Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springing Back Into Minimalist Running

Get it? Spring?... :P No, but I've dropped the heavy shoes again, and I'm a 100% minimalist runner.

It's been a little over 2 weeks since I've switched back to my VFF's and my New Balance Minimus shoes. My feet and legs didn't miss a beat over the winter months. I've not been suffering from the lower leg pains that I experienced last year when I started running in my VFFs. Muscle memory at work here, I'm assuming. (?)

This past Friday, I took an 8 mile fun run with my buddy Eric @ Dillon State park. On this run, my new Minimus shoes gave me some nasty blisters due to the fact that I didn't wear any socks and we sloshed through some mud early into the run. When the shoes came off, I had some bright-shiny blisters on the tips of my middle 3 toes on both feet, and some nasty blisters on my heels from the back of the shoe. I put socks on after that run and had to grin-n-bear it the rest of the evening.

On Saturday morning, I met my good buddy Farley up at Mohican and we ran the Orange loop (15 miles).

Due to my tender blisters, I decided to break out the old black VFF KSO Treks that I got over a year ago. They have 500+ miles on them, and they stink like hell. They're falling apart but they are still amazingly comfortable. I glided through the forrest and only kicked a few roots and rocks on this run. Farley wore his Merrell Trail Gloves and had nothing but great things to say about them. They looked pretty comfortable and he claims that they are indeed extremely comfortable.

Side Note: Remember the last time I met with Farley, we ran into a fellow named "Last Place Jason". Farley recognized him from the Huaraches Google Group, and we stood around and talked to him for a few minutes after the race. At that time, we only knew him as "Last Place Jason". He was (and still is) a huge advocate of barefoot running and all things "minimalist". Anyway, (long story short) it turns out that he recently became the official spokesperson for Merrell Barefoot running. Oh and he has a real name too: it is Jason Robillard. :) I thought it was pretty cool to see a true success story from a great guy.

Check out some of his work on the Merrell Barefoot Training site.

Anyway, back to the Mohican run, this was the farthest that Farley has ever ran, and he rocked it like a trail pro. I think he has the taste for Mohican running now. :) It's quite addictive. He stated that most of his runs are flat, road runs around his neighborhood. This was an insanely hilly, single track trail that weaved in and out of trees and up and down hills the whole time. He admitted that he was a bit concerned after the first 2 miles. Of course, the first two miles of this run was all uphill and pretty slow going. However, once we got to the top of the hill and settled into a nice pace, our conversation allowed the time to pass pretty fast. I totally enjoyed this run and can't wait to run with "Brother Farley" again soon.


Unknown said...

I noticed you run in both VFF's and New Balance minimus. If you want a true barefoot-plus feel with a minimal layer of protection, consider checking out Invisible Shoes: http://www.invisibleshoe.com/

I absolutely love mine, and I agree, minimalist running helps keep the injuries on the low and the form on the lookin good end ;)

Luc said...

Angelina - Thanks for the tip. I actually made a pair of huaraches and use them as well. Here is my blog post from last year, where I show them off and explain how I made them.

I have to admit that I mostly use them more as my summer-time sandals rather than a running solution. However, I may change that this summer and do more runs in them. Thanks for the comment!