February 2013 archive

Feb 28

Running the Sahara, the learning curve and a barefoot Modern Mummy – Pick of the Posts # 27

xero shoesWow, a huge number of posts to choose from this week. I have read lots from UK barefooters starting out on their blogging journeys and lots of reviews. The posts that I have chosen just keep me reading. Maybe you will enjoy them too.

sahara1. My post of the week come from Florian and his run across the Sahara.

A week ago, this post from Florian appeared on our facebook group. He is running 650km across the Sahara, mostly barefoot but didn’t have any maps. Could anyone help? I was amazed by the response. Florian is now down to less than 40 days until he leaves and you can follow him here.

serial-hobbyist2. Post number two is from Jason Robillard’s Barefoot University blog.

Regular followers will know that I list a fair number of Jason’s posts. Jason’s own journey is very interesting. He is very honest about where he finds himself. I understand this post and the people I have pointed towards it have all seen themselves in there. I am one of life’s enthusiasts horribly addicted to the stepp part of the learning curve. A really good read.

lee saxby3. Lee Saxby’s presentation from last years Barefoot Connections Conference is number 3 this week.

I posted recently about the new video footage of the Barefoot Connections conference from last Summer. Most of us have heard Lee being interviewed at one point or other and his presentation is well worth a look. As he says, Chris and Ted are the story tellers who provide the motivation. He is then left with the job of explaining the biomechanics so that those with the enthusiasm can achieve what they set out to do.

Vibram4. Number four this week is from the Modern Mummy blog.

I have read quite a few posts recently from UK bloggers finding their barefoot way. Wwhn i first looked at Modern Mummy, I loved the blog. I was then delighted to read about the Great North Run. Maybe I am just finding more blogs or maybe we are getting better at it but there is some really good stuff out there. ….and Life of Laurie gets a mention. Great blog which includes a bit of barefoot too.


5. I enjoyed post number five. Not barefoot just Raw Vegan Parkour. What could round things off more nicely.

veganThere are many people out there who will tell you all about the youth of today. All the things that have gone wrong, That they lay around all day and never get off their backsides. Like all previous generations there are some like that. …and like all previous generations there is life and vibrancy everywhere. It is happening and bursting out at the seams. It is just happenning in a space that the majority of the population don’t see so they assume it is not happening. It is not just the parkour but the outlook on life that I enjoy from this free runner. I get a kick out of seeing young people making their way despite the system they live in. It’s like Jurassic Park. Life will find a way.


You can join in and comment at our facebook group. Come on in the chat is lovely. It would be nice to get our numbers up to 150 ish. Nearly there.

Feb 27

Barefoot Beginner – I still need to feel the butterflies – I have missed them

xero shoesMy name is Chris and I am a barefooter runner. It has been nine days since my last run. Nine days! I learned a few things about myself during my layoff.

  • I am a competitive soul and although I am pretending that my mindset has completely changed since being a barefoot runner, I love the idea of a race.
  • I can push myself beyond the limit of the soles of my feet. They have been my limiting factor up until now. I am now able to hurt myself good and proper.
  • I am still good at offering a bit of advice and then not listening to it myself.

It boils back down to the question of why I run in the first place. Not barefoot run specifically but just run.

imagesI enjoy being out with a group and feeling that camaraderie. I love the feeling in my legs as I go about my day knowing that I have pushed myself in the morning.

……and I love a race. It doesn’t need to be an organised race. It may just be a timed loop where I am racing against myself. I don’t need to do that sort of thing but I do it all the same. I enjoy the feeling of running fast and being on the edge of what I can achieve,

I am not running fast at the moment so decided to push myself by running a trail barefoot no matter what.

Nobody knew I was going, I was on my own. I met no-one en route but that mix of nervousness and determinination was back. It was great and I felt like a runner again.

Now…I didn’t jump out of a plane or kayak over Niagra but I had the need to do it. It has been a pattern in my running over the years. I am steady, sensible and diligent whilst recovering from injury and when I am fit enough, I push myself to my current limit and often just a step beyond. Then repeat.

