Monthly Archive: March 2013

Mar 31

10. How to use calf rolling to help with barefoot running

The next question in out series is about rolling the calves. I posted recently about a niggle and received a hefty repsonse from other barefooters who all roll using whatever they have at hand.

I wanted a few tips and so asked the coaches for any advice they may have on rolling out the calf muscles.

Lou NicholettosLou Nicholettos – Cornwall Physio/The Natural Running Clinic

I get a lot of questions each week about calf soreness caused by running. Most often runners are describing general soreness that doesn’t particularly stop them from running. They have no history of trauma or injury but just seem to be prone to sore calves. This type of calf soreness will last for a day or two after running and doesn’t occur with other activities.

In my clinical experience the most common causes of this type of calf pain are:

Lack of calf strength or flexibility

Overloading- due to poor technique and/or too much training volume or intensity

Improving flexibility

Here’s a couple of simple things you can do to improve your calf flexibility. Foam rolling can be a great tool for keeping on top of general soreness. I also like using it prior to stretching- it can really help with mobility exercises in this way.

Calf strength

By strengthening your calf muscles they will fatigue less during running. Don’t do strength work on the days you run – ideally leave a rest day between strength work and running. Calf raises are a popular exercise – these can be performed with either a straight knee (gastrocnemius focus) or bent knee (soleus focus). Start with 3 sets of around 15 reps, 3 x a week. Work to fatigue but don’t push through pain. Gradually increase repetitions as your strength improves.

Technique- a few pointers

Running technique can play a huge part in susceptibility to calf soreness. Many of the runners i see with sore calfs have been trying to change their own running technique. If you keep getting sore calves it is well worth having your running form assessed.

Here’s a couple of calf-freindly technique tips:

Don’t over-stride

Allow your heels to kiss the ground – if you are a mid or forefoot striker make sure you heels gently touch down after landing.

Don’t push off- instead lift your feet and keep your ankles relaxed

Don’t bend forwards- concentrate on keeping tall with your hips forwards

Final notes

The recommendations here are for general calf fatigue/ soreness, rather than injury treatment. If you think you have injured your calf or have symptoms which are persisting or worsening it is worth seeing a Physiotherapist or Sports Doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If in doubt get it checked out.

Gray CawsGray Caws of N8pt.com

Address the symptom by focusing on the system

In answer to your question on tight, knotty calves, I would approach the issue from the following angles:

Doing too much too soon? Think gradual progress

As you rightly point out, may running injuries are caused by doing too much too soon so the first thing you need to address when you get a niggle, pain or injury is your training programme. Adopt the principle of gradual progress. In nature each development stage of a process forms a stable foundation for the next. So think form > distance > speed. You have to have good technique (form) before you can develop and improve.

Body sense and react

When you sense a niggle or pain then you need to do something about it. In the case of your tight calves, foam rolling – Self Myofacial Release (SMR) –  is great for reducing adhesions or knots within the matrix of the muscular connective tissue (myofascia). Looking at the body hollistically rather than focusing on the single muscle theory, myofacial meridians wind longitudinally through it’s soft tissue creating a communicating network. See Anatomy Trains (Elsevier 2001) www.anatomytrains.net. One such meridian, the Superficial Back Line runs from the bottom of the toes around the heel, through the calves, up the back of the body, crossing over the head to finish at the top of the eyebrows. So in theory any knots or misalignment along this line will affected the whole back of the body – As you point out, many people find relief from tight calves by rolling out the knots in the plantar fascia. It follows that misalignment of the head could not only affect the muscles in the shoulders but those throughout the whole meridian.

Alignment and relaxation

This approach emphasises the importance of good posture – balance, alignment and proprioception. When running, in mid-stance (balanced on one leg), your body weight should be supported by your structure (bones, ligaments, tendons and tension along the myofacial meridians). If the body is out of alignment muscles are overworked and strain is put on joints such as the ankle, knee and hip and areas of the lower back, shoulders and neck.

