Hero to Zero: My adventures in minimalist shoes (Day two)


So, day two of my transition. Oh, did I not mention? It’s officially a transition now: In the space of two short runs I’ve gone from just trying out some sexy new shoes to deciding that almost-barefoot is the way I want to go. I’ll be knitting my own camelbak next.

It is still just an experiment though. I figured that, just as December was written off to cake and very little running, I’ll devote January to playing around with minimalist shoes. If, by the end of the month, I feel like it’s working then I’ll stick with it. If it’s not gelling then I’ll just go back to being Heely “Heels” McHeelson* and relegate the Skechers to a comfy leisure shoe.

For my second run of the week I was joined by an old friend, DOMS. I hadn’t experienced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness in as long as I can remember, and I’d been quick to interpret this as a good thing; a sign that my legs were now the legs of a runner**. But was all this absence of sore legs and tight muscles really such a good thing? Now that I come to think about it, they*** do say that we improve our performance by forcing our bodies to adapt through a cycle of overload and recovery. Perhaps my lack of DOMS had actually been a sign that I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough and was instead allowing myself to plateau. But that was all neither here nor there, because right now I was well and truly back in DOMSville, population: me.

It wasn’t hard to see what was causing the tight achiness, as I bounded along on the balls of my feet with the consummate grace of someone trying to push a semi-conscious bison up a flight of stairs. My calves felt like ripe grapefruit, with each step pushing them just to the verge of bursting.

Just over three miles today. Getting there.

So, in summary: Ow.

*Truth be told, I’ve become more of a midfoot plodder lately, but that doesn’t lend itself to such a good name.
** So they came to be in my possession I’ll never know. Maybe I bought them at a car boot sale after hitting the gin.
*** Not sure who they are. I’m notoriously bad at checking my sources, so for all I know “they” could be Genghis Khan and Hamburglar.
(I can’t believe my spellchecker doesn’t like “Hamburglar”. What sort of world are we living in?)

2 thoughts on “Hero to Zero: My adventures in minimalist shoes (Day two)

  1. The soreness is your calves getting used to the zero drop, I reckon. I had the same, Three miles for your second run might be part of it two – I ran a few half miles, then a few miles then up to threes.

    Those shoes look dandy, though – kind of like dino-feet. 🙂

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