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Lynn’s Half-Marathon in Vibram Five Finger KSOs

Lynn emailed in about hitting a personal record (PR) on the recent Rock’N’Roll Chicago half-marathon

Lynn emailed in about hitting a personal record (PR) on the recent Rock’N’Roll Chicago half-marathon, the first he’s completed wearing his Vibram blue camo fivefinger KSOs. Lynn said:

This was my fifth ½ marathon this year and the first in my VFF’s. This was also my PR for this distance. The time for the other four ½ marathons (all in shod) were: 1:52, 1:51, 1:54, 1:57 (run the day after the 1:54 ½ marathon). I ran this one in 1:47 which beat my previous PR for this distance by more than a minute.

This photo was taken around mile 3 which was in the Chicago loop. The last half of the race takes place along the lakefront. The bibs indicate the starting corral you were assigned. I was assigned the 4th corral. The guy behind me was assigned the 3rd corral and I beat him by over 10 minutes (not that I checked).

My DW doesn’t think it’s the VFF’s. She thinks it’s my conditioning. I think my conditioning is because I’ve been converting over to running in the VFF’s for the last four months.

Congratulations on reaching a new PR, and I think I’m going to take your side — it’s gotta be the improved running technique afforded by the near-barefoot running of VFFs!

Thanks for sharing!

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

6 replies on “Lynn’s Half-Marathon in Vibram Five Finger KSOs”

I am really struggling to just run better in my VFF’s. I find after 28 years of running with running shoes my buddy just doesnt want o naturally run on the balls of my feet.

Just finished the chicago half on Sept 13th with my 5-fingers and was able to finally break into the under 10 minute mile group. They felt GREAT

Lynn, Thanks so much for this post. I wasn’t sure about doing a half in my KSOs or not but I read this post back in December and sealed the deal for me.
I did my first VFF half marathon at the Cary, IL March Madness and broke my PR by more than 5 minutes. What was really cool was how strong I was on the hills with these (perhaps a little slower on the downhills being on the lookout for slippery spots).

I only today just realized that you were there too after looking at the Cary facebook page. Wish I would have known or I would have given another VFFer a shout out. Was at least 3 of us there and lots of runners were aware of and/or asking questions about.

Question… How did you “convert to running” in VFFs? I just started using my first pair a month ago, and love running in them. I just signed up for the Dec 4th St Jude’s half marathon and want to know if I can stick to these, or if I should run in my usual Newtons bc three months isn’t enough time to convert safely to VFF’s before a long race??? I really want to hear that I can run in my VFFs! Any advice? Thanks, Lynn. Or anyone with advice.


I ran a half marathon 4 months after I started running in 5’s. But I started running in 5’s only about 4 months after I started running (29 years old, now 30). So I would say it took me longer to adjust because I wasn’t used to running. It was my first race ever but I finished with a pretty decent time. Very sore in my achilles and lower calves for about 3 days but feeling much better (Thursday after the Sunday race). I would say go for it. Pace yourself and if you’re feeling sore just take it easy!

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