Oct 05

Barefoot running log October 16

I had lost my running mojo and so have mixed things up a bit. I did 3 800m reps in vivobarefoot evos yesterday. I was running. 3.33, 3,44 and 3.40. This is about a minute slower than when i last really did this 10 years ago. I feel better for it and my body has not reacted badly to the efforts so i will see how I go over the coming weeks.

Mon 10th Oct 16

Deep squats this morning for the first time in ages. I ran in a pair of Altra zero drop over weekend. Bouncy but good. 11 miles.

Tues 11th Oct 16

6.15am in the dark at the Entwistle. fast as I could in Altras. Ran it in 20mins and 14 secs which is considerably faster than last time. Alters feel good. a few little niggles but they smoothed out as I concentrated on form. kept swapping between Chirunning and upright and from hips a la Ken Bob. Getting quicker. & 48 at bridge and 16.30 at 3 mile marker.

Jul 30

Barefoot Running Log August 16

Sat 30th July

List of symptoms that I am noticing. Headaches,12st 4 lbs, wheezy, skin not great, bloating, wind, lethargy, ankle joints aching along with most other things. Irritable. Finding it hard to get motivated to run. I get like that when something big is coming up. I think that the marathon is weighing on my mind. I am not enjoying running with HRM. Need to eat properly and get the refined carbs out of my diet.

Jun 06

Barefoot Running Log June 16

Mon 6th Jun

Life is busy and I haven’t been blogging as much as I used too. That is fine. I just haven’t felt the need. It was compulsive for a while. This feels more natural. It is the same with my running. I am in a strange phase. I began to barefoot as a means to an end. It was so that I could run and now I can. Job done? Maybe…but maybe not. I am struggling for motivation. The thing that will get me out of the door.

I am planning on running the Bolton half marathon in 13 weeks and am 12 stone 1lb today. I feel like I need to get hold of things and get out there taking in everything that I have learnt. I plan to get my diet back to MAF principles and get out there and run. The biggest problem though is whether to run barefoot or not. It can dominate things and also whether to run every day. I enjoy that but it also seems a bit compulsive. I need structure and a flexible plan to lay on top of it. I have injured myself with training schedules too many times than to download one and stick to it.

Here is what feels good today:

Do the 2 week MAF test – Kick start the process and lose a bit.

Run 5 days per week. 4 barefoot and one shod. One day off either side of long run.

Stick to MAF HR of 134

Build to 2 x 5 milers plus a 2hr long run with 30 mins walking either side of it. Build to that pretty quickly.

Alternate long runs barefoot and shod.

Felt good to get HRM on and run a mile.

Plan for the week

M barefoot mile

T Barefoot 5 miles

Wed Barefoot mile

Thursday Shod 5 miler

Fri Rest

Sat Barefoot ihr 30 mins with 20 mins before and after walking

Sun rest.

Tues 7th June 16

5 barefoot miles in 56 mins 57 secs within MAF range of 124-134bpm. First MAF run in ages and felt good for it. This is starting perp for Chester Marathon in about 15 weeks. Also doing 2 week MAF test with pretty much zero carbs. Hardest thing is no milk in tea. I have got used to a drop of honey in my coffee but I am ready to do this and feel better already.

Wed 8th June 16

Already feeling better. I forgot to take food with me yesterday and wasn’t hungry all day. Slight headache later in evening but other than that fine. 11stone 12lbs. I am wondering if the honey is what is bringing me back for more.


May 09

Barefoot Running Log May 16

Sunday 8th May 16

I did something today which I have not done for ages. I drove somewhere for a run. I used to do that almost every time I ran but now almost always run from the front door,

I drove to the Entwistle reservoir and headed off down a bridleway in VFF Spyridons. I was watching a shepherd and dog bring in sheep when a young runner came flying past. I say flying but she was probably just going at a steady but quick pace. I set off after her for a mile down the rough and bumpy track and really enjoyed it.

I then got to the Entwistle and timed myself around its 2.34 route. 7 minutes dead for the first mile or so which is way faster than i am used to. I have running in MAF range at well over 10 minute miles. 15 mins 33sec at 2 mile point and then 19 mins 40 secs for the lap.

What do I call that? A start. This is the first time that I have timed myself around this route for 4 years. In fact, one of my first posts was about pulling my calf doing exactly this. My calves were fine but my right achilles was protesting.

Great fun and amazing that I am able to do it.

Chatted with a chap on Saturday night. His calves had gone and he was struggling to run. Physic giving him orthotics. Nightmare.

Wed 11th May

Running every day is easy to understand and I find it works for me. I am much better at absolutes than making negotiations with myself about which days I run and which days I don’t. It is the same with food. Once I start with things like eating differently one day a week, I then do 2 days and it is a slippery slope. I am back eating well and feel much better already.
Running barefoot has eased off my achilles. I think that I would still be limping around if I had not got out there and run a few barefoot miles. I am running with my daughter Em. Really good to do. We have a 6.30am morning date and head out for a bit of a run. Good to chat and have a laugh before the day starts. Hope it lasts.