This will not be news to anyone from the outside looking in but to me it is a self awakening.

Barefoting fits into this because my cycle was broken. One too many injuries had meant that I was no longer able to recover. Barefoot running means that I have changed my form and I am able to run again.

So…. what do I do about my new self awareness.

The sensible thing would be to recognise that I push myself beyond sometimes and stop. That would mean that I could run injury free consistently. I have an admiration for people who can do that.

Or…..I can accept myself for who I am and live for those special moments on the edge. I can’t imagine not having them. When I was a broken down runner, mourning for the loss of my way of life, I think that it was those moments that I was mourning the most. Now that I am running again, I want them back.

I want to abandon sensible sometimes and feel the fear. That’s what it was about nine days ago. It was about setting out on a run and not knowing whether I could do it.

I would like to thank Greg Dimelow for his contribution. Greg is a member of our facebook group and has started to ask his ‘Stupid Question of the Week’. Greg ran a 10 mile trail race this weekend which meant he was doubling his longest run for a very long time. His question was about whether the fact that he did it and was fine meant that all that advice about increasing mileage slowly was nonsense.

I found myself answering with all the sensible advice and I must admit I was worried about him when he went ahead and ran anyway. What couldn’t be disguised was that same feeling of fear and determination that came out of his posts. He had no idea whether or not he could do it but went anyway. My friends Lionel and Georg ran a 40 miler at the weekend. They also had no idea whether they would make it.

I want that feeling back. I am no fool, I am not planning to barefoot a marathon this summer, I already know the answer to whether I could manage that but I need a challenge

The Pendine Sands race is 6 weeks away. My barefoot leg will be about 8 miles. I have butterflies just thinking about it. I will need to be organised, sensible and diligent to get there and then I will push myself and run on the edge. It is nice to be back.

Greg has just sent me a guest post and I will be listing it this weekend. It is going to be good to follow his barefoot journey.

You can comment on this or any other post at our Facebook group . You can chat with Greg about his ‘Stupid question of the Week’ or with Lionel and Georg about their adventures. There are well over 120 of us now. You will be very welcome.







Feb 27

Barefoot beginner Newsletter – 27th February 2013

xero shoesYou can view our latest newsletter here.

Nice new banner for Barefoot Beginner this week plus lots of other things going on. I like it when the chat in our facebook group gets going. Fancy someone asking for advice on running the Sahara…..and fancy people responding. Amazing. I love blogging, it connects you with people from all over the world.


Feb 25

The Barefoot Running week – 26th February 2013

xero shoesThe year is moving on and events and races more suitable for barefoot types are upon us. If only the weather would listen. Although it was colder than expected, you barefooters still got out there.

Georg Schirmer and Lionel Jones (both members of the Northwest Barefooters group) took part in the Born to Run Ultra in Llanelli in Wales. 40 miles in VFF for both of them. I am looking forward to hearing all about it on our next group run.

Nearly there

Greg Dimelow, who is active member of our facebook group ran the Radcliffe 10 miler in his VFF. I think that I am right in saying that Greg doubled his longest run so far by completing the race. Greg has just written us a guest post about his running journey so far. Watch this space and well done Greg, lots of anxiety beforehand but job done.

Stephen Fowler is a member of the Northwest Barefooters and is the owner of Naked Runner. He is on a incredible runstreak of well over 100 days and he was off to run the Seville marathon last Sunday.

The day before the race, he was deciding whether his Vivo trails or his Xeros would be best. I will let you know how he went on when I hear from him this week.

Caity McCardell pointed us towards the latest of her podcasts and selected a couple to get us started. Caity is a welcome addition to our group as is Helen Hall. Helen has recently set up her new website and let me have a copy of her Barefoot Audio to try out.

A big day for Lee Firman as he opened up his Feetus online store this week.

6km in -4 degrees Celsius

Pedro Blom sent us some pics of his homemade huraches and got out there in the snow and ice. Looks like alot of fun.

Matt the Barefoot Wanderer posted a great pic of himself out on a barefoot run near St. Helens.

