Category: Chris

Jan 01

Running Log – January 18

Monday 1st Jan 18

Started 2018 at 12stone exactly and with a Parkrun in 24 mins 50 secs. Took it easy at first and then couldn’t have gone much faster. A good way to start the year. felt left calf a little. Need to do some barefooting. A sugar free Christmas and new year. Feel good for it.

Day 120 – 4 miles (0 barefoot): Month 4 miles (0 Miles) : Academic year 285 miles (177): Year 4 (0)

Tuesday 3rd Jan 18

Very stiff left ankle and tight achilles. Feels a little better after a mile of barefooting but not much. I think  need to loosen up this ankle somehow.

Day 121 – 1 miles (1 barefoot): Month 5 miles (1 Miles) : Academic year 286 miles (178): Year 5 (1)

Wed 4th Jan 18

A bit wheezy this morning. I think it may have been some soup I ate last night which had some sugar hidden in there…or I am about to start with a cold.

Storm Eleanor has also hit and we have high winds here in the West Pennines. Combined with stiff ankle and need to be out early just led me to a barefoot mile to keep loosening things up. Felt a struggle to be honest. The sugar has almost gone from my diet but I might have tipped too far into the carbs. Will try and get the balance back a bit.

Day 122 – 1 miles (1 barefoot): Month 6 miles (2 Miles) : Academic year 287 miles (179): Year 6 (2)

Thursday 5th Jan to Sunday 7th Jan 18

Feel sore in lower leg. It was cold and barefooting meant my feet went numb. Numb feet are dumb feet and I end up curling my toes up so that i don’t scrape them. This meant that my shin were sore. Just been running miles. 3 barefoot and the last in Runamoks.

Day 123 to 126 4 miles (3 barefoot): Month 10 miles (5 Miles) : Academic year 291 miles (182): Year 10 (5)

Monday 8th Jan 18

First day back at school in 2018 and committed to running moe than a mile this morning. It is very cold and will be icy so will be in Runamoks. I reckon I will do a couple of miles 3 times this week to raise the miles gradually during January.

2 miles in Runamoks including a very big hill. No problem but puffing and panting a bit afterwards. Very slippy undefoot.

Day 127 – 2 miles (0 barefoot): Month 12 miles (2 Miles) : Academic year 293 miles (179): Year 12 (2)

Tuesday 9th Jan 18

Not as cold this morning and very dry so ran a mile barefoot to keep things moving in my lower legs. Focussed on not curling up toes this morning as I think that this was responsible for the aching in my shins. Completely dark at some points and could feel some ice beneath my feet so has to really concentrate on toes. the fear comes from making skin off top of middle toe as it drags underneath. Happens rarely but enough that i can still feel the pain.

Street lights interesting. the only ones that i can see in the distance are the old orange ones. the new LED white lights are not visible from above.

Day 128 – 1 miles (1 barefoot): Month 13 miles (3 Miles) : Academic year 294 miles (180): Year 13 (3)

Wed 10th Jan 17

2 miles in the wet weather this morning. Not as cold.Mind racing with all sorts of things but running helps. I will run barefoot tomorrow to see if rocksalt has been washed away.

Day 129 – 2 miles (0 barefoot): Month 15 miles (3 Miles) : Academic year 296 miles (180): Year 15 (3)

Thursday 11th and Friday 12th Jan 17

Icy and slippy on Thursday and ran a mile in Runamoks. Gritters out on Thursday night so ran a couple of miles on Friday morning in Runamoks. Just taking time and enjoying being out in the early morning fresh air. Will up the mileage a little next week.

Day 130 &131 – 3 miles (0 barefoot): Month 18 miles (3 Miles) : Academic year 299 miles (180): Year 18 (3)

Sat 13th – Mon 15th Jan 18

3 barefoot runs of a mile to keep things going. This morning was meant to be 3 miles but it was foul. Driving rain and very cold. Just ran a mile instead and will run the 3 tomorrow. The niggles and aches have gone away and I am able to walk down the stairs in the morning OK without hanging on to anything!!! Progress.

Day 132- 134 – 3 miles (3 barefoot): Month 21 miles (6 Miles) : Academic year 302 miles (183): Year 21 (6)

Tuesday 16th Jan 18

Ran to work this morning as car was in garage. It was cold but enjoyed it. Ran in Merrels. Then ran to garage after work. Could feel it in right calf on way in to work. I reckon that it might be the continual downhill. 7 miles in total. I like running as a mode of transport.

Day 135 – 7 miles (0 barefoot): Month 28 miles (6 Miles) : Academic year 309 miles (183): Year 28 (6)

Wed 17th Jan 17

Snowed last night and it is foul out there. Slushy and slippy. I have no reaction to yesterdays’ run at all. I feel fine and full of running which was surprise as it was a small jump in mileage. Runamoks which are still in amazing shape. Almost like I have never worn them.

Day 136 – 1 miles (0 barefoot): Month 29 miles (6 Miles) : Academic year 310 miles (183): Year 29 (6)

Thursday 18th Jan 18

3 miles this morning. It was cold but not as bad as over past few days. Even so, the rocksalt meant that I was in Merrell Bare Access. No niggles anywhere and had to slow myself down and enjoy it a bit. I have had 2 nights of eating out and managed to stick to no sugar. I am not obsessed. I still had things with a bit of sauce on knowing that they would have bit of sugar in but I didn’t have dessert, chocolate or avoidable things like ketchup. At work, I get to a point in the afternoon where I feel hungry but don’t want to eat. I am going to try drinking today at this point. I reckon that I am thirsty and not really hungry.

Day 137 – 3 miles (0 barefoot): Month 32 miles (6 Miles) : Academic year 313 miles (183): Year 32 (6)

Friday 19th – Sun 21st Jan 18

Forgot about the drinking and ended up with same feeling again. It has been snowy and cold over the past 3 days. Ran a mile on Friday morning in Runamoks and then 3 miles around Smithies on Saturday morning in Merrel bare Access. I set off straight up the Deane and enjoyed the mile uphill challenge. Then a mile in Runamoks before a market this morning. Enjoying running at the moment.

Day 138-140 – 5 miles (0 barefoot): Month 37 miles (6 Miles) : Academic year 318 miles (183): Year 37 (6)

Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd Jan 18

4 miles in bare access one day followed by a barefoot mile the day after. Niggle in right hip after Monday. Felt the need to go barefoot to smooth that out.

Day 141-142 – 5 miles (1 barefoot): Month 42 miles (7 Miles) : Academic year 323 miles (184): Year 42 (7)

Wed 24th Jan 18

Up early and out for 4 miles in torrential rain. Soaked to the skin and having fun. Not cold at all. Ran first mile in Runamoks to avoid rocksalt then 2 miles barefoot finishing with a shod mile at the end. Hip feels fine. The motivation is about keeping weight in check and weighing in on Feb 1st.

Day 143 – 4 miles (2 barefoot): Month 46 miles (9 Miles) : Academic year 327 miles (188): Year 46 (9)

Thursday 25th Jan 18

A barefoot mile this morning. Kept it slow and form loose and good. These barefoot runs are the stretching between my longer runs. It was noticeably colder than yesterday again and my soles were really on fire on a section that had no rocksalt. Pretty intense but then went away when back on dry road again. Unusual.