Mon 23rd May 16

Went to watch the Great Manchester Run yesterday. I had forgotten how much fun a mass event can be. It has been years since I have been to watch something like this. The number of running styles and the effort on people’s faces. I  miss it. It reminds me that nobody owns running. At heart, running is a simple act and humans just love it. We complicate it and go deeper and deeper but there is nothing like just getting out with a big group of people and running. There were lots of individual stories and people running for a reason without making a fuss about it. McMillan vests with the words ‘Running for..my mum’ on them. In times of distress, it seems like a very human reaction is to run. Fair play to every single one of the red faced runners out there yesterday. Bravo!

I came home and started looking at local running clubs. Not been a member since injuries kicked in. I have been a solitary runner for too long. I need to get out there with people again.

Apr 04

Barefoot Running Log April 16

Monday 4th April 16

I have run barefoot every day for the last couple of weeks and my feet are feeling robust again. I have noticed my pace picking up over the past couple of days and it is nice to be feeling like my old self again. Not quite there yet but well on the way. I didn’t run for about 5 weeks because I just didn’t feel like it and then it got into a habit and it took the first day of spring to get me back in action. I feel a bit heavy because my diet has been poor too over the past couple of weeks. Back in work this morning for an 8 week half term. It will be interesting to see where I am at the end of it.

Not surprising really. Other things have taken over over the past few months. A new job which made my brain leak out of its ears, doctoral studies and deadlines plus stepping up our commercial brewing so that we are now heading to our first beer festival and independent outlets. Something had to give. It isn’t usually running but it was this time.

Tues 5th April 16

A bit further this morning as I recondition my feet to berating again. Just over 2 miles in the pouring early morning rain. Feet got a bit cold but were fine. Ran the last very steep uphill on autopliot and enjoyed it. My biggest worry is taking the skin off the top of one of my toes again. It has healed up but feels vulnerable. maybe I will put a plaster on it so that I feel more protected. Feeling hot, out of breath and like a runner. Good!

Sat 9th April 16

Still running everyday. Very cold on Thursday morning but still ran 2.5 miles barefoot. I am losing the skin off the tip of the middle toe of my left foot. It is a while since that happened and a sign that I am back near the beginning. Of course, that is not properly the case. My foot and lower legs are strong and I just need to take things steadily and not rush coming back. I am going to run tomorrow and do a mile barefoot and then have a blast around the Entwistle in footwear of some sort. I have missed it. My MAF food intake this week has had an impact and I already feel better. I do seem to look for reasons to stop it though and then really go for it when I do. Need to change that and go back to the way I was before.

Mar 01

Barefoot Running Log – March 16

Tuesday 1st March 16

February has been a tricky month. I have now not run for over 2 weeks and just  don’t feel like it very much. The weather has been dreadful and whereas I would normally get out there anyway, I have been using it as a reason not to run.

I think that you can learn a lot from periods like this. A British winter like this one can get you down. It has rained incessantly for months. I have also being MAF methoding. I have lost my mojo and need to mix things up a bit. I have a couple of ideas. I think that I will now come out of this MAF base phase and add some quicker runs in as part of a planned blast and have some some. I think that I will run every day from March 20th. It will be the Spring Equinox and something about that is appealing. My dad used to wear shorts from Spring to Autumn. I might do the same.

I am also going to enter the Chester marathon and use MAF in the 12 weeks prior to get back into the base training. That should be good. I am going to limit my long run to 2 hrs (with 30 mins warmup and cool down) before the marathon and then run at my MAF rate plus or minus whatever the recommended is. My goal is to run a comfortable marathon where I don’t crash and burn.

My diet has been OK but I have felt a bit sluggish at times. I feel like I am coming out of that and start March at dead on 11 stone.

Here is to March. Bring on Spring.

Sunday 20th March

I am just about to head out for my first run for 5 weeks. I am 11 stone 6lbs this morning and have been waiting for this day for a little while. I can feel myself coming out of a slim. It sort of happened over the past few days and might coincide with the better sunny weather. We have needed it. This has been a very long and wet winter. My diet has suffered a bit but I don’t feel big and sluggish. I feel fine.

The mile felt goo too. This time of year has a feel all of its own. The air is still and quiet. It happens to me every year. We moved into this house over 20 years ago at Easter and when we moved in I was struck by the quietness and stillness of the mornings. I couldn’t believe anywhere could be so quiet. Every year, I walk out and a morning like this gets me and transports me back to those first days here. It is nice to have nothing to prove as a runner and just to go and and enjoy it.

Feb 25

Falling out of love with barefoot

Falling out of love with barefoot:

That was how I felt this morning as I was half way through my morning run. I have very little motivation at the moment and am in a real lull.

It has been coming on a while. I think it is all linked to this Oldham Way Ultra attempt next month and the MAF rate slowing down business. My routine has gone and last year’s running every day seems like a long way away.

I looked out of the window this morning and the road was iced up and I just didn’t want to go out there barefoot. I did all last year but today I couldn’t see the point. I ended up in a pair of ankle socks and Runamoks for a quick mile. I enjoyed it and as I was crunching over stones, a thought popped into my head. ‘I am falling out of love with barefoot.’