 

When your body is aligned correctly you can then allow the moving parts to relax – so to help prevent tight calves focus on relaxing them, along with ankles and feet, when running. This is important in barefoot and minimalist shoe running. Tense lower legs is often a cause of tight ankles as the runner gets used to the zero drop of natural posture. Also, a common error for barefoot runners is to run on the toes not allowing the heel to touch the ground. Running on your toes limits movement in the heel and reduces support for the back of the body – the Superficial Back Line.

How to apply SMR to the calves

  • Sit with legs extended and cross ankles with roller under the affected calf
  • Support with your hands and lift your hips off the floor – avoid hunched shoulders and keep a neutral spine (avoid rounded or hyperextend spine)
  • Roll up, down and across the muscle until a tender point is found
  • Relax and breath steadily throughout
  • Stop on the tender point until the discomfort decrease by about 75%
  • Continuing rolling to see if there are any other tender points

Conclusion

We often focus too much on the affected area of discomfort. As a Chi Running Instructor I teach the skills of alignment and relaxation, body sensing and gradual progress to new clients and at workshops. These skills are fundamental in building a solid foundation for years of enjoyable running.

Andy ClarkeAndy Clarke of Cambridge Fitness Academy (Blogs as Caveman Clarke)

In terms of scientific research relating to rolling the calves, I must admit my knowledge is somewhat limited. I have from personal experience used a roller and had ok results from it. I have also, however found that real massage from an experienced sports massage therapist is far better as they can focus on the right spot, direction of pressure and amount of pressure. If a massage is not an option then a roller seems to do an ok job.

However, if you have a thorough warm up, train within your limits and keep your distances and intensities under control, followed by some gentle stretching and enough rest and a good diet, you shouldn’t need to roll your calves or muscles that often. Over training is the main reason for tight and stiff muscles so no amount of rolling will undo that. Cut back a little, check your technique is all good and take a rest week if necessary.
If rolling works for you then keep it up, but just make sure your not in pain due to
pushing yourself too hard. Full transition to barefoot running can take months or
even years if your body has never had to do this before.

www.caveman-clarke.blogspot.com
www.cambridgefitnessacademy.co.uk

Anna TombesAnna Toombes of BarefootRunningUK

Most runners will experience calf niggles at some point and as you say, sometimes rollering can be more useful than traditional stretches.

I’m going to assume that some of the other coaches will have outlined how to perform calf rollering. We have explained how to do it in previous magazine issues and Dr Scott Hadley did a wonderful piece for us about the Achilles Tendon in issue 3 (see the multimedia section of our website:

www.barefootrunninguk.com). Scott also has some Youtube videos with various

self-massage techniques explained and you can visit his website: www.trekoblog.com

There are a few other things you can do to avoid (or at least limit) tenderness in the calf muscles. As you mentioned, using a tennis/hockey/golf ball underneath your feet can help to reduce tightness in the calf muscles. You can also just ‘knead’ the soles of your feet with your fingers and thumbs. It’s a little bit like kneading dough – start

gently, just pressing your feet and mobilizing them using your hands and you’ll start to feel them loosen off.

Also, have a think about the times when you’re contracting your calf muscles during the day. Wearing a shoe with a raised heel (of any height) will limit the range of movement through the calf muscles over time. Take your shoes off whenever you can (no one can see when your feet are underneath your desk at work) and point and flex your feet as well as circle your ankles.

Another thing to look at is how you sleep: do you sleep on your back underneath heavy covers? This can cause you to sleep with your toes slightly pointed which can cause cramp and tightness. Similarly, sleeping on your front will put your feet in the same position.

Maintaining range of movement and pliability in the calf complex are the most important things, so make sure you routinely practice calf raises on a step, lifting all the way up on the balls of your feet, then lowering your heel down as far as it will go. Simply bending and straightening your knees, keeping your heels on the ground, when you’re waiting for a train or for the kettle to boil will help maintain freedom through the calf and ankle.

