October 2015 archive

Oct 30

Barefoot beginner Training Blog – October 2015

Thursday 1st October

Not long now. I started this run streak in October last year.

Last decent run before marathon. Feet fine,legs fine. I’m fine. Felt full of running. We will see how we go!

Friday 2nd Oct 15

A barefoot mile

Sat 3rd October 15

IMG_3391Final mile before marathon tomorrow and full of running. My toe has had some sort of reaction to the plaster I put on. Swollen, red and itchy with a couple of small blistery patches. Itchiness is spreading underneath. Not too worried but I could do without it.






Sun 4th Oct 15

Barefooted Chester Marathon. Wow!

orig-CHEC1043Mon 5th Oct 15

Just pitter pattered very slowly this morning for a mile…and put in a big hill to make things interesting. Feet tender but OK. It is my quads. They are screaming. Never really had that before. It was my quads that gave up yesterday. Been a long time since I have run a the pace I started at yesterday for a sustained period and my lack of practise cost me.

Tuesday 6th October

Blimey. The DOMs has kicked in. My quads are on fire and my calves are feeling a bit stiff. I got a bit of a niggle about 8 miles in on Sunday in my right calf and no matter how I altered my style it wouldn’t go away. Itnnworroed me for a while and then I realised it had gone. Feeling stiff in the exact spot. I did some kneeling stretches last night to see if I could my quads at all. Sore!

Nothing that a bit of barefooting won’t sort out though. A barefoot mile. I set off gingerly and my quads felt like they had been hit with a hammer on the first 20 yrds which is steep downhill. Then I just got into it and by the end was whizzing along and enjoying myself. Might go a bit further tomorrow.

Wednesday 7th Oct 15

A barefoot mile in the rain.My stomach hasn’t recovered yet. Still needed to get back quick.

Thursday 8th Oct 15

2 barefoot miles this morning. Feet feel remarkably robust this morning and quads back to normal. Amazing thing the human body. I reckon I will be back to normal running next week. No rush though. Explained marathon to friend I saw out this morning. I end up saying that I went too fast but it still felt so comfortable. 8-8.30  miling was very conversational pace. I remember a stretch of road and feeling a little deadness in quads after 8 miles or so and thinking that I might have gone too quickly but I was still chatting happily away with runners I was passing. I had a 3hr 45 min finish in my head and it felt good to build up a little bit of a buffer. I was through half marathon dead on for that and then at 17 miles I realised that I just needed to run 3 miles in 30 mins to get under 3 hrs which would put me on for under 4hrs. I did that fine. At 22 miles, I was struggling but still on for under 4hrs. then went to pieces and I must have been on 14 minute miles near the end. I truly couldn’t go any faster.

Might go a bit further tomorrow.

Friday 9th Oct 15

A 5 miler barefooot this morning. Feet feel great although they were a bit weary in the last few hundred yards. I found myself with my hands spontaneously in the air in a victory salute at one point. I did that every mile on the marathon. I grinned each time and remembered that I was doing it out of choice. I have also just realised that I have not mentioned top of foot pain for a while. Stopped beinng an issue. Going to get a heart rate monitor this weekend and begin to MAF. The experiment continues.

Sat 10th Oct 15

A barefoot mile in crisp autumn sunshine. Full of running and toe doing well. 1001 miles for the last 12 months and 2 weeks to go.

Sun 11th Oct 15

I started a new experiment today using the MAF test. I took my age from 180 and ended up with a aerobic range of 124-134 bpm. I set my new polar HRM and warmed up with a gentle mile run of about 11 minutes. I ran a measured mile long section of a local road. it is as flat as I can find near home but is slightly downhill one way and both ways have a gentle inclines and descents.

Mile 1 – 10mins 48 (uphill)

Mile 2 – 10 mins 47

Mile 3 – 10 mins 45

Pretty consistent but I would expect the times to get slower over each mile so it means that I haven’t warmed up enough. Need a mile and a half probably.

It was hard to stay below the upper limit and I ended up feeling very, very slow. I suppose that I have been running and competing without issue for over 2 years with no real issues so could add an extra 5 onto the time. I think that I will do that next time out. Running this slow had an effect on my right calf and left one too to a lesser extent. The plan is to use this method to get ready for the 40 miler in March.

4 miles barefoot which takes me to 1005 in this runstreak with 12 days to go to make it a year.

