Sunday, June 10, 2012

If I were to run Comrades again..

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have decided to not to run Comrades again..

But then, If I do run Comrades again, I will not run on Vibrams..
At the start, in Vibrams

I have never run past a marathon on Vibrams and doing Comrades on them was a big risk.  Interestingly, I did not see anyone else run on Vibrams besides Balaji & I.  However, I did see one other runner, doing her bit on Huaraches.

I have run the last 5 marathons, including Boston on my Vibrams and having been doing my regular runs solely on Vibrams this year.  So, I decided to take it to the next level and decided to run Comrades on Vibrams.  But, I now think that was a mistake.

Beyond a point, my heels and mid-foot felt very very sore.  My legs refused to cooperate or obey my mind.  Each step beyond 50k was painful.  I am not sure if these are directly attributable to Vibrams or the real problem is with my gait.  I went back and read Christopher Mcdugal's The once and future way to run again.

His arguments are very convincing and makes me believe that it is most likely 'user error'.  But it still does explain why I was ok till 50k and the pain started after that.  Did I change my gait after 50k or I did not train enough?  The answer may be a combination of both.  But, for now I have decided not to run beyond 50k on Vibrams.

I will, However though would continue to run marathons and regular runs on Vibrams.

I asked Balaji about his views on Virbams.  He, afterall ran the entire 90k on Vibrams.  His reply was a typical ‘Balaji’.  He said, he didn’t feel anything beyond a point and didn’t know if even his legs existed. ‘I simply chugged along’ was his response. 

Next: One thing Comrades must NOT do..


  1. I am glad to read this post. It means you are going back there soon. This year's DNF will soon be put behind!

  2. I think both of us had doubts about it after the Chennai-Mahabalipuram run in December. We somehow ignored it and went ahead with Vibrams.
    My observation during the run was that it does not help a runner with the much wanted cushioning while running downhill. It looks fine when you run on flat roads but when you are running downhill, you need a certain degree of protection for your knees and Vibrams does not offer them. Invariably, I was beaten by all runners at the downhill and used to race them up on the uphills. The final run down the hill was a huge risk. I decided that if my knee cracks at any point of time, I would give up. I was lucky that it didn't crack!