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Spring 2014 Issue 11 FREE


How to contact us Barefoot Running Magazine TRC Publishing Limited 21 Lyric Mews Silverdale London SE26 4TD United Kingdom ISSN 2050-9022 email: info@bfrm.co.uk website: www.bfrm.co.uk tel: +44 (0) 845 226 7304 overseas: +44 (0) 208 659 0269 Insert picture: The sun rises on Vancouver's port and the Harry Jerome statue in Stanley park. Photograph by: Ward Perrin Cover photo: Runner in Vibram FiveFingers Komodo Sport www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/FiveFingers-KMD-Sport-Mens.htm

Find us at: www.facebook.com/BarefootRunningMagazine

www.trcpublishinguk.co.uk/bfrm

@BareFootRunMag

The health and fitness information presented in this magazine is intended as an educational resource and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor before attempting any of the exercises in this magazine or any other exercise programme, particularly if you are pregnant, elderly or have chronic or recurring medical conditions. Do not attempt any of the exercises while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or discomfort and consult a medical expert. Neither the author of the information nor the producer nor the distributors make any warranty of any kind in regard to the content of the information presented in this magazine.


Spring has sprung and for many of us the warmer, milder weather has been making a welcome appearance.

A note from the editor...

Lots has been happening in the lives of the Barefoot Running Magazine team which has made me reflect on barefoot running and the running community as a whole. I’ve taken a step back and thought about what running means to most of us: having fun, pushing boundaries, shared experiences, mutual support, camaraderie, and feeling fitter and healthier. In that list, I put “having fun” first because I think it is most important. As runners, or fitness enthusiasts, most of us have the tendency to sometimes take things too seriously. I take my hat off to Steven Sashen who reminds us of the lighter side of barefoot running in his two YouTube videos on “Sh*t barefoot runners say”. Hilarious and a great reminder that barefoot running might be about losing your shoes, but should definitely NOT be about losing your sense of humour. As David (Robinson) said recently, “After all’s said and done, running is just putting one foot in front of the other quite quickly”. In this issue, we reveal the Barefoot Running Magazine 2013 Product Awards. Yes, some of us like to run with as little equipment as possible but others still prefer to wear a shoe and monitor their progress with the latest technology. Gareth “Gadget” Underhill offers his thoughts on the use of this “fit tech” in his insightful article on page 122. Our ‘In focus’ piece is on the incredible David “Weirwolf” Weir who is an inspiration to all and a great representative and ambassador for disability in sport. We welcome barefoot runner, Tracy Davenport, to the columnist team as she offers us her musings on the current status of the barefoot running world. Colin Boyd introduces us to “Intrinsic Touch Energy” – a relaxing and spiritual experience that is helping many people to cope better in a hectic world. Well done to our Roving Reporter, Chris Fielding, for braving the cold, wet and mud of the Pandemonium race to bring us an entertaining account of his first obstacle race experience. Thanks as usual to Steve “Sock Doc” Gangemi and Steven Sashen for their thoughts on the injuries and issues of runners, and to Matt Frazier who lets us know what it’s truly like to be a vegan ultrarunner. All this, plus more, in this biggest ever issue! As always, we are so grateful to all those who have contributed to the magazine, giving their time for free. Thank you so much. Wishing you all a wonderful Spring, full of laughter and opportunity. Run Strong•Run Free!

Matt Frazier Author and vegan ultrarunner http://www.nomeatathlete.com

Colin Boyd Intrinsic Touch Energy Guide lifecalmer@gmail.com

Kim Shand Yoga teacher, presenter and writer http://www.rethinkyoga.com

editor Gray Caws ChiRunning coach and personal trainer http://www.n8pt.com

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Anna Toombs Editor

David Robinson Creative director

Co-founder of Barefoot Running UK, movement therapist, running coach, Pilates instructor & author anna.toombs@bfrm.co.uk @ToombsAnna

Co-founder of Barefoot Running UK, movement therapist, sports performance specialist, running coach, martial artist & author david.robinson@bfrm.co.uk @barefootdrrob

Ian Hicks Head reviewer

Tracy Davenport Columnist

Barefoot running enthusiast & founder of The Wiltshire Barefoot Runners

Minimalist footwear retailer, avid barefoot runner & blogger

ian.hicks@bfrm.co.uk

tracy.davenport@bfrm.co.uk @BarefootBritian

Gareth ‘The Gadget’ Underhill Columnist

Jonathan Mackintosh Reviewer

Personal trainer, sports scientist and sports retailer

Keen ultrarunner & blogger jonathan.mackintosh@bfrm.co.uk www.pixelscotland.com

gareth.underhill@bfrm.co.uk @garethunderhill

Steven Sashen Columnist

Dr Steve ‘Sock Doc’ Gangemi Columnist

steve.gangemi@bfrm.co.uk @TheSockDoc

steven.sashen@bfrm.co.uk @sashen

Steve Richards Reviewer

Chris Fielding Reporter

Avid barefoot runner & member of the Wiltshire Barefoot Runners

Blogging enthusiast, barefoot runner & founder of Barefoot Beginner

steve.richards@bfrm.co.uk

chris.fielding@bfrm.co.uk @bfbeginner

Hi, my name is Steve Richards and I am a barefoot runner. Not all the time, mind you. But, with or without shoes, I reckon running is about having adventures. I like to experience that sense of freedom that I'm sure we all feel as runners, but with the extra edge of journeying into the unknown. It might be a something as simple as a tweak to a familiar route, or it might be that I stuff an OS map into a pack and head to explore an unfamiliar trail. My first ever run, on a hot, humid day in August 2010, should have put me off for life. I managed a mile and a half before lungs and legs failed me. But, soon after, a friend recommended I that read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Not only did the inspiring stories in the book keep me motivated as my body adapted to running over those difficult first few weeks, but its central argument that we are all of us natural runners - resonated strongly with me. After a second run, I ditched the chunky trainers and got myself a pair of thin-soled, zero-drop Vivobarefoot Aquas. These looked and felt good so I figured that even if they didn't work as running shoes I wouldn't have wasted my money. I need not have worried. The improvement in how I felt running was immediate. I have never looked back. Now I run in a variety of minimalist shoes as well as barefoot, depending on route, weather and my own disposition. For me, running barefoot is the best way to ensure efficient, natural form. Even if I'm planning to run in an event with shoes, I will include a lot of barefoot miles in my training. Running without shoes requires a lighter footfall and encourages me to remain relaxed as I run. Strong feet and ankles improve balance and manoeuvrability, which benefits my off-road running. Since that first struggle of a run, I have completed two 50ks and two marathons – both mainly off-road – and a few half marathons. I am a member of the Wiltshire Barefoot Runners, a group that meets monthly to run together through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.

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Meet the team

Chiropractic physician & MovNat coach

Creator of the Xero Shoe & sprinter


Main feature Final results of product of the year awards 2013

In focus

9 26

David “Weirwolf” Weir and his fighting spirit

David’s laboratory

36

Drugs in sport: Can they ever be justified?

Book review

46

Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography by Mo Farah (reviewed by Anna Toombs)

Injury corner

58

This is why you’re still injured by the Sock Doc

Technical tip

62

Cooling down! by Anna Toombs

Nutritional nugget

66

10 things I wish I knew before I went vegan by Matt Frazier

A conversation with...

78

Podcast queen and Run Barefoot Girl, Caity McCardell

The Green Room

84

Understanding Life-force: Intrinsic Touch Energy by Colin Boyd

Try this at home

92

Tricks of the trade

Picture from the past

96

Emil Zátopek

How to:

100

Create efficient forward momentum by Gray Caws

Write back at you

Strong is the new skinny, and that's not necessarily a good thing by K Shand

104

Club directory

168

Find a club near you

Web directory

169

For products and services

International News National news On track slope On track International news Page 6

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88 90 56 110 72 114 Barefoot Running Magazine


Competition

43

The AfterShokz Sportz M2

Outside the lab

44

Other peoples’ labs

Questions & answers

50

Your questions answered

Season in pictures

52

What you have been up to

Caught in the web

71

Internet snippets

Events

72

Stuff that’s going on

Assorted goodies

88

Products worth a look

What’s on

106

2014 events and race calendar

Barefoot Running UK

116

The latest from BFR UK

It’s your letters

120

Your stories and thoughts

Barefoot Runners Society 124 What’s happening within the BRS

Product reviews & results 126 Next Issue

163

Anna’s pause for thought

34

Tips and general musings

Chris Fielding

54

Roving Barefoot Reporter

Tracy Davenport

74

High society

The Sock Doc

98

Why the minimalist shoe trend won’t last

Gareth “Gadget” Underhill Technology: In fitness and in health. For better or worse?

Sashen speaks

122 146

Does barefoot running cause calf pain?

Backchat David Robinson’s latest

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Main feature Products of the year awards 2013

he team at Barefoot Running Magazine have been putting our heads together to come up with our favourite running products from 2013. You may have seen our shortlist in the last issue, with a selection of shoes as well as some other fun gadgets. For the footwear, we came up with the following categories: ‘Best Closed Road Shoe’, ‘Best Open Road Shoe’, ‘Best Closed Trail Shoe’, ‘Best Open Trail Shoe’ and ‘Best Innovative Shoe’. We have also included a ‘Gadget of the year’ category and chosen an overall winner for ‘Best product of 2013’. There is a winner for each category as well as two runners up.

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“These are my go-to shoe when I'm feeling wimpy. Excellent all rounder and hard to fault.”

An aggressive multisport design that inherits much of the KSO features, but with functional improvements that will appeal to many. For the first time ever, Vibram introduces a stitch-free, seamless 2mm foot-bed, along with heel and instep hook-and-loop closures to help secure the stretch nylon upper to the contours of your foot. A 4mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole provides the good grip and protection.

“They are a great shoe for those wanting to keep their feet protected, but are ready for a more flexible, less structured running shoe.”

The Bare-X 200 is all about minimalism and durability. An eclectic mix which blends well in this minimalist shoe. A micro thin 3mm layer of rubber has been added to provide great protection to make the ultimate ZERO Arrow Shoc-Zone, whilst still maintaining the zero-differential between forefoot and heel. The 3D Air Mesh upper gives good support, along with the enhanced TPU Met Cradle.

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Sockwa footwear is versatile and perfect for the active individual. You can put the shoes on your feet for lightweight protection, or easily role them up and put them in a pocket just in case. Not only useful for runners, but for any activity where a flexible, slim shoe is preferable. They are also great for everyday wear. The company philosophy is to produce quality shoes but with as little environmental impact as possible. The G3 comes in several different colours and, with the option of a wider fit, are especially useful for barefoot runners whose feet have grown in strength and size.

“Simple yet versatile, this shoe appeals to so many different runners. A worthy winner.�

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“I love the styling; this is personal taste but I think it works well.”

The ready-to-wear barefoot sandal you can use for walking, hiking, yoga, working out, paddling, biking, and even running. The shoes come in four fun colours, with elegant contouring for a secure fit without any unnecessary support. Unlike some huarache sandals, they are 100% ready for action, coming pre-laced with an adjustment system that helps you maximize a secure fit in seconds. There is a strong, yet comfortable, toe post and a heel cup with helps keep debris out as well as adding a splash of colour. Their motto: “Do everything. Go everywhere. Naturally.”

“They encourage me to improve my form and run as nature intended me to. ”

The Venado, with its super secure, ATS laces is Luna’s lightest and thinnest sandal . It represents the best fruits of their experiences and experiments with old-school footwear and gleanings from insights that have been gathered from their customers. It uses a 6mm Vibram neoprene sole (7mm with footbed) that is lightweight and comfortable.

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These shoes put a modern spin on the traditional running sandal, offering a durable, affordable ride but so light and simple it feels like you’re not wearing anything. They offer a strong layer of protection, allowing your feet and legs to work as nature intended with your posture aligned and your senses awakened. The ultra thin sole allows you to feel the ground but at the same time avoid problematic cuts from sharp objects such as stones or glass. Different coloured laces and lacing systems allow you to customize your sandal to make it your own.

“I've used these on many a Wiltshire trail and find them very durable with good barefoot simulation.”

A worthy winner of the open road category.

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“They are supremely comfortable and the lugs give very good grip. ”

The Spyridon is Vibram’s first specific trail running model that they claim provides the perfect balance of “foot feel” and protection on rugged surfaces. The 3.5mm Vibram rubber sole provides good protection while allowing proper barefoot dynamics. The aggressive tread delivers sure-footed grip in all directions whilst the moulded nylon mesh in midsole adds a “rock block” effect, dispersing impact over a wider area.

“What I really love most about this slipper like shoe is that they are so varied in their uses and so comfortable that you totally forget that you are wearing them.”

Sockwa footwear is versatile and perfect for the active individual. You can put the shoes on your feet for lightweight protection, or easily role them up and put them in a pocket just in case. Not only useful for runners, but for any activity where a flexible, slim shoe is preferable. They are also great for everyday wear. The company philosophy is to produce quality shoes but with as little environmental impact as possible. The G3 comes in several different colours and, with the option of a wider fit, are especially useful for barefoot runners whose feet have grown in strength and size.

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These durable, lightweight yet aggressive barefoot trail shoes let your feet perform on the hottest and toughest terrains, giving you maximum breathability and grip on the muddiest and most slippery trails. VIVOBAREFOOT say. “You get total flexibility from the tough, fine breathable mesh and patented ultra-thin, punctureresistant sole. Giving you natural motion control by allowing your Great Toe to engage rapidly with the earth as well as independent rear and fore-foot movement”.

“This shoe has quickly established itself as one of my go-to trail shoes and also as a casual shoe thanks to that retro look that works so well paired with jeans.”

A great trail shoe giving you maximum breathability and grip.

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“I live in these over the summer – the ultimate minimalist shoe, simplicity at its best.”

These shoes put a modern spin on the traditional running sandal, offering a durable, affordable ride but so light and simple it feels like you’re not wearing anything. They offer a strong layer of protection, allowing your feet and legs to work as nature intended with your posture aligned and your senses awakened. The ultra thin sole allows you to feel the ground but at the same time avoid problematic cuts from sharp objects such as stones or glass. Different coloured laces and lacing systems allow you to customize your sandal to make it your own.

“With the secure fit, excellent lacing system and good grip they make an excellent trail sandal.”

The ready-to-wear barefoot sandal you can use for walking, hiking, yoga, working out, paddling, biking, and even running. The shoes come in four fun colours, with elegant contouring for a secure fit without any unnecessary support. Unlike some huarache sandals, they are 100% ready for action, coming pre-laced with an adjustment system that helps you maximize a secure fit in seconds. There is a strong, yet comfortable, toe post and a heel cup with helps keep debris out as well as adding a splash of colour.

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The Mono is Luna’s do everything, go everywhere sandal. Whether running, hiking, travelling, lounging, or anything else, this, they say, is your go-to footwear. The Mono is made up of a super light, mouldable Vibram sole combined with the Pittards Premium Leather or non-slip MGT footbed. The protective, lightweight sole allows for a wide variety of uses from casual wear to trail running, while the overall thickness means the ankle holes can be countersunk to reduce wear on the laces.

“In muddy, wet and slippery conditions I find that the Monkey Grip Technology (MGT) is king!”

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“We love the Iguaneye concept. Worth keeping an eye on the company’s development.”

What you see here is a shoe whose designers took inspiration from the Amazon Indians, who used to soak their feet in rubber to provide them with second-skin protection. The Iguaneye project brings this technique back on track with a cutting-edge minimal, yet modern, product.

The Swiss Barefoot Company’s state their Protection Sock is designed for people who like to go barefoot without the risk of injury from sharp objects or the feeling of rubber soles. The special and patented fabric with a polyester nubbed sole offers protection from shells, broken fragments, other natural elements or dangerous objects and offers at the same time maximum freedom as if one is only wearing a sock.

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“Brilliant barefoot feel and just enough protection to take the edge off when on rough surfaces.”


The PRONATIV is at the top of GoSt-Barefoots’ ULTRA range. Built for higher loads and more extreme terrain, the clever lacing provides an even better fit and hold to the foot. The PRONATIV is a real outback minimal shoe for trails, muddy and sodden ground. The more severe the better! PRONATIV is best suited for those who have well-trained feet already or who want to strengthen their feet the most natural way. The special type of lacing makes it the ideal partner for all "natural runners".

“I’m sure this company will be a big player in the barefoot/minimal shoe market - with a product like the Pronativ I have no doubt.”

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dailymile is an exercise tracking software, with a social aspect. It caters a for people just off the couch to ultra-athletes alike, who encourage and inspire one another as they achieve their goals.

“Following a strict regime with an event (perhaps a triathlon) in mind, users can keep a track of their workouts to ensure they’re maintaining a balance and getting enough rest.”

Together the users of the software have shared over 12 million workouts.

“I love it. I wear mine all of the time.”

The Jawbone UP helps you understand how you sleep, move and eat so you can make smarter choices. The app displays movement and sleep details from your UP band and delivers insights, celebrates milestones, and challenges you to make each day better. You can also share your accomplishments with friends by connecting together in the UP App.

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AfterShokz Sportz M2 open ear headphones are designed to safely keep athletes connected to their music and social life while remaining active. Featuring military special ops bone conduction technology, AfterShokz Sportz M2 headphones sit comfortably in front of the ear, keeping your ears open, while delivering stereophonic sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear, permitting users to hear ambient noises. These headphones are lightweight, sweat and water resistant, and feature an on/off switch, volume control, a micro USB charging port, and a 3.5mm gold plated standard connector that fits most smart phones, Apple products and MP3 players.

“A high quality product with a high quality look and feel.”

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“They are so light and flexible, there’s really not much to get in the way of your running”

The Xero Shoes were one of the first huarache sandals on the market and remain one of the best. The 4mm sole means that you can feel every surface underneath your feet whilst maintaining sufficient protection from debris and extreme ground temperatures. You can buy them custom-made so they are truly put together for your very own feet or, for the more practical runner, kits are available for you to make your own. Different coloured laces and decoration can further add to your own individual footwear. All barefoot runners will own at least one pair of these!

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“This product has taken many by surprise, me included. I am very taken with the Pronativ. They are a must for any minimalist trail runner”

A perfect example of something that shouldn’t work, but does! These provide superb protection whilst remaining remarkably light and flexible. They are towards the top end in terms of price, but you are paying for footwear that is beautifully engineered and built to last for many years. We reckon we’ll be seeing a lot more of these in the very near future.

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“A delight to run on very rough surfaces, like gravel or worn out tarmac�

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“What I really love most about this slipper like shoe is that they are so varied in their uses and so comfortable that you totally forget that you are wearing them.”

“This is definitely my everyday go-to shoe – super comfortable and beautifully warm”

This has been a favourite amongst our magazine team members as well as within the wider barefoot running community. The ground feel of this shoe has been a real hit with those who just need a bit of protection over rough ground and the fit seems to suit people too, regardless of foot shape. At half the price of some of the minimal shoes that some of the bigger brands offer, the Sockwa is an affordable, durable option that looks pretty cool too. A worthy winner!

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In focus David “Weirwolf” Weir and his fighting spirit by Anna Toombs

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ate last year, David [Robinson] and I were about to start a barefoot jaunt in Richmond Park and spotted a cyclist and wheelchair racer streaking along the road in the distance. We commented on the speed and wondered if they were training for something. About twenty minutes later we were running up a hill and saw the couple again, heading towards us. As they approached, the guy in the wheel- chair looked up and smiled. “Morning!” He said as he shot past us. David and I looked at each other - “That was David Weir!” David Weir was born on 5th June 1979 in Sutton, just South of London. He was born with what is known as a “spinal cord transection” meaning that he was unable to walk without help. Initially, his parents and doctors were keen for him to walk and he was given callipers but he found these quite cumbersome and at the age of twelve made the decision to no longer use them. David’s mother, Jackie, didn’t want David to feel different or to fall into the mindset of being a victim and was keen for him to be independent. They didn’t modify their house to cater for his disability and instilled in him a sense of wanting to do things for himself. Early on, he realized that sport was in him. He would go and watch his brother play basketball and join in with the football games with the local kids. He had his share of jibes about being in a wheelchair and when asked by an interviewer what he used to do about it, he says, in a matter of fact manner, “Fight. I’d probably get beaten up, but that’s what I did”. His initial ambition was to play basketball but it was tough to be able to train when there was such a lack of facilities. When he was eight, there was a mini marathon quite local to him and he entered that, lying about his age so that he could get in (the minimum age was twelve!). He remembers training up and down his road in his NHS wheelchair. He won the race and got the bug! A little later at the Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville his basketball team reached the final. That same day, in the afternoon, he entered a race

and won. He realized that he didn’t get the same buzz from basketball that he experienced when racing and knew he had a natural talent. After all, he competed at the Atlanta Olympic Games having only trained two or three times a week. He also attributes his success to his desire to win – no doubt, in part, a result of his mother’s encouragement to develop a go-getting attitude. Sporting opportunities for disabled athletes have increased considerably recently and receive a great deal of exposure. This hasn’t always been the case. David tells of his disappointment at the Games in Atlanta, summing them up in one word: “Rubbish”. There were hardly any spectators – what was the point of working hard to represent your country and then competing in front of near-empty stands? At this point, David gave up. He was at the age where he and his friends could go out and have a good time and this is what he did. His friends told him he was “throwing the opportunity away” but he didn’t

have the impetus at that stage to keep going. Gladly, he had a change of heart. He watched the marvellous Tanni Grey-Thompson compete at the Sydney Games and realized he’d let people down – “my family, my country” – by giving up. He vowed not to do it again. It was at this time that David sought help from a coach – a bit of a legend actually. Jenny Archer is the lady who put the likes of Vinnie Jones through their paces at Wimbledon FC back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. She is a former 400m and 800m runner who progressed into injury and rehabilitation work with footballers once she’d moved on from Wimbledon. David had first met Jenny when he was eight years old at the London Youth Games and he approached her again all those years later to ask for help with his training. She agreed. This proved to be a great decision – David won the London Marathon only two months later! He went on

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to steadily improve, competing at the three more Olympic Games and winning those incredible four gold medals at London 2012. Nicknamed the “Weirwolf” he is a tough man to beat. The desire to win, as he has said, is part of him and Jenny developed this further so that his mental strength is as much of an asset as the physical. She came up with the plan of having cyclists training with him at Richmond Park so that when he felt he couldn’t go any longer, they were there to keep pushing him. She wanted him to have the ability to overcome the tiredness and dig deep to find something extra. He demonstrated this amazing capacity when he raced at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The night before his 800 metres race, he was struck down by a mysterious illness. He still competed – and won, with what turned out to be glandular fever! He also won gold in the 1,500 metres, proving what an exceptional athlete he is. London 2012 Games were a huge challenge. He competed in several events, from the 800m through to the marathon. He scooped three gold medals in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m. Going into the marathon, he was feeling - not unsurprisingly tired and drained. When asked what it was like, he replied, “Horrible! There was a lot of pressure”. But his competitive spirit came out once again. He thought to himself, “I can’t go home with three golds and a silver. It doesn’t look good!” Pretty soon into the marathon he was struggling though. “At three miles I didn’t think I could do it – I was emotionally drained”.

There were two other athletes working against him as well, tactically trying to make the race difficult for him. This is one of the things that spurred him on to eventually win, along with a shot of beetroot juice that gave him an extra kick when he needed it. The gold medal was his. After such an intense period of mental and physical challenges, David understandably needed some time out and spent most of 2013 with his family, taking a much-needed break from training. In an interview in the latter part of 2013, David hinted at perhaps competing again in the future. When asked if Rio could still happen, he answered, “probably”. Now, he is 100% sure of his desire to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He is hungry again for medals and records. This year he will compete in both the London Marathon and the Boston Marathon (less than a week apart), going for his seventh win at London. Aside from his family life, competing, and training , David has another passion. He and Jenny Archer have set up the “Weir Archer Academy” with the aim of passing on their knowledge of competing and training to the next generation of disabled athletes. The support and opportunities are geared towards all disabled sports, not just racing. David explains how people come up to him and tell him how he’s inspired them. “That’s what I want to do – to help people now. That’s my next part”.

upcoming races and great success with the Weir Archer Academy. You can find out more here: www.weir-archer-academy.com A few of David Weir’s achievements:

  

6 x London Marathon wins

Olympic Games 2008 – 2 x gold medals, 1 x silver medal, 1 x bronze medal

     

5 x Great Mancester Run wins Olympic Games 2004 – 1x silver medal, 1x bronze medal

Olympic Games 2012 – 4 x gold medals 2005 and 2008 – London Disabled Athlete Award 2006 – nominated for Sports Personality of the Year 2009 – MBE for services to disabled sport 2013 – OBE for services to athletics 2013 – IPC “Best Male Athlete” Award

Sources ITV Life Stories www.independent.co.uk www.wikipedia.org www.paralympic.org www.bbc.co.uk www.weir-archer-academy.com

We wish David all the best in his

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“The training we do is so hard, as demanding as any elite athlete in the world. When it’s freezing cold at the crack of dawn in the winter and you have to do 15 miles in Richmond Park, you feel it. It’s damp and your lungs are burning, you feel physically sick. The same can be true when it’s sweltering hot. Having said all that, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

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All runners will receive a handmade authentic “Save the Rhino” African in your minimalist footwear or barefoot – remember, rhinos don’t appreciated, and if you wish to donate more only the rhino’s will benefit!

Start: Kensington Close Hotel (Wrights Lane, Kensington, London W8 5SP) Time: 2:00 pm Date: 1st May 2014 Entry: Free - but we do ask for a £3 donation (kindly email your intention to run to senrab40@gmail.com by 18 April 2014 to ensure your bracelet)

Route: Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and surrounds Storage: Facility for leaving small bags at the start Location:

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bracelet with all proceeds going to the Save the Rhino Foundation. Run

wear shoes! Your ÂŁ3 donation to the Save the Rhino Foundation will be

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avid and I met up with a barefoot running friend of ours a few weeks ago and headed to a very wet, very muddy Richmond Park. Our friend, Martin, is an accomplished runner. He has several ultra marathons under his belt and does much of his running barefoot. This is not to make any kind of statement; to show off or to get attention. Like many barefoot runners, he is merely searching for the natural and true, trying to sift out the unnecessary parts of life and uncover the fundamentals of humanity. In doing so, he does like to test his boundaries. He won’t buy the latest Lycra or dry-wick clothing to help him out with his running; instead, he runs in jeans, a t-shirt and if it’s on the chilly side, a jacket. In fact, he had to argue his case to enter an ultra race recently because the organizers didn’t think he was taking it seriously because he wasn’t equipped with all the ‘must-have’ paraphernalia. However, despite his running experience, Martin commented that he was struggling a bit at Richmond Park. Up the hills, where the ground was relatively firm, he ran like the

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wind but on the slippery stuff he lost his footing several times. He wasn’t used to it and he ran tentatively, anticipating falling over which made him tense up. The three of us had a discussion about this. I grew up running on grass (and mud!) in the countryside and on the whole, have no issues with slippery ground underfoot. I am aware of it but my body and stride adjust naturally without me having to think about it. I don’t find it daunting in the slightest. David is slightly less sure footed than me – probably because he’s done less running on these kinds of surfaces than I have. Martin had a theory about his own discomfort on the mud. He told us that his father was an orthopaedic surgeon and that he was protective of Martin growing up, no doubt having had to perform dozens of surgical procedures on kids who’d fallen out of trees, fallen off their bikes or hurt themselves in some other way. Martin was taught from an early age to be very cautious – to pre-empt an accident before it

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happened. Children are very open to learning – some learn through being told (don’t climb out of the window), some learn through experience (mis-judging the distance between themselves and an object and banging their head) and some learn through a combination of these. The context of the learning is important; some of it has to be by going through the actual process so that a certain amount of common sense and judgement can develop. We had a great run on that day. Great runs, for me, often include thought-provoking conversations and our discussion about boundaries and risk-taking continued as David and I travelled home. On the whole, it seems that children are more protected from potentially physically dangerous activities (no one plays contact games at school anymore, for example) yet during our drive home, we had to avoid one youngster who walked straight out in front of the car, engrossed in his mobile phone, seemingly unaware that there might be some traffic on the road!


