Category Archive: Barefoot Digest

These posts form the backbone of our newsletter. We try and find good honest posts from real bloggers who are on their barefoot journey. A good read to see you through the weekend.

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.

Feb 25

Falling out of love with barefoot

Falling out of love with barefoot:

That was how I felt this morning as I was half way through my morning run. I have very little motivation at the moment and am in a real lull.

It has been coming on a while. I think it is all linked to this Oldham Way Ultra attempt next month and the MAF rate slowing down business. My routine has gone and last year’s running every day seems like a long way away.

I looked out of the window this morning and the road was iced up and I just didn’t want to go out there barefoot. I did all last year but today I couldn’t see the point. I ended up in a pair of ankle socks and Runamoks for a quick mile. I enjoyed it and as I was crunching over stones, a thought popped into my head. ‘I am falling out of love with barefoot.’

The thought of being on that stretch of road at that time was just very unappealing. However, I have this idea that I am going to run every day barefoot from Spring to Autumn Equinox and I might well do that. I think that it will be good and I am looking forward to it. Maybe I just need that kind of easy to understand challenge.

I think that I will end up running the Chester Marathon later in the year but also some shorter events too. Just the thought seems good to me. I like the idea of running the Yorkshire 3 peaks. That would be good. So…maybe I am not falling out of love with anything. Maybe I am just in a rut and feeling it. A change is as good as a rest. I think that I might mix everything up and run somewhere new this weekend…and not too far. I have done a period of MAF base training and stuck to it. i think that I might have a spell where I do a few races and then go into another aerobic base building phase before Chester.

Just typing this, I can feel my enthusiasm coming back. Nothing to do with barefoot or otherwise. The Ultra is feeling appealing too just as something to drop into without worrying or focussing on it too much.

Thanks for listening everyone. I feel better for that. I needed to articulate it and get it out of my system. It has been blocking things up and dragging me down. Upwards and onwards.

Happy running everyone.

Jan 30

Barefoot running log – January 16

Friday 1st Jan 16

Here we go. Bring on 2016. Who knows what it will bring. I am enjoying running, writing and brewing. The Docorate in Education is providing plenty of food for thought. I am thinking about the way we exclude children from schools at such an early age. I am also reading an excellent book at the moment about the Incredible Edible project in Todmorden. I need to go over the hill  and have a look. The book is inspirational because it isn’t really about food. It is about changing the world and starting with what you can do. I like the line about not being a victim. One of the founders said that the town of Todmorden was like a wife whose husband had left but refused to date anyone else. It has stuck with me.

I am enjoying eating in this new Maffetone type of way. I have just had a deliscious caronation chicken which I made from scratch.

Recipe:

  • 2 egg yolks beaten with a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and salt.
  • I gradually beat in about 200-250ml of extra virgin olive oil (A little strong tasting but what I had)
  • 1 table spoon of cider vinegar (too much – teaspoon next time)
  • A big handfull of frozen blueberries for sweetness
  • big teaspoon of curry paste
  • A little honey to sweeten it up.
  • Plenty of chicken saved from chicken legs for lunch.

Also saw a book called ‘Rules to Break’. Like the idea of that. ‘Running Rules you should break’ could be a way to go.

Also had a great roasted veg soup at lunchtime and a chopped veg (in blender0 omelette for breakfast.

Starting the year at 11st 5 lbs.

Sat 2nd Jan 16

Woke up with mouth like the bottom of a birdcage. Been like that for a couple of days which is a surprise because all natural food yesterday. Maybe it is coming form the day before which was New year’s Eve and I let loose and had chocolate and sweets with the kids at the cinema. Makes sense. I am aiming to get things  right almost all of the time   but still allow myself to let go now and again. It has happened 3 times in the last 2 months. Once on my dad’s birthday when I had a few malteesers, again on Christmas day where I had a piece of cake that my daughter had made. It was important that I eat something she had made specially for the occasion. I am not going to become too self centred about this whole thing. I find that once I have one sweet, I eat the bag.

First thing I did this morning was start with a pint of water as Maffetone says that we are a little dehydrated when we wake and then I put on a big pot of coffee which I am going to have with a splash of honey because also our glycogen is going to be a little low. Caffeine is an interesting one.

