Wednesday, January 20
Day One of the Vibram Five Fingers testing
Well I started my trial run (no pun intended) of street/trail/park running using the Vibram Five Fingers shoes today. I won't be posting every single day that I run, but I want to hit some significant ones; starting with Day One. I will report on several things during my periodic postings: knees, heels, calves, thighs, time/distance, and the balls of the feet....and possibly any weird questions/looks that I might get:)
Well, today I went short and slow; it is, of course, only the first day and any new training/equipment demands gradual exposure to prevent injury. So today I started with a 15 sequence Tabata with the work period being executed at only 50%. I ran half on the streets and half on the sidewalk. Immediately I noticed that whether I thought about it or not, I was not allowing my heels to strike the ground with as much force as I thought I would (possibly verging on landing flat footed). The following is how I felt either during or by the end of the Tabata:
Knees: After years of running, sports, military related stress and having the pain in my knees go away since starting CrossFit, I was excited to find that there was no pain in the knees whatsoever.
Heels: Due to the thin sole of the Five Fingers and knowing how much we tend to strike first with our heels, I was surprised to find that my heels felt fine by the time I was done. This expected pain may have been eliminated from the need to not heel-strike from the get-go.
Calves: Although I was only going about 50% on the work portions, I expected my calves to tighten quickly. I was again surprised that my calves felt fine and still do even as I write this post.
Thighs: Again, since I wasn't going all out, I did not notice any difference with the upper portion of the legs.
Time/Distance: As stated above, I am starting slow and carefully; probably only went about a mile or so. Obviously there was no timed trial conducted (but I will be shortly for a comparison months from now).
Balls of Feet: Here is where I started to notice a difference about 400 meters into the run. Like mentioned before, I switched back and forth from running on the road and then onto the sidewalk. Because the road I was running on was very rough, I noticed that the balls of my feet quickly got a little sore. Wondering if this was from the different technique in form or from the surface, I would periodically jump up onto the sidewalk; which would prove to be much more comfortable. The difference, I concluded, is quite obvious and expected: the smoother the surface, the less pin-point directed pressure on the front of the foot.
Overall experience was fine. I felt that I was forced to pull the landing foot up and forward quicker and the soreness in the front of the foot wasn't really that bad; part of me understands that this might be from it only being the first day. I am excited to start some early morning runs by my house with my son, and gym mascot, Ben, on roads that are far less jagged. I am also pumped to do a run this weekend on a trail or in a park and see how it goes...my guess, very comfortable.
Other than today, I have been wearing them around the house just doing normal "house" things and I love how comfortable they are! It was weird at first having material encasing every single toe, but that goes away quickly.
Misc. looks/comments: None today...but give it time:) And Ben did give them a thorough sniffing inspection when I brought them home...hopefully I won't have to report on how "chew-proof" they are:)