Ran my longest session ever last Friday...three miles done at 8:49/mile. Everybody says that's a good time, but it's nowhere near my 6:00/mile target. The good news is that my HR is nowhere near threshold at my current pace and RPE is maybe at a 5. The only limiting factor is my soleus in both legs. Running in the FiveFingers is a tough go, and has taken since Feb to build up from 0.5 miles at 10:00/mile to the current distance and pace. Each week I'm able to go a little further and a little faster without the soleus locking up. I'm gonna pick up some New Balance 800's for next week's charity event cuz the reviews have these as close to barefoot as one can get without using the FiveFingers.
I was once told that one MUST run with a very deliberate heel-toe footstrike. Oh how wrong she was. The worst part about it was that this advice was dispensed and insisted upon to her eager sibling who followed it like the gospel and ended up further trashing her already injured knees. I guess different stroke for different folks, but for me, the mid/fore foot strike has eliminated all my knee pain (which was significant when running), and allowed me to carry on for the past 6 months.