The 2 week test had more of an effect on my mood than I anticipated. I swung from periods of euphoria to feeling low and I have noticed that unless I make an effort, my diet becomes almost carb free. I haven’t put any rice or oats back into my diet because I don’t miss them. I get my carbs from fruit and honey (and real ale now and again). If I forget then I can feel it. I get a little low in mood or at least that is my perception.

I have a day of leftovers coming up. I have some roasted veg soup that I made yesterday which is nice with a blob of soured cream and some coronation chicken which I made with my own mayonnaise. First time I have ever made mayo and I was surprised how much oil there is in there. I tasted good. Honey and blueberries in there too instead of mango chutney. Yum. I will have that with a big salad later.

No run today. One of the biggest changes was dropping off running everyday which has been a feature of my life for the last year. It was a wrench but I couldn’t understand why my MAF times where slower than when I started. I thought it might be not having enough rest so tried it and it worked. My MAF test has improved noticeably. I am going to add running every day back into my life again at some point because I miss it. Maybe between Spring and Autumn equinox or something like that.

I have ASDA bringing my groceries later. That has been a whole new experience too. My last oder had no ready prepared food at all which was a first. I have found that now that I am not eating convenience food that I am spending less because I have less waste. I throw very little away and leftovers become part of the next meal or a meal in themselves. That feels like the way it should be.

I need to get my children gradually converted but that will take time. It is on the way and I can see it happening but one step at a time. I need to feel comfortable myself first.

Couple of interesting and easy recipes here that I spotted whilst looking for today’s football fixtures. I like the look of the eggs (without the flatbreads). I make a sort of tomato sauce but it is good to see how the pros do it. Those little added extra make all the difference. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spiced_north-african_82972 and one for smoked salmon omelette. I am eating more eggs than ever and that is one where my 12 year old son has changed too. He loves a fried egg. Good to get him onto omelette.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/smokedsalmonomelette_93229

Sun 3rd Jan 16

Mouth fuzzy again. I think that it might be dairy. I have got to then point where I am loath to throw any food away and I ended up eating a stack of natural yoghurt with blueberries yesterday. I will eat little dairy today and see what happens. Ate to much overall yesterday. All the right things but too close together. They were just so appetising. I think I need to eat less and put in some more fruit in between times.

4.5 miles this morning in VFF Spyridons. Felt full of food from yesterday and a bit sluggish. My HRM kept playing up and jumping around to 180bpm. I am able to run within my MAF range pretty well without it now but it is good to have. I find that I break into a walk spontaneously at the right times. I cannot remember the last time that I ran without being rained on. The weather is miserable.

Mon 4th Jan 16

Starting new job today as head of Bolton’s Primary Pupil Referral Unit. This is where children go when excluded from mainstream education. Our job is to help children in crisis get back on the rails and back into mainstream education. Really looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see how the kids take it when I arrive with my big box of’l eaves’ for lunch.

I have been trying to improve my children’s diet as well as my own without coming across as some sort of crazy evangelist. They have grown up eating like me which is why their diet has always consisted of convenience food.

We have a few green shoots (excuse the pun) of progress. My daughter joins in and shares the homemade soups and likes a salad with dressing. She has been making her own. My son has always been a fruit bat and eat loads of it. Last night, we had a stir fry. Turkey with loads of stir fry veg. I did them separately at first and put some turkey on my son’s plate with some veg on the side. He then had a flat bread(step by step) go with it. The rest of has a good old stir fry with my daughter having slightly less than us with a flat bread too.

My son has started to make himself eggs fried in olive oil. He has an addiction (too strong a word but you know what I mean) to Warburtons thick thinned white bread. It would be very easy to say ‘well don’t buy it then’. but I am the reason their diet is the way it is. I am not going to make them cold cold turkey. I want them to gradually grow to love this way of eating and not hate it from the outset. It should be enjoyable and fun so I am going by by bit with them.