I was recently pointed towards a YouTube clip by our friend, Dr Stig Walsh, which shows a whole range of foot exercises explained by Dr Andreo Spina. Worth a look, although some of the exercises are pretty challenging so take it gradually: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OOJ9AQ1AEg

Finally, keeping well hydrated, ensuring you have rest days from exercise and cross training will also help limit calf niggles, as well as making sure that when you do run, you’re running with sound technique either barefoot or in a light, flexible shoe.”

www.barefootrunninguk.com

A big thanls to Lou, Gray, Andy and Anna for being so generous with their advice. Check out their sites to see what else they can offer.

If you have a question then conatct Chris or join in the chat at our facebook group. We are a friendly, supportive group and you will be made very welcome.

 

Mar 30

An important anniversary, putting on weight and a great new mag – Pick of barefoot posts #30

xero shoesI missed my ‘Pick of the Post’ selection last week and the guilt is getting to me. I really enjoy it and treat it as a discipline. For a good blogger, reading is important. You have to keep abreast of all the good writing out there. If I am not selecting, it might mean that I am not reading enough. Here are this week’s picks. I hope you enjoy them:

Thumbnail1. Post of the week comes from the ‘Run Smiley’ collective and was posted by Flint.

The picture is by New York artist Sam Carbaugh. March 27th saw the anniversary of Micah True’s passing. His death affected me much more than I expected and I couldn’t explain why. It prompted me to read’ Born to Run’ again and was probably instrumental in me starting to blog. For a while, I ran with him alongside me in my head  just as I had seen him on video running in and out of a checkpoint. This is very short piece and is a timely reminder. I have watched videos of Ted and Chris McDougal and really enjoy them. My favourites are those when Micah True speaks. A real loss.

20130320-0719362. Post number 2 hit a nerve. I have trained for a marathon and put on weight. It seems that I am not the only one.

It is from Dr. Nick’s Running Blog. I read most of Dr. Nick’s posts and enjoyed this one. A few year’s ago, I ran the Snowdonia Marathon and trained for it all summer and into the autumn. I put on weight even though I was running more miles than I ever had before. It isn’t rocket science. The additional miles made me more hungry and I didn’t eat well or with discipline. I just figured that the running would keep my weight down. It didn’t. I will be ready for it, next time. I will plan for the increased hunger and not just reach for the first thing at hand.

Untitled3. I discovered Mike Logico’s ‘Barefoot Colonel’ blog when he joined our facebook group. I urge you to have a look.

I enjoy Mike’s outlook on life and barefoot running.:

‘Barefoot runners learn to accept the road as a metaphor of life: be humble, be grateful, have a sense of purpose, and most of all, have fun. There are no guarantees. Anything can happen. Just like life itself. This is the take home message for all runners thinking of going barefoot. It will change your life, but not in ways that you expect.’ – Thanks Mike.

Untitled14. ‘The first generation to grow up excercising’ caught my attention. Post four is from ‘Yelling Stop’ and as usual drew me in.

This isn’t about barefooting but about modern life and sloppy journalism. I work in schools and I get the point. For some kids, they play and run and dance in the same way that kids have always done. Some don’t. Their lives are sedentary and they need to provide artificial activities to provide exercise. It isn’t the kids though, it is the adults. We are much less likely to tolerate children playing out in the street, we don’t let them play outside for fear of what may happen to them. We drive them form one organised session to the next rather than let them just play.

Untitled25. Post 5 was prompted by Northwest Barefooter member Tim Hines.

He posted in our group a link to the first edition of ‘ Natural Born Runner’ saying that a friend of his had set this up. He is seriously well connected. The publisher is John Eddington based in Lincolnshire. He has many years publishing experience and has produced a very good looking and informative read. The first edition has article about Helen Hall and one written by Matt Wallden. We have Micah True, Barefoot Ted, Lee Saxby, Mark Cuzzella and plenty more.  Take a look.

 

There we go. I feel better for getting back on track and choosing my picks of the week. My balance is returning and my pulse rate has gone back down.

If you would like to suggest a post or two or would like to join in the chat at our Barefoot Beginner Facebook group you would be very welcome. There are now well over 170 of us, come and join in.

