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Autumn /Winter 2015 Issue 15 ÂŁ2.99 / $4.99 Free


A note from the editor...

e hope you’ve all had a good year. The magazine team has been extremely busy but in amongst races, running holidays and other sport-related activities, we have once again put together another issue for you to enjoy as you munch your mince pies and sip something bubbly. There’s a definite natural/simple theme running through the magazine this time, with Chris Fielding taking a break from his busy schedule to slow the pace and learn some valuable skills with Jonny Crocket’s Survival School out in the wilderness, and runner, Aleks Kashefi, running the length of Britain in just his bare feet and with limited kit. In addition, we are treated to a glimpse of the purity of freediving from expert freediver and Pilates teacher, Louisa Collyns, whilst regular contributor, Gareth Underhill, wades through the fitness minefield to find out what really matters. Meanwhile, David and I had the wonderful opportunity of speaking with legendary barefoot runner, Rick Roeber, who was running barefoot long before many of us had even contemplated it. This issue also documents the fascinating life of another running legend, Gordon Pirie, whose dedication to his sport – both in competition and in honing his skills – is still an inspiration to all runners today. Dr Sarah Ballantyne (The Paleo Mom) puts at rest the minds of meat eaters with her detailed analysis of the potential cancer risks of eating meat. In her enlightening article you’ll find even more reasons to eat your sprouts this Christmas! In David’s lab, he’s been looking at the negative effects of exercising in highly polluted areas, an issue that affects many runners. Happily, you’ll find some handy hints at the end of the article to help minimize the risks. Tracy Davenport delights us with insights into her busy life, including moving house and running her first ultramarathon! In the club pages, you’ll find Laine Shepherd’s account of her first barefoot marathon; her emotive words will make you both laugh and cry. Also in the club pages, Paul Beales reports on International Barefoot Running Day back in May, with runners all over the world taking in various routes in all manner of weathers! Plus, all the usual reviews, photos, letters and more. A huge thank you to all our contributors – we couldn’t do it without you! Enjoy the read and all the very best for 2016.

Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. Doctor and award-winning author/ blogger http://www.ThePaleoMom.com

Louisa Collyns Freediver and Pilates teacher http://www.freedive-ibiza.com

Run Strong, Run Free!

editor

Glen Farrelly Barefoot runner and blogger

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.

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Barefoot Running Magazine


Anna Toombs Editor

David Robinson Creative director

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

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

Margaret Sinclair Columnist

Tracy Davenport Columnist

Human and animal osteopath

Minimalist footwear retailer, avid barefoot runner & blogger

margaret.sinclair@barefootrunningmagazine.com @barefoot_osteo

tracy.davenport@barefootrunningmagazine.com @MinimalSports

Chris Fielding Reporter

Jonathan Mackintosh Reviewer

Blogging enthusiast, barefoot runner & founder of Barefoot Beginner

Keen ultrarunner & blogger

chris.fielding@barefootrunningmagazine.com @bfbeginner

www.pixelscotland.com

Gray Caws Columnist

Gareth ‘The Gadget’ Underhill Columnist

Director Chi Running UK & Ireland

Personal trainer, biomechanist and minimalist runner

jonathan.mackintosh@barefootrunningmagazine.com

gareth.underhill@barefootrunningmagazine.com @garethunderhill

Dr Steve ‘Sock Doc’ Gangemi Columnist

Gareth ‘The Gadget’ Underhill Columnist

Chiropractic physician & MovNat coach

Personal trainer, biomechanist and sports retailer

steve.gangemi@barefootrunningmagazine.com @TheSockDoc

gareth.underhill@barefootrunningmagazine.com @garethunderhill

Ricardo ‘The Dashing’ D’Ash Columnist

The Big Picture:

Gray Caws Columnist The resilient feet of Alex Ramsey and Patrick Sweeney who ran 900 miles for charity in October ChiRunning coach and personal trainer

Avid barefoot runner & co-founder of the Maidstone Barefoot Dashers

http://www.n8pt.com info@n8pt.com

Ricardod’ash@bfrm.co.uk

Barefoot Running Magazine TRC Publishing UK Limited 21 Lyric Mews, Silverdale London SE26 4TD United Kingdom

Don’t forget that you can read back issues of Barefoot Running Magazine via our website www.barefootrunningmagazine.com. Just click on “Back issues” in the main menu bar and then click on the issue you wish to read.

General enquiries info@barefootrunningmagazine.com email firstname.lastname@barefootrunningmagazine.com Website www.barefootrunningmagazine.com Telephone +44 (0) 208 659 0269 Subscription email subscribe@barefootrunningmagazine.com Advertising email advertising@barefootrunningmagazine.com

facebook.com/BarefootRunningMagazine @BareFootRunMag

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Meet the team

gray.caws@barefootrunningmagazine.com @graycaws


Main feature The story of one man and his feat by Aleks Kashefi

In focus

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Gordon Pirie – “The man who challenged our thinking”

David’s laboratory

20

City running – Is it a choke?

Injury corner

34

The literal Achilles heel by Margaret Sinclair

Technical tip

38

Listen to your feet by Anna Toombs

Nutritional nugget

42

The Link Between Meat and Cancer by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D.

A conversation with...

56

Veteran barefoot runner, fundraiser and good egg, Barefoot Rick Roeber

Book review

62

Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement

Picture from the past

68

Germany's Lina Radke

Competition

69

Win a pair of Freet Leaps

Green room

76

Keith Bateman – “Older Yet Faster” by Glen Farrelly

How to: Get the benefits of freediving by Louisa Collyns

80 80

Outside the lab

26

On track

92

International news

96

Product news Page 6

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Questions & answers

28

Your questions answered

Season in pictures

40

What you have been up to

Caught in the web

48

Internet snippets

Events

50

Stuff that’s going on

Assorted goodies

66

Products worth a look

What’s on

88

2015/6 events and race calendar

It’s your letters

94

Your stories and thoughts

Product reviews

96

Club pages & directory

125

Web directory

141

For products and services

Anna’s pause for thought Tips and general musings

Chris Fielding

30

Roving Barefoot Reporter

Tracy Davenport

52

High society

The Sock Doc

72

NSAIDs – I Still Say Never

Gray Caws

90

50 Strides of Gray

Gareth “Gadget” Underhill Making sense of the fitness minefield

Backchat

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114 142

David Robinson’s latest

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Main Feature The story of one man and his feat by Aleks Kashefi

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here were two questions that I asked myself and others before announcing such a ridiculous idea. First one was how can I make this LEJOG different to others? The second in a way answered the first… Can I run the thing in bare feet? The trails of the UK vary from rocky, gravelly feet tenderizers to leg swallowing, soul destroying bogs. At no point should anybody think to themselves that they can’t be run or walked barefoot. In fact the lack of shoes is a blessing since you won’t get blisters or that nasty trench foot look and the worse thing you will deal with is going to be the odd thorn and maybe a small shard of glass. What’s more is you really don’t need to ‘toughen’ up your feet. The secret is as simple as learn to move differently to match what is beneath your feet, learn to feed your body in the right way and, more importantly, realize that your body is stronger and more adaptable than anyone gives it credit for, which leads to how, with little running experience and even less barefoot experience, I think I know…

It started as an idea, having run the same 0.1/0.2 mile hill repeat 600 times in around 22 hours. Could I run the length of the country in the 6 week school holidays? I’d started to, well, dabble with barefoot running, having researched it early on in my running life and purchased all the thinnest running shoes I could get my hands on. The problem with them was that I wasn’t convinced they were the same as barefoot running. I even disliked calling them “barefoot” shoes, so then I thought, could I run the length of the country in no shoes or even a pair of huarache sandals? I trained for one race (the Fellsman) and decided that I wanted to try LEJOG that year. I did realize that maybe, having only three years of experience when I started the run, it was a little too soon but at the same time, you never know if it’s too early till you try and fail. Training was, for want of a better word, daft! I would destroy my legs and core in a gym, follow it with CrossFit the same day, then go for back to back runs with full kit. My mileage per week never really went above 60-70 miles, and I would really only cover 30-35 miles

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of that completely barefoot. It was just a little too cold where I live, so I used my Luna sandals. I guess this must have been enough since I finished the run in 38 days. The South West Coast path is probably the best place to have started the barefoot adventure. The harsh granite based gravel is unforgiving, and any step that I took could have damaged my feet to the point were I wouldn’t be able to continue. What I did notice was that after the first two days of running on these rough surfaces, I was losing skin from the pads on my feet. What I didn’t realize at that time was that it was just excess skin. My pads never wore thin. If I aired them they would harden up and I regularly used Climb On balm (a balm designed to moisturize climbers hands without softening them) to avoid getting dry and cracked foot pads. I picked up plenty of small thorns from thistles and gorse, but these are easy to fetch out and didn’t ever go deep enough to draw blood. Thistle thorns are barely noticeable and I carried one for around 200 miles before I found