Day 144 – 1 miles (1 barefoot): Month 47 miles (10 Miles) : Academic year 328 miles (189): Year 47 (10)

Friday 26th Jan 18

4 miles this morning. 2 barefoot and 2 in Runamoks. Feet are feeling the burn. I reckon that it is just doing a bit more barefoot in combination with a bit of rocksalt. I was full of running and the miles slipped past with no recollection of the run. Keeps me level.

Day 145 – 4 miles (2 barefoot): Month 51 miles (12 Miles) : Academic year 332 miles (191): Year 51 (12)

Sat 27th to Mon 29th Jan 18

3 lots of miles. 2 in Runamoks and one barefoot. Weather very rainy this morning so just did a mile. Bit of tightness in right achilles which is unexpected. maybe just the little upscale in mileage last wee and just getting used to it.

Day 146-148  – 3 miles (1 barefoot): Month 54 miles (13 Miles) : Academic year 335 miles (192): Year 54 (13)

Tuesday 30th – Wed 31st Jan 18

2 barefoot miles. When I miss the Monday run it throws things out. Need to make it non-negotihtble even in the rain. Not too worried. I feel OK and am in no rush to do loads of miles.

Day 149-150  – 2 miles (2 barefoot): Month 56 miles (15 Miles) : Academic year 337 miles (194): Year 56 (15)






Oct 01

Running Log – October 17

Sunday 1st October 17

Can’t believe it is October already. I ran every day from the 4th September, last month and did 79 miles. My aim is to run every day of October and top that.

Started with a gentle barefoot mile this morning to ease off a little niggle in my lower calf that cam about in the last few strides of yesterday’s run. I enjoyed being out in the drizzle. I always feel better for it. Now for a cup of coffee and a good book.

Day 1 mile (1) Week 20 miles (1 barefoot) : Month 1 miles (1 miles) : Academic Year 80 miles (44 miles)

Monday 2nd Oct 17

Woke up ready to go but with really tight right calf. Did a bit of light stretching but to no avail. Higher up in the body of calf that yesterdays tightness. During stretching left calf also felt a bit tight.

Day 5 miles  (5 barefoot) : Week 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Month 6 miles (6 miles) : Academic Year 85 miles (49 miles)

Tuesday 3rd October 17

a mile barefoot this morning to iron out the wrinkles left after yesterday’s run. I went for a walk last night and felt a stiffness in my hip and tightened in right groin as though I have ebb hanging on with my toes in icy weather. I woke in the night with a dull ache in my hip. This morning, I have stiffness in calf, right arch and dull ache in hip. Seeing as barefooting is meant to be therapeutic, this was a surprise. i will see how things are after a little run.

Day 1 mile  (1 barefoot) : Week 6 miles (6 barefoot) : Month 7 miles (7 miles) : Academic Year 86 miles (50 miles)

Wed 4th October 17

5 barefoot miles this morning and was full of running. I didn’t want to stop. No problems at any point and feet felt pretty robust after a while. A bit tender a first but then fine. Ground was dry which helps a lot.

Day 5 miles  (5 barefoot) : Week 11 miles (11 barefoot) : Month 12 miles (12 miles) : Academic Year 90 miles (55 miles)

Thursday 5th Oct 17

A mile barefoot this morning. Not eating well. had a couple of sugary binges which have left me feeling sluggish and a bit unwell. Might be getting cold or it might just be the food. Also tired this morning. Up on time but a struggle. Still going to bed early. i am enjoying that. Determined not to burn the candle at both ends. A barefoot mile after a very wt and windy night out there. It was cold, Numb feet are dumb feet!

Day 1 mile  (1 barefoot) : Week 12 miles (12 barefoot) : Month 13 miles (13 miles) : Academic Year 91 miles (56 miles)

Friday 6th Oct 17

Tired this morning and struggled to get out of bed. Did though, so that is good. Right calf a little tight and I am enjoying the way my feet feel in between runs. They are developing and feel robust.

5 miles this morning barefoot in the cold and wet. I concentrated on form. I ran a bit like Parker from thunderbirds in best marionette action. I need to feel like I am lifting rather than pushing off and this helps. My feet were screaming after half a mile and I had to concentrate again. this time on keep everything in line and facing forwards. The temptation was to run but my body at a slight angle and I am not sure why. It immediately felt better every time I brought things back together.

Feet felt better on the second half of the run even though i was going over the same terrain. 5th week running, I have managed to do three 5 mile runs before work. I must be doing something right when it comes to motivation. I don’t want to stop. I want to be able to sit with coffee on Saturday morning and get some school work out of the way and not have to think about it on Sunday. Weather was cold and damp. The morning felt washed. Clear blue sky as dawn broke during the run. Glorious. Glad to be out int it. Didn’t want to stop in the end.

Day 5 mile  (5 barefoot) : Week 17 miles (17 barefoot) : Month 18 miles (18 miles) : Academic Year 96 miles (61 miles)

Sat 7th Oct 17

2 miles barefoot to keep things running smoothly. I was aiming for puddles this morning so it must be warmer than yesterday when I was avoiding them.

Day 2 miles  (2 barefoot) : Week 19 miles (19 barefoot) : Month 20 miles (20 miles) : Academic Year 98 miles (63 miles)

Sun 8th Oct 17

First week in October done and ended with a barefoot mile whilst mashing in some grain for beer. Felt felt slightly tender yesterday but robust this morning. They are becoming accustomed to barefooting agin. Nothing in calf, before during or after. First week in a very long time since I have run exclusively barefoot and done 20 miles whilst running every day.

Day 1 miles  (1 barefoot) : Week 20 miles (20 barefoot) : Month 21 miles (21 miles) : Academic Year 99 miles (64 miles)

Mon 9th October 17

Another week and a bit of a pointed pain in right cal as I wander around the house this morning before running. I think that it will go away. Started off slow and then became full of running. Feel felt really robust and although it was, i was running without any real barefoot burn. I could feel the ground but with no unpleasant sensations. Stood on a few objects and one reminded me of the soft tissue injury from a week or two ago. Seems to have gone altogether.

Day 5 miles  (5 barefoot) : Week 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Month 26 miles (26 miles) : Academic Year 104 miles (69 miles)

Tuesday 10th Oct 17

That niggle in right calf is proper ands still there as I walk around the house before running. My eating has been poor for a little while. Carbs and sugar. Leaves me with a headache and wondering why I do it. This morning was in the dark. Not done that before this year so it must be drawing in. Still felt a bit niggly at the end. I wonder how i would be if I added a few stretches and squats.

Day 37 – 1 mile  (1 barefoot) : Week 6 miles (6 barefoot) : Month 27 miles (27 miles) : Academic Year 105 miles (70 miles)

Wed 11th Oct 17

I ate much better yesterday. Cheese and fruit during the day. I felt so much better for it. I at pasts for tea and that my throat itchy. I had no problem handling the carbs. It was the additives that went with it, I reckon.

I did a few light calf stretched whilst waiting for the kettle this morning and a few squats. I was able to do a full squat. Tight in the hips and groin but able.

