Monday, 1 February 2010

My first barefoot steps (pre Vibrams)

Read anything about making the change from running in trainers to running barefoot and you are warned to start slowly.

I was too excited to wait for the Vibram FiveFingers (VFFs) I’d ordered so, around 3 weeks ago, I went down to the gym in my apartment building early one day before anyone else was there, and tried running barefoot on the treadmill. I started out in socks, but I could feel a blister forming so I took them off. Then I managed about 12 minutes before the soles of my feet felt like they were on fire. Later that day my calves were killing me. I could see this trainerless training was going to take a bit of getting used to.

Undeterred, the next day I hacked the heels and part of the soles off an old pair of office shoes in the hope of mimicking the flimsy VFFs, and gave those a go on the treadmill. They were OK; I was precautious and only ran 5 to 10 minutes in them each time I wore them on the treadmill. It was like learning to drive, with someone there pointing out each mistake, but the with the feedback coming from your feet. During these couple of weeks while jogging outdoors in my (formerly trusted) Pegasus, I concentrated on altering my form and foot strike.
I’d read tips about the ‘Pose Technique’ ( including trying to land on the forefoot, and landing so that your foot in beneath your body, and therefore under you centre of gravity. Most importantly it’s how you run, not necessarily what you run in, that matters. VFFs’ function is merely to help with the ‘how’ part.

Fitness in Dubai features reviews of all the latest fitness programmes and local gyms, such as The Circuit Factory, 24 Fitness and CrossFit LifeSpark, as well as reviews of fitness fads, fitness tests and fitness equipment, from Vibram Five Fingers barefoot running shoes to VO2 Max testing. Ultimately, this fitness blog - as featured in Good Taste, Men's Fitness, Time Out and Shape magazines - contains everything you need to know about fitness in Dubai, UAE, in the Middle East. Bookmark it now.

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