The thought of being on that stretch of road at that time was just very unappealing. However, I have this idea that I am going to run every day barefoot from Spring to Autumn Equinox and I might well do that. I think that it will be good and I am looking forward to it. Maybe I just need that kind of easy to understand challenge.

I think that I will end up running the Chester Marathon later in the year but also some shorter events too. Just the thought seems good to me. I like the idea of running the Yorkshire 3 peaks. That would be good. So…maybe I am not falling out of love with anything. Maybe I am just in a rut and feeling it. A change is as good as a rest. I think that I might mix everything up and run somewhere new this weekend…and not too far. I have done a period of MAF base training and stuck to it. i think that I might have a spell where I do a few races and then go into another aerobic base building phase before Chester.

Just typing this, I can feel my enthusiasm coming back. Nothing to do with barefoot or otherwise. The Ultra is feeling appealing too just as something to drop into without worrying or focussing on it too much.

Thanks for listening everyone. I feel better for that. I needed to articulate it and get it out of my system. It has been blocking things up and dragging me down. Upwards and onwards.

Happy running everyone.

Feb 01

Barefoot Running Log – February 16

Monday 1st Feb 16

Started Feb with a barefoot mile in the dark at 6am. These little runs help me reset and manage longer runs in footwear. I don’t think that i would manage without. Also just good to be out in the fresh air enjoying being alive. No hungry when I wake up. I am making a conscious effort to have breakfast and not miss it. My normal fair is bacon, poached eggs with a little cheese. I might have a few sautéed mushrooms with that at the weekend. I am then not hungry for most of the day. I am taking this as a good sign.

Sat 13th Feb 16

I haven’t posted for  few days. Why? I think that it is simply because I am finding a routine that works for me and it is becoming the norm. This week, I started with bit of a cold and ran twice during the week and haven’t run every morning as planned. That feels OK. I think that I will do that between the spring and autumn equinox.

I am still losing weight and this removes anxiety because I fell like I am heading in the right direction. Running the 3 peaks next week feels possible.

I am coming to the  conclusion that few things leave me feeling sluggish. I can eat banana but just a half at a tome and not more than a half a day. Root veg is OK but more than one bowl of root veg soup leaves me bloated. I can tell when it is happening. I need to listen more.

Yesterday, I forgot my lunch but had cheese and fruit with me. It wasn’t a problem. I wasn’t too hungry and was able to wait until a take away arrived later in the evening. Take Away! yes, I had a tandoori mixed grill and very nice it was too. This type of joining in with everyone without fear of falling off the wagon is the key for me.

Mon 22nd Feb 16

You can see that I have been struggling to keep things constant and this morning I am feeling pretty awful. I have had a week of no running. I just haven’t felt like it and I have got into a routine of not running. It has been a week off work and my food has slipped too. I seem to be finding excuses for myself to eat sugary food. I went to the cinema with my son and had ice-cream. I went for a meal out with the family and had ice-cream. Yesterday, I had a bacon and burger on a bun and then some birthday cake.

My mood is low and I feel sluggish and down. I often feel like this at the end of a holiday just before going back to work so I am writing this at 6am in my running stuff. I am about to go out for a mile barefoot. It usually picks me up. I think that the weather is getting me down too.

It hasn’t been a bad week. A lot of financial spring cleaning and we have made progress on the brewing front. I should be feeling refreshed and ready to go but it is the opposite. I need a bit of routine back in my life. I think that I am groaning under a few things. New job, thought of Ultra in 4 weeks and next doctorate assignment deadline looming. Something might have to give. Might be the Ultra. The ultra training and the brewing occupy the same space in the week and I don’t think that I can do both. Marathon training I could fit in especially if I run like DR Maffetone recommends with 2 hrs as long run (with 30 mins either end warming up and cooling down). It is fitting in a 6 hr run that is the problem. I might have to let go.

Weighed myself this morning at 11st 4 lbs. Not a surprise. That is about how heavy I feel. A week of steady running, routine, plenty of sleep and eating properly should shed a whole new light on things.

Just got back from run and feel better for it. My diet has gravitated to meat, cheese and dairy. Not enough sad and fruit this week. It has an effect. Back on it this week.

Thursday 25th Feb 16

Falling out of love with barefoot:

That was how I felt this morning as I was half way through my morning run. I have very little motivation at the moment and am in a real lull.

It has been coming on a while. I think it is all linked to this Oldham Way Ultra attempt next month and the MAF slowing down business. My routine has gone and running every day seems like a long way away.

I looked out of the window this morning and the road was iced up and I just didn’t want to go out there barefoot. I did all last year but today I couldn’t see the point. I ended up in a pair of ankle socks and Runamoks for a quick mile. I enjoyed it and as I was crunching over stones, a thought popped into my head. ‘I am falling out of love with barefoot.’. I have this idea that I am going to run every day barefoot from Spring to Autumn Equinox and I might well do that. I think that it will be good. I think that I will end up running the Chester Marathon later in the year but also some shorter events too. Just the thought seems good to me. I like the idea of running the Yorkshire 3 peaks. That would be good. So…maybe I am not falling out of love with anything. Maybe I am just in a rut and feeling it. A change is as good as a rest. I think that I might mix everything up and run somewhere new this weekend…and not too far. I have done a period of MAF base training and stuck to it. i think that I might have a spell where I do a few races and then go into another aerobic base building phase before Chester.