Day 38 – 5 miles  (5 barefoot) : Week 11 miles (11 barefoot) : Month 32 miles (32 miles) : Academic Year 110 miles (75 miles)

Thursday 12th Oct 17

A barefoot mile in the dark. Right calf niggle moved and is lower and more surface. I get the feeling that my feet and lower legs are getting more robust but the burn was there in my soles at times this morning. It was cold and I am wondering when the first frost will come. I enjoy these runs. My half way point slow down was a challenge this morning. for the second morning running, I have found it hard to stop my brain from racing. Work stuff mostly combined with pressure to bottle beer and get some college work done. Too much all at once, I think and my brain is in overdrive.

Day 39– 1 mile  (1 barefoot) : Week 12 miles (12 barefoot) : Month 33 miles (33 miles) : Academic Year 111miles (76 miles)

Friday 13th Oct 17

5 miles barefoot this morning. 6 weeks on the to that I have done 3 5milers. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Good to have a routine and protect Saturday mornings for getting some school work done. Full of running and feeling more like it this morning. Dry underfoot and that always helps but it felt like running was just a state of being this morning. No effort to it. Sleep is important especially this far into a term. End of week 6 and children and staff are flagging. It is tempting to burn the candle at both tends and think that you will rest in the week off. It never happens. you just end up catching up in the holiday and not resting. i don’t want to do that. It is going to take some discipline over the coming week to keep things going and still get to bed on time.

Little niggle in calf but feeling OK. It is really mild for the time of year, I think.

Day 40- 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Week 17 miles (17 barefoot) : Month 38 miles (38 miles) : Academic Year 116 miles (81 miles)

Sat 14th Oct 17

An enjoyable 2 mile barefoot run this morning. these always start slow ansI think that I am not going to get there and then the second mile just flies past. Day 41 – 2 miles (2 barefoot) : Week 19 miles (19 barefoot) : Month 40 miles (40 miles) : Academic Year 118 miles (83 miles)

Sun 15th Oct 17

A barefoot mile to finish of the 6th week of this little run streak. I have run exactly as planned.

Day 42- 1 mile (1 barefoot) : Week 20 miles (20 barefoot) : Month 41 miles (41 miles) : Academic Year 119 miles (84 miles)

Mon 16th Oct 17

Last week of half-term and I am up and ready to run.

Day 43- 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Week 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Month 46 miles (46 miles) : Academic Year 124 miles (89 miles)

Tuesday 17th Oct 17

The wind outside kept everyone awake last night. Still up for a run in the dark this morning.

Day 44- 1 mile (1 barefoot) : Week 6 miles (6 barefoot) : Month 47 miles (47 miles) : Academic Year 125 miles (90 miles)

Wed 18th Oct 17

A decent nights sleep. Listening to the Chimp Paradox in the car. It is excellent. 5 barefoot miles this morning to keep things going. Stood on a few stones this morning and expecting a bit of a reaction to that in my soft tissue. I was expecting to feel free, light and easy this morning but it was not like that. Not heavy legged but a bit laboured at times.

Day 45- 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Week 11 miles (11 barefoot) : Month 52 miles (52 miles) : Academic Year 130 miles (95 miles)

Thursday 19th Oct 17

A mile this morning. Eating pretty well this week. Tired though. Important to respect that and keep sleeping properly. D

Day 46- 1 miles (1 barefoot) : Week 12 miles (12 barefoot) : Month 53 miles (53 miles) : Academic Year 131 miles (96 miles)

Friday 20th Oct 17

Things going to plan. this is a whole half-term of running every day and 5 miles on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Looking forward to a week of getting out in the daylight with shoes on.

Today is a 5 mile barefoot run in the dark to push through 100 miles barefoot for the academic year.

Day 47- 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Week 17 miles (17 barefoot) : Month 58 miles (58 miles) : Academic Year 136 miles (101 miles)

Saturday 21st Oct 17

Ran OK this morning for a couple of barefoot miles. Right calf very stiff. I think I wouldn’t want to do too much more or it might cause a problem. It will be interesting when the really cold weather sets in to see how I cope with some in shoes.

Day 48- 2 mile (2 barefoot) : Week 19 miles (19 barefoot) : Month 60 miles (60 miles) : Academic Year 138 miles (103 miles)

Sunday 22nd Oct 17

Real Storm (Brian) yesterday playing havoc with everything.A barefoot mile to loosen things up.

Day 49- 1 mile (1 barefoot) : Week 20 miles (20 barefoot) : Month 61 miles (61 miles) : Academic Year 139 miles (104 miles)

Monday 23rd Oct 17

Bowfell today. No problem walking up there. Running every day has made me fit. Ran back down the Band in the rain. Again, no problem.

Day 50- 2 mile (0 barefoot) : Week 2 miles (0 barefoot) : Month 63 miles (61 miles) : Academic Year 141 miles (104 miles)

Tuesday 24th Oct 17

7 miles from Abbey Village. Through to Sunnyhurst and then up and over Darwen Tower. Very poor weather. Legs sore.

Day 51- 7 miles (0 barefoot) : Week 9 miles (0 barefoot) : Month 70 miles (61 miles) : Academic Year 148 miles (104 miles)

Wed 25th Oct 17

A barefoot mile to loosen up the legs after a couple of heavy days. It is the quads and outside of hips that are suffering a bit. Not too much but enough. Enjoyed the mile and running through puddles. Mustn’t be too cold. Day 52- 1 mile (1 barefoot) : Week 10 miles (1 barefoot) : Month 71 miles (62 miles) : Academic Year 149 miles (105 miles)

Thursday 26th Oct 17

6.5 miles around ASDA block this morning in Merrel Bare Access. Legs are heavy and felt like they have been bashed with a mallet. 60 mins exactly. Ended up thinking about building in a run to and from work each week.

Friday 27th Oct 17

Ran a mile barefoot this morning to iron out a few niggles and met Rudy the Golden Doodle. I have a bad headache that harks back to the bad old days of thinking I had cluster headaches but they were really sugar. Ate two big chocolate shortbread biscuits from a bakery in Leek plus some dark chocolate from a little chocolates. That will teach me!

Day 54- 1 mile (1 barefoot) : Week 17.5 miles (2 barefoot) : Month 78.5 miles (63 miles) : Academic Year 156.5 miles (106 miles)

Saturday 28th Oct 17

Good day in Manchester yesterday. Found out about St. Michael’s Flags and Angel Fields. Long and interesting history.

1.5 miles or so this morning. probably a bit short of that but I am counting it as seriously underestimated the distance I ran when coming down Bowfell on Monday.

Day 55- 1.5 mile (1.5 barefoot) : Week 19 miles (3.5 barefoot) : Month 80 miles (64.5 miles) : Academic Year 158miles (107.5 miles)

Sunday 29th October 17

A barefoot mile this morning to finish off the week. The weather forecast says that it might be cold tomorrow. -1C is a possibility.

Day 56- 1 mile (1  barefoot) : Week 20 miles (4 barefoot) : Month 81 miles (65 miles) : Academic Year 159miles (108 miles)

Monday 30th Oct 17

Looks cold out there. Frost on top of cars for the first time this year. 2C on the car thermometer a little later. Didn’t feel that cold although there was ice on the step railings at the half-way point and it was too cold on the soles to stand for a minute. The flags were very cold.