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someone with a pin so I could get it out. Early on, due to the ridiculous weather, I did pick up two injuries. The first one was a nice lump on the top of my foot from smacking it against a rock when falling. The second was from compensating for this first injury - probably over striding - and getting severe tendonitis in my right Achilles. I genuinely thought that the trip was over. Around 230 miles (with over 210 of them being completely barefoot) and I thought I was going to have to stop. However, I learnt that tendons heal, even if you are covering 30-40 miles per day on foot. How? I had two days of rest and re-planning and then carried on across Exmoor and towards Bristol and Wales. It is these times that really test you. The first two week period is the make or break point in terms of overcoming obstacles, and having travelled 120 miles in 4 days with a ridiculous amount of pain, my brain seemed to

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reengage! I got a message from a physio friend, who told me to squeeze my swollen foot. This was one of those “oh yeah!!!” moments, so I used climbing tape to squeeze the left foot and used the tape as KT tape on both my left foot and my right Achilles. That’s when things started to improve on a daily basis. Up and over the Cheddar Gorge, along the hills of the Offa’s Dyke, through the rolling hills of Shropshire and Derbyshire and off towards the Yorkshire Dales I went, some days covering more than 30 miles and on others – shorter ‘rest’ days - covering around 18-20 miles. My feet would feel a little tired at the end of a long day, but no more than they would if I had gone for a long walk. The interesting thing is the conversations I generated by having no shoes on. People didn’t seem to think it possible, even though I had reached the distance that I did. Some people would stand in disbelief and voice genuine concern as I either ran or walked passed them! In fact I was

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lectured the other night for running in a pair of sandals with my running club. I was told in no uncertain terms that I would do myself irreparable damage if I didn’t use the correct, supportive running shoes. (I guess the lady in question didn’t know what I’d done all Summer… but I get side tracked). It wasn’t long before I was cresting the Cheviots and making those final few steps towards Scotland. To be honest, I didn’t really notice any difference. I was hoping for some magical fanfare, maybe some kind of musical chorus, but instead I got the squelch of mud as I jumped over the rickety gate that marked the boundary between England and Scotland. This is were trails become something of a problem. It may have just been my inability to look at a map properly, but it seemed all Scottish trails went from East to West but I wanted to go North, and seeing as I fancied a couple of day’s rest before heading to work, I wanted to

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get there as quickly as possible. This is were I followed the cycle paths and roads, running in a combination of sandals and barefeet depending largely on the temperature. The first few days in Scotland were cold, making my feet sting and ache in the mornings as I started the days. Sandals made no difference, since the issues was due to the wetness of the grass, so I was still mostly barefoot. I had a few debates with myself about wearing my sandals, and it was really only the last three days that I decided I had made my point; the weather was cold and extremely wet and I wanted to get this thing finished without having to slow my pace to avoid glass or the wire remains of a tyre. I had always been fairly open about the fact that I like wearing my sandals and that I was planning on using them, but I didn’t actually think I was going to get to a point where I didn’t want to use them. If you go fully barefoot enough, wearing anything on your feet feels wrong. A friend commented that I seemed as

comfortable, if not more comfortable, ambling along without footwear than I did when training. The increase in fitness, the unique insight into what my body is capable of, what my mind is like and what I can achieve are all pleasant side effects of the whole trip. The main goal was raising awareness of strokes and funds for the Stroke Association, since I had lost my grandfather not long before starting. I have to admit to a few tears being shed along the way as I thought about what I was achieving each day and what he would have thought of the ridiculousness of what I was doing.

the belief and willingness to learn from every aspect of the adventure. I have read that to get good at barefoot running you should pick the gnarliest of rocky, gravel strewn trails and run on them, and that’s what I did. I just went a little further than most. Next, I want to find out whether those long established, long distance challenges can be achieved under the same terms, barefoot, so I will be training for a barefoot BGR, and the fundraising will continue; being involved in such selfish activities needs to have some good come out of it as a balancing point. Donations: Justgiving.com

The fact is, as far as I was concerned, it was no more ridiculous than doing it in shoes. To me, it seems normal to run barefoot, and I genuinely feel far more comfortable doing so. Thing is this…what I did was nothing spectacular or amazing. Anyone could do it with just one tiny thing:

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Blog: Pursuingthevoid.wordpress.com Supported by and huge thanks to: Tailwind Nutrition Race Drone A&C Workwear Buxton Physiotherapy Sarah Guie (Weleda Advisor)

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In focus Gordon Pirie – “The man who challenged our thinking” by Anna Toombs

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ordon Pirie (born Douglas Alistair Gordon Pirie) is a relatively littleknown name to the majority of people and even some runners may not have heard of him, despite his incredible racing achievements. Son of a Scottish international cross country runner, Pirie was born on 10th February 1931 in Leeds but grew up in the South of England in Surrey. His father inspired him to run and he spent time as a youngster laying out race markers for his father who was a member of South London Harriers, the club of which Gordon later became Life Vice-President. His early racing years were with Purley School and in his late teens, inspired by the great achievements of the legendary Emil Zatopek, he resolved to take running seriously and compete at a high level. Pirie favoured the type of interval training advocated by Zatopek but was also renowned for his high mileage – sometimes covering more than 200 miles in a week. He coached himself, putting in many tough sessions, to qualify for the Olympic Games in 1952 in Helsinki, aged just 21. In his book, Running Fast and Injury Free, Pirie provides three examples of his early, tough training days:

  

100 x 100m in 15 seconds, jog 20 seconds 80 x 200m in 29 seconds, jog 30 seconds 54 x 400m 64 seconds, jog 45 seconds

Each one of these sessions would be preceded by an hour’s warm up with a 20 minute easy run afterwards, meaning that some sessions accumulated over 3 and ½ hours of running! At the Games in Helsinki, Pirie competed in both the 10,000m and 5,000m races, coming 7th and 4th respectively. Afterwards, he met Woldemar Gerschler who subsequently became his coach. Gerschler was based in Germany so much of the coaching wasn’t ‘hands on’ but Pirie’s racing performances nevertheless improved under Gerschler’s guidance. Pirie maintained his hard training regime and at the end of the racing season in 1953 changed his job,

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moving from his position as a bank clerk to something completely different: A representative for a paint company. Unfortunately, in May of 1954 Pirie suffered a foot injury which put him out of action for a while. However, it was also in that year that Pirie was referred to as an idiot by the Press due to his prediction that he would one day beat the time of 13:40 for the 5,000m and he would later prove them wrong! There were ups and downs for Pirie in 1955. He improved his 3 mile time and ran a 10,000m race in 29:19, setting a new British record, but

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his results in other races were less promising. During his racing career, Pirie was often criticized for over training. In his book, Pirie admonishes the concept of periodization (a training protocol which varies training intensity and is geared towards the athlete peaking for particular competitions), believing that consistent, hard training is key but with an awareness of how the athlete is feeling on a given day. “A training plan is important but should be infinitely flexible�, he wrote. However, Pirie was a very wellrespected athlete and it was also

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in 1955 that he won the Sports Personality of the Year Award. After a mixed year, Pirie began to focus more on strength training and rehabilitation work and 1956 proved to be a very successful year as a result. In June, he ran 13:36 in the 5,000m in Bergen, demonstrating his determination and self-belief and making many reporters eat their words. Just three days later, Pirie ran the 3,000m at Trondheim in 7:55:6, equalling the world record and in July, beat the record at Malmo in 7:52:7. Pirie ran both the 10,000m and

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5,000m at the Olympic Games in Melbourne. Unfortunately, he misjudged his race tactics in the 10,000m race and only made 8th place but managed 2nd in the 5,000m race. It truly was an eventful year as Pirie also got married to British sprinter, Shirley Hampton. Pirie continued to compete and represented Britain in the Rome Olympics in 1960, coming 10th in the 10,000m. As his track racing career began to wind down, Pirie took up orienteering and won the British Orienteering Championships in its first two years, 1967 and 1968. Undoubtedly, Pirie’s affinity for cross country running aided his success in orienteering. He was English cross country champion between 1953 and 1955 and his endurance was incredible; perhaps he would have been a good candidate for the marathon?

was maintaining a thorough strength training regime. Some of Pirie’s training/technique ideas are questionable. On the subject of breathing, he advocates, “…quick, short puffs. Do not breathe deeply” – advice which earned him the nickname of “Puff Puff Pirie”. He also writes that there should be, “No motion in the trunk”, although he probably meant that there shouldn’t be excessive movement in the trunk.