Tuesday 5th Jan 16

My first assembly at my new school today and I told them a bit about my running and that I had something in the box that would help me run faster. They had lots of guesses and then I pulled out a big box of salad which I had taken for lunch. I have told them that I am eating this way from now on to please keep an eye on me and to take me down if they see me with chips and fishfingers. I also had a few pieces of different fruit in there. They had some good guesses but I have never confused a pear with a pineapple before.

Up nice and early for a barefoot 5 miler this morning. My heart rate monitor went all dicky again and I just used my judgement. It sorted itself out eventually and was fine. I felt really good this morning and was running a pretty long uphill this morning well within my MAF range of 124-134bpm. It was even falling below that at times. I felt as fresh as a daisy at the end and ran the 5 miler in 61 minutes.

I wore a new pair of bluetooth bone conducting headphones ad listened to one of my favourite podcasts as I ran. I have never run in headphones because I worry about nor being able to hear other things but these were great. I know all the reasons for leaving everything behind but I just fancied it this morning.

Used the leftover roasted veg soup as a base for a sort of beef mince chilli sort of affair which I had with a big dollop of soured cream. Pretty good and a good way to get the veg in.

Wed 6th Jan 16

My new job is all consuming at the moment. It is brilliant and really enjoying it and is giving me a bit of a kickstart in other areas of my ‘things to do’. I have shamefully not added anyone to our Facebook group for a while and am now doing that a few at a time. I won’t just click everyone in. I welcome each person individually and explain a little about our group and what we do (and don’t). I am very proud of our little group. I enjoy the chat and the overall positive mood. I know that some of you have found some great advice in there from members from all over the world. Bravo barefoot folk. Bravo and remember, We run, we chat and we smile.

I started the day with a pint of water (5.40am) and a cup of tea made with a drop of whole milk and a small dash of honey. Listening to Endurance Planet yesterday. It was with DR Tamsin Lewis on the dangers of a Keto, low carb diet for women in particular. This was quality from someone who really knows. It provides a bit of balance as I have been listening to Endurance planet’s Maffetone interviews which are pretty regular. I am confident that my diet isn’t keto but I am naturally heading towards low carb. Not really low but low enough to make me listen.

I need to get myself organised. I am seeing the benefits of twitter for snippets that I find. I will then need to learn how to use it properly.

Thursday 7th Jan16

5 mile barefoot this morning and the coldest run for a while. It was raining hard and my feet took 3 miles to feel normal. Combined with a stressful first week in a new job, it was a challenge to keep under my MAF rate. I kept instinctively speeding up to keep myself warm. It was hard to throttle back. I also ended up walking on a couple of occasions. The stress and the cold definitely had an impact.

Sat 9th Jan 16

I cracked last night and had a few chocolates. This is first for me. I could have managed without but was in the box that my wife brought home before I knew it. It was funny, they tasted sweet and sickly and I didn’t enjoy them at all. I had too many and felt a bit sick. Not badly so but not normal in any case.

The stress of a new job has taken its toll this week on both my running and my diet. I feel better for understanding that. I get it now and will handle it better in the future. I have found it hard to get out. My legs ache and keeping under MAF range was hard on Thursday.

I have had a week of headaches culminating yesterday with a bad one that came on gradually during the day. I started out OK and then it just grew. I made sure that I was drinking enough water. I ate as planned and had a few pieces of fruit in there. Maybe my brain needed sugar boost. It has been overloaded this week and it felt like it was leaking out of my ears yesterday. Not a problem. I am loving it but it has been full on and I have had to gallop full-time just to keep up. Perhaps, I will drop a bit of honey in my drinks next week and see if that helps. Perhaps that it was what led to me scoffing a few chocolates on impulse late on Thursday.

Started the morning with some home made coronation chicken. I used Rape Seed oil rather than olive oil and this was better. I used blueberries and little honey to sweeten it slightly. I have been searching a coronation chicken that is as good as one I used to have on my sandwiches from a butty shop over 20 years ago. I have tried many but none have lived up to it. Where they fall flat is the lack of sweetness usually brought by adding mango chutney. This one I have made is up there. The honey and blueberries give it that much needed lift. Yum. Lots left for later!