Day 57- 5 miles (5  barefoot) : Week 5 miles (5 barefoot) : Month 86 miles (69 miles) : Academic Year 164 miles (113 miles)

Tuesday 31st Oct 17

Whole body is stiff this morning. I wonder if it is running in 2C yesterday. Ankles especially lacking flexibility. Looking forward to a lazy barefoot mile this morning to loosen things up a bit.

Day 58- 1 miles (1  barefoot) : Week 6 miles (6 barefoot) : Month 87 miles (70 miles) : Academic Year 165 miles (114 miles)









Aug 14

Running Log – Aug 17

Monday 14th Aug 17

It has been a long time since my last post because I had not run barefoot at all. I have enjoyed running regularly in my Bare Access and all was well. Then my calf started to niggle. It has not gone away so I was out for a barefoot mile this morning. It felt good to be back in routine. By the end of the mile, it felt much better.

It is interesting to go back to why I run in the first place. I want to build it in to my life and it be integral once again. I want it to be a bit more social and I want to challenge myself and do a few 10k across the year. I enjoy them. I also want to use running to help keep my weight in check.

A barefoot mile then. Feels like a fresh start. Like hitting the reset button. Feels good to be posting again too.

Thursday 17th Aug 17

A barefoot mile this morning and my lower legs felt stiff to begin with. Had a terrible cold over past few days which meant that I didn’t run yesterday but did on Tuesday morning. Yesterday, I went back to bed and slept until midday. Still feel pretty rough but was determined to get out and run a little. i have never regretted it.

I need to change the website to stop trying to be the centre of the barefoot world and more reflective of my own journey. This log is the core of that.

May 01

Running Log – May 17

Monday 1st May 17

10 miles to start May on a bank holiday. Running in Merrell Bare Access 4 and I really like them. I think that I have got the sizing just right at a half size bigger than usual.

Full of running an feeling fast. I ran up the steps under the railway with a spring in my stride. Last mile was quick but I could feel it in my hips a little.

Tuesday 2nd May 17

A barefoot mile on a glorious sunny morning. I could feel the knots working their way out of my legs. they have been stiff since the 10 miler at weekend.

Wed 3rd May 17

1.5 miles warmup in Merrells. Then 3x800m reps. 3 mins 20secs, 3 mins 32 secs and 3 mins 11secs. A bit of a breakthrough on the last one. I felt like the brakes had come off. It is all in my head. i am not used to running quickly. I am not used to the effort and think that I am going to either break myself or fall over. This one was a shackles off. Well almost. I could tell it was quicker from the outset. i hadn’t gone into it consciously. It just happened. The trick will be taking it into next time.

Thursday 4th May 17 

1 mile to ease knots out of legs

Friday 5th May 17

1 more mile to ease legs off

Sunday 7th May 17

12 miles on a glorious morning. Up and over Cadshaw in the west Pennine Moors. In the winter, I dream about days like this. I really like these Merrill Bare Access 4s. 






Mon 8th May 17

Right calf a little tender this morning after yesterday. It had raised itself very early and then I sort of managed it through the 12 miles. Still there today

Tuesday 9th May 17

4 miles around the Entwitle and concessionally path in Altras. I really like them. Calf niggled early on. I feel like I need a few days running just barefoot miles to sort this out.

Wed 10th May 17

A barefoot mile. the weather is glorious. Felt like my right calf was being helped but it is a bit tender. Need to barefoot for a bit. Maybe build back up to a 5 mile barefoot run at this time of year.

Thursday 11th May 17

Calf still little tender so a barefoot mile this morning. It feels like it is helping. The discomfort moved around a bit and i can feel the whole area lining itself back up and beginning to stretch out and work properly in a gentle pitter patter. I wouldn’t want to go any faster.

Apr 01

Running Log – April 17

Sat 1st April 17

Ran 6.5 miles from Smithills this morning. Bit of a blast because I needed to be back for a match at 10am. The long run down from the end of Coal Pit Lane was further than I thought. Battered the quads. Tried to keep it light. Good enjoyable stuff. In Altras. (0)

Sunday 16th April 17

The longest that I have not run for quite some time. I did run in the week following the first of April but didn’t log them. probably about 6 miles or so in total. I was determined to get back into it this morning. I started to get to grips with doctorate blog. so have been a bit preoccupied.

5.5 miles around Entwistle and Wayoh this morning. Was hard to start with and slow but just kept going. the hills were no problem and I felt strong but slow.

Monday 17th April 17

First barefoot mile for a while this morning and it felt good to be back on it. headache from too much sugar yesterday. Just replied to Tanya who commented on 2 week test post. I need to update how I am doing, I think.

Wed 19th April 17

4.5 miles around the clough this morning in Altras. Full of running even with dead legs from yesterdays walk up Middle Dodd. Enjoying the hills. Alters coming apart at seams.

Thursday 20th April 17

A barefoot mile and feet feel robust eve in the damp. Good to get some stiffness out of calves.

Friday 21st April 17

2.7 miles around golf course on tracks in Altras. Legs feeling the walk up Middle Dodd still. Taking it easy before 10k on Sunday. Looking forward to it. Feel heavy though and bad allergic reaction in night. throat itchy and woke up sneezing which wrecked the ribs again. What a wreck I am!

Sat 22nd April 17

A barefoot mile. Shins feel achy and tense. Weird.

Sun 23rd April 17

Bolton 10k in 48 mins 40 something seconds. A good start. If it had been flat, I reckon around 45 mons would have been on. Alderley Edge 2nd July (10 weeks).  Let’s see how close I can get. 12 stone albs this morning. That will have had a bearing. 2 stones lighter would have made a big difference.

Mon 24th April 17

A barefoot mile this morning and feeling OK. Dug out the old sub 40 min 10k programme this morning. Dreaming’.

Tuesday 25th April 17

Well, the old GPS has bitten the dust. It doesn’t owe me anything, it did many years worth of service. Only need it to see if I can run a few 8 minute miles as part of 10k training.

Ran 1.5 miles warmup this morning. Crisp, cold and bright at 6am. the ran 3 lots of 800m along road. 3mins 22secs. 3 mins 33secs and then 3 mins 23 secs. I could have done another but being cautious so close to last Sundays 10k. Didn’t eat sugar yesterday but had some granary toast in evening. Know that I didn’t want it and didn’t enjoy it in the end. I was hungry but no for that.

Wed 26th April 17

Almost freezing this morning and lots of rocksalt about. Left my feet my grimy than I can remember since I last put on Mushers Delight. A barefoot mile

Thursday 27th April 17

Running 5 miles to work in Merrell bare Access 4. First impression are that they are light and much easier to get on that the trail glove. I got half a size bigger and that seems to be just right. There isn’t much cushioning which is good. I can feel support in side of forfeit a little which is odd. Read a review which talked about support in arch. I don’t feel that when walking about but we will see when I begin to run.

Friday 28th April 17

Barefoot mile feeling good.

Sunday 30th April 17

Barefoot mile to finish off April


Jan 31

Running Log – Feb 17

Wed 1st Feb 17

A mile this morning feeling pretty good and thinking that I will go back ro running 5 in the morning.