Mar 28

Finding the barefoot balance in my life – Family, work and blogging

xero shoesThese two weeks feel very important in my life as a blogger. I am a primary school headteacher and during term time it is all I can do to keep up with regular posts and messages. The 2 week break gives me a chance to do one or two things that I want to do and make things a little more exciting.

Blogging is amazing, it has opened up my life but it has also made me ask myself a few serious questions. Questions about the way I live my life and the things that are really important to me. It is not as simple as I thought.

A quick analogy:

When someone asks me what my favourite food is I always say pizza. I say it quickly and without much thought. I love pizza….but is it really my favourite thing? It is a lazy answer and if I opt for it without thinking, I am going to end up unsatisfied. I really need to study the menu with more attention and care.

My state of flux:

When someone asks me what I want to do with my life, I quickly say. I want to be my own boss, run all day and blog all night. Again a lazy answer. I also think that I will end up being unsatisfied if I jump in too quickly.

Blogging has tipped the balance of my life and upset the applecart completely. My balance has been lost and I am shortchanging everyone (including myself). I am not willing to live like that. It isn’t fair on the people round me.

I have a had a growing sense of unease recently – It can’t go on.

So…..

If I am going to live like this I need a few ground rules:

  1. I love blogging, it will be part of my life forever. I enjoy connecting people and sharing the things that are at the front of my brain. I have therefore created a list of blogging rules. I will not go in to detail in this post but the bottom line is that my rules specify how much time I can blog on different days of the week, weekends and holidays. I shared these with my family and that means that I can now blog guilt free. (p.s. Best thing was limiting facebook to 5 mins in the hour – otherwise I lose myself in the chat). I now need to stick to them and not creep over. Knowing that my time is limited makes me focus and I am actually getting much more done in the time.
  2. Family time. Since starting to limit my blogging hours, I now have more time to just sit and chat and do things with the family. I hadn’t realised how much this had slipped and I am a bit ashamed of myself. Now I switch the computer off and go and find them. We spent some time listing the fun things we want to do during the holidays. It isn’t just that though. It is taking time to prepare a meal together rather than rushing and all the other little things that families should do. Spending time with my wife is important to me. When you are very busy, these are the things that can drift away.
  3. I enjoy my job. Being the head of a school is a such a lot of fun. It has its moments but the camaraderie and pleasure that it brings would be too big a hole to fill for me at the moment. I like leadership theory and I get to do it for real. I am not willing to give it up. I need to be able to leave blogging at the school gate and pick it up again when I leave. My employers, staff and pupils need me to give my best all the time. In order to be happy, I need to be able to do that. There are times when being the headteacher is all encompassing and takes over everything. That is often when it is most satisfying and enjoyable. I need my blogging life to be organised so that I don’t shortchange anyone.
  4. Me – I have just talked about compartmentalising my life so that I can fit everything in and be honest and true to my family, my employers, staff and pupils and so that I can maintain my blogging habit and treat it as a job. It sounds like the road to a burnout to me. I also need to the chance to have some downtime. Read a book, go for a run, sleep, mindlessly surf the Internet, have a beer. To not blog for a few days, to pack up early and leave with the staff on Friday rather than stay until I get chucked out of the building.

My rules came out of a sense of unease I had about my life. It is too simple to say that I want to give it all up and run. Boris Johnson’s dietary advice is about having his cake and eating it. I think that it is possible.

All the balls are up in the air at the moment but they are slowly dropping in to place. It has been an unsettling time. Fantastic but unsettling. I couldn’t ignore that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that something needed to change.

I am about to treat blogging as a job (paying next to zero) rather than a hobby. It is something with a distinct number of hours and something that I close the door on and walk away from each day. I am already happier for it.

OK……I didn’t sit down with intention of writing about that. I was going to tell you all about a colleague tracking my bare-footprints in the snow last week and my next door neighbours barefoot beginnings. That’s why I love blogging. I sit down and who knows what will come out.

We now have 170 members of our little Barefoot Beginner facebook group. You will be very welcome to join us. We smile and we run – some of us barefoot, some in shoes and lots somewhere in between. Happy running everyone.

