Since I trained my legs hard on Saturday and my arms were still recovering from a previous training session, I decided to have a few hours of easy training yesterday and work on my balance. I found a nice long rail a little over waist height and decided this would make a good training tool for today.
My original plan was just to walk along the rail, turn to one side, crouch down, hold my arms out straight to the front for 5 seconds, then clasped behind my back for 5 seconds, stand back up and walk back. I found myself enjoying this and didn't feel ready to drop off when I reached the start again so I kept going, repeating the same walking, turning, crouching, standing, turning, walking process each time.
I wanted to find out how long it would take me to fall off the rail so I kept going.
The length of the rail was 144 of my feet, heel to toe and since my feet are 27cm long I later found out the rail was 38.88m long.
After 35 lengths I fell off, it was during one of the crouches I lost balance and dropped backwards to my feet. I was quite disappointed as it seemed careless and a lapse in concentration. I decided I would keep going to 50 lengths and do one additional barefooted length for every time I fell off since the rail was very cold and it seemed a small incentive not to fall off again.
I fell off again during a crouch around the 46-47th length and I can't put my finger on what I did differently which is frustrating, if I knew what I did wrong then I could fix it, but it just suddenly happened.
The other strange thing that I noticed with my focus on the rail for so long and an out of focus ground below it, is that after half a mile or so my vision was affected. When I would reach the end of the rail and crouch, turning to the side and looking ahead, the ground would appear to warp and ripple in waves!
This was very strange to me and didn't seem to affect performance but it was quite surreal and interesting to note that after enough time balancing my vision will be temporarily affected. It didn't last very long and settled down quickly but for the first few seconds of each crouch the ground was moving like the sea. I imagine it's just confusing to the brain for the eyes to focus on a rail moving backwards and the ground below out of focus doing the same.
After 50 lengths I jumped off the rail and removed my shoes and socks and repeated the walk up and down once again for the 2 falls, it felt nice and fresh and I noticed it was easier barefooted, your feet can grab the rail and wrap around it slightly.
To sum up:
Distance walked before first fall - 1360.8 meters.
Distance walked before second fall - 1788.48 meters.
Distance walked between the falls - 427.68 meters.
Total time crouched with arms straight out in front - 4.3 minutes.
Total time crouched on rail with hands clasped behind my back - 4.3 minutes.
Total distance walked - 2,021.76 meters // 1.26 miles.
This is by far the longest distance I've walked on a rail in one session and it was good training. My goal for next time is to do the 50 lengths barefooted without falling off once - and if I do I will start again from 0.
I felt as though I could have continued longer too, there was no strain felt on my body. Maybe I will build up to 100 lengths in one go or start doing them sideways, crouched, backwards etc.
The reason for this entry is just to highlight that after a while (hours) of balancing, it might affect your vision. If you give it a try it then let me know what you find!