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Birthday Shoes - Vibram Five Fingers Fans!

Just how slow

posted about 8 years ago | Report

are you supposed to break your feet in? I've been told that you need to start off with small mileage when transfering to VFFs.

If I start wearing my VFF now will I be able to start 1/2 marathon training in Jan 2011 (Hal Higdon Novice training plan)?

  • What kind of shoes are you typically running in now? Are you a heel striker? Do you have pronation issues? How conditioned would you say you are?

    The short answer: everyone is different. If you are already pretty active and/or used to walking around barefoot, your adaptation to training in VFFs will likely be considerably quicker than someone who is just getting off the couch for the first time. The reason is because "break-in" time for VFFs is actually the time it takes to condition your muscles and tendons to activate naturally. I would say your conditioning time will be quicker if you have neutral feet with no particular problems, i.e. plantar fasciitis, etc.

    With the caveat that everyone is different, I personally was able to adapt pretty quickly. I started out running about a mile the first week and worked my way back up to 3 miles in a couple months. I can run about 5-6 miles now before my feet start to fatigue. But... I work on my feet walking on concrete 32 hours/week. I am a new runner who has never run more than 6 miles. I have a fairly neutral foot and gait with very slight over-pronation and no significant issues. Further, I have been a midfoot striker since I started running this year, so adapting to shorter strides has been easy. This is not you, so your results will likely differ.

    So, to answer your question: start wearing the VFFs now to start conditioning your feet and leg muscles and adapting your stride. In January, you'll have a better idea as to whether you're ready to train for/run a half in them. If nothing else, they will be great for speedwork.

    posted about 8 years ago | Report

  • in reply to what Ann S. said:What kind of shoes are you typically running in now? Are you a heel striker? Do you have pronation issues? How conditioned would you say you are? The short answer: everyone is different. If you are already pretty active and/or used to walking aro... read more

    Thanks Ann.

    I am currently running in Asic Gel Evolutions (motion control for my flat feet). I've been told that I pronate. My current running schedule was based on running the USAF 1.5 mile test so I rarely got more than 3 miles in training.

    I figured now is the time to start a running program from scratch, even though I ran a half marathon back in 06. As for speed...thats one area I'm not worried about, I am SLOW and I plan to run a bit slower as my feet adjust.

    I've read that you should start running a 1/4 miles and increase your mileage by 1/8th mile per run with a rest day in between. Keep this program for about 5 weeks before adjusting anything.

    It allows me to get to the long run distance of 4 miles prior to my half mary training (with the goal of finishing) in Jan. The plan makes sense to me however, I wanted to hear some thought from others who have made this transition before.

    Thanks for responding!

    posted about 8 years ago | Report

  • Transitioning from a full MC trainer straight to what is essentially barefoot is an extreme change. Don't be surprised if it takes a bit longer to feel comfortable and be aware of the potential for overuse injuries.

    You might even consider looking into a minimalist trainer (e.g.. Saucony Kinvara, Nike Free, or Brooks Green Silence) that provides a little more cushioning than the VFFs, but much less than your motion control shoes. That way, you aren't switching between the two extremes. I think doing that will make your transition in gait and form a bit less consistent and be more likely to cause injury.

    As to the program, most important is err on the conservative side whem adding mileage, but listen to what your body is telling you. The pre-determined program can't tell how well you are adapting, but you can. Adjust as necessary.

    posted about 8 years ago | Report

  • in reply to what Ann S. said:Transitioning from a full MC trainer straight to what is essentially barefoot is an extreme change. Don't be surprised if it takes a bit longer to feel comfortable and be aware of the potential for overuse injuries. You might even consider l... read more

    I have two runs both .5 miles under my belt and don't have any soreness what so ever. I'm going to continue to add miles as the plan states but will ultimately let my body dictate what I do. If things get real bad I will look into the trainers,

    Thanks agains you've been a big help.

    posted about 8 years ago | Report

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