Mon 12th October 15

A barefoot mile a bit earlier than usual. The sky was clear and the stars very bright as I ran in the darkness. Forgot my headtorch and ran half a mile on unlit road feeling my way with my feet. Addictive. No heartrate monitor this morning but I think I will wear it next time out to see how my heart is over a mile. Sore throat and sniffly. I thought I had avoided this cold going round but it has got me in the end. Planning the 3 peaks in a couple of weeks time. Should be fun.

Tues 13th Oct 15

The MAF experiment continues. I increaed my upper limit by 5 beats per min because I have been running injury free and consistetly fo 2 years to give me an upper limit of 139bpm so I am running in the 129-139 range.

It made a noticeable difference annd it was difficult to get inot the zone on the lonng downhills. I ran them faster than I am used to. Sort of evens out with running uphill slower. I have a cold at the moment. Conditions chilly and damp underfoot.

5 barefoot miles in 54 mins 42secs. Last mile in 10mins 21 secs remaining in zone. Average HR was 134bpm.

I feel like I have had a good run and I was sure that it was faster than it ended up being.

Wed 14th Oct 15

Legs sore last night. Hamstrings. I am guessing that it was from running quicker then normal at times yeterday to keep heart rate in the zone. Fine this morning.
A barefoot mile with HRM on. It was hard to keep up in the zone on the first halfmile. As soon as I go on the level or downhill, I need to speed up. The calf trouble from a couple of days ago had vanished. Overall, I am not quick but there are sections where I am running quicker than usual.
Overall 11.41 (I do stand at halsway point for a little while ans enjoy being out in the morning darkness.) Average HR os 122 but at the end of my little rest I had dropped to 82bpm.

Thursday 15th Oct 15

A barefoot mile nice and easy.

Friday 16th Oct 15

5 barefoot miles HRM on and feeling grotty with a bad cold. Was slower than last time out.

Sat 17th Oct 15

Planned a 6 mile run with HRM but feeling rotten and when I set off HRM wasn’t picking up so I cut short and just ran a very easy barefoot mile. Been reading the Maffetone book this morning. Most interested in diet. This is the thing I need to change along with jjst about everything else. I am stuck in this sugar loop and need to get off. Easy to say but very hard to do. Or at least I am finding it hard. I need to remove the refined carbs from my diet full stop. Question is whether to do the 2 week test or not. Why does that seem so scary? Surely not. I think it is practical issues of combining it with family life. Plus I am not sure whether I am able to do it. Will I give in and end up feeling awful. Should just be non-negotiable. Get the stuff in that I need and just do it. Cold turkey.

Sun 18th Oct 15

A barefoot mile this morning.

Mon 19th Oct 15

Tried to get a better MAF baseline at max of 139bpm. Ran 2 miles warmup then miles at
9:58 av 134
9:51 av 135
9:38 av 135
This decrease in time would suggest that I need to warm up more. Interesting that putting HRM up by 5 bpm makes such a difference. 5 miles in total. Only 3 more runs before I have run everyday barefoot for a year.

Tues 20th Oct 15

A barefoot mile and was cold this morning and foggy which made it very dark. The senses come to the fore, smell in particular. I needed to back off and keep under what I think is my upper heart rate limit. Two more days and I will be there.

UntitledWed 21st Oct 15

Oct 15 -13 miles

1026 miles and tomorrow will be a full year running without shoes. Can’t believe that it here already.

Thursday 22nd Oct 15

A year of barefooting rounding off with a 5 miler in the early morning darkness round a route that has become so familiar, it just feels part of my day.

365 day barefoot runstreak covering 1,031 miles in total. I have learned such a lot and can’t imagine not running every day anymore. I might even try in a bit of footwear tomorrow. Who knows. What I do know, is that i seem to have found a way to make running a sustainable, injury free part of my life and long may it continue.

I was on my HRM this morning and am at the end of a bad cold.

5 mile route in total. Last mile was 13 minutes. I was struggling to keep below the 139 upper limit this morning. My last mile the other day was 9 mins something. It would seem that I might be sickening for something. We will see.

Friday 23rd October 15

Started year 2 of the runstreak with a barefoot mile in the rain. Cold and foggy. Ended up running with headtorch in my hand.

Sat 24th Oct 15

A hefty night out last night and ended up running a barefoot mile later in the day. Always feel better for a run.

Sun 25th Oct 15

Clocks went back last night but still only felt like doing a barefoot mile. It was cold today annd I got numb feet for the first time this year.