Mar 27

Freet Footwear

xero shoesAthletics Weekly recently ran a review of the new offering from Freet Footwear.

Freet are a new company based in Richmond, North Yorkshire and they are releasing their new footwear into a dozen stockists over the next week or two.

Freet 300x300

I have been chatting with Andrew from Freet and his first production arrived on Friday and is looking good.

He is sending me a pair to try out this week so watch this space. I am interested because they will be a footwear producer based in the north and also because it will be my first time running in a closed shoe with a separate single big toe.

You can check out Freet’s website by clicking on the image below.

Freet2

What do you think of the new offering from northern based company Freet Footwear?

Let us know and join in the chat at our facebook group. There are now over 160 of us. You will be made very welcome.

Mar 25

The barefoot running week – 26.03.13

xero shoesSo…what have you all been up to this week.

This week demonstrates why I felt it was good idea to set up the group in the first place. The wisdom of the group has come to the fore.

Emma Spence Goodier a couple of weeks ago in the Yeverland Duathlon. 544099_10200450885528705_389905642_n

Lots of you out running with Matt doing 4m in his huaraches and Ian Hicks and Wiltshire crew 5 miles through the Savernake forest. Just googled it. Looks like quite a place to run.

Ken Skier is having a great week, I saw on his timeline a picture of him wearing a pair of jeans. He couldn’t fit into them. Now they look 10 sizes too big. Awesome pic.

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598844_10151488245929284_1113739592_nKen also won his age group.  He ran for years at the middle of the pack. Now–for the second week in a row–He was first in a 10-year age category At the Malden Rotary Club 5K/10K in Malden, MA.

I love the comment from Rowena. It’s not the fact that she now has arches that people don’t ge. It is how excited she is about having arches that non barefooters don’t understand. Don’t worry Rowena, that is what we are here for. A cheap form of therapy.

Greg has been having swollen feet and lots of chat about whether Ibuprofen is the way to go.

I found out that my next door neighbour, Jamie has been barefooting. He is a year 11 in high school and a serious cyclist. He runs for fun and has been getting shin pain. Rather than go for the orthotic route, he took off his shoes. No influence from me, it just shows that the word is spreading amongst the young folk.

He was looking for some Adipures because he couldn’t afford VFF. Step in Dave Norman with a link and before you know it, we are all stocking up on half price Vibrams.

They are expensive but you do get value for money. Look at what you have done to them so far:

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Ian Holmes is no heel striker

578976_545926278761241_1590437066_n

Matt the Barefoot Wanderer

 

Jamie has just ordered his first pair of Bikilas and I charge the group with the task of making sure he takes it steady. Thanks Dave.

I was also contacted via twitter by Juan Carlos Aguilera @jcaguileradr
He asked if I know any barefooters with Mortons Toe. I put out an appeal and the advice was really useful. He even has Helen Hall making a couple of videos. I learnt alot. I was not really aware of MT beforehand.

Of course we have adventurous members Nadine and Florian preparing for their respective adventures and I was pleased to receive a guest post from each of them.

Florian is off to the Sahara and Nadine is route planning her RunUK. It is great that our group can be a help.

 

Christian Haarala Björnberg is in Sweden and it is still too cold for barefooting. This is what happens when you run on a treadmill barefoot. You get chance to analyse your footstrike…as long as you are a contortionist and have a big mirror. See what he thought here

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The last word this week goes to Mike Logico for his comment about barefoot marathons. I thought it was good advice for everyone no matter where they are upto.

Mike Logico The secret is not caring about your time. Leave your watch behind, take short strides, talk to people, and have fun.
Thanks, Mike. Good advice.
You can join in the fun with our facebook group here. There are 167 of us at the last count. We don’t tolerate profanity or negativity. We run and we smile.
Happy running
Chris

 

Mar 24

Nadine Horn – RunUK is getting closer. Crowd funding and route planning

xero shoes

Nadine is getting closer to her RunUK. True to her word, she is keeping us up to date with her planning. It is a fascinating process. As well as writing this post, she sent a couple of short videos where she discusses route planning and the virtues of ‘Ordanance Survey’. So…over to Nadine:

First things first: Big ‘Wohooo!’ – TeamRunUK has launched it’s first Crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo. Check it out, spread the word, share it on Facebook and Twitter and take part if you can. Every single pound makes a difference and some really cool rewards are awaiting you.

