Tonight I decided to try out my Vibram Five Finger Flow's for the Weekly Back Cove 5k. Chuck gave these to me about two years ago, they were too big for him and I think they may be a tad too big for me but they worked out okay. I've never run more than half a mile in them before, and that was more than a year ago, but after a few short sessions of real barefoot running at Twin Brook I felt okay about attempting a 5k virtually barefoot.
This gave me a good excuse for running "slow" tonight, not that I was completely taking it easy but I didn't want to over-do-it since I didn't know what it would feel like to run in them for more than a mile. The warm-up felt great and the first mile of the 5k was fine. Early in the second mile I could feel that the combination of no heel lift and a faster pace was causing my calves to feel overstressed and therefore tight. The tightness never got too bad but it did prevent me from going as fast as I would have otherwise.
I also noticed the sound of my feet hitting the ground, more like slapping. I was trying to analyze the way my feet were landing but I couldn't figure out what to do differently to avoid slapping my feet with every step. It wasn't uncomfortable, just a bit odd. Oh well.
Probably some more short distance runs at a slower pace would be a good way to get my calves and achilles used to barefoot running, racing can't be the best way to start out.
12:24 (1.5 miles) warm-up
0.1 mile @ 6:34
race time: 21:05
distance: 3.1 miles
total time: 41:55
distance: 5.56 miles