Unfortunatley, my friend Phil (the barefoot procrastinator) has done too much too soon and posted a picture of his ankle. Sore and has laid him off all week. A cautionary tale for everyone, including me. I have not run for a week. I went too far and toasted my soles last weekend. I have had a cold this week and rested up. Back out this morning with Helen Hall’s voice in my ears reminding me about form.

We have had Nadine Horn’s continued preparations for her RunUK. She is still looking for people to get involved. I love her post with a to do list. I have lists as well but they are not as interesting as hers.

…..and finally and incredible post from Florian Hornig. The Sahara!!!

I am following your posts for quite a while now. Good to see how many people discovered the joy of running barefoot. I met Nadine Horn last year and after some inspiring talks I decided to run 650KM (almost) barefoot through Sahara. I am preparing for some time now and am trying to finalize my route. Now problem! there are no detailed maps. I am wondering whether to just run West or do some more planning. Does anyone know how to create printed maps from Google Earth for instance?
Any ideas appreciated.

A bit outside my area of expertise but I was amazed at the knowledge out there from the group. It warmed my heart.

Happy running everyone!




Feb 24

8. How can I prevent soreness when barefoot running on a treadmill?


xero shoes

I often get questions and as good as it is to provide a quick answer, I sometimes feel that the question needs the experienced response of some of the barefoot coaches out there. Our next question is from Robert who is experiencing a few treadmill problems.

If you have a question you can contact Chris or leave a message in our facebook group.

Hi Chris

My question is about new soreness that I have been getting from running on a treadmill at an incline of 1, speed of 5.5-6. I have been running for 1 yr barefoot, but always outside, or on a track indoors. I only wear a Sockwa in the cool weather, but as soon as the ice and snow hit (don’t want to turn an ankle), I took to using our treadmill indoors.

I find I get a soreness in the calves and feet, not pain but you know it is there. Not like when you are learning. I have done my own gait analysis on the TM and still use my proper BF form, much like an elliptical, knees bent, etc. I do find TM running not as enjoyable as on the road, even though I watch TV etc. Any thoughts?

Oh I don’t use any compression sleeves on the TM, but on the road I do. Usually for 5 k to 10 k a run, 3 days a week. Today I decided to run on the TM with my Merrel Road Gloves, see what happens.

Thanks Robert Whitmore Canada

Michael Cohen 1Michael Cohen of Wild Forest Gym

Hi Robert

I am not surprised to note that your change in running traininig has had an effect on your calves and is now causing soreness. The key factors are down to 2 things. Firstly the change in running footwear moving from barefoot / Sockwa to your Merrell Road Gloves. Secondly, change in the terrain from outdoors to treadmill.  Both factors can cause soreness in the calves.

Footwear – If you have been running for 1 year barefoot then when moving to the Merrell Road Glove you need to make sure that you have sufficient time to transition from one to the other and similarly when you decide to go back to barefoot. When wearing the Merrell’s it is important to know that your toes can no longer splay. Also that you have a 4 mm compression molded EVA midsole cushion as well as the Vibram® Road Glove Sole / TC-1 rubber. In comparison to barefoot or running with the Sockwa your feet are running on a platform that is somewhat more rigid. It is therefore important to cut back on the mileage and slowly build it up.

Terrain – Moving from training outdoors to the treadmill is the other impact on your calves. When you consider that running on grass and trails you have cushioning of the varied surface. When you run on a treadmill it is repetitive and solid and also the treadmill has an affect on your running form.

