Category Archives: Review

Review – Vibram FiveFingers – not for everyone

This is a follow up, and contrasting argument, to Viktor’s review of Vibrams.  This past weekend was the Tough Mudder Wisconsin.  I decided to run in my Vibram Bikilas.  I have been trying to run at least once a week in the KSOs because they aren’t quite as “colorful” as my Bikilas.  I also started the Insanity workout the week before the TM with the KSOs.  In short, my calves have been BURNING.  In detail, I have never felt so much pain in my calves before.  In high school I ran both types of hurdles and excelled at them.  Jumping and running have always been a part of my exercise.   But, for some reason, I can no longer jump with out knotting up after training in FiveFingers.  I attempted a backflip off of a boat last week, and both legs charlie-horsed immediately.  Mid flip I realized that I would not have function in my legs for the next few seconds.  I landed in the water and had to try and float without the use of my legs.  This has never been an issue until I started running in these shoes.  This should have been a clear sign, but for the sake of my fellow Mudders, I ran in them anyway.  They put a whole new strain on your calves, which is why you absolutely must train in them regularly.  I clearly can not do this.  By the end of the event, I was hurting.  I talked to one other runner who was in the same situation as me.   Both of us had the energy to finish, but our calves wouldn’t allow it.  I’m not saying that the shoes were bad, and in fact, everyone else seems to love them.  But at the point I can no longer scale the Berlin Walls when I previously could with ease, I decided that they simply are not for me.

CrossFit and Tough Mudder, A Test of Fitness

“Develop the capacity of a novice 800 meter track athlete, gymnast, and weightlifter and you’ll be fitter than any world class runner, gymnast, or weightlifter.” ~ Greg Glassman, Founder, CrossFit

In preparing for a Tough Mudder, there are many workout programs available to you in order to gain some physical fitness prior to the tortures of the Tough Mudder course.  Some home workouts are advertised heavily such as Beachbody’s P90X and Insanity, or for home gym products such as Iron Gym’s Doorway Pullup Bar, the Perfect Pushup, or fitness magazine’s new monthly set like the Spartacus Workout.  You can even do the official Tough Mudder workout (just don’t believe the “related obstacles”).

I started doing the Spartacus Workout at the end of 2009, and went into P90X early 2010, but I soon grew bored of the repetitiveness of these routines and I couldn’t finish the full schedule.  I signed up for a Tough Mudder (Pennsylvania 4/2011) in November 2010 in an effort to motivate myself to get into shape again.  I couldn’t get myself truly active until January 2011 when I found CrossFit, and now halfway through July, I’m still doing it.  To me, that’s a great testament; the best workout routine is the one you keep.   Continue reading CrossFit and Tough Mudder, A Test of Fitness

Review – Vibram Five Finger Shoes

Five finger shoes…  And all the barefoot running shoes have been getting a lot of hype lately.  Tyler introduced me to them 2 months before our first tough mudder (Tri-State, Englishtown).  I was certainly a skeptic at first.  They look ridiculous and on top of that the pair I got are not only toe shoes but bright red.  They were sure to get some comments.  I had heard they took some getting used to but that was okay but that was okay because I still had some time before the mud run.  I had been training in sneakers and having to ice my knees a lot.  My knees are not awful but I had ACL surgery and meniscus about 3 years ago and have had to ice when overwork my knee.  I started out slow. I ran 1.5 miles in them and stretched a lot.  That first day felt easy, but the next 3 hurt!  Apparently they were very hard on my calves.  It felt like I had softballs for calves.  Once my calves ripened a little and softened up I tried 2 miles.  Then took about 3 days off to massage my cramped calves… But those two times were the worst of it and one thing I forgot to mention (the reason I put myself through this apparent agony), even though my calves were killing me my knees were fine.  Since I started using the Five Finger KSO shoes my calves hurt but I figured that calves are a muscle and can adapt and heal pretty quick, knees on the other hand are mostly bone, and wear out.

Continue reading Review – Vibram Five Finger Shoes