Just typing this, I can feel my enthusiasm coming back. Nothing to do with barefoot or otherwise. The Ultra is feeling appealing too just as something to drop into without worrying or focussing on it too much.

Thanks for listening everyone. I feel better for that. I needed to articulate it and get it out of my system. It has been blocking things up and dragging me down. Upwards and onwards.

Happy running everyone.



Jan 30

Barefoot running log – January 16

Friday 1st Jan 16

Here we go. Bring on 2016. Who knows what it will bring. I am enjoying running, writing and brewing. The Docorate in Education is providing plenty of food for thought. I am thinking about the way we exclude children from schools at such an early age. I am also reading an excellent book at the moment about the Incredible Edible project in Todmorden. I need to go over the hill  and have a look. The book is inspirational because it isn’t really about food. It is about changing the world and starting with what you can do. I like the line about not being a victim. One of the founders said that the town of Todmorden was like a wife whose husband had left but refused to date anyone else. It has stuck with me.

I am enjoying eating in this new Maffetone type of way. I have just had a deliscious caronation chicken which I made from scratch.


  • 2 egg yolks beaten with a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and salt.
  • I gradually beat in about 200-250ml of extra virgin olive oil (A little strong tasting but what I had)
  • 1 table spoon of cider vinegar (too much – teaspoon next time)
  • A big handfull of frozen blueberries for sweetness
  • big teaspoon of curry paste
  • A little honey to sweeten it up.
  • Plenty of chicken saved from chicken legs for lunch.

Also saw a book called ‘Rules to Break’. Like the idea of that. ‘Running Rules you should break’ could be a way to go.

Also had a great roasted veg soup at lunchtime and a chopped veg (in blender0 omelette for breakfast.

Starting the year at 11st 5 lbs.

Sat 2nd Jan 16

Woke up with mouth like the bottom of a birdcage. Been like that for a couple of days which is a surprise because all natural food yesterday. Maybe it is coming form the day before which was New year’s Eve and I let loose and had chocolate and sweets with the kids at the cinema. Makes sense. I am aiming to get things  right almost all of the time   but still allow myself to let go now and again. It has happened 3 times in the last 2 months. Once on my dad’s birthday when I had a few malteesers, again on Christmas day where I had a piece of cake that my daughter had made. It was important that I eat something she had made specially for the occasion. I am not going to become too self centred about this whole thing. I find that once I have one sweet, I eat the bag.

First thing I did this morning was start with a pint of water as Maffetone says that we are a little dehydrated when we wake and then I put on a big pot of coffee which I am going to have with a splash of honey because also our glycogen is going to be a little low. Caffeine is an interesting one.

The 2 week test had more of an effect on my mood than I anticipated. I swung from periods of euphoria to feeling low and I have noticed that unless I make an effort, my diet becomes almost carb free. I haven’t put any rice or oats back into my diet because I don’t miss them. I get my carbs from fruit and honey (and real ale now and again). If I forget then I can feel it. I get a little low in mood or at least that is my perception.

I have a day of leftovers coming up. I have some roasted veg soup that I made yesterday which is nice with a blob of soured cream and some coronation chicken which I made with my own mayonnaise. First time I have ever made mayo and I was surprised how much oil there is in there. I tasted good. Honey and blueberries in there too instead of mango chutney. Yum. I will have that with a big salad later.

No run today. One of the biggest changes was dropping off running everyday which has been a feature of my life for the last year. It was a wrench but I couldn’t understand why my MAF times where slower than when I started. I thought it might be not having enough rest so tried it and it worked. My MAF test has improved noticeably. I am going to add running every day back into my life again at some point because I miss it. Maybe between Spring and Autumn equinox or something like that.

I have ASDA bringing my groceries later. That has been a whole new experience too. My last oder had no ready prepared food at all which was a first. I have found that now that I am not eating convenience food that I am spending less because I have less waste. I throw very little away and leftovers become part of the next meal or a meal in themselves. That feels like the way it should be.

I need to get my children gradually converted but that will take time. It is on the way and I can see it happening but one step at a time. I need to feel comfortable myself first.

Couple of interesting and easy recipes here that I spotted whilst looking for today’s football fixtures. I like the look of the eggs (without the flatbreads). I make a sort of tomato sauce but it is good to see how the pros do it. Those little added extra make all the difference. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spiced_north-african_82972 and one for smoked salmon omelette. I am eating more eggs than ever and that is one where my 12 year old son has changed too. He loves a fried egg. Good to get him onto omelette.

Sun 3rd Jan 16

Mouth fuzzy again. I think that it might be dairy. I have got to then point where I am loath to throw any food away and I ended up eating a stack of natural yoghurt with blueberries yesterday. I will eat little dairy today and see what happens. Ate to much overall yesterday. All the right things but too close together. They were just so appetising. I think I need to eat less and put in some more fruit in between times.