I recalled my own childhood again. How, as a parent, do you decide what a child should learn through their own mistakes and what they should be strictly forbidden to do? I never hurt myself badly as a kid, although I was out of the sight of my parents much of the time. They were strict about obvious things (not obvious to a young child though), such as not putting your hand near the fire or running with scissors - and I had to have an actual lesson in using a plug so that I didn’t electrocute myself! They were thorough in teaching me how to cross the road too. In other words, I was taught about the things that were actually dangerous. One of my sister and mine’s favourite games was the “Slip ‘n’ Slide”. You may have come across it – it’s a length of yellow plastic which you hook up to a water source which then streams out of each side to make a slippery slide. On the box are words of caution: Do not use on a slope, do not use near a wall, for children only, etc. Trouble was, our garden was on a slope, with our house (in other words a wall) at the bottom. So what did we do? Well, the Slip ‘n’ Slide went on the slope and we used the wall at the bottom to help us stop. Simple! Obviously sliding fast down a slope into the corner of a house is slightly hazardous so we dug out some old cushions from the garage and arranged them so that they ‘softened the landing’. It was the job of the person who had just slid down to re-arrange the cushions so that the next person could slide down safely. We had hours of fun with the Slip ‘n’ Slide. In the morning, my sister and our friend became quite skilled so that we were able to do other things at the same time. We gave each other sentences to shout out with the goal of completing the sentence before we hit the wall. I also remember doing the “Agadoo” actions whilst singing the song, one line per slide. As happens with naughty youngsters, our sentences began quite innocently but became more ‘daring’ as we went on. I remember whizzing down and shouting out, “Mrs Smith’s got big boobs!” (Name changed to protect identity). Innocent fun with a bit of mischief thrown in. Our friend’s parents turned up later on and

both dads decided to have a go on the slide as well. I’m quite surprised that the house is still standing with all the impact that corner took! The house might have taken beating on that day, but none of us were hurt, save from one grazed thigh early on when our friend went down the slide head first. The new rule after that was sitting-only sliding. I asked my parents recently whether they were worried about us or not and they were philosophical: “Understanding and being aware of the possible outcomes of activities should be the basis of adult supervision”, says my dad. My mum pointed out that the garden was never remotely a health and safety haven, what with the sharp slopes, rockery and steep steps, but that sometimes, “You just have to get on with it”. My sister fell over once and bruised her head, but that could happen anywhere. What I do know from hours of playing in that garden is that I am sure on my feet and quick to react, as well as not having any fear of challenging terrain. I think I took this for granted as a youngster but over my years of working with clients and their movement, it’s apparent to me just how important those early years are for being allowed to explore (albeit

within certain boundaries) and develop athleticism. Maybe it’s just me, but thoughts on danger seem to be topsy-turvy these days. On the tube the other day, a warning flashed up on a screen next to the escalators: “Are you wearing heels?” It said. “If so, please hold on to the hand rail so that you don’t fall”. I laughed out loud. Do people really need to be told these things? And that if it’s raining, the floor might be wet? How come there are never any warnings like, “Are you wearing high heels? Be aware that they will mangle your feet and affect your posture”. Or, “Are you sitting comfortably? Well, don’t. Stand up, because too much sitting will cause muscle imbalances and affect your circulation”. No – we are encouraged all the time to wear shoes that make us walk on our tiptoes, to sit and watch television, sit at the computer, sit and eat, sit and travel…sit, sit, sit. My mum’s view is that the internet is far more dangerous for kids than our Slip ‘n’ Slide ever was. That and crossing the road whilst using a mobile phone. I’m with her on that one!

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David’s laboratory Drugs in sport: Can they ever be justified?

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n the 12th December 2013, four times US Olympic Gold Medal sprinter Michael Johnson told a Doha GOALS (Gathering of all Leaders in Sport) Forum that athletics will never be drug free and without the Olympics, the sport would be nonexistent.[1] Johnson stated that, “Athletics has a zero tolerance policy with drugs and in a way, we have kind of suffered because of that. Since we control it more than most sports, we have more scandals and more people caught”. Johnson continued with, “Despite that, you are never going to have a situation where no one cheats – athletics is a microcosm of real life and in real life you will always have people who cheat. It’s unrealistic to expect athletics to be a drug free sport. Other sports may have fans that can put up with it but in athletics the fans want to see the Olympians hold true to the Olympic ideal and values.” Johnson is not alone in this view. Many people believe that cheating, especially through the method of drug taking in sport, is inevitable particularly with the high stakes and financial prospects now possible. I believe that it’s more realistic to expect, with the pressures to succeed, that certain individuals, be it athletes, their management team or coaches, will cross the line in the hope that they can out-smart the system and be able to gain an advantage without being detected.

But how and why do those who take drugs think that they are above the law, so to speak? And is it time to stop the drug-enhanced athletes from taking part? Firstly, we have to understand what are considered performance enhancing drugs (PED’s), and how they are monitored, to come to any conclusion.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) first instituted doping controls at the French Winter Olympics (Grenoble, 1968[5]) and then again at the Summer Olympics, Mexico City, that same year[6], but it was not until 1975 that the most common PEDs - anabolic steroids were included in the banned substance list.[7]

Administration and monitoring is the responsibility of an independent, international organization, created back in 1999 after major doping scandals hit the World news. The mission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which is governed and funded by both the sporting/ Olympic governing bodies and the elected governments worldwide, is to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in world sport.[2]

This “List” has grown over the years to our present 192 banned substances and practices. These are monitored through random but regular blood and urine tests to a standardized internationally agreed testing programme, by using national accredited laboratorial organizations, such as the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) here in the United Kingdom, who coordinate testing programmes for over 40 individual sports.[8]

As of 2014 it has banned around 200 performance enhancing methods and drugs, including adrenaline, alcohol, marijuana, diuretics, and beta blockers. Interestingly, alcohol is only banned in 6 sports, including shooting and motorsport.[3] A performance enhancing drug or method is included in the "World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited List" if it meets two of the following three criteria[4]: 1. It is performance-enhancing 2. It is harmful to the athlete's health 3. It violates the spirit of sport However, 1999 was not the first time that doping controls were invoked.

UKAD has the authority to test any athlete that has entered a competition or has been named as a member of any competing team that is eligible for testing as part of the UK Anti-Doping national anti-doping programme, supported by WADA, be it in or out of competition.[9] WADA defines in-competition as: “The period commencing 12 hours before competition…through to the end of such competition and the sample-collection process related to such competition, unless stated otherwise by the rules, in this instance, of the International Federation (IF) or other relevant anti-doping organization”.[10] The athletes selected for testing are

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determined by the governing sports body in conjunction with UKAD and based on any of the following eight criteria to keep if fair and totally random: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8.

Finishing position in the event Randomly by lane draw Discipline, category or round A set number of players from each team (usually using random selection) Pre-selected testing Qualifying for national representation Achieving a World or National record (most sports will not recognize the athlete’s achievements until such times that they have been tested and a negative result has been returned) Random selection using the National Registered Testing Pool (NRTP) - a register of all eligible athletes who are legally required to provide information pertaining to their whereabouts at all times, so that the UK Anti-Doping officials can successfully locate them to collect blood and/or urine samples.

As you can see, the more successful athletes will probably be under the

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spotlight more than others. Take Jamaican Sprinter and multiple world record holder, Usain Bolt, who was tested internationally more than 12 times in 2012.[11] This was partly due to his on track success but also to politics in the athletic world, as the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) had failed to keep up national (out-of-competition) testing because, according to JADCO chairman, Herbert Elliott, “there was no money in the coffers for out-ofcompetition testing”.[12] Reportedly, JADCO only conducted 96 in-competition tests in 2012 before the London Olympics, all in May and June at an invitational race meet and the national trials. But away from the competitive events, there was no Jamaican testing for five of the seven months before the opening of the Games, and it is oversights like these that throw into doubt the effectiveness and credibility of national testing laboratories and therefore the entire drug testing policy.[13] In the United Kingdom athletes are very closely managed. The UKAD notify athletes nominated for inclusion in the NRTP to supply details of their whereabouts on the Anti-Doping Administration and Management

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System (ADAMS), or “The Whereabouts File”. This means that on a quarterly basis, the eligible athlete is mandatorily required to provide a one-hour slot between 6:00am and 11:00pm every day where they can be located for testing, along with an overnight address. Athletes are able to update their information as and when their schedule changes, either online or via text message, up to one minute before their designated hour commences, give them some flexibility. Failure to provide this information can lead to an anti-doping rule violation.[14] These violations can have great consequences, from small term to lifetime bans, financial penalties, removal of past achievements such as wins and world records, as well as teammates and countries being disqualified. The first reported time of teammates being disqualified for violating the Olympic drug rules was when the entire 1968 Swedish Olympic pentathlon team had to return their bronze medals because one member drank too much beer to calm his nerves before the event. A more recent example is the BALCO /Dwain Chambers scandal of 2003, when Chambers' 2002 relay European gold medal win was revoked, costing his teammates Christian Malcolm,


Darren Campbell and Marlon Devonish their gold medals in the process.[15] Interestingly, the Chambers 2003 case highlights the problems within the athletic world, as it was revealed that in August 2003 Chambers had provided a clean sample that was later re-examined in October after The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had commenced an investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) where Chambers’ coach (Remi Korchemny) and nutritionist (Victor Conte) worked.[16] It was found that Chambers had tested positive for Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), a banned anabolic steroid developed, in part, by Conte at BALCO.[17] Chambers claimed that his new coach, Korchemny, had introduced him to Conte as a way of providing him with specialized “nutritional supplements” which he took in good faith.[18] In fact, even after Chambers’ failed test, Conte still assured him that all the substances were IAAF compliant.[19] The BALCO Scandal uncovered a network of drug use in a wide range of sportsmen and women, including sprinters Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones[20], and led to both Conte and Korchemny being prosecuted for distributing illegal drugs to athletes in

their charge within the United States.[21] This last incidence highlights the fact that most athletes caught doping are probably not acting alone, but are often encouraged - or in Chambers case, hoodwinked (as he sees it) - into committing a violation. There are, in fact, cases where athletes have used extreme measures in an attempt to falsify their urine tests, such as pouring whiskey into the urine samples to mask any prohibited substance (alcohol is now not prohibited in most sports), wearing a special holding bag full of clean urine attached to a prosthetic penis and even going as far as inserting catheters into their penises, filling their bladders with drug-free urine.[22] This calls into question what some coaches and trainers are willing to do in the pursuit of glory. Many of the prohibited substances have also been linked to ill health and in some incidences have proven fatal. The first recorded death in Olympic competition connected to doping was that of Danish cyclist Knut Jensen, who died on 26th August 1960 at the Summer Olympics in Rome when he fell from his bicycle during the 100km team time trial race, fracturing his skull. Initially, it was thought that he had collapsed due to heat stroke from the high temperatures of that particular day, but the autopsy

revealed traces of an amphetamine called Ronicol in his system.[23] Research into the long term use of anabolic steroids in sport has been extensive, highlighting the damaging effects. One 2006 study found that of 52 former East German athletes using anabolic steroids during the 1970's and ‘80's, one quarter contracted some form of cancer, one third reported thoughts or attempts of suicide, while the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth was 32 times higher than the average in the German population.[24] Yet, even with these examples, many argue that PEDs and related practices should be legalized! Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Arlington, Keith Burgess-Jackson, JD, PhD, wrote in his article, “Performance-Enhancing”, dated 5th December 2004: "Part of me - the libertarian part - says that people should be able to use whatever substances they want when they compete. Those who don't want to risk their lives or health should take up another line of work. People who don't want to watch supercharged athletes can find another form of entertainment. But another part of me thinks there should be restrictions on what athletes can consume. The restrictions would be justified on both paternalistic and fairness grounds".[25]

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And it is not only the libertarian viewpoint that seems to drive many of the pro PEDs arguments. Indeed, some consider that by legalizing PEDs, it may be possible to remove the risks connected to them. The Chair of the Department of Philosophy at West Virginia University, Sharon Ryan, PhD, stated in her 2008 article titled What's So Bad about Performance Enhancing Drugs?, "It would be interesting to know the effects of PEDs under legalized and carefully monitored conditions. Athletes are buying drugs from people like Victor Conte, who has no pharmaceutical or sports medicine credentials, and they are shooting up in locker room stalls. If PEDs were used properly and developed in reputable labs by top scientists, perhaps the risks of PEDs would be much lower. Perhaps PEDs could be developed that have very little risk and enormous benefits. These are serious questions for the scientists to figure out..." [26] The problem, of course, is that while Victor Conte may not have any pharmaceutical or sports medicine credentials, his associate Patrick Arnold at BALCO did. Arnold, who is an organic chemist, was actually the creator of the designer steroid, Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) that Chambers was found to have taken, along with two other anabolic steroids, Desoxymethyltestosterone (DMT) and Norbolethone which were all at the centre of the BALCO scandal.[27]

Richard Callicott, former Chief Executive of UK Sport, holds a totally different view to Sharon Ryan, quoted above. In his piece, Yes or No? Question of the Week: Drugs in Sport, he stated, "As the national anti-doping agency we will never accept this [legalization of PEDs]. Performance enhancing drugs are not only prohibited because they violate the spirit of sport but because they can damage the health of athletes. The idea of allowing them in sport could lead to a situation whereby sportsmen and women are used as human guinea pigs for a constant flow of new, unregulated substances. The long-term effects don't bear thinking about."[29] Yet, is Callicott’s argument too black and white? The use of drugs is not the only way an athlete can gain an advantage. The golfer, Tiger Woods, reportedly has used LASIK eye surgery to improve his eyesight to 20/15, suggesting that he is able to see at 20 feet what an average 20/20 vision athlete can only see at 15 feet. Or Mark McGwire, a baseball player, who is believed to have worn specially designed contact lenses to improve his vision to 20/10![30] David Epstein sums it up best in his article, Better Cycling through Chemistry, published in 2006, by writing: "Do we want to see the highest possible achievements by men and women

I must point out that at the time of their creation, they were not on any WADA prohibited substance list and so were distributed worldwide to world class athletes from a wide variety of sports ranging from track and field to professional baseball and American football.[28]

who do not use performance enhancing drugs? If so, what counts as performance enhancing? Just this month [August 2006], the World Anti-Doping Agency discussed banning oxygen tents

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that endurance seeking athletes sleep in, in order to simulate a high altitude environment. Apparently WADA really does want normal men and women. By 'normal,' I mean they have armies of scientists, nutritionists, coaches, and physical therapists choreographing their every move, but no tents or steroids!” “If sports fans really want to see achievement that they can relate to, perhaps athletes should be restricted to diets of pizza and beer, and be required to have 40 hour a week desk jobs!"[31] I think he has a point. If WADA considered banning oxygen tents, shouldn’t athletes moving to high altitude climates also be considered, as only those with financial backing can afford to do this and are therefore at a considerable advantage. Furthermore, are the high volume training regimes at these altitudes damaging to the athletes? WADA eventually held off on banning the use of hypoxic chambers, but asked that studies look further into health implications.

They still don’t approve of their use, but as Dick Pound, head of WADA at the time noted, with the current information available, putting them on the list was not warranted.[32] I can see Michael Johnson’s point a zero tolerance policy does make athletics suffer, especially when you consider other sports and their lax attitude to drugs (you only have to open a tabloid newspaper to see some of the exploits the football [soccer] players get up to). However, I do think it shows the athletic and Olympic movement’s commitment to keeping the true spirit of sport alive. After all, if we aren’t ready to allow drugs to be commonplace in our society then we will be giving the wrong message to the up and coming stars of tomorrow if we slacken the


drug rules in sports. Consider a 2008 study by the Department of Health and Exercise Science of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) headed by Jay R. Hoffman, PhD, who looked at 3248 students from grades of 8 to12, in12 states of the United States. Using data collected by their teachers during homeroom or physical education class, it was found that in initial studies, adolescent anabolic steroid use ranged from 6 to 11%. However, recent investigations suggest it may be lower at 1.6 to 5.4%. Whatever the level is, it is still too high! The underlining issue was the influence that professional athletes had on these results. The study’s results suggested that approximately 20% of high school age students, both male and female, had been influenced by professional athletes in their decision to use anabolic steroids. When the students were asked whether professional athlete’s drug usage had influenced their friends’ decisions to use, positive responses rose to nearly 50%![33] While the results of this study do not provide conclusive evidence that there is a definite correlation between professional athletic usage and adolescent drug use, it does suggest that adolescents are influenced by media exposure of their heroes using PEDs. To conclude, I think Michael Johnson has an extremely valid point: Athletics will never be drug/ cheat free; no sport will. However, the strict regulations do demonstrate the

commitment of the governing bodies to the sport and also represent the values of many fans who hold true to the Olympic ideal. We must also remember that, even with all the news coverage about drug cheats within the athletics world, they are still a very small percentage. A study found that of the 21,849 drug tests conducted at the Summer Olympics from 1968-2008, there were only 105 cases (0.49%) of recorded doping violations. Between 1968 and 2010, tests within the Winter Olympics recorded only 22 positive results (0.28%) from 7,783 tests.[34] On the whole, not such bad news!

References 1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8.

I’d like to leave the last word to Caroline K. Hatton, PhD, the former Associate Director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, who said, "An ongoing debate simmers about whether performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in sports. Some say they should be, especially in a pill-popping, tummytucking society where it is acceptable to use medicine to make healthy people better. Others say that sports would become a competition between pharmacologists, that giving drug use a free rein would open the door to serious toxicity when risk-taking athletes push the envelope, and that athletes would, more than ever, feel coerced to dope in order to remain competitive. In a curious dichotomy, perhaps the only area where there is no doubt or controversy is when it comes to young people: these drugs, especially anabolic steroids, are unanimously considered harmful to the young."[35]

9. 10. 11.

12.

13.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

33. 34. 35.

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Attias R & Associates. DOHA GOAL Forum. Athletics will never be drug free says Johnson www.dohagoals.com/ en/news/2013/12/athletics-will-never-be-drug-free-saysjohnson; 11th Dec 2013 World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA Appoints Sir Craig Reedie as its new President; 15th Nov 2013 UK Anti-Doping. Banned substances in sport. www.ukad.org.uk/athletes/performance/prohibited-list; 2014 World Anti-Doping Agency. The 2014 Prohibited list, International Standard: The World Anti-Doping Code; 11th Sept 2013 Dimeo P. A History of Drug use in Sport 1876–1976: Beyond Good and Evil. Kindle Locations. T & F Books UK (Kindle Edition); 2009 Olympic.org: Official website of the Olympic Movement. All the Fact- Mexico City 1968. www.olympic.org/ mexico-1968-summer-olympics; 2014 Hunt TM. Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping, 1960-2008 (Terry and Jan Todd Series on Physical Culture and Sports). University of Texas Press. ISBN-13: 978-0292737495; 15th Nov 2011 World Anti-Doping Agency. The 2013 Prohibited list, International Standard: The World Anti-Doping Code; 10th Sep 2012 UK Anti-Doping. Drug testing programmes. www.ukad.org.uk/what-we-do/testing-programmes; 2014 World Anti-Doping Agency. Athlete Biological Passport: Operating Guidelines & Compilation of Required Elements (Version 4.0); Nov 2013 Hart S. Jamaica may have failed to test sprint stars for six months building up to London 2012 Olympics, says Wada. The Telegraph Newspaper. www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/ athletics/10377459/Jamaica-may-have-failed-to-testsprint-stars-for-six-months-building-up-to-London-2012Olympics-says-Wada.html; 14th Oct 2013 Leicester J. Alarm at Jamaica’s drug-testing void. Business Day Live. www.bdlive.co.za/sport/ othersport/2013/10/15/alarm-at-jamaicas-drug-testingvoid; 15th Oct 2013 Leicester J. Jamaica Facing Doping Probe over Allegations Of Testing Breakdown Before 2012 Olympics. Huffington Post. www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/ jamaica-track-usain-bolt-drug-testing_n_4096390.html; 14th Oct 2013 UKAD Anti-Doping in Sport. Anti -Doing Fact Sheet: ADAMS and the National Registered Testing Pool; 2012 Chambers D. Race Against Me: My Story. Libros International. ISBN-13: 978-1905988754; 1st March 2009 Pampel C. Drugs and Sports. Infobase Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-6575-2; 2007 Davidson K. Drugs involved in BALCO case. The San Francisco Chronicle; 24th June 2011 Fordyce T. I was in gutter, admits Chambers. BBC Sport; 10th Dec 2005 Abrahamson A. Chambers’ Backup Test Also Positive. The Los Angeles Times; 7th Nov 2003 Holt, S. Stars dimmed by Balco's shadow. BBC Sport; 6th Dec 2004 Fainaru S. Four Are Charged in High-Profile Steroid Case: Professional Athletes Could Be Implicated. Washington Post; 13th Feb 2004 Stukan M. Pro: Drug testing for Athletes. 28th Jan 2013 Enemark Jensen K. Biography and Olympic Results. Sports Reference LLC; 7th Aug 2012. Spitzer G. Doping and Doping Control in Europe: Performance Enhancing Drugs, elite sports and leisure time Sport in Denmark, Great Britain, East and West Germany, Poland, France, Italy. Meyer: Oxford / Aachen; 2006 Burgess-Jackson, JD, PhD K. Performance-Enhancing; 5th Dec 2004: Ryan PhD. S. Department of Philosophy West Virginia University. What's So Bad About Performance Enhancing Drugs? Philosophy and Football; Aug 2008 The Guardian Newspaper. The Dwain Chambers Factfile; 29th April 2004. Fordyce, T. Man at the heart of the THG scandal. BBC Sport; 23rd Oct 2003 Callicott R. Yes or No? Question of the Week: Drugs in Sport. The Times; 1st Nov 2003 Tiger Woods undergoes second laser eye surgery. Golf Today; 15th May 2007 Epstein D. Sports Illustrated: Better Cycling Through Chemistry; 1st Aug 2006 Couvrette P. World Anti-Doping Agency holds off on oxygen-tent ban. Associated Press. USA Today. www.usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/2006-09-16wada-oxygen-tents_x.htm; 16th Sept 2006 Hoffman PhD. JR et al. Nutritional Supplementation and Anabolic Steroid Use in Adolescents. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal; Jan 2008 International Olympic Committee. Factsheet: The Fight Against Doping and Promotion of Athlete's Health; Jan 2014 Hatton PhD. CK. The Night Olympic Team. Boyds Mills Press. ISBN-13: 978-1-59078-566-9; May 2008

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school seniors to help them realize their potential. This help is available for kids regardless of gender, age, colour or race.

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Sources PBS “Jesse Owens” www.jesse-owens.org www.jesseowensmemorialpark.com www.chicagotribune.com www.biography.com www.wikipedia.org

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Competition closes midnight 5th May 2014. Entrants are open to all, aged 18 or over, except employees of TRC Publishing and their families, its printers and anyone connected with the competitions. No purchase is necessary. Email entries: Send your answer to competitions@bfrm.co.uk. TRC Publishing cannot be held responsible for any loss in service of the email entry mechanism, nor can any responsibility be accepted for entries lost, delayed or corrupted due to computer error in transit. Please note that when emailing entries, we will accept only one entry per registered user. If more than one entry for the same issue is received, we will accept the first entry only. We cannot enter into correspondence with readers who experience difficulties with entering competitions via email. Postal Entries: These should be sent to Barefoot Running Magazine, 21 Lyric Mews, Silverdale, London, SE26 4TD, please remember to state the issue number for which you are providing the entry on your correspondence. There is no cash alternative to prizes, unless specified, and no alternative products can be offered. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are delayed, damaged, mislaid or wrongly delivered. We can accept only one entry coupon per envelope. Prizes will be drawn in order of value from all entries received by the closing date. A winning entry is the first correct answer drawn. Prize winners will be notified by post/email on headed Barefoot Running Magazine paper and the results published. Winners must agree to the publication of their names and photos. The Editor's decision is final and no correspondence can be entered into. Entry implies acceptance of these rules.

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Outside the lab

utch scientists have suggested that our houses are too warm and that this contributes to weight gain. Doctor Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt has found that energy expenditure increases by 6% in a colder environment (he advocates a maximum of 19°C inside) which, over a period of time, can be quite significant in terms of energy expenditure and potential weight loss. Dr Michael Daly (University of Sterling) argues that being cold will make us reach for food and therefore will have the opposite of the desired effect. His research showed that 23°C seemed to be the optimal temperature for “thinner people” and higher temperatures tend to reduce appetite.

here is guarded optimism surrounding the discovery by two scientists, Ian and Lynne Hampson, suggesting cervical cancer can successfully be treated with a drug. The team at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, UK, found that the drug “lopinavir”, used to treat HIV, kills off pre-cancerous cells when inserted in capsule form into the vagina. Currently, the treatment of pre-cancerous cells is invasive and not without risk; at the moment, there appear to be no side effects from Lopinavir. The drug, although licensed, will have to undergo further investigation for this particular use but Ian and his wife are keen to get the ball rolling, reminding us of the sad fact that worldwide, one woman dies every two minutes of cervical cancer.

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esearchers at Granada University have recently investigated the benefits of beer as a postexercise drink. Participants were asked to run on a treadmill in hot conditions, after which their hydration levels, concentration and motor skills were measured. The group that was given beer after the workout fared slightly better than those who were allowed only water. The researchers suggest that the nutrients in the beer replace essential salts and sugars in the body whilst the bubbles accelerate the absorption of these nutrients. Sports drinks are designed to have the same effect, so it may just be a case of preferred taste although, of course, there are implications of drinking too much of either type of drink.

cientists are researching the possibility of building on the idea of a vaccine to help in the fight against cancer. There is already an existing vaccine which will guard against most potential instances of cervical cancer; however, there are so many types of cancer that it is extremely difficult to create vaccines for all of them. Vaccines usually work by injecting a weak version of virus into the body, which stimulates the immune system to recognize the virus and kill it in future instances of exposure. The trouble with cancer is the cells that cause it already exist in the human body but become mutated, effectively tricking the body to help them spread instead of destroying them. The current research aims to create a vaccine which teaches the immune system to recognize these dysfunctional cells and to fight them. This approach will not only lead to very effective treatment for cancer but also protection against it.

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Book review Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography by Mo Farah

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(reviewed by Anna Toombs)

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o Farah is perhaps someone who was unknown to the general public until his incredible performances at London 2012, on what is now known as “Super Saturday”, when he scooped two gold medals for the 5,000m and 10,000m events. Those who follow athletics will have come across his name several years ago, when he was a promising junior athlete. I certainly remember Steve Cram praising his ability and being disappointed for him when he didn’t qualify for the finals in Beijing after such success in prior competitions. In his autobiography, Twin Ambitions, Farah takes the reader through the ups and downs of his career whilst building a wonderful picture of his character – a dedicated athlete yet mischievous kid at heart with a strong bond to his family and his faith. As well as the book outlining Farah’s astonishing athletic career, he also tells the beautiful love story of him and his wife, Tania.

“A dedicated athlete yet mischievous kid at heart with a strong bond to his family and his faith”. Farah was born in Somaliland, the northern part of Somalia. Much of his childhood was spent there, learning the way of people who live in a country where life is tough. He writes, “In Djibouti [where he lived] everybody had to work hard for what they had. No one got given anything on a plate, but you wouldn’t find people sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got on with it”. It is obvious, as Farah’s story of tough training sessions and great personal sacrifices unfolds, that this attitude has been an integral component of his success. He goes on to mention talent; plenty of people would argue that Farah was born to run the way that he does, with that fluid style and long limbs of his. But he knows that talent only takes you so far: “There are some extremely talented people who fall into a trap of believing that because they have talent, they don’t

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have to work hard. I was never fooled by that”. Reading this autobiography helps you appreciate what goes into becoming a World and Olympic Champion. It’s mostly about hard work, but Farah is the first to admit that he’s had his fair share of luck along the way. When he moved to England, his talent was spotted almost immediately by his PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, who coaxed Farah to pursue his running career when originally he had hopes of becoming a footballer. Another case of ‘right place, right time’ came at the end of Farah’s time at school, when the High Performance Centre opened up at St Mary’s College and Farah was given a place there – instead of taking his other option of joining the army! Farah mentions several times that he found school work hard, especially as English was not his first language. The book, therefore, is not written in flowery, convoluted language but as though Farah is speaking directly to the reader, his sense of humour and fun loving character bouncing out from the pages. You get a real sense of how he was as a slightly naughty school boy, who then became a serious, successful runner but without losing his open-hearted, open-minded spirit. Farah is as proud of being British as he is of his Somali heritage. His account of his London 2012 races gave me goose bumps and he is so genuinely grateful to the crowd who gave him what he describes as a, “sixth gear”. The wins were even sweeter after his poor performance at the Beijing Olympics for which he’d trained so hard that he’d overdone it and was racing whilst his body struggled with fatigue. London 2012 was a culmination of spot-on training from his coach Alberto Salazar and also a wiser approach to his racing. As a runner and huge admirer of Mo Farah, I loved this book. It portrays perfectly how he has a raw talent but that it took many, many years of training to reach the standard he has achieved. He and his family have made sacrifices, including moving to the States and often not seeing each other for weeks at a time. Mo’s commitment doesn’t come

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Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography By Mo Farah Hardcover: £20.00 Hardcover: 384 pages Language: English Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (10 Oct 2013) ISBN-10: 1444779575 ISBN-13: 978-1444779578

across as something calculated, or something that has been especially difficult. I don’t mean that it seems he found it easy, but he just doesn’t over-complicate things. When you read this book, you’ll see how he is just open to things happening without over-thinking or overreacting. I believe that this aspect of this character has contributed to his ultimate success. He alludes to this part of his character several times and his wife recognizes it too: “Tania tells me that I have this ability to switch off rather than let something bother me. She’ll look at me and say, ‘how do you do that?’” If something needs to be done, he’ll do it, whether it is painful or not. This approach is evident in the story of how Mo and Tania eventually got together. Most of you will know that Mo is married and that his wife is very supportive of his career, but it was surprising to learn that Mo had first met Tania when he was fourteen years old and she was eleven. As the book progresses, Mo adds little snippets every now and then on the status of his relationship with Tania. They were friends for a long time before they got together but again, it is apparent that Mo didn’t try to complicate matters – he allowed the relationship to unfold as it was meant to.