Following is an extract from an article by Rick Morris on pros and cons on treadmill running:

Stride Length – There have been reports of stride length being both longer and shorter than outside running. One study on the effects of treadmill running came up with some very interesting data. The study used one group of subjects that were very experienced runners and compared them to a group of new runners. The results showed that the more experienced group had longer strides when running on the treadmill, compared to their same pace when running outside. The interesting part is that the inexperienced group had the exact opposite result. They had shorter stride lengths on the treadmill than they did when running outside. More research is needed to determine why this happens and if it happens consistently to a large group of runners.
Longer Support Time – Support time is the amount of time that your support leg spends on the ground. Some runners tend to spend more time on their support leg when running on the treadmill. In order to maximize your running efficiency your support time should be kept at a minimum. If your support leg is on the ground longer, you are probably not running as efficiently as you could be. This increase in support time is probably caused by an unconscious desire to provide a more stable running base on the moving and somewhat unstable treadmill.
Less Forward Lean – Some studies have determined that some athletes run with less of a forward lean when running on the treadmill. This can cause more energy being wasted on up and down motion and less energy focused on forward momentum.

All in all I would not recommend moving over to treadmill running. I see that you are worried about running in the ice and snow. This is a mental as well as a physical thing. It is important to take care when running in such adverse conditions, but it would really help your running form to train outdoors. This winter I put a pair of Yaktrax Pros on my Christmas list. These are the best ever shoe accessory to run in snow and ice. I ran in the snow and ice and didn’t slip once. Even on black ice on the roads!

Running on testing terrains will improve your running form, foot stability and develop your foot, toe and ankle muscles as well as the mind and will make you an even better runner. It is importnat to train for the unknow and unknowavble aspect to barefoot and trail running by train for all extremes and possibilities that are thrown at you.

If you weren’t in the other side of the Atlantic, you could come and visit my Wild Forest Gym Natural Running Training School and we could go barefoot together.

Good luck.



Stephen-Sachen2-150x150Steven Sashen from Xero shoes

My only comment for Robert is: Experiment. There are a LOT of variables in what you’re describing and I can’t pick one out to tweak. You seem to know what many of them are — incline, speed, compression, etc. When I run, the mantra I have in my mind is: “How can I make this lighter, easier, less effortful, and more fun?” Then I experiment until I find something that’s a YES to that question.


Anna TombesAnna Toombs of BarefootRunningUK

Hi Robert

A couple of things spring to mind. I think the fact that you’re wearing compression sleeves outside but not on the treadmill is quite significant. Compression socks/sleeves have been shown to reduce muscle soreness (there’s a great article on www.scienceofrunning.com about this) so it might be worth seeing if that’s the answer by wearing the sleeves on the treadmill too.

I also think that treadmill running and running outside are fundamentally different and even if you think you’re maintaining the same form, your mechanics will change on a treadmill (see David’s article in the Autumn issue of Barefoot Running Magazine here: http://issuu.com/davidrobinson0/docs/bfrm_issue_6_autumn__2012). Running outside will mean that your foot lands in different ways according to the terrain and you will naturally speed up and slow down. The treadmill forces a consistent speed and very rhythmical stride which might feel quite nice but won’t give you the challenge and variety of movement that traversing the ground outside will. In other words, your calves might be suffering a form of repetitive strain.

You also made the point that you don’t enjoy it so much, even though you’re watching tv. Perhaps you’re not focusing as much on your form if you’re watching tv? The knowledge that the ‘ground’ is constant underneath might make you a bit lazier when you’re running on the treadmill.

You might also want to vary the gradient when on the treadmill (as well as the speed) rather than keeping it in the same position.

I hope the weather gets better for you soon so that you can get back to running outside!

All the best


Angie-HeadshotBarefoot Angie Bee Hotz

Treadmills are tricky! I find it easier to over stride on a treadmill so what comes to mind again is using ametronome.

However if you dont regularly use one, you will feel the difference in getting winded a bit earlier.

…. so play with the speed of the treadmill to find your sweet spot.



Thankyou to Michael Cohen, Steven Sachen, Anna Toombs and Barefoot Angie Bee for their responses to Roberts’s question.

Join in the chat about this post at our Facebook group. I would love to hear what you think about Roberts’s question.


The coaches answers to previous barefoot questions.

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Feb 22

Lionel Jones – Real Barefooter #9

Lionel Jones runs with the Northwest Barefooters group. He is just about to enter his first ultra and I spoke to him in the week running up to it.