The name Gordon Pirie crops up a fair bit in discussions regarding barefoot running. Pirie was a great advocate of minimalist shoes, encouraging his own students to wear lightweight shoes without a padded heel. His ideas appealed to Adolf (Adi) Dassler, founder of Adidas and together they developed the first spiked running shoes. Pirie also writes extensively about running technique in his book, recommending a forefoot landing and an upright posture. He is full of admiration about the technique of some professional runners but equally scathing of others. His belief was that the main injuries runners have are due to the following three things: 1. Technique 2. Shoes 3. Too much emphasis on mileage in training and not enough cross training He was also a proponent of health food and refers to energy drinks as “poison”; he recommended natural, fresh food and ensuring that your body is functioning with the appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals. His other ‘secret weapon’ was strength training – he notes in his book that his most successful racing performances occurred when he

Pirie became a professional athlete for a time, coaching athletes in both England and New Zealand. Later on, he also worked as a lumberjack in New Zealand but for the last couple of years of his life, he returned to England. For such fit and health conscious man, Pirie sadly died at the relatively early age of 60 from cancer of the bile duct. There are some reports that the chemicals he used during his work as a lumberjack were a contributing factor, although Pirie himself more generally speaks about pollutants in the atmosphere being “the enemy”. Continuing his preference for natural remedies, Pirie refused conventional cancer treatment and instead, in an interview, told the reporter that he was bound for the US for a month of “wheatjuice therapy”. Throughout his life, Pirie was something of a controversial figure due to his no-nonsense approach

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and fundamental beliefs about training. However, after his death, tributes poured in for this remarkable man. He was a great asset to British athletics and his ideas are still invaluable for runners today. “Gordon was probably the greatest character in athletics. He was so genuine and utterly open” ~ Alastair Aitken. “…the man who challenged our thinking and stimulated our days. He was a delightful if sometimes infuriating companion”. ~ Chris Brasher. “Gordon, thanks for ‘being’ and being an ‘Irrepressible’ for you truly were” ~ M W Firth, South London Harriers.

Sources

         

www.britishathletics.org.uk www.racingpast.ca www.athleticsweekly.com www.southlondonharriers.org www.eastlondonlines.co.uk www.runningtrainingplan.com www.youtube.com www.wikipedia.org Lore of Running ~ Tim Noakes Running fast and injury free ~ Gordon Pirie, John Gilbody

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eading out for a run the other day in our local area, David [Robinson] and I were greeted by wild and windy weather, with patches of heavy rain and hail that blurred our vision. I love that kind of weather because it makes me feel alive; I have to psyche myself up to leave my cosy, dry flat knowing that I am about to face a challenge. But I need that challenge. I could easily succumb to the lazy version of me that is lurking somewhere inside. What if I don’t go for a run? I can stay still, working at my leisure on my PC. Maybe have a coffee or a beer instead. Maybe take a nap. There is no immediate, adverse consequence to my not going for my run. There won’t be if I don’t run tomorrow, or the next day. Or if I never, ever run again. But once I’m out there, once I feel the rhythm of my feet, the different sensations of the terrain beneath my soles and the wind and rain in my face, I recognize that this is what I was craving but didn’t even realize it. Human beings are built to respond to the drive to survive and to feel but when you have to create that drive yourself, rather than it instinctively coming into play (running away from a bear in a forest, for example), it becomes that much harder. “Human beings have the ability to be astonishing”, David commented a few days ago. And it’s true. Every single one of us has the capacity for greatness. I marvel at individuals who’ve lost the use of their legs and go on to become Olympic wheelchair athletes, for

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example. The other day I was listening to Simon Weston on the radio – the soldier who nearly lost his life in the Falklands war and needed to have his face rebuilt. He is now regularly in the public eye, inspiring others with his story and maintaining a brilliant sense of humour despite daily pain and continuing operations. It almost seems that the more life throws at us, the more we tap into that human spirit of survival, or that “f%@k it” attitude. That natural ‘get-up-and-go’ that we all possess as human beings. The less we have, the more inclined we are to make the most of it. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the reverse is also true. When life is ‘easy’ there is nothing obvious to strive for. It can then be tempting to fall into a rather mundane routine and lose any impetus to venture beyond our comfort zone. Nature is outside, waiting, but the immediate lure of a comfy sofa and that big bar of chocolate in the fridge is far stronger than the distant possibility of any thrills you might experience running out on the hills in the wind and rain. It comes down to choice. The fact that we now have the choice not to bother trying to survive - because it’s pretty much a given – means that higher on our agenda are things like what television programme to watch and which snack will accompany it. Yet, I don’t think it’s that simple. I think that desire to ‘do’ is still within us, albeit quite distorted. It still manifests itself – just in different ways. There are those that have a stressful job, a family and take on other responsibilities outside of work to fulfil that basic human need. Others become some kind of addict, focusing their efforts on a particular thing, whether it’s alcohol, some other drug or indeed exercise. What’s the saying? The devil makes work of idle hands. Who are the “twitter trolls”? Who are the ones who vandalize cars or buildings? I’m pretty sure they are the people without purpose, or perhaps with a sense of purpose but no guidance. What about those who are continuously “outraged” by something – any little, TINY thing?

There was a discussion on television this morning about whether or not men should be fined if they sit on public transport with their knees apart. Wha…huh?

from thinking too much about what might happen. There is no benefit and it can significantly affect your enjoyment of an activity and impede your progress.

When the immediate need to survive is removed, the bottom line is that human beings don’t know what to do with themselves. We either succumb to laziness or fake the ‘busy’. It’s funny, but my personal experience and that of many others I know is that when you are genuinely busy, you achieve more in a day than if you have nothing to do. I have clients who manage an entire family of young kids and two or three jobs but also exercise regularly versus those who are “too busy” to exercise because although they no longer work or have a family, they still have lots of “errands” to run and there are just not enough hours in the day.

My advice to those struggling is to consider letting it go. If you planned a run, just do it, even if it’s started to rain and you might get wet. The worst that can happen is that you’ll have to stop and walk for some reason – but don’t bother thinking about that. It hasn’t even happened yet so why are you worrying about it?!

I think we all struggle with this gigantic deviation away from how we are supposed to live, as humans, in Western society. Life is easy and complicated at the same time. Every week, David and I drive to Richmond Park, a huge area of grass, woodland, hills and trails in the West of London. Back in the early days of these runs, I’d sit in the car and wonder what the run would be like. I have that niggle in my foot – will it ease off or get worse? I’m not sure I have the energy today – will I make it round? Will I be too hot or too cold? Inevitably, whatever I was worried about never mattered in the end. I always ran anyway; I always run anyway. And it’s wonderful, whether I have a niggle or not. Because running reduces me…to me. Just me and nature. It’s like pressing a reset button and discovering what truly matters each time I run.

The other way to tackle the ‘fear’ of running, or exercising, is to do it regularly. You don’t need to go for hours and hours each time. Our friend and “Roving reporter”, Chris Fielding, has run barefoot every day of this year so far. Sometimes he runs for several miles, other times it’s just a little jaunt. Sometimes he feels fantastic, other days his feet are sore or he’s lacking energy. But he just runs, observing. There is nothing to fear. So, what’s my point? I think my ramblings say it all – many of us just think too much! So maybe my point is to think less and do more… “You don’t have to start out perfect. You just have to start”. (Cher from “ Cher Fitness: A new attitude). “You either ran today, or you didn’t” (From a Nike poster on the wall of a gym I worked in about twenty years ago).

Self-doubt is something that I know torments many others because it is a force that contradicts the aforementioned desire to ‘do’. I have clients who will talk themselves out of exercising or eating healthily through a combination of fear of failure and discomfort. Fear. It comes

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David’s laboratory City running – Is it a choke?

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absolutely love exercising outside, be it running, calisthenics, yoga or my martial arts practice. Rain or shine, it doesn’t matter - I just want to feel the elements in my hair (the little hair that’s left that is). But there is one fatal flaw and it truly could be fatal. I live in London! Most dangers are quite apparent, even clearly marked with warning tape and signage so they can be avoided. Some, on the other hand, are much more subtle and require some past experience to remain safe. For example, the motor vehicle that doesn’t pay attention at junctions a danger increased if it is running silently on electric power. Yet, while these silent road warriors can be seen as a danger, all you need to do is bring a little “unagi”[1] to your exercise practice and you’ll probably keep safe. After all, they are trying to address the much more serious issue of inner city air pollution and it is these reportedly high levels of air pollution in our towns and cities that maybe that FATAL flaw when you exercise in London or any city. On 10th April this year (2015) the haze over good “Olde London Town” was quite significant due to areas being affected by high temperatures, so much so that health warnings were issued as air pollution hit "level 10" or "very high". At this - the highest category of air pollution in the UK people with a predisposition for respiratory illness (those with lung or heart problems, and the elderly) are urged to completely avoid strenuous physical activity.[2] While reports did not suggest “healthy” people needed to stay indoors, they did emphasize that there could be somewhat of a health risk and that they should “cut down on the amount of physical exertion”. Whilst it seems quite obvious that severe conditions such as these will affect athletic performance, does training in these conditions actually do more harm than good? And if so, how? First, we need to understand what qualifies as air pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines air pollution as: “A contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any

chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Household combustion devices, motor vehicles, industrial facilities and forest fires are common sources of air pollution. Pollutants of major public health concern include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Outdoor and indoor air pollution cause respiratory and other diseases, which can be fatal.”[3] The folks at Asthma UK believe that air pollution is due to two main pollutants: ozone gases and particulates.[4] Ozone gases are believed to be a result of interactions between sunlight and chemicals produced from fossil fuelled power stations, factories and combustion engines (especially diesel), household coal fires and even barbecues. It is thought that ozone pollution is at its highest in sunnier climates, or on hot summer days either in the afternoon or early evening.[5] Particulates, on the other hand, are categorized as particles from dust, soot, ash, diesel fumes, wood smoke and sulphate aerosols that are airborne. This type of pollution is more common and therefore occurs all year round in all industrialized areas (middle to large towns or cities), with levels being at their highest on still days with not much breeze.[5] So when levels of both ozone and particulates are at high levels simultaneously, severe visual pollution occurs - generally a blackish or yellowish visible fog called “smog”. This is due to the ground level ozone gases and particulates combining, similar to London on the 10th April 2015. It is the effects that these two pollutants have on the human body - individually or when combined together - which have been a cause for concern. Take, for example, the double-blind, randomized, cross-over study by the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, published in the 2005 American Heart Association Circular, which found that inhalation of diesel exhaust fumes resulted in impaired blood vessel function.[6] The research exposed 30 healthy, non smoking men aged 20 to 38 years to diluted diesel

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exhaust, or regular “clean” air for one hour during intermittent exercise at a moderate level. The researchers found that, within this brief period of exposure, damage had been caused to the heart and surrounding vessels, suggesting a link between pollution and the development of plaque or lesions in the blood vessels, and heart attacks.[6] Oddly though, there seems to be somewhat of a discrepancy in much of the available research. The study by Canadian exercise physiologists at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Fraser Valley monitored healthy athletes exposed to air containing diesel exhaust, or filtered air, while peddling on stationary bicycles under laboratory conditions, to measure the athlete’s oxygen use, heart rate and other physiological responses.[7] The participants were placed into two groups: One group was exposed to polluted air containing diesel exhaust, and a control group exposed to filtered air. Both types of air were administered via face masks. The results were surprising. The athletes’ bodies reacted to diesel exhaust when biking at a low intensity, but when they increased the intensity with a harder peddle rate, their physiological reactions were indistinguishable from the study’s control group, and overall the physiological reactions were slight. Michael Koehle, lead researcher of the study at University of British Columbia, hypothesized that air pollution would have physiological effects and that those effects would be more significant during high intensity exercise due to the resulting increased airflow velocity and deeper breathing carrying the pollutants deeper into the athlete’s lungs, amplifying their dose of pollutants. In an interview with Michael Koehle, he stated: "We were expecting to find more effects from the pollution and bigger effects in high intensity pollution than in low intensity pollution." [8] While the study was not truly setup solely to monitor why there was an effect when cycling at low intensity and not high, the research team did come up with one possible explanation as to why this may have occurred. The body, during intense activity, undergoes many changes

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that may overwhelm any small effects air pollution might trigger.[8] In a study carried out by Linsey Marr of Virginia Tech, in collaboration with Matthew Ely, an exercise physiologist at the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, the effects of air pollution on female athletes’ marathon times were investigated. As Marr notes in her study, an athlete running at 70 percent of VO² Max, approximately equivalent to a steady running pace for about three hours, inhales the same volume of air as a sedentary person would over the course of two days confirming that logically, runners are exposed to greater amounts of air pollutants than under typical breathing conditions.[9] The research was set up to evaluate marathon race results of the top three men and womens’ times as a percentage of the existing course record, weather data, and air pollutant concentrations in seven major U.S. marathons, such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles, where air pollution tends to be at its highest. Over a period of eight to twenty-eight years it was found that the higher the pollutant particles saturation levels were within the air,

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the slower the female running times. Conversely, the male times were not significantly affected. Marr suggests that these findings might be due to females having smaller tracheas, allowing pollutant particles to deposit more easily, possibly causing throat irritation. However, the study did not investigate longer term health effects of air pollutants on the marathon runners over the time period.[9] As Marr points out in her research using the 2008 Beijing Olympics as an example - whose high pollution levels provoked her study to begin with - the men’s marathon winner, Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya, set an Olympic record in the time of 02:06:32, with all the average of the top three men’s finishing times being faster than the previous Olympic record. Meanwhile, the top three women, Constantina Diṭă-Tomescu, Catherine Ndereba and Zhou Chunxiu, were 2.6% slower than their Olympic marathon record times, with Diṭă- Tomescu of Romania winning with a time of 02:26:44. The PM10 levels (Particulate Matter up to 10 micrometres in size) in Beijing were relatively high at the time with PM10 level on both race days but

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the men’s race day topped the women’s, with concentrations of 87 µg/m³ compared to concentrations averaging 62 µg/m³. Both Koehle’s and Marr’s studies leave us with plenty of food for thought. If the volume of air taken in by athletes when they train/race is so much higher than that of a non-exerciser, how is it that this does not necessarily correlate with physiological damage or reduction in performance? Indeed, why did Koehle’s research show no damage after higher intensity exercise? Are women more prone to damage from pollutants than men? And – significantly – are you more ‘immune’ to damage the fitter you are? The research discussed earlier from University of Edinburgh, where physiological damage occurred over a very small amount of time, used participants described as “healthy”. There is no indication of whether they were regular exercisers or just not suffering from any diseases/disorders. The focus of this article is health rather than performance. After all, the elite marathon runners in Marr’s

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study were in a somewhat artificial environment with much of the traffic being absent except for a few film crew motorcycles and official Olympic cars. What about those who choose to run to and from work, sometimes in very heavy traffic and on a daily basis? Do they have anything to worry about and again, is it worth the risk? If we look at a study published in the 2010 paper from the University of Utrecht investigating if the health benefits of bicycling outweighing its risks, the answer becomes a little clearer. The study summarized the literature for air pollution, traffic accidents, and physical activity using systematic reviews supplemented with recent key studies. It found that the benefits of cycling were nine times greater than the risks for subjects who moved from the car to the bicycle for short trips, equalling an estimated life gain expectancy, due to increase physical activity, of between 3 to 14 months per person. This was after a deduction of 5-9 life expectancy day’s loss due to road traffic accidents, and 0.8–40 day’s loss due to air pollution.[10] The estimated number of gained life years still exceeded the losses when the lowest estimate for physical activity was compared with the highest estimates for air pollution and traffic accidents, with a benefits to risks ratio of 2:1 and if we surmise that running is safer in regards to RTA’s (due to cycling being in closer proximity to other road users such as cars and lorries) then we can also surmise that the life gain would be even higher for runners. The findings of the study were backed up in 2012 by Outside Magazine which reported that preliminary studies suggest pros of the results of exercising greatly outweigh the cons linked to air pollution. [11]

exposure within the respiratory and vascular systems. In fact higher levels of lead have been found in the blood of athletes who train in city environments.[12]

Or - you could just move to the country!

If you already reside in an urban environment then you are probably being exposed to air pollutants on a daily basis and therefore the question is one of exercising in the environment versus a sedentary lifestyle. As discussed above, it seems that exercise in any environment is better than being inactive, so what can you do to minimize the negative effects that come from pollution exposure?

1.

References

When devising your exercise schedule, here are some prudent examples of how you might minimize your risk:

In conclusion, many studies have established that those exposed to air pollution over years have higher rates of heart and lung disease than similar people who have had less exposure, but for most healthy exercisers, the logic is to train where traffic is minimal.

