November 2012 archive

Nov 30

Pick of the Barefoot Posts number 20 – And the 100th barefoot post is……..

I pick my 5 favourite barefoot posts every week. I can’t believe that I am already about out pick number 100. I am in awe of some of the writing out there and reading through so many posts is a pleasure.

 1. My first post this week is from the home of Barefoot Tim on the Art of Happiness.

Tim has written a number of really good posts recently and I was pointed towards his blog by Tracy from Barefoot Britain. I am fascinated by the positive effect that barefoot running can have on well-being. I have said many times that barefooting has changed my life for the better. Tim’s blog is worth reading.



2. This isn’t a post but an article about modern man from the Independent

Modern man is a wimp and Usain Bolt is nothing special says anthropologist Peter McAllister in his book entitled “Manthropology”  I love this stuff. Fascinating.


 3. I discovered the beautifully titled ‘John’s Barefoot Running Blog’ this week.

As I find my way in the barefoot world, I find more and more people doing something out of the ordinary. I really like John’s picture. There is something about running tights that emphasises barefootedness. He is on the line for the Seattle marathon having looked at the route the day before from the top of the Space Needle. His account of his race is great. It looks like running in fancy dress is considered more normal than barefooting and he spotted one or two others but not many. I enjoy reading these posts because it is where I am heading. Believe!



4. Whooah – Talk about honesty.

The strength of character it has taken to write this post is quite something. We are all on a journey and it never takes the path we think. These things happen for a reason. I write a blog about barefoot running to be injury free and sit typing with a calf strain sometimes. I feel the guilt but honesty always helps. It is one step forward and two back sometimes. Great post!

5. Barefoot  Post number 100 is a great blog post from Ian B’s Barefoot Adventure.

Ian listened to BarefootRunningUK’s talk at the Running show last weekend with his family. He then walked over to Barefoot Britain’s stand and bought some Xero shoes. He then made and went out for a run and filmed his experience. Top post Ian. He has just set up an Essex Barefoot Group if you fancy a run.


The Pick of the Posts archive is here

Nov 27

Barefoot Running research project at Hull University – Get involved

I spent a day on a ChiRunning course on Sunday and met a sports scientist called Ashley Warner from Hull University.

Ash is conducting a research project for his Masters Degree and is looking for barefooters to get involved.

His message is below:

Barefoot running is captivating the running world; do you run barefoot or in minimal footwear? If so, I could do with your help, I’m performing a study on the effects of barefoot running on performance in habitual barefoot runners, in order to complete a masters in Sport Health and Exercise Science at the University of Hull. I aim to see whether performance is enhanced by running barefoot and in order to complete the study I need 20 volunteers who have been running barefoot or in minimal footwear for a minimum of 6 months. The study will consist of a number of tests performed in barefoot and trainer conditions including a lactate threshold test, VO2max test, and 5km race performance, in total we will need you to attend 8-10 sessions, if you would like to help me as well as finding out your VO2max and other stats that may come in handy for your own personal training then please contact me Ashley Warner on or 07784430404. Many thanks.

Nov 27

Chi Running with Gray Caws – A busy barefoot weekend part 2

The second part of my busy barefoot weekend saw me heading across the Pennines to spend the day with ChiRunning coach Gray Caws.

You can visit Gray’s website at

ChiRunning was my route into this new way of running and so I was delighted when Gray invited me over.

The weather was foul with flooding up and down the country but the trip over wasn’t too bad. I did take a wrong turn just before the Costello Stadium in Hull and ended up driving across the Humber bridge and back by accident. It all added to the excitement.

There were 3 of us and Gray for the day. Richard introduced himself as the sceptic in the group and Ash told us about the research project he has planned at Hull University. The were really good company and we had a good few laughs throughout the day.

Gray turned out to be a knowledgeable and generous coach. His background meant that he could answer the difficult questions we asked.

We started by warming up and then running whilst being filmed. I was surprised at how much I could hear my feet. I reached into the box before leaving in the dark and pulled out my Merrell Trail Gloves. I have never been completely at home in them and they were perhaps the wrong choice. Gray also pointed out how tense my upper body looked. He was right, I hadn’t noticed.

Throughout the day, we each worked on the points picked out in the video and it made a noticeable difference to each of us. We did lots of drills and spent a lot of time concentrating on form. I had a bit of a moment just before lunch when the penny dropped and I suddenly managed to stand tall with my shoulders dropped and relaxed. When I combined that with ensuring my arms were relaxed and at the right angle, it made a big difference to my form.

The four of us sat and had lunch. Ash is from a sports science background and we chatted about speed work, intervals and then got on to Lance Armstrong and the tour. It was a good way to pass a Sunday lunchtime.

Chris, Ash and Richard

In the afternoon we worked on our lean and eventually went back down to the track to put it all together. I couldn’t stand it any longer and took of my shoes. I was much quieter and running felt much smoother. Richard had all but eliminated his heel strike and Ash had upped his cadence significantly.

Gray was a gent throughout. He is extremely calm and patient and we had the luxury of getting some quality feedback because it was a small group.

I went for a run yesterday morning in the dark with my headtorch. I concentrated on the things that I had learned and it made me smoother. The lack of tension in my shoulders really did make a difference. it was most noticeable when I was barefooting over rough ground. the relaxation enabled me to just take what the ground gave me.

I will be posting again about how you can get involved in Ash’s research project.

To find out more about Gray and his coaching visit his website at

Nov 26

A busy barefoot weekend – A Barefoot Beginner at The Running Show

I was up early and on the train for my trip to Surrey for the Running Show. I am still amazed that I can get on a train in Preston at 7am and be at London Euston by 9am.

Then it was the tube and finally a train to Esher station and Sandown Park racecourse. On the tube, I spotted a lady in jeans and well worn running shoes. She was carrying a rucksack. It was as we changed for Esher that we began to chat. It turned out to be Britta Sendlhofer. Britta was there to give out goody bags for Run247 and had travelled down that morning from Ambleside.

I didn’t know it at the time but Britta is also the editor of the Fell Runner, webmaster for Athletics weekly and the designer of and British Runner magazine. It was good to chat to someone so far ahead of me in the website game. We all need people to look up to. Mine are now not only runners but also bloggers and webmasters. I am quickly coming to the realisation that I love blogging.

I fell in beside her long strides as we made our way to the show. I was trying very hard to get there in time to hear Sam Murphy talk.

I have never met Sam before and slipped into the back of the seminar to listen. She is so knowledgeable. I hung around at the end for a chat but she was still there with people wanting to pick her brains a good half hour later.

I found Anna and David from BarefootRunningUK‘s pitch and met Robin Dearle and Ricardo D’Ash for the first time. We have exchanged quite a few facebook messages but it was nice to meet in person. Robin was wearing his Xero shoes and took me off to find Tracy from Barefoot Britain’s stand. You can meet all these characters and more at the BarefootRunningUK facebook group.