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19 February 2010

A New Me - the Bald Hobbit



Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been a bit worried that I might have to give up on my running before I’d really even got in the groove.  Each time I’ve gone out my knee (with its torn anterior cruciate ligament) has been getting more and more sore and has been needing tons of ice after a run.  Even more worryingly even walking was becoming increasingly painful – which it never normally is.

I started fishing round the Internet and found more and more information on ‘barefooting’, which says that humans have evolved to run barefoot and that many sports injuries are actually caused by the heavy cushioned sports shoes we wear. More on the science here

I read that running barefoot was particularly good for plantar fasciitis, which you might recall I’ve also been suffering from, and for knee injuries. So as a bit of a last resort I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs (Keep Stuff Out), which have been designed to mimic the effects of running barefoot while providing a layer of protection against hazardous terrain.

They were waiting for me when we got back and yesterday I went for my first run in them. And what a revelation they were.  For the first time in years, my run was pretty much pain free and really quite delightful. It’s great to feel more connected with the terrain. Who knew how soft and pleasant grass and mud can be to run in? And I’m sure their lightness made me run a little faster.

They are of course just a teensy bit embarrassing (though the Minx finds them hilarious). Next time you see someone lumbering past like a geriatric buffalo with hobbit feet do stop to say hello.


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My first day of C5K was painful, and I ached for three days afterward. I did some googling and found information on Pose technique. I've implemented some of the techniques, and I haven't had ANY soreness since then. Which still boggles my mind. I'm supposed to be on week 4, but I've had a neck injury flare-up, so I'm repeating weeks 1-3 this week. I keep reminding myself that even if I max out at running 3 minutes at a time for the rest of my life, it's better than nothing!

Yay! Good for you. I think the main thing is just to keep going.... I've come across Pose technique during my online researches and I need to look into it more. I think the shoes above help actually, as they mean you don't land on your heel.

Off for a run now! It's a glorious sunny day here in Seattle.

Well, M'dear... fortunately my frequent runs haven't induced any pains at the moment. But the carpet in between the office and the kitchen has taken quite a toll. Okay, and the refrigerator handle. Aaaanyway, admittedly these do look a bit, well, eccentric. But we all know how well you Brits pull that off now don't we? Besides, you know Seattleites will go for 'em because the oddity looks expensive to boot. So you're all good!

And glad to hear they work so well! Hope you and the family are well! Been loving the Canadian adventures as I only get to armchair travel these days.

How weird but hey if they work - why not?

I've read a couple of articles about highly cushioned running shoes and what a bad idea they are. Even Nike have brought out a 'barefoot' trainer. But they aren't nearly as weirdly wonderful as yours... :)

This is so cool! I've never heard of these "shoes"--but now I definitely want to try them. Although, I have strange toes. I'll definitely need to try them on first. Thanks for sharing! And good luck with "barefoot" running!

Evylynn, I bought mine online from the Vibram website and they give very detailed fitting instructions on the site (and they may have some insights into 'strange toes'). Their sizing is slightly different from standard sizing though, so you do have to measure your feet carefully. Unfortunately I believe they're quite difficult to find in sport shops.

But do try them, I've now run in them four or five times and also walked in them a lot, and I can't say enough good things about them.

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