For the first week ever, I ran in only my Vibram Five Fingers and my Merrell Pace Gloves. I ran a total of not quite 15 miles in 4 runs, with my longest run being 4.5 miles. Short story: so far, so good.
Longer story (for those of you interested in minimalist shoes):
I’ve been running every other day. Tomorrow is the first time I’ll attempt two days in a row as I aim for 5 runs this week, possibly culminating in a 10K this weekend.
Run 1: 3 miles in the Merrells. I love these, but I discovered two things on this run. 1. The size that is comfortable for walking, hiking, etc is too small for running and 2. the sole definitely provides less ground feel than the Vibrams. I’ve ordered another pair in a different color (I’m wearing these nearly every day as my regular shoes, so I can totally justify a bigger pair for running LOL), so I’ll do a full review once I’ve received those.
Run 2: 3.5 miles in Vibrams. This run was awesome. I felt great the whole time. My form felt perfect, my feet felt great, I stopped at a point when I felt like I could keep going. The next day my calves were sore and tight. In fact, when I woke up and stretched out, my calves went into intense cramps. Luckily, not running that day, doing some walking, and some mild stretching left me feeling fine the next day.
Run 3: 4.5 miles in Vibrams. Again, the run went great. I was sore the next day, but not as bad as Tuesday. I’m defintely getting better at maintaining good form for longer.
Run 4: 3.75 miles in Vibrams. The first two miles of this run felt awesome. Then I hit the hills. I’m still having trouble with form on big hills. Mile 3 was at least 75% uphill and when I hit the flat my ankle felt a little tweaky. Slowing down resolved that, but then I hit a patch of wet leaves and wiped out. The palms of my hands are pretty torn up, but thankfully that seems to be it. The Vibrams seem to have little traction when wet, but I may have fallen in real shoes too.
All in all, I’d say it’s been a successful transition thus far. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on in my life this week, so it was kind of nice to be forced to cut back my mileage a bit. It’s funny how easy it is to fit a 3-4 mile run into my day. ;o)