 

The majority of authors acknowledge that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest that exposure will cause irreparable damage. However, there is mounting evidence that there are negative effects from

When possible, exercise where there's less traffic – aim for “green environments”, such as parks or more residential areas Early morning outdoor exercising is best - weekend mornings are better to avoid the secondary pollutants from industry/engine outputs Try to choose running routes that take you away from traffic Every metre away from traffic makes a difference in exposure, so bear that in mind when running next to a road

Toombs. A. Barefoot Antics: Unagi! 3rd Jan 2012. barefootrunninguk.blogspot.com/2012/01/unagi.html High pollution hits southern England. BBC News; 10th April 2015 3. Air pollution. World health Organization; 2015 http://www.who.int/topics/air_pollution/en/ 4. Air pollutants. Asthma UK; April 2014 5. Pollution. Asthma UK; March 2015 6. Mills NL, Törnqvist H, Robinson SD, Gonzalez M, Darnley K, MacNee W, Boon NA, Donaldson K, Blomberg A, Sandstrom T, Newby DE. Diesel Exhaust Inhalation Causes Vascular Dysfunction and Impaired Endogenous Fibrinolysis. American Heart Association 2005; 112: 3930-3936 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.588962 7. Koehle MS, Giles LV, Carlsten C. The effect of pre-exercise diesel exhaust exposure on cycling performance and cardio-respiratory variables. School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia , British Columbia , Canada. Inhalation Toxicology (Impact Factor: 2.26). 10/2012; 24(12):783-9. DOI: 10.3109/08958378.2012.717649. 8. Diep F. How Biking In Traffic Affects Your Body: The interesting biology of breathing in diesel exhaust. Popular Science; 6th November 2013 9. Marr LC.; Ely, MR. Effect of Air Pollution on Marathon Running Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2010; 42 (3): 585 DOI:n10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181b84a85. 10. Johan de Hartog J, Boogaard H, Nijland H, Hoek G. Do the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks? Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Aug;118(8):1109-16. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901747. Epub 2010 Jun 11. 11. Hutchinson A. Exhaust Yourself: Fact: Exercising in polluted air can increase your risk of asthma, stroke, and heart failure. But is it better than the alternativeavoiding a workout altogether? Outside online 5th July 2012 12. Carlisle A, Sharp NC. Exercise and outdoor ambient air pollution. School of Sport Exercise and Leisure, University of Surrey Roehampton. British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 09/2001; 35(4):214-22. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.35.4.214 2.

Avoid rush hour times and close proximity to traffic Take advantage of wet and windy conditions – air pollution is lower at these times

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Treat almost any illness naturally Look young and beautiful with natural skin and hair recipes Never clean with non-toxic cleaners again

Barefoo B ta rReuf n on o it nR g uM nn ag i nagz i M n ea g a A zuitnu em n A /W u ti u nm t enr 2 0 1 5 4

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Outside the lab

study led by Valter Longo at the University of Southern California has produced results suggesting that intermittent fasting can have several health benefits. The study consisted of three parts, with tests carried out on yeast, mice and humans. The diet administered was structured to contain specific nutrients but with a calorie reduction of between 34 and 54 per cent of the individual’s normal daily intake. This diet, consumed for five days each month for three months, showed slower aging and reduced biomarkers for cancer and cardiovascular disease in the participants without affecting muscle or bone mass. The researchers claim that most people would benefit from this type of fasting, suggesting a frequency of between three and six months. Certain groups with elevated risk factors could follow the diet as frequently as once every two weeks although medical supervision is recommended.

study led by graduate student, Michael Cramer, at the UM’s Department of Health and Human Performance has concluded that fast food is as effective for glycogen recovery as the more standard supplements such as Gatorade and Cliff Bars. Eleven cyclists carried out a 90 minute glycogen depletion ride after which they were immediately given either a small amount of fast food or traditional supplements. They also consumed the same again, two hours after the ride. After a four hour recovery period, the cyclists then rode a further 20km. Muscle biopsies and blood samples from the participants were analyzed and no difference was found in blood glucose and insulin responses when comparing the two nutrition strategies. The researchers were keen to point out that the amount of fast food (burgers, hash browns, fries) consumed is very relevant – small portions are the key.

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study carried out at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver by Professor Teresa Liu-Ambrose and her team has indicated that strength training can significantly affect the increase in white matter lesions in the brain that have been linked to poor cognitive functioning. Previous studies have shown that aerobic exercise can slow down the aging process and the spread of these brain lesions associated with aging. This latest research involved a group of women aged between 65 and 75 with existing white matter lesions taking part in year-long strength training programmes, either once or twice per week. Another group followed a balance and flexibility programme. The results showed that there was little effect from the exercise programmes in the spread of lesions for both the balance training and the once-per-week strength work. However, there was significantly less decline in the white matter of participants carrying out strength training twice per week, suggesting that strength training may help to slow the aging process within the brain but that there is a minimum requirement in terms of training frequency.

team of scientists at Queensland Brain Institute in Australia have found a potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s. Using mice as test subjects, the researchers used a special type of ultrasound – focused therapeutic ultrasound – to stimulate the operation of the microglila cells in the brains of the mice. These cells are effectively waste-removal cells and help to destroy the build up of proteins in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s. The mice showed a 75% improvement in several memory tests and displayed no signs of adverse side effects. The scientists plan to use sheep in their continuing experiments, moving onto human test subjects in 2017.

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I am new to barefoot running but do a little bit of running in shoes. I am actually not particularly enjoying it but a few people around me said that running barefoot is a different story. I will follow your advice and will start running with a few hundred metres in a park. I am a little bit worried about the dirty roads in London, there is so much broken glass and other hazards. Is there any kind of protection - shoe is probably the wrong word - that you can recommend? (Anna, West London) Hi Anna Are you barefoot when at home? It’s good to get your feet out of shoes in a safe environment and begin to build strength and mobility. In most parks, you should be able to

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find a strip of smooth tarmac that is glass-free. Most barefoot runners have occasionally had (very small) pieces of glass in their feet – it’s quite a rare occurrence though and certainly doesn’t happen as often as you think, maybe three or four times a year. Regarding dirt – well, yes, the streets are dirty! BUT you will probably have more germs in your shoes and on their soles than you’ll have on your feet from running barefoot. I don’t know of anyone who has become ill through running barefoot on dirty streets. I do know that, in my experience, barefoot runners take a lot of care of their feet and wash them much more frequently than runners wash their shoes! Part of the joy of running barefoot is feeling the different textures and temperatures underfoot as you run; there is something about it that’s both therapeutic and liberating. If you

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are keen for some protection, have a look at the Swiss Socks Company (www.swissbarefootcompany.ch) – these socks allow you to feel the ground but just offer that bit of protection from dirt and debris. Best of luck! Anna

Hi there I have recently started running in minimal shoes to get a bit fitter and lose some weight. I can now run (slowly!) for 20 minutes without stopping. I run once a week with some friends and one more time on my own during the week. The trouble is, although I always enjoy it once I’m out there, I struggle with motivation to get myself out of the door. I want to be one of those people who can’t wait to get out there…but I’m getting stuck

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somewhere! I also have three kids and work so I’m very busy and exhausted a lot of the time!

I suffer from cracked heels when the temperatures are extremely hot or cold. Do you have any handy hints for dealing with this problem?

(Ella, via email) (Becky, Cambridge) Hi Ella Trust us, we all experience that reluctance sometimes, especially when it’s been a long day.

Hi Becky

You mention that you run with friends – having a running buddy can be very helpful in keeping up a regular practice. It may be that one of these friends can run with you at other times during the week, but if not you could try to find a running buddy via a running website, for example: www.fetcheveryone.com or www.therunningbug.co.uk . These sites also have lots of information and articles that will keep you interested and it’s free to sign up.

This is a problem for many barefoot runners! Luckily, our friend and fitness coach, Ady Benn, has put together this useful video which you will hopefully find very helpful! Just click on the link below. All the best Anna

You might also want to try joining a local running club. Just search for running clubs in your area online and you should find one easily. It may be that their schedule doesn’t always fit with yours, but it’s a great place to meet other runners who could potentially run with you at other times. Setting yourself a running goal might also be useful. parkrun is perfect for this – there are now hundreds of free, 5km runs set up all over the UK where you can go each week and monitor your progress as well as meet other runners of all abilities. Have a look at their website: www.parkrun.org.uk If you persevere, you will enjoy running more and more, so keep it up! It may also help to monitor your diet and sleep patterns which may need some modification to help boost your energy. There are lots of helpful dietary tips on the Sock Doc website: www.sock-doc.com, and on the Dr Sarah Ballantyne’s website: www.thepaleomom.com Of course, you can always read through past copies of Barefoot Running Magazine to further boost your motivation and get some valuable advice! All the best Anna & David

Send your running questions to Anna and David and they will endeavour to answer them for you: questions@barefootrunningmagazine.com

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or this issue, I spent a weekend recapturing the simple life with my son. We travelled down to a working, country estate in Staffordshire and pretty soon had made our way into the woods and left the world behind. “Bloody Bear Grylls”, muttered the man on the stump opposite. He shook his head and gave a wry smile that betrayed that he would rather be anywhere except sitting in a forest clearing with a bunch of strangers. I couldn’t help grinning. “Bloody Bear Grylls” was the reason that I too found myself on a family, bushcraft weekend run by the fantastically named Jonny Crockett’s Survival School. At 12 years old, my son

