OK, so I was convinced to try the whole barefoot running thing. It passes my common sense tests. We as a species ran very well for a long time before the advent of modern running shoes. By evolution we were designed to run and do so very well. The proponents of the modern running shoes argued that we didn't evolve to run on asphalt. I argue that hard baked dirt is just as bad. Whatever. I bought a pair of Five Fingers to check them out. I was intrigued and figured that if I was going to get better at this running thing, I should switch now before my habits in a full shoe became more ingrained. I bought them last week and walked with them for a day or two. Today was the first run.
First, they feel way different. You find yourself walking as you would if you were barefoot. Imagine.
I took them for a short run out and back with two doggy potty pit stops. The stride is similar, but the forefoot landing is something that needs conscious effort at this point. I didn't get the rhythmic jolt of the normal stride, but a soft spring almost like I was jogging in place, but going forward. My time was comparable to my normal time over that distance, but my lower legs grew much more tired than normal.
It is strange, being a former smoker, my lungs had always been my limiting factor before. This time it was my lower legs. When I got home I immediately noticed the tightness in the calves. They were tight and tired deep inside like the muscles and fascia close to the bone. I massaged my calves for a while and will probably do so again tonight like Vibram recommends. I expect to be sore tomorrow, but not injured. I will call it a success.
Then, because the run was so short, I put the shoes back on and went for an 8.5 mile bike ride. It was nice. The sea air is playing hell on the metal on the bike and I have some maintenance work to do. It's always something.
The new kicks.