Monday, 15 February 2010

Torture… Victorian style. Barefoot or Vibrams + cobblestones = pain

Two days ago I tried my VFFs out on the treadmill for 10 minutes. There were no problems and my calves felt fine. Then, yesterday, I decided to take them outdoors and went for a jog around my local marina. Totally different feeling to the treadmill, and much more enjoyable. The shoes force you to think more about what you’re doing outdoors, and I found that the time passed really quickly. I’d only intended to be out for 20 minutes, but I was for 35 minutes. I felt great. My stride shortened, and I noticed that when I’d been messing around with the office shoes my heel never touched the floor, but today out on the roads was much more natural. I wasn’t heel-striking, but my heel did touch the floor on each footfall. Whether this is right or wrong I’m not sure, I’m no coach, but it felt good. Going uphill was a breeze, you notice how light your feet feel, but coming downhill was odd. I’m too used to over-striding and landing heel-first on the way down.

I coasted round the Marina and then came to ‘The Walk’ along the Jumeriah Beach Residence area. For those who don’t know Dubai, The Walk (maybe one mile long) is about the only outdoor stretch in Dubai intended for walking. It’s even got footpaths! But for some demented reason the architect (or arsehole, depending on your point of view) decided to adorn everywhere on the Walk with Victorian torture devices otherwise known as cobblestones. Why the do they still exist? Fair enough, in historical places, but there’s fuck-all history in Dubai Marina. It’s less than 10 years old. Anyway, those bastard stones hurt. So if anyone reading this lives in JBR and heard someone at 5am shouting, “Which silly arsehole put cobblestones here?” it was me. Sorry.

When I got home I realised I had a tiny nearly-formed blister on the pad of each big toe, but no pain. Today, my feet feel stretched (if that’s possible?), and my calves are a little tight, but not so bad that I couldn’t run.

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  1. Ha ha I have the same problem especially in front of the jbr walk moevenpick hotel where the sidewalk gets too narrow and I have to run on the driveway. Not sure if the vibram 5 finger thing may have contributed to your injury. Ive been doing it barefoot. When you run barefoot the pain pretty much forces you to take it easy. Dont really know if that helps with a healthier stride-I'm not an expert. I just hope I dont have the same problems you did with your left foot. Keep up the blog, it's helpful.

  2. You're braver than I am! It might only be 3mm of rubber but it helps a little bit. My foul language might have me deported if I crossed those cobbles completely barefoot.