Finally! After being back-ordered twice, cancelling one order from an imaginary online store, and having actually ordered every single color available, except the color that actually showed up, my Vibram 5-Finger KSOs arrived last week! They make me think of Muppet toes for some reason. While I didn't order the gray/green, I do like the color combo. John's black ones are a little less conspicuous, but that's never been my style anyway.
I took them out on their inaugural run on Friday afternoon. I only did 1.5 miles in them since I've been told it's best to get into this Tenderfoot thing slowly. Today, John and I walked about 4 miles in them as well.
First things first. They take a little work to put on and a little time to get used to. Very interesting... But the biggest thing I noticed is that they force you to have good form. You cannot heel strike. You cannot take strides that are too long. You have to pick up your feet and you have to have a quick turnover. They are warmer than I would have expected. And they're pretty fun in squishy grass and mud.
I was planning on going out easy, like 10 min miles just to get used to them. When I looked down at my watch, I realized I was running 8:30 min/mile and it didn't feel like work. My HR was lower than normal. It felt smooth. Maybe there is something to this. I didn't have any foot issues, soreness, or tenderness but I also limited my run to less than 2 miles. After our walk today, my feet do feel tired. Not sore, but I was definitely using parts of my foot that don't usually get a work out. And that is the whole idea. I'm hoping my running in the Vibrams that I will be able to strengthen my feet and prevent the P-word from returning.
My plan is to stick to roads and parks for the time being. I'm afraid I'd break a toe if I tried them in the trails. Especially since I know I have no self-restraint on downhills and that would almost guarantee broken appendages. I want to work in 1-2 barefoot runs a week and eventually work up to 4-6 miles. These runs won't really be part of my training, just additional easy runs on days I'm otherwise swimming or spinning. If I'm feeling adventurous, I may try a short race in my Vibrams and I'm kicking around the idea of doing a sprint tri barefoot at the end of the season (shoes on the bike portion, obviously). I'm always up for a challenge.
3 days ago