Hi Lionel and thanks for agreeing to take part.

DCIM100MEDIAI just read you were filling hay nets and running. What is a typical running week for you?

The typical week for me varies a lot really, most of the times when I’m home I can get up and go for a morning run whenever I feel awake – usually after a coffee around 9am. At the moment however the wife is off work so I’m helping her out with her horse, hence the filling of haynets and then running home, the distances at the moment are a bit varied. I either run 2 miles straight home or take a few detours and do anything do 5/6/7 or 10 mile distances.


I also read recently that you just ran for 5 hours in your VFF. What are you
training for? Can people get involved and sponsor you?

Currently I’m training to do an Ultra Marathon of 40 miles, I am running on behalf of Cancer Research and British Heart Foundation to which I have raised a couple of hundred pounds but as the run itself is Sat 23rd Feb my charity links will be closing fairly soon afterwards.


I have seen you barefoot and in VFF, do you wear anything else on your
After reading Born to Run I was interested in the whole concept of distance running and also of Vibrams, I was lucky enough that soon after I was able to get a pair of VFFs from the US as they were half the UK price so not as much to lose out on if I didn’t like them. After walking past them a few times and trying them on a few times and
umming and ahhing a few more times I finally made the jump into getting a
pair and found them extremely comfortable.
Initially I intended to wear them alternately with my expensive “proper” training shoes but after just one or two runs the £120 Brookes were consigned to the attic (where they still remain) and now I only wear my VFFs or run barefoot.
With regards to the running itself, I started out my wearing the Vibrams as proper trainers and found that negatively I always found the big stone on the ground with my right heel but positively I was able to shave a bit of time off my fast running, exampled by my 6 mile run in just over 40 mins one day……..
Due to the stone to heel ratio and the fact that I wondered why I had run so fast a day or so previously I started reading about how to run properly in VFFs and that was when I properly discovered the concept of Barefoot running.
To me it was a bit of an epiphany, I went from having music on and hurtling round a 6 mile loop one day to running without music and hearing a woodpecker in the trees and seeing a fox watching me from the fields a day or so later which to me was a far more enjoyable experience than the first run so since then the concept of Barefooting and slowing down to enjoy the run has been been my mantra. I do have a blog called Barefoot-eljay which I started to keep myself inspired for the Ultra that I intend to do. Unfortunately though I’ve been slacking a little on my writing lately so I need to update things a little.

Hip bursitis! Me too – Are you managing OK with it?

Further to the above I have genuinely found that since finding barefoot running I don’t appear to suffer half the injuries that I used to suffer from and by slowing down I am able to enjoy my running / environment and do much more than ever before.
The injuries that I used to suffer from were Shin Splints (Although I tried to combat that by running with a set of orthotics in my trainers), Knee problems (Abnormal knee syndrome/Crepitus Patella I think are two of the names I have been given over the years) and Hip bursitis.
Touch wood – Since barefooting, which is almost a year now the only problems
I have had that I can put down to BF Running are tight calves which I now
don’t really suffer from.


Lionel with the camera in the Alsager woods with Northwest Barefooters Stephen Fowler (Naked Runner) and Georg Schirmer.

I see you are a City fan. I once wrote about Nigel DeJong being a
persistance hunter. Pitter Patter bang! Do you have any other sports or
exercise in your background or is it simply running for you?

Other sports…..I enjoy cycling but my main enjoyment these days if from
running, Running slowly and enjoying my environment.

I think I saw your backside at about minute 7 on the Barefoot Connections
conference video. Did you really run alongside Barefoot Ted? What did he
have to say?

At the conference, I ran with Barefoot Ted in the morning and sat close to him during the lectures. At one point I thought the lecturers/speakers were getting too technical about how and why we should run. I sidled up to BF Ted and asked him about when he started to run barefoot, did he follow all this technical advice or did he just run in a way that was comfortable to him?
His answer was that he ran in a way that was comfortable……sound advice that I found more helpful that learning how to balance on my heels, spring into stretches, run at 180 BPM etc….. Funnily enough, nearly 6 months later, I hardly ever stretch, don’t use the
metronome on my phone too often, don’t practise my balancing but I do run in a way that I find extremely comfortable……so much so, I have run further than I have ever run in proper trainers and am about to run the furthest single run distance I have ever attempted before.