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Dan has watched and read just about everything that Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, has produced and getting out into the woods for a bit of bushcraft and family time seemed like such a good idea when we arranged it. From the look of apprehension on some faces, not everyone was as sure. I often crave the simple life but I am usually caught up in the 100 mile an hour pace of modern, family life. Running is my release. For the last 10 months, I have run barefoot every day. It has been a revelation to me. I had forgotten that running was so joyous. It is all too easy to forget that it is meant to be nourishing and enjoyable. A simple pursuit where we just go out and put one foot in front of the other. I have taken to pausing regularly during my runs to just soak it all in. These roving reports have become about rediscovering running and finding a way to make it a sustainable activity that adds richness to my life. I have taken a little bit of wisdom away from each adventure and this weekend would prove no different. Heading out into the woods with Dan for a few days forced me to stop and reconsider what is important in life. My year of daily barefoot running has done

something similar. I have been forced to slow down and think about what really matters. This weekend felt like holding down a life reset button and starting again. The course was family orientated and we made up a group of around 20 parents and children aged between 10 and 14. Experience ranged from old hands to those like us with no real idea of what we were letting ourselves in for. Over the course of the weekend, we would learn how to fulfil the basic human needs of shelter, warmth, food and water out in the woods. We would learn how to keep ourselves safe and above all, we learnt how to just slow down and experience life at a more natural pace. Our instructors’ first job was to get us to handle our knives and saws correctly and then we were at it straight away, fashioning tent pegs to secure the simple tarpaulin sheets we had been given as our shelters for the first night. The focal point of our camp was a fire on which we would cook our food so the next job was to collect firewood and bring it back to camp. We learnt what makes good firewood

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and how best to add it to the fire. A fire is such a simple, human pleasure and one that many of us have lost touch with. Of all the things Dan got out of the weekend, it was tending and sitting by the fire that he remembered most. Cooking on the fire and eating in the open air left the phenomenon of the modern barbecue feeling sadly lacking. Food had dominated our thoughts in the run up to the weekend and less than an hour after arriving, we found ourselves stood behind a circle of tree stumps in a clearing. On each stump was a dead wood pigeon. The idea was that we would prepare them and that they would become our evening meal. The fact that we have become detached from where our food comes from was one motivation for doing this course and here we began to redress that in a pretty graphic manner. The instructors were skilled in leading us through the process in a very unsensational way and before we knew it both Dan and I had removed our pigeons’ heads and wings before learning how to extract the breast meat by simply using our fingers and thumbs. A quick hand wash and the fillets were soon sizzling on the fire. Over the course of the weekend, we

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went through similar processes with trout (delicious) and rabbit and all the children joined in and learned how it was done. Our favourite meal was breakfast. We were each given a handful of flour and made flatbreads to be cooked on the fire along with bacon and boiled eggs. We enjoyed it so much that we made flatbreads in the same way the day after we returned home. It was good to see Dan chatting and getting to know the instructors. The old, African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, is one that I think we have also lost sight of in our fast paced, modern world. It is based on the premise that children grow up to be well rounded members of society when they watch and learn from a wide range of role models. It is credit to Survival School that I was more than happy for my son to watch and learn from the four instructors guiding us through the weekend. I had booked our trip after watching Jonny and one of his team working with a class of 8 year olds at my school. He had spent the day teaching them how to knap flint, light fires and prepare fish for cooking. I had been impressed enough by the way he worked to want to find out a little more. Jonny ensures that his family courses are led by his most experienced instructors and they were all superb. I know good teaching when I see it and they were skilled at giving us some knowledge and then gently guiding us as we tried things for ourselves. Each was an expert in their chosen field and also excellent at working with adults and children alike. Being in the woods with people who earn their living from rural crafts was a privilege. Dan took a shine to instructor Brett who taught us how to light fires and was still talking about him days after the course had finished. As role models go, Jonny’s team were top drawer. By the end of the second day, the parents had all adjusted to the slow pace of forest life. Late into the evening, we sat around the fire in a sort of quiet companionship. We were all content to sit and enjoy the fire without feeling the need to make conversation for the sake of it. It was gentle and easy going. The children were enjoying some freedom too. There are parallels here with my trip with Dan to the

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Evolve Centre in Salford where they teach parkour. Children have never had so many clubs and organized activities to be part of. Many spend their lives being transported from one session to the next and exist within a completely controlled environment. We teach them about risk but don’t give them the chance to experiment and learn about risk for themselves. This has implications as they get older and suddenly there are no adults around to supervise things. In the middle of the second afternoon, the instructors skilfully separated the children and adults and just let the kids get on with it without their parents’ interference. They built a huge shelter from the materials in the forest and made their plans to sleep in it. They had their own fire and after dark, although we were only a few feet away, they forgot we were there. Dan had gone from not saying much to anyone during the day to loudly declaring that he was Gandalf whilst blowing on their little fire to make the flames leap. At his age, I went everywhere with a penknife in my pocket, built dens and climbed trees. The world has changed and these simple pleasures are lost to many of our children.

there are people with deep, rural knowledge who can pass on what they know in a fun and unsensational way. My own teaching will be better for watching them at work. I gained a huge amount from simply walking through the woodland with someone who makes their living from the land and listening to what they had to say.

At first glance, this weekend was about skinning rabbits and sleeping in the woods but that is not what I took away with me. I learnt that

Jonny’s courses book up fast. To find out more about Survival School visit www.survivalschool.co.uk

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Most of all, I learnt that our children need some freedom to be children in the same way that every generation before them has done. They sometimes need to explore and play away from the watchful eyes of adults. Having said that, I would love to go back to the woods with Dan again. I have no real desire to skin rabbits or sleep in a shelter again. What I crave is that time where we can hit the reset button and slow the pace of life right down. My abiding memory will be of sitting next to my son with our backs against a tree in the woodland with nothing to do but whittle a few tent pegs. If I have managed to go back to simple pleasures with my running, I should be able to do that with other aspects of my life. I am grateful to Jonny’s team for showing us the way.

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www.emmabradingyoga.com

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Injury corner The literal Achilles heel by Margaret Sinclair

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here is lots of talk about Achilles tendon pain and injuries recently on the barefoot running blogs. As this is something I see often in clinic too, I have been asked to cover it in the “Injury corner” in this issue of Barefoot Running Magazine. The Achilles tendon is a thick band of connective tissue connecting the calcaneus bone (the heel) of the foot to the gastrocnemius and soleus (calf) muscles. It acts to plantarflex the foot (move it towards the floor) or to provide deceleration of foot dorsiflexion in walking and running. Up to three times the weight of the body will pass through this amazing tendon.[1,2] It is this last point that is of importance to barefoot runners. When running with heel strike the shoe cushioning does a lot of the deceleration. Barefoot running usually is mid or forefoot striking, the deceleration is provided by the foot arch mechanics and the calf muscles, passing the forces through the Achilles tendon.

area with reduced blood flow. The pain will occur earlier and earlier in training - taking longer to wear off during warm up - until it becomes constant. Increased pain will be felt when walking up hills and stairs, then in just walking. This is the point people usually come and see me. With this kind of injury, seeking a solution to the problem sooner rather than later makes it easier to fix! ‘Official’ diagnosis can be made by a doctor, sports massage therapist, physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor. It can be done with

a physical examination for a general diagnosis. For a more specific diagnosis, or to see the extent of the damage, x-ray, ultrasound or MRI can be used. Treatment of Achilles injuries ranges from simple when they are acute, to more complicated and time consuming when it is chronic. If the damage is very severe surgery may be required. That is why it is best to seek treatment early on. First (and easiest) things to look at to treat the Achilles tendon injury:

Achilles injuries range from a general ache after training to a rare but total rupture of the ligament. Most injuries of the tendon occur approximately 3 inches above the heel; this seems to be the focus point of most of the enormous force that is transferred through the Achilles tendon when toeing off in running. The lower 2-3 inches of the tendon has the least blood flow too, which means that nutrition and oxygen vital in healing cannot be passed as easily to damaged tissues in this area. Injuries of the Achilles tendon fall into two general categories: chronic and acute. Acute injuries are sudden damage to the tendon fibres. This can lead to immediate pain or pain after cooling down.[4] The pain will be worse in the morning for a few days and slowly disappear as the area is warmed up. There may be tenderness and warmth over the area also. These will usually disappear over a few days if the tissues are allowed to heal. Chronic injuries often start when acute injuries are ignored or not allowed to heal fully before training is started or increased. This is because repetitive injury of the tissues prevents the chance to heal and leads to disrupted tissues, scarring and inflammation in an

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Rest - I know it is not what runners want to hear but it allows the tissues to heal when the forces of running are not being put through the tendon. If you cannot (will not) rest then reduce the speed, mileage and frequency of runs Reduce the inflammation. Talk to a pharmacist about antiinflammatory medication if you think the pain/damage needs it. (Last magazine I talked about natural anti-inflammatory supplements.) Ice for 5 minutes after physical activity.[4] Contrast bathe the area with ice/heat. Three minutes each for 15 minutes. This reduces inflammation and encourages healing Foam roller the calf muscles. This allows a reduction in tension of the Achilles tendon by reducing the muscle tone of the muscles attached to it. Initially, stretching will place unwanted force on the damaged tissues. Wait until the tissues are healing well before placing a slight stretch through the area. This allows the new tissues being formed to be in line with the rest in the area. This results in better strength and force transfer when the area has healed Running. Are you doing too much too fast, putting too much force through the tendon before it is strong enough to take it? Is there enough time for the tissue to heal and become stronger before the next session? How is your form? Get professionals to have a look and see if they have any recommendations to improve your gait and reduce the forces through your body Increase the strength of the ankles and calf muscles to provide protection to the Achilles tendon to support healing and prevent reoccurrence.[4] An example is heel drops, done with your toes supported on a ledge (step, etc.). Allow your heels to drop several inches, and then raise the heel to horizontal again. These exercises are to be done slowly. Do one set of 15 with knees straight, then one set of 15 with the knees slightly bent. This targets different parts of the knee complex and calf muscles. Please note: do not do the raise part with a damaged Achilles tendon. It will cause more damage. Just do the first ‘dropping’ phase.