4.5 miles this morning in VFF Spyridons. Felt full of food from yesterday and a bit sluggish. My HRM kept playing up and jumping around to 180bpm. I am able to run within my MAF range pretty well without it now but it is good to have. I find that I break into a walk spontaneously at the right times. I cannot remember the last time that I ran without being rained on. The weather is miserable.

Mon 4th Jan 16

Starting new job today as head of Bolton’s Primary Pupil Referral Unit. This is where children go when excluded from mainstream education. Our job is to help children in crisis get back on the rails and back into mainstream education. Really looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see how the kids take it when I arrive with my big box of’l eaves’ for lunch.

I have been trying to improve my children’s diet as well as my own without coming across as some sort of crazy evangelist. They have grown up eating like me which is why their diet has always consisted of convenience food.

We have a few green shoots (excuse the pun) of progress. My daughter joins in and shares the homemade soups and likes a salad with dressing. She has been making her own. My son has always been a fruit bat and eat loads of it. Last night, we had a stir fry. Turkey with loads of stir fry veg. I did them separately at first and put some turkey on my son’s plate with some veg on the side. He then had a flat bread(step by step) go with it. The rest of has a good old stir fry with my daughter having slightly less than us with a flat bread too.

My son has started to make himself eggs fried in olive oil. He has an addiction (too strong a word but you know what I mean) to Warburtons thick thinned white bread. It would be very easy to say ‘well don’t buy it then’. but I am the reason their diet is the way it is. I am not going to make them cold cold turkey. I want them to gradually grow to love this way of eating and not hate it from the outset. It should be enjoyable and fun so I am going by by bit with them.

Tuesday 5th Jan 16

My first assembly at my new school today and I told them a bit about my running and that I had something in the box that would help me run faster. They had lots of guesses and then I pulled out a big box of salad which I had taken for lunch. I have told them that I am eating this way from now on to please keep an eye on me and to take me down if they see me with chips and fishfingers. I also had a few pieces of different fruit in there. They had some good guesses but I have never confused a pear with a pineapple before.

Up nice and early for a barefoot 5 miler this morning. My heart rate monitor went all dicky again and I just used my judgement. It sorted itself out eventually and was fine. I felt really good this morning and was running a pretty long uphill this morning well within my MAF range of 124-134bpm. It was even falling below that at times. I felt as fresh as a daisy at the end and ran the 5 miler in 61 minutes.

I wore a new pair of bluetooth bone conducting headphones ad listened to one of my favourite podcasts as I ran. I have never run in headphones because I worry about nor being able to hear other things but these were great. I know all the reasons for leaving everything behind but I just fancied it this morning.

Used the leftover roasted veg soup as a base for a sort of beef mince chilli sort of affair which I had with a big dollop of soured cream. Pretty good and a good way to get the veg in.

Wed 6th Jan 16

My new job is all consuming at the moment. It is brilliant and really enjoying it and is giving me a bit of a kickstart in other areas of my ‘things to do’. I have shamefully not added anyone to our Facebook group for a while and am now doing that a few at a time. I won’t just click everyone in. I welcome each person individually and explain a little about our group and what we do (and don’t). I am very proud of our little group. I enjoy the chat and the overall positive mood. I know that some of you have found some great advice in there from members from all over the world. Bravo barefoot folk. Bravo and remember, We run, we chat and we smile.

I started the day with a pint of water (5.40am) and a cup of tea made with a drop of whole milk and a small dash of honey. Listening to Endurance Planet yesterday. It was with DR Tamsin Lewis on the dangers of a Keto, low carb diet for women in particular. This was quality from someone who really knows. It provides a bit of balance as I have been listening to Endurance planet’s Maffetone interviews which are pretty regular. I am confident that my diet isn’t keto but I am naturally heading towards low carb. Not really low but low enough to make me listen.

I need to get myself organised. I am seeing the benefits of twitter for snippets that I find. I will then need to learn how to use it properly.

Thursday 7th Jan16

5 mile barefoot this morning and the coldest run for a while. It was raining hard and my feet took 3 miles to feel normal. Combined with a stressful first week in a new job, it was a challenge to keep under my MAF rate. I kept instinctively speeding up to keep myself warm. It was hard to throttle back. I also ended up walking on a couple of occasions. The stress and the cold definitely had an impact.

Sat 9th Jan 16

I cracked last night and had a few chocolates. This is first for me. I could have managed without but was in the box that my wife brought home before I knew it. It was funny, they tasted sweet and sickly and I didn’t enjoy them at all. I had too many and felt a bit sick. Not badly so but not normal in any case.

The stress of a new job has taken its toll this week on both my running and my diet. I feel better for understanding that. I get it now and will handle it better in the future. I have found it hard to get out. My legs ache and keeping under MAF range was hard on Thursday.

