An incredible insight into one of our Tribe's Journey to finding FiveFingers and how they've returned the 'joy of running' back to him'

An incredible insight into one of our Tribe's Journey to finding FiveFingers and how they've returned the 'joy of running' back to him'

Watch and Listen to Matt as he tells us all about his upcoming Barefoot Challenge. In his blog he dives in deep and tells us all about his running journey and how it innevitably  led him to Vibram FiveFingers.

Get inspired and if you want to support Matt, the link to his charity 'go fund me' page is at the bottom of the article.

How Dan our collaborative photographer found FiveFingers? and how he finds them 'Infectious' Reading An incredible insight into one of our Tribe's Journey to finding FiveFingers and how they've returned the 'joy of running' back to him' 6 minutes Next Rob tells us word for word his expererience and also drops in a handy a handy tip, that he found vital.

Matt Norman – Vibram FiveFingers “The joy of running”


My fitness journey started when I joined the gym at about the age of 16. I did this for confidence more than anything else but was taken under the wing of the instructors and owner.

It wasn’t a popular sport then, but they actively competed in Triathlon. I thought it looked different and gave it a go. I naturally took to the running and swimming but the biking I found difficult, almost painful in that laid down position.

Due to the high mileage trying to keep up with the adults I developed knee pain which was diagnosed as Patellar Tendonitis. I was prescribed Carbon orthotics due to my overpronation which I wore from then on in all my trainers.

A few years passed and I became a lot less active, busy with work and a young family.

It was watching the London Marathon one year when I commented on giving it a go and was questioned by a family member to whether I was capable of this distance and did I realise how difficult it was! Being quite stubborn and not wanting to go with the norm, I decided that wasn’t far enough and signed myself up to run 100km down the Grand Union Canal! Not the best idea I know but I just thought the challenge looked great and a lot more inviting than the thought of mass people at a start line.

From that moment on I fell in love with long distance running and the people, it felt like a real community. I completed the 100km in the orthotics it felt ok but sore. Something wasn’t completely right. I had cracked the orthotic, obviously my body was fighting back and wasn’t prepared to be confined it that position. The orthotics were binned at this point.

My gut feeling was my running style needed to be built from the ground or feet up. Rethinking everything I thought I knew. This started me on my journey or transition to a neutral shoe, more trail running and a lot more enjoyment.

I could only go so far by myself. I suppose it was only a few years ago that it really clicked. I read a book by Shane Benzie ‘The Lost Art of Running’. It sparked an interest in me that I can’t explain a sort of realisation that running was a skill an art form. Much like a golf swing or basketball shot it needed to be practised. This was exciting and something I was lacking. I worked my way through the book then devoured everything that was similar or could shed more light on the art of running. This led me to another very famous book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. My interest was heightened to the fact it was possible to run in a minimalist shoe and that would improve your running. Even after reading this book, I wasn’t completely convinced that it would work for me a guy who overpronated running in a zero-drop minimal cushioning shoe!

I set my sites on a 24hour trail race on a five-mile loop round a Suffolk Forest. It was amazing the people the camaraderie and most of all that I managed to run for 24 hours covering just over 100miles.

Then they realised Born to Run 2 The Ultimate Training Guide, this was another turning point in my view of training and racing. It stripped everything back to being more fun, enjoyable the reason I started running in the first place. The fact that this was a plan a blueprint to take everything they spoke about in Born to Run and put it into practice. Surely it was worth a go.

I followed the plan and bought a pair of zero drop shoes. Sure I had owned a pair before but not zero-drop and minimal cushioning. This was insane. From there I started running in sandals in the summer it felt freeing and very natural.

My wife and I then attended the National Running Show where we met Jodie and Adam on the Vibrams stand. I have always been intrigued by those funny looking shoes. Zero-drop, no cushioning, surely it was worth a go. They felt great from the minute I put them on. I purchased a pair of V trails. As soon as I got home, I was out for a run and the immense joy was overwhelming. I understand it sounds odd, but it just felt fun again exactly what I had been searching for. The other thing I found was I listened to my body more, you would know if your gait or foot strike was off because of the feedback through your feet.

This got me thinking of different challenges and what was next. I met some guys from Rasselbock Running as well while I was at the National Running Show who were so full of enthusiasm i couldn’t resist giving one of their races a go.

Enter The Bannister Series, 24 hours round a 400m running track!! But what if my newfound shoes could propel me even further than I thought? The Vibrams FiveFingers give me the perfect transition to move towards barefoot running and that’s the plan. I will move from the V-Trails to the KSO Evos then to completely barefoot aiming to complete as many laps of a 400m running track as possible while raising money for Every Life. Every Life is a charity supporting communities from the slums of Uganda to deprived housing estates in the UK.

What I am sure of though is my new Vibram Five Fingers will be with me every step of the way, strengthening my feet and propelling me forward.

Bring on August and 24hours!

If you want to support Matt you can do so by clicking on this link


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