Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to run like a kid again

As a kid growing up in Minnesota, I ran a few times barefoot in the winter to get the paper.  It was only about 30 feet to the paper box and I did this Sundays to retrieve the big newspaper.  It was too much trouble to get the heavy boots on.  I only would do this when there was no new snow.

After blowing out my Vibram KSO's last week, I was down to running in my barefeet or huarche sandals.  It was in the low 30's when I hit the road this morning.  Last week my tootsies got cold in the huarches.  Solution: Vivobarefoot!  Sure beats cold feet. 

I read about Terraplana Vivo Barefoot shoes a few weeks ago while researching on better running form.  The running training videos at Terra Plana offers are more useful than most running books that  I have paid good money for.

I found a 40% off coupon and ordered the Evo II.  The Evo looks like a cool racing flat that I would have worn at a track meet or cross country competition.  Both shoes weigh less than a pound.  There is zero drop between the  toe and the heel.

Here is what I liked:
  • I could still feel the gravel under my feet.
  • The rocks did not poke through and hurt my heels.
  • Super lightweight.
  • Feels like a slipper or moccasin.
  • I only ran for an hour so it's hard to find something bad.  Usually, if the shoe is not comfortable when I first put it on, then it's "game over".  They  get shelved or taken back.
  • The material on the bottom is not Vibram like.  It's  kind of slipper in the rain.  I was afraid of slipping the rail road tracks as I still like to pretend to be a tight rope walker.
  • The collar needs to be tighter to keep out trail debris.
When I run, I like to be mindless and drift in and out of semiconscious.  Maybe more day dreaming.  But with my new Evo's and trying to get in tune with my body, I had to think more than usual' 

I programmed my Iphone with a free metronome app that teaches me to run at 170 strides per minute pace.  I was over striding, causing many injuries.  Now, my foot land directly under my body.  It's almost like tap dancing.  Light and springy! 

With minimalist shoes like the Evo ii, you naturally take shorter steps and your form improves without thinking.

Over-all, for an hour run with literally no break in period, they are great!  I am thinking that I will be able to log in over a 1000 miles on trails without them falling apart.

The shoes are pricey!  $150 retail.  Not your typical kids shoe.  But you sure will run like a kid again because they are so light.

If you really want to run like a kid, drive up to Tahoe and run 20 feet barefoot in the snow.  It will be your first and last barefoot run.

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