Friday, 11 May 2012

A week to go

After a lifetime of being involved in some form of sport or exercise, the last 2 years of inactivity have been difficult.  Exercise has always been a key part of maintaining my weight - particularly as I have a healthy appetite, which is a polite way of saying I’m 'a greedy barsteward'.

My running/jogging activities were curtailed by a bout of painful tendonitis which I aggravated by going back too soon and put me back to square one.  This prolonged period of inactivity (approx 18 months), coupled with a sedentary job, a bit of a sweet tooth and memories of my mothers wrath if the plate wasn’t cleared, made my weight balloon.

I knew that getting back into running after such a long period would have to be carefully managed.  I took up hill walking as a way of slowly introducing these old bones and muscles back into exercise.  All was going well until a stupid slip on a stone stile resulted in damaging my coccyx bone and another period of enforced rest.

It was at this period that I  became aware of barefoot running and spent some time trawling the internet for information.  A guy I knew in the States had told me a few years ago of this phenomenon and that he had purchased a pair of Vibram Fivefingers (VFFs or Toe shoes as some call them, ) to try out. After a few months of getting used to this ‘new’ style of running he became a convert and claims it has helped him improve his speed & distance while reducing his aches & pains.

I'm too old & out of condition to be interested in the speed aspect of his improvements but the reductions of aches & pains was of interest.

When the Vibram Fivefingers (link ) were first released it was clear that they weren’t going to be bought for their style. I used to run in New Balance shoes (which never won any awards for style) and I was convinced that some of the designers must have moved from NB to Vibram, such was their lack of pleasing aesthetics.

These are the VFFs Im going to purchase (believe me when I say there are much worse styles & colours) :

With crazy prices for VFFs in the UK and Europe the purchase of these shoes is not to be taken lightly, unless you’re flush enough to spend £120 on shoes on a whim, or female.  As I'm neither, I took time to commit to buying them and coupled the purchase of them with a trip to the States where they, like virtually everything, are much cheaper.  So I'm 7 days away from getting my first pair of 'barefoot shoes'.

This blog will catalogue my experiences with VFFs and barefoot running and hopefully chart some weight loss along the way.

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