Mon 11th Jan 16

OK – Well and truly fallen off the waggon. I had apple strudel with custard and a few chocolates last night. Enjoyed them too. I am not too worried about that but I also didn’t run this weekend and that is unusual for me. My legs felt achy and I just fancied staying in bed. I was much better when I was in a routine and running every morning. I think that I need to go back to that. I may delay rest but I feel better when i am doing it. I am not worried about the food side of things but think that I have not got the carbs right. I ate the strudel because I felt that I needed it.

I have just had a very stressful week and it has taken its toll. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it is now gone colder. I ran barefoot every day last year even in the snow but this year I may well put on my Vivobarefoots for some of these runs. It is because I am running slower to stay in MAF range that I am getting colder than this time last year. MAF is challenging. I am fed up with it today. I want a blast and it is taking some self control to not go out and go for it. Maybe it is not the running that I am not enjoying but the running in the MAF range that I am not enjoying. I fancy the idea of a 3 hrs run but not one where I am checking my heart rate continually.

It is a shame that I feel like this. I am enjoying the weight loss and am not going back.

Tuesday 12th Jan 16

Ran 5 miles this morning in Vivobarefoot Evos. My feet felt warm but I was sluggish (My digestive system to be honest). Felt good at first but then running on MAF range got harder and I was slower over the route by 2 minutes. Combination of stress, lapse in diet and sluggish digestion. I need to get back on track and run everyday whatever. the nice thing was that during the last mile I wanted to get out barefoot rather than in footwear.

Wed 13th Jan 16 

Up early and out for a barefoot mile. Frost on the road surface and after half a mile I was wondering whether my feet would be OK. I usually stop at the turn round for a minute or so to let the morning seep into my bones but it was too cold on the feet this morning. I always feel better for the run and and glad I am back into it.

Friday 15th Jan 16

Feeling much better this morning. the effects of stress last week were enormous and I suffered and was sluggish. Digestion also sluggish. I think that not running everyday has an effect on that. the 5 miles this morning was fine and my him was wonky for the first half leading to me being very cautious and slow. the second half, i was flying along even uphills and stayed in the zone. I pulled back some time. Also lost another pound in weight so it is all going in the right direction.

Sat 16th Jan 16

Ran 10.5 miles with Phil yesterday and that means going at faster than MAF rate. Still slow but faster than I have been running. One thing about both berating and MAF is that I have ended up running on my own so that I don’t slow anyone down. We had a good run along the canals and River Orwell towards Salford. Fascinating. I was flagging bit by the end. I could have gone quicker but I was trying to run quickly but remain economical and not go for it up the hills. His rate was 134 which is my MAF upper limit. I am usually about 5 more than hime so I was over.

It was then my daughter’s birthday so I had a bit of a pudding whilst out. I am going to do that now and again. I am going to stick to things as best I can but not be antisocial or evangelical. i have never really suited to being an evangelist.

Sun 17th Jan 16

A mile in the snow this morning and my confession is that I wore a very old pair of Asics conventional running shoes that were sitting in the bottom of a storage box. Not sure how I ended up with them on. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I am not berating whilst there is rocksalt about.

Mon 18th Jan 16

Feels normal to be up and about early and heading for a run in the ice and snow. Only a mile this morning to test out my new Bikilas. They are good straight from the box. Easy to put on by wriggling toes backwards and forwards. It is good to get out each morning even if I am not barefoot all the time. Easy to understand, easy to remember and a good routine to be in.

My salad today is Bistro with beetroot and some Feta cheese cubes with a few pieces of chicken thrown in. Just used a small kilner jar to put in olive oil and cider vinegar and then mix. 2/3 olive oil 1/3 vinegar and then shake. Goes in a little dressing pot which I throw in salad box so that it can go on fresh just before I eat it.

The running helps with early morning bathroom ritual too. That needs more discussion. there has been a distinct change since eating this way. I haven’t struggled with constipation badly but would do if I didn’t run, I think. It is much better though. A lot less messy and smelly a process. My body odour has changed too. I am not sure how good a thing that is though. I smell like someone else.

