Maiden voyage in my weirdo shoes, aka. Vibram Five Fingers Bikila #runTO

May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Shoes Bikila Royal Blue Black Grey

Observations:
  1. Went for a "short run". Not sure how far I ran because I messed up setting my new Nike+ GPS watch. It was taking the signal only from the shoe sensor, which I haphazardly clipped to the side of the strap. In this position, it apparently doesn't do a very good job of recording motion. According to the watch: Time: ~20 mins. Correct. Distance: ~1.5 km. Dubious. (Google Maps estimates 3.5 km.)
  2. Minimal though these are, any shoe is a form of technology. And even the most useful technology introduces itself as a distraction from what you're trying to do with it. So it was a good thing the shoes were the only brand new tech with me on my run this morning. My attention was focused on how my feet and legs felt. (The GPS watch has been with me for a handful of runs now, but I've still got some things to learn — see above.)
  3. Normally my left foot gives me problems. Specifically, my left fifth metatarsal. On today's run, no pain from there at all. But on my right I was feeling some strain in my achilles tendon a couple km into the run. I breathed deep, focused, and relaxed the discomfort away. I can see value in switching between shoes depending on planned distance and how I'm feeling. Not sure these would ever become my only shoes.
  4. You really shouldn't start here. I've been running in minimal shoes for a couple of months now. And before that, I was working on developing a forefoot strike in my neutral bargain bin Mizunos. "Barefoot" shoes are something you come to in the course of becoming a certain type of runner. Better to start in a shoe that feels familiar and work on refining your technique in that context before adopting gear that feels foreign.
  5. My achilles tendons feel fine. And my feet feel great. But my calves feel so abused I might just go ahead and sell them for veal. It's a "good" muscle pain in that it's not really pain. But I can already see how long the road ahead of me is if I want to be running in a "barefoot" shoe for distances over 5 km.
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