If the injury is chronic it will need some

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outside help:

 

Dry needling stimulates healing of the damaged tissues Steroid injections; highly antiinflammatory and injected into a specific area allowing the body to repair the affected tissues Physical therapy.[4] Massage to encourage healing and reduce inflammation. It also reduces scar tissue and encourages new tissue to be distributed in the lines of force required. Exercise to rehabilitate the area, helping to recover and prevent reoccurrence. Biomechanical assessment to encourage the optimal movement patterns to reduce force on the injured area and prevent reoccurrence Kinesio taping the area may help reduce the load on the local tissues and may encourage lymphatic drainage to assist in healing

When the damage is severe (very rare):

 

Placing the leg in a cast to allow healing to take place.[4,5] Surgeries to either repair the damaged tissue or to create many lacerations encouraging the bodies own healing.[5]

As I mentioned before, catching injuries early means a faster resolution and an opportunity to improve your gait, strength and function. This then allows you to run further, longer and faster. Keep healthy and run strong. References 1. http://www.medicinenet.com/ achilles_tendon_rupture/ article.htm#function_of_achilles_tendon 2. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2010 May;18(5):638-43. Epub 2010 Feb 25. Functional anatomy of the Achilles tendon. Doral MN1, Alam M, Bozkurt M, Turhan E, Atay OA, Dönmez G, Maffulli N. 3. World J Orthop. 2015 May 18;6(4):380-6. eCollection 2015. Management of achilles tendon injury: A current concepts systematic review. Gulati V1, Jaggard M1, Al-Nammari SS1, Uzoigwe C1, Gulati P1, Ismail N1, Gibbons C1, Gupte C1. 4. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 May 26;5 Injection therapies for Achilles tendinopathy. Kearney RS1, Parsons N, Metcalfe D, Costa ML. 5. World J Orthop 2015 May 18; 6(4): 380-386. Management of achilles tendon injury: A current concepts systematic review. Vivek Gulati, Matthew Jaggard, Shafic Said Al-Nammari, Chika Uzoigwe, Pooja Gulati, Nizar Ismail, Charles Gibbons and Chinmay Gupte.

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I am a registered osteopath with the General Osteopathic Council and a qualified sports injury therapist. I am also a massive barefoot enthusiast, living my life barefoot as much as I can. Before barefoot living, I suffered back, knee and ankle problems regularly. Since being barefoot, I no longer experience any of these. But it took 2 years to transition fully to barefoot. As a therapist, I believe in looking at the person as a whole, working with a patient not only to alleviate pain but also to acquire and maintain health and wellbeing. This often includes analyzing a patient’s biomechanics. Gait analysis can lead to recommending barefoot running and/or exercises to assist the body to work in harmony. A gradual transition to being barefoot is key to doing so injury free. I have a background in barefoot living and running, archery, distance running and martial arts, providing me with the necessary insights into the requirements of both amateur and professional athletes. This includes the importance of getting people back to doing what they enjoy. I also treat animals, which offers me further interesting opportunities to learn even more about biomechanics and movement. As a therapist, I enjoy - and am committed to - continuous learning and self-development.

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Technical tip Listen to your feet by Anna Toombs

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espite the growing interest in barefoot running and the consequent sharing of information in regards to technique, it still seems that there is too much emphasis on foot strike. Yes, where your foot lands in relation to your body is one of the keys to efficient running form. But becoming obsessed with exactly which bit of your foot hits the ground first and allowing that to become your main focus can actually be detrimental to your improvement.

don’t see this in barefoot runners; it’s probably more difficult to land continuously on the balls of your feet when you’re barefoot because it starts to hurt pretty soon when that area of the foot becomes more sensitive, but the balletic, overstriding gait is something that is prevalent in runners who have read about how they are ‘supposed to run’ but only taken note of one small aspect of a whole body movement.

Furthermore, there are those who are striving to land on the midpoint of their foot and even achieving it BUT – have they addressed whether their foot is flexible enough to make the most of this midfoot landing? If your arch is rigid or your ankles lack mobility you are still going to have your work cut out in trying to achieve an effortless and enjoyable running gait.

For any runner, I would recommend foot and ankle exercises on a daily basis. This is easy to incorporate into your routine if you’re barefoot when at home. Performing some ankle circles and toe scrunches whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, or doing some calf raises and toe stretches whilst brushing your teeth are just two of an endless number of examples of how to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet and ankles. I work with all kinds of clients, some of whom are not remotely interested in running, but they all have foot exercises in their programmes because the feet are IMPORTANT! Not necessarily how they connect with the ground during each running stride but because they do connect with the ground and to the rest of your body!

We know that some of our readers are barefoot runners, some wear minimalist shoes and some wear conventional trainers. It is even more difficult to land on a particular part your foot when you can’t even feel your sole connect with the ground. Yet we see many a runner prancing along on the balls of their feet in shoes, blissfully unaware that they are vastly overloading their calf complex, because they think they have mastered the art of not “heel striking”. That’s not to say that we

Of all the runners I am acquainted with, only a relative handful run completely barefoot. These barefoot runners all have something in common: they learn to listen to their feet. They make a mental shift from telling their feet what to do, to allowing their feet to be their guide. The minute I get out of bed, my feet tell me about the state of my body. They let me know if I am well-hydrated and have had a good, nourishing night’s sleep, or whether I had better do some

Whilst your foot is what connects with the ground, it is not just your foot that responds; it is your whole body. In fact, if you were to correctly monitor what’s going on above your ankle, it’s likely that your foot would land exactly where it needs to.

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decent mobilizing before my run because I did NOT eat well yesterday! The biomechanical benefits of running barefoot are well documented on the internet but the improved relationship between the feet and body is lesser known, although equally important. Your feet can tell you whether you’ll be able to run endlessly today or if you ought to take the pace a little slower and be more conservative with your mileage. In shoes, your feet feel the same from day to day. Your body may suggest a niggle or a lack of energy but these signals are usually ignored; you can tune them out. Remove your shoes, and your feet will shout a lot louder. In a sense, they are your injury prevention tool. I would never suggest that everybody should run barefoot; many choose not to and for plenty of valid reasons. I would, however, encourage every runner, every person, to spend some of their day barefoot and allow their feet to be a part of the rest of their body. This way, you can make adjustments to your day, whether this means taking more time to warm up for your run, shortening your running route, or perhaps just wearing a more comfortable pair of shoes to work or having a couple of days eating ‘clean’. Mobilize and strengthen your feet. Take time to listen to them. Take off your shoes when you’re at home and if you’re a runner, do your running drills barefoot. Don’t waste time trying to land on a particular part of your foot. Instead, spend time learning to understand your whole body and provide each interconnected part with the opportunity to speak freely.

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

Chris [Fielding] runs his first barefoot marathon with a smile!

Alex Ramsey and Patrick Sweeney after running 900 miles from Chicago to New York City in 20 days

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Daniel Martinek in the Columbia Gorge Half Marathon

Ricardo [D’Ash] making his barefoot running comeback at parkrun!