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There are several lessons for runners in this book. We learn what it takes to be at the top and the mistakes that runners need to avoid. Mo has suffered defeat and injury through overtraining as well as getting the best results once he stuck to the rules: eat well, sleep well, train well. He is a big advocate of recovery time – he talks about the importance of rest almost as much as the training sessions themselves. Britain is lucky to be represented by such an extraordinary athlete. It is a great bonus though that Mo Farah is also such a genuine, honest human being; it means that his book is not only a wonderful insight into the development of an incredible athlete but also a heart warming and funny story. A highly recommended read and we look forward to seeing Mo compete in the London Marathon later this year!


www.n8pt.com gray@n8pt.com


“I’ve recently started minimalist running (in INOV8 shoes) and am up to 4km. I really want to try and go completely barefoot though. How should I go about it?” (Chris, Kent) This was a question that one of my clients asked me. We discussed the options and came up with a way to proceed that fitted with his current fitness level and his goals. As well as running, he was also following a varied series of movement programmes, including running drills.

After another couple of weeks, he began doing separate barefoot sessions. Mobilizing his joints first, followed by some drills barefoot and then a short barefoot run. He continues to progress this way, at the moment just adding a little bit to each run and making a note of how he feels the next day.

adjusting accordingly – if your feet are a little sore after your run but are fine the following day, this level is about right. If they’re very sore and the soreness continues the next day, you’ve done too much!

Hello, He still runs with shoes on at the moment as much of his running is done at night when it is still dark. As the evenings get lighter, he plans to do more running barefoot.

“I’ve been running in minimalist shoes for around six months. My pace is slower than it was when I ran in conventional trainers. Is this normal?”

This is just one way to transition. After each run, he began adding on a five minute barefoot walk. He did this for a few weeks, adding a little time onto his walk every couple of sessions. He then started to do a barefoot walk/run at the end of a shod run, interspersing the walking with little bouts of running.

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(Glenn, London) If you’re looking to transition to barefoot running, try and sit down with a coach and talk through the best options. It’s important to be aware of the weather (it’s much easier to transition if the ground isn’t too hot or too cold) and visibility. Essential also is paying attention to how you feel after each session and

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Hello Glenn, Ok. Number one: Is there anything hurting? Answer: No. Number two: Do you feel like you’re


doing something wrong or do you feel comfortable when you run? Answer: I feel comfortable – nothing feels wrong. Number three: Are you enjoying yourself? Answer: Yes! In that case, don’t worry about the speed! What is important is that you’re having fun and not getting injured which means you’re in a better place than a lot of runners out there. If you feel the need eventually to increase your speed, seek some training so that you can be guided safely. Speed work and drills are very useful in increasing your overall speed but for best results (and no injury) they need to be executed in the appropriate manner. As a starter, you could try increasing your speed between two lampposts on a run so that you’re interspersing your normal speed with burst of increased speed. You should only do this three or four times in a run initially and see how you feel the next day. Again, it is worth asking a professional to look at your form. We speak to a lot of runners who have been running for months without injury but as soon as they increase their speed, they suffer. Quite often your form will change as you increase (or decrease) your speed – this is something you need to be aware of and modify if necessary. Above all, keep having fun!

Hi David and Anna “Quick technical question: Is it a good idea for me to do bodyweight squats while I have shinsplints (MTSS) or will it aggravate it & slow the healing do you think? I also have a cold roller that I've been using. Do you think that would be OK, or should I just use the foam roller as it's a bit softer? It's my own fault, but I'd like to do the right thing to get this healed asap & it's been a long time since I last had running injuries to think about.” (David, Dorset)

Hi David Whereabouts (on your body) are you using the roller? I know that you’ve mentioned recently about tight/ sore calves. I’m wondering if you’re running too much towards the front of your foot, especially when running at speed. As with most injuries, your body just needs time to heal. I wouldn’t have thought body weight squats would be too much of an issue but I would recommend just keeping mobile, doing ankle circles, pointing and flexing your feet, etc. and general movements of your foot whilst non weight bearing. I don’t expect that squats would actually promote healing. There’s often conflicting ideas about heat versus icing. I would see what feels best. I would tend towards keeping the area warm (have you got any old leg warmers from the ‘80s?!) or try alternating heat with cold (warm water and cold is good for this). I think the main thing is to let your body do its thing and heal and then make sure you’re not pushing things when you get back to running. Perhaps because you spend most of your time barefoot, your mechanics aren’t right when you’re running in shoes. Speed (as you suggested) is often the culprit for injuries – or more specifically increased speed when you’re not ready for it. I sometimes think that with injury, it’s more a case of figuring out what not to do that might get in the way of the natural healing process, rather than trying to actively enhance the healing. Of course, you’re doing everything else right (I know you eat a clean diet) – i.e. not eating rubbish, processed food, etc. so that should help! Hope you heal soon – I know how frustrating injuries can be!

Send your running questions to Anna & David and they will endeavour to answer them for you: questions@bfrm.co.uk Barefoot Running Magazine

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Season in pictures A showcase of what you have been up to for the past 3 months

Roving Reporter, Chris Fielding, enjoying a race with a difference at the Pandemonium Series (see his account overleaf).

Left to right: Tracy Davenport, Gray Caws, Ian Hicks, Anna Toombs and David Robinson, members of “The Secret Squirrel Squad�, during a run around London!

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Half smile, half grimace: a pre-hypothermic Tracy Davenport at the Nuts Challenge obstacle race.

Ian Hicks running steadily towards the finish line at the Bath Half Marathon, sporting his favourite footwear!

Patrick Sweeney in Luna Sandals, running comfortably at this year’s Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon.

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or this issue’s challenge, I found myself lining up on the start line of the Pandemonium obstacle race in Warwickshire. It was going to be a serious mudfest and here I was wearing shoes made out of chainmail. Will we ever learn the lessons of history? Henry V would be turning in his grave.

applying a quick dagger through the brain. No daggers today but plenty of zombies brought in to liven up the proceedings. I was in a spot of bother.

What has this got to do with barefooting? Well...on the 25th October 1415, the battle of Agincourt was fought on a ploughed field after heavy rain. The heavily armoured French knights got stuck in the mire and Henry’s English bowmen slipped off their shoes and went barefoot through the mud with wicked daggers. The knights couldn’t move and the bowmen moved swiftly amongst them lifting visors and

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Anna asked me to take part in the Pandemonium obstacle race organized by Tim at Naked Strength and as usual, I accepted the challenge without thinking twice. I couldn’t help but feel that my life had been leading up to this point. As a child of 6, I made my way home from school with a friend. We would often take a detour through a disused, stone quarry and slide on our backsides down a big, earthy slope. We would

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climb rock faces and one day, after very heavy rain, our parents found us swimming in a large hollow that had filled up with water. I remember standing there dripping in my school uniform and trying to explain to my parents how it was good to be non-conformist. I was only 6. I think it lost in translation. I knew it would come in useful and today I was about to take those youthfully honed skills and attempt my first ever obstacle race. There is a certain gallows humour about obstacle racing that pervades everything. The grimmer, the better, it seems. We were informed happily that conditions were atrocious and that anyone asking about showers would be thrown in the lake. Excellent!


I have watched the rise of the obstacle race from a distance. When I first started racing around 30 years ago, they didn’t really exist. There was a TV show called the Krypton Factor which always ended with their famous obstacle course in the West Pennine Moors. As a teenager, I raced over the Krypton Factor course a couple of times and loved it. So why have I avoided obstacle races over the years? Taking a hard look at myself, I think it is a sort of weird runners’ snobbery. I emerged from my teenage years as a long distance fell runner. My obstacles of choice were Maiden Moor and Cat Bells in the Lake District. I was tempted by the emergence of the “Tough Guy” but then other races jumped on the bandwagon and they felt like brash new kids on the block. I have always bridled against the brash. I like my suffering to be quiet and understated and they felt a bit showy to me. I am so glad that Anna nudged me towards the Pandemonium. It wasn’t what I expected. I found a sub-culture of racers that I didn’t know existed. They are the obstacle addicts. They are obsessed. Like most new obstacle racers, I had a few concerns. As a child, my upper body had no problem lifting my weight. I climbed everything and jumped off things that I really should not have done. As a 44 year old however, my strength to weight ratio was playing on my mind. Frankly, I was worried that I would not be able to haul my carcass over the high walls. I had also seen the lake and knew it was going to be cold. What do you wear for a freezing obstacle race? I wanted to go barefoot but some of the course was over submerged rubble and that didn’t seem like an option. I settled for full body cover, cycling gloves and my trusty (not rusty) chainmail Paleobarefoot Paws. They allow me to feel almost everything but would give a little protection from sharp underwater hazards. The day was just above freezing, the wind was rocking the cars in the carpark and it felt cold. We were ‘minibused’ in to the start by our driver who set the cheerful, lunatic

tone for the day. I love the feeling of heading out early and doing something out of the ordinary. That was what I was feeling today. I felt alive.

wearing camouflage fatigues and high viz jackets was not lost and their laughs and good humour were in contrast to the quietness of the racers who had retreated into their own thoughts.

There were lots of groups milling around and if anything, everyone was a bit quiet and nervous. Nobody wanted to admit they were scared and nobody wanted to admit they were looking forward to it. It was a sort of hushed halfway house with most people huddled quietly in the lea of the registration tent with cardboard cups of hot coffee.

A number was permanently marked on my hand as I stood next to a woman in a wetsuit. Maybe I was under dressed. The pre-race briefing was fun and the laughter settled a few nerves. This was good natured madness for grownups. Keep safe and don’t moan seemed to be the order of the day.

The cadets brought in leant a military air to the proceedings. The irony of

Suddenly, we were off and running straight into knee deep muddy

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water. I quickly realized that there was going to be a bit of standing around at obstacles early on and settled in near the back of the pack. The first large barrier was a huge farm trailer. I could see teams working together to haul runners into the back. I was pretty sure that there was no way that I was going to be able to get in without help. It was here that the magic of the obstacle race emerged. A grinning runner reached down, grabbed my arm and hauled me upwards. I grunted a thanks and reached down to help the runner behind me. I had my hand pleasantly knocked away. Some obstacle racers feel the need to do it themselves. Fair enough, I jumped down into the mud and ploughed onwards. The energy sapping grass and obstacles were taking it out of me more than I had expected. This was going to be a challenge. As I approached the lake, I could hear the shrieks. That is the secret of a good obstacle race. The anticipation, the exhilaration and the dread. I watched those ahead plunging into the water. It was so cold that a few runners were turning back. As everything but my head went under, I knew why. The freezing water was a shock to the system. I stumbled out of the other side and found myself immediately rolling through what appeared to be sheep dung. It was a warm and surprisingly pleasant contrast to the cold water

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and then we were off again. Despite my worries, the exertion was keeping my temperature up and I spent the next half mile squeezing water out of my gloves and settling into a rhythm. I decided to take it easy on the first lap and then speed up if possible on lap 2. The high wall appeared on the horizon. This was the thing I had feared the most. Fortunately, there was a marshal giving boosts with his huge cupped hands. I grabbed the top, pulled myself upwards and bent my knees for the long drop on the other side. I slid down a couple of muddy hills on my backside as we approached the start line again and then we were off for lap two. My old racing brain kicked in and I started to up the pace and reel a few people in. I was beginning to really enjoy myself and was searching ahead for the lake. I was looking forward to it this time round and plunged straight in. The shock of the cold hit me but this time, I was like an old hand. I used the guide rope to pull myself hand over hand through the water and clambered out on to the far bank. The field was stringing out and I found myself alone as I reached the undead woods for the second time. I could see zombie shadows in the trees ahead but they held no fear for me. I knew how they felt. Alive and dead all at the same time! The finish line approached and the final few metres involved crawling through what can only be described

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as stinking, farmyard mud. I was grinning from ear to ear. I retrieved my gear from storage and slipped off my chainmail shoes. They had been superb. My feet had felt light and nimble and I was surefooted even on the muddiest of slopes. They had been a good choice. I headed into a big, old tent to get into some warm, dry clothes. It was here that I got a bit more of an insight into the obstacle race runner. There were runners here who had completed obstacle races the day before and had ones planned for the next weekend. Here was a whole sub-culture of obstacle racing junkies. They were swapping tales as we changed and the stories were getting taller by the minute. Standing there, shivering and muddy in an old army tent, Henry V’s Agincourt speech came back to me. We truly did feel like a band of brothers. We survived the day and will be telling the tale into our dotage. I wonder if the survivors at Agincourt smelled as bad as I did. One way or another, I have a feeling that the Pandemonium will be with us for a long time to come. The Pandemonium is one of a series of races organized by Tim and the team at Naked Strength. For more details check out their website at http://nakedstrength.co.uk/


Training & Treatment Workshop London, UK • 21-25th May 2014 www.sock-doc.com for details


Injury Corner This is why you’re still injured by the Sock Doc

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njuries suck, that’s all there is to it. Oh, but there’s more. Injuries are a big reason as to why an athlete can’t get past a certain performance ceiling. If you’re training improperly as you try to take your fitness to the next level you’re probably going to get injured sooner or later. That injury will not only prevent you from achieving your goal, but now you’ll spend weeks if not months or longer recovering from the injury. Obviously this means you’re going to lose a huge amount of fitness and if or when you return to your sport you’ll be spending a lot of time making up lost ground. So why do athletes get injured? Of course aside from some unlucky trauma/accident, you suffered an injury because your training formula became imbalanced. Essentially you trained too hard and/or took on more stress than you were able to balance with your rest and recovery. It’s as simple yet as complex as that. Call it overtraining, overreaching, or under-recovered – it really doesn’t matter in the end. An injury is an injury. You don’t just suddenly become injured. You don’t just wake up one day and step down from your bed and have plantar fasciitis. You don’t just bend over to pick up your pen and throw your back out. These injuries take some time to develop and often there are warning signs and symptoms that are present as your body is letting you know you need to change what you’re doing and chill out or it’s gonna get bad. Let’s look at five main reasons an athlete becomes injured. These are also the same reasons why an athlete

often doesn’t recover as fast as he or she should. These are also in order of importance – in other words, more athletes are injured or not healing properly due to a dietary problem than because of a footwear problem.

comes to injuries. There’s a reason these fats are the most abundant fatty acid in our brains. I’ve always told my patients that if they could only take one fat then it should always be butter before a fish oil supplement.

An Injured Athlete’s Diet

Carbs: Speaking of inflammation, cut out most of the carbs if you’re injured. Too many carbs, especially those refined, will lead to too much inflammation. Plus, there’s a link between high insulin levels and gait imbalances in people. That means that if you have too much insulin then you won’t move well and if you don’t move well then you’re at a greater risk of injury and you’ll heal much more slowly.

Biochemical and nutritional problems are by far the main reason athletes get injured and don’t fully recover. Nutritional problems can range from a lack of protein to too much caffeine. Biochemical problems are more due to nutrient deficiencies either from depletion or even free radical damage from too much oxidative stress – often from training too hard and not recovering or eating well. Protein: I’ve always observed athletes to perform their best when they consume approximately 1.5g of protein per kg bodyweight. For those who are injured then around 2.0g, if not a bit more, may be necessary. This needs to be high quality protein such as eggs, meats, fish, clean undenatured whey protein, and even a bit of dairy if tolerated. Beans and rice won’t cut it. Fats: Arachidonic Acid (AA) – Though they are given a bad rap for creating inflammation it’s only because those AA fats which do are the ones the body makes from converting omega -6 vegetable oil-type fats (often refined) over to inflammatory AA fats. Naturally occurring AA fats from egg yolks, butter and other high fat dairy sources, and grass fed beef have amazing healing effects when it

Remember that proper sugar metabolism has a lot to do with joint repair – GAGs (Glycosaminoglycans). So chill out on the treats when you’re injured. Aside from paying specific attention to the protein, carbs, and fats as just discussed, don’t forget that when you’re injured you need more nutrients, often minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and manganese. These are all very individualized so I don’t want to discuss them any further here and I’m not keen on someone taking a multi-supplement. Multis never work as they just keep nutrient imbalances in their imbalanced state rather than correct an imbalance (if you’re lucky enough to get a good product). Load up on the vegetables when you’re injured and even as part of a healthy injury-prevention program, especially when you’re training hard.

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Too Much Stress and Not Enough Rest The harder you train and the more frequently you train, the more you need to rest and recover. This means not just a restful night’s sleep but also lowering daily stress to the best of your ability. Though many trainers, coaches, and physicians like to promote HIIT training as a “quick and effective time efficient strategy” for those living a busy lifestyle, I say the exact opposite. If you’ve got too much going on and live a stressful life, then your exercise should be more aerobic with perhaps some strength tossed in when appropriate. HIIT training at this time is only asking for trouble. If you’re training mostly aerobically, especially if those training bouts are of long duration, (as you get over an hour for running, for example), you need to balance this with more recovery.

Training and Racing Improperly This one is much like #2 where if you’re training too much, you need to rest more, but it also considers those training way too often and too hard – or both. There’s a race somewhere close to where you live every Saturday and Sunday; some people even race twice in one day – it can get a bit crazy. Plan your

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schedule and plan your races. You can’t race effectively and remain healthy if you’re racing hard all yearlong. Likewise, you need times when you chill out on the long distance and stay away from the high intensity anaerobic workouts. Don’t get stuck in a rut by doing the same type of training over and over all year-long, only to wonder how the hell you suddenly got injured. You need periods of more steady aerobic work, periods of more strength, and periods of high intensity which are all

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dependent on how fit and healthy you are as well what your goals are. Every workout should have a purpose and workouts should be changing and developing as you develop as an athlete.

Old Injuries Haunting Athletes For some people, often the ones I see in my office, this is the main reason they are unable to recover from an injury. It’s also the reason why some people get injured over and over. It’s not uncommon for an old ankle injury to still be affecting your gait and next thing you know your knee or hip is injured even though there is no longer any apparent pain in the actual ankle anymore. The problem with these types of injures though is that they’re super difficult to correct since most physicians and therapists don’t know how to identify them and the athlete no longer feels pain or discomfort in the previously injured area – so they go untreated. My best advice here is to make sure you find a good doc and/or therapist when you’re injured to make sure, to the best of their ability, that your injured area is fully functioning, (strength, range of motion) – not just pain-free. Of course, if you’re having to wear orthotics or take NSAIDs because of your injury and that’s how you’re getting by, then you haven’t corrected anything; you’re just some moments away from the next injury waiting to pop up.


Wrong Footwear, Poor Economy, Your Form Sucks Some people like to say that the reason runners are so easily injured is because running is such a repetitious activity. If you’re having a problem in your ankle then landing on that 80-90 times a minute for 30-60 minutes is going to quickly become a much bigger problem. Of course this is true for most sports in general whether you’re swinging a tennis racket (shoulder/elbow) or pushing a bike pedal (hip/knee). If your form is poor then you will eventually develop an injury. Footwear, as I discussed last month and in many other SockDoc articles, is a major reason why athletes get injured. Orthotics are a big reason why athletes never heal up properly and continue to move with poor form/economy and get injured again (often a new injury) later on. I put footwear as number five on this list because although it is important, there are far more athletes injured because of poor diet, improper training, and just too much stress overall. But footwear is an issue and, for some, it is their only issue, especially if their shoes are thick and over-supportive.

Change Your Plan No, you’re not injured because you forgot to stretch or because you forgot to ice before and after your workout. If you need to do these things then you’re already broken and you’re just buying time before it gets even worse to the point where you can’t train at all. If you’re injured and not healing then don’t keep doing what you’re doing, (assuming that you’ve been injured for a very long time). Undergoing the same therapy month after month with no success will not all of a sudden heal your body. Get a second opinion and seek out a doc or therapist with a different perspective. And going for a second if not third MRI isn’t going to magically heal your injury either. Consider what you’re not doing right, (per the list above), and what you can change for the better. Sometimes it’s the little things such as tweaking your diet, assessing and treating a specific muscle, or changing how you’ve always done something a certain way that can be the difference between slow or no progress to a fast and full recovery.

Otherwise known as the ‘Sock Doc’ because he advocates being barefoot whenever possible and socks as the next best thing, Steve Gangemi is a highly experienced physician and coach. He is a chiropractic physician and has training in functional neurology, biochemistry, acupressure meridian therapies, applied kinesiology and dietary and lifestyle modification methods. Steve is also a certified MovNat coach. His approach with his clients is holistic, addressing the whole body when looking at movement function, as well as taking into account lifestyle and nutritional habits. Steve practises what he preaches which is evident in his admirable athletic achievements, including 20 Ironman competitions and numerous triathlons. Steve runs a busy clinic in the US as well as generously offering many fantastic articles and insights through his website. www.sock-doc.com

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Technical tip Cooling down by Anna Toombs

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ast issue we discussed warming up so it made sense to talk about cooling down this time! Do most recreational runners cool down? Probably not. Or, if they do, they could be using their time more effectively. What is the purpose of cooling down? It really is the reverse of warming up: the idea of warming up is to prepare your body for what lies ahead. Cooling down allows your body to deal with what you’ve just put it through. It is generally a good idea as part of a warm up to raise your heart rate gradually. Again, the opposite is true for cooling down; if you’ve just finished your run with a bit of a sprint finish, you shouldn’t just suddenly stop. Even more importantly, you shouldn’t lie down. Your heart rate is raised and blood is pumping at speed around your body so if you stop moving suddenly, something called “blood pooling” occurs where the lack of movement stops blood from flowing back up your body which can make you feel a bit light-headed. When we looked at warming up, one of our suggestions was to be aware of what you are doing prior to your run. If you’ve had an active day, a structured warm up isn’t necessarily required. Cooling down is similar – if you’ve added a run into an active day and you’re planning to follow your run with some gardening or some other, more gentle, physical activity, you may find that you naturally cool down as your day progresses. Conversely, if you’ve grabbed a quick lunch time run and are heading back to your desk for an afternoon full of sitting still, you may want to be more sure of a thorough post-run routine. So, bringing your heart rate down gradually is a good rule to follow. That’s easy enough – you can just slow your run down to a jog and then to a walk. It’s still quite traditional (especially in studio classes) to throw in some conditioning exercises at the end of a cardio workout. This can be quite useful as it keeps the blood flowing and can stop joints and tissues from ceasing up. If you don’t have the energy or the time, you can just move through a series of mobility exercises again (hopefully you did some of these prior to starting your

run) as this can help alleviate stiffness /soreness later on in the day or the following day.

Stretching Another, even more traditional part of cooling down is stretching. What a minefield this topic is these days! On the whole, it is agreed by those in the field of fitness that static stretching as part of a warm up does more harm than good. Furthermore, there are increasing numbers of fitness professionals who argue that post-workout or post-run static stretching is also a waste of time. I’ve read several accounts of people who have been plagued less with injury once they’d stopped static stretching. In my experience, the

need to stretch becomes less the more a person works on improving their overall movement and how well they can balance their day to day living so that they are active for as much of the day as possible. There are studies to suggest that stretching helps to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness but again, in my personal experience and other anecdotal evidence, loosening and taking the time to cool down can have the same effect. If you’re not sure how well stretching after a run is working for you, try to incorporate some active/dynamic stretching or yoga into your non-running days and see if this helps your overall flexibility. Bear in mind that the more fluid and unrestricted your movement becomes, the less you’ll feel the need to stretch after a run.

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Icing When David [Robinson] and I go for a run, it’s a real bonus if we’re somewhere that has a pond or a lake for some post-run icing. David stands in the middle of the duck pond at Clapham Common at the end of every run we do there and the benefits are immediate (even though he does get lots of strange looks). Many barefoot runners in particular suffer from calf stiffness after a run and dangling your legs in a pond or even in a bath of cold water at home can help to cool you down and disperse any lactic acid build up in the tissues. Athletes often use icing as part of injury treatment

or injury prevention. Of course, it’s not always possible to ice your legs after a run but very useful if you can manage to incorporate it. Sometimes just two or three minutes are enough. As always, awareness is key. If you’ve been for an easy, short, leisurely run your cooling down requirements will be different than if you’ve pushed things to the limit doing an interval session on the track. In Mo Farah’s book (Twin Ambitions: My Autobiography), he comments on how surprised he was when he first started training with some Kenyan runners and learned that they spent a whole 45 minutes cooling down at the end of their

workout. This is obviously at the top end of the scale and many of you will sometimes only have a total of 45 minutes for your warm up, run, cool down and shower! If this is the case, be aware that your official cool down might be very quick (or non-existent) and in this instance, keeping mobile during the rest of your day is essential. Although not technically part of a cool down, it’s worth mentioning recovery. Appropriate rest time, good nutrition and sleep are also essential in allowing your body to operate at its best.

Running fact 14.

Did you know

Olga Bondarenko from Slavgorod, Russia, was the first woman to win a gold medal in the 10,000 metres, at the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea

Running fact 15. The Arkadian huntress, Atalanta, is the Greek Goddess of Running

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A comprehensive guide into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of barefoot running. The book explains the theory behind running barefoot as well as providing practical advice, drills and exercises to help readers improve their running technique. Although the emphasis is on barefoot running, this book is useful for any level of runner, whether barefoot or not.

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Winter 2012/13

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Available direct from www.trcpublishinguk.com


Nutritional nugget 10 things I wish I knew before I went vegan by Matt Frazier (No meat athlete)

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ow do vegans possibly do it?

Even after I became vegetarian, I turned this question over and over in my mind. I knew that I wanted to quit eating animal products but just couldn't imagine making it work. I had even tried a vegan diet for a month, only to learn in the process that I wasn't ready. The commitment to officially say "I'm vegan" was a decision I deliberated about for a long time. In the end, it took two full years before I completely cut out eggs, milk, butter, and cheese. But when the time was finally right, there was no question about it. Two and a half years later, now that this once extreme lifestyle now feels familiar, I have just enough perspective to wish I could go back and give my pre-vegan self (or someone else in my shoes) a few pointers. So whenever they give us the promised time machines and jetpacks and I get the chance to go back and talk to that guy, here's how I'll help him prepare:

1. The jokes will never stop So get used to them, and understand that they don't necessarily indicate a lack of respect. My dad's favourite line, when he tries some of our food: "This would be great with some meatballs!" It's a joke, of course, and the fact that he says it so often has itself become a joke. But just about every family or friendly gathering yields a joke from someone who must think they're the first to make it. "Want me to throw a steak on the grill for you? Oh, that's right... ha ha ha!" An uncle once presented me with a single piece of iceberg lettuce on a plate and announced, for everyone to hear, "Hey Matt, look. Dinner!" I actually smiled at that one. Get used to the jokes. Laugh them off, or take the opportunity to explain how important your diet choices are to you. Up to you.

2. Giving up the cheese isn't nearly as hard as it seems I'm not saying that losing the cheese is easy. Life without cheese takes some adjustment, especially if you rely on it as an essential part of the few vegetarian dishes you can order in ‘normal’ restaurants. I thought I'd miss cheese as an appetizer, with a glass of wine or a beer. But it didn't take long to discover that when I replaced the cheese with nuts or crackers, these foods were just as satisfying for their saltiness between sips, and I felt a lot better ten minutes later.

meat is one of the more expensive items you'll buy in the grocery store. So if you just replace it, say, with beans that cost a dollar per pound, you'll bank some serious coin. And yet, I now spend one and a half times or twice as much as I used to on groceries. Why? Because being vegan has led me down the ultrahealth-foodie road. I shop at farmers markets and co-ops and Whole Foods more than I ever did before I was vegan, and I pay extra for organic. Going vegan led me to learn more about food, to the point that I'm scared not to be hyper-selective and skeptical about what I buy.

I thought I'd miss cheese on pizza. I quickly found that cheeseless pizza wasn't nearly as good as the real thing, but it did the job, and over time, I came to tolerate (and even like) Daiya. Now, vegan pizza is just pizza in my mind, and I haven't lost a thing.

I'm sure you've heard the adage by now: "Pay for it now, or pay for it later." The money we spend on the healthiest food possible is an investment in our future health that will pay off down the road.

As it turned out the key to giving up that last bit of cheese - which I clung to for months - was simply deciding to do so.

4. Most of your meals will be one-dish wonders

3. Being vegan doesn't have to be more expensive, but it will be If you do the math, there's no reason eating vegetarian or vegan should be more expensive than eating meat. At three, five, or eight dollars a pound,

Believe it or not, this has been the toughest part for me - I lost a lot of my interest in cooking when I cut meat and then dairy out of my diet. (I realize I'm in the minority when I say this; most vegan chefs I've talked to didn't discover their passion for food until they went vegan.) Here's what happened: First, vegan food took a little more

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work to prepare. Second, without meat or cheese to supply lots of protein and fat without carbohydrate, there wasn't the need to balance it with a high-carb side dish to keep this runner going. So instead of making two or three different dishes for dinner, I shifted to one-dish meals: pastas, smoothies, stir-fries, gigantic salads, and a grain, a green, and a bean all in one pot. It was a matter of practicality and simplicity, which, although less ‘gourmet’, fit perfectly well with other shifts in my lifestyle precipitated by my change in diet.