Tuesday 19th Jan 16

A good 5 miler this morning within MAF range. I was able to run it in under 59 mins which is a significant improvement. I actually felt like I was running normally most of the way and really enjoyed it. I feel light today. What a difference a week makes. Back feeling optimistic. I am looking forward to getting out for a mile and having some fun in the morning. I was on a course today with lunch provided. I sat and had my box of salad at lunchtime and enjoyed it. when most were having a biscuit at break, i have a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit. Much better and I felt good about it. Something about having the fruit to keep the carb flowing to the brain. I was alert all day. I am always having a piece of fruit after a piece of cheese at the moment to stop that spike.

Wed 20th Jan 16

A barefoot mile this morning and it was nice to feel the knots developed over the past few shod runs melting away. I have been avoiding rocksalt but there was still plenty on the roads this morning. ended up on the pavement.

For more excitement, turn off your head torch on unlit sections. I am viewing my head torch like shoes at the moment. Needed sometimes but do without if possible. I like feeling my way.

If I were to write a full post this morning it would have the title. ‘Running keeps you regular’. Say no more.

Thursday 21st Jan 16

A 5 miler this morning and it was the quickest yet. I was surprised that I crested a shallow hill near the start of the run without topping out over 134bpm. I then felt like I was running happily and for a while forgot that I was in the range. It juts felt normal. I was more likely to set a beep off by going to slow rather than too quick. I reached the half way point and was surprised at how quick I had gone.(All relative but 27.5 mins for 2.5 miles) and then forced myself to stop for a minute for a it of mindfulness . That is a loose term but I wanted to enjoy being out and stoop to celebrate for a moment that I am out running at this time in the morning and enjoying myself.

The run back is uphill mostly and slower but I still managed to get there in 57 mins and a few seconds. About 4 mins faster than normal which for a 5 miler is something. I was in Bikilas rather than barefoot and that may well have everything to do with it. I forgot I had them on. Easy to slip on and comfy.

Sat 23rd Jan 16

I have a headache this morning and it made me realise that I have not had a headache or had a headache tablet for a long time. Amazing really. I used to crunch ibruprofen and paracetamol all the time. I often had them before I went to bed or I would have a disturbed night due to headaches. I would often wake up with a headache and have a tablet or the pain would just get progressively worse as the day went on. I always put it down to dehydration and drank pints of water. I would have a pint before I went to bed. Since getting rid of sugar and only eating real food, I have hardly had a headache at all and I cannot remember the last tablet I took.
So…why have I got a headache today?

Yesterday was our family get together for my daughter’s birthday. I joined in with everyone else and had pastie and peas, crisped, chocolate and birthday cake. I had planned to do that. I am not planning to be a martyr or evangelist and I am not going to turn down a piece of birthday cake on my daughter’s birthday. Plenty of party food left over but I am not going anywhere near it. happy to be back eating proper stuff.
The good thing was that it was nice to join in with everyone and not abstain but not feel worried about it. It isn’t falling off the wagon or the start of a slippery slope. It was what it was. Me enjoying a family get together. It gave me a headache but it was worth it. It makes the whole thing feel more sustainable in the long term which is what it is all about.

Sun 24th Jan 16

19.5 miles this morning in a pair of VFF Spyridons. Practising fuelling with real food so was eating cheese and apples at regular intervals. Ran within MAF range so took forever. Felt fresh as a daisy afterwards. Must be doing something right.

Mon 25th Jan 16

A brief pitter-patter of a barefoot mile this morning. I kept slowing down to get my form right and loosen everything off from yesterday. Forced myself to stop and enjoy being out otherwise my mind just jumps ahead and starts to sort out the day and I end up tense.

It was noticeable yesterday that I didn’t finish the long run in a ravenous state. That has always happened in the past and I have binged for the rest of the day on sugary stuff. Today, I just felt normal. I drank a lot of fluids but mostly water and a couple of big cups of tea but ate normally for the rest of the day. I had no cravings for anything in particular.

Friday 29th Jan 16

Has a couple of 5 milers this week. The one on Tuesday was the quickest yet but Thursday’s was slow again. Why?? I didn’t feel right when I woke up and knew it would be slower. I was barefoot and it was cold. 1 degree which I can handle but my feet took a while to get over the shock of the sudden dip. Wednesday was a very challenging dat at work. My stress levels were high for quit a few hours and this carried over into the evening. My dips in speed have coincided with stress at work consistently. Never even considered that before.
Did my first weight check for a month and I am 11st 2lbs which is either 2 or 3 lbs lighter and 1st 5lbs since starting this. In no rush. The menu of foods now available is good and I am not going back. Steady as she goes.

