Got my Vibrams Bilkia..Any suggestions in transitioning to barefoot running?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2010 7:13 AM GMT
    Hey guys:

    So, I finally got my Vibrams Bilkia, any good transition programs you guys can suggest in terms of amount of exercise per day to evaluate building strength as I try phasing in barefoot running. Any tips would be appreciated it.icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2010 11:35 AM GMT
    I would just get a coach.

    http://www.posetech.com/services/running_technique_specialist.html
    or http://www.posetech.com/services/clinics.html

    Unfortunately there aren't any near where I live icon_sad.gif

    Though you should be aware that there are two schools of barefoot running, forefoot and midfoot landing and they seem to be equally natural from current research (Nature 2010). Pose focusses on one and Chi running focusses on the other.
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    Nov 15, 2010 12:36 PM GMT
    I have had a pair for a few months now and I love them. I have always ran as if I were barefoot even in traditional running sneakers, but I still had to transition into the Vibrims. I wore them around the house as much as possible so that my musculature could adjust. Good Luck and have fun!
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    Nov 15, 2010 12:54 PM GMT
    Build up mileage slowly. Adding too much at a time may cause some injuries. I overdid it in mine at one point and had pretty sore everything for about a month from walking 10km in them in week 3. I'm now in year 2 and have multiple pairs (KSO treks, treksports, bikilas, sports...) and love them.

    As for "learning running technique", it does help. I got some video coaching and it was pretty cool. But they also noticed that without any training I was already running in the Vibrams with more of a Pose style because you're sort of forced into it. What Pose and Chi teach you is a bit more disciplined though (and hard to keep doing without continually training yourself.)

    Have fun!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2010 2:39 PM GMT
    I have a pair and I love them, best advise is to start out slowly to avoid injuries. I just completed my first 1/2 marathon in them and it was awesome. Now I'm the proud pappa of a few different pairs of Vibrams icon_smile.gif

    Below is a great article on how to get started with them and avoid injuries. Hope it helps you out.

    Have Fun.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Vibram's are a great training tool or running shoe, but they still have enough padding and rubber on the bottom to get us into trouble.

    Try this out, stand up from your desk and stomp your foot straight down on the ground...feel the jarring sensation going up through your spine.

    Now put your foot out about a foot in front of you, and stomp down onto your toes (landing about a foot in front of you).

    Feel the difference?

    When you land on your forefoot (what I call toes, but it's the entire area including your toes and the area behind your toes known as your metatarsals) you engage the most magnificent shock-absorbing mechanism known to man, or to perhaps any animal on the planet...and that's because as bi-peds, we have to handle more force, with less legs.

    Landing on your forefoot you use your arch (the only part of the body that gets STRONGER under tension), achilles, calf, quad, hamstring, and glute, as one giant 2-3 foot shock absorbing, and rebound (they call it 'loading') mechanism.

    Unfortunately, when you land mid-foot or on your heel, you lock out the entire spring mechanism...aka, that's why the jarring shock travels up through into, and through your spine.

    It's also why people get knee pain, tendonitis, and so many other problems...it's because we've locked out the body's natural shock absorbing mechanism.

    The trick is, when we first do this, if we've been shod all of our lives, it doesn't feel natural. To some it does, but to many it's difficult, and to almost EVERYONE, even professional runners who try this, it'll cook EVERYTHING in your feet, achilles, and calves, QUICKFAST.

    Learning how to run on your forefoot means learning how to run all over again...it doesn't mean you're starting from square zero, but you, and in particular, your muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and BONES, have to learn an old dance (we all knew as a kid first learning to walk and run...just watch them, they're ALL on their toes...some can't even come down on their heels and are sent to physical therapy at age TWO to try and get their heals down...yikes!), you have to learn an old dance all over again.

    This means going slowly...even, or especially with strong muscles, because even if they can handle it, the attachments, such as that amazing rubber band, known as the achilles tendon, are NOT ready for it...and even if the achilles were, the bones themselves wouldn't be ready. This is why you have to start slow and let the weakest points build up first.

    I've had so many runners say 'I'm not meant to run on my forefoot, my calves burned out and they, or my achilles were killing me for weeks.' They're right, you're not meant to run FAR on your forefoot to begin with. When I started, it was with 100 yards, and then I rested...but within three months I was running a fast 10K, and w/in six months, over ten miles. But I started by taking baby-steps.

    I recommend baby-steps...specifically, getting up on the forefoot and using your body's natural shock absorbing mechanism, RATHER than your back.

    Of course, watch for proper form too, keeping your core engaged and standing tall...but I'm guessing, even if you were to do this, but didn't change your stride, you'd STILL be in pain.

    I hope this helps, and you're off and running. Thankfully, it's winter time; what better of the year is there for starting slowly, and building into the strongest, fittest, fastest YOU ever!

