Ian Hicks is a member of our Barefoot Beginner facebook group and a founder member of the Wiltshire Barefoot Runners. Each month he is keeping us upto date with all things barefoot. Here is his post for July. Thanks Ian.
I have been customizing my Xero Shoes. Cutting away areas, that for me are not needed. My toes have no protection now – the more ground feel the happier my feet are. The heel has also gone as I do not need my heel protecting as I naturally land on my forefoot. I have punched holes around the midfoot to make them more flexible. This all came about after seeing a picture of a pair of Xeros with holes punched in them. I thought it was a good idea, so I decided I would cut away part of the foot arch and go for a run to test them. This process went on until I felt I had my perfect sandal. Now, I know these are not for everyone and some people will be horrified but they are truly made to measure and suit my feet and running style.
Every year at work we have a walking challenge. In previous years we have been in teams, but this year it was individuals taking part. We set ourselves a number of steps we have to complete each day. It is a very good way of monitoring how active or inactive we are. I opted for the platinum level 18,000 per day but decided this was not enough for me so I set myself a goal of 30,000 per day. There are 2,000 steps per mile, so I was aiming for 15 miles per day! This was okay on running days but on non-running days this was a struggle. I had an advantage though. I work in a warehouse, so I spend my working days on my feet running around and dashing up and down stairs.
I enjoy this challenge every year, it only lasts for 8 weeks but in that time you come to realise that the body is designed to move around all day and only rest at the end of the day. Standing and walking become very easy and natural and when I do sit down I find it very uncomfortable and unnatural.
At the end of June I started to run every day. After about a week I posted this on Chris’ facebook group “Barefoot Beginner“ this prompted Chris to invite me to join his “Barefoot Mile A Day” group. I have a confession, I have not been able to run every day. But I have increased the number of days I run per week from 3 – 4 to 5 – 6 times. This has been great, getting up early before work and running around 5 miles. The air is so fresh, I get home so relaxed and calm ready for the day ahead. So thanks and sorry Chris, thanks for showing that it is okay to run more days a week and sorry I’ve been unable to run every day.
The Wiltshire Barefoot Runners have started their training for the Chippenham Half, which is on Sunday 15th September. There are three of us taking part, all barefoot. The whole course is tarmac and flat so much easier going than our last race which was primarily gravel!
While out running the other day, two young girls drove past and beeped their horn. I politely waved and smiled as they drove past. I’m sure they must have been attracted to my good looks and the horn beeping had nothing to do with the fact that I was running barefoot!