Thursday 2nd Feb 17

Set off for 5 miler early in the morning. Felt it to start with and then it went away. Running nicely and thinking about a longer run at the weekend and got big spasm in right calf that stopped me in my tracks. Got going again and then after a little while another big spasm and then found it hard to put my foot down. Pretty much hobbled home. The plan is a mile barefoot each if the weather allows and then see how it goes. I might even use the roller.

2 miles in total in Altras

Friday 3rd Feb 17

Spent yesterday limping about on my calf. First actual barefoot run since October/November time. It felt normal and good. Soles began to sing after 400m or so. It was old this morning and I have no gradual getting used to it to fall back on. My calf was sore and I had a couple of times where it was very sore but overall I think that getting out on should have helped get everything working as it should be. Next time, I will respond to niggles by running barefoot for a few days and keeping form steady. Routine of socks on inside of door so i don’t muddy the house and green sponge scrubber for by soles.

Sat 4th Feb 17

Not limped like this for a number of years. My calf is very sore. Sore is the best way that I can describe it and it is difficult to put weight on it at times. I ran this morning though and just broke into my normal barefoot cadence and stride. I even forgot about it for a while as my soles began to sing and sting. It felt cold again. I think that the little barefoot outings are dropping everything just bunching up and getting into a tight knot. We will see. the experiment goes on.

Sun 5th Feb 17

As near as I have been to not running this morning. Nothing to do with injury or not feeling like it but it was 9.30am and I knew that there would be lots of people about who have not seen me out barefooting before. I really don’t like it. I am not out there to be noticed. Sometimes, I just want to be left alone for a run. There is a reason that I run in the dark. Not complaining. People are people and they can say what they want and I have to deal with it. On most days I can and `I enjoy the banter but I just didn’t feel like that this morning and it was very close to keeping me from going out at all. If you feel the same, you are not alone. There seems to be a school of thought that we all want to shout our barefootedness to the world and be noticed. I don’t. I just want to share the benefits with the people that it might help. In a one mile stretch, I had a group of walkers telling me that there is a sale on at Sportsdirect. I then paused for a minute at the turn round point and 3 runners came past. One said ‘You’ve forgotten your shoes’ and the last said ‘Not a good look’. Bearing in mind that he was wearing black compression socks, I think that it took the biscuit. I set off after them and breezed past on the inside with a ‘Sorry chaps, coming through’ and showed them a clean (cleanish) pair of heels. I could hear them panting behind me to catch up, relaxed and pulled away. That meant that I really tested my calf out. tender and I wouldn’t have wanted to go much further but on the mend, I reckon.

Mon 6th Feb 17

Limped around yesterday more than I have for a long time. Very sore. I think that running fast like that was a mistake…but fun. I used the foam roller for a few seconds but very sore so didn’t push it. I didn’t think that I would be running this morning but woke up feeling OK. I ran a barefoot mile in the cold and dark and felt OK at the end. Less sore. I am convinced that the barefoot mile each day will help as long as I don’t do something daft.

Tues 7th Feb 17

A mile barefoot and I got there barefoot burn quickly this morning. Just relaxed and by the end it had gone away. Not limping anywhere near as much yesterday. I was expecting to be almost free of it this morning but it was still front and centre. Not a problem. I could run and I feel like it helps stretch things out and prevent it bunching up. We will continue and see. If it snows or is very icy, I will do the mile in shoes.

Wed 8th Feb 17

A barefoot mile

Thursday 9th Feb 17

Feel like I am getting there and considered going a bit further today. Will see how I am at the end of the day. Not back to normal yet but no pain. It is more an awareness that it feels different.

Friday 10th Feb 17

Feeling fine. Very cold with lots of salt down. Ran in shoes no problem.

Sat & Sun 11th and 12th Feb 17

A mile in shoes in the snowy weather. Gradually getting easier.

Mon 13th Feb 17

Long brew day yesterday. Still rocksalt everywhere and a very windy start to the day. A mile in shoes. there was a whisper of calf niggle before I set off but back to normal almost. didn’t feel it at any point and forgot about it. Longer tomorrow but not too far.

Tues 14th Feb 17

3 miles in Altras this morning. After a mile and a bit, I couldn’t remember which leg my injury was in. Felt better for it in the end. Also face booked a comment from Coiln at Footworks about Altras. He is selling them.

Wed 15th Feb17

A barefoot mile this morning. Seemed like the thing to do. Enjoyed it for the first time in ages. Think it was because my soles had need rested. Looks like it will be a mix of Altras and barefoot from now on.

Thursday 16th Feb 17

5 miles in Altras this morning and I could tell that I have not run this for for a week or two. Stiff and right hip protesting ever so slightly. I came bounding down hill at 3 miles and felt a whisper in right calf and slowed down. nearly came home but carried on and never had the feeling again. Feels like progress.

Friday 17th Feb 17

A barefoot mile and enjoyed it.

Sat 18th Feb 17

Another barefoot mile because I was up late. Been a very busy week at work and played havoc with my sleep. I need to practice sleeping at the right time for a while and stop going to sleep in an armchair early evening. Watched Laura Muir in Birmingham breaking 1000m indoor record and Mo Farah make his last indoor run with a 5000m British record. Enjoy listening to the birds early morning as the day is dawning.

Sun 19th Feb 17 – Tuesday 21st Feb. Ran before market and then other runs were whilst away at Burton in Kendal services. Found service road which was really busy. A barefoot mile each morning.

Wed 22nd Feb 17

5 miles. Really enjoys running for 50 minutes this morning around the Smithills area. Lots of mud and a few places I hadn’t seen before. Calf feels back to normal even when stretching it a bit. Thinking about ‘Barefoot and Back’. Lots of stories to tell. Why we do it. Glass, dogs, running in the dark. In Altras.

Thursday 23rd Feb 17

A barefoot mile in the face of storm Doris. Awesome. Feet coldest they have been for a while.

Friday 24th Feb 17

Ran back from garage nice and easy. Feeling good and enjoyed the uphills. In Altras. I enjoy running as transport 2.3 miles

Sat 25th Feb 17

A barefoot mile and it was cold this morning. Lots of tree debris on ground following storm. It is this kind of conditions that leads to me getting things in my feet. Picked an enormous thorn of bottom of foot. Hadn’t stuck in but it takes me back. Almost every object I have dug out of my foot has been from tree debris. A few bits of glass but they are much more straightforward.

Sun 26th Feb 17

Brewing the Stump this morning so went for a run beforehand around Entwistle. Took my time. Ended up in deep water at times. Cleaned the shoes off though. Enjoyed it. Took it easy. Calf felt really fgood. Looking forward to being back at work and some routine. Important for all sorts of reasons. I need structure. I either need to bet back to work or give up completely and build a life with a different structure. 2.34 miles

Mon 27th Feb 17

A barefoot mile in pouring rain with water running down the road. Cold, cold, cold. Half a mile in and my feet were singing. I must really believe in this. The other day I was running in shoes and I am now being heckled when i am in shoes because it is unusual!

Tues 28th Feb 17

A 5 miler in Altras in the dark. Right calf no problem. Little tweak in left but then went away. I think that stretching things out barefoot is amazing.

