Barefoot Running in Vibram Guide

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  • 8/2/2019 Barefoot Running in Vibram Guide


    Rg VbR FV

    A Step-By-Step Guide.

  • 8/2/2019 Barefoot Running in Vibram Guide



    For more than 75 years, Vibram has been a trusted leader in

    perormance and innovation. Our founder, Vitale bramani,

    lived in Milan, Italy, and developed the frst rubber sole on a

    mountaineering boot, which changed the way people moved,

    up, down and across the Earth orever.

    Ever committed to saety, Vitales experience as a mountain guide

    and climber in the Italian Alps convinced him o the need or

    perormance rubber soles on ootwear.

    What ollows is an undeniable success story: years o research

    and the production o millions o soles or the best shoes in

    the industry led Vibram to its next milestone. In 2001Viram

    ean reearcin and tetin a unique concept at the Creative

    Lab in Milan, Italy. The outcome was another industry-changing

    innovation: a sole and shoe that allowed the oot to work and move

    naturally, as i bareoot. n 2006, Viram FiveFner wa orn.


    ur founder,Vitale Bramani

    Vibram Fiv


    the oot to

    eet! Becau

    is a lesson

    team knew

    would em

    . Wh R W WRTg Ths g

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    since te launc of Viram FiveFiner in 2006, much has

    happened to bring the concept o minimalism, and minimalist

    runningin particular, into popular culture. Bareoot running

    research, theNew York TimesbestsellingBorn to Run, and a vocal

    and progressive FiveFingers user base, are just a ew things

    that have inspired consumers to put their shoes aside, put on

    FiveFingers and start moving.


    As a result, bareoot/minimalist r unning has spawned a

    recurring public debate across todays newspapers, magazines

    and webscape. so, ow are we uppoed to do ti minimalit/

    arefoot tin? The truth is, there isnt a single correct approach

    its probably more complicated than that. However, as one o

    the prominent leaders in this movement, we want to give you

    Vibrams take on it. We hope this guide will help you discover

    how YOU can saely get back to movements natural roots.

    Our running guide brings you a selection o scientifc research

    and anecdotal evidence resulting rom more than six years o

    livingin Vibram FiveFingers.

    Vibram believes that moving and running in FiveFingers can

    make u ealtier and more connected to our odie.We invite

    you to join us and explore the joys o natural running.

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    . FRsT Thgs FRsT: gTTg TO OW OR FT.

    When it comes t o running, very ew pe ople stop a nd think

    about the two most important running tools: your feet. They

    contain 52 bones, 66 joints, 40 muscles, and hundreds o

    sensory receptors, tendons, and ligaments collectively formin

    two of te ody mot efcient mecanim. Its about time

    that we got to know them!

    In some cases, we have become so shoe dependent that our

    eet are a mystery. Another unortunate side-eect: most people

    assume that there is something inherently wrong with their

    eet: arches too high or at, too wide, too narrow, curled toes,

    long toes, short toes, etc. Traditional shoes have become a way

    o hiding or fxing these assumed abnormalities. And, as a

    result, the powerul architecture o our eet has become hidden,

    disliked, and incredibly sensitive even weakened. Feet have

    taken the brunt o a cultural notion that your oot is wrong;

    that corrective shoes will make it right.

    Vibram FiveFingers celebrates

    and assists the natural orm

    and unction o your oot.

    Beore you embark on this

    journey, it is important that

    you amiliarize yours el with

    your bareoot through a series

    o sensory exercises.

    1 gT TO OW OR FOOT

    Look: Take o your shoes and socks. Take a good look at your eet.

    Become amiliar with the shape and condition o the eet. This will

    help you understand and identiy the changes that will take place

    as you transition to moving and running in FiveFingers.

    Touc: Massage is one o the best ways to stimulate the nerves

    and muscles o the eetand it eels good, too! Try these exercises

    sitting down and bareoot.

    1. Run your fngers between your toes push back and

    orth, twisting your hand a little.

    2. Use your elbow to rub the entire base o the oot.

    3. Use your hand to push toes back and orth, creating

    a gentle stretch.

    4. Administer gentle

    pressure with your

    thumbs, moving towardsyour toes. Feel/tweak

    your tendons, ligaments,

    and connective tissue.

    1. Run fi

    and forth3. Use hand to push toes back

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    exploredifferent surfacesbarefoot

    Feel: Feet are excellent at collecting inormation. Thousands

    o neurological receptors in the eet send valuable eedback

    to the brain to tell your body where it is in space and what the

    terrain is like. Actively stimulating these receptors improves

    balance, increases circulation, and enhances overall oot health.

