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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vibram Fivefinger shoes

I have been doing a lot of research on the benefits of barefoot running. My father in law and brother in law bought a pair of Vibram Five finger shoes and I have seen several people running in them. Some friends from up North said they are HUGE there, as well as on the west coast. My husband got a pair and likes his so after several weeks of researching I decided to buy a pair of Fivefinger Bikilas.

Today is my first day wearing them. You are advised to start slowly transitioning in them to get your feet used to the shoes before you jump right in with your regular mileage. I decided to run an easy 2 miles today. By the way, the shoes do not feel as weird as they look, they are very comfortable. The first thing I noticed when I took off is that I am a definite heel striker and I take long strides. The shoes will force you to move your stride into a mid sole to toe run with shorter, quicker steps. I have read that people who run and strike on the heels have higher lower body injuries and I have also read that you should not try to change your natural running pattern. Is heel striking my natural running pattern OR is it a learned pattern created by wearing supportive, high cushioned shoes?? I don't know. WHat I do know is when I take off my running shoes and go barefoot my natural instinct is to run on the toes to protect the heels. Anyway, second thing I noticed, I do not work my calf muscles very well in running shoes, you could feel them burning like they do when I do calf raises, of course I love this because anything to help develop my calves is good for me! I love the sweeping diamond look in a calf. I also noticed the muscles in my foot that never get to work out. It did not hurt at all to run, there is a sole on the shoe, just no cushion. I also felt very light and felt quicker on my feet. I ran 2 miles in 16 minutes. My fastest mile is 7 1/2 minutes. Of course I can not keep that pace when I run longer than a mile, I naturaly begin to slow. I am going to give myself 2-3 weeks of transition in the shoes and then time my mile. I will be interested to see if it increases my time any, I am wanting to break a 7 min mile so bad! I will keep you posted on my journey in the fivefingers! Today I give them a 2 thumbs up

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