Jan 01

Running Log – Jan 17

Sunday 1st Jan 17

Jan 17 starting with a plan to run every day this year and do a 1000 miles in total. Up to Nov 29th will be in shoes and then I will have done a complete year. I am now over a month in and everything is fine. I am feeling like a runner again and using Parkrun to gauge things. The Altras are great.

A mile this morning.

Mon 2nd Jan 17

8.5 miles in Altras this morning and feeling good. Pushed it pretty much all the way and concentrated on running as quick as possible with good form. I came off the route planned and ran bridleways instead at places. It felt good. The old chap who is 97 yrs old was out again. He was clearing his path of slippy leaves by bending down and picking them up. He said that he walks the road up from Bromley Cross every day. That is a severe climb. No wonder he is doing well. Thought a bit about the Chester marathon. I might give it a go this year in shoes.

12st 2 lbs this morning.

Tuesday 3rd, Wed 4th, Thursday 5th Jan 17

A mile each day. Thursday 5th was on out first double brew day.

Friday 6th Jan 17

Parked in Chapletown and ran to Entwistle. Did a timed loop in just over 18mins. Good considering that the near side was icy and I couldn’t get going. Thought it would be 9 mins at bridge but was surprised that it was 7 mins 8 secs. Good going. Clicked watch early by accident so 18 mins 10-20 secs is a reasonable estimate. Was trying to get there in under 20mins so good going. A month ago, I was in 23 mins. It is just the hang of running faster with confidence.

Sat 7th Jan 17

A mile this morning after our works do. Good fun visiting Bunburys and having a pint of Simcoe and then on to the Ukranian Club for their Christmas Eve. A mile with a hangover this morning.

Sun 8th Jan 17

6.74 miles this morning in the cold drizzle of a January West Pennine morning. Adventurous route round the Eagley Brook area. ended up climbing muddy slopes and battling through the undergrowth. Slight niggle in left hip area. I think that lifting heavy stuff doesn’t help.

Mon 9th Jan 17

A mile this morning and everything feels fine. First day back at work this morning. 11 st 13 lbs so have managed to lose a pound or two over the Christmas and New year. It seems to be about finding a way that works for me and getting to know it. Aiming for around the 11stone mark by Easter which is half-way to the Alderney Edge 10K. Cutting out refined sugar has been important combined with the ability to run consistently with a bit of pace. I am motivated because I can feel myself getting quicker and know that bodyweight is a key part of that. Just getting lighter will allow me to be quicker. Gives me confidence when standing on the start line. I am not being draconian with stuff. I are celebrating special things with family and friends. I ate cake at parties and pudding on special occasions but I am not eating incidental cake. The cake that is just there for no good reason. The same with ice-cream last night. I just didn’t have any. I could have done but it may have given me a headache and I knew that it would make me feel rotten. I am treating sugar a bit like alcohol. Not to be hd incidentally. I did have a one of our own beers last night. It was Sunday tea-time. I fancied on and it is made with good, natural ingredients. The alcohol is by-the-by. It is the carbs that are the enemy. I know where the carbs came from and there are precious few left in our beer at the end of the process. Don’ seem to affect me to badly. I am also eating with my family and eating mostly cheese, fruit, nuts, nut butter during the day. Seems to be working at the moment.

Tues 10th Jan 17

Asleep early last night so up early ready to run. It is very cold and very wet. Vaseline on face as it has been getting chapped on recent runs. Weight heading the right way. 11 st 11 this morning.

5 miles and enjoyed it. Dreaming of 3hr marathons and 40 minute 10ks. That slight niggle in left side is still there. It is more a outer though thing than hip though.

Wed 11th Jan 17

A mile in the dark

Thursday 12th Jan 17

Up early to run to work. and then I ran home at end. Just short of 5 miles there and about the same coming back. Felt good.

Friday 13th Jan 17

A mile in the snow. Head torch needed.

Sat 14th Jan 17

Worsley park run this morning. Flat mainly with a few flights of steps and some muddy bits through the woods. Couldn’t have finished much faster but could have set off more efficiently. Ran 22mins 32 secs and then went to pick up new car.

Sun 15th – Tues 17th Jan 

A mile in the fog early each morning. Emma’s 16th birthday.

Wed 18th Jan 17

4 miles this morning. 2 miles warmup and then 3x800m reps followed by half mile warm down. 3mins 18secs, 3mins 23 secs, 3 mins 27 secs. Faster than last time. Feel sluggish at the moment and a bit lethargic and heavy.

Thursday 19th Jan 17

A mile in the dark. Stopped half way to listen for a minute. Took the foam roller in to work. Spike one which I never really used. i liked using the Grid but didn’t do much good. Big step giving it away. Also took stuff into work so that i could run in the morning. Again, a big step

Friday 20th Jan 17

Ran to work. After a couple of lethargic days where I have felt a bit sluggish and achy, I was in good form on the way there. 4.5 miles. I ran home and stopped off at Console Wizard to get phone. O pushed all the way home. In fact, i just ran easy and watched the miles slip past. The weather was clear and bright and it reminded me of running from a life long past. Not often that I run on busy roads at rush hour anymore.

Sat 21st Jan 17

A mile in the cold morning. Phil also trying to do 1000 miles in 2017. His is different than mine. he adds the miles so far and divides by the number of days so far then multiplies by 365. He was chuffed that he would inly need to do 5 miles today.

Sun 22nd Jan 17

A good run around the bridlepaths and muddy pathways this morning. ended up really pushing it through the park and up hill to finish before taking Dan to football. About 7 miles or so. The niggle in left hip/thigh has gone. Groin a bit tender after getting involved in football shooting drill yesterday ay Bolton Uni with Park.

Mon 23rd Jan 17

A mile in the fog this morning. Talking to Robert’s dad. he is getting back into his running by running every day in January. He says that he needs a rest. I go in phases. Feeling good at moment but other times, I feel weary. Every day helps me though to get out. I understand it. Just up and changed. If I was leaving it until evening, I think that I would grow to dislike it.

Tues 24th Jan 17 – Thursday26th Jan 17th

A mile on Tuesday followed by 5 miles on Wednesday and a mile on Thursday. Fallen off the sugar wagon and although I haven’t gone on a mad binge, I have eaten stuff I would not normally. I feel wheezy and my mouth itches and is swollen at the back. I can see it in my face and skin. I am 11s 11lbs this morning. I was expecting to be over 12 stones easily. Need to get back on it. I think that it started when I was dispirited with weighing myself and although I had been bang on, my weight had gone back up. Maybe it should be a weigh in day every 15 days or so and I timetable them in.

Friday 27th Jan 17 

I have been up late and getting school work done this week but managed to keep the running going. Going to run to work this morning and that will be 3 weeks on the trot that I will have done that.

First real problem so far. Ran to work OK 5 miles in the dark and enjoyed it. Set off home and felt a tightness in right achilles and didn’t think much of it. Over next couple of miles it went into right calf. I tried a few of the normal relaxation type of thing but by the end of mile 3, I had to walk as I felt it was going to go. Sore all evening. Don’t think I have a tear but it is bunched up so tight and there is a definite hot spot.

Sat 28th Jan 17

I reckon that if I ran barefoot this morning, I could melt this tightness away but I am go got see if I can do the same thing in shoes. I ran a mile and things were better than when I went out.