Sat 30th Jan 16

I am pleased with the weight loss that I have going on. It is a good motivation to keep going. Yesterday at work was a good example. Friday is takeaway lunch and chocolate day and the temptation is to join in. Of course, I could but it felt like the start of a slippery slope. I want to join in sometimes but I need a reason. Sometimes, it just being Friday will be good enough but other times it will not and yesterday I stuck to the Maffetone menu that is working for me. 3 lbs in Jan is not amazing but it is steady and feels proper. 11st 2lbs down from 12 st 7lbs in 3 months is good enough for me. A lb or 2 a month from now on will get me where I want to be. Where is that? 10st 3lbs was my fighting weight a few years ago when running well. it would be amazing to be there. It is now less than a stone away and slow and steady wins the race. Maffetone mantra in many respects. Of course, I was around 9 stone when I was at University and setting pbs. That seemed impossible but ti funny how what seemed impossible can change when you start and make some progress.

Sun 31st Jan 16

January ended with a 10 miler in Bikilas listening to Phil Maffetone on Endurance Planet’s podcast. One thing that came up and that I have noticed is that I am not starving any more when i get back from a long run. I ran for 5 hrs last weekend and was fine when I got back. I didn’t raid the fridge. I just ate normally. It probably means that I am burning more fat than I used to so I don’t have that burning need to refuel the carbs when i get in. Feel much better for it. Things heading in the right direction. I am learning that there is much more too it than I thought and that I will probably go through phases then plateau for a bit whilst my body sorts itself out and then it will kick on again.

Oct 03

5 favourite barefoot posts of the week – Number 40

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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.

http://www.visualnews.com/2015/09/29/vibrams-new-shoe-wraps-your-foot-like-a-japanese-kimono/

 

 

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/

We have a facebook group where you find out more barefoot and minimalist news and opinions. We are a friendly group and you will be made very welcome.

Sep 28

Minimal shoes from startup companies

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Xero Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed reading this post from Amy Hatch on Gear Junkie.

She goes through her selection of startup companies that have entered the minimal shoe market. Pleased to see Xeros in there. It is the comments that follow the post that make me smile. Terminology is so precious to some people and they just can’t let things go. We always get the same reaction when someone uses the term ‘barefoot shoe’. It causes so many people to get steamed up. Personally I have no problem with the term. It isn’t misleading. If they had meant to mislead us, I am guessing that they would have missed out the word ‘shoe’. Nobody owns the word ‘barefoot’ although sometimes you get the sense that some people think that they do.

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The word ‘minimal’ is an interesting one though. It seems to have become adopted as a shoe that is an alternative to the cushioned running shoe that is typified by the Nike Pegasus and myriad others. However, some of the shoes in this list are not minimal at all. That seems to have caused a little bit of disturbance. The Altra is cushioned but has a big wide toe box and is zero drop and was one of the first so called ‘minimal’ brands on the scene. Since its arrival, lots of more minimal shoes have arrived that make the Altra look positively built up.

Perhaps we need a term for the shoes with wide toe boxes and zero drop that doesn’t hijack the term minimal.

I haven’t run in shoes for over 11 months now and I fancy a pair of Altras. My goal is to run injury free and I have yet to try zero drop and cushioned. I might splash out on a pair and see how they go.

You can read Amy’s post here

 

Sep 23

Barefoot Runner Gladson Johnson

Running-kXfG--621x414@LiveMintEnjoyed this article about barefooter Gladson Johnson. on livemint.com.

What resonated with me most was the fact thhat he does all his exercise before anyone else in his family gets out of bed in the morning. A man after my own heart.

I enjoy stories like these. It makes what I thought was impossible seem possible.

Sep 22

Barefooting harder for older runners? Maybe but so what?