    Go have some fun, and keep us updated!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2010 3:16 PM GMT

    Excuse my ignorance, what are the benifits or what is the motivation to run barefoot?

    Surely it's not good for your knees?
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    Nov 15, 2010 3:49 PM GMT
    Thisuserexists said
    Excuse my ignorance, what are the benifits or what is the motivation to run barefoot?

    Surely it's not good for your knees?


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Below is a great article on barefoot running. Once again the key is to start out slowly and build up mileage.


    "barefoot running causes less collision force to the feet than running in cushioned shoes. barefoot runners who strike on the fore-foot (land on the balls of their feet) generate smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers.

    barefoot running helps by strengthening the body from the roots up, like a tree. You build strong feet and work your way up from there. The shoe is driving the force up through the body. By using proper form, you’re using your legs like a giant spring mechanism so you can dissipate force and run again. It’s hard to strike the ground the same way once you’ve discovered how to run light. You run as if on springs and it’s so much more liberating.

    There is no right or wrong answer but everyone should spend some time barefoot to feel the ground, to learn how to run light, to work on that new stride and work on strengthening your feet. If you’re a lighter stronger runner, you’ll benefit regardless of footwear."

    Hope this helps.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Nov 15, 2010 7:45 PM GMT
    its called a waste of time!

    sorry, i've been running over 25 years... been there done that, finally the common sense of Brett Sutton www.teamtbb.com got me be back on track. running the best splits in my tris all year, shuffling along with heel striking, fast cadence 100+, light on my feet and my weight is centered over my hips.

    not everyone is suited run mid or fore foot... and also must consider the distance your are running. as long as you can hold form over the distance and not break down,not get injured, etc. than that is the form for you...

    it's all very individualized..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2010 9:04 PM GMT
    gebreselassie doesn't run forefoot.

    i tend to run more forefoot when i go trail running but on pavement it's heel first.
    it just feels better that way.

    i've always been curious about the fivefingers , but i find them overpriced and
    there's no retailer up here .
    finally i'd rather spend on a good pair of racing flats.
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    Nov 16, 2010 1:19 AM GMT
    Hey guys, thanks to all (TriCooper, Row Buddy, Pre-Mortem, Athletic Punk, and everyone else that I have not mentioned)...I really appreciate it.

    As a 'newbie virgin' I need all the help. I love running as part of my everyday workout and I really want to be able to enjoy it more.icon_biggrin.gif Additionally, after reading Born to Run, I would love, love to just ran a marathon without being overly tired. I have done a trail Marathon and loved it, but my time was not that impressive for my first time.

    I have started wearing them in the house...did that all day yesterday... a couple of more questions. I opted for size 42. My left foot fits perfect all snuggle, my right size is a bit big, but no my much,is this okay - normal?

    Also I know is means retraining on how I run, I have high arches, and in the past have suffer from plantar fascitis and wear orthotics. I do not have it any more...but I am worried that without any support, it will re-occur? I am wrong on this...or not...or changing how I run will avoid this just a thought.
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    Nov 16, 2010 1:39 AM GMT
    I laugh every time I see some dude in those. icon_lol.gif

    However, my personal amusement aside, you should just start out walking in them and work your way up. Give it a few days of walking the trails in them to get your feet loose and then jog and work your way up to the sprints.
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    Nov 16, 2010 7:45 PM GMT
    uombroca, dumb question: where did you get them, online or in a real store? I'm thinking about getting some for next year's running shoe but not sure what my size would be...thanks!
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    Nov 16, 2010 7:54 PM GMT
    I have a pair of Vibram KSOs and I pretty much just dove right in. Dont know how much you run and what your past training consists of, but I didnt have any trouble transitioning, maybe cuz Ive been running since HS and my foot strike wasnt too bad, but I love running in them. No shin splints, no cramps, I can run a lot more now and definitely a lot longer. So it pretty much depends on what kind of runner you are and how long you been running. Do what feels right.
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    Nov 16, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    Thisuserexists said
    Excuse my ignorance, what are the benifits or what is the motivation to run barefoot?

    Surely it's not good for your knees?


    Less force on your knees if you do a barefoot front-landing than shod heel strike.
    Seriously, don't they teach science in schools any more? ;p

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20111000
    Nature. 2010 Jan 28;463(7280):531-5.
    Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners.

    Lieberman DE, Venkadesan M, Werbel WA, Daoud AI, D'Andrea S, Davis IS, Mang'eni RO, Pitsiladis Y.

    Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, 11 Divinity Avenue, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA. danlieb@fas.harvard.edu

    Comment in:

    * Nature. 2010 Jan 28;463(7280):433-4.