Here the link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/run-uk-1000miles-barefoot/x/124162

 https://emailmg.ipage.com/sqmail/src/download.php?startMessage=1&passed_id=195&mailbox=INBOX.keep.Deal+with&ent_id=2.4&passed_ent_id=0

Every adventure brings an opportunity along to learn something new, RunUK has already provided two in the preparation phase:

 

  1. Support your adventure with the right mapping tools and strategy (OS Get a Map)
  2. Producing a crowd-funding campaign

 

And now the reason why it has been more than a week since I have last written to you: I have lost track of time.

 

Making decisions & staying track

 

The days are rushing pass in a good way because every single day, a new gap is filled, another door  opens or an additional idea of how to achieve what’s on my list has appeared.

 

Normally there is a routine that I follow: Monday I write myself a check-list of the things that I like to have ticked off by the end of the week. It gives me focus of making sure that the main bits are ticked off. On Sunday I review the list and see what I haven’t done and why and adjust the plan to then go ahead for another productive week. Best case scenario I write a little morning or evening update of what I did and what has happened – best way to make sure nothing slips your radar and also free your mind to regain the focus.

 

Well, that is the best case scenario – when you get excited or you feel that one thing is more important than the other, or the daily life comes in between, you just start doing things and before you a aware of it, the week has passed without a weekly-plan or a sunday review. And it is OK, it only becomes a barrier when you keep all the things in your head and the only thing you wake up with is – “There is so much do”. Then it’s when you know that your head is overloaded and it’s time to start writing things to a. get back to focus on the bigger picture and b. to make decisions: about yes / no or not now regarding things that are on your list.

 

This is especially important when opportunities come in that have nothing to do with your recent challenge. PLUS unless there is a time-machine, you are where you are and have the deadline that you have.

 

 

 

 

 

The great news of the last week!

 The logo is set and I am very happy about it, thanks to Bev from Kick-Ass Creatives for doing such an amazing job and thanks to Dave for coming up with the idea of adding toes to the UK – as Chris said, you may not look at the map of the UK in the same way. Also happy to welcome Smartwool as  sponsor for merino clothing on board. We are nearly there with our equipment, see here what’s still missing.

 

In the next blog post you will read more about the ‘why’ for crowd-funding and why it’s great to get a NO from a Sponsors when it’s Landrover.

 

See you soon.

Nads

P.S To all the keen runners that like to join along the way – sign up here and put your name down. As I will start shooting off you will receive summaries and now where I am.

I will be posting this in our Barefoot Beginner Facebook group. It is a good way to keep in touch. I have also signed up and will be trying to meet up with Nadine along the way.

Mar 21

What does somebody do alone in Sahara? Barefoot running!

I am Florian, 32 years old, live in Berlin and am going to run 650KM through Sahara in April 2013.

Why?

As long as I can remember, whenever I had anything to read about adventurers I read it and I loved it.

Working as a career consultant and coach I really like what I am doing. BUT, I had the dream to do something that I would like to read about as well.

In summer of 2012 I took my time and tried to find out: what I would do, if I could do whatever I wanted:

– spent much time outside, sun preferred
– feel the independance
– combine everything I do with sport
– travel a lot
– live some kind of adventure

Soon I knew that I wanted to plan some adventure trip by foot in nature. I looked through different opportunities and was fascinated by articles about the ‘marathon des sables’ in Morocco. Since I already knew Morocco from other trips I thought that this could become really interesting. I tried to find out how to prepare, what to keep in mind and how to survive such a trip.
Soon I thought that I might be able to make it.

Within 6 month.