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Daniel Lieberman runs barefoot across the Weeks Bridge n Cambride, Mass.Credit Bryce Vickmark for The New York Times

This article on the NY times blog caught my attention. It cites research that claims that barefoot running is harder to transition to when you are older. Older seems to mean over 30 and the hypothesis is that this is because older runners have years of bad running to unlearn.

This seems obvious but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t or can’t be done. I am one of those older runners with 25 years of cushioned shod running in my history. I was broken and at the end of the line and now I have gradually taught myself to run with good form by barefoot running (with the help of a little handheld metronome in the very early days).

I am now running every day and pretty much without injury. Harder? Possibly, but so what?

In my eyes it is all about readiness. I hit a point in my life where I was ready to do whatever it took to find a way to run in a sustainable way into my old age. It can be done!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/barefoot-running-may-be-harder-for-those-over-30/?_r=0

Feb 27

5 best posts from around the barefoot blogosphere

Once again, I have been reading many barefoot posts from around the blogosphere. Here are the ones that really caught my attention during February 2014. Something for everyone. 

india1. Post of the month for February is a video from the India Running Summit 2014

Barefoot Beginner has quite a few readers and group members from India and this was a video of a talk given by barefoot runner Miland Soman on his transition. He was running the Mumbai marathon barefoot the following day. Amongst his inspiration, he talks about Pete Larson’s Tread Lightly which he said makes sense to him. I enjoyed his talk and thought that there was a great deal of common sense in there.

thorn2. Post 2 is from the Barefoot Running in the UK blog and is on the thorny subject of things that stick in your feet.

Those of you that join in with the chat in our facebook group may remember a question that came in recently from Fizz Fry about removing foreign bodies from our feet. This post deals with that. We tend to think that glass is the problem but as I found out this morning it is often the natural stuff that can get embedded. Can be hard to remove especially when it is tiny. Have a look.

dartmoor3. Post 3 is from the Wildernessguide and is promoting the virtues of running wild and free.

Specifically, barefooting on the beautiful Dartmoor. I seem to remember one of our group members Aranya Gardens talking about Dartmoor being a great place to run. This is a well written account and contains links to Wild Running who offer guided runs and weekend retreats in that area. Sounds idyllic.

Barefoot-Babe-225x3004. Lynne Albutt’s 45 mile barefoot across Wales is getting closer. Here she tells us how she is getting on.

For those who don’t know, Lynne is a member of our group and has been in training since the 1st December which will give her exactly 6 months to get ready for her run. The 45 mile route will take in tarmac, mountains, forests, gravel roads, streams and other delights. Here you can have a look at her latest post but I would urge you to have a look around her blog which is so well put together. Following on from her run, there will be workshops where folk can learn all about the benefits of a barefoot lifestyle. Most excellent.

Asics-Barefoot-Foot-Strike_thumb5. Post 5 is from Pete Larson (His 2nd mention in this month’s picks) and he provides a commentary on the way running shoes affect our gait.

Research related posts don’t usually catch my interest. I am usually too busy running to read about someone who is telling me that what I am doing doesn’t work. Pete’s commentaries are always well written and pitched just right for me. They don’t get bogged down but have more than enough detail to rise well above the masses of posts out there that just scratch the surface. This is a video which is well worth a watch.

As always, I am in awe of some of the writing out there and putting my monthly picks together is one of my favourite things to do. It makes me read. Barefoot bloggers, I salute you!

I have mentioned our group a few times in this post. We are a friendly, family oriented group. We don’t do profanity or negativity. We run, we chat and we smile. Come and join us, you will be made very welcome.

 

Jan 30

5 favourite barefoot posts from January 14

January was an excellent month for barefoot related posts and I had a shortlist of around 30 to include in this months picks.

As ever, I selected those that tweaked my interest and that made me want to comment. I hope you find one that catches your attention.

1. Post number one is about that famous barefoot runner, Robinson Crusoe.

..or should I say Alexander Selkirk who was marooned on an island and was the inspiration behind Crusoe. Here we have a diary extract from those who rescued him. They were amazed by his ability to run swiftly barefoot through the woods to hunt down his prey. Four years of barefooting and a low carb diet made him quick. Well worth a read.