OK, I see you like the Australian Pink Floyd. If barefoot running was a
band, what band would it be?

Lastly, if BF was a band…..I think we would be a cross between Madness (Early days) for the upbeat enjoyment, The Doors for the out-there at the beginning of something style and probably Pink Floyd for the calm and satisfying demeanour.


Thanks for taking part Lionel and good luck to you and Georg (met previously in Real Barefooters ) this weekend in the Ultra. Let us all know how you both went on.

Both Lionel and Georg run in the Northwest Barefooters group. You can visit their page here to get involved and see what the group has been up to.

They are also both members of out Barefoot Beginner facebook group. The chat is lively and good natured. Come ond join in.

Feb 21

Barefoot Audio, Clueless experts and a Mushers Secret – Barefoot Posts #26

xero shoesThe quality of the barefoot writing out there is excellent and choosing my five favourite posts was a pleasure this week. Tricky – but a pleasure.

barefoot audio1. Post of the week goes to Helen Hall and her explanation of Barefoot Audio

Helen has just become one of the coaches answering your barefoot questions and I first heard about Barefoot Audio last year. In this post she explains what it is all about. Worth a look.

yelling2. I am a sucker for a good post on human evolution and this post from Yelling Stop made me sit up and listen. Clueless Experts on the Evolution of Human Nutrition. There is a lot written much of it by experts. Separating the wheat from the chaff and finding something useful can be a challenge.


Nads3. Post three this week is video update number 2 from Nadine Horn.

On Barefoot Beginner, we are following Nadine Horn’s preparations for her Run UK. I asked Nadine at the outset to keep us informed and let us in on the planning of her run. For me, it is as interesting as the run itself. I have never been involved in such an undertaking myself and it is fascinating.

4. Post 4 is from the Kigo website and is about Danny Dreyer’s use of their shoes.

Two things here. First, our friend Tracy at Barefoot Britain has just started to stock Kigos and they look really good. Second, I respect Danny Dreyer’s opinion and often go back to his Chirunning book for advice. Nice post.

Mushers5. I love this post about dogs’ feet. What secrets do sled racers have? Now we know.

For me, winter means rocksalt on the roads and that stops me barefooting more than the cold. Maybe this is the answer. Mushers Secret. Apply liberally to the soles and away you go. I haven’t tried it but would love to hear from someone who has. Just the thought makes me want to run faster with my tongue hanging out. Brilliant.


You can see our previous post selections by visiting our archive page.

You can comment on this post and others on our Barefoot Beginner Facegroup page. Over 120 members at the last count. The chat is lively and good natured. You would be very welcome to join in.



Feb 20

Nadine Horn’s guest post – What’s been happening? Update of the last week.

Xero Shoes Barefoot SandalsWe have been following Nadine Horn’s preparations as she has been getting ready for her Barefoot UK run. Here is the latest installment.

In the last couple of days / weeks I have been updating the status of the ‘Run UK’ on Facebook (hit the like button to stay updated). Now, it’s time for a proper catch-up.

So…what’s been happening?

  1. Sponsors
  2. Route
  3. Logo
  4. Team members
  5. Kickstarter campaign
  6. Workshops


1. Sponsors

I am happy to welcome Ordnance Survey on board; the national mapping agency of Great Britain with more than over 200years of expertise (formed 1791). General Manager, Nick Giles, invited me into their great sustainable Head Office in Southampton last Tuesday. Besides of being welcomed with a goody-bag (little video about this later), we passionately brainstormed about our upcoming work together.

Great timing for me that OS just recently has launched an app for the iPhone (soon available for other phone models) – OS Map Finder; allowing you to navigate, view and download OS maps on to it. Best thing it works without phone reception – so no getting lost in the woods. So as part of their support, OS is going to provide me with an equipped iPhone, allowing me to use my self-plotted route on OS Map Finder. Whoop, whoop.

