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Running Barefoot? Well, Almost.
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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08-12-2010, 09:07 AM
 
Hey Friends,

Back in 1937, Bernarr Mac Fadden's Physical Culture magazine featured an article on Charles Atlas in which Mr. Atlas stated that he developed his perfect physique using the same kind of non-apparatus methods that we teach. He also stated that he ran 10 miles earlier that morning in just 59 minutes while barefoot. Since the first time I read that article, I wanted to run barefoot but could never find anyplace really safe enough to do it consistently. Not only that but living in the northern climate of Minnesota makes that an impossibility for at least four if not five months each year. BUT ever since Joe Justiice brought up "Vibram Five Fingers" on our forum many months ago, I have gradually switched my running to them and have finally made the complete transition and am running totally strong and injury free in them. Granted, it was unbelievably hard for me to adjust after so many years of running in ASICS Kayano's but now that I have made the transition I absolutely love running in this "closest thing to barefoot" style. I use my VFF for all of my runs that are 5 miles or less. I'll keep you updated with my experiences with VFF.

---John Peterson

P.S. If you decide to give VFF a try, don't make the mistake that I did. Allow yourself to break in very gradually. Otherwise you will experience some serious tendonitis issues.
 
 
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TejasT TejasT is offline
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08-12-2010, 01:46 PM
 
This is a question for John (and anyone else that's tried the Vibram shoes) . . .

Did you all get them fitted somewhere, or buy them online? I was just curious if you found the sizes to run big, small, etc.
 
 
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stingray stingray is offline
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08-12-2010, 02:28 PM
 
John,

I read the book "Born to Run" last year and was inspired to try barefoot running. I've tried a few runs but found that I couldn't push it too hard because it does work the muscles in a different way. I love the idea of trying the Vibram F.F. I have heard other people say that they love them. I have heard that the sizing is tricky due to the way they are supposed to fit the runners foot. Love to hear more about your experiences in running with these.
 
 
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duff duff is offline
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08-12-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Quote:
If you decide to give VFF a try, don't make the mistake that I did. Allow yourself to break in very gradually. Otherwise you will experience some serious tendonitis issues.
I've heard this from just about everyone that is trying barefoot running. The tendons, ligaments and bones in the feet and ankles can take many months to strengthen, even after the muscles can handle it, so easy does it!

I'm looking forward to trying this barefoot running myself sometime soon.
 
 
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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08-12-2010, 04:30 PM
 
Hey TejasT,

I went to Midwest Mountaineering to purchase mine and tried them on right there. In fact, I just discovered that there are special socks that are now available specifically for Vibram Five Fingers. Not only that, but I was also told at MM that one can run in VFF even in the winter which I must say I find very difficult to believe due to the thinness of the sole. But then again, Lord willing and I'm still here when winter arrives, I will give it a go. Hopefully, they are right because I love running in these things.

---John Peterson

Last edited by John Peterson; 08-12-2010 at 04:32 PM.
 
 
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shamus23 shamus23 is offline
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08-12-2010, 04:58 PM
 
I too hope you are still here when the winter comes
 
 
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b38 b38 is offline
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08-12-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Curiosity question for you barefooters and near barefooter - Does this style of running take off and land on the ball of the foot? Or is it the same heel strike as the foot lands and then rolls up through the front of the foot?


Thanks in Advance.

Bill
 
 
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stingray stingray is offline
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08-13-2010, 07:53 AM
 
Bill,

It is not a heel strike. Proponents of barefoot running say that it is only because of running with cushioning that we can run with a heel strike. If you take off your shoes and run across the lawn, I think that you will find that your natural tendency is to run on the balls of your feet. It makes sense from a mechanical point of view that the heel wasn't designed for the heavy impact. Also, people tend to take longer strides when running with cushioned soles because you can overstride and land on your heels. If you are not wearing shoes or have minimal cushioning you will probably strike closer to the ball of the foot. Hope this helps.
 
 
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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08-13-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Great Explanation Ray,

In fact, due to the change from striking heel first to the ball of the foot there is a complete change in the bio-mechanics of running and it actually exercises the entire body in a different way. One friend of mine that I used to run Ultra-marathons with, loved running and did nothing but run long distances for years and years. He was sidelined with low back pain. He asked me for help. I got him doing Pull-Ups, Atlas III's, my ab-course, and running in VFF. Now he is pain free. Granted, His runs are only two miles these days. But he strength trains before he runs and as a direct result gets far more out of each run. He went from one set of three Pull-Ups 4-months ago to 5 X5 each and every day. I believe in gradual build-up strength training on a daily basis as Charles Atlas taught. To me this is the key that causes the body to more quickly adapt to it's strength to body weight demands. And for this reason Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, Squats and Ab work can and should be done daily at least in my case. Then on some days certain body parts can be exercised far more intensively like my friend Jack King advocates. In fact, when it comes to body weight exercises you will do better training reasonably on a daily basis than you will on alternate days.At least that is how it has always worked for me. Especially on Pull-Ups. Too much rest costs too much enduring strength in my case.

---John Peterson
 
 
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KulaShaker KulaShaker is offline
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08-13-2010, 12:17 PM
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b38 View Post
Curiosity question for you barefooters and near barefooter - Does this style of running take off and land on the ball of the foot? Or is it the same heel strike as the foot lands and then rolls up through the front of the foot?


Thanks in Advance.

Bill
Heel-striking not recommended in VFFs!

In fact, if you do it, you'll get instant feedback in the form of pain and you'll naturally shift onto the balls of your feet.

That doesn't mean your heel doesn't ever touch the ground though. When I run in VFFs, my heels "pat" the ground ever so lightly, but I'm touching down first on the ball of my foot with each step.

Kula
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