Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baptism by Vibram

Yesterday evening, i swam 32 laps and thought that would be it for the day, in terms of physical activity. But when my wife decided that she would go running at 10pm, I thought it would be a good idea to give her company and so we ran 6kms to Bishan PCN and back. To make the run interesting, I ran the entire 6kms using a midfoot strike which really did seem to take lesser effort. This morning today, my legs felt just a wee bit sore.

The evening today played host to another great Singapore evening weather - thats 3 days on the trot that the weather gods have smiled. So I decided its time for my first ever run in my Vibram FF KSO. Since it was my first time, I was unsure about what distance and what speed I should try going for so I just decided to wing it. As it so happened I ran a 5km loop around my house in 35 minutes including traffic stoppages but more importantly 2 key things happened - (1) my breathing hardly changed during the course of the run, i have never felt so comfortable during a run. (2) After 3kms, my calves came undone and begin to get 'tight' due to inexperience of the muscle in this type of running (all midfoot striking). So right now, as I sit and compose this blog, my calves have been replaced by 2 globoids of lead. As I was expecting this to happen (based on my research on what first time runners encounter in their VFFs), I am not too worried about the current feeling of immobility. :) More importantly for me, i need to take this slow and steady and not try to rush things and hence my plan is to run once a week in VFFs until after Sundown when I shall become more regular.

The run itself was pretty good as my leg turnover was higher than usual (or so it felt) and there was a certain feeling of 'lightness' i felt as I gingerly ran over the pavement. (That was the only letdown of today's run, 90% of it was on concrete which is not a fun thing at all). When I came home and took the VFFs off, i did notice that a small blister had appeared on the left edge of the arch of my right foot so i need to check the VFFs tomorrow to see what caused it and whether i need to tape myself before I run. The left leg did just fine and is raring to go for the next run! :).

So what do i feel about running in VFFs? I think its an interesting experience for sure, definitely worth a try but only more time and more Kliks in them will tell me exactly how they will redefine my running.

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