I have had a week of headaches culminating yesterday with a bad one that came on gradually during the day. I started out OK and then it just grew. I made sure that I was drinking enough water. I ate as planned and had a few pieces of fruit in there. Maybe my brain needed sugar boost. It has been overloaded this week and it felt like it was leaking out of my ears yesterday. Not a problem. I am loving it but it has been full on and I have had to gallop full-time just to keep up. Perhaps, I will drop a bit of honey in my drinks next week and see if that helps. Perhaps that it was what led to me scoffing a few chocolates on impulse late on Thursday.

Started the morning with some home made coronation chicken. I used Rape Seed oil rather than olive oil and this was better. I used blueberries and little honey to sweeten it slightly. I have been searching a coronation chicken that is as good as one I used to have on my sandwiches from a butty shop over 20 years ago. I have tried many but none have lived up to it. Where they fall flat is the lack of sweetness usually brought by adding mango chutney. This one I have made is up there. The honey and blueberries give it that much needed lift. Yum. Lots left for later!

Mon 11th Jan 16

OK – Well and truly fallen off the waggon. I had apple strudel with custard and a few chocolates last night. Enjoyed them too. I am not too worried about that but I also didn’t run this weekend and that is unusual for me. My legs felt achy and I just fancied staying in bed. I was much better when I was in a routine and running every morning. I think that I need to go back to that. I may delay rest but I feel better when i am doing it. I am not worried about the food side of things but think that I have not got the carbs right. I ate the strudel because I felt that I needed it.

I have just had a very stressful week and it has taken its toll. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it is now gone colder. I ran barefoot every day last year even in the snow but this year I may well put on my Vivobarefoots for some of these runs. It is because I am running slower to stay in MAF range that I am getting colder than this time last year. MAF is challenging. I am fed up with it today. I want a blast and it is taking some self control to not go out and go for it. Maybe it is not the running that I am not enjoying but the running in the MAF range that I am not enjoying. I fancy the idea of a 3 hrs run but not one where I am checking my heart rate continually.

It is a shame that I feel like this. I am enjoying the weight loss and am not going back.

Tuesday 12th Jan 16

Ran 5 miles this morning in Vivobarefoot Evos. My feet felt warm but I was sluggish (My digestive system to be honest). Felt good at first but then running on MAF range got harder and I was slower over the route by 2 minutes. Combination of stress, lapse in diet and sluggish digestion. I need to get back on track and run everyday whatever. the nice thing was that during the last mile I wanted to get out barefoot rather than in footwear.

Wed 13th Jan 16 

Up early and out for a barefoot mile. Frost on the road surface and after half a mile I was wondering whether my feet would be OK. I usually stop at the turn round for a minute or so to let the morning seep into my bones but it was too cold on the feet this morning. I always feel better for the run and and glad I am back into it.

Friday 15th Jan 16

Feeling much better this morning. the effects of stress last week were enormous and I suffered and was sluggish. Digestion also sluggish. I think that not running everyday has an effect on that. the 5 miles this morning was fine and my him was wonky for the first half leading to me being very cautious and slow. the second half, i was flying along even uphills and stayed in the zone. I pulled back some time. Also lost another pound in weight so it is all going in the right direction.

Sat 16th Jan 16

Ran 10.5 miles with Phil yesterday and that means going at faster than MAF rate. Still slow but faster than I have been running. One thing about both berating and MAF is that I have ended up running on my own so that I don’t slow anyone down. We had a good run along the canals and River Orwell towards Salford. Fascinating. I was flagging bit by the end. I could have gone quicker but I was trying to run quickly but remain economical and not go for it up the hills. His rate was 134 which is my MAF upper limit. I am usually about 5 more than hime so I was over.

It was then my daughter’s birthday so I had a bit of a pudding whilst out. I am going to do that now and again. I am going to stick to things as best I can but not be antisocial or evangelical. i have never really suited to being an evangelist.

Sun 17th Jan 16

A mile in the snow this morning and my confession is that I wore a very old pair of Asics conventional running shoes that were sitting in the bottom of a storage box. Not sure how I ended up with them on. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I am not berating whilst there is rocksalt about.

Mon 18th Jan 16

Feels normal to be up and about early and heading for a run in the ice and snow. Only a mile this morning to test out my new Bikilas. They are good straight from the box. Easy to put on by wriggling toes backwards and forwards. It is good to get out each morning even if I am not barefoot all the time. Easy to understand, easy to remember and a good routine to be in.

My salad today is Bistro with beetroot and some Feta cheese cubes with a few pieces of chicken thrown in. Just used a small kilner jar to put in olive oil and cider vinegar and then mix. 2/3 olive oil 1/3 vinegar and then shake. Goes in a little dressing pot which I throw in salad box so that it can go on fresh just before I eat it.

The running helps with early morning bathroom ritual too. That needs more discussion. there has been a distinct change since eating this way. I haven’t struggled with constipation badly but would do if I didn’t run, I think. It is much better though. A lot less messy and smelly a process. My body odour has changed too. I am not sure how good a thing that is though. I smell like someone else.

