It's all in the mid-foot strike!
When last I wrote - 3 short days ago - I'd run my first 3km in these new Vibram Fivefingers. I thought my calves were going to explode! Walked around the rest of Friday and Saturday feeling like I had calves-of-popeye. I'm sure they didn't look any different, but they felt like they were blown up to skin-stretching-proportions.
Today, Monday, my calves seemed to feel relatively normal, so I geared up for a quick run near home. The start of this run present a brand new challenge - the gravel road. The first 500 meters of my run are on a dirt/loose-gravel road. I found that running in the loose gravel was, to my surprise, better than running on the dirt. It's because the loose gravel seems to move to spread the force of impact - whereas on the dirt, should there be that lone piece of gravel sitting on the hard-packed dirt.... well.... it's not that gravel that's going to give - it's your foot. And I did hit a few ones that made me go ouch! But, overall, it wasn't that bad. I'd be concerned if a run or race I was doing was gravel-road-heavy, but otherwise, I think I'd be able to manage a little here and there.
As for the rest of the run - it was bliss. I've discovered that the mid-foot strike is the way to go, as opposed to the fore-foot strive - or the ultra-dreaded rear-foot strike. The rear-foot, or heel-strike will make you wish you hadn't, while the fore-foot strike simply shreds your calves in the first 2km. I found that by concentrating for the first 1/2 of the run on the mid-foot strike, I was doing it naturally quite soon - and I finished this 4km easily. Not exactly a long run by any stretch - but good for the second time out in these 'shoes'. My calves feel a little more worked than normal, but that might also be partly Friday's intense fore-foot-only workout playing it's part. We'll see how I feel tomorrow ;)