    Walk on dierent suraces. This is one o the most

    obvious and easiest ways to stimulate and exercise

    the oot. With bare eet or in Vibram FiveFingers,

    explore your home and its surroundings. Notice how

    your eet eel on smooth vs. rough suraces and try

    to sense/recognize the signals that your eet send

    to your brain.

    Youll probably notice that your oot strike and stride instinctively

    adjust to dierent suraces. Experiment in a sae, controlled way

    on grass, carpeting, pavement, dirt, pebbles, and smooth rock

    keeping your eyes open or potential hazards or unriendly objects.

    Walk on

    Walk on

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    VbR FOOT FTss


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    2 VbR FOOT FTss:


    Re-ducation and strentenin

    Now that you have begun to amiliarize yoursel with your eet,

    youve probably noticed that they are pretty weak. Maybe its hard

    to spread or control your toes? Perhaps being bareoot or an

    extended amount o time leaves your eet sore or tired? To saely

    begin the transition to Vibram FiveFingers running, we highly

    recommendte followin foot trentenin exercie beore

    you take your frst running step.

    Practice the exercises below in 3 et of 20 rep, 3-5X/week for

    2 week. Your eet may eel tired aterwards, but you should not

    be in pain. Ultimately, this series o exercises will be part o your

    running warm-up routine.

    1. Heel raise

    2. Toe grip

    3. Dorsi/plantar exion

    1. Heel raise 2. Toe grip

    3a. Dorsiflexion 3b. Plantar flexion

    4. Toe spread/tap

    5. Exaggerated eversion/inversion

    6. Grabbing towel on the oor with toes pass to other oot

    7. Walking in FiveFingers : never underestimate the beneft

    o just being bareoot or in FiveFingers. One- to two-hour

    intervals o general day-to-day activity in your FiveFingers

    is an excellent way to slowly build the small muscles in the

    eet and ankles.

    5a. Exagg

    6a. Grabb4a. Toe spread 4b. Toe tap

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    I youve ollowed the program up to this point, youve probably

    noticed some signifcant improvements in the strength and

    exibility o your eet. Now youre ready or a test session to explore

    the light and joyul eeling o bareoot running!

    In order to make this as easy as possible, weve broken down

    the process into 4 parts: cooin a urface, arefoot tecnique,

    meaurale ditance, and a ample trainin plan. Please

    remember, the inormation and advice we are about to share is

    based on scientifc research, anecdotal evidence, and personalexperience. There is no single training and transition program

    that is suitable or everyone. You should try to discover what works

    or your body in order to make this transition sae and successul.

    One o the reasons bareoot running has become so popular is

    that it is synonymous with reedom and exploration. Give yoursel

    the git o time and patience as you explore this new way o

    running a

    PRs or a l


    Your patie



    you. Its co


    should stic

    a proper

    can be com

    te et w

    a moot,

    Running o


    o the mus

  • 8/2/2019 Barefoot Running in Vibram Guide



    barefoot Tecnique:A good landing should eel gentle, relaxed,

    and compliant. Many experienced bareoot runners suggest trying

    these two phases to learn the recommended oreoot technique:

    Phs 1 Phs 2

    FiveFingers runners typicallyland on te all of te foottowards the lateral side. Its

    best to land with the foot nearlyhorizontal, so you dont workyour calves too much or put toomuch stress on top of the foot.

    After the front of your foot lands,let te eel down radually,

    bringing the foot and lower legto a gentle landing. (Its like whenyou land from a jump, exing the

    hip, knee and ankle.) Again, thelanding should feel soft, springy,and comfortable.

    mportant point to rememer:

    o not overtride (this means landing with your oot too

    ar in ront o your knee and hips). Overstriding with a

    oreoot or midoot landing requires you to point your toe

    more than necessary, addin tre to te calf mucle,

    cille tendon, and arc of te foot. One way to avoid

    overstriding is to raise your cadence to 180 beats/min.

    Practice with a metronome or an up-tempo song youll

    notice that it is impossible to overstride at this requency.

    Make sure you arent leaning too ar orward. Your body

    should be almost upright with your eet directly below

    your hips.

    Land litly. Not sure i youre landing lightly? Try running

    totally bareoot on a hard, smooth surace (e.g. pavement)

    that is ree o debris. Sensory eedback will quickly tell you

    i you are running too hard. Light runners are quiet runners.

