Yes. No surprises here, I bought a new pair of shoes. My first pair of Vibram FiveFingers.
I’d decided to stay in the transitional shoes for the marathon, due to the problems I was having with blisters, but now I kind of see myself starting fresh, from zero, if you like.
I knew what going to barefoot shoes would do to my calves, however, I got a little carried away. I ran out of the door as soon as Kasia had left for work on Saturday evening, just for a quick jog around the block, which would have been my first run since the marathon.
Well, that quick jog turned into a full on 10k, which I found tough as I hit the turnaround. Any illusions of bouncing straight back after the marathon were quickly blown away. I was much more tired than I expected to be, and the cold was still lingering. I got back in around 50 minutes, which is much slower than I usually do, but nothing to do with the shoes – I hit the turnaround in 24 minutes, which is my standard time. Yes. read that again. My usual 5k split is 24 minutes, but 50 minutes for a 10k is much slower than I usually do. I normally run it with a huge negative split, only because I treat the first 5k as a warm up…
My calves ached, just as they had when I first dropped to transitional shoes, and although I was prepared for some discomfort, it still ached. It’s a good pain though – It’s one that means my legs are working as they should.
Sunday came, and I decided I would run again. I really had missed running quite badly over the week. Again, what started out as a quick jog with Kasia ended up being nearly 13k of canal routes as we explored the area around our place and got a little carried away. I’d even told her that I wasn’t going to run in the Vibrams because I wasn’t sure my calves would last the run. That changed as I saw them sitting looking at me as I was getting ready.
What can I say about them? They’re the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever used. While the toe thing is weird when you’re sitting around the house looking at them, running in them feels the most natural thing. Also, no new blisters at all.
If you’re thinking of transitioning, make sure you go to a low drop shoe first, and slowly up your milage in a zero drop or barefoot shoe – running over 20k in your first weekend in them is not recommended, unless you’re some crazy near 40 year old who doesn’t know his own limits.