I have now run nearly 50 miles in my Vibrams.
Since I started running in the barefoot style I have really enjoyed running. When I miss a daily run I don’t feel a secret sense of relief any more – I just start itching to get out and run as soon as possible!
My pace has started to pick up too. The pace tracked on Nike+ is pedometer based through my iPod so not very accurate. I also track on my Garmin (but it’s not as pretty!)
July was a bad month because I was ill, away and had an injury. In fact it’s a miracle I managed 6 runs!
The other day I went out and managed a mile in 10:02 which is really fast for me. The thing is, unlike in the past, I wasn’t even trying. It was comfortably fast.
So my pace is increasing and I am loving running.
Just a note on my Vibrams.
- They are very comfortable. I run on rocky paths and roads and they are more comfortable than trainers. If I stand on a rock my feet adapt around it – in trainers I would probably go over on my ankle.
- They allow my body to move naturally as I run. I can’t even wear trainers for walking anymore. I’m far less prone to injury.
- On longer runs I get blisters underneath my big toes but I can sort that out with micropore tape
- My little toes don’t go into them easily thanks to a combination of them being squished in from shoes that were too small when I was younger and a broken little toe. When I do manage they are very comfortable though.
- When running in wet thick mud it feels most unpleasant!
Overall I love my Vibrams and can’t imagine running in anything else now.
So what do you need to run barefoot style?
1. Minimalist shoes that allow your feet to connect with the ground naturally. Your feet must be able to flex without the shoe getting in the way.
2. Posture. You should be running with a straight back and not leaning forward at all. Imagine someone is pulling you along by a rope tied around your middle.
3. Pace. Take shorter steps almost as if you are running on hot coals!
4. Placement. Your feet should strike the ground at the front first. This is the way we evolved to run. We evolved to run long distances rather than at speed. To minimise injury allow your body to move in the way it’s evolved to do and don’t try and ‘correct’ it with fancy trainers etc.
When you get it right it feels very similar to running downhill. Your centre of gravity isn’t creating unnecessary pressure on your body, your pace is not too stretched and you can relax into running easily.