5. You will impact many more people than you realize I didn't expect friends and family to change as a result of my decision. I didn't set out to change anybody. But - completely aside from this blog - I've had at least half a dozen friends excitedly tell me about how they eat less meat now. Some have become pescetarian, vegetarian, and even vegan. People notice, even when your approach to influence is of the "quiet" form. So...

6. Be prepared for a feeling of responsibility, and the compulsion to hold yourself to a higher standard than before

you're so closely involved in it, most people have no clue about this. To them, vegans are still skinny and weak, by necessity.

There's a stereotype that vegans are skinny and weak. And it's a deserved one, because so many vegans have always been exactly that.

Of course it's your choice whether you want to play into this stereotype or make yourself a stark counterexample. For me, it has been the latter.

As the plant-based fitness movement grows, this is beginning to change. But keep in mind that even though you are aware of this shift because

The reminder that I'm an ambassador (as anyone who is vegan is, wittingly or not) has been a big part of my drive to stay fit, to go after ultrarunning accomplishments and to make an effort to keep on at least a little bit of muscle, even when running and my body type make that tough. The need to be an example goes beyond fitness, of course - for instance, I try hard to be the opposite of the stereotypical ‘preachy’ vegan, too. Many vegans find their identity in being preachy, which is cool, but it's not for me.

7. No matter how much you try to not make it a big deal, it's gonna be a big deal I haven't met vegans who are more laid back about it than my wife and I are. We don't try to get people to go vegan, we're supportive when people tell us they're eating more whole foods even when their diet is more Paleo than vegan, and neither of us is the type that enjoys debating

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about how anyone "should" eat. And yet, even with such a relaxed attitude and an avoidance of anything that could be considered pushy, I'd estimate that after we went vegan, we started eating dinners with family and friends about half as much as before, maybe even less. Being vegan is a big deal, whether you make it that way or not. Some people will think you're judging them and won't dare try to prepare a meal for you, even if only because they're afraid they'll do a poor job of it. Others just don't want to make the effort, and that's totally understandable. And while there's no reason we couldn't invite those same people over to our place just as often as before, I can see how a vegan dinner would be unappealing to less adventurous eaters, and as a result I think I extend the invitation a little less often than before (note to self: I need to work on this).

8. You will be pleasantly surprised at who your biggest supporters are The flip side of eating less meals with friends and family as a whole is that it will become delightfully obvious who thinks it's really awesome that you eat this way, who will go out of their way to make sure you've got something to eat at any event they host, and who will be eager to try your food and ask you intelligent questions about how you eat. This has meant a ton to me. It's a new and wonderful quality you'll discover in people you already know well and love - and when someone treats you this way, you feel recognized, respected, and loved in return.

9. Sometimes it feels lonely, but you are not alone I've never had a strong desire to ‘cheat’ for pleasure. More often that desire has been rooted in convenience or not wanting to make a scene, and tiny allowances in these situations are something I recently decided to take more seriously and abstain from entirely. But over the past two years, there have been a few points where I felt

like I was alone in the way I chose to eat, and those moments were tougher than any fleeting desire for gustatory pleasure or convenience. I've gotten through those times by reminding myself that I'm not at all alone. Thanks to the connections technology affords us, there is a huge and supportive community that will make you feel ecstatic about your choices, whatever they are. You only have to look for these people - and sometimes, you don't even have to do that. (You know the joke about how to find the vegan at the dinner party, right?) Long-term, it has been this connection with people of similar mindsets, in person but mostly online, that has made moments of doubt increasingly rare.

Matt Frazier is a vegan ultramarathoner and founder of the informative blog www.NoMeatAthlete.com, where he shares recipes, nutrition info and training tips for fuelling an active lifestyle with a plant-based diet.

10. You don't have to get weirder when you go vegan, but you will The fun part. Being vegan has changed so much else about me, encouraging me to explore my uniqueness and pushing me towards and beyond the edges of what's considered mainstream ... from ditching the microwave to putting broccoli in smoothies to owning very few things.

He recently wrote his first published book, "No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self."

There's no reason that I had to become vegan before I embraced weirdness. And there's no reason the choice to go vegan has to be the choice to go weird (outside of your diet). But for me, that's how it worked out. And I love it that way.

Yay? Nay? I've learned - mostly from blogging about my journey - that in many ways I'm not the typical vegan. So I expect that there will be plenty of agreement and disagreement with this post, and I'm looking forward to hearing it. Let me know what you think! Visit Matt's website for more articles like this at: www.nomeatathlete.com

No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self Paperback: ÂŁ14.99 Language: English ISBN-10: 1592335780 ISBN-13: 978-1592335787

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Caught in the web www.caughtintheweb.com/spring2014/issue11/page69

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Stuff that’s going on

his lively race event takes place this year on 1st June, with marathon, half marathon and relay options. You can make a weekend of it by attending the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and/or Saturday to check out the latest technology, clothing, and nutrition/training info available on the market. During the race itself, runners are treated to inspirational music from live bands every mile along the route, as well as cheer teams to provide extra support.

Events

For detailed info, visit: www.runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-diego

he self-proclaimed “World’s coolest marathon” will be taking place on 9th April 2014. This race is for runners seeking the ultimate adventure, adrenaline rush and sense of achievement. It is not run on road or trail but on 6 to 12 inches of ice, underneath which are 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean! Not for the faint-hearted! There will be around 50 competitors this year from 17 different countries. The entry fee (11,900 Euros) is, by necessity, beyond what many people can stretch to as it incorporates everything required for the journey, such as flights, medical treatment, accommodation, etc. There may still be places left; if not, there’s always next year! For more details, visit: www.npmarathon.com

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Stuff that’s going on

n April 16th 2007, 32 people were tragically killed in a shooting at Virginia Tech (VT) University. Ever since, an annual event takes place to reflect on and celebrate the lives of the victims. The race route is 3.2 miles, to represent the 32 who were killed. The race draws thousands of runners and provides the opportunity to all those affected to come together in mutual support and remembrance. The race organizers are grateful for all volunteers who are essential in helping the race to happen each year; you can register to join in the run, or to volunteer, via the website. The race itself takes place on April 12th this year, on the VT campus. Visit: www.recsports.vt.edu/fitness/events/32-run for more info

Events his event is going to be held at Newby Hall in North Yorkshire, UK on 13th April, 2014. Despite it being the National Championships, it is open to anyone and is billed as a great day out for the whole family. The race consists of a 10km run, a 40km bike ride and a 5km run. The running route is a flat, fast 5km loop – great for spectating and for PBs! The cycle route is three laps on closed roads, taking in some fantastic scenery. Entry is a very reasonable £40. For more info, visit: www.functionalfitnessevents.co.uk

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'm Tracy Davenport and this is my column. Now, by the time you read this 2014 will be in full swing and not that I want to detract from that in any way. Indeed, as I sit here writing this I get the sense that not only myself, but many of you out there, have also started the year right and feel that this is going to be a good year. I know that January tends to be the time when the media pumps us full of positive thoughts for the year ahead to overly compensate for the dreadful weather. I've personally felt that the past couple of years have been somewhat lacking in this department. Until now. Possibly, just possibly, it's me - perhaps I'm reading my bubbling sense of enthusiasm for 2014 into everything! But I'm sure it's not; there does seem to be a real air of positivity out there amongst you all. Not only am I seeing it through much of the social networking sites but also friends,

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family and the people I encounter on a daily basis, be it through work or otherwise. Do we believe that the recession has finally struck its hardest blow and we are now simply on the upshot? Or is it something else? Whichever way you look at it, the past few years have been tough financially for most people, including myself. We have all had to cut back on luxuries and try to approach things from a different angle and adapt to get by. Looking back over 2013, which will most likely feel a distant memory to most of you by the time you read this, there were a few things which stood out for all of us. Personally, quitting my job of almost 14 years and concentrating on my own business full time was received remarkably well by my husband, even though it meant we were a household with one less income (eeeek, scary!). It meant things were about to get even tougher for the foreseeable future.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Despite being difficult, I already know it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Now I have a job where I love every moment and the freedom to devote more time to myself and my family. I'm happier, which means they are all happier too. It's a simple equation. Another big thing for me was entering my first real race, the Saltdean Rise 8k, in October. I didn't really have an understanding of how this was going to affect me at the time. Sure, there were the obvious pre-race jitters about not having trained enough and concern that I would encounter some great big mythical monster of a problem and it was all going to go horribly wrong. Nothing did go wrong - in fact, everything went very right. You see, there were a few things which totally caught me off guard. I didn't expect everyone to be so friendly, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, I didn't realize my competitive edge would appear


(which I enjoyed) and I didn't expect to want to do more races when I'd finished. Crossing the finish line was like a high I'd never felt before and it was certainly addictive. By the end of the year I had completed The Color Run (American spelling), The Brighton Brooks 10K, The Santa Dash 5K with my family and friends (who normally would never have signed up for a race) and the Mince Pie 10 mile. The line-up for 2014 is looking pretty healthy too, with The Long Man 10K, The Brighton Half Marathon, The Bewl 15 mile, The Bluebell 10 mile and The Color Run again - and for good measure, I've thrown in the Nuts Challenge obstacle course too. So for all of you out there who think that they aren't fast enough, fit enough or the wind will be blowing in the wrong direction, but would really like to give it a go, I say to you just go for it! You'll surprise yourself I'm sure. My only piece of advice is to just be realistic of your capabilities with regards to distance and terrain. If you normally run 3 miles on the road, I wouldn't recommend you suddenly sign up for a 10 mile cross country. In fact, for anyone’s first race I would always suggest a 5K Fun Run so you can get a feel for the whole thing. Besides, with the number of runners in the UK being higher than ever, we are getting a really great variety in types of run. The Color Run, as mentioned, or the Electric Light Run; I personally have my eye on The Great Yorkshire Pieatholon for 2014, a 6k with 3 - count ‘em: 3! - pie stations! The same company is also currently working on the Great Yorkshire Wineathon - now that could have an interesting finishing line! As one of the many wonderful parts of my job, I get to do trade shows. I LOVE trade shows, the reason being that I get to meet you – and what could be better than spending my days talking to awesome, like-minded people about something we all have a passion for. It's hard to pin point any one of you in particular because I have met so many wonderful people! But lots of you I have remained in contact with and speak to regularly. I've even entered races with some

of you, like the Bluebell 10 mile - I met Laine Shepherd at the 2013 Running Show and can't wait to run with her on this beautiful path through the bluebells! How cool is my job, right? I know I'm very lucky. However, one of the people who stands out most to me is a very special man. I met Patrick Gilmartin at the 2013 Brighton Vegfest and he had recently made the decision to live a 100% Barefoot Lifestyle. I have to take my hat off to him - it isn't an easy thing to do for many reasons.

“I LOVE trade shows, the reason being that I get to meet you – and what could be better than spending my days talking to awesome, like-minded people about something we all have a passion for.” Now, there are a couple things about Patrick which make him special - in my eyes certainly, but for many too, it becomes an automatic label which he has chosen to live with day in and day out. This is why I wanted to describe him to you a little bit first: he's young, handsome, intelligent, sharply dressed, well educated and extremely open minded - well, you'd have to be pretty open minded to choose to live barefoot! Now, I’m not saying anything about being judgmental but if I had begun with the sentence “Meet Partick, he's a Barefoot Vegan” what might the image have been which sprang to mind?

He has been a Vegan for many years which, in itself, is a difficult lifestyle choice, not only in terms of the things he can use and consume but also the often negative response Vegans are subjected to. But he deliberated even more over becoming barefoot and for a longer period of time - than he did when he became Vegan. He said it was a much more difficult choice to make as it was a much more obvious declaration, which would, in turn, generate a lot of on-going reaction. Even the best of us have bad days here and there and he knew that he would have to be prepared, even on those bad days, to be asked the same questions he's been asked a million times over and have the same silly comments to deal with. This was a huge decision. I decided to meet with him to find out more about his decision and this is what he told me: His interest in being barefoot began at the age of 21 with a severe calf tear and his interest has grown over the years, studying anything he could find to inform him for the next 15 years until it led him to where he is today. At first, his interest was of a more biomechanical nature which, he says, slowly transformed to a spiritual realization. He has found that becoming barefoot is socially and morally grounding. He enjoys and experiences much more interaction with the world this way. Sure it is hard at times - of course it is - but he also says you simply can't have a bad attitude when you are barefoot, which I can believe! The more curious passerby will often stop to ask him questions which he is more than happy to answer, but there are always the ones who claim that, ”it's unnatural” (??!), unhealthy or unclean… you have to be equally prepared for all attitudes and learn to respond with a smile.

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Patrick tells me that people often find it difficult to class him or pigeonhole him, perhaps because, in this society, our shoes tell others the story of who we are and without them, I guess it's like taking away a dog’s sense of smell...they know what they see but just can't quite figure it out. Patrick told me an interesting story of when he was visiting a high end London gallery which happened to have a show on he liked. He was approached by the gallery owner who immediately presumed he was interested in purchasing one of the paintings and started discussing price...the gallery owner had presumed he was simply an extremely wealthy eccentric. Not for the first time, I might add. It's funny, Patrick is no hippy - he is a new breed of barefooter, a modern barefooter, who is not evangelical and who uses science and research to bolster his own personal experiences which have clearly deeply changed him. I get the real sense that this runs right to the core of his being and, despite it being part of who he is, it is now what he is.

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B

Running and Biomechanics Specialists Workshops and individual tuition to help improve running performance and reduce injury. Visit the website or contact us for more details. www.barefootrunninguk.com info@barefootrunninguk.com 0845 226 7302 BBrrB ae rfrfe tooR tRt utuRRnn uunn nniin n nn g M a aaaa a ggzg zaa zn nn eeeWA uutu te m 2enn 0rn12222 00/0 11113333 PPPP aa aagg gg eeee82 79 P a g e 7 7 A u t u m n 2 0 1 3 BBaa aea o reoefo foo fto o R u nnnnig ig in M gM ga MM gg iia n zize ie in SiAn A u m tuturm u m m 371 731 August 2011 Volume 1 Issue 2 Page 77

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Autumn 2013

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A conversation with‌ Podcast queen and Run Barefoot Girl, Caity McCardell

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few days ago I had the wonderful opportunity to talk again with Caity McCardell, host of the popular podcast “Run Barefoot Girl” and more recently, the Caity McCardell Show. Last time I spoke with Caity, she was interviewing me about my thoughts and experiences on barefoot running, mine and David’s book and Barefoot Running Magazine. I enjoyed the interview; Caity made me feel comfortable with her unhurried questions and soothing voice. She has a very professional approach but there’s a hint of her playful, fun-loving side always bubbling just below the surface. This time, it was the other way around and I was hearing Caity’s own story about her barefoot running journey which has had some amazing ups and some very disappointing downs. First of all, I wanted to know what had brought her to barefoot running. “The Book”, she laughed. She was referring to Born to Run by Chris McDougall, which has been read

by the vast majority of barefoot and minimalist runners. “He’s an incredible storyteller,” says Caity, who has actually interviewed Chris McDougall on her Run Barefoot Girl podcast. “He’s almost like a mythspreader. That book changed my life and I am so grateful for that”.

Caity lives in California where there is a great barefoot running presence.

Caity is a mum of two children, a boy aged eight and a girl aged eleven. She is a full time mum and during those first few years of parenthood, she was enveloped in a world of caring for her kids. “I was so focused on raising my children that I had lost sight of who I was. I know that is a pretty common experience for parents. Barefoot running re-focused me inside.”

Caity soon realized that there seemed to be more men running barefoot than women and she wanted to try and change that. She has a natural affinity for honesty and openness and a strong desire to learn from others and share this knowledge. This formed the basis of her idea for a podcast – plus the fact that she’s never had a problem with public speaking. At school, her peers all hated it but she has always been comfortable speaking openly in front of people. In fact, this natural inclination led her to choose a degree in Speech and Communication Studies.

Caity began running barefoot a few years ago, preferring pavement running to off road because it wasn’t such a challenge on her feet. She began to reach out to the barefoot running community and became friends with people whose names many of us are familiar with, such as Vanessa Rodriguez (Vanessa Runs), Jason Robillard and Luis Escobar.

Caity’s interest in communicating and sharing with women in particular doesn’t stem from any kind of radical feminism but rather a strong desire to share with her ‘sisters’ so to speak. We talked at length about our mutual belief in the way women used to sit together and talk about all manner of things, like childbirth and so on. In today’s society, that

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opportunity just isn’t there as we live increasingly isolated lives. “When women share their experiences I think it’s really beautiful because it’s like a lost part of our tribe or culture”, says Caity. Of course, although Caity’s Run Barefoot Girl podcast was initially women-focused, many of her two thousand listeners were men and she began to interview a whole range of runners, male and female, barefoot or otherwise. Caity’s personal experience with barefoot running is a familiar one, albeit with its own personal touches. I think many of us can relate to the almost ecstatic sensations we feel in those first initial weeks of taking off our trainers and feeling the ground beneath our feet as we run but then often feeling little niggles or injuries kicking in and wondering what’s gone wrong. For a while, Caity has been suffering with plantar fasciitis. The pain is tolerable now but for a while it was excruciating. When it first happened, Caity was almost heartbroken. We

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are sold barefoot running by the media as a cure for all running injuries – why was she suffering so much? She puts it down to mindfulness, or rather lack of it. She took her eye off the ball and it hit her square on the nose. “It was like barefoot running was my friend and I had sort of ignored that relationship. I took advantage of the relationship and I got injured and I felt hurt – you know, kind of emotionally hurt by it. It was a struggle – how could this thing that I love so much let me down?” The truth, as Caity and I discussed, is that there isn’t a great number of people who haven’t felt slightly disheartened by their barefoot running practice at some point in their journey. Caity is right though: It’s to do with mindfulness and we choose to be that way or not. Unfortunately, as Caity points out, “Mindfulness takes time – but people don’t have the time these days”. We go on to have a bit of a giggle

Barefoot Running Magazine

about Caity’s continued experiments with her running. She now runs predominantly in minimalist shoes on trails but has bought a pair of Hokas and even has – “It’s so weird to tell you this” – shoe inserts for arch support. “What really works”, she tells me, “is rolling out my calves, rolling out my body – you know, using trigger point therapy”. For a while when she first started suffering, Caity didn’t feel like doing anything to help herself and just felt unhappy and in pain. Soon, though, she was trying all manner of things and she’s reached a point where she’s running happily on trails again. I asked Caity about her new venture, which is another podcast, this time featuring interviews with actors, authors, musicians and comedians. If you have time, do check it out. I wanted to have a ‘quick’ listen to it before our chat but I got so engrossed in the interviews, I spent ages there! Caity has a very natural manner when she interviews people – a joy to listen to. She actually lets the interviewee speak which many


interviewers do not do! She also allows the interviewee to expand on their points, following them as they meander through their answers rather than trying to pull them back onto her schedule. Caity’s genuine thirst for knowledge and for sharing is apparent too. She asks the questions to which us listeners want the answers. Caity’s ultimate aim is to get picked up by a radio station (“or two, or three, or four, or five!”) and she is already interviewing some well-known people, such as Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay it forward which was adapted into a popular and successful film. I asked Caity about the differences between the two podcasts. She describes her latest one as “drier” than the Run Barefoot Girl one, which really just means that it has a slightly more professional edge to it as she’s hoping to take it into that world at some point. Run Barefoot Girl had a slightly more casual, fun element to it. There’s a lot more preparation involved in the Caity McCardell show too because the subject matter is more diverse. If she’s interviewing an author, for example, she will read their book, create a bio, list out questions, etc. If she’s talking to a musician, she’ll listen to their music, find out their influences, etc. She tells

me about the time she interviewed Daniel Lieberman, a big name in barefoot running. “I was so nervous I felt like I was going to throw up! I had scoured his new book from heel to head.”

“Yes! I do Crossfit and I’ll be doing jump rope. I won’t pee all over the place but it’s uncomfortable – a little pee does come out!” Caity is enjoying her new venture but does miss Run Barefoot Girl. “I miss the conversation and that fact that I knew so much about running!” Run Barefoot Girl, because it was purely a light-hearted podcast for runners, allowed Caity to take it in any direction she felt like. Some of you may have listened to the episode in which she, Kate kift and Krista Cavender discussed life, the universe and everything whilst drinking copious amounts of wine. The result? A very funny, very insightful conversation! “Yeah, that

one had more than two thousand listeners”, laughs Caity. She really doesn’t mind being honest. She explained to me that another issue for her at the moment and something she wants to share and talk about with other women is pelvic floor muscle weakness. “It’s like the new barefoot running for me – I feel like I want to start a new podcast!” I ask Caity if she’s had problems with weak pelvic floor. “Yes! I do Crossfit and I’ll be doing jump rope. I won’t pee all over the place but it’s uncomfortable – a little pee does come out!” At this point, as occurred several times during our chat, we went off on a tangent – two women discussing the intricacies of the female pelvis. Caity’s openness is really a very positive attribute for her podcast and interviews – it encourages her interviewees to open up too. She happily lays her cards on the table which immediately makes whomever she is speaking to more relaxed and willing to share. It’s not a tactic – it’s a personality trait which I think will bode very well for Caity’s future success in radio! One more thing I wanted to ask Caity about was the Born to Run

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rewarding”. The families who form the community eat together twice a week, sharing the cost of the food and taking it in turns to cook. There’s a business meeting once a month as well as a community meeting. I hadn’t heard of this type of set up before but Caity enjoys this way of living and of course, it suits her natural inclination to share. She’s very down to earth as she describes it to me: “ We are typical folks. We’re not all a bunch of hippies smoking pot, we’re not all business people and uptight – we’re just a regular bunch of people”. We ended our conversation discussing the same incident that we talked about right at the beginning of the conversation. Caity had been putting out the trash the previous evening in bare feet and the trash can had rolled onto her foot, causing her to leap about and shriek in pain. Her first reaction was along the lines of, “See? This is why people wear shoes!” Of course, she already knew that the lack of shoes couldn’t be blamed. It was down to that important factor again: mindfulness. If she had been paying attention, the incident wouldn’t have happened. She philosophizes that perhaps had she been paying more attention when she ran, she wouldn’t have developed plantar fasciitis. She’s not the sort of person to dwell on it too much though and will keep learning and experimenting as she continues on her journey. race. This is held each year in California, organized by Luis Escobar, the talented photographer who was part of the original ‘cast’ in the Born to Run adventure tale. Caity attends the event every year, but the first year caught her out. She’d planned to run the race barefoot, but soon found that the terrain was very rough underfoot. She was about to go back and fetch her shoes but Vanessa Rodriguez persuaded her to run it barefoot. The two of them struggled over the ten mile circuit, taking eight hours to complete it. “We just tiptoed for ten miles. We were delighted when we would see cow patties because we could step on them and get this incredible relief!” After the race, Caity was thankful to put on her flip flops and was captured in a great shot playing football, Tarahumara style. As is

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often the case when advocates of barefoot running wear shoes, Caity was challenged about her footwear by a barefoot running representative. Caity is like the majority of barefooters though – she wears shoes when it is necessary or when she feels like it. There are, of course, the extremists who are adamant that being barefoot is something to commit to fully and these people are an example of what can be achieved if you are one hundred per cent dedicated – they can help you decide yes, I want to go that far…or not! Running aside, Caity spends most of her time in her bare feet. In fact, in her co-housing community, she is known as “the barefoot person round here”. She describes her community life - twenty seven houses based on five acres of land – as “both very challenging and very

Barefoot Running Magazine

If you are an author, musician, comedian or actor and would like the chance to have an interview with Caity, drop her a line, I know she’d love to hear from you! If you have a spare few minutes and want something interesting to listen to and to learn something new, visit Caity’s website: www.caitymccardell.com. Be warned that a couple of minutes might turn into a couple of hours!

Caity will be doing a podcast for the Born to Run race this year – a no holds barred creation called “Unapologetically Ultra”. She says, “It’ll be irreverent, naughty and silly – I can’t wait!” Neither can we – it’ll be highly entertaining!


The Wiltshire Barefoot Runners invite you to join them for a scenic run around Lydiard Park this summer. The event is for barefoot/minimalist runners to get together and run, but also provides the opportunity for other runners to find out more about what it’s like to run with less (or nothing!) on your feet. All participants will be entered into a prize draw and three lucky runners will win a pair of Paleo Barefoots with Paws. Contact: ian.hicks@bfrm.co.uk or visit: www.facebook.com/groups/Wiltshirebarefootrunners for more details. Date: 29th June Time: 10am Location: Lydiard Park, Swindon Footwear: All welcome! Entry: Free In

Proudly hosted by

In association with

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The Green Room Understanding Life-force: An introduction to the process of Intrinsic Touch Energy by Colin Boyd

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s it possible to connect with another person without words or actions by simply thinking about - and thus feeling towards them - from our hearts? Do our bodies transmit and radiate energy? Is the body a fixed entity or an always moving, changing and living process?

Noticing These questions point to something profound and fundamental to our existence. However, most of us spend a minimal amount of time actually noticing that our bodies are a process of transformational energy, bodies that can not only think, talk, act and accomplish a myriad of functions but also ones that constantly conduct and transmit energy at a subtler level to our usual awareness.

Life-force How do we identify subtle energy or the process of being alive or the feeling of profound happiness and joy? The term life-force is known throughout many world cultures under different names, for instance in the Fiji islands of the South Pacific it is 'Mana', in India it is 'Prana', in China it is 'Chi' and in Japan it is 'Ki'. All these expressions of life-force point to the presence of energy that is our essence, the core of our motivation, the innate feeling of heart happiness or boundless freedom we all have and that everyone can experience. This is truly a natural and fundamental sensation that most of us feel from childhood through to our teenage and young adult years. However, when we begin to feel overwhelmed with life's circumstances, the feeling of this life-force and exuberance may start to fade, replaced by feelings of fear, doubt, depression, energy collapse and unhappiness.

Understanding Life-force or life-energy is limited only by our relationship to it; in truth, there is a profound depth to this process that - rightly understood - can benefit anyone. In general, most people live with an awareness of being the body as flesh, blood, heart, brain, breath, emotional feeling, mind and so on.

Yet this does not account for the actual process of the body as a whole. There is also, from a purely energetic perspective, a deeper or more subtle dimension to the body which is known as the etheric field or the subtle body, which can be tangibly felt and tapped into when the whole being is allowed to relax.

Life-force Metaphor Life-force can be likened to water in a jar, where the water moulds itself to fit or suit the jar. If we add dirt to

the jar it will sink to the bottom and the water naturally separates itself from the dirt. Yet if there is too much dirt, the water becomes cloudy and its true value becomes tarnished. The human body is like a jar when open and filled with life-force, but our thoughts, feelings, physical state and breathing can affect how we relate to and use life-force. For instance, if we feel negative energy then our lifeforce feels negative; if we feel positive energy then our life-force feels positive. Most people operate superficially in

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Colin Boyd has been a student of the world renowned spiritual teacher Adi Da Samraj for over 23 years. Through his contact with Adi Da, Colin came to understand a unique form of energy work, directly felt as a subtle yet tangible process that is literally transmitted through the relationship with Adi Da and the places he has spiritually empowered.

Summary

relation to their life-force, concerned with the outer, or external, results. Yet life-force can be felt as internal energy reflected externally that helps to create the results, it is the essence at the root of our external activities; therefore, to come into touch with this essence is to understand the true nature of our mental, emotional and physical being as dynamic energy that assists us to more fully adapt to all changes we may experience in life. The Intrinsic Touch Energy process teaches us how to feel and then utilize the power and essence of our life-force and thus improve our results in life.

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Intrinsic Touch Energy is a profound process of allowing the body to relax into its own subtler dimension of energy experience, that which lives and breathes it, which is the life-force. We needn't do anything to make the life-force happen, just as we needn't try to make our breathing, thinking or feeling happen. All of these processes of bodily existence occur spontaneously. Therefore being ‘in touch’ with ourselves as Intrinsic Touch Energy is a free, spontaneous and mindlessly intuitive process we can enter into with supportive help and intuitive guidance.

Barefoot Running Magazine

This blessing resulted in a process called “Intrinsic Touch Energy'“ which works to initiate a deeper heart connection and relationship to the natural life-energy process conducted through the feeling and breathing dimensions of the body. Colin's practice and research into this process began whilst living on Adi Da's secluded retreat sanctuary in Fiji for over 8 years, where he explored a basic chi-gong practice revealed by Adi Da and noticed how the chi or life-force served to balance the whole body and bring it into a state of natural equanimity. He continued his development of this process while living in the United States for 5 years, including working with individuals and groups in California. Since his return to the UK he is inviting new people to learn more about this powerful and unique process of subtle energy transformation.


