Wednesday, May 4, 2011

VFF / PT update

Sad to say, the Bikilas are going back. I decided that my 5 minutes of barefoot running per week just don't justify $100 shoes. Especially when you're in the middle of a major construction project at home and costs are mounting! 

BUT that doesn't mean I won't buy them in the future once I've increased my barefoot endurance. I had asked my physical therapist what he thought about the VFFs since he is the one who recommended that I start incorporating barefoot training into my routine. 

Here is the D.L. (My question to Brian, P.T., D.P.T. after a lot of long, unnecessary babbling):

Do you think it's not a good idea to run in these types of shoes or do you think it's just not a good idea to jump into them without slowly building up to using them? Or is it just unwise to use them all the time?  

In short, do you think I'm asking for trouble if I transition to running in these embarrassing-looking shoes (but not because they're ridiculous looking, which they are)?

Dr. Brian's response:
First, thank you for your update, congrats on all your hard work. It is so nice to hear how you’re doing! Second, please let me know how the race goes next week. [Yes, he's super nice.]

You are being very thoughtful about progression, which is huge! Going to minimalist shoes is all about progression. If progressed slowly enough, it might be the right choice for you. So yes, increase your miles in them, but not with long runs. The best option in the meantime, is to slowly progress to more neutral traditional running shoes, and slowly away from motion control shoes like your current shoes  (sounds like this is exactly what you’ve done!).

So you can basically progress simply by going to a slightly less supportive shoe. If you get pain in your calf, top of foot, bottom of foot, etc, then it’s back to supportive shoes because your foot needs rest due to too fast of a progression. (make sense?). I see no problem changing shoes, especially if you’re wearing a minimalist shoe for your short runs. The vibrams would be fantastic for trail running as well, when you have the cushion of the soft ground instead of the hard pavement. What I wouldn’t do, is switch up shoes for your long runs. Basically whatever you’re racing in, you should use for long runs.

As long as your aware of symptoms, I’d continue the progression of less support in shoes. Just remember, foot or calf pain means you progressed too fast (either with mileage, frequency of running, or with shoes). It would be wonderful if at some point you’re in a completely neutral shoe for long runs, and in the vibrams for regular runs, I’m a definite supporter of that. Good luck in Indianapolis!

So there you have it. The green light for moving into VFF's but really, I may as well wait until my barefoot running duration justifies the expense.

And in other news...

In a nick of time (I fly out for Indianapolis tomorrow)...

My Traveling Sparkle Skirt arrived today in the mail! And guess who was even MORE impressed with the sparkliness than me? Who was most anxious to wear it and threw a fit when I removed it?

Yes, my almost-2-year old little guy.

Is this future blackmail material or what? Or evidence of a good sense of style?


  1. SOOOOOOOO cute!!! I like the skeleton shirt, too. :)
    Excellent advice from your PT - the VFFs will still be here in a few months when you're ready for them (and can maybe afford them more - though, really, does that EVER happen??)
    Good luck this weekend!!

  2. Yeah, I love the sparkle skirt WITH the skeleton shirt. Fantastic combo!

    Have fun this weekend!

  3. Good luck this weekend!

    I always learn the hard way that baby steps of progression are the way to go in new shoes.

  4. Great skirt! Have a good trip and good luck with the race!

  5. That is great advice, thanks for sharing. Since you know your exact vibram size, why don't you check online? They might be cheaper than in the store. Good luck on your race!! :)

  6. Well..he did round out the girly sparkle with manly black and bones :D

    Definitely blackmail material!!


  7. You've gone from a Ninja to a sparkle skirt wearer? I love those things and the colorful knee socks on other people but I can't do it myself.

    Blackmail material! Save it for a photo montage during his high school graduation to embarrass him.

  8. That is some coordination - skeleton shirt with sparkle skirt. Love!

  9. blackmail for sure. How stinking cute is he??

  10. Good luck this weekend, you'll rock it!

  11. Another good piece of advice is that it's easy to overdo it in the Vibrams. But going truly barefoot you probably won't ever overdo it because your skin won't let you. Just my two cents!
    Great job on your 1/2! You really rocked it, girl!