Tuesday 19th Jan 16

A good 5 miler this morning within MAF range. I was able to run it in under 59 mins which is a significant improvement. I actually felt like I was running normally most of the way and really enjoyed it. I feel light today. What a difference a week makes. Back feeling optimistic. I am looking forward to getting out for a mile and having some fun in the morning. I was on a course today with lunch provided. I sat and had my box of salad at lunchtime and enjoyed it. when most were having a biscuit at break, i have a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit. Much better and I felt good about it. Something about having the fruit to keep the carb flowing to the brain. I was alert all day. I am always having a piece of fruit after a piece of cheese at the moment to stop that spike.

Wed 20th Jan 16

A barefoot mile this morning and it was nice to feel the knots developed over the past few shod runs melting away. I have been avoiding rocksalt but there was still plenty on the roads this morning. ended up on the pavement.

For more excitement, turn off your head torch on unlit sections. I am viewing my head torch like shoes at the moment. Needed sometimes but do without if possible. I like feeling my way.

If I were to write a full post this morning it would have the title. ‘Running keeps you regular’. Say no more.

Thursday 21st Jan 16

A 5 miler this morning and it was the quickest yet. I was surprised that I crested a shallow hill near the start of the run without topping out over 134bpm. I then felt like I was running happily and for a while forgot that I was in the range. It juts felt normal. I was more likely to set a beep off by going to slow rather than too quick. I reached the half way point and was surprised at how quick I had gone.(All relative but 27.5 mins for 2.5 miles) and then forced myself to stop for a minute for a it of mindfulness . That is a loose term but I wanted to enjoy being out and stoop to celebrate for a moment that I am out running at this time in the morning and enjoying myself.

The run back is uphill mostly and slower but I still managed to get there in 57 mins and a few seconds. About 4 mins faster than normal which for a 5 miler is something. I was in Bikilas rather than barefoot and that may well have everything to do with it. I forgot I had them on. Easy to slip on and comfy.

Sat 23rd Jan 16

I have a headache this morning and it made me realise that I have not had a headache or had a headache tablet for a long time. Amazing really. I used to crunch ibruprofen and paracetamol all the time. I often had them before I went to bed or I would have a disturbed night due to headaches. I would often wake up with a headache and have a tablet or the pain would just get progressively worse as the day went on. I always put it down to dehydration and drank pints of water. I would have a pint before I went to bed. Since getting rid of sugar and only eating real food, I have hardly had a headache at all and I cannot remember the last tablet I took.
So…why have I got a headache today?

Yesterday was our family get together for my daughter’s birthday. I joined in with everyone else and had pastie and peas, crisped, chocolate and birthday cake. I had planned to do that. I am not planning to be a martyr or evangelist and I am not going to turn down a piece of birthday cake on my daughter’s birthday. Plenty of party food left over but I am not going anywhere near it. happy to be back eating proper stuff.
The good thing was that it was nice to join in with everyone and not abstain but not feel worried about it. It isn’t falling off the wagon or the start of a slippery slope. It was what it was. Me enjoying a family get together. It gave me a headache but it was worth it. It makes the whole thing feel more sustainable in the long term which is what it is all about.

Sun 24th Jan 16

19.5 miles this morning in a pair of VFF Spyridons. Practising fuelling with real food so was eating cheese and apples at regular intervals. Ran within MAF range so took forever. Felt fresh as a daisy afterwards. Must be doing something right.

Mon 25th Jan 16

A brief pitter-patter of a barefoot mile this morning. I kept slowing down to get my form right and loosen everything off from yesterday. Forced myself to stop and enjoy being out otherwise my mind just jumps ahead and starts to sort out the day and I end up tense.

It was noticeable yesterday that I didn’t finish the long run in a ravenous state. That has always happened in the past and I have binged for the rest of the day on sugary stuff. Today, I just felt normal. I drank a lot of fluids but mostly water and a couple of big cups of tea but ate normally for the rest of the day. I had no cravings for anything in particular.

Friday 29th Jan 16

Has a couple of 5 milers this week. The one on Tuesday was the quickest yet but Thursday’s was slow again. Why?? I didn’t feel right when I woke up and knew it would be slower. I was barefoot and it was cold. 1 degree which I can handle but my feet took a while to get over the shock of the sudden dip. Wednesday was a very challenging dat at work. My stress levels were high for quit a few hours and this carried over into the evening. My dips in speed have coincided with stress at work consistently. Never even considered that before.
Did my first weight check for a month and I am 11st 2lbs which is either 2 or 3 lbs lighter and 1st 5lbs since starting this. In no rush. The menu of foods now available is good and I am not going back. Steady as she goes.

Sat 30th Jan 16

I am pleased with the weight loss that I have going on. It is a good motivation to keep going. Yesterday at work was a good example. Friday is takeaway lunch and chocolate day and the temptation is to join in. Of course, I could but it felt like the start of a slippery slope. I want to join in sometimes but I need a reason. Sometimes, it just being Friday will be good enough but other times it will not and yesterday I stuck to the Maffetone menu that is working for me. 3 lbs in Jan is not amazing but it is steady and feels proper. 11st 2lbs down from 12 st 7lbs in 3 months is good enough for me. A lb or 2 a month from now on will get me where I want to be. Where is that? 10st 3lbs was my fighting weight a few years ago when running well. it would be amazing to be there. It is now less than a stone away and slow and steady wins the race. Maffetone mantra in many respects. Of course, I was around 9 stone when I was at University and setting pbs. That seemed impossible but ti funny how what seemed impossible can change when you start and make some progress.