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B aBr e a fr o eo f ot oRt u Rnunni nngi n M g aMgaagz a i nz ei n e

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Assorted goodies Products worth a look

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1. Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer A high-tech set of scales that do much more than just measuring your weight. Marketed as “the one-stop health tracking scale”, this machine monitors your body composition, heart rate and even air quality in your house as well as linking to your phone to provide regular targets and tips to help you towards your weight goals. RRP: £129.95 More info at: www.withings.com 2. 2014 Pinarello Dogma 65.1 This beautiful bike, named “Dogma” to signify “the maximum”, is made of high quality carbon fibre using the latest Nanoalloy technology from Japanese carbon giant Toray. Available in 13 different sizes with a custom colouration option. RRP: £2,245 For more info, visit: www.pinarello.com 3. Women’s Oakley Quarter Jacket Glasses These stunning glasses are specifically designed with younger athletes in mind, with the flexibility of interchangeable lenses combined with the protection of High Definition Optics ®. Accessory lens tints adapt vision for the chosen sport whilst the three-point fit (bridge of nose and sides of head) assures secure fit but flexible, lightweight feel. Available in five colours. RRP: £80 Find out more at: www.uk.oakley.com 4. Hurom HH-SBF11 Juicer This is the latest offering from Hurom who have mastered the art of building appliances that extract juice slowly from fruit and veg to prevent nutrients being destroyed by heat. All parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and it is extremely durable with low noise output. RRP: £239.99 More info at: www.hurom.com 5. Jawbone UP24 The Jawbone is essentially a bracelet that you can wear to help you monitor your activity, sleep and diet and links up with several different apps (MyFitness Pal, for example) to help you stay motivated and reach your goals. This latest version is similar in physical design but the main difference is the use of Bluetooth for wireless syncing capabilities. RRP: £90.99 For more info, visit: www.jawbone.com

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The latest national news

National news

personal trainer in London has been prosecuted for training a client on Primrose Hill without a licence from Royal Parks. In a country where obesity, diabetes and heart disease are on the increase, those in charge of the management of Royal Parks (for example, Regent’s Park, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, etc.) deem it appropriate to charge fitness trainers in excess of £600 to train their clients in one of the parks. The trainer in question, Alexis Ajavon Baron Cohen, says he’s being, “treated like a criminal” and points out that even the police think the prosecution is ridiculous. He plans to fight the charge at the hearing this month.

‘Labour Force Survey’, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, has found that almost 31 million work days are lost due to musculoskeletal pain, such as neck ache and back ache. This type of ailment is the most prevalent cause of long term absences from work. In recent years, training for those performing manual tasks at work has improved due to stricter health and safety laws. However, there is no such training for those who sit down at a desk all day and have mobility issues and pain as a result. It is hoped that this research will encourage employers to actively seek advice regarding the health of their employees and there are government grants available for this purpose.

Tesco has launched “health tours” to educate customers towards a healthier weekly shop

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Sainsbury’s have begun to label their own brand wines with calorie content per glass, with the aim of helping consumers towards “healthier choices”


The latest national news

proposal has been made to encourage more people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease to take statins to reduce cholesterol. Currently, anyone with a 20% risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next ten years is offered statins to help reduce the risk. Under the potential new guidelines, those who have a 10% risk will be offered the drug, which means the majority of men over 50 years of age and the majority of women over 60.

National news

Those against the plans are concerned about the reported side effects of statins (muscle aches, memory disturbance, diabetes, cataracts) as well as asking why there isn’t more effort put into encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle. Those ‘pro’ the idea think that the drug is low risk and cost effective for the NHS.

out is on the increase in the UK as unhealthy lifestyles and obesity become more common. Gout is often described as a form of arthritis. A build up of sodium urate in the blood causes crystals to form around the joints (often the big toe) as a result of eating a diet rich in purines. The condition used to be associated with wealthy, overweight people who lived a rich, indulgent lifestyle. Foods particularly associated with gout are liver, shell fish and dairy as well as red wine, beer and spirits. The prevalence of gout in the UK rose by a staggering 64% between 1997 and 2012, with a higher percentage of men sufferers compared to women. Medication can be taken for the condition, but the best treatment (and prevention!) is making lasting improvements in diet and lifestyle as well as maintaining a healthy weight.

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Try this at home Tricks of the trade

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ne of the most attractive things about barefoot running is the simplicity of it; you just head outside and off you go, no faffing about with kit, special shoes, etc. However, over our years of being immersed in the barefoot running world, we have come across a few useful tricks that all barefoot runners should know about. Here are the ones we come across the most and use ourselves on a regular basis:

Super glue Recently, David [Robinson] had a rather large shard of glass in his foot. He doesn’t remember it going in and has no idea if it was there for two hours or two weeks. The problem was that it created such a huge split in his skin that it only partially healed and would split open again every time he went for a run. Now, the sensible thing would probably have been to rest until it completely healed, but being fairly impatient, David was after a little bit of a cheat. He first heard about using super glue from one of Chris Fielding’s posts. He’d had a similar issue with a recurring, problematic split in his foot and had used super glue to successfully heal the cut. It sounded like a plan, so David set to work on the delicate procedure of sealing the wound without sticking his fingers together or to some other object. The trick is to elongate the cut by using your fingers to stretch it from either end. Then, apply the super glue across the cut in several lines, a bit like stitching. It may sting a bit!

Leave it to dry (less than a minute) and you’re good to go. When David tried this, the cut was immediately sealed and he ran straight afterwards. The cut remained sealed and healed over within a couple of days. He has had no ill effects but we should point out that it is potentially risky (although many runners do it) so proceed with caution and if in doubt, let the cut heal naturally!

Gravel bucket This is something of a favourite with veteran barefoot runner, Alan Thwaits.

He has a bucket full of gravel that he regularly ‘treads’ to help toughen the soles of his feet. Very simple and very effective! Of course, it doesn’t need to be a bucket. You can use any container and perhaps get quite inventive and use different types of gravel for variety (small, sharp stones versus larger pebbles and a few twigs maybe!). Don’t overdo it – remember, your feet need time to adapt and get tougher. Start with a few minutes and see how your feet feel the next day. Don’t do a barefoot run and a gravel bucket session on the same day – this will probably be too much. The ‘Gravel bucket method’ is particularly useful when you’re injured or it’s too cold to run barefoot but you want to keep your feet from becoming soft.

Preparation The next three points deal with preparation. Our first suggestion is to remember to take a needle or pin with you on your run.

Pins and needles! Recently, I was out on a run and ran over some glass. Nine times out often, this doesn’t create any kind of problem. This time, however, I stepped on quite a big chunk and it

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wedged itself into my foot. I couldn’t put any weight on it. Meanwhile, David had shot off up the hill and around the corner, we were four miles from home and I was stranded with a bleeding foot. If you’re a complete barefoot runner, you will know that what I felt most was annoyance. I just wanted to get the glass out and continue my run. I thought about knocking on someone’s door but I thought I might scare them, barefoot and bloody. What I really needed was a pin to hook the glass out of my foot. In the end, I had to squeeze it out, which took a while! After that day, I vowed to carry something like a pin or tweezers with me in case it happened again. Remember the pin/needle should be sterilized (although if you plan to continue to run with an open wound, this may be largely irrelevant. Again, it depends on your own personal perception of risk!).

Oddly, Footwear Bring socks and shoes with you when possible! This is particularly pertinent in the Winter. Barefoot Rick wrote a well known post on Winter running, stressing the importance of not warming your feet up too quickly after a run in the snow and also making sure your feet are warm before you start. We often drive to a park to run, so in the Winter we’ll wear socks on the journey and then put them on afterwards. It can be tempting to warm your feet very quickly using the car heater when they are icy cold, but gradually warming them is a must. Slip your socks on, keep wiggling your toes and they will eventually get back to normal. Having shoes in the car is a bonus too, even if you drive barefoot. You never know if you’re going to break down, or need to pop into a shop that doesn’t allow bare feet.

Dealing with comments Our friend Ricardo is a master at our next tip, although he may not prepare at home but is rather more spontaneous. We’re talking about having a set of answers ready for when you get asked questions about why you’re running barefoot.

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You may only have time to say a couple of things to the curious person as you run past them, so have a short precise answer ready, like, “More efficient, less injuries, more fun!” Ricardo is able to disarm people who are ready to be abusive or rude by smiling and saying loudly, “Good morning!” He has a multitude of answers and phrases – perhaps we’ll ask him to write a script for us! It is useful, though, to have standard answers so that you don’t get riled or distracted by the less friendly comments. They will become second nature after a while. Of course, sometimes it’s better to just ignore people who make silly, clichéd remarks!

Minor surgery Relating back to our earlier point, it is sometimes necessary to undertake some minor surgery when you’re at home. Tiny shards of glass embed themselves in your foot without you realizing it. You will notice sharp pain later on after your run – sometimes not until the next day. There is sometimes a small lump and/or corresponding red mark.

Barefoot Running Magazine

You will need to ‘dig’ out the offending piece of glass! Warming your skin (and therefore softening it) helps. Soak your foot in hot water, or soak a piece of cotton wool in hot water and press it on the sore area. This will help draw the piece of debris to the surface. Use a sterilized needle to gently break the skin and ‘poke’ around. Often you’ll feel the hard piece of glass under the needle – it can seem as though you can hear it sometimes as the needle hits it. You’ll need to get underneath the shard in order to pop it out. This can be a little bit painful and may take a while on your first go. When you pop it out, you will feel immediate relief and marvel at how such a small piece


of glass (usually about a quarter of the size of a small ant) could have caused you so much pain. The hardest thing about doing this isn’t actually digging out the offending piece of glass – it’s quite often to do with the awkward position you need to sit in to reach your foot. So, take breaks when you need to and move around, otherwise you’ll feel very stiff afterwards!

Isotonic drinks There’s a decent amount of research that suggests an isotonic drink helps you to rehydrate more efficiently after a run than water. David’s favourite is non-alcoholic beer. These really hit the spot and taste pretty great – they are not sugary or sickly like many of the ‘sports drinks’ on offer. We like Bavaria, Becks and Erdinger, and always have a selection, chilled and ready to drink, in the fridge. Of course, a regular beer can be effective too but the presence of alcohol might not appeal to some or always be practical. We’d love to hear some of your tried and tested tricks, so please do drop us a line to tell us about them! info@bfrm.co.uk

Running fact 16. Human feet can produce a pint of sweat per day!

Did you know

Running fact 17. South African runner Zola Budd, while running barefoot, won two IAAF World Cross Country titles

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Picture from the past

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Exercise and Movement Therapy is about re-educating your body to move as it was designed to move. It’s about releasing your body from restrictions that result from past injuries, emotional issues, tension and stress. Imagine how a dancer moves; with elegance, grace and control. Using physical exercises, visualization and breathing techniques, Exercise and Movement Therapy teaches you to move naturally, with more agility, balance and coordination. We use variations of this technique with all of our clients – everyone benefits, whether they are sports people, people in pain or those who just generally would like to feel better. Rather than traditional “gym” training where movements are very one dimensional, we teach you more natural, spiralling movements, often put together into sequences to encourage whole body, multi-directional movement patterns, similar to how you move through your daily life.

Website: www.trbalance.com

tel: 0845 226 7303

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email: info@trbalance.com

Winter 2012/13

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f you haven’t heard, the minimalist footwear industry has taken a turn for the worse. Shoe sales aren’t booming like they used to and companies are starting to add more material to their shoes to try to stay with the current market trend. After all, that’s what it’s about – the trend. If you’re a shoe company your job is to sell shoes. If shoes with more padding and more support are selling, well then you better order some more EVA. The trend doesn’t shock me at all. Actually, I’ve been surprised by the number of people who wear “barefoot” style shoes, especially the ones with five individual toes. If “Healthy People = Barefoot People” is accurate, as I wrote a while back in 2012, then there really should not be too many people wearing truly minimalist-style shoes. After all, our overall health is not improving as a society. As I discussed in that article, your feet are a great reflection of your overall health. So the more health problems you may have, the

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more your feet will reflect that, and the more shoe you will need to support your failing body. Minimalist is not just walking around in less shoe – it’s about your body’s ability to adapt to the environment, including the surface, regardless of whether you’re standing or walking on tile, concrete, stone, grass or hardwood. A well adapted body is a healthy body. A healthy body can handle less footwear or none at all on any surface if the environment is safe. Follow the Fad or Follow the Research? Do you need research to tell you what you should be doing? If you truly believe that less footwear support and cushion is beneficial to your body then you couldn’t care less about what the latest and greatest research says. Remember too that the research is often funded by shoe companies and their study participants are coined “healthy” because they have no known disease and don’t smoke. They’re often

Barefoot Running Magazine

considered fit because they exercise a few times a week and have no current injuries (daily aches and pains don’t count). Hopefully you don’t want to compare yourself to these average folks. People follow the fad and the media. If five-toed shoes are hot then let’s all wear them as we grab our glutenfree bagels and soy latte coffee. It’s the cool thing to do. If you really understand how beneficial something is to your health then the fad doesn’t matter. You were hopefully eating eggs when your doctor told you it would result in high cholesterol. You were using salt while the media warned you that it would harden your arteries. And you were staying away from hydrogenated fats at the time when everyone was told margarine was the food of the future and butter was dangerous. So, now that the minimalist industry is going backwards after only a few short years are you going to stick more cushion in your shoes or stick to what you truly believe in? After all, there’s


really not a whole lot of funding for the barefoot walking/running movement because there is no money to be made here; don’t expect some mind-blowing beneficial barefoot studies to pop up anytime soon. You Ain’t Wearin’ Minimalist Anyway So what really constitutes a minimalist shoe? Is it a 4mm or less drop? Is it a certain width in the toe box? Is it a shoe that a Leprechaun can fit into? There isn’t a set criteria for a “minimalist” shoe or even the ones that claim to be “barefoot-style” shoes. Shouldn’t a barefoot shoe be just that – barefoot with no shoe? Without naming names – ah screw that – let’s talk Hokas and the many other “minimalist” running shoes out there that are far from that – most are maximalist shoes. I completely understand that if you can hop into a Hoka and run again then it’s a beautiful thing but perhaps you should be asking yourself, “Should I really be running if I need these devices on my feet?” I’ve said before that most people should NOT be running because they are broken – their health and fitness is so poor, their mechanics are poor, and they don’t move well. So if that’s you, why would you want to go and run when you can’t perform basic essential human movements such as walking, squatting, and balancing? Running is too far advanced for you and putting on a shoe that gives you the false reality that you can now perform such activity is just like taking a sleeping pill and thinking you’re getting the benefits of sleep. Yeah you fell asleep, but you really didn’t go through the proper sleep cycles necessary for a restful night’s sleep; you cheated the system and it’ll catch up with you eventually. Step back and learn the basic mechanics before you run.

zero drop with a +15mm stack height or a 4mm drop and a crazy amount of cushion and motion control are a far cry from letting your feet move as they are designed to do. I know they make a lot of people feel good when they’re able to step into a trendy barefoot-style shoe while drinking their Kombucha tea, but your shoes probably aren’t much better than what you were wearing before you stepped on the trendtrain. My definition of a minimalist shoe is one with <10mm stack height, zerodrop, a firm, motion-free and cushion - free midsole, and enough room to allow your toes to not be mashed together. But regardless of what I think, the idea here (well one of them anyway) is that less is usually better. If you can’t get away with less then you need to ask yourself why. More Footwear Just Delays the Inevitable Everyone is going to break down at a certain point. Muscle imbalances occur at this point when the nervous system has met the maximum amount of stress it can handle, (different for everyone and always changing in each individual too), and then fatigue, pain, and possibly an injury set in. Many distance runners feel that more of a shoe is better because it allows them to run further without pain or injury. I understand this concept but I also think that if you need a shoe to support you at a certain distance in training or in a race then maybe you shouldn’t be running that distance in the first place. After all, more shoe, just like an orthotic, is not going to truly correct any imbalance, it is just going to support the imbalance while altering other

aspects of your body such as your proprioception, and therefore your muscles, tendons, and ligaments will pay the price. So if you can’t run 20 miles without Hokas, you should be running much less. Something to think about. Remember that shoes are for protection only. And of course I can see style at times; you don’t need to be some barefoot hippy that shuns all footwear all the time because they’re evil. (But if you’re into that then good for you, hippy.) You might not want to, and maybe in some cases you’re not allowed to, go barefoot, but you should be able to. You should be able to walk with only a few millimetres of material between you and the ground on any surface for any period of time. If you always need foot support then you’ve got problems or you’re doing more than what you’re currently capable of. Wear the footwear you need to as you address why you can’t wear less but don’t do more with more footwear – that’s the completely wrong idea. Minimalism and barefoot is about injury prevention and treatment as well as performance regardless of what new and exciting research the New York Times might come out and discuss tomorrow. If you follow the trend you will soon be wearing more of a shoe next year than you were last and you’ll miss the health and fitness benefits without even knowing it because fewer and fewer people will be talking about it. Stock up on truly minimalist shoes now because 2014 “minimalist” shoes are only going to be thicker and softer, much like the average human being.

Saucony Kinvara and Virrata, Brooks PureFlow, and all the other “feel the ground shoes” out there that many think are minimalist are not even close to my definition of such. Being

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How to Create efficient forward momentum by Gray Caws

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o lean or not to lean, that is the question! The answer is yes – but make sure you have the right inclination. The lean is a contentious term in running, the contention often derived from what we actually mean by ‘lean’. The dictionary definition is to ‘incline from the perpendicular’ - perpendicular being an angle of 90º to the ground. So what exactly are we meant to incline as we run? Leaning is not excessively bending forward from the waist but inclining your entire aligned vertical posture – you are running ‘tall’ but at an angle less than 90º to the oncoming road during the support phase of your stride. Before we look at how to lean and create efficient forward momentum, it’s important to address posture. Poor posture creates muscular imbalances that can restrict how we move such as tight ankles and hip flexors, weak core muscles, hunched shoulders and tight neck muscles. Jacquelin Perry, author of Gait Analysis (1992), describes good posture as “quiet standing” and suggests that during perfect alignment the only required muscular activity is that needed to accommodate the pulsatile surge of the circulation. In order to achieve “quiet standing”, imagine a perpendicular line up the side of your body connecting ankles, hips, shoulder and ear. This aligns the body vertically, creating a solid structure of bones, ligaments, tendons and fascia. Your body weight is then supported by, and distributed through, this structure.

A simple way of creating vertical alignment

  

Stand with your back against a wall (make sure it is perpendicular). Heels about an inch away from it to ensure that the ankle is sitting directly underneath the hip Lightly rest the lower back, shoulder blades and back of the head against the wall. Be sure not to force anything into place but think of elongating the spine and back of the neck up the wall Keep knees soft and lower legs, ankles, shoulders and ribcage relaxed Take a step away from the wall with feet in line, hip-width apart Bring your focus to an area approximately three finger widths down from the belly button and two inches in towards the spine. This is your body’s centre of mass. In T‘ai Chi and Chi Running this is your energy centre (dantien) Lightly engage at this point (pull towards your spine) to co-contract the core muscles, stabilize the pelvis and effectively connect the upper and lower body Become aware of any areas holding tension. You should feel ‘grounded’ with your structure supporting your body weight. Continued on next page

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To move forward

 

Bring feet closer together

Keep your mental focus on the dantien

Keep lower legs and ankles relaxed, knees soft

Move your dantien forward keeping your vertically aligned posture. As your centre of mass gets ahead of your contact with the ground (your feet) you will fall over unless you stop yourself by lifting the heel of one leg, allow it to passively swing through and land to support your aligned body.

Notice that your legs are not creating this movement; rather, they are required only to support your body weight and stop you falling flat on your face! Creating forward momentum in this way takes the focus away from the legs and shifts the workload to the core muscles. So, rather than pushing and pulling yourself forward with the legs, you are simply supporting your body weight on one leg as you land. As Newton’s first law of motion states: “A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force.” That external force can either be predominantly the legs if you stay completely upright or gravitational pull if you lean correctly. A quick note here on treadmill

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running. You don’t have to create forward momentum when running on a treadmill as this is done for you so you don’t need to lean. A treadmill tip to simulate the lean is to run on an incline of one and keep upright. Be sure to keep ankles and lower legs relaxed.

ankles relaxed

  

The key focuses of the lean are:

  

Relaxed ankles and lower legs Keep knees soft Keep vertically aligned and visualize movement initiating from your body’s centre of mass (dantien).

A drill to practise leaning:

 

Find a table top or work surface approximately hip height Align your body vertically so that your hip is over ankle, shoulder over hip and ear over shoulder. Visualize being lifted by a string from the crown of your head, lengthening out the spine and back of the neck – visualize having your back against the wall Rest your hands gently on the work surface for support. Avoid creating any tension in the shoulders or neck Keep knees soft, lower legs and

Barefoot Running Magazine

  

Balance evenly on the soles of your feet Bring your mind’s focus to the dantien Lightly pull in at this point to co-contract (engage) the core muscles and stabilize the pelvis and spine Move this point forward keeping the body vertically aligned There should be no tension in the legs and the ankles should ‘hinge’ Keeping the heels on the floor and weight distributed though the whole foot Practise varying the angle of lean When confident, practise the lean balancing on one leg.

When you master the lean your running becomes a continuous balanced forward fall of an aligned, relaxed body. You’ll run with less effort and reduce your risk of injuries caused by overused muscles and misaligned joints. Your cadence will be high, you’ll avoid over-striding and land mid-foot on relaxed ankles. Speed will be a consequence of relaxing rather than pushing. You’ll be creating fluid, efficient movement. Check out this youtube video: http://youtu.be/MLLPqY7I6ZQ


Write back at you Strong is the new skinny, and that's not necessarily a good thing by Kim Shand

Picture courtesy of www.hati-hati.net

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new student approached me after her first yoga class and asked me to write down my complete teaching schedule so that she could attend my class every day. My ego was honoured, but my mind was surprised. This newbie had a grand total of 75 minutes of yoga experience, and we were talking about a huge commitment. Maybe she'd tasted the peace of being deeply connected, in the perfect place at the perfect time? Perhaps she'd sensed the possibilities to be discovered in a yoga practice? This is why every teacher works hard: to open the gate for a student to realize she can create the life and the health that she wants. How wonderful that, in this case, it had clicked so quickly. As I wrote out my schedule, I asked, "What's your goal for your yoga practice?" I expected to hear about a deep revelation, which is why I was speechless when she said, "I want the definition in your arms." Oh. Of course. I’d forgotten, “Strong is the new skinny.” This catchphrase seems to be popping up in my world a lot lately. It’s on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and the window of a local yoga studio. The first time I heard "strong is the new skinny”, I was enthusiastic. In theory, I'm all for strong men and women! However, I've come to see an insidious side of this concept in the way it’s being adopted. What could have been an empowering approach to body confidence has become another way to prioritize unrealistic body image; we've just replaced one cultural standard (thin) with another (ripped muscles). Sure, strength is important. We need strength in order to live our lives, to care for our self and the people who matter most. Ultimately, when we get strong in our bodies, we can apply this strength to the actions we take, the degree to which we become masters of our minds, and our approach to living our lives fully. When I think of "strong," I think of my students who approach radiation treatments with optimism and courage. I think of my mom supporting two kids on her own. I think of my friend who felt unfulfilled in his secure career, so he left to pursue a job that ignited his passion. True strength can't be measured by how many pounds you lift on a barbell, but it can be measured by how many spirits you lift. Unfortunately, “strong is the new skinny” isn’t necessarily being adopted to encourage this type of strength. Turning the slogan into a focus on an ideal outward appearance can trigger a negative internal battle that diminishes, rather than builds, strength. I have experienced how this can happen. In my teens and twenties, I used to model. During that time, I went on some bizarre diets. (Tip: if you eat nothing but string beans and hard boiled eggs for a week, fainting is a foregone conclusion.) I turned to extreme measures in an effort to achieve an idealized version of what I was supposed to look like. Because thin was in, if the scale read two pounds over my goal, I’d put myself down. Eventually, I realized that my body wasn't built to sustain a waif-like figure, and holding myself accountable to an unrealistic goal often made me feel like a failure. Similarly, by making “strong is the new skinny” all about striving for a visible six-pack and shredded triceps, it’s not a step forward on the path to true strength. We're not trying to actually get stronger, healthier, or raise our levels of self-esteem. We've just traded one potentially unrealistic and unhealthy external goal for another. Both paths lead to the same end point: self-criticism. I like the definition in my arms. They aren't huge, but they are strong enough to hold some really fun arm balances. I especially like my arms because they stuck with me while I developed the patience, focus and self-acceptance to learn those same arm balances. My arms represent the strength of commitment and perseverance without self-sabotage. If a new student tells me this is her goal, my arms have a really big hug for her. First published on the Mind Body Green website: www.mindbodygreen.com

Barefoot Running Magazine

Due to a severe spinal birth defect, Kim Shand began her yoga journey at the age of 5 as an Iyengar yogini. She later studied, and taught, Baptiste Power Yoga and Core Strength Vinyasa. Ten years ago Kim began developing the Rethink Yoga practice by fusing these styles with the techniques of yoga therapy and the Rajanaka Tantra philosophies she continues to study. She has since trained and certified many Rethink Yoga teachers that she is very proud of and currently runs a Rethink Yoga for Trauma program in New Jersey. An ERYT-500, certified yoga instructor, Kim travels nationally on a mission to inspire people to take control of their health, how they think and how they age, through yoga. She motivates her students to find their power, their joy, and to be “All in. All the time.” Kim’s website: http://www.rethinkyoga.com

Left: American fitness model Jennifer Nicole Lee www.ennifernicolelee.com Spring 2014

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What’s On

Sunday 13th

Virgin London Marathon

London, United Kingdom

www.virginlondonmarathon.com

Sunday 13th

Hapalua Hawaii's Half Marathon

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

www.thehapalua.com

Sunday 13th

Wrynose Or Bust

Lancaster, UK

www.wrynoseorbust.org

Monday 21st

Boston Marathon

Boston, Massachusetts

www.baa.org

Monday 21-23rd

Jurassic Coast Challenge

Cornwall, United Kingdom

www.votwo.co.uk

Friday 25th

Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji®

Kawaguchiko, Japan

www.ultratrailmtfuji.com

Friday 25th

Annapurna Mandala Trail

Annapurna, Nepal

www.leschevaliersduvent.fr

Saturday 26th

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Tuscany Crossing, Italy

www.lostworldsracing.com

Saturday 26th

Ouachita Trail 50

Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

www.runarkansas.com

Sunday 27th

SPAR Great Edinburgh Run

Edinburgh, Scotland

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 27th

Evesham Ultra and Half Marathon

Evesham, United Kingdom

www.cotswoldrunning.co.uk

Sunday 27th

Great Manchester Marathon

Manchester, UK

www.greatermanchestermarathon.com

Thursday 1st

BFRM Barefoot Rhino Fun Run

London, UK

www.barefootrunninguk.com

Saturday 3rd

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Causeway Crossing, UK

www.lostworldsracing.com

Saturday 3rd

Malvern Hills 83 Mile Ultra

Holt Heath, UK

www.ultrarunningltd.co.uk

Sunday 4th

Genève Half Marathon for Unicef

Geneva, Switzerland

www.genevemarathon.org

Sunday 4th

International Barefoot Running Day

Brighton, Location TBC

See page 118 for more information

Monday 5th

Belfast City Marathon

Belfast, UK

www.belfastcitymarathon.com

Saturday 17th

Great Wall Marathon

Jixian Village, China

www.great-wall-marathon.com

Saturday 17th

Born to Run 50K Trail Run

California, USA

www.marathons.ahotu.com

Sunday 18th

BUPA Great Manchester Run

Manchester City Centre, UK

www.greatrun.org

Saturday 24th

The Jungle Marathon

Manu National Park, Peru

www.beyondtheultimate.co.uk

Saturday 24-25th

London 2 Brighton Challenge

Richmond Upon Thames, UK

www.london2brightonchallenge.com

Sunday 25th

Edinburgh Marathon

Edinburgh, UK

www.edinburgh-marathon.com

Monday 26th

London 10,000

London, UK

www.ndcschallenges.org.uk

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Sunday 1st

BFR UK Group Run

Cambridge, King’s Parade

See page 118 for more information

Sunday 1st

Gobi March

Gobi Desert, China

www.4deserts.com

Monday 2nd

Ram Run Wild Run – Midlands

Kenilworth, UK

www.muddyrace.co.uk

Saturday 7th

Spitsbergen Marathon

Longyearbyen, Norway

www.svalbard.net

Saturday 7th

Aspen Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Cusco, Peru

www.andesadventures.com

Sunday 8th

I Survived The Mayhem

Bath, UK

www.pandemoniumrace.co.uk

Sunday 8th

Jättelångt

Grisslehamn, Sweden

www.jattelangt.se

Saturday 14th

Prueba de Gran Fondo por

montaña Ondategi, Spain

www.hiruhaundiak.com

Tuesday 17-24th

Festival of Running

St Helena Island

www.sthelenatourism.com

Thursday 19-29th

Kilimanjaro Trek: Rongai Route

Tanzania, Africa

www.scope.org.uk

Saturday 21st

Picnic Marathon

Box Hill, Mickleham, UK

www.trionium.com

Sunday 22nd

Rock ‘n’ Roll Edinburgh ½ Marathon

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

www.runrocknroll.competitor.com

Monday 23rd

Back 2 the Trenches

Redhill, Surrey, UK

www.muddyrace.co.uk

Sunday 29th

Paleo “PAWS” Fun Run

Swindon , UK

www.magento.gost-barefoots.com

Sunday 5th

BFR UK Group Run

Richmond Park, London, UK

See page 118 for more information

Monday 7-11th

Northwest Passage Marathon & Ultra

Nunavut, Canada

www.arcticwatch.ca

Saturday 12th

Saffron Trail Ultra

Southend, Essex, UK

www.challenge-running.co.uk

Saturday 12th

The Great Bull Run

Chicago, USA

www.thegreatbullrun.com

Sunday 13th

The Wales Marathon

Tenby, Wales, UK

www.thewalesmarathon.com

Sunday 13th

The British 10K London Run

London, UK

www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk

Sunday 20th

Badwater 135

Death Valley, Ca, USA

www.badwater.com

Sunday 20th

Jane Tomlinson's Leeds 10k

Leeds, UK

www.macmillan.org.uk

Wednesday 23rd

XX Commonwealth Games

Glasgow, UK

www.glasgow2014.com

Thursday 24th

London to Paris Cycle Challenge

Bexley, UK

www.mariecurie.org.uk

Friday 25th

Tilenus Xtreme Ultra Trail

Castrocontrigo, Spain

www.marathons.ahotu.com

Saturday 26-27th

La 6000D

Savoie, France

www.la6000d.com

Saturday 2nd

Round the Rock Ultra

Island of Jersey, UK

www.roundtherock.co.uk

Saturday 2 - 3rd

Tough Mudder (Yorkshire)

