So I started running in my Vibram FiveFingers again. Unfortunately, I have a non-running (barefoot or otherwise) injury under my right foot which has kept me from going barefoot. The skin is so raw I just can’t take the chance. I very hesitantly ran in my VFFs because I was worried I would find it tempting to go back to minimal shoe running… only to find things were different this time around.
I’ve gone from regular, giant, nike-type shoes to minimal shoes (briefly) to barefoot. Once I went barefoot I concluded I could not run with the same form I had been using in minimal shoes, that it indeed required the feedback from the soles of my feet to tell me I was too much on the balls of my feet and not nearly as bent at the knees as necessary. This time, having gotten comfortable barefoot and now circumstantially running again in minimal shoes, I found that I can be aware of what to look out for and mimic my barefoot form while wearing my VFFs. I can feel when my knees are straightening out and when I’m pushing off from my toes, though not as quickly. But ONLY because I have felt what barefoot running is supposed to feel like. Furthermore, I found that I still miss going barefoot. That’s a good sign to me.
I feel this confirms what I previously believed; I will learn the best running form by going straight to barefoot! I know it looks scary, it’s not. And once I’ve really got the form down I’ll be able to transition into minimal shoes without sacrificing form.
Let me emphasize that I do not feel like I have the barefoot running form down just yet. I’m still looking for my first important milestone; a barefoot 10k race. You can be sure you’ll hear from me when I get there. Can’t wait!