Sun 29th Jan 17

2 miles this morning. Everything sore when I set out but eased off. Too cold for barefooting at this stage as I haven’t been out for a long time.

Mon 30th Jan 17

A mile this morning and it is feeling better. I think that I will run as normal tomorrow.

Tuesday 31st Jan 17

3 miles this morning. Can run pretty well but didn’t want to push my luck. No point testing to destruction so I know what the breaking point is. Think that I have been guilty of that in the past. Needed to concentrate on form on downhills and it felt better on uphills. January was a 95 mile month which was more than i thought it would be, Thinking about the talk for the cardiac support group. Main themes will be readiness, support, ploughing your own furrow and making something work for you. Maybe I need to include motivation, planning and structure as well as not beating myself up if I slipped up.

Dec 06

Running Log – December 16

Sat 2nd Dec 16

Park run this morning in 24 mins and 48 secs. Need to start closer to the front.

Tuesday 6th Dec 16

Now run every day for the last week and am eating better. 5 miles in Altras this morning  and feel OK for it. This runstreak started on 29th nov 16 and we will see how far it goes.

Thursday 7th Dec 16

Up early but raining hard so just did a mile. Then ran 4 in the evening whilst dan was training. I was looking forward to it. 20 mins out and 20 mins back in the dark. Not even out of breath. Left calf area tensed up near the end.

Friday 9th Dec 16

Ran a mile this morning and manged to ease the tension away a little. Still there though. interesting.

Saturday 10th Dec 16

Park Run this morning in 23mins 52secs.  Went for it. Coming down first hill, I felt light on my feet and like a runner. Then went for a 25 minute run afterwards. Could feel it in my legs all day.

Sunday 11th Dec 16

A quick mile before the market

Mon 12th Dec – Sun 18th Dec 16

A 20 mile week which included a 5 miler around the village, a 2.5 in the dark round Entwistle and 8.5 miles on Saturday morning. Legs tired at end of it.

Mon 19th Dec 16

A mile at 6am

Tuesday 20th Dec 16

2 mile warmup then 3x800m reps with 3 mins between. then 1.5 miles warm down. Ran them in about 3mins 39 secs. Couldn’t go any faster but had plenty left. I reckon that I am fit enough to go faster but am not used to running this fast in this style. Will need lots of practice and gradual improvement.

Wed 21st Dec 16 

A mile in the dark

Thursday 22nd Dec 16

Up early and ready to go. The run streak is good motivation for me. i am eating OK and losing a bit of weight. I have got rid of refined carbs from most of my diet apart from one main meal of day. Then it might be pasta or pizza or pitta bread. Nothing else. Eating fruit and cheese during the day mostly.

5 miles in Altras. started off slow but full of running. Felt good and strong up hills. Not a whisper of an injury anywhere.

Friday 23rd Dec 16

A mile early in the morning.

Sat 24th Dec 16

Park run this morning in 23 mins 42 secs. Another 10 secs off. Slow but steady progress. Santa whats and brass band. ran 1.5 miles in warm up and another in cool down so 6 miles in total.

Sun 25th Dec 16

A mile this morning. Bumped into an elderly gentleman shifting leaves out of the path. He was very smartly dressed. 97 years old and out for his daily walk. I ended up thinking about my talk to the cardiac support group. I think that it all about readiness and driving it yourself rather than handing over responsibility to someone else. You can’t buy your way out of this one. Beware of common sense. Be a self-experimentor.

Mon 26th Dec 16

7 miles this morning. Fitness is coming. Speed isn’t. Passed near the end by a guy who has overweight and with a little pitter-patter stride. He just moved away from me. I could have kept up but it would have been a struggle. He made it look easy. This is going to be a long road.

Tues 27th Dec 16

A mile this morning and good fun. Pushed hard up hills. ready Guy Martin’s latest book and it took me back to old pedal car days and 24 hr racing. Good times. I need to look up the British Human Powered Association.

Wed 28th Dec 16

A mile this morning. Cold enough to take the breath away. That makes a full month of running every day and I feel better for it. Catching up on sleep too which is good. No problems anywhere.

Thursday 29th Dec 16

7 miles with Phil around Rivington. Beautiful morning. He is pushing along faster than me. Leaning from ankles then straightening up top half of body whilst imagining being pulled along from the naval helps speed things up. Go figure.

Fri 30th Dec 16

A mile this morning. Stopped to pick up a glove for a chap who had dropped it. he was walking back up a hill to get it. He said it was over 50 years old. Good piece of kit. I chatted for a bit. It might be that I was the only person he spoke to today. It might not but something someone said to me a little while ago chimed in my head.

Sat 31st Dec 16

Rounded off 2016 with a Parkrun in 23 mins 34 secs. Another 10 seconds off. I might have got under 23 mins 30secs if I had set off in the right place. Getting quicker. Entered the Alderney Edge Bypass 10k on July 2nd. 6 months away. It would be good to be a stone lighter by Easter. Exactly 14 weeks away, I think so 14 pounds in 14 weeks whilst running properly. Should be doable. Also keep the speed work up. It would be interesting to find a 10k at Easter time to see how I am getting on.

Nov 01

Running Log – November 16

Tuesday 1st Nov 16

3 barefoot miles and it felt good. I was very wheezy this morning (too much Halloween sugar last night) and did not fancy running at all. I had no plans to barefoot and walked outside at 6am to get my shoes. The morning was so mild and ground was dry. the road felt very inviting for bare feet so off I set. After half a mile, I was whizzing along. My feet felt good and I could feel a couple of knotty lower leg things smoothing out. After 3 miles I arrived back home without breaking a sweat and my breathing much improved. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

After all that about running in shoes, it is nice to have the choice.  A bit of this and a bit of that.This feels a sustainable way to run.

Thursday 3rd November

5 miles this morning in Altras. Slight headache when I woke up and struggling to shake a bit of a cough. Things get worse when I eat sugar and refined carbs. Most noticeable things about running in shoes is that his are not as enjoyable. One of the best things about running barefoot is the way hills just seem to vanish and I am at the top before I know it. Not like that in the Altras. They are OK though although perhaps too much cushioning. i wanted to see what some zero drop cushioning was like. I can feel the bounce and myself losing the energy and working a bit harder. Not much but it there.

Sunday 6th November 16

3 miles in Altras this morning with an awful cold. I didn’t feel like going much further. Feel the need to concentrate when running in the Altras and get a little more upright with hips forward a bit. When I do that things feel more relaxed. it is all too easy to end up with tension in my legs. Little strides and relax.

Tuesday 8th November 16

Still got a bad cold but up early wanting to run and get fresh air into my lungs. Headlining up to the Entwistle for a head torch run. Cut the mileage back but still keeping things regular. 2.34 miles in Altra in 23 minutes which seems slow. wen through 2 mile point in 18mins 40 secs and didn’t slow down. maybe the distance is a bit wrong. I then stood looking out over reservoir drinking a cup of tea imagining how many other people are doing this sort of thing as the sun comes over the horizon. Always feel better for it. sets me up for the day.

Thursday 10th Nov 16

5 miles in Altras feeling tired and it was hard work. Feel a little better for doing it. Mind taken over after being asked to talk to a local cardiac support group early next year. It makes you think about the main message behind my running. There are so many things to share about us being a running animal and the fact that you don’t need to be Mexican and the sham of a running shoe industry. the main thing is that you need to be pragmatic and do what works. The work out why it works and go from there. Perhaps.