Skipton, Yorkshire, UK

www.toughmudder.co.uk

Sunday 3rd

BFR UK Group Run

Brighton, Surrey, UK

See page 118 for more information

Tuesday 12-17th

Transrockies Run

Buena Vista, Colorado

www.transrockies-run.com

Thursday 14-16th

Swiss Irontrail

Graubünden, Switzerland

www.irontrail.ch

Saturday 16th

Leadville Trail 100 Run

Colorado, USA

www.leadvilleraceseries.com

Sunday 17th

I Survived The Mayhem

Warwickshire, UK

www.pandemoniumrace.co.uk

Saturday 23rd

Reykjavik Marathon

Reykjavik, Iceland

www.marathon.is

Saturday 23-24th

Isle of Wight Challenge

West Cowes, Isle of Wight

www.isleofwightchallenge.com

Saturday 30-31st

Chiltern Way Ultra 200k / 100k

Hemel Hempstead, UK

www.challenge-running.co.uk

Sunday 31st

Racing The Planet

Antsiranana, Madagascar

www.4deserts.com

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Saturday 6th

O2 Prague Grand Prix

Old Town Square, Prague

www.praguemarathon.com

Sunday 7th

BFR UK Group Run

City of London, UK

See page 118 for more information

Sunday 7th

BUPA Great North Run

Gateshead, Newcastle

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 7th

Kamikaze. The Banzai Challenge

Mapperton, Dorset

www.votwo.co.uk

Saturday 13-14th

Thames Path Challenge (100k)

Putney Bridge, London

www.thamespathchallenge.com

Saturday 13-14th

Tough Mudder (North West)

Cheshire, UK

www.toughmudder.co.uk

Sunday 14th

London Duathlon Richmond Park,

London, UK

www.londonduathlon.com

Sunday 14th

Scottish Barefoot Run & Conference

Edinburgh, UK

TheScottishBarefootRun

Saturday 27th

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Bath, Location TBC

See page 118 for more information

Sunday 28th

Rock ‘n’ Roll de Montréal Marathon

Montreal, Canada

www.ca.competitor.com/montreal

Sunday 28th

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Loch Ness, Scotland

www.lochnessmarathon.com

Sunday 28th

BUPA Great Yorkshire Run

Sheffield City Centre

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 28th

BMW Berlin Marathon

Berlin, Germany

www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com

Thursday 2-11th

UVU Jungle Marathon

Para, Brazil

www.junglemarathon.com

Saturday 4-5th

Tough Mudder (Dublin)

Kildare, Ireland

www.toughmudder.co.uk

Sunday 5th

BFR UK Group Run

Richmond Park, London, UK

See page 118 for more information

Sunday 5th

MBNA Chester Marathon

City of Chester

www.chestermarathon.co.uk

Sunday 5th

Royal Parks Half Marathon

Hyde Park, London

www.royalparkshalf.com

Sunday 5th

Atacama Crossing

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

www.4deserts.com

Sunday 5th

Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

www.runglasgow.org

Saturday 11th

Reebok Spartan Beast

Pippingford, East Sussex

www.spartanrace.com

Saturday 25-26th

Tough Mudder (London South)

Winchester, Hampshire, UK

www.toughmudder.co.uk

Sunday 26th

BUPA Great South Run

Southsea, Portsmouth, UK

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 26th

Steeplechase

Norfolk, UK

www.muckyraces.co.uk

Monday 27th

Dublin Marathon

Dublin, Ireland

www.dublinmarathon.ie

Saturday 1-2nd

Winter Wolf

Leicestershire, UK

www.thewolfrun.com

Sunday 2nd

Chocoholic Frolic - Fall

Saint Paul, MN USA

www.finalstretch.com

Sunday 2nd

ING New York Marathon

New York, USA

www.ingnycmarathon.org

Saturday 8th

Manaslu Mountain Trail Race

Kathmandu, Nepal

www.manaslutrailrace.org

Sunday 17-24th

Antarctic Ice Marathon

Ellsworth Mountains

www.icemarathon.com

Saturday 22-23rd

The Running Show

Sandown Park, Esther, UK

www.tcrshows.com

Sunday 23rd

Cyprus Aphrodite Half Marathon

Paphos, Cyprus

www.sporteventscyprus.com

Sunday 23rd

Great Ethiopian Run

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 23rd

Conwy Half Marathon

Conwy Quayside, Wales

www.runwales.com

Saturday 29-30th

24 Ore Del Sol

Palermo, Sicily

www.asdmol.it

Sunday 30th

Grim Challenge (2 Day)

Aldershot, Hampshire

www.grimchallenge.co.uk

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100k Ultra 50k Ultra

Individuals or team relay

Limited spaces at World Heritage sites


The hard work and commitment paid off – well done Jenny!

On track slope

News from the sporting arena

K snowboarder, Jenny Jones, scooped an Olympic Bronze Medal at the Sochi Games. Her goal was to reach the final so the medal has left her “overwhelmed” and extremely proud. Jenny’s training comprises of gymnastics whilst growing up, along with initially learning on a dry slope due to the lack of snow in the UK. When she decided to pursue the sport full-time she worked as a chalet girl in France to allow her to practise and fund her training.

heart-warming story from the Sochi Olympics involved Peruvian skier, Roberto Carcelen. He became the first Peruvian Winter Olympian back in 2010 but just three weeks before this year’s event he broke his ribs during training. He was advised by doctors not to compete but despite this, chose to enter the race. He finished last, around half an hour after the winner, Switzerland’s Dario Colognan. Touchingly, Colognan went over and hugged Carcelen as he crossed the line, having purposely waited around so that he could congratulate the Peruvian’s accomplishment. When Carcelen was asked during interviews why he was competing with an injury, he answered, “This is a great opportunity to shine light on children (or everyone) that need a good role model, a good example, an inspiring story”. Great work Carcelen!

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News from the sporting arena

nowboarding Frenchman shocked the crowds and commentators as he raced towards Olympic Gold at Sochi. The reason for the surprise? He had undergone surgery to repair an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury only two months prior to the event. This surgery usually takes at least six months of rehabilitation and healing but Vaultier carried out as much strengthening work as possible and then, wearing a knee brace, used the determination that is characteristic of Olympic medal winners to spur him on to first place. Huge congratulations Pierre!

Yarnold only took up the sport in 2008, after being talent spotted as part of the UK Sport-backed project ‘Girls4Gold’. Prior to this, Lizzy competed in heptathlons after being inspired by Denise Lewis’ fantastic gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. "As an athlete you do so much hard work, but it's worth it for days like this”, said Lizzy. A victory parade is planned later this month in her hometown of Sevenoaks, a few miles South of London. Congratulations Lizzy!

Brazilian Joselane Santos cried for her paralyzed friend whom she replaced at Sochi in the aerials after having only 7 months of training

Indian luge competitor, Shiva Keshavan (competing as an independent), managed to get back on his luge after falling off during a training run, escaping any injuries

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On track slope

5 year old Brit, Lizzy Yarnold, won the first gold medal for the GB team, dominating the skeleton event throughout its entirety.


News from the sporting arena

On track slope

orthern Irish skier, Kelly Gallagher, was the first Briton to win a gold medal at the Sochi Paralympics this year. She and her guide, Charlotte Evans, skied to victory in the visually impaired Super-G. Gallagher chose Evans to help her compete in the event, Evans having become a coach instead of competing when she snapped a cruciate ligament in 2009. Another Briton, Jade Etherington, at her debut Paralympics, scooped an impressive four medals (three silvers and one bronze), also in the visually impaired skiing events. Her guide, Caroline Powell, is a qualified ski instructor and sighted guide. The whole team enjoyed a visit to Number 10 on their return, where they met and chatted to the Prime Minister who was suitably impressed! Congratulations to the team!

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The latest international news

International news

rossFit athlete, Kevin Ogar, has suffered a spinal injury whilst competing in a competition in California. The experienced CrossFit teacher mis-judged a snatch and the bar that he was attempting to lift fell down behind him, clipping his back. He is currently paralyzed from the waist down but, although the medical opinion is that he will never be able to walk again, family and friends have faith in Ogarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s determined and persistent attitude and remain hopeful that he will prove the doctors wrong. CrossFit, a hard core mixture of no-nonsense athletic, gymnastic and weight lifting exercises, was founded in 2000 by fitness coach Greg Glassman and has become hugely popular worldwide amongst fitness enthusiasts. The CrossFit community have come together in support of Ogar and created a website where donations towards his rehabilitation needs and recovery can be made. Visit www.fundly.com to find out more and to help out a fellow athlete.

here is new evidence that the caramel colouring in drinks such as Coca Cola and Pepsi can cause cancer. The previously reported â&#x20AC;&#x153;safeâ&#x20AC;? chemical (4-MI) has been the subject of a fresh inquiry by researchers in California and has subsequently been added to the list of substances that are carcinogenic. This means that any foods/drinks containing the chemical must state this on the packaging, along with the fact that the drink may therefore cause cancer. Drinks companies using the substance have directed their caramel colouring suppliers to reduce the amounts of 4-MI used, although only Coca Cola have promised to reduce the amount in their drinks whilst PepsiCo dispute the accuracy of the research.

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The animal rights group, Peta, had used this naked image of Mr Morris in one of their advertising campaigns. The aim was to prove that, contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet can be incredibly healthy and build/maintain significant muscle mass

Scientists make ‘human cheese’ from toenail and armpit bacteria as part of an exhibition at Dublin Science Gallery. Ugh!!

5x world boxing champion and Olympic medallist, Mary Kom, has set up the first female-only fight club to help women protect themselves against sexual violence

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International news

Mr Morris said that when he was competing, he ate lots of meat and animal products causing him uncomfortable digestive problems. He doesn’t believe he would be in the shape he’s in today had he continued with that diet, which he claims is laden with fat and chemicals. The Peta advertisement promotes veganism, stating that it helps reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and strokes.

The latest international news

few weeks ago, a photo of 78 year old vegan body builder, Jim Morris, was circulating the internet.


Barefoot Running UK The latest from Barefoot Running UK

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n a sunny, Sunday morning a few weeks ago, a team of runners gathered together in a secret location to discuss some big plans. Once the introductions, secret handshakes and photo shoot were out of the way, we got down to business. What business? You may well ask. Ah ha! The secrets are not quite ready to be revealed! However, let us ask you this: What would you like to see happen in the barefoot running world? Do you think that barefoot running is still gaining popularity or has it settled into its own little niche with no more room to grow? What about minimalist shoes? That

certainly seems to be a market that is continuing to expand. Do the principles of good running form get slightly lost in this bid to make the perfect shoe? Is there a need for much more detailed information and access to advice? How many of you, having taken the step towards barefoot running, now own even more shoes than ever? This is not a bad thing – shoes are often necessary, sometimes we need their help. Good running form. What is good running form? How do we learn more about it? Are our sources for learning (books, internet, instructors, etc.) reliable? If not, how can they be made more reliable? To race or not to race, that is the barefoot question. Racing is fun,

racing allows big groups of likeminded people to get together and enjoy themselves. Can racing offer something other than winners and losers? Do races cater well enough for barefoot and minimalist runners? What do we think about when we think about barefoot running? Is it purely about technique? Is it not the case that when we take off our shoes and connect with the earth, something surprising happens to our soul (and soles!)? Doesn’t our focus change and our running become a more spiritual endeavour? Do we not begin to feel the drive towards improving our lifestyles, making our diet healthier and reducing our stress? Running isn’t something we just ‘do’ anymore – it’s something we feel, something we live, something that feeds into our everyday lives, helping us to appreciate the world around us more. These are the kinds of topics that the “Secret Squirrel Squad” discussed as they sat around their table of magic. After several intensive hours, when their brains were empty of all rational thought, they re-charged their batteries on a delightful run around the beautiful city of London. You may have spotted them with big smiles on their faces and air under their feet. Back at the secret location, the sun was going down and the chill setting in. The squad said their goodbyes and vanished, light-footed, into the night. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, then if you can find them, maybe you can hire…

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May 2014

October 2014

Sunday 4th

Sunday 5th

International Barefoot Running Day

BFR UK Group Run

11.00 am Brighton, Sussex - Stanmer Park

11.00 am West London - Richmond Park Priory Lane Entrance Car Park

June 2014

November 2014

Sunday 1st BFR UK Group Run

Sunday 5th BFR UK Group Run

11.00 am Cambridge - King’s Parade

11.00 am West London - Richmond Park Priory Lane Entrance Car Park

July 2014

December 2014

Sunday 5th BFR UK Group Run

Most club runs are between 5 and 8 miles, around 9 minutes per mile pace. Any footwear is fine! Please email us prior to a run if you’re planning to attend. info@barefootrunninguk.com

Workshop bookings All the workshops are available for booking online so please visit the website. If you’d like to attend a workshop but can’t make any of the dates, please email us as we’ll be adding more dates and venues according to demand.

Sunday 2nd BFR UK Group Run

11.00 am West London - Richmond Park Priory Lane Entrance Car Park

11.00 am Clapham Common , London The Bandstand

August 2014

January 2015

Sunday 3rd BFR UK Group Run

Sunday 7th BFR UK Group Run

11.00 am Brighton, Surrey - East Pier

11.00 am Clapham Common , London The Bandstand

September 2014 Sunday 7th BFR UK Group Run 11.00 am Figure 8 London Run - Tate Modern

Run Strong•Run Free:

February 2015 Sunday 7th BFR UK Group Run

West London - Richmond Park Priory Lane Entrance Car Park

An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running. Bath - Location

Spring 2014

Bespoke talks and workshops If you would like to organize your own talk/workshop for your running club, please call or email us to set something up.

UK tel: 0845 226 7302 barefootrunninguk.com Overseas tel:

Saturday 27th 11.00 am

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+44 (0) 208 659 0269

email: info@barefootrunninguk.com website: www.barefootrunninguk.com youtube: youtube.com/bfruk facebook: barefootrunninguk/facebook


,

Yelling Performance is a sports coaching consultancy established by Olympian and Commonwealth Games medallist, Liz Yelling and husband Martin Yelling. We offer a range of coaching and consultancy services to individuals, groups, organisations, events, corporate and charities.        

Bespoke personal coaching Corporate team coaching Charity team coaching Writing, presenting and media School 'be inspired' visits After dinner speaking Club coaching workshops Running and triathlon training days for individuals and groups Get in touch and see how we can help you

"Liz Yelling single-handedly took me from being a naive novice jogger to being a confident and capable runner with her patience, understanding, expertise and generally down to earth and practical coaching. To run my first marathon in around eight months with a time of 4.10 is testament to Liz's ability to find the running skills and capabilities in anyone, whatever their level or natural talent. I have since gone on to begin my English Athletics Coaching qualifications and inspire and motivate others to achieve their best through running. Thank you Liz for changing my world!"

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A u t u m n 2 0 1 3 BBaarreeffoooott RRuunnnniinngg M Maaggaazziinnee A u t u m n 2 0 1 3

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Dear Anna I have just been reading your latest issue and really enjoying it! It sounds as though you have a lovely group of people working together, I like a sense of community. I’ve recently started running barefoot and have been a getting a few barefoot runs in around my local streets…it’s funny how soon you get over the initial self-consciousness! It is totally liberating, though the reaction from some friends has been one of horror, you’d think I’d just told them I was mugging old ladies. They can’t believe I would run without shoes in London, I told them to give it a go! I’ve also bought some Sockwa as I want to continue with some longer runs and my bare feet aren’t ready

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for it yet! I can comfortably do around 40 minutes and I’m being cautious to build up the strength in my calves and feet at a steady rate. I really like the Sockwas and wear them most of the time, even when I’m not running! Anyway, I hope to join you on one of your group runs soon, keep up the good work with the magazine, I’ve found it really helpful. Best wishes Alex, London


Hi David, I bumped into you in Beckenham recently and we chatted briefly about barefoot running. So earlier today, because it was sunny, I tried running barefoot across the grass in Beckenham Place Park, and every twig, stone and upright stalk of grass that I stepped on was agony, and I couldn't wait to get my running shoes on again! I’m wondering how long it will take to harden my feet so that they are not so sensitive to every tiny object that they land on! Or more to the point, HOW I ought to get started on the right track, so I’m eagerly going to look through all the past issues of the magazine to see what tips I can find and also follow the advice you gave me on being patient and taking things gradually. I’m looking forward to trying it out again! Best wishes Albert, London

Dear all We are Carlo Pérez Alberti & Lorena Mariño. We are currently handling a thesis project as a part of a Master´s Program in International Marketing & Brand Management at Lund University, Sweden www.lunduniversity.lu.se We turn to you since we are undertaking a research project on "barefoot running culture". Hence, we would be pleased if you could help us to conduct this study by telling us about your experiences as barefoot runners by means of an interview on Skype (not more than 20 minutes). Needless to say that we provide total confidentiality to the participants. What do you get in return? Thesis outcomes based on cross-cultural barefoot runners’ experiences and the joy of helping us to bring together knowledge into the barefoot running community. For further information about the research please contact us via email at: gib13lma@student.lu.se or gib13cpe@student.lu.se Thanks in advance for your help. We really appreciate your kind contribution

Hi Anna and David, Best Regards, Listened with great interest to you both and your colleague Tracy Davenport on The Why Factor courtesy of the BBC World Service the other day, and would love to know more about you and Barefoot Running UK. I too benefit greatly from doing yoga, Thai yoga, meditation, reflexology and shiatsu. Wishing you every success with this wonderful and inspired venture.

Carlo & Lorena, Sweden

Hi all, Best wishes, Julian, Netherlands Ed This is still available on BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ episode/p01nqywh/ The_Why_Factor_Running/

I've been really looking forward to this. Thanks so much Anna and David for all your hard work in keeping this going. I'm in something of a barefoot wilderness down here in Hampshire, so this is a real lifeline. Many thanks Tim, Denmead

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et me preface what I’m about to say by admitting I am an out and out gadget geek! I know more about tech than anyone I know; I’m more than a bit obsessed. I have a lot of ‘fit tech’ as we’ll call it from here on in; a smartphone, a Polar heart rate monitor, a Nike Fuelband, various FitBit trackers, body fat scales, a Polar Loop, Yurbuds sports headphones, etc, etc, etc. I am also involved in a movement called Quantified Self, which looks at using technology to track metrics in our health and/or behaviour in order to facilitate a positive change. You would be right to assume that I’m an advocate for the use of

technology in these settings and if you weren’t aware, this year there will be an absolute deluge of wearable technology coming to market, especially in the health and fitness sector. However, I watched a video the other week that struck a chord. Despite my love of tech, I’ve always been annoyed by people who can’t put down their mobiles in a social setting; talking, texting, surfing the web or ‘checking in’. I’ve always found it rude (probably my age) and have wondered why they physically turn up if their mind is elsewhere. If you haven’t already seen it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?), do yourself a favour and watch it – it’s cringe worthy! Whilst it addressed my gripe with mobile usage, I got onto thinking about how we are using technology in the fields of health, wellbeing and sports; fields that are both my passion and my profession. We’re

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now in an age where people are posting their latest runs and exercise sessions to facebook on a daily basis and it’s the sort of behaviour that gets you unfriended nowadays! Like all interests, it’s only interesting to those who share the same love as you do. So why are we doing it? What do we achieve? We now have access to more information - and specifically more personalized information - than we’ve ever had before. But knowledge isn’t power; the application of knowledge through positive action is power. There is a massive void between the two and it’s one that fit tech can’t easily bridge. I wonder how many people know what to do with this newly acquired data and, of those that do know, how many spring into action as a consequence of knowing it? Like all products, fit tech is marketed on aspirations; it helps you be what you want to be and will make you feel great whilst doing it! But is this actually the case? I’m sure we all know people who have an exercise bike that is currently used as some sort of avant-garde clothes horse, or a fancy new pair of trainers hidden somewhere at the back of the shoe cupboard, whilst its owner has gone back to evenings on the couch in front of the telly. This kind of technology works on many levels, but what it won’t do is provide you with motivation in the long run. If that’s what you’re planning on buying it for, don’t! Save yourself the expense and the disappointment. Extrinsic motivation, like that provided by fit tech and friends’ praise on social media, will only progress you in the short term. To really get to where you want to go you’ll need to do some soul searching and find motivation from within. The barefoot running movement is very much akin to this thinking. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it’s an immersive experience and that you enjoy the journey, rather than just focusing on the potential end point.

physical activity then knock yourself out! There are a few user groups that really can benefit and hopefully this little guide will help you decide whether to buy or not:

Beginners/Repentant Couch Potatoes Relevant Fit Tech:

Activity Trackers: FitBit, Nike FuelBand, Polar Loop, etc., pedometers

The Good Points:

 

Helps increase self awareness and guides towards healthy levels of activity Maybe a ‘wake up call’…

Don’t be this person:

Shares this tracking of every aspect of your life across social media. Constantly and incessantly! Seeks validation from others to feel virtuous and generally sits on their high horse. You’d be surprised at how many people aren’t interested and don’t appreciate you clogging up their timelines

inevitable rough patches, and inspire each other with stories of success.

Pro Athletes/Health Professionals/ Fitness & Sports Coaches/ Exercisers with health concerns Relevant Fit Tech:

The Good Points:

The person who was going to exercise, but can’t find their tracker. If it’s not logged it doesn’t even count right? That’s not quite the path to success!

Uses their tracker to better understand how to achieve their goals, to track their actions and their subsequent progress, to drill down into what works for them

Helps pro athletes and industry professionals to refine training methods and eek out the last improvements in performance Helps exercisers with health concerns (such as cardiac patients) exercise safely and efficiently, whilst giving confidence to people who are otherwise scared to get active again

Don’t be this person:

Be this person instead:

Body Assessment tools, Heart Rate Monitors, Performance feedback tools

All the gear and no idea! You take your sport and/or fitness seriously, you track everything and convince yourself that knowing more will help you get over the last barrier. Your reality is that you have a sedentary job, you’re succumbing to middle-aged spread and if you just got out there and did more you’d get much better/healthier. It seems it’s obvious to all around you, just not you…

Be this person instead:

Uses the social media aspect to create a support group of friends with similar goals or meet new people on the same journey. You can help each other through the

Motivation and work ethic has never been your problem; you are out there doing it, enjoying it, as often as you possibly can. What you want is to figure out how to structure your training better and maximize your potential.

At the risk of sounding like your Dad, ask yourself if you really need it; be specific about what you are using it for and how it will help you accomplish your goal. In all likelihood, not having it in your life isn’t what’s stopping you getting out there and doing something! However, if it provides you with essential information or an element of play and fun that you wouldn’t normally associate with

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Barefoot Runners Society Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening within the Barefoot Runners Society

s usual, there was a competition for the design of the IBRD t-shirt, with several different options for members to vote for. The competition ran in early March and the finished product is now available, with the fun option of being able to customize your t-shirt. There are different colours, fabrics and necklines to choose from. Visit: www.zazzle.com to buy your t-shirt and support BRS. Remember, IBRD is on Sunday 4th May this year. Keep an eye on your chapter for details about events near you!

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Barefoot runner, Eddie â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barefoot Banditoâ&#x20AC;? Vega, is planning on setting not one, but two new Guinness World Records this year: 1) Most barefoot marathons run in one year and 2) Most barefoot marathons run on consecutive days (male). He has already scheduled 57 marathons from January 1st until 31st July and is planning on running 11 marathons on consecutive days in December this year. He has several reasons for his world record pursuits. He wishes to honour his late mum and dad, to raise awareness of child poverty and to leave his mark on the world. We wish Eddie all the best with his challenge! If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to find out more, visit this web link: www.guamsportsnetwork.com/2014

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Product review index Page 126

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Product Review Testers

129

Not so minimal review

130

Sockwa G3

Out of the box review

134

Xero shoes - Amuri Cloud

Not so minimal review

136

Aftershokz Sportz M2 headphones

Product Reviewreview Testers Not so minimal

121 140

Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail

122 144

Not soproduct minimalnews review Latest

126 148

Not so minimal review

150

Venado Sandalfor Athletes TLuna Rocketsâ&#x201E;˘ Sandals

The North Face Isotherm PaleoBarefootsÂŽ Pronativ1/2 Zip Shirt

Xero Amuri Venture

Out of the box review

154

Sockwa X8

Not so minimal review

156

OMM Sonic Smock

Not so minimal review

160

Luongos

We are an independent magazine and unaffiliated with any particular brand or product. This means that our reviews are honest and unbiased, written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts!

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Product review index

Not so minimal Sneaky peek review


Outlined below are the different types of review: Sneaky peek The sneaky peek review is a little taster of what’s to come. We take a look at products that are still in the development stage and find out the story behind them.

Out of the box Appalling. Not worth unpacking. The box is probably of more use.

This is a ‘first impressions’ review. The tester writes a brief summary of the product after having a quick look over it and taking it for a spin.

Very poor. Under performs in every area. Significantly flawed.

Not so minimal

Poor. Under performs in nearly all areas. Not recommended.

This is the ‘nitty gritty’ review. Our tester takes the product thoroughly through its paces over two or three months and then reports back his/her findings.

Off the pace. Below average in nearly every area.

Long term review Does the product stand the test of time? This type of review reviews and rates the product’s longevity – usually after around six months or so of usage.

Acceptable. Average in most areas but has its disappointments. Good. Above average in some areas but very average in others.

Head to head

Very Good. Recommended in all areas.

This can take two forms: either one reviewer pits two similar products against each other and compares them both, or several reviewers test the same product to provide the reader with different perspectives.

Excellent. Highly recommended in all areas. Fantastic. Almost flawless. A must have.

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Name: Ian Hicks Preferred footwear: Barefoot/Minimal Preferred terrain: Multi-terrain Tester initials: IH

Name: Tracy Davenport Preferred footwear: Barefoot/Minimal Preferred terrain: Multi-terrain Tester initials: TMD

Product review team

Name: Jonathan Mackintosh Preferred footwear: Minimal Preferred terrain: Trail Tester initials: JJM

Name: Steve Richards Preferred footwear: Barefoot/Minimal Preferred terrain: Multi-terrain Tester initials: SR

Name: Charlie Sproson Preferred footwear: Minimal Preferred terrain: Multi-terrain Tester initials: CS

Name: Preferred footwear: Preferred terrain: Tester initials:

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Sockwa G3

Not so minimal review

WEIGHT (UK8)

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

1.2 mm

0 mm

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

Thermoplastic polyurethane

Fully Synthetic

N/A

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

4 - 13½

37 - 49

5 - 13

6 - 12

76g / 2.7OZ

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Styling I’m afraid I’m not a lover of the G3 style. When I’m wearing them, I kind of get the feeling that I’m wearing my Grandad’s slippers! The Sockwa logo on the side of the shoe, however, goes some way to improve the appearance. It is produced in a very good range of colours - red, black, olive green, yellow or brown. This does help give the G3 some character.

Tracy from Barefoot Britain asked for my exact foot length and I was sent a size accordingly – perfect fit. They are snug without feeling too tight.

Build quality I’m quite impressed with the build quality. The rubber sole has a basic tread which is glued to the upper. There is a double membrane around the sides, with the seams sewn together. Upon turning the G3 inside out - which is very easy to do, showing just flexible they are - I noticed that the seams have not been trimmed very well, with a few rough edges noticeable. I was concerned that these edges might cause rubbing, but to date this has not happened.