Mon 26th Oct 15

Big day today. I ran in footwear for the first time in over a year. I ran in Walsh zero drop after warming up with a barefoot mile as the dawn broke. My shod run was about 6.5 miles and I used heart rate monitor. I have never urn the route as slowly. 83 minutes with an average of about 135bpm. As soon as I reached a slight incline the HRM went up about 139. I ended up walking to get in back down and then running again once it had dropped. I feel fine and no problems to report but it was very slow. My MAF test had me going much quicker than this bit maybe it is the effect of going over uneven undulating ground. I am looking forward to doing the 3 peaks on Wednesday and then doing a 2 week carb test and seeing hiow much difference it makes. If it is all about readiness, I am ready.

Tuesday 27th Oct 15

About to head out for an early morning barefoot mile. My hip is very stiff after running in shoes yesterday. Not sure if it is shoes or the act of running so slowly that has caused it. I will need to mix it up with barefoot and strength and flexibility exercises if this is going to work. I have been looking forward to running in shoes for ages and now it has arrived, I realise how special barefoot running feels. What a pain drying shoes out is and what a pain having to buy running socks is too.

12187697_661962063946738_3578156017999475540_nWed 28th Oct 1512188998_661962087280069_3237984980696929099_n11181955_661962097280068_521699698651497714_n

Aimed to run the 3 peaks but went wrong on Pen-Y-Ghent and went north across Plover Hill. Miles out of our way and very rough getting back on track. Weather atrocious so decided to cut it short and ran back into Horton. About 16 miles in total with a few of those barefoot on road back in. Walshes did well. Saloman vest did well too. Comfy. My HR was high and struggled to keep slow enough to keep it under. I think my Aerobic base is shocking ad I need to do something about it. Diet related, I think. Maffetone test coming up over next week. I will do a MAF test tomorrow to get the ball rolling.

Thursday 29th October 15

A barefoot mile. Outside of quads stiff and sore

Friday 30th Oct 15

Another barefoot mile. Quads still stiff

Sat 31st Oct 15

104 miles for October and feeling a bit lethargic. All connected to having now done the marathon and a year barefoot. Need a bit of focus. the Maffetone 22 week test should do that. I am shopping today to start it tomorrow. 12st 7oz at the start.


Oct 03

5 favourite barefoot posts of the week – Number 40

Walsh 600x100 banner


It is a while since I have listed my favourite 5 barefoot posts of the week and I have missed it. Blogging has become part of my life but the biggest part of blogging is reading the writing of others. It helps to keep things connected.

This week, I have chosen 5 posts that caught my attention and made me want to read on.

1 1. The first post is a news report about Jake Brown who is running barefoot across the US.

2700 miles into his run, he stopped off at a school for a chat. There seems to be a few of these types of journey going on and it caught my attention after reading a few posts from Alek’s Kashefi who had just run the length of the UK. https://www.whiznews.com/content/news/local/2015/09/29/barefoot-runner-makes-a-stop-in-zanesville

22. Post two is a post from Visual News on the new VFF Furoshiki.

Well from Vibram anyway as it does not have 5 fingers. At first I thought it might be an April Fool and I checked the date on the post twice. It wraps your foot in the she like a Japanese Kimono. Beautiful or horrible? Can’t quite decide.




Find out how to run barefoot from Steven Sashen of Xeros here


33. Interesting article about shoes and injury from the South China Morning Post.

It cites a study that says that expensive shoes cause the most injury  and that comfortable shoes fare better. I have a theory here. I reckon that the only reason you would spend crazy amounts on running shoes is if you are injured or have been injured. The more injuries you have had, the more likely you are to get injured again and the more desperate you get and the more you spend. It is a vicious  circle. http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-beauty/article/1862050/expensive-running-shoes-dont-prevent-injuries-comfortable

44. Five lies you may have been told about running from cheatsheet.com.

This grabbed me because one of my biggest areas of interest is uncovering the things we all take for granted as runners. The set of ‘norms’ that pen us in. Running (and barefoot running) is full of them. They seem like common sense but sometimes they are not. The more we can question them the better. Number 4 is ‘Barefoot is best’ and I found myself nodding after my initial bristling response. http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/5-lies-you-may-have-been-told-about-running.html/?a=viewall


55. Final post of the week is from the Southern Daily Echo about Andy McGhee who has just run 7 marathons in 7 days.

Andy ran in Xeros to raise some money for the paediatric unit that helped his son after a severe asthma attack. It caught my attention as I a worried about running my first barefoot marathon this week and it was on my mind. Andy’s comment “You can’t run normally…You have to run flat-footed and that can really start to take its toll after a while.” will no doubt interest a few of you. Fantastic achievement.  Well done Andy. http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/13789478.Hampshire_man_takes_on_seven_marathons_in_seven_days___barefoot/

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