2. Post 2 is a quick 20 minute interview with Chris McDougall.

I have listened to Chris speak on a number of occasions and always enjoyed his take on things. This quick 20 minute interview was full of things that could be used as excellent soundbites. They were just tripping effortlessly off his tongue. I have heard him at his most evangelical but here is relaxed and the mood of the interview is chilled. I really enjoyed it.

3. Post 3 is Xero Shoe’s infographic on barefoot running. Made me laugh.

I am listening to Steven Sashen’s commentry on this infographic as I type with a huge smile on my face. Steven at his best. It is done with such a deadpan voice. Have a look and then head on to the bottom of the page and click on Steven’s 4 minute commentry. Well worth it.

4. Post 4 appealed to the Sherlock Holmes fan in me.

It is called. ‘The mysterious case of the cracked little toe’. Sound like a case for Dr. Watson.

I have had something similar to this but not as extreme and it went away pretty quickly. It would be interesting to know how many of you have had the same sort of thing and how you treated it. With a persistant cut on the sole of my foot, I applied spray plaster repeatedly and eventually it went away but it took some time. A great looking blog to have a wander around.

Post 5 was the one that made me most want to comment and so in it went.

It is a video post from Alexa. I started watching feeling a little bit smug about my barefoot credentials and felt like the answer was obvious. Then I realised that Alexa is a genuine barefooter who does run in shoes sometimes. Her PF symptons were aleviated by running in shoes. A whole can of worms may be unleashed with this one. Have a look.

 

p.s. I would be grateful if you would head over and like our facebook page here.

p.p.s We also have a very friendly discussion group. Come and join in the chat, you will be made very welcome. We are a family group (my kids read over my shoulder). We don’t do profanity and we don’t do negativity. We run, we chat and we smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.alexawebermorales.com/2014/01/did-barefoot-running-give-me-plantar-fasciitis/

 

 

 

Dec 28

5 Barefoot posts from December that you shouldn’t miss

About a month ago, I started to list a barefoot post a day over on our facebook page. You can see them by visiting and liking the page here.

When going through them to select my 5 favourite of the month, I found myself drawn to those posts that were joyous and uplifting. With the exception of post number one which is all about the despair of not being able to run at all.

I needed something to lift me out of my dreary December surroundings. Here we go:

Untitled1. Post one is from Patricia Bowmer and speaks of the despair of not being able to run.

Patricia is an author and puts the feeling into words much better than I can. As a young teacher, I worked for a head who sat down and cried on the curb when he finally succumbed to another injury. I have felt like that. How do you explain it to someone who doesn’t run. Your whole life can abe tied up in running. My social life and wellbeing were directly linked to my ability to run. Thankyou Patricia. Hope you are back out there again soon.

 

 

Untitled2. Following Patricia’s tale, I needed something uplifting and this video did the job.

Post two is from Bedrock Sandals and is a lovely video with Ultra runner Naresh Kumar. I just found that Naresh made me smile whilst I was watching him. I love the footage of him running through the hills in his sandals. It is the perfect antidote to the fine, cold rain that is falling here.

 

 

Untitled3. Post three is from the excellent blog of Lynne Allbut.

I enjoy reading Lynne’s blog posts and remember her posts about about a barefoot year. She is planning a barefoot run across Wales in May and had just started training. Her posts are always warm and make me smile. You can hear about her first barefoot training session for 2 years and visit her excellent blog by clicking on the image.

 

Untitled4. Post number four is from Thea Gavin and helps remind me that not everywhere is the same as the West Pennine Moors where I run.

I met a group of barefooters the morning I read this post and we chatted about how cold it is getting and dodged muddy puddles. If you are the same have quick look at her post. It will make you smile.

 

 

Untitled5. Post five is from the excellent Sea Legs Girl blog on the subject of running and medicine.

It is mostly about the use of running as a theraputic activity. I believe this deeply and have always known it. It is only recently that I have felt it explicitly. My well-being and my running are directly linked. It is good to read a post from someone who feels the same. The landscape also seems so fresh and clean. It looks vibrant.

 

 

 

You can see my picks from previous months here.

To keep upto date visit and like our facebook page and follow us on twiiter.

 

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