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My Vibram FiveFingers Story

by Tyler Hurst » on Oct 22, 2010 1

I’m not a novice runner. Before I first tried Vibrams, I’d been running off and on since high school, most 3-6 mile jogs as punishment after parties, because I was bored or simply because it was the best time to listen to audiobooks. I didn’t run very far, nor did I run super fast. And then I got hurt.

Between June 2006 and September 2008, I have four surgeries in two different places to remove cysts. As you might imagine, I didn’t run much during that time. My final surgery on the last day of July in 2008 left me bed-ridden for nine weeks. I lost nearly 25 lbs during that time and for some reason, signed up for a half marathon in January 2009. On October 1, 2008, the day after my doc cleared me, I started training.

I ran a respectable 2 hour, 10 minute half marathon, but immediately broke down. My knees hurt, my hips hurt and my lower back hurt. My $135 Asics did little to alleviate the pain and I shot back up to 240 lbs, which is quite a lot for 5’11”. While I enjoyed my run, I was fearful of doing it again, as I didn’t want to go through the pain once more.

Love these Bikilas for running on hot sidewalks.

So I researched running styles, shoes and workouts designed to make me feel better. They all recommended orthotics and running less, but I couldn’t bring myself to do so (though I did eventually shell out $300 for a pair of doctor-made orthotic inserts). Then I read about these weird toe shoes in early June 2009. I tried a pair on in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and thought them absolutely ridiculous. No way could I wear such things. I’d rather run barefoot than cramp my feet up in those rubber and neoprene, glorified aquasocks.

CrunchGear came to the rescue a few months later. I couldn’t get the article out of my head, even as I was running in a new pair of Asics through Central Park during an August in New York City. I had to try something different. I had to have those shoes.

In September 2009, I bought my first pair of Vibram Sprints. While I certainly wouldn’t consider the blue camo stylish, they were the only pair I was able to find in person and I couldn’t quite bring myself to order direct from the website just yet.

Fast forward to 13 months later and I’m two days from running my fourth half marathon (second in Vibram Sprints). I’m three months away from running my first marathon. I own four pairs of Vibrams (Sprints, Classics, KSOs and Bikilas) and I wear the Classics or the KSOs every single day. Just three weeks ago, I equaled my previous fastest over 5 mile run in the Sprints and I’ve become faster since.

Stay tuned to find out how much fun I’ve had over the past year+ and how much fun I plan on getting myself into. It’s going to be quite the ride.


1 Comment

  1. Dan

    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to your FiveFinger journey!

    Reply

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