As I wanted to be independant and choose my own way, I decided not to participate in the race itself, but to plan it on my own.
I talked to many people who actually did ‘self supply adventures’ before and I knew that I could do it as well if I stay focused.

By that time we had October 2012 and I wanted to leave in April 2013.

October- mid November:
I was checking for the region, the distance, the approximate time and I decided where to start and end. Mhamid Al Ghizlane at the Moroccon/Algerian border to Sidi Ifni at the Atlantik Ocean.

November and December:
I concentrated on basic Equipment like sleeping bag, tent, backpack etc. It will be temperatures from 0°C-35°C. Snakes and skorpions like the wamth of the sleeping bag at night. While crossing the Antiatlas there it might rain.

January:
I most of all worried about the water and how to carry it or where to get it. How much did other people in deserts need per day? How far is the longest distance without water? How long do I need for that distance? How much water can I carry?

February:
I started detailed route planning. Will I run more North or South? Will I follow the dried up river or the mountain range? Where do I plan to cross the Anti Atlas?

March:
I am getting all the small Equipment like: Salt pills, water cleaner, venom pump, stitching material. All the little details that you need if you are self supplier for 3 weeks. Things you need if things go wrong.

During all that time I kept increasing my weekly kilometers. I started running with my backpack and running 15KM to my office in the morning and 15KM back in the evening became as normal as taking the metro.

I feel free.
I feel no fear.
I do what I want.

9th of April I will get on the plane to Morocco and we will see if preparations were enough…

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all updates on: facebook.com/gluecklichtrainer
or (most in German): www.gluecklichtrainer.com

Florian is a member of our facebook group. You can chat and leave a message or comment there.

Mar 21

Calf Niggle – What in the barefoot world did I do?

A week ago, I posted about the tightness in my right calf. I got a terrific response for which I am very grateful. I think it was prompted by the change in attitude that barefooting has brought. I really did run with a backdrop of anxiety and fear for many years. I was always worried that my calf would go. I can’t believe I am running again. Since I blogged about the nagging calf, I have had my most consistent running week for quite a while.

I have been rolling away but not as much as I first intended.

I spent the week following everyone’s advice and rolling a ball under my foot really seemed to help loosen my calf off. I knew that I needed to be right for our Northwest Barefooters group run on Sunday. I woke up with not so much as a whisper of a niggle and ran the 6 miles barefoot with no problem at all.

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Pendine Sands

I now have the added pressure of being part of a team for the Pendine Sands Ultra in 3 weeks time. My leg is 8 miles or so and we are determined to barefoot the entire 32 miles between us. I haven’t put pressure on myself like that for a while and if anything is going to get me injured it is entering events. I blogged a couple of weeks ago about that. However, I have a need to test myself and feel the butterflies and although I am nervous, I am really looking forward to it.

A little group of us has also entered the Cross Bay half marathon in June. That means I will need to up my mileage beforehand. At the moment I am just running the way I feel and entering a half marathon compromises that. I have entered for the past 2 or 3 years and not made it to the start line yet. I have never trained for it barefoot before though and my mindset has changed. I think I will make it this time round.

Morecambe Bay

When I look back at last week’s post, I am surprised by my confidence in managing my calf. It does seem to be working though. I need to make sure that in my busy old life, I take time to roll out the niggles and give myself time to run without rushing. Setting off walking also seems to work for me.

So…what in the world did I do? I rolled away, ran with friends and entered a barefoot half marathon. Feeling like my old self–but in a good way.

I have a growing sense of being part of a community and having a bit of a chat on facebook is becoming a nice part of life. Our group now has over 160 members, come and join in, the chat is lovely.

 

Mar 19

$100 startup – Who knows it may just be the barefoot future

I have just finished reading the £100 Startup by by Chris Guillebeau. It is one of those books that could just end up changing your life.

Its subheading of ‘Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better to Live More’. is a real pull and it was just what I was looking for.

I had taken the children in town and we went into Waterstones for a book each. They chose ‘Candyfloss’ by Jaqueline Wilson and Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Cabin Fever and I got the itch to go upstairs and have a look at the books on business startups.