Performance My main complaint about the G3 is that it does not breathe well. I have to accept that my feet are left to breathe 90% of the time, so are not used to being covered. After only a short time wearing them around the house my feet became hot and sweaty. Things didn’t improve much while

running outside. I ran with outside temperatures of around 3ºC and after about a mile my feet became uncomfortably warm - not sweaty, but just a bit too warm for my liking. This warm feeling will be more appreciated by some minimal runners wanting toasty feet in the winter; for them this is the ideal shoe. In the summer, these might just be too hot to handle. For me, anything above 8ºC and I would have to carry them. I’ve had to do a lot of my running in rain this winter. The Sockwa have had a good soaking for this review! The rubber soles will keep out the damp. The sides have a double membrane which will help keep the water out to a certain extent, but in heavy rain with plenty of puddles around they soon become waterlogged. The problem I have with them is that when they become waterlogged, the water does not drain out of them and this does make running rather interesting. They are designed in California, so are clearly not meant for British weather! Having said all this, the sole does provide grip and is good in the wet with no slipping problems.

Barefoot Simulation The G3s, as minimal shoes go, do provide good barefoot simulation. If you are used to minimal shoes then the ground feel is excellent. With only a 1.2mm piece of rubber between you and the ground you will feel most cracks and crannies.

Picture courtesy of sockwablog.com

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Not so minimal review

Fit

I really like the wide fit of the G3, my toes don’t feel restricted across the width and are able to spread naturally on contact with the ground. Just walking around the house in them, they are very comfortable. I did notice my toes slightly pressing on the front of the shoe, just a bit strange at first, but wearing new shoes always is a little strange.

Sockwa G3

he Sockwa G3 is a very light, flexible, zero drop shoe that is machine washable. It has a sole that is only 1.2mm thick! The sole is made from rubber which has a basic tread. The upper is made of neoprene, so is very stretchy and comfortable. The G3 is a wider fitting model in the Sockwa range. This is good as many minimal/ barefoot runners prefer a wide toe box. There is a slight arch under the toes that runs the width of the shoe. I’m unsure why this is but it caused me no concern when wearing them. The sole is glued to the upper with only a small amount of glue showing. It has an elastic collar which secures the shoe nicely around the ankle.


Sockwa G3

Price

will tell. Barefoot simulation is okay; maybe I’m just too strict with this category. It is, however, a delight to run on very rough surfaces, like gravel or worn out tarmac.

The Sockwa G3 comes in at around £40. At first glance, this may seem quite expensive for something that is a sock with a rubber sole. I generally take this view. This may be just because I’m a little old fashioned and like to know I’m getting something for my money. The real question is how durable they are. This is what gives them value for money. After about 100 miles of running in them there is no real sign of wear. I would say that they should go on for some distance before wear starts to show, so maybe the £40 price tag is not so high.

Overall

Not so minimal review

The Sockwa G3 makes a fine minimal running shoe. It is comfortable to wear and allows my feet to move naturally with very little restriction. The restriction only really comes from my toes pressing the front material while walking. The rubber sole is very thin and the payoff may be durability, but only time

For me, there are two things that let the G3 down, detracting slightly from an otherwise very good minimal shoe. First, they don’t let my feet breathe. After a few miles my feet become too hot and sweaty, making running quite uncomfortable, though I’m sure there will be many minimal runners who will appreciate a bit of warmth for the colder months more than I do. Secondly, their performance in the wet is marred by the fact that they do not drain at all well. This is not a splash in the puddles shoe! Taking everything into account, the G3 is a pretty good minimal shoe. I will be slipping them on when the weather gets too cold even for my hot feet!

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Light Comfortable Easy fit

Style Don’t breathe Straps are a weak point


Luna Vernado Sandal

Minimal review

Barefoot Running Magazine

Autumn 2013

Page 115


Amuri Cloud

Out-of-the-box review

Tested by ALT

WEIGHT (UK9)

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

6 mm

0 mm

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

FeelTrue速

N/A

N/A

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

5 - 12

38 - 47

6 - 13

7 - 10

130g / 4.6OZ

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Amuri Cloud

Styling Personally, I think these sandals are very stylish indeed. The colour combinations work well, with some understated ones and some that are more eye-catching. I opted for the blue/black version and they look good! The Barefoam™ has a pattern to it, rather than just being a smooth piece of material, which adds to the overall look.

Fit The fit is a bit of an issue for me. I went for the smallest size that’s on offer (I’m a UK size 5) and they are still a little long and wide for me.

First impressions I’ve worn the Amuri Cloud for walking around and it is extremely comfortable. The toes posts feel quite hard to the touch but they are fine when the shoe is on. I like the slight cushioned feel too. “Cushioned” is probably the wrong word – it really is very minimal and doesn’t affect stability.

Styling Comfortable sole

Price

Price

Limited small sizes

I have always found the Xero Shoes pricing very reasonable indeed. The Amuri Cloud at $49.99 is no exception – you are paying extra (compared to the original Xero Shoes) for the design input and extra manufacturing costs and they will no doubt last a long time.

Straps are a weak point

Can’t trim to individual foot shape

Overall I admit that I find it quite hard to find shoes that are comfortable. So far, these have been very comfortable for general wear and they look good! I’m looking forward to wearing them in properly and taking them out for some runs.

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Out-of-the-box review

he Amuri Cloud is the latest, ready-to-wear offering from the team at Xero Shoes. With the same adjustable lacing system as the Amuri Venture, the new Amuri Cloud is lighter in weight and also has “Barefoam™” in the forefoot to give a slightly cushioned feel without affecting gait. There are four standard colours: grey/ black, brown/black, blue/black and blue/lime green - but also two new offerings (a bit more expensive but very cool) which are camo and ocean camo.


AfterShokz Sportz 2 headphones

Not so minimal review

ow before I begin this review, I am perfectly aware of how wearing headphones is viewed by many in the world of running and that is carried over even more so into the world of barefoot running. Why are you listening to music or a podcast when you are out running? I hear you ask, especially when you have all of the beautiful sounds of nature and especially when you are listening carefully to your own foot fall which is important as a barefoot runner. A loud foot fall, or slapping on the pavement, is a good indication of how good, or bad, your form is and we all know the importance of good form to keep us running better and injury free for longer. It's easy to slip into bad form during a long run - we all do it at times, so listening out for these changes will alert you early on to simply re-focus. I suppose everyone is different though. Personally, I go through spells when I don't want to listen to anything at all and during those times I really couldn't think of anything worse than the additional distraction and racket. Lord knows, being a mother of two small boys, my life is often filled with persistent noise. LOUD NOISE. So the thought of having anything but my thoughts along with me for the ride is sometimes unbearable. Running for me is a form of meditation, a precious capsule in time for no one else but me to enjoy and filter through current events and digest information without being interrupted. Sometimes there is even this beautiful nothingness, a space in which my mind calms, no thoughts in particular, just an open sense of freedom. However, there are also the times when I want and enjoy a bit of distraction. I find running with other people fulfills this same desire, nothing too full on but I can have a conversation and a bit of company. But this is a rarity for me, so the rest of those times I will listen to music, usually with one headphone tucked into my shirt and the other in an ear. Why? Well, there are a few reasons – the aforementioned footfall being one - but being able to hear the other things going on around you is so important for your safety. Should anything happen, you can react or - equally importantly not over react. We have all been there, running along the road,

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headphones in, mentally singing along in your own head (and sometimes out loud too!), an ambulance comes up behind you and when it is about two feet away, you eventually hear it and jump out of your skin - and hopefully not into oncoming traffic! Then, there is the other kind of safety; being a woman who often runs alone, I just never know who I am going to encounter so it is imperative to be acutely aware of my surroundings at all times. You can't form the full picture if you can't hear anything but your music. So this leads me on to the actual review of the product: AfterShokz headphones. I met the distributors for this product at The Running Show this year - their stand was opposite mine. So I was afforded front row seats to the comings and goings of interested customers. The first thing I noticed was the flat screens showing a short film on a loop of a girl running through the park

Barefoot Running Magazine

using the headphones - the way she ran was dreadful! Then Anna Toombs and David Robinson came over to say hi, turned around, saw the film and promptly commented on how awful this girl’s running was! It made me laugh - you can see the same film on their website here if you would like to decide for yourself: www.aftershokz.co.uk/ Bone-Conduction-HeadphonesAfterShokz-s/1818.htm . Anyway, over the course of the day I saw person after person try the headphones on. It was the level of response which tweaked my interest, with many of the curious customers ending up purchasing a pair. Now, we all know you can get a half decent pair of headphones for £20.00p or so, so what was it about these headphones which had people parting with their £49.0083.00p (depending on the model) on the spot? I was curious to find out for myself... By the end of the weekend, I was


So why would we want to utilize this new technology? Well, the answer is pretty simple. It means that you can hear your surroundings normally when out doing activity, therefore you experience no dangerous and unexpected surprises or noises which could scare you into a dangerous place. You can also hear the beautiful sounds of nature and finally - a big one - you can protect yourself from hearing damage and even hearing loss which can occur using conventional headphones. A study published in 2010 in Journal of the American Medical Association found an astonishing 1 in 5 teenagers in the USA now has some degree of hearing loss from listening to excessively loud music using traditional headphones. A pertinent issue for me was how well they perform with regards to sound quality, so I decided to try them with different types of music in different settings; everything from opera

and classical to house and rock. Personally, my music taste is pretty eclectic so it's important to have all of the boxes ticked. I have heard that when this type of technology was introduced in 2000, there were some concerns with sound quality as certain sounds were thought to present better than others. And it is true to some extent. I would say that the sound quality isn't quite as good as some very high end earphones. But I can honestly say that this is something you will not notice when out and about. You will, in part, notice that the sounds of the outside world will compete to some degree but this is to be expected given that the ear canal has not been shut off and this is, as I have mentioned, a positive thing - a reason to part with your money for this product. In some places you will find this more apparent where there are loud outside noises, like running alongside a very busy main road, but we should all try to mix up our running routes anyway to keep things fresh and interesting.

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Not so minimal review

The appearance of the product is well designed and comes in its own carry case, with instructions and the USB charger. Charger? I hear you ask. Yes, the headphones need to be charged up which is done simply and completely in 2 hours. When fully charged the LED light will turn from red to blue. The reason for this charging requirement is that this type of technology uses more power than traditional headphones and would drain the battery on the device you are using, so although it is a slight nuisance, the payoff is worth it. In relation to the design, I found that the way they are worn which is slightly differently to regular headphones - is very comfortable. The neck band goes around your neck and the transmitters go just in front of your ears where your cheekbones meet the rest of the skull. Admittedly, at first I thought that this may be a problem as I thought every time I moved my head I'd feel them pull, but I only ever got this sense when tipping my head right back to look at the sky, so most of you won't experience this as a problem when out running! I also didn't find that their weight created sore spots on the tops of my ears where they hook over which I was pleasantly surprised

AfterShokz Sportz 2 headphones

generously handed a pair of the AfterShokz Sports 2 to try out. Now, I'd like to take this opportunity to briefly explain the difference between these and regular earphones or buds. As most of you will know, traditional head phones or ear buds work by surrounding the ear and blocking or plugging the outside world, meaning that all you can hear is what's being played through the head phones. Even if there is nothing being played they will impair your ability to hear the outside world. Now, Aftershokz work in a fairly new and different way. Rather than playing the music directly into your ear they use what is called 'bone conduction technology'. This is when the sound is conducted through the bones in your skull to produce the sound rather than using the outer ear. The sound is directly transmitted to the innermost part of the ear that sends nerve impulses to the brain, meaning that parts of the ear are completely bypassed.


AfterShokz Sportz 2 headphones

about. There are currently three models available, all varying in price and ability: The AfterShokz Bluetooth Bluez headphones, their most expensive product at £83.29p. They are a single piece headband without a cord.

The AfterShokz Sportz 2 headphones, coming in at £49.96p.

NEW AfterShokz Sportz M2 with mic, coming in at £58.29p.

Features

Features

 Safer, more comfortable than

 Safer, more comfortable than

Features

 Speaker type: Dual suspension            

 

    

Not so minimal review

bone conduction Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB Frequency response: 20Hz - 20KHz Microphone: -41dB ± 3dB Bluetooth: 2.1+EDR Compatible Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP Wireless Range: 10 m / 33 ft Battery: Rechargeable 250 mAh Lithium Ion battery Playback time: Up to 6 hours at low volume Charging time: 3 hours (using included micro USB to USB cable) LED indicator for operation, low battery and charging Weight: 48 g / 1.7 ounces Colour: Black with black transducer pads Warranty: 2-Year against manufacturer defects

traditional headphones or earbuds Open ear design allows you to make/take phone calls and stay connected to both what you are listening to and the outside world  30% Smaller, lighter in-line controller with:  On / Off switch  Volume Control  Micro USB to USB cable  Smaller, lighter lithium ion battery with 12 hour play time Patent pending dual suspension bone conduction with improved sound quality Very comfortable and stable wraparound headband - larger to accommodate more head sizes Sweat and water resistant 130cm / 51.2 inch cable (including in-line controller) 3.5mm Gold plated jack that fits most smart phones, MP3 players, iPhones, iPods, and iPads Deluxe storage hard case 2-Year Warranty against manufacturer defects

 

    

traditional headphones or earbuds Open ear design allows you to make / take phone calls and stay connected to both what you are listening to and the outside world  30% Smaller, lighter in-line controller with:  Microphone to make/take phone calls  On / off switch  Volume control  Play / pause / advance / rewind music  Micro USB charging port  Smaller, lighter lithium ion battery with 12 hour play time Patent pending dual suspension bone conduction with improved sound quality Very comfortable and stable wraparound headband - larger to accommodate more head sizes Sweat and water resistant 130cm / 51.2 inch Cable (including in-line controller) 3.5mm Gold plated jack that fits most smart phones, MP3 players, iPhones, iPods, and iPads Deluxe storage case 2-Year Warranty against manufacturer defects

In all, this is a high quality product with a high quality look and feel which I would certainly recommend to those of you who, at times, enjoy a little music in your lives.

Tested By: TMD

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Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail

Not so minimal review

WEIGHT (UK9)

FOOTBED

272g / 9.6oz

2.5 with 4.5mm lugs + removable 3mm insert

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

N/A

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

V - TREK

Breathable Duo Mesh

Dri-lex

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

2.5 - 13

35 - 48.5

7 - 14

5 - 11.5

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When it comes to the whys and wherefores of minimalist running, the Vivobarefoot website stands head and shoulders above most, if not all, of its competitors. Alongside the ubiquitous Shop button, you will also find options to ‘LEARN The Skill of Movement’ and ‘DISCOVER The Benefits of Barefoot’, both well-constructed, comprehensive sections covering everything you might want to know about minimalist running. Whether you are looking to purchase a Vivobarefoot product or simply to expand your knowledge, it’s a resource worth checking out and an example to other brands what can be done to support your product range. The Vivobarefoot argument is straightforward – your feet have all the technology you need. Their aim is to provide shoes that let your foot do ‘their thing’.

This is done via a combination of a wide toe box, ultimate flexibility, and an ultra-thin sole. The Breatho Trail, named because of the breathability of the shoe, is constructed in this way, making use of a sweat-wicking neoprene mesh upper to ensure breathability, an anatomical zigzag lacing structure to provide a perfect fit, and an aggressive sole to provide excellent traction on the toughest of terrains. .

Aesthetically, the navy/sulphur combination of the Breatho Trail really stands out. If it wasn’t for the sulphur trim and logo, the navy upper of the shoe would be quite understated. However, the clever use of the sulphurcolouring results in a shoe that will likely be noticed. The Breatho Trail certainly doesn’t look like a typical running shoe and, as such, would be equally at home worn casually, something that I have done on numerous occasions. The only criticism I would level would be with regard to the fat laces that have been used on the Breatho Trail but this is mostly a functional rather than aesthetic criticism. Certainly, as far as the aesthetics of the shoe go, the sulphur laces complement the trim used elsewhere on the shoe. More on the laces to follow. The best description of the Breatho Trail that I came across described it as “classic, a bit retro and not necessarily as 'sporty' as what you would typically find out there in the running shoe world”.[3]

Fit As far as comfort goes, the Breatho Trail provided a perfect fit straight out of the box, with a lovely wide toe box to facilitate toe splay, helping with both balance and running efficiency. The tongue on the Breatho Trail is completely attached and I found that this, coupled with the anatomical zigzag lacing system, resulted in a snug, secure fit at all times. The Breatho Trail has a Dri-lex lining with Lycra collar: Lightweight, performance lining for moisture wicking and superior comfort.

A 3 mm footbed can be removed to add more space for larger feet, or to increase ground feel if required.

Build quality The Breatho Trail consists of a durable sweat-wicking neoprene mesh upper with thicker panelling on the heel and side areas to protect the mesh from abrasion. This is complemented with a patented ultra-thin, puncture resistant sole with multi-directional ‘V-teeth’ for the ultimate in trail traction. Looking online to see what others thought of the shoe, I did come across a few complaints with regard to the long term durability of the lugs on the sole. However, despite continually using the Breatho Trail on concrete, en route to the trails, I have yet to experience any issues of this nature. Given that the Breatho Trail is intended for off road use, it does stand to reason that prolonged use, especially on concrete, may result in degradation of the lugs. However, this is as true for any shoe as it is for the Breatho Trail.

Performance The Breatho Trail is highly breathable, as the name would suggest. However, this is at the expense of water resistance. Quite simply, if it’s wet underfoot and/or raining, your feet are going to get wet. On the plus side however, when wet, the shoe does dry out quickly. One of THE standout points of the Breatho Trail for me is the patented ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole. The aggressive 2.5mm sole with 4.5mm multidirectional lugs provides excellent traction off road, coping equally well with rough, muddy and wet terrain. The lugs towards the rear of the shoe face the opposite direction from those on the front, helping to maintain traction on steep and slippery descents. My only issues with traction came on concrete, on a frosty morning when it was slippy underfoot –

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Not so minimal review

"The key for a long life of efficient movement involves reconnecting your brain and reconditioning your body. This is achieved by relearning the skill of locomotion by perfecting simple motor skill milestones and simultaneously, and gradually, building up adequate strength." [2]

Styling

Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail

ivobarefoot is “a shoe technology aimed at offering the optimum biomechanics and posture commonly associated with walking barefoot and barefoot running” and it has been described as “as close to going barefoot in the city as you can get.” [1]


Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail

hardly the intended terrain for the Breatho Trail. I really appreciated the protection afforded by the puncture-resistant sole and have to admit to feeling that bit more assured running over rough and uncertain terrain than I have in the past. You do still feel what lies underfoot. There’s no cushioning to dampen ground feel and, further, there’s no rock plate, as used in some trainers to protect the feet. However, the extra level of protection means you can ‘switch off’ somewhat and just appreciate the journey. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t actually feel like you have such prominent lugs on the sole! The cut of the Breatho Trail around the ankle area is quite low. As such, grit and other small debris can sometimes enter the shoe. If this is a concern however, it is easily remedied with the use of running gaiters, something that I tend to wear regardless of shoe choice when I know the terrain is likely to pose this problem.

Not so minimal review

Aesthetically, the low cut means that even trainer socks may be visible when wearing the shoe. The main issue I had with the Breatho Trail was the laces and, from what I can gather online, it’s an issue that is shared by many other Breatho wearers! While the fat, sulphurcoloured laces do complement the overall colour scheme and look and feel of the Breatho Trail, I found that they continually came undone. The solution to this lay in double knotting. However, given the fat nature of the laces, this

did result in a somewhat ungainly looking knot and my preference would definitely be for thinner laces. Further, even with my wide feet, I found the laces had quite an excess once tied and, as such, I felt that the laces could also do with being shortened by a good bit. As I write this review, Vivobarefoot have just announced a new trail shoe, the Trail Freak, and it would appear that they have taken on board criticism of the Breatho Trail laces as a lock lace style lacing system has been used instead.

Barefoot Simulation Despite the comfort of the Breatho Trail, there’s no doubting that it’s a zero drop shoe that’s all about encouraging the natural movement of your foot, achieved through the combination of wide toe box, ultimate flexibility, and ultra-thin sole. The Breatho Trail can be rolled from heel to toe with very little resistance and this highlights the flexibility of the shoe both from heel to toe and, also, laterally. It affords a generous amount of protection without compromising on ground feel and you do still feel connected to the terrain underfoot, albeit in a way that certainly made me feel slightly less concerned with what lay underfoot. The absence of a rock plate is noticeable on occasion, especially on particularly rocky terrain but the shoe has been constructed with the aim of going as close to barefoot as you can possibly get.

Price RRP was £85.00 but, at the time of writing, available for only £60.00

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Overall Rating The Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail has quickly established itself as one of my go-to trail shoes and also as a casual shoe thanks to that retro look that works so well paired with jeans. There’s little to fault about this shoe, other than my aforementioned gripe about the laces, and I particularly welcome the protection afforded by the patented ultra-thin, punctureresistant sole. The Breatho Trail offers the perfect combination of barefoot simulation coupled with a high degree of protection thanks to the puncture resistant sole. Tested by JJM 1. 2. 3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivobarefoot http://www.vivobarefoot.com/uk/learn http://wwwbarefoot-monologues.com

Styling Great fit Surprisingly good ground feel

Fat and excessively long laces Not so good on wet concrete Straps are a weak point


    

Parts & servicing Race preparation Modifications Custom builds Expert advice

82High High Street, Street, London, SE20 7HB 82 London, SE20 7HB

Barefoot Running Magazine

www.se20cycles.com www.se20cycles.com

Autumn 2013

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T Rockets™ Sandals ’m always on the lookout for new minimal shoes and huaraches for reviewing in the magazine. So I was pleased to come across Andrew Barnes and his T Rockets on facebook one day. Andrew lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. When Andrew was young he was an avid rock climber in Cape Town. He was also a runner, choosing to run “trail” on Table Mountain. This was quite unusual as most runners in the early 1980’s did not choose to run on such rough terrain.

Sneaky peek

Andrew and his friend would embark on multi-day hiking trips, including the 60km Hottentot Hollands Trail. The original routing of this multi day hike is no longer used as 14 people died on the trail over a 14 year period! In 1986 Andrew moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg where he started running more. He was also buying more and more running

shoes, as was the trend pushed by the big shoe companies. Lower back spasms, piriformis issues and other problems eventually conspired to reduce Andrew to a 5km runner after which distance the pain would reduce him to a hobble. The issues that Andrew suffered from, he believes, were from prolonged use of running shoes, but the truth in the matter may lay in the fact that he broke his back and neck in a motorbike race crash! For the next few years Andrew did very little running until he read Dr Craig Richards’ book on barefoot running in 2011. The reasoning behind barefoot running, although he did not want to run barefoot, just made sense. Zero drop, midfoot landing, cadence, etc… at that point he was a convert. After searching the internet, he came across Bite Xtension sandals. Sandals seemed the right option, as years before he had embarked on several mountain trips and chose sandals over any other footwear. Andrew committed himself to making a sandal so that he could run decently again. And so he came up with a mantra:

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“Make sandals that work but also develop the physiological conditioning to run in sandals.” Early attempts at making sandals were not that successful. The breakthrough came in 2012 with the use of EVA for the soles and more recently polyurethane. Enthusiasm got the better of Andrew and he did too much too soon, with various transition injuries culminating in a broken and displaced metatarsal. He continued to run through the pain until he heard it crack after bending down to massage his sore foot and pushing off! Not disheartened, Andrew studied any information he could find to build up the knowledge needed to run in sandals. Now, after more than two years of sandal making, he feels that his sandals have reached the stage where they are useful and could help others make the transition. As for himself, he now runs exclusively in his sandals (including marathons and ultras) with a bit of barefoot running now and then. And as he says … “I have never felt better”. The general style of the T Rocket sandal is that of Luna and Bedrock, rather than Xeros. They have a hardcore look to them. They are handmade by Andrew, using the customer’s own foot template. The foot-bed is made from non-slip


T Rockets™ Sandals

poly-rubber and they come in two colours: orange and purple. The colour coded soles are dual compound with sections of hard and soft tread. There are various thicknesses that can be made on request. The lacing is a three way, fully adjustable system. The webbing used for the lacing is similar to Luna’s, as opposed to Xero’s where a cord is used. The webbing is also elastic for easy fitting and removal. Andrew will be visiting the UK in April to take part in the Highland Fling in Scotland. He will be bringing with him an orange pair of T Rockets that have been custom made for me. I will be writing a full review on them for the summer edition of the magazine. It is going to be interesting to see how well they work on the muddy trails around my home! For more information on T Rockets and ordering, please send an email to senrab40@gmail.com. In Andrew’s own words, “By acquiring T Rockets you will become part of the growing family of co-creators of this unique brand of athletic sandal which is driven by continuous usage, development and innovation”.

Sneaky peek

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hanks to Frédérik Sisa, for asking me to answer a few questions about barefoot running on his site, The Front Page Online. I want to highlight a point that I make in the interview, because I think it’s under-appreciated and under-discussed in the barefoot community. For example: If you haven’t been barefoot in a while – especially if you want to explore barefoot running – you probably are not used to using your muscles in the way that barefooting will demand.

use less effort. Most people think that calf or Achilles pain is simply part of the transition process from running in shoes to running barefoot, that the cause is previous underuse, and that the solution is to get stronger. I disagree. More often than not, calf or Achilles pain is from using those muscles/ tendons more than necessary, not that they’ve been weakened by wearing shoes for some amount of time.

Sometimes this means that the transition to barefoot may require strengthening. More often it means simply paying attention to your body, finding the comfortable way to move that doesn’t require extra effort (that is, I would focus on moving with less effort before trying to get stronger).

If, when you land, you reach out with your foot (overstriding), you use your calf and Achilles to decelerate. Sure, getting freakishly strong may make that easier to do, but the correct solution is to “stop putting on the brakes” when you land by stopping your overstriding and, instead, placing your foot more “underneath your body”.

The key point I want to emphasize is

Similarly, if you remove your foot from

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the ground by pushing off with your toes, you’re essentially doing bodyweight calf raises every time you take a stride…and even a short run would be more than your body can handle. Again, the solution isn’t to hit the weight room and improve your calf raise strength. It’s to LIFT your foot off the ground (instead of pushing) by flexing at the hip. If you imagine what would happen if a bee were to sting your foot…you wouldn’t try to push away from the ground, you would reflexively (faster and easier) pull your foot from the ground with a hip flex. In order to use less effort, you’ll probably have to start with less running. That’s fine. By the time you figure out how to make things easier, you probably will have gained any extra strength that you may need, if any. Remember my barefoot running mantra: “How can I make this lighter, easier, and MORE FUN?”


Open Ear Sport Headphones Nothing In Your Ears Listen Safely While You...

Features & Benefits  Open ear design - nothing in, or covering, the ears

 Unblocked hearing for safer outdoor activities  Patent pending bone conduction technology transmits sound through cheekbones to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrums

 Lightweight, ergonomic design offers unmatched comfort when worn for extended periods of time Ba B raer feof o to tR u Rn u n inni g n gMM ag a a g zaSweat izni e n eand Sp S water p r i rni g ng 2 02 10 41 4 P a Pg ag e e1 49 71 resistant

www.aftershokz.co.uk

 Includes deluxe hard storage case


T Rockets™ Sandals

Latest product news

he team at Gost-barefoots have been working on a new product that will bring the quality, durability and barefoot feel of the off-road, chainmail “Paleos” to the on road running community. Called the “Urbans”, these new shoes, still in the development stages, will have many of the characteristics of the Paleos but

are geared towards town and city running, rather than out in the wilderness. There have been a few setbacks with the manufacturing process as the production team are not prepared to compromise on quality and want to produce a shoe that is as top notch as the Paleos.

Meanwhile, for those who love the Paleos but don’t always have access to trails, you can now purchase the “Multi-paw option”. These are the original Paleos with little rubbery ‘blobs’ on the bottom to provide grip on smoother surfaces, without compromising performance. Our Head Reviewer for Barefoot Running Magazine, Ian Hicks, will be providing an exclusive review for the “Urbans” as soon as they are ready. He is a big fan of the Paleos and Paleo “Paws” so we await the new “Urbans” with much excitement! For more information and to purchase the Paleo footwear, visit: www.gost-barefoots.com

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T Rocketsâ&#x201E;˘ Sandals

Latest product news

Barefoot Running Magazine

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Amuri Venture

Not so minimal review

WEIGHT (UK9)

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

5.5 mm

0 mm

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

FeelTrue速

N/A

N/A

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

4 - 13

37 - 48

5 - 14

6 - 11

153g / 5.4OZ

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There are several new features over the previous models. There is a new lacing system which is fully adjustable and can lock in place via two ladder clasps, one on each side of the ankle. There is now a toe post made of soft rubber and is countersunk to the underside of the sole, so no more of the knot wearing away underneath. At the rear of the sandal there is a heel cup, which is intended to help keep the heel in place. Also at the rear, where the laces go around the Achilles, there is a soft rubber tube that covers four laces. There is a sliding knot over the top of the foot, which allows for tension adjustments. All in all some very interesting modifications have been made.

Styling

Build quality Again I give them a very high score. The sole is made from a hard material that should last for many miles – they come with a 5,000 mile warranty so Xeros have a lot of confidence in their product. A nice feature is the side straps that are lifted away from the ground, so wear has been reduced at this strap point which would be an obvious wear location. There is no longer any notable lace contact with the ground. The new toe post sits flush with the underside of the sole. Wear on the laces has been dramatically reduced.