Getting Nick all hooked about running, he was nearly tempted to put on his shoes and jog around the block. :)



It was exciting to see the new building of OS. Great, open office environment with friendly and energetic stuff around.

When I started off with my planning my adventure, I was tempted to ignore detailed planning, but thanks to a dear friend he convinced me of the advantages of knowing your route – especially when you are using the right tool, such as OS. It shows you every little patch of green, footpaths, valleys and mountains.

Source: www.isengard.co.uk

Become a sponsor:

The website is being updated and soon Sponsors will find their place on the ‘Run UK’ site, plus in return for your support I offer exposure, mentioning, testing, and depending on your contribution branding. How can you jump on board?

  1. Direct funding

In order to pay for fuel, expenses, potentially hiring a car, food and missing equipment the aim is to have a budget in place. I am still missing the following items, if you like to contribute or have contacts to companies that offer the following, great!

         2. Equipment support

  • vehicle (van / allows storage of equipment and may be sleeping in the back)
  • functional running clothing / socks / warm gear (merino)
  • waterproof clothing
  • natural sports nutrition: nuts, dry fruits, …
  • food
  • tent, sleeping bag, head torch, first aid kit

Sent me an email to nadine@nadinehorn.com, looking forward to welcome you on board.

2. Route

Since last time, no changes have been made on the route. Balavan (used to organise the UK leg of the World Harmony Run for 20 years) and myself have shifted the second meeting to today. He will bring all of his OS maps with his former routes and we will compare it with the one I have plotted myself to see if he has better options. Today old school will meet technology. 20 years ago there was no internet, so Balavan is used to physical maps and his expertise of map-reading skills, lucky me that the online plotting system with the same detail is now available – Get a map, allowing to adjust your route with a mouse-click. Map-reading skills still required tho !

Old school meets technology with the same great outcome: Explore your surrounding with detail

3. Logo

What would an adventure be without a great Logo. My friend Anthony from What_Architecture has offered me has help – Again :)


Thank you at this point. He created the little figures of my last Banner:

Total design of the banner by Marcos Villalba.

We had the first brainstorming session last week and were meant to finish it Saturday, an important meeting on his side got in between so we will hopefully finalise the Logo this week.

Meeting in pictures:

Every idea matters, so Karsh started photographing my feet :)


The weirdest angle I have ever seen my foot in. Monster-attack.


That’s better, except for the dirty bits :)


4. Support & Team members

Thanks to Chris who shares my posts on BarefootBeginners, I have been contacted by people offering their help and support such as Ross Lawrie who has put me in contact with Colin up in Scotland to organise a talk. Ross also started featuring my posts on his site (BarefootandRunningBlind)and is keen to join me for a section of the run – looking forward to this Ross.

Same applies to Lee Firman (Feetus.co.uk) – meet you in the Northern bit.

Some people have offered their help for the whole project as set team members, let me give you a quick introduction (pictures are on here soon):

Marketing Guru – Kathrin Griegel

At least once a week good old Kathrin and myself catch-up on Skype going  through the various bits of the adventure. With her background in marketing and adventures, she contributes with her expertise and educates me along the way about things that I haven’t come across before. Plus as soon as I hit an obstacle that falls into her field, rather then spending ages to work it out I shoot her a quick mail and we soon find a solution or different way to approach whatever I was trying to do. Check out what she else she is up to by clicking here.

Social Media Guru – Xavier Rodriguez

Say to hi to Xav, he is a master of many trades, especially in the world of filmmaking and social media. His experience in the world of documentation (blogging and filming), twitter and social tools like kick-starter are an awesome addition to make sure the project doesn’t fall under the radar and people have the chance to follow it appropriately. We are just working on launching a kick-starter campaign right now.

Brainstorm Expert – Dave Brown

What shall I say – Davo !!! Living in Australia and focussing on breaking his personal triathlon records he has always been there to bounce back ideas and approach questions / puzzles from a different corner. Glad you are on board with this one as well.



