Last Tuesday, Jimmy and I went along to the Vibram FiveFingers Clinic held at the Canary Wharf branch of Runners Need.
The very first important thing that learnt from this clinic is that Vibram is pronounced “veebram” and not “viebram” as I always thought. The thing is, I now want to correct everyone else, except “viebram” still continues to pop out of my mouth and then I have to correct myself. It was also nice to finally meet Julia Buckley who I have often spoken to on Twitter but had never actually met!
We were slightly late to the clinic, mostly due to Jimmy walking off in the wrong direction and then blaming me, saying that he thought I knew where I was going. I DID, but by his purposeful walk, I thought he knew a shortcut. Bah. Luckily, we didn’t miss too much, arriving just as a presentation on Vibrams was beginning. Jimmy was given a new pair of Vibrams to try on (I think Vibram are lucky that he gave them back!) and I declined as I was already wearing the pair JogBlog had given me. We were given the history of Vibram which was interesting and it was explained why they were so good for us. I happily wiggled my toes in agreement and then we were told to remove our shoes for some practical exercises.
I generally don’t like group exercises because I feel silly and also because I am still not over the trauma caused by the Shock Absorber training session Cathy and I went to last year. However, this one was ok; the coach was really nice, the exercises were not embarrassing and it was explained how and why some running shoes can have a detrimental effect. We were also shown how to warm up properly for running in these shoes – extremely useful as I can confirm that my calves felt extremely uncomfortable after my first run in them. Then it was time to go outside to the shopping centre for some running around and more exercises.
I’ve been struggling with my feet recently and as my arch was feeling pretty painful, I decided to give this bit of the session a miss, choosing to watch from the sides and listen in. It was explained how to run properly in Vibrams, something I found particularly useful as when I’ve been running in them, I’ve been landing on my forefoot only. The correct way is apparently to feel almost as if you are falling forward and to land on your mid/forefoot, allowing your heels to come down after.
Finally, it was back into the shop for Q&A and freebies, including an information booklet with advice on transitioning to Vibrams and a cool foot shaped keyring.
Sadly, these clinics have finished now, but according to Julia’s website, Fitness Rocks, it looks like these clinics will be held nationwide. It was a really friendly and informative evening, so I recommend going if these go ahead. In the meanwhile, do pop over to Julia’s website where there is a wealth of information on Vibrams, and if you feel like getting in on the act yourself, why not enter my competition to win a pair of your very own pair of FiveFinger shoes?