While I had previously run a maximum of 10km in my Vibrams, and only on the road, I decided to join my running group for a trail run with the Vibram's.
I was taking two separate risks by joining this run:
- The run was scheduled to be 18km, which is a big jump from 10km and I had no idea if my calves were ready for this.
- It was a trail run, not a road run. I had no idea how the Vibrams would feel on a trail.
It turned out the trail wasn't so bad. While it was pebbly, it wasn't a serious trail. It was more of an old, cracked, paved back road that was in disrepair. So the trail aspect wasn't an issue. I still think that on a real serious trail these Vibrams will not be good enough and I will need something more similar to a shoe - something more heavy duty. Maybe Vibram has something or maybe one of the other barefoot shoe models are more appropriate for serious trails.
Regarding the distance, I did it. The trail was tough - it had a lot of uphill, at a steep angle and at long inclines as well.
The first 14km I blew through. It felt like I was gliding. I was running, without feeling any pain or discomfort. I was running at an average speed I had not run since the middle of last years marathon training season - and I am right now not in great shape.
After about 14km, as we were on a long incline, I started to feel it in my calves. I slowed down a bit and continued. As the mountain got steeper, it got more difficult and I was feeling like my calves were going to explode. After hitting the summit, the last 1km was downhill and flat back to the car.
I must say that my calves were in a lot of pain until Sunday, and even slight pain continued through Monday. On Saturday I felt like I had run a marathon - I could hardly walk, especially up and down stairs. All the pain wa sin my calves.
Lesson learned. You cannot jump too fast. Gotta build up those muscles. I probably should have run 14km this time and maybe 18 next time. Now I should probably go out for a 16km run.
So far though the barefoot running has been a great experience.