Learning to run in Vivo Barefoot shoes, part 2

Here’s part two of my running re-education – building up to a 5k in Vivo‘s revolutionary barefoot trainers.

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Here’s part 1 in case you don’t read religiously follow everything on the blog (why on earth not?).

I’ve been trotting about in my Vivo barefoot trainers for more than a month now (mine are some nice flouro pink Stealth road running shoes (£120)) , following Vivo’s training tips and video guide to realign my posture and learn to run in a more intuitive, natural way. After a few weeks walking and attempting gentle jogs in my super thin new shoes, I was keen to give them a proper outing and get back up to 5k, the distance I usually run of an evening.

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Attempt number one, a dirt road 5k complete with sidekick dog, did not go well, and by halfway my Achilles tendons started to pull. By 4k they were sending sharp pains up my legs, so I hobbled home and stretched them. A chat with Vivo confirmed what I thought – this is a pretty common effect of switching to barefoot, as your average runner’s leg muscles just aren’t used to running without support.

I reluctantly went back to my normal trainers for a few days to give my legs a break, and then started running in the Vivos once a week. I stuck to two miles each time and religiously followed the training program. I also made sure I ran in leggings and thick socks to keep my muscles warm.

Attempt number two at a 5k run in the Vivos – perfect. The gentler pace that the Vivos require mean that you’ve got to run at a slow, steady pace, and it’s easy to keep going once you feel comfortable. The more I’ve run barefoot, the more natural the rhythm feels, and the more I want to carry on. Next up? I’m going to invest in a pair of off-road trainers for mud runs.

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