I wanted to give a little follow-up to my introduction to Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) shoes. If you read my earlier post you know that calling these shoes is a stretch. They are more like lycra gloves with pliable rubberized soles than shoes. There supposed to help you mimic a barefoot running stride with out tearing up your feet. And to that effect they work nicely.
The deal is you are supposed to work up to any distance over time to condirion the muscles in your feet to working without the artificial support of shoes. You would be amazed by how complex the structure of your feet are. Of course that means there are a lot of muscle, tendons, and ligaments than can become sore, irritated or inflamed if you push this phase.
Anyhow, I had worked up to a couple miles with the VFF and frankly running with conventional running shoes was feeling a little weird. So as my training progressed, it was time to do some speed work. Nothing major just 3) 1/2 mile intervals. So I did them, felt good and went home.
Well,the next morning, while my feet had acclimated, my calves had not. While I slept my calves had conspired to prevent me from leaving the house. The first part of the plan was to make it difficult to stand up after getting to the edge of the bed. After a couple minutes I was almost able to stand upright except ALL my weight HAD to be on my heels. Any weight on my forefoot triggered my calf muscles to fire. It was excrutiating! The next part of the plan was to make it almost impossible to get down the stairs. Do you know how hard it is to go down stairs with all your weight on your heels? Not easy. Go ahead and try it.
After a couple days the pain has lessened. I now know to break up the workouts with regular shoes and VFF. And SLOWLY increase the time with the VFF and ween off the running shoes over time.