Researcher – Poul Brix

I met Poul by helping supporting him on his latest adventure and he was so kind to jump on board and help with doing research and browse through all the internet pages that saves me a huge amount of time.





Get involved: If you like to get involved in the project and like to be part of it – come and join! Leave a comment or sent me an email (nadine@nadinehorn.com). I am still looking for documentary support along the way and a driver. 

6. Kickstarter Campaign

Xav introduced me to kickstarter and we already had our second catch-up, the first one took place at Nando’s (Xav loves it) and the second in the dungeon of wagama. During the first session we set the outline of the project, thought about the pledges that make sense and put a summary together of what needs to be ready. During the second one we focused on the blurb, reviewed the pledges. Now, I have to do my homework before we meet again and start shooting the introductory video.

7. Workshops along the way

Had a meeting with Vivo Sales Representative Mark Estaban on Friday, we went through the route and he will get me in contact with the  stockiest in the various locations which will make it easier to set up workshop to introduce people into barefoot running along the way.

Brainstorming !!!

Phew…that’s for now : )

You can comment on this post or ask Nadine a question at our facebook group.

Feb 20

Barefoot Over Exuberance Syndrome in action

Xero Shoes Barefoot Sandals

What a prat I can be sometimes. I read all about barefooters getting over excited and doing too much last week and then I go out and do it. I have been really good so far and not run any further in minimalist shoes than I can manage barefoot.

Well this week, I ran further barefoot than I could manage barefoot. I went out with the mindset that I was going to barefoot a challenging trail no matter what and so I did.

6.8 miles of rough bridleway and broken tarmac road. I made it back in one piece but with my soles sore and a blood blister on my heel.

They are not causing me any concern. They will heal quickly. It is more the underlying structure of my foot that may be the problem. A niggle above the arch in my right foot.

I could feel it ever so slightly whilst I was out and then two days later it is increasingly apparent. I am not too worried and know that I just need a day or two off but it is a classic example of running further than I am ready for because I have entered an event.

The Pendine Sands Ultra is 7 weeks away and I have entered a team of four to complete the 32 mile course in a relay. I would like us to run it barefoot and so I decided that my soles needed a workout. I have now worked out that I can push through the discomfort in my soles to the point where I can do the structure of my lower leg and foot some damage. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Not the first time I have typed that since last May.

The last time I did something like this was on a timed run around my local resevoir in a pair of pegasus. I knew my form had gone but was going for a time and pulled a muscle in my calf. I listed my stupid mistakes in Less haste and more speed – you fool back on May 31st last year.  Nothing as serious as that this time but I can see the danger signals.

I am falling into the trap of following a schedule rather than listening to my feet. I have not written a schedule down but have a rough one in my head which involves adding a mile or so a week to my longest barefoot run so that I can be ready for the 9 miles or so I will need to run at Pendine Sands. Dangerous stuff.

I am full of a cold this week and that may be a blessing. I just didn’t fancy going out last night and didn’t. It might be just what I need.

So…it isn’t quite one barefoot forward and two back this week but it could be if I carry on being stupid. Slow and steady wins the race. It just might not be the one I have entered this time round.

Has anyone else any similar experiences. Let me know in our facebook group.


Feb 19

Barefoot Beginner Newsletter 20th Feb 2013

xero shoes

Our latest newsletter is available to download. Just click the image.


A good run out with the Northwest Barefooters last weekend led to us entering a barefoot team for the Pendine Sands Ultra in 7 weeks time. Feeling the pressure a little, I went out and pushed a bit hard and came back with toasted soles and a lovely big blood blister on my heel. Lesson learned.
I also met with a local brewer and commissioned him to brew us a barefoot beer. Lots of chat at our facebook group on exactly what a barefoot beer should represent. Not an exact science but a lot of fun. I took my Swiss Socks to Switzerland and enjoyed testing them out in their homeland. They did well but I prefered it when I slipped them off and ran back home. It was cold but very dry and that seems to make the difference when in my barefeet.