Sunday, April 18, 2010

10K in VFF plus Traditional Miles

The weather today was exactly how I prefer it to be for running. I like to be able to go out the door in shorts and a T-shirt and be comfortable right at the start. This morning I was due to run in the Vibram Five Fingers and I did. I ran 6.2 miles on mixed surfaces but mostly dirt trails. I didn't get the calf fatigue that I've been experiencing around four miles, but I also believe I reached the limit for those muscles by the time I was finished.

I went back out in the late afternoon after we had spent about three hours exploring grocery stores as was planned and mentioned in the previous blog post. I ran in the Asics Evolutions which also felt good. I felt like I was running on fresh legs, the calf muscles just being along for the ride when heal-striking in the Asics. I finished the day with 14.8 miles. Too bad I don't count strolling up and down supermarket aisles. I had good energy today even though I was mostly powering myself with dry pinole and chicken vegetable barley soup.

An observation I feel compelled to share regarding the VFF compared to traditional running shoes is that the foot seems to get torqued around considerably more in running shoes when not on a paved surface. Imagine a crochet ball as the bump in the grass or on the trail and a small piece of plywood on top of it as your running shoe. If you step down on this you would quickly go one way or another with a lot of leverage torquing on your ankle. Oddly, running barefoot seems to smooth out all of these lumps and bumps. At one point on a lumpy surface I even closed my eyes and ran about 40 feet and it still felt smooth with my feet making micro-adjustments before I would even be able to do anything consciously. The same type of surface in running shoes is unpleasant even with eyes open; the foot rolls one way or another stressing sore tendons or over-bending the big toe.

I still suggest working in barefoot running little by little. (I even wonder if runners should break in every new pair of running shoes almost by starting over) I've seen articles suggesting that barefoot running should be about 4% more efficient because of less weight which would equate to 4% faster. I have been taking about 20% longer running the same distances barefoot. I am in no hurry to do speed work barefoot.

1 comment:

  1. You have the barefoot bible still...not a good way for me to become a convert!