If you haven’t read any of my previous posts about running, you might not know that I have run exclusively with Vibram 5 Fingers (V5F) since September 2017. That means that I haven’t run in regular shoes since then.
During the last year, I have been increasing the distance of my runs. The goal was to go for ten kilometres, more or less 45 minutes, every time I go out, and I’m already there. But, on Sundays, I run a bit more to increase my resistance. However, I noticed that my feet hurt after long runs (>14Km). Also, some calluses were appearing.
I started to investigate how I could solve that to keep increasing the duration of my runs without ruining my feet. I didn’t want to go back to regular shoes. I still remember how my knees paid the price for using the wrong shoes in the past.
After doing internet research and reading many blogs, I wasn’t clear on the right move. Then I decided to visit my local running store. The people at Evasion Running help me identify a possible solution. I went for a shoe that, without being minimalistic, offer some of the benefits:
- Drop Zero. To keep my running form, I do not want to change too much from the V5F and being flat was necessary for that. Drop zero means that the height from the feed ball and the heel to the ground is the same.
- Wide toe box. The feet should feel like running without shoes, which means that the shoe should allow the feet to expand when touching the ground without restriction, and that is achieved with an extra-wide toe box.
Thanks to Evasion Running Vilanova for the patience with all my questions.
They showed me the Altra brand and explained what sounds like a solution. There, I did try the Torin 5 model, and with that, I found the right size (9), and finally, we ordered the ones that I felt were good for me, the Altra Escalante 2.5.
The solution will be: I will keep going with my V5F, but I’ll use the new Altra the day after. And I will also use the Altra for long runs. But before going to long runs, I’ll do around 50 Km with them to get used to it and not hurt myself.
The first run
Today was the day to put that into practice. I went out to run my daily 10km. In the beginning, I feel weird. The shoes were touching my legs on the recovery motion. So, I had to make a bit of adjustment. It was like running in clown shoes.
I was concerned to start hell striking because that was the reason I did destroy my knees. But It looks like four years of running correctly helped establish the proper mechanics. Anyway, I was cautious to keep my 180 steps per minute, so I used my beloved 45 minutes race playlist carefully curated for that.
Around 5 km into the run, I was on fire. I was running fast and comfortable, and I did one of the fasters run that I remember. I end up with 44 minutes and 30 seconds. It felt fantastic.
I already knew that I would be faster with the new shoes. With the V5F you are very careful on where you put your feet, and there is only the spring effect of your legs, while with regular shoes, you have the shoe pushing you a bit. In other words, you run more “mindless”.
I can not call this a success, but a promising first step for a more balance running life when I reduce the risk of injury. I have the feeling I will report better when I’m 200 km into the year goal.
Do not hesitate to ping me if you have any comments or questions. Till the next time, and keep running!