Sat 12th Nov 16

Rain meant canelled football and a chance to Parkrun for the first time in ages. Most of route under water and ran in Altras. 25 mins 25 secs and it was the fastest I could have gone. Tried to keep with 24 min pacer but just couldn’t. PB on this course is 20 mins and 59 secs. I need to lose 2 stones/

Tuesday 15th Nov 16

5 miles in Altras at 6am this morning. The morning was filthy. Dark, fog and drizzle. I love it. You run in your own little bubble. I was full of running this morning and ended up running quickly. The first 100 yards and my right calf felt like things were moving around in there and settling down. After that, i didn’t have a whisper of a problem. I concentrated on form and lifting rather than pushing off. My form when running slow is good but I think that I will need to really concentrate when running quickly. Good fun.

Thursday 17th Nov 16

Up and out by 6am this morning for another 5 miler in Altras. Felt that I need to do a few weeks of consistent smiling to get some sort of base. Started sluggish. That little niggle in calf happened at same place on run again and then went away completely. Found myself thinking about Chirunning quite a bit. Probably because I am shoes and I want to run faster. Was ensure core was steady and then leaning a little. Need to play with this and find a way that works for me. Chirunning or leaning a la Ken Bob. Felt good by the end. Not as good as Tuesday but still pretty good.

Saturday 19th November 16

Feels like a bit of a breakthrough. I ran Bolton park run again and was under 25 mins. 24 mins and 51 seconds in the Altras. Then I ran another 6.5 miles to get it out of my legs. This included the park run course again. I was just ticking along in the driving rain and sleet. Felt pretty good. It feels like a breakthrough because I have run all but one run this month in the Altras and my legs feel fresh and niggle free. I am not protecting anything whilst I run. I don’t feel fast but I certainly feel like a  runner.

I passed a woman early on in the run. She had a very unusual stiff style. everything was coming from the hip and she hardly bent her legs at all. Her top half was rolling around to create the momentum she needed to keep it going. I reckon that she was in her late 50s. I thought, ‘I can help you here. If you just bend your knees a bit more and increase your cadence then you would find things so much easier.’ At the top of the the first steep hill, she breezed passed me with her funny style and vanished into the distance. It made me smile.

Tuesday 22nd Nov 16

Up early but with a few stomach problems. Set off and it soon became clear that i wasn’t going to get far. 2 miles and glad to be back.

Thursday 24th Nov 16

Stomach feeling a bit better but struggling generally. Don’t want to run this morning. Just want to go back to bed. I am going to walk instead and see how that goes. Think the fresh air will do me good.

Tuesday 29th Nov 16 – Thursday 30th Nov 16

Recovered from illness and a run streak seems to have started. Ran a mile each day in shoes. Let’s see where it takes me. If I can run everyday for a year in shoes then it will have proved that my stride has improved considerably.

Oct 30

Barefoot mission accomplished… so what now?

Well…It’s been quite a journey. I started this blog to chronicle my attempts to run again. I was broken down and at the end of the road. In short, I was desperate. My whole social life, wellbeing and so much other stuff was wrapped up in my running and the thought of never being able to run again was not one I could contemplate.

I have had this mug since the start. It felt pie in the sky and very presumptuous to put ‘The road to injury free running’ on it. But…that was the goal. This blog was meant to track my journey from broken to injury free runner. 
bb-mug1 4 and a half years later and I am running again. Injury free and without the whispering words of panic that used to accompany every little niggle and twinge. In the course of things, I ran barefoot every day for over a year and ran a barefoot marathon but the big deal for me is that I am now able to run successfully in shoes again. Yes…shoes!!

Barefooting is not a religion to me. It is a pragmatic means to an end. It can be done. It is like a pro golfer taking apart their golf swing and putting it back together again. I needed to do the same with my running form. It took time and patience for my feet and lower legs to slowly strengthen and modify to be able to handle it. Now I am back in shoes (albeit Vivobarefoot and pair of zero drop Altras) and it feels good.

It has been busy time in lots of other ways to. It started with a crazy amount of blogging. I have a personality with a need to share and blogging is a wonderful thing. I think that it will be part of my life going forwards just not in the urgent, obsessive way that characterised things when I began.

I completed a postgrad diploma in coaching and mentoring which led into a Doctorate in education. I am now into the 3rd year of a 5 year doctoral programme. The first 2 years have been about learning to write for academic publication. The blogging helped immeasurably. My writer’s voice already felt well developed and those early days churning out blog post after blog post taught me lots about the writing process as did the discipline of writing for Barefoot Running magazine as their roving reporter.

I have moved from my job as headteacher of a primary school to being the lead of Bolton’s Pupil Referral Unit for primary aged pupils. We provide education for those pupils excluded from schools. They are amazing young people making their way in the world the best they can. My thinking has been flipped on its head. These children (some as young as 6yrs) need to feel like they are part of society and they belong. The working title for my thesis is: ‘Inclusion for the excluded: Promoting a sense of belonging in excluded primary school pupils and their families’. It should keep me busy and feed my need to write.

I found a bit of the good life and started a small brewery with a friend. I now set up and run a farmers’ market stall a couple of times a month and chat all day about beer. We sell to a few local pubs. That is the buzz for me. I don’t want our beer to go all over the world. I want to be a local producer, selling my wares to local people. There is a big craft beer scene at the moment but it is the local produce scene that I enjoy.

I worked with Bolton based shoe company Walsh (Local producer thing coming out again) to create a pair of minimal zero drop fell shoes and got quite a few repeat orders which must be a good sign. I am not sure that I will ever be a shoe salesman though.

I have come out of this a different person. Life is busy but in a good way. I am no longer frantically trying to get to a mythical point in my future where I can be free and happy. I felt like I was swimming hard under water, holding my breath until I could come up for air and be free. The obsessive blogging was part of that. I was on the headteachers’ conveyer belt to retirement but look a deep breath and jumped off. I now earn less but am more content. I am not counting the days until I retire. In fact, I am now the opposite and thinking that I won’t be able to fit in everything that I want to do. Life is full of possibilities.

So…what do I do with barefoot beginner now? Do I just shut it down? I could but then I meet people who are at the end of the line like I was. Not all of them runners. Some are struggling to get out and walk as much as they used to or someone who has a niggling lower back problem. My instinctive reaction is to say ‘Take off your shoes’.

I think that the combination of my experience to date means that I have something to offer. I have no generic programme to sell but I think that I may be able to help. Most people get stuck in a loop and end up doing the same old things and expecting a different result. I think think that I could help people understand where they are at and where they want to be. To help them understand how barefooting might be one option that they have not considered before and help them experiment with it (or other things. Barefooting is not a panacea). Coaching in the broader sense of the word using sound principles.

I have always fancied putting together an ebook on Amazon. I think that might be the next step. To share my experience alongside offering a possible way forward for those who may be at the end of the line. In the mean time, I would love to hear from anyone in this position who feels like they need a helping hand.

Come and join in the chat in our Facebook group and like our page. There is also a twitter feed for those of you who like that sort of thing.