a year was suggested by a friend towards the end of 2012 – around October, I think. It appealed to me for a number of reasons, not the least of which was my penchant for attempting all types of running challenges.

I felt it would provide me with a year long personal goal that would be achievable as long as I maintained my commitment. I have always run better when I have a goal – whether that is a race that I’m training for or something else. This is the something else that I hoped would work. There was going to be a bunch of us all attempting the streak so there was already a built in support system in place. (In all, 7 of us set out on the challenge – 5 are left).

The big attraction for doing this type of challenge is that there is no pressure on running a certain pace or for a certain distance. All of that is completely up to me (with the only caveat being that a run must be at least 2km in length to count). All I have to do is find a minimum of 10 minutes every day and the challenge will remain alive. Easy.

Notable Points

At 190 days into the challenge there are a few observations that are worth noting. These are purely my own experiences and will not necessarily be the same as others.

  1. The body is getting stronger. This is the biggest surprise that has come out of the entire experience. My expectation was that I was going to feel incredibly tired. Particularly because I had never run more than 7 days in a row before. I had prepared myself to be exhausted and that I would be dragging myself out each day but this is far from the truth. In fact I feel fresh and strong for every run – it’s amazing how quickly the body adapts.
  2. Recovery and rest days. A recovery or rest day now has an entirely different feeling. In the past this meant not running at all, now it means running a shorter course and at a slower pace. On some days my recovery day simply means slowing down my pace.
  3. There is time for a run every day. One of the fears before starting this challenge was that there simply wouldn’t be an opportunity each day to set aside time for a run. My experience over the last 190 days is that it is always possible to make the time to get at least a 2km run under the belt.
  4. My passion for running is rekindled. I should preface this by saying I have always enjoyed running, I’ve been running for over 20 years, after all. But at times I have found the passion subsiding a bit. Since starting this challenge I have felt reinvigorated and look forward to each day’s run like never before. It may have to do with the fact that I am feeling fitter and that every day represents a new challenge. It may also have to do with the fact that I have a GPS watch that tracks every km I run. I’m not sure, but I do know that I am by no means “dragging myself out there” each day.
  5. I need more running shoes. It stands to reason, doesn’t it? I’m running more, I’m covering more distance and so my shoes are going to wear out more quickly. I don’t subscribe to the recommended maximum number of kilometres the manufacturers give as a guide to when you should change your shoes, but I do understand that they wear out. I am currently rotating through 8 pairs of shoes – 4 pairs at work and 4 pairs at home. This may be overkill but the rotation of shoes tends to work for me.
  6. I’m exploring more territory. The mere fact that I am running every day has prompted me to start looking for new courses to run. Running the same route day after day gets old very quickly and caused me to desperately start scouring the maps looking for alternatives. My quest to keep things fresh and interesting has meant that I have run down some streets in my local area that I have never seen before…it’s amazing what you find when you step off the tried and tested path.

One extremely important point to note as well. I attempted to start this challenge in November 2012 to get an idea about how difficult it might be. I managed to run for 9 days in a row and then succumbed to a back injury that had me out of action for an entire week. I have been plagued with occasional back problems for the last 5 years or so and it hit me this time without any warning. It wasn’t looking good at all.

Once I had recovered I started again in mid-December and have been running ever since. The back is feeling good and, with any luck, is actually getting stronger.

I acknowledge that not everyone is going to be able to be able to cope with the rigors of running every day. Some people are more prone to injury than others and the added stress of getting out for a run every day could lead to a break down. That being said, if you are sensible about it and reduce your running pace while cutting down the distance my experience tells me it is a challenge that any motivated runner is capable of achieving.

I have another 175 days to go to complete my challenge. It no longer feels like the ridiculously enormous task that it did on January 1.

Just for fun I have included a screen shot of part of my Strava page that shows my running for the year. This indicates the number of runs I have done, the mileage and a few personal best performances throughout the year. The reason why the number of runs is 194 rather than 190 is because on 4 occasions I ran twice in a day (from memory, each time I stopped at a pub or a pop-up bar for a lunch-time beer before jogging back to work). Hey, you’ve got to find ways to add to the enjoyment of your runs, right?

Read more posts about my Run Every Day For A Year Challenge

Running Every Day For A Year 2013 – The Idea Is Sparked

Running Every Day – The Build Up

Running Every Day – First Update

Running Every Day – Day 200 The Halfway Point


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