For years I’ve had trouble running. I used to run with a heel strike pattern and a hollow back which caused a lot of lower back problems. This made me hate running and I did a lot of different sports to have an excuse for not needing to run.
After breaking my ankle in July 2017 I even decided to quit OCR, after the OCR World Championships, and become a competitive bikini fitness athlete.
As you might have guessed, things went a little different When I met my current boyfriend Rick, he explained to me that my running pattern might be the cause of the lower back issues. That, combined with a relatively weak core.
My first 5k-
End of 2017, I started running on Vibram Fivefingers, and in January 2018 I ran my first continuous barefoot-style 5k in 34 min. For beginners that’s usually an absolute no-no, since you have to work up to a 5k on barefoot shoes. When you build it up too fast you can create bone/tendon issues in you feet, since they can easily become over-stressed.
In my case, however, I have a strong base due to all the strength training and cycling I did since last Summer that my muscles were strong enough to deal with the stress the running causes on my feet.
Since then I already ran over 200k on my Vibrams and I can safely say that I became addicted to them. It feels so much better and my technique has improved a lot since I started.
Barefoot running and the transition-
‘Traditionally’, in this case meaning the 1970’s, runners got used to heel striking due to the development of the running shoe. It developed from zero to no correction and cushioning, to fully cushioned and correcting soles and foot beds. This encouraged (or even demanded) heel striking, which is also due to the drop in the sole of the shoe. ‘Drop’ is the difference in height at the heel and the toe of the sole, measured from the ground up.