    Abstract

    Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years, but the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1970s. For most of human evolutionary history, runners were either barefoot or wore minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and little cushioning relative to modern running shoes. We wondered how runners coped with the impact caused by the foot colliding with the ground before the invention of the modern shoe. Here we show that habitually barefoot endurance runners often land on the fore-foot (fore-foot strike) before bringing down the heel, but they sometimes land with a flat foot (mid-foot strike) or, less often, on the heel (rear-foot strike). In contrast, habitually shod runners mostly rear-foot strike, facilitated by the elevated and cushioned heel of the modern running shoe. Kinematic and kinetic analyses show that even on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who fore-foot strike generate smaller collision forces than shod rear-foot strikers. This difference results primarily from a more plantarflexed foot at landing and more ankle compliance during impact, decreasing the effective mass of the body that collides with the ground. Fore-foot- and mid-foot-strike gaits were probably more common when humans ran barefoot or in minimal shoes, and may protect the feet and lower limbs from some of the impact-related injuries now experienced by a high percentage of runners.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Nov 16, 2010 8:18 PM GMT
    mnboy saidI laugh every time I see some dude in those. icon_lol.gif

    However, my personal amusement aside, you should just start out walking in them and work your way up. Give it a few days of walking the trails in them to get your feet loose and then jog and work your way up to the sprints.
    Wait...do you have a pair?
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    Nov 16, 2010 8:21 PM GMT
    swimbikerun said
    mnboy saidI laugh every time I see some dude in those. icon_lol.gif

    However, my personal amusement aside, you should just start out walking in them and work your way up. Give it a few days of walking the trails in them to get your feet loose and then jog and work your way up to the sprints.
    Wait...do you have a pair?


    Nope Ive been running barefoot before people thought it was cool and before these were products... I use to be made fun of for it all the time but now its the 'thing' to do.
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    Nov 17, 2010 6:44 AM GMT
    Briefs29 saiduombroca, dumb question: where did you get them, online or in a real store? I'm thinking about getting some for next year's running shoe but not sure what my size would be...thanks!


    Not a dumb question, I got them from REI store, since I am member and had some accumulated points for discount. I went to the two local REI stores here and they were completely out of stock, so they suggested online which I did, but I got measured first which was good since it gave me a sense of the size. However, online ordering took about 6 weeks since they are in such high demand that they do not keep them on stock. So you might try other stores in your area, I have not found a store that has then readily available they always say they are out of stock and need to order online, just be prepared to wait, but you might get lucky in your area.
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    Nov 17, 2010 6:46 AM GMT
    RowBuddy said
    uombroca said
    I have started wearing them in the house...did that all day yesterday... a couple of more questions. I opted for size 42. My left foot fits perfect all snuggle, my right size is a bit big, but no my much,is this okay - normal?

    Also I know is means retraining on how I run, I have high arches, and in the past have suffer from plantar fascitis and wear orthotics. I do not have it any more...but I am worried that without any support, it will re-occur? I am wrong on this...or not...or changing how I run will avoid this just a thought.



    Question 1

    If one is a little bigger that is ok. You want them bigger, not smaller. You might want to get the "Toe socks" that go with those because the first couple times you run in them you MIGHT get a blister. i wore a nice callus where one toe was rubbing. Keep your toe nails SHORT too. I have short nails in relation to toe length so the tips were getting stuck on the Rubber nub that wraps around top of the toes. Once I started trimming closer that problem went away. ALSO washing them might shrink them just a little bit for a more snug fit. try it?


    Question 2

    I had planter fascitis before I started using my Nike Free. The main reason you get those orthotics anyhow in the first place is muscle atrophy! When that muscle under your foot gets weak and puny and you stretch it all out that is when it hurts. since you are now USING that muscle and twisting it all directions now and straightening it you are less at risk of planter fascitis. I have no experienced any recourance since I switched. I also have high arches. High arches are only a problem if your leg muscles lack the strength to hold your weight on your heel and toes and the balls of your foot. If you pronate and your high arches collapse that is a problem though and you might want to run in shoes with more support and transition DOWN to "barefoot" slowly. I used my Nike Frees at 5.0 and then 4.5 before using the Five Fingers.


    okay- thanks for the tips.
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    Nov 19, 2010 1:30 AM GMT
    Hi: New Update:

    I did 1.5 miles yesterday on the Vibrams, and correct my calves are completely soared. I guess the running mechanics are working. So today, not doing Cardio, but Weight training at the gym.

    I did not have any problems with them. I did as some of you suggested I took smaller steps and went on a normal pace, mostly on a flat road/cement road. At first, my feet and my toes were cold, but pretty soon they were toasty and warm. I think at the 0.5 mark, is when my calves gave out, a lot of pain. I stopped and walked a bit, and then decided to go home. I did walk/run going back home. Also, a portion of the road is a hill, no choice have to go through this area to get back home.

    So my question being, are there different mechanics when going uphill or downhill with the Vibrams since you are changing the angle of your body and weight? Should I be leaning inward as I go uphill?

    Thanks guys.