Sun 31st Jan 16

January ended with a 10 miler in Bikilas listening to Phil Maffetone on Endurance Planet’s podcast. One thing that came up and that I have noticed is that I am not starving any more when i get back from a long run. I ran for 5 hrs last weekend and was fine when I got back. I didn’t raid the fridge. I just ate normally. It probably means that I am burning more fat than I used to so I don’t have that burning need to refuel the carbs when i get in. Feel much better for it. Things heading in the right direction. I am learning that there is much more too it than I thought and that I will probably go through phases then plateau for a bit whilst my body sorts itself out and then it will kick on again.

Jan 27

Anne Rosbottom – My Journey: From Injured Runner to Running Technique Coach

Anne is a Born to Run coach offering running technique coaching in Merseyside and the Wirral. She has trained with leading figures in natural running coaching including Lee Saxby, Tony Riddle and Ben Le Vesconte. She is also a UKA Leader in Running Fitness. She is constantly learning and improving her understanding of human movement and I draw influences from Pilates, Crossfit and Movnat.

You can contact Anne through her website runbetter.wildbare.com 

Over to Anne:

I have been a runner for pretty much all of my life. I ran cross-country at primary school. Not well I hasten to add, but better than most of the others. The trend continued through high school and on to university where I briefly improved after putting in a consistent stint of training. It was then that I experienced my first injury. A tight ITB as I remember. The injuries continued on and off from there onwards. Runners knee was my favourite followed by a tight achilles. But even when I wasn’t injured I suffered from ridiculously tight quadriceps, hips and lower back. Pain was part of my daily life, not just running; I just thought it was normal. I saw countless therapists; physios, podiatrists, osteopaths. All gave me pages of exercises but not one of them watched me run and not one of them said “look love, your posture’s awful, it’s no wonder you keep getting injured!”

The beginning of my journey towards improvement came by chance at a visit to my sister in Sheffield. Whilst out at a local park I saw a man running in what looked like climbing shoes. His stride looked so light and effortless. I was intrigued, could these “magic” shoes do anything for me?! I looked into the “Terra Plana” shoes on the Vivobarefoot website and it was then that I was first introduced to the concept that my injuries were the result of my poor posture and running form. But apparently I would need some of these shoes as the padded shoes I currently wore were part of the reason why I was in this fix in the first place. Looking back now it seems crazy but I bought a pair of Vivobarefoot shoes and I haven’t walked or run in anything except minimalist footwear since.

So, it is nearly 4 years since that day and it is no exaggeration to say that it has been a journey of discovery. I have explored running barefoot, in sandals and in shoes but always minimalist. I have sought training from several coaches including Ben le Vesconte formerly of Vivobarefoot, Tony Riddle in London and Anna and David of Barefoot Running UK. I have also had a Chirunning day. I am a long time pilates advocate and have dabbled in the Alexander Technique. My training routine has generally included regular practice of drills prescribed as part of Lee Saxby or Tony Riddle’s barefoot training models. I have made gradual improvement leading to me being able to compete at club level over cross-country, fell and road. Last year I completed Vivobarefoot’s one day instructor training course where it was suggested that I complete the coach course. I worked with Ben le Vesconte on some day courses in 2015 and decided that I did want to take technique coaching further, both to help others and to improve my own running. So in July 2015 I completed Lee Saxby’s new Born to Run coaching course and it was here that I experience my most recent breakthrough.
Lee highlighted that whilst my running form was good, I was lacking strength. This showed in my inability to maintain good posture at faster speeds. My flexibility was poor too in spite of regular attempts to improve my woeful squat. So, off home I went to get strong and flexible. This is work in progress but the latest chapter in my story involves the sport everyone loves to hate….CrossFit! Twice weekly CrossFit workouts have improved my strength and flexibility hugely. Of course, CrossFit by itself would not necessarily improve your running, though workouts do include moves such as squats which can build strength for running. But if your weakness is your weakness (ahem!), including some general strength training can help a lot along with more running-specific strength training (running drills and er…running!)
So what have I learned from my journey and what advice would I give? I think my main message would be that there are no shortcuts to getting fitter and stronger. Obviously your goal will determine the required level of commitment but if you want to run far and fast with good form you need to be strong and skilled. Walk barefoot or in minimalist shoes (introduced gradually). Whether or not you choose to run in minimalist shoes will depend on how your feet are and your individual running goals. Become more active and improve your strength and flexibility; just running isn’t enough. And if you’re not making progress, seek coaching. A little targeted advice goes a long way. And enjoy the journey!

P.S. And whilst we’re onto coaching you can contact me on annerosbottom@gmail.com www.runbetter.wildbare.com for a 1-2-1 session!

Older posts «