A few months ago I heard about minimal shoes. You know, the first ones were the vibram five fingers with the crazy separate toe pockets. Now there are minimals and hybrids made by Merrell, New Balance, Brooks, Saucony, Asics, Mizuno, and a handful of other companies. I have heard about the advantages to barefoot or toe strike running from various sources (a book called "Born to run" by Christopher McDougall and an indepth Harvard study on the matter) and then a good friend of mine started to use them. He LOVED them.
I am not a gifted or natural runner. My running experience mostly came from chasing girls and avoiding committment. I have trained for and completed a few 10k's, one half marathon and one full marathon. All of which were part of an overall weightloss goal. Since I had some running experience I thought I would give these minimals a try. I bought the vibram five fingers mostly because my friend had them too.
I am three weeks into my transition. The first week (.25 miles) was ROUGH on my calf muscles. They ached like never before. The toe strike didn't hurt but the calf muscles did. Now I am running two miles with them and while I feel my calf muscles while running they don't ache afterwards. The new challenge has been the cold weather!
This has been a fun way to shake up my workouts and to invigorate and educate my mind about being more conscience about my body and my workouts.