If you have the time to do this, I don't think it would hurt. Another technique I've heard of is the walk/run, where you run a mile and walk one (or more) alternatly to help in the heat. A lot of older runners told me this was popular years ago and that they used to get just as much benifit from this as they would from running straight through.
I have decided NOT to run in the Speeds, don't know why but my calves have to work harder when I am in them, maybe they are a bit to tight.
I hope the marathon goes well! I have developed a hypothesis as to why the Bikilas (and Speeds) seem to make the calves more sore: there is 2 mm more padding under the ball of the foot than in the heel. When I decided I wanted a VFF made more for running, this is the way I imagined it as well, to keep the heel from hitting too hard (at the end of a long run, the occasional hit can start to hurt) and keep the ball feeling protected. Plus, the extra leverage might lend to speed, like a Newton. The problem is that the calves have to work a bit harder to overcome this 'fulcrum', which would also explain why I tend to stay more on my toes in these than any others.
Not sure if that's correct, but it seems that way to me.
the same way a lot of pros will do barefoot drills but they dont run races bare. a lot of people see vffs as a training tool and not a full time shoe and definitely not something to race in...that's what shoes are for
Well said; most people don't think they are faster in them, even though they realize they get stronger in them. They also are sceptical because they fear they will take too long to get in and out of.
The sandals are Nashbar brand; they go for around $40-50, and are SPD cleat compatible. I normally wear size 46 in shoes/sandals, but the 46/47 size fits perfectly over my size 43 Bikilas. They are a bit heavy, and I think that some other brands might be lighter, but I have tried them for everything from flat time trialing to explosive hill climbing, and they work fine.
Did my first multisport race yesterday in VFFs at the Tri For Veterans duathlon in Sea Isle, NJ. I planned on turning some heads at the start in my Bikilas, and I did just that. I finished the first two mile run in the four man lead pack, and slipped my cycling sandals over my VFFs to take off on the bike. An ambulance got between me and the two leaders, holding me up for what I thought was a few inconsequential minutes. I passed the first of them at the halfway point, but the strong winds prevented me from closing the 200 yard gap to the leader. I blasted through the transition and headed out on the final 5k. I slowly creeped in closer, watching him start to falter, but I waited too long to speed up and finished 50 yards back. The good news: The sandals helped chop off 20 seconds from my T2 time! Last year I also took second here and was hoping for a chance to do better, but a shortened bike course (8 miles instead of 12) took away my advantage. Still, it was a fun time and I'm sure I'll be there again next year!
The crowns in a road refer to any angles or banking molded into the asphalt or pavement to allow water to run from the center of the road to the sides. It's kind of like the banking used in turns, but occurs through most straight roads over here.
I had been running for 6 months in VFFs before my first marathon. I ran it in the Treks in 3:36. I did it for the same reason you're thinking: the thicker soles help hold off fatigue in the last 6 miles. Two suggestions: wear body glide on the top of the foot wear the seams are, especially at the joint of the big toe; before they fully break in, these areas can cause blisters. The other is try to run as much as possible on the flatest parts of the road, avoiding the angles created by crowns. I didn't realize how bad this was until 20 miles in, when the foot on the uphill side started hurting from leaning in for so many miles (like road-induced pronation).
Good job Toastergirl; glad you went with the Bikilas! My next race is coming up next weekend, and I'm going to turn some heads with my race gear. I finally tried out my biking sandals with the KSOs and the Bikilas last weekend, and they are going to rock. Here's the sizing stats: the Nashbar sandals I ordered are 'multisized' at 47/48 and my Bikilas are 43. They are a tad big, but a 45/46 (which is my regular size) would have been too small; in another brand, a 47 would be perfect. The sandals have excellent power transfer, and are quite easy to slide in and out of. I've never been one to leave my biking shoes on the bike for transition, but I still feel I will fly faster through T1. Getting off the bike in T2 will be even better, though; I can loosen one strap and leave the sandals on the pedals, hoping off into a run and ready to go. And I can't wait to exploit the best advantage of running in Vibrams for a multisport race: my bike and run cadence are equal, so there will be little transitioning into the final run! Now I just need to keep the bike on two wheels (last year I wrecked out of first in this race... )