Performance I’m unable to run on the road with the Amuri Venture because of a slapping noise when the sandal contacts the ground. I have tried adjusting the laces, which has made them more secure and improved the slapping noise but not cured it. I have spoken to Steven Sashen, Xero’s CEO, and he informs me that it is my running form that causes the slapping noise. I’ve run many barefoot miles with no problem. I have a pair of tyre sandals that I made myself which

make no slapping sound while running on hard smooth surfaces. So I can only conclude that they do not suit my running style on tarmac. Trail running is completely different. I’ve run with them over extremely muddy conditions with no problem; they provide very good grip. The lacing works very well, they feel secure with very little lateral movement. I’m happy to take them over varied terrain with confidence. With the added bonus of the heel cup, the Amuri Venture makes an excellent trail sandal. I play a new sport called TrailBall a cross between football and trail running. This is a timed event in which a small team of runners kick a small ball over a set distance 5k, 10k or further. I wore them to one of these events. At about 3k into a 5k event, I kicked the ball with the side of my foot and the toe post unexpectedly popped out. As this is a timed team event I was unable to stop and make running repairs, so I finished barefoot. I found out later it is just a case of pushing the toe post back through the hole in the sole. This did dent my confidence with them but it has not happened since and my confidence is returning. TrailBall is a fast paced sport over varying terrain, probably not what the Xero team had in mind when

Fit Here they score high. The new lacing system is very comfortable. The rubber toe post is soft and hardly noticeable, although I have no problem with straps between my toes on conventional huaraches. There is now a piece of silicone tubing through which four laces go at the

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This is a great looking sandal. The choice of coloured laces and matching heel cup – royal blue, lime green (colour on test), pink and charcoal - makes this a very stylish sandal. Xeros have gone for the summer casual sandal look, which, for me, results in them losing the running sandal look. Xeros have never been about big trail huaraches, like Luna or Bedrock for example. They are about light fast running, but I think in their bid to make a high selling sandal, they will be losing some barefoot/minimal runners who like the traditional looking huarache and feel. This sandal will appeal to a lot of runners who like the less traditional look.

heel end, which is very comfortable and secure, with the lacing now staying firmly on the Achilles and not dropping down while running. I love the secure fit. I just pull them on and I’m out the door; no messing around! I’ve not had to make adjustments whilst running, which is a big bonus. The sliding knot I love – sad, I know. It’s very easy to adjust, just slide the knot up towards the ankle to run and side it down to take them off.

Amuri Venture

teven Sashen from Xero Shoes has produced a good looking huarache. The Amuri Venture is a pre-assembled model, so no D.I.Y. is needed. The straps can be adjusted but generally you can just slip them on and you are ready to run.


Amuri Venture

they designed the Amuri Venture!

Barefoot simulation The Amuri Venture has a 5.5mm sole and is made from a hard rubber. It is not as flexible as the 4mm Connect Xero. For me, as a barefoot runner, the barefoot simulation is not good. I can’t feel the small creases and undulations in the road, which is important for me. Only large cracks and stones make their presence known to the 200,000 nerve endings on the soles of my feet. I’m making my judgement on my own feeling as a barefoot runner, not as a minimal runner. A lot of minimal runners and runners wanting to transition to barefoot running (looking for some protection) will find the barefoot simulation good. Taking them out on the Wiltshire trails where I live was marginally better, although this is hard to judge because of the debris that comes between my feet and the footbed.

Not so minimal review

Price You are getting good value for money with the Amuri Venture. £30 for a smart looking and secure running sandal, with the added bonus of a 5,000 mile warranty for the sole, is excellent value for money.

Overall Do I like the Amuri Venture? I have mixed feelings about them. Steven Sashen is very passionate about his sandals and barefoot running. He has produced an excellent looking huarache. The new, hassle free lacing system is a winner for me - it gives the sandal a secure feel and helps it stay put on the run. There are two things that let them down. The first is the slapping noise made on contact with hard surfaces. This could be down to form but I feel the issue lies with the fact that the rubber sole is hard and too thick. If the sole could be made thinner then I’m sure this would reduce the noise factor. Secondly, the barefoot simulation lets them down. Again I think the sole is too hard – the pay off for the 5,000 mile warranty! There are some great points for the Amuri Venture. The price is excellent for a well made, comfortable sandal. I love the styling; this is personal taste but I think it works well. The fit is very comfy and secure, exactly what you need while running. Steven has come up with a winner with the lacing system, it works extremely well. What lets the sandal down for me is the slapping noise. I find it too distracting and this takes the enjoyment out of running. With the secure fit, excellent lacing system and good grip they make an excellent trail sandal. I will definitely be using them for trail running in the future, just not on the road! Tested by IH

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Styling Lacing system Price

Barefoot feel Performance on road Straps are a weak point


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Sockwa X8

Out-of-the-box review

Tested by IH

WEIGHT (UK8)

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

1.2 mm

0 mm

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

Thermoplastic polyurethane

Fully Synthetic

N/A

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

4 - 13½

37 - 49

5 - 13

6 - 12

76g / 2.7OZ

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Styling I love the look f the X8 . The X8 is better looking than the G3, which, I’m sorry to say, I found quite ugly. Sockwa have produced something that looks good. My teenage children will even be seen out with me while wearing them. If it passes the teenager in public test, Sockwa are onto a winner!

Fit My first impression before trying them on was that they looked too narrow for my feet. My fears where short lived – they were fine after I had tried them on and started to walk around in them. The stretchy upper gave good fit without feeling tight. My toes did touch the front when walking - I found this also with the G3, but it caused me no real concern, just something I had to get used to. It's worth noting that the sole is contoured to the shape of the foot, again the same as the G3. To make sure you wear them on the correct feet, they have printed "Left" and "Right" inside the shoe heel! So there is no chance of us barefooters getting it wrong!

Build quality My initial thoughts are good. On first inspection they seem well put together. I have two concerns though: First, how long the glued rubber sole (at the join to the upper), will remain stuck, considering these are a very flexible shoe. Will the flexing movement pull the harder rubber away from the upper? Second, the "Ariaprene" that wraps over the top of the foot seems like the kind of material that could easily be torn when caught on sharp objects. The sole looks durable, but further testing will tell.

First impressions First impressions are good. I really like how comfortable they are, as well as the very good ground feel. They are very light and flexible. I was pleased with my first short run on tarmac – the sensation was much the same as the G3, but I did notice that my feet did not become so hot as they did with the G3!

Styling

Price The X8 is more expensive than the G3, with the X8 costing £49 from Barefoot Britain, whereas the G3 is £42. "Ariaprene" fabric that Sockwa are using for the X8 is a good light weight, stretchy and breathable material, so this may be justification for the £49 price tag!

Barefoot simulation Price

On the pricey side Only available in black Straps are a weak point

Overall In the short time that I have been wearing the X8, I have grown quite fond of them. I have started to wear them for work, in an office environment. They are very comfortable and have good barefoot simulation. My main problem I had with the G3 was that it does not breathe, so my feet become too hot and sweaty. My initial feeling for the X8 is that they have overcome this issue. My feet are not getting so hot while wearing them at work. Now looking forward to putting the X8 through their paces for a full review.

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The black "Ariaprene" across the top of the shoe does, however, remind me of when I used to wear black plimsolls for school PE lessons!

Sockwa X8

he X8 is the latest minimal shoe from Sockwa. It is extremely light and flexible. It is a development of the "G" range. The sole is the same as the G3, but the upper is all new. It is made from a breathable fabric called "Ariaprene". The sides and toe piece have a lining which is moisture-wicking and also has anti-odour properties. This is an improvement over the G3 which did not breathe well. It has holes punched through this fabric to help increase air flow. Unlike the G3 - which are available in five different colours - the X8 only comes in black. As stated on the Sockwa website, they are: "Designed for use on concrete or anywhere else extreme grip and feel are required".


OMM Sonic Smock

Not so minimal review

Tested by JJM rriving home from work I quickly glanced at the mail in the hope that my recently purchased OMM Sonic Smock had arrived. Seeing little more than a couple of medium sized envelopes, with one of them obviously falling in to the junk mail category, I assumed that I would have to wait another day to get my hands on the garment. However, closer inspection of those envelopes revealed that the Sonic Smock had indeed arrived, packaged in a manner reminiscent of one of those tightly flat packed silver foil survival blankets. First impressions were admittedly mixed. I was part impressed at

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the ridiculously small size that the garment was packed down to, and part taken aback at the lightweight nature of the material and the simplicity of the garment. Thinking back, I don’t know exactly what I had been expecting but, certainly, the product matched the description provided on the OMM web site: “The perfect superlightweight and extremely breathable windshirt that you can carry in your pocket just in case you need some weather protection whilst out on your adventure. The PointZero fabric is windproof, it also has a DWR repellency* to the fabrics

Barefoot Running Magazine

surface making the windshirt water repellant and more stain resistant. Folds up into its own collar.” *DWR (durable water repellent) is a coating added to fabrics at the factory to make them waterresistant.

Styling The OMM Sonic Smock is available in two colours, black or blue, each with an orange zip. Typically understated OMM branding adorns the upper left chest area and the rear of the garment, with some subtle flashes on the sleeves and


OMM Sonic Smock

Fit The OMM Sonic Smock offers a good fit that appears to be true to size. Personally, I would have preferred it to have been an extra one to two inches longer in the body as it finishes exactly at the waistline. Other than that however, it provides a comfortable fit. Built-in thumb loops in the elasticated cuffs afford a degree of protection for the hands, especially useful when the weather doesn’t quite necessitate the use of gloves, and, further, the loops serve to prevent the sleeves riding up the arms during activity.

I’ve seen a couple of comments online with regard to sleeve length being fractionally short but this appears to be an issue for a minority of people and, certainly, is not something that I have encountered personally. A single pull drawcord hem can be used to tighten the fit, restricting any flow of air up in to the garment. The collar is quite snug and high, useful for protecting the neck and reducing heat loss when the garment is fully zipped up.

Build Quality There’s no getting around the fact that the OMM Sonic Smock, made from feather-light Pertext Quantum material, does initially feel somewhat flimsy and this was my initial reaction when I first saw the product. Whilst I wouldn’t exactly relish the thought of testing the claimed robustness of the Sonic Smock on a bad fall or an encounter with pointy branches out on the trail, it would appear that

the garment is considerably more resilient than first impressions might lead you to believe. The material is ripstop so, at least in theory, should be resistant to tearing and ripping. Again referring to some online research, there are plenty of people who are prepared to vouch for the robustness of the Sonic Smock and, further, for the longevity of their garments despite continued use (and abuse!). I hope never to put this aspect to the test but am certainly less concerned than I was on my first encounter with the smock. “Quantum is light and strong offering a significant weight reduction without sacrificing strength and abrasion resistance.”(http://pertex.com/ fabrics/quantum/) The main qualities of the material are cited as being:

   

Featherweight Optimum strength to weight ratio Windproof Downproof

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Not so minimal review

rear of the garment. The logos and flashes add reflectivity to the garment. Regardless of the colour selected, the Sonic Smock can only be described as being shiny, something which may not be to everyone’s taste.


OMM Sonic Smock

Performance When evaluating the performance of the Sonic Smock it’s important to remember the intent of the garment. It is not intended to be a replacement for a cold weather midlayer. Nor is it intended as a replacement for a waterproof jacket capable of coping with extreme weather. The OMM Sonic Smock is a superlightweight, highly breathable, highly packable, windproof and water repellant garment that affords an element of weather protection. Coming in at a mere 60g in weight and capable of being stuffed into its own collar when not in use, it’s supremely packable. In this respect, it’s the kind of garment that you could potentially carry around in a waist pack or rucksack for months, just in case you ever found yourself in need of an extra layer of protection. It’s so compact and lightweight, it could even be accommodated in the pocket of a pair of shorts.

In terms of usage, the garment noticeably keeps the wind out, helping to reduce the potential of wind chill and, certainly to date, I have encountered no issues with the breathability of the garment.

Price The OMM Sonic Smock retails for £59.99 but can be found online from as little as £35.00.

Overall Rating I was fortunate enough to purchase the OMM Sonic Smock at the bargain price of £29.99, approximately half the RRP. A quick web search reveals that, at the time of writing, the Sonic Smock can be purchased for anything from £35 through to the full £60.00 RRP. Other than the initial impressions, where I have to admit to being somewhat taken aback at just how lightweight and simplistic the garment was, I have come to appreciate the Sonic Smock as a useful addition to my running and general outdoor wardrobe.

Not so minimal review

It appears to be far sturdier than first impressions led me to believe and, indeed, part of the garment’s attraction lies in this strength to weight ratio. It’s the kind of garment that you will not think twice about taking out on a run, either as an extra layer from the offset, or as a ‘just in case’ garment to afford some protection from the elements should the weather take a turn for the worse. It’s no substitute for a warm midlayer or a full on water proof jacket, should the weather necessitate such garments, but it certainly has its own niche. If you are looking for a superlight weight, simple, no frills garment that might even spend 90% of its time sitting unassuming in a pocket,

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waistpack or rucksack, ‘just in case’, then the OMM Sonic Smock is worth considering, especially if you can obtain one at the lower end of the price scale.

Features Ultra Packable Offset shoulder seams Stow Pocket in Collar Single Pull drawcord hem Extended front zip Reflective safety flashes Thumb loops

Specifications Weight: 60g Fabrics: PointZero – 100% nylon featherweight ripstop fabric. Downproof, highly wind resistant with DWR treatment for moisture protection Colours: Blue, Black Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL http://www.theomm.com/products/ clothing/sonicsmock/

Sophisticated styling Compact and lightweight Price

On the pricey side Minimal protection Straps are a weak point


OMM Sonic Smock

Not so minimal review

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Luongo

Not so minimal review

WEIGHT (UK XXL)

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

3 mm

0 mm

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

Neoprene

Cotton / poly blend

Cotton / poly blend

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

2.5 - 10.5

35 - 45

4 - 13

5 - 14

52g / 1.8OZ

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I ordered mine on-line, which was very easy. By the end of the day I had an email to say that they had been despatched, and within a few days they had arrived. They came with a small yellow bag to keep them in. Quite worryingly, they are supplied with a repair patch… I have been extremely unfair on the Luongos! They are only intended for indoor and light outdoor use. I’ve taken them right out of their comfort zone and been running outside on quite rough terrain, really putting them through their paces.

Styling

Fit They are sold as S, M, L, XL and XXL. I followed their footwear size chart when I ordered my pair and selected XXL as I’m a size UK 12. The first thing I noticed when slipping the Luongos on was how very comfortable they are, great for a bit of comfort around the house. Having wide feet - like most barefoot runners - they do feel tight across the width. They are stretchy but I still found this distracting. Out running on roads, the fit is excellent. Very comfortable, you barely know you’re wearing them.

Build Quality I’m pleased with the way that they have been constructed. The seams have been finished well. They have a good quality feel and look about them. I don’t think the build quality is in question. It’s more about how durable they are over time. I will have to do a long-term review on

them to answer this question.

Performance My main problem with the Luongos is that they do not breathe! After only a short time wearing them my feet became hot and sweaty and this was just wearing them around the home. Things unfortunately didn’t improve much while running. I managed a run in freezing temperatures, but still my feet became too hot after only a couple of miles. Temperatures above 8ºC were just too warm for me to run in them. I admit that I’m not comfortable in such a tight fitting shoe, but I’m sure these will appeal more to minimal runners who do. With the amount of rain we have had over the winter, I’ve had to do a fair amount of testing in the wet. This is not a wet weather shoe! It is designed in California for indoor use, so it is hardly surprising that their performance in the wet is bad. As the Luongos have no rubber in the sole, they act like sponges and because they don’t drain they soon become waterlogged. This soon makes running impossible.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Not so minimal review

I love the look of these minimals. With a simple design, they just seem to work. Maybe they could add some colour to the range to brighten them up. They have a very cosy, warm look about them, nice for dry winter mornings. Scuba diving shoes spring to mind for some reason! I’m not so selfconscious wearing the Luongos

as I am with some minimal shoes which, being a barefoot runner, is high on my list of requirements! I wonder if Luongos have been designed for Ferrari drivers?!

Luongo

uongos are machine washable gym shoes more akin to ankle socks than shoes. The uppers are made from a cotton/poly blend, while the sole is made from neoprene. They are very soft, light and comfortable. They come in any colour as long as it’s black! Luongos are the brain child of Michael Luongo, a personal trainer who lives in America.

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Luongo

Not so minimal review

Barefoot simulation

Supremely comfortable, near perfect ground feel and good styling makes this a great indoor minimal shoe.

The Luongos have fantastic barefoot simulation. With only a very thin neoprene/nylon mix sole under your feet this is hardly surprising. The ground feel is quite amazing and really puts a smile on my face while running in them. They are a joy to run in. There is, however, a massive payoff for this great barefoot simulation – durability. The wear after only a few miles is already noticeable. Having such soft soles they are going to wear down quickly.

Price The Luongos are not a cheap option for barefoot running. It is a fine looking shoe, but at £50 this is expensive for an “ankle sock” running shoe. Added to which, they do not seem strong enough to run outside and only durable enough for indoor activities. There are many other shoes on the market that are better value for money.

Overall

There are, however, two major issues that let the Luongos down. First is the price. For me, £50 for what is little more than an ankle sock is premium money. Even with the little yellow rucksack that comes with them (which I like), this does not justify such a hefty price tag. Secondly, there is the question of their durability. They are not made from a tough enough material to cope with outdoor minimal running for any length of time. This is the pay-off for such good barefoot simulation. I should emphasize that they are intended for indoor and light outdoor use but, even so, the fact that they are supplied with a repair patch is quite disconcerting. I have grown rather fond of my Luongos and I’m sure I will be putting them on when the ground is very cold and dry. I do hope that they can take the Luongos and develop them into tougher shoes, durable enough for outdoor running.

Tested by IH

I love my Luongos. They are an absolute joy to run in on dry tarmac (after barefoot of course!).

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Styling Barefoot simulation Comfortable

Durability Fit across the toes Price


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Intrinsic Touch Energy Making Your Life Calmer With Colin Boyd Your Relaxation Coach At the heart of you there is a place of great energy, deep happiness and profound subtle awareness. An Intrinsic Touch Energy session helps you to locate this place and draw on its great power to revitalise your whole body. The process works on the whole being – body, mind, heart and soul – through a carefully designed combination of:     

a free personal consultation breathing exercises guided meditation playful loosening up of the body energy testing using Chi Gong

You will be taken through simple exercises that help to relax your mind and body, open your heart and immerse you in a place of deep feeling and rejuvenating energy. Barefoot Running Magazine

Autumn 2013

Contact: lifecalmer@gmail.com

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mob: 07508 118072


Out-of-the-box Trail test results

Make/Model: This tells you the manufacturer and model number of the product Date: This is the date of the test review. Please bear in mind that as the market changes, so do shoe requirements and people’s perception of the products available. Competition is getting tougher! Styling: This is a matter of personal taste! Does the reviewer like the look of the product? Fit: Reviewers are looking for a product that feels comfortable and secure without impeding their own form Build Quality: The product is put through its paces to see how stitching, gluing, fabric, etc. hold up Performance: Products are rated on how they fare on roads, trails and in all different weathers Barefoot Simulation: Relevant for footwear only - how does the ground feel compare to running barefoot? Sole thickness and density/type of material used are considered in this category Price: How much bang do you get for your buck? It’s no good being cheap if it doesn’t last a week! Overall Rating: This is a summary of the product after thorough testing Tested by: Initials indicate tester. Please see page 166 for a list of reviewers

Not so minimal review results

Minimal review results Out-of-the-box trail test results

GO ST Barefoot PaleoBarefoots®

IH

(08/2013)

Human Foot My Foot

DRR

INOV8 Bare X 200™

DRR

(01/2013)

Kigo Drive

DRR

(06/2012)

Luna Venado

CS

(12/2013)

Vapor Glove

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Minimal review results Out-of-the-box trail test results

Ozark Sandals Luongo Luongos1

IH

(02/2014)

Vapor Glove

Merrell Trail Glove

(06/2011)

Vapor Glove

(08/2013)

DRR JJM

Mizuno EVO Cursoris

(04/2013)

EVO Levitas

(04/2013)

JJM JJM

New Balance

Ozark Sandals Tri Black

ALT

(11/2012)

Saucony

Sockwa G3

IH

Swiss Barefoot Company. The Protection Sock (05/2013)

ALT

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Not so minimal review results

Nike


Out-of-the-box Trail test results

Not so minimal review results

Minimal review results Out-of-the-box trail test results

Vibram FiveFingers Classic Sprint

(01/2012)

KSO

(02/2010)

DRR DRR

VivoBarefoot

Breatho Trail

JJM

(03/2014)

(05/2013)

Xero Shoe

4mm Xero Shoe

(12/2011)

6mm Xero Shoe

(12/2011)

Amuri Venture

(12/2013)

ALT DRR IH

ALT - Anna Toombs - Barefoot - Multi-terrain - 2010 to present CS - Charlie Sproson - Minimalist - Multi-terrain - 2013 DRR - David Robinson - Barefoot - Multi-terrain - 2010 to present IH - Ian Hicks - Barefoot/Minimalist - Multi-terrain - 2010 to present JJM - Jonathan Mackintosh - Minimalist - Trail - 2012 to present MB - Michael Bartley - Minimalist - Multi-terrain - 2010 to 2012 TMD - Tracy Davenport - Barefoot/Minimalist - Multi-terrain - 2010 to present

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Club Directory

United Kingdom

United States

www.facebook.com/MaidstoneBarefootDashers

Boulder, CO www.runBARE.com

Europe

www.barefootbeginner.com

lenaweebarefoot.runningclub@facebook.com

Austin Barefoot Running Club ianhicks1000@gmail.com

www.meetup.com/Austin-Barefoot-Running

www.meetup.com/New-England-Barefoot-Runners

Asia

www.barefootnyc.com

www.facebook.com/BangkokBarefootRun

www.facebook.com/pages/Barefoot-Running-Group-of-Grand-Rapids

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individual / group running tuition info@barefootrunninguk.com www.barefootrunninguk.com

www.meorganic.co.uk info@meorganic.co.uk

info@barefootosteopath.com www.barefootosteopath.com

info@yellingperformance.com www.yellingperformance.com

Web Directory

www.n8pt.com

Luna - Sockwa - Xero - Kigo - O1M

www.barefootbritain.co.uk

www.se20cycles.com

U NI T 1 , BE AVE R T RADE P ARK QUARRY LANE CHICHESTER WEST SUSSEX PO19 8NY

www.coreresults.co.uk info@coreresults.co.uk

www.footworks-uk.com

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have been attempting to sit down and write this column for over two months. Now, at the best of times, I find it difficult enough to focus on desk bound tasks. Why, after all, would anyone want to sit in the same place for more than a few minutes

when there is a whole world out there full of adventure? Yet when needs must I usually can bite the bullet (with the aid of much coffee and good background music to suppress my instincts for flight) and manage to put something together. However, copious amounts of coffee and all the John Lee Hooker in the world could not help me this time. Why? Because I have been battling tooth ache. Now, before you start thinking, “What a wimp!” I would just like to say that this has been no ordinary achy tooth. This has been full-blown MAN TOOTH akin to MAN FLU, but real and exceptionally painful. Okay, even though my dentist has assured me that it is not life threatening and is no more than damage to an eye tooth, its root and adjacent sinus canal (probably due to the fantastic elbow strike I received before Christmas while training a

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cage fighter!), I believe he has just been trying to shade me from the truth! I think it’s more fatal than he’s letting on. Gangrene of the face or consumption of the brain. It must be, because at times, it has driven me to points of lunacy. To throw light on how far it has driven me, I contemplated actually extracting the offending tooth – or even all my teeth until I got the right one - with a set of pliers I had in my toolbox. Pain killers have had no effect but to make me feel like a bear with a very sore tooth trying to hibernate and as for the antibiotic (necessary before the procedure)… let’s not go there but suffice to say, my bowel movements moved A LOT! Finally however, I have had the necessary work done, under local anaesthetic, with the correct tooth extracted. The best I had felt for many weeks was when I was in the dentist’s chair having a needle pressed into my gum – instant relief! The dentist was pleased with his


work and as I left gave me an advice pamphlet on how to manage oneself after an extraction, with an added piece of advice, “Whatever you do, don’t blow your nose for a few days. Actually no, better make it more like a week, just in case you dislodge the blood clot needed for the healing process as the root protruded into the sinus cavity itself.” So there I’ve been, rinsing out the cavity with salty water every three hours regardless of whether I have had food or not, whilst evading multiple things from hot beverages and nuts to not blowing my nose. But while I had the choice not to blow my nose, sneezing in general doesn’t include much conscious effort and I did I sneeze constantly? Oh yes! I probably sneezed more in the week after the procedure than I had for the past two years! While all this was going on, Anna and I noticed that one of our cats, Cleo, had started to rub her face against everything from my vinyl collection (NOT HAPPY) to the laptop screen and even our other cat, Bo, much to her dismay. Finally Cleo allowed me to have a look, only to find she had a tooth problem and to be honest, it looked much worse than mine. So it was off to her vet, a no-nonsense, get his hands dirty kind of guy. Oh, and did he! Unlike my dentist in his highly clinical environment, with the latest tools and gadgets, he just stuck his finger into the affect area, scraped out some infection, looked at it and said with a non-dramatic tone: “Well that tooth will have to come out!” Two days later, under general anaesthetic, the problem tooth was removed. Through all of Cleo’s symptoms and care, she was not phased once. Yes, for three or four hours after surgery she was slightly confused as to why, when trying to walk around the flat in a straight line, she actually wobbled about in a circle. However, once the effect of the general anaesthetic had worn off she was back to her winning ways, eating anything she wanted, stalking Bo from around the corner of the sofa and generally managing to get underfoot whenever something hot, fragile, expensive or a combination

of all of these was being carried. And this got me thinking. Why do “modern humans”, especially in the West, have such a poor ability to deal with pain? After all, if we were as wimpy then as we are now, we would probably never have left the tall seagrass in the depths of the pre-historic oceans millennia ago. Neither of my cats have this element in their characters; they deal with their given situations in a much more understated way. Yes, Cleo was in pain, it was quite obvious to see, but it did not deter her from happily continuing with her everyday activities. Many may say that we (humans) are more intelligent than cats and they don’t understand their situations. While I agree that our issue with dealing with pain is a mental thing, I must disagree that it is due to our intelligence. Humans may be able to invent, build and dominate other creatures with our minds but it is this ability that could well be our downfall. Let’s face it, as a species we are becoming more and more selfabsorbed. In 2008 a report stated that 1.4 billion adults (over 20 years of age) worldwide were overweight with an estimated 500 million being obese - and it is believed that 2.8 million adults die each year as a result.

We need a level of pain or the fear of pain to truly feel alive, yet we are becoming increasingly hyper-sensitive to any kind of discomfort. My conclusion therefore is that our society is flawed! It is overly obsessed with comfort and safety. Take my barefoot running – I’ve lost count of how many people over the years have called me crazy or even a freak! Some have even stated “Well you can’t be like other people – that’s not natural!” Not natural to run the way I was designed to be? That’s interesting! With these people I have stopped trying to explain that it is perfectly natural and the pain subsides with time as your feet are awakened; that pain is subjective and by not conforming to the social model you are able to be set free – as Anna and I have been, allowing us to run all terrains and in all the variations of the temperamental British weather from floods and snow to baking summer days (yes, you remember we had one of those back in 2011 I think!). Now, when I respond to questions about barefoot running and pain, I answer with, “It may be painful for some” and leave it at that. I would encourage everyone to take off their shoes sometimes for a little sole toughening – and a little soul toughening!

What’s the link between obesity and dealing with pain? It’s twofold. Firstly, working out is uncomfortable and to a degree painful, but we live in a world where softness is king. I have worked with people who go into a panic, telling me their “heart is going to explode” after walking 800 metres – no exaggeration. Therefore we as a society would rather sit on an overly soft settee that resembles a bed more than a chair while eating soft, happy, sugary food. Secondly, obesity is a product of our success as a species. We have no true predators and with the development of our cotton wool, nanny state societies, we are losing the sense of what it means to live in the natural world. We have become too complacent, similar to the Dodo and the giant Galápagos tortoise – and look what happened to them!

Barefoot Running Magazine

Sadly, after writing this article, our little Persian, Bo, who had been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, lost her battle and passed away. A treasured soul that will be greatly missed!

Spring 2014

Page 171


Page 158

Autumn/Winter 2013

Barefoot Running Magazine


Barefoot Running Magazine

Autumn/Winter 2013

Page 159


Profile for Barefoot Running Magazine

Barefoot Running Magazine - Issue 11 (Spring 2014)  

Issue 11 – Spring 2014. World’s first barefoot & minimalist running magazine, written by barefoot runners, for barefoot runners. Lots of r...

Barefoot Running Magazine - Issue 11 (Spring 2014)  

Issue 11 – Spring 2014. World’s first barefoot & minimalist running magazine, written by barefoot runners, for barefoot runners. Lots of r...

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