    Try to make as little noise as possible when you land.

    o not


    - Wal


    - Wal


    regularity something to consider i you are still a beginner with

    weaker oot muscles. Just know that the soter the surace, the less

    likely you are to land lightly and with the most compliance.

    Wicever urface you cooe, make ure to elect a controlled,

    familiar environment to ein your trainin. Dont venture too ar

    rom your starting point in case you need to stop and pack it in

    or the day. Choosing a surace actually means lea rning where

    to place your eet and how to negotiate every single step. In time,

    it becomes a high-speed reiterative process and contributes to a

    wonderul eeling o sel-awareness.

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    eaurale itance: how far ould run? i te mot

    frequently aked quetion from runner new to FiveFiner.

    I you are an athlete with a no pain, no gain mentality, you

    may want to reconsider that approach. Your oot, ankle, and

    cal muscles could be very weak rom spending a lietime in

    traditional shoes. I you vigorously work out any ill-conditioned

    muscles in your body, theyll become sore and sti. Your oot and

    cal muscles are no exception. We sincerely recommend that you

    not overdo it, because you will probably injure yoursel by doing

    too much too soon.

    Followin, youll nd a conervative trainin plan to elp uild your

    Viram FiveFiner runnin ditance in a afe and enjoyale way.

    Dont orget, this is about having un and enjoying your r un! Stress

    ractures, tendonitis, and other injuries are NOT un, mostly because

    they prevent us rom doing something we truly cherish. Also, in the

    long run, they may become debilitating. Pleae liten to your ody

    at every tep of ti proce. You will thank yoursel in the long run.

    sample Trainin Plan

    Ws 1 2 Ws 3 4 Ws 5 T

    Foot Fitness (pp.10-1 1) 3-5X/wk Warm up with Foot Fitness (pp.10-11)Gently stretch your calves and arches

    Warm up witGently stretc

    Wear FiveFingers for 1 to 2 hour

    intervals per day (simple day-to-

    day activities: sitting, standing,

    walking, etc.)

    Run 10% of your normal running

    distance no more than once every

    other day.*

    Each week,


    than 10% of

    the previous

    to run no m

    other day.*

    Practice foot stretching and

    self-massage as described on

    p.5. Include calf massage as part

    of this recovery process. self-

    maae will reak down car

    tiue and elp your mucle

    eal and et troner.

    After each r

    stretching a

    described o

    massage as


    *This is not a hard and fast rule, but a general guide. If your muscles remain sore, do not increase yo

    another week.

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    take care ofyour body

    dditional tip to rememer:

    stop if your arce or te top of your foot i urtin, or if

    anytin ele urt! Sometimes arch and oot pain occurs

    rom landing with your eet too ar orward relative to

    your hips and ha ving to point your toes too much. It

    can also occur rom landing with too rigid a oot and not

    letting your heel drop gently.

    stop and let your ody eal if you experience pain. Sore,

    tired muscles are normal; bone, joint, or sot-tissue pain

    is a sign o injury.

    lway e patient, and uild radually.It can take several

    months to a year to make the transition to running in


    n te einnin, rememer to carry your traditional

    footwear in your and a a ackup. I you need to stop in

    the middle o a workout, you can put on your cushioned

    running shoes and return home.







    suits y





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    LOV OR R.

    LsT TO OR bO.

    TR LghTL.

    sTRT WTh OR FT.

    Part o the reason we love Vibram FiveFingers running is because

    it helps us build relationships with each other and ourselves. This

    sense o community has generated riendships, inspired debates,

    and helped us learn. Vibram FiveFingers running may help you

    run aster or it may just allow you to love running. Either way, this

    will soon become YOUR journey as you develop a new appreciation

    or your body.

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    Disclaimer:The inormation in this book is oered or educational purposes only; the reader should be cautionedthat there is an inherent risk assumed by the participant with any orm o physical activity. With that in mind, those

    participating in cardio, strength, and conditioning programs should check with their physician prior to initiatingsuch activities. Anyone participating in these activities should understand that such training initiatives may be

    dangerous i perormed incorrectly, and may not be appropriate or everyone. The author assumes no liability or

    injury; this is purely an educational manual to guide those already profcient with the demands o such programming.

    Vibram would like to thank the Vibram Tester Team, Dr. Daniel Lieberman, Proessor o Evolutionary

    Biology, and Dr. Nicholas Campitelli, DPM or their guidance and advice while writing this piece.

    Vibram and Vibram FiveFingers are trademarks of Vibram S.p.A. 2011 Vibram S.p.A. All rights reserved.