Trail Monster Running

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going "Barefoot"

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
cool down

race time: 21:05
distance: 3.1 miles
pace: 6:48
place: 36/188

total time: 41:55
distance: 5.56 miles
pace: 7:32


Blaine Moore said...

Wearing the Vibrams isn't exactly the same as going barefoot, but is certainly much closer than wearing shoes.

I decided to ditch the shoes for the last couple of miles of my 6+ mile cooldown after the race last night - outer Forest Ave and some of those neighborhoods behind there aren't necessarily the best place to go barefoot though I've decided until I've built up some much thicker skin.

It did clean off most of the track stain from Tuesday night, though, which was the real reason I wanted to get a bit of barefoot running in last night.

Dawn said...

I, too, have just started with the vibrams. I did three 5 milers this week in them and now my calves are in so much pain. I almost called in sick to work one day this week because I could barely walk. I have a mountain race this weekend and hope I can make it to the top. That said, I love the feeling of running in the Vibrams. I am definately sticking with it. Dawn