Barefoot Running Day 1

I woke up this morning with the sun shining in my room and wondered if I was dreaming. Living in the midwest during this time of year usually doesn’t offer much sunshine and then I remembered, today was the day to get up and run in my new Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) I couldn’t have picked a better day to run outside than today. It was warm and sunny around 41F and boy was I happy.

I did my usual morning rituals, brushed my teeth, put on my workout gear, hair back, sunglasses on, and went downstairs for some lemon water. I decided to do some pre-run stretches because I was concerned about having muscle pain later. Well that was it,  I was ready.

I went into the mud room and slipped on my new VFFs, carefully adjusting my squished up toes into each of the independent toe areas. I walked around the room a bit to get adjusted to the feel. I noticed that my right pinky toe was not very comfortable. I decided to ignore it and out the door I went. I walked for about one to two minutes outside to get a real feel of the pavement under my feet and then off I went down the street in a jog. My goal was to not over do it, being the first day I decided to run 1.5 miles and see if I could go further from then on.

The shoes were great. I could feel my toes gripping the pavement with every step. Sure I had to be aware of what I was stepping in, but that made my run more interesting. You’d be amazed at what kind of stuff was lying on the ground other than gravel and dirt. During my run I did some interval running, completely forgetting that I was going to try to take it easy. I basically jogged and then sprinted and repeated these steps several times during my run. I had gotten to about 1.5 miles and realized that I was not going to be able to run anymore. My right pinky toe was now numb and I could feel some discomfort on the inner part of my root foot close to the heel. I decided to stop and head home. I felt good about my run, sure it wasn’t my usual 5K, but I didn’t want to overdo it with my new shoes, or so that’s what I thought.

During my walk (cool down) back home I noticed that my calves were on fire. It started getting harder and harder for me to walk. My body took on a waddling walk as I thought my calves were going to rip. Ouch ouch ouch, I thought, so much for not over doing it.  I got home and Alex started laughing at my new walking style, “What happened to you?” he asked. Wasn’t it obvious? I had to remind him about our Florida running experience in the sand and he quickly I understood. I waddled up the stairs for a warm shower.  It was then, that I noticed the blister on the inside of my right foot and my right pinky toe was red and swollen.

After the shower I took some Advil and started to do some more research on my new VFFs. Was everyone having the same problem? Yesterday on twitter one of our  followers, @clairethomey  stated that she had been using VFFs since she started using the our 5K program and she said she had no problems with them. She also gave me a link to This site is dedicated to VFF fans. I was instantly hooked and subscribed to their blog posts.

Vibram Five Fingers fan community - free your feet!

Vibram Five Fingers free my feet!

I’m still sore, the Advil helped, but I am going back for more!

5 responses to “Barefoot Running Day 1

  1. Glad you’re having so much fun in your new VFFs! Just watch the over-exuberance … basically, don’t go too fast or too far too soon because you might pay for it in terms of locked up calves, blisters, or other injuries. It takes some time to work up to min-shod or VFF (or barefoot) running!

  2. I had the same problem. I’ve used my VFFs before, but I typically shelve them during the winter months. I wanted to start up barefooting, hoping to do so when starting GW28K (I just completed C25K a month or so ago).

    My experience was nearly exactly the same as yours, and I think it’s a result of not starting baby steps. I think even going barefoot in GW28K would be too big of a start since there are longer run intervals. Perhaps I’ll redo C25K in VFFs?

    • Hey thanks for your comment. Did you still workout in the VFFs even when you were in pain? If so, how long before you could run normally again?

      • It took a week for my calves to get back to normal. I switched to biking/swimming during that time. I haven’t gotten back in the saddle, so to speak, with the VFFs yet as I have some races for which I need to be in form 😉 Perhaps in April I’ll give it a shot again.

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