I mentioned in my first post on the subject of Vibram running shoes that I would update you all on how things were progressing. The good, the bad and the ugly……well, I know you all (well most of you) think they’re ugly so we have that covered 🙂 And I know that Mark is running a book on when I will ditch them lol!! Well standby everyone, I am about to purchase a second pair, the dedicated running shoe the Bikila………
Anyway I’ve been wearing my Vibram Treksport’s for 2 weeks now. I waited a week and a half before I ran in them and last Thursday I ran in Fort Canning. I waited to give my feet a chance to get used to them and by the time the Thursday run came round I had worn them in the gym 5 times, completed 2 BlacknBlues and conducted numerous UFIT sessions in Fort and the Botanics. So I was ready…..
My runs in Fort are usually interval-style. Last Thursday I did a 1.83km loop that has a couple of small climbs in it twice and a 1.2km loop that is pretty flat twice. I bettered my PB’s on all 4 loops!
Here are my observations –
1. During the runs I realised initially and also when I switched off mentally that my feet were “slapping” down onto the pavement. By trying to run “lighter” I believe I improved my biomechanics. Plus it’s very clear I am striking mid to fore-foot, particularly when running uphill so there is (for me at least) greater calf muscle (mainly gastrocnemius it feels) involvement. This has clearly resulted in MASSIVE calf soreness which has lasted until now, Tuesday! It is better now for sure but man!! I am even more convinced now that most conventional running shoes we wear completely interfere with the dorsiflexion/plantarflexion relationship that is a regulator of our running gait. My lower leg muscle involvement feels entirely different wearing the Vibrams and it does feel very natural despite the soreness.
2, When I ran around corners I felt like I was going to tip over, it was very weird! This is definitely a lack of support from the Vibrams and my stabilising muscles around my ankles, having never had to activate/work properly, ever, now having to switch on and contribute. Last night at BnB I felt a big improvement running bends/corners as my muscles start to activate and work properly! It is a strangely liberating feeling, your feet are not cocooned anymore, they are working! And my running around corners has improved as I am “feeling” the pavement much more effectively.
3, After the Thursday run some of my toes were very sore. I woke up Friday and they weren’t sore anymore so I’m figuring that was temporary 🙂
In summary I am saying that these Vibram’s are very much worth a go. Sure they are $200 but so are all general activity/gym/running shoes! I wear the Treksport and I wear them a lot so grabbing the running shoe variation (the Bikila) makes sense in terms of wear and tear.
More to come 🙂