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Nutritional nugget The Link Between Meat and Cancer by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. (The Paleo Mom)

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’m sure you’ve seen more than one article pronouncing that meat causes cancer. Depending on the source, the article might have a plant-based diet lean and demonize all meat, or merely throw red meat or deli meats under the cancer bus. I know I get asked nearly daily to rebut some article or other on the subject. But, the truth is that there really are a lot of studies out there linking meat consumption (especially red meat) to cancer - in human populations, in animal models, and even in some controlled trials focusing on pre-cancerous changes in the human body. Hardly a month goes by without seeing at least one of these studies pop up in the headlines and make the rounds on social media. These studies seem to buoy critics of the Paleo diet and low-carb diets alike, while providing fuel for harassment from family members who just don’t get how we eat (or why). Within the Paleo community, there is a strong tendency to dismiss these scientific studies as being irrelevant or poorly conducted. The most standard response is “But the study didn’t use grass-fed and organic meat!” and then we go on our merry way with the assumption that the results don’t apply to us (and we tell our family members so!). Then, there’s always the more general anti-science sentiments, dismissing the relevance of a study based on perceived design flaws or legitimate study limitations. As you can probably imagine, dismissing science because it doesn’t conform to our established beliefs is not something I endorse. Studies linking meat consumption to cancer are relevant to the Paleo community and are worthy of discussion. So, let’s do that. Researchers have uncovered several mechanisms linking cancer with components of meat that have nothing to do with an animal’s diet or antibiotic exposure, including heme iron, specific proteins, other specific molecules, and heat-induced mutagens. These are things that exist in meat whether it’s conventional or grass-fed or wild game. That means that organic grass-fed meat, while it promotes health in other ways (better fats, more micronutrients), still has the

capacity to increase cancer risk. So, instead of dismissing the meat and cancer research as irrelevant, let’s take the time to objectively look at how it affects us.

with cancer far more often than white meat could be due to their differences in heme content: white meat (poultry and fish) contains much, much less of it.

But, don’t get scared over to vegetarianism just yet! When we take a closer look at these studies, we see something extraordinarily interesting: the link between meat and cancer tends to disappear once the studies adjust for vegetable intake. Even more exciting, when we examine the mechanistic links between meat and cancer, it turns out that many of the harmful (yes, legitimately harmful!) components of meat are counteracted by protective compounds in plant foods.

Let’s dive into the mechanistic details!

Here’s where vegetables come to the rescue! Chlorophyll, the pigment in plants that makes them green, has a molecular structure that’s very similar to heme. As a result, chlorophyll can block the metabolism of heme in your intestinal tract and prevent those toxic metabolites from forming. Instead of turning into harmful byproducts, heme ends up metabolized into inert compounds that are no longer toxic or damaging to your colon. Animal studies have demonstrated this effect in action: one study on rats showed that supplementing a heme-rich diet with chlorophyll (in the form of spinach) completely suppressed the pro-cancer effects of heme. All the more reason to eat a salad with your steak!

Heme

L-carnitine and TMAO

A major mechanism linking meat to cancer involves heme, the ironcontaining compound that gives red meat its colour (in contrast to the nonheme iron found in plant foods). Where heme becomes a problem is in your gut: the cells lining your digestive tract metabolize it into cytotoxic compounds (meaning toxic to living cells), which can then damage your colonic mucosa, cause cell proliferation, and increase fecal water toxicity - all of which raise cancer risk. Yikes! In fact, part of the reason red meat shows up linked

L-carnitine is an amino acid that’s particularly abundant in red meat (another candidate for why red meat seems to disproportionately increase risk of cancer compared to other meats). When you consume L-carnitine, your intestinal bacteria metabolize it into a compound called trimethylamine (TMA). From there, the TMA enters your bloodstream and gets oxidized by your liver into yet another compound, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). This is the one we should pay attention to!

Said more simply: YES, meat does cause cancer!…IF you aren’t eating your veggies!

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TMAO has been strongly linked to cancer and heart disease, possibly due to promoting inflammation and altering cholesterol transport. Having high levels of it in your bloodstream could feasibly be a major risk factor for some chronic diseases. So, is this the nail in the coffin for meat eaters? Not so fast! An important study on this topic was published in 2013 in Nature Medicine, and sheds light on what’s really going on. This paper had quite a few components (discussed in detail in a fascinating blog post by Jeff Leach of the Human Food Project), but one of the most interesting has to do with gut bacteria. Basically, it turns out that the bacteria group Prevotella is a key mediator between L-carnitine consumption and having high TMAO levels in your blood. In this study, the researchers found that participants with gut microbiomes dominated by Prevotella were the ones who produced the most TMA (and therefore TMAO, after it reached the liver) from the L-carnitine they ate. Those with microbiomes high in Bacteroides rather than Prevotella saw dramatically less conversion into TMA and TMAO. Guess what Prevotella loves to snack on? Grains! It just so happens that people with high Prevotella levels tend to be those eating grain-based diets (especially whole grain), since this bacterial group specializes in fermenting the type of polysaccharides abundant in grain products. (For instance, we see

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extremely high levels of Prevotella in populations in rural Africa that rely on cereals like millet and sorghum.) At the same time, Prevotella doesn’t seem to be associated with a high intake of non-grain plant sources, such as fruit and vegetables. So, is it really the red meat that’s a problem…or is it the meat in the context of a grain-rich diet? Based on the evidence we have so far, it seems that grains (and the bacteria that love to eat them) are a mandatory part of the L-carnitineto-TMAO pathway. Ditch the grains, and your gut will become a more hospitable place for red meat!

Neu5GC Another lesser-known mechanism behind the meat and cancer link involves a sialic acid molecule called Neu5GC, which is found abundantly in red meat. The human body can’t produce Neu5GC (instead, we make a different sialic acid molecule called Neu5AC), but we can incorporate Neu5GC into our cell membranes if we ingest it from food. There’s just one problem: since Neu5GC is a foreign molecule, our bodies can launch an immune response against the Neu5GC we’ve incorporated, leading to the production of antibodies and inflammation. That process appears to be involved in raising cancer risk. (In fact, mice studies designed to simulate what happens in the

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human body are showing that after long-term exposure, Neu5GC accumulates in tumours and significantly raises the number of carcinomas that form.) The question then becomes why do we form antibodies against Neu5GC at all? Not everyone does, and it may be something that happens in an over-stimulated or dysfunctional immune system, similar to the way we form antibodies against our own tissues in autoimmune disease. In this case, nutrient sufficiency, gut health, adequate sleep, stress management and activity are all important inputs to prioritize (all discussed in detail in The Paleo Approach). And it is thus no surprise that nutrient deficiency, gut dysbiosis, poor sleep, high stress and inactivity have all been linked to increased cancer risk. Do vegetables play a role here too? Unfortunately, that’s something researchers are still exploring - and we can’t say yet how vegetable intake influences the potential Neu5GC-cancer connection. But, we do know from a giant range of studies that vegetables exert cancer-protective properties through a number of pathways, and every study that corrects for vegetable intake finds the meat and cancer link to disappear. High vegetable intake benefits the immune system in many ways too. So, we can make an educated guess at this point and say that whatever risk Neu5GC may create, vegetables appear

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to negate it.

Mutagens from Cooking Okay, a juicy steak on the grill tastes amazing. I think we can all agree on that. But, what’s not amazing is the molecular effect high-temperature cooking has on meat. Harsh cooking methods like grilling and frying can generate compounds called heterocyclic amines, or HAs (formed from reactions between amino acids and creatine in muscle meat) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs (formed when meat drippings hit open fire and cause PAH-containing flames to rise up, in turn coating the meat with PAHs). Both of these compounds are known to be mutagenic, causing changes in DNA that may increase your risk of cancer. Plenty of animal experiments and human population studies point towards HAs and PAHs being major players in the cancer correlations we see with meat. Although we’re not 100% sure how dramatically HAs and PAHs raise

cancer risk in humans (it’s really hard to measure people’s exact intake and correlate it with disease incidence over time), it’s safe to say these compounds aren’t harmless, and we should try to minimize our exposure to them. One way to do that, of course, is to stick with gentle cooking methods (hello, crockpot!) instead of charring our meat to smithereens. But, guess what else can counteract meat mutagens? It probably won’t come as a surprise that the answer, again, is vegetables! Multiple studies have shown that indoles, a class of phytochemicals abundant in cooked or crushed/ chewed crucifers (like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage), can suppress the tumours induced by PAHs and HAs, as well as totally change the way your body metabolizes these mutagens to make them less harmful. One study found that feeding people a diet containing 500 grams of crucifers per day (in the form of broccoli and Brussels sprouts) reduced the formation of toxic metabolites from a particularly dangerous HA called 2-amino-1methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]

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pyridine (try saying THAT five times fast!). Basically, it looks like we can protect ourselves from some of the damage these mutagens cause by making sure we eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables. Let’s fire up the barbecue! (and make a shaved Brussels salad!)

But What About the Inuit? A common argument for the claim that red meat can cause cancer when you don’t eat enough plant foods is, “What about the Inuit?” After all, didn’t they stay cancer-free on a diet that was nothing but meat? Actually, this is a myth! The Inuit (on their traditional diet) definitely had a huge intake of animal foods, but they also went to great lengths to gather amazingly nutrient-dense plants whenever they were available (as well as preserve them for year-round use). Those included kelp, algae, and other seaweeds (which are super high in chlorophyll), plankton from whales’ stomachs, fireweed, sorrel grass, flower blossoms preserved in seal oil, mosses, a variety of berries,

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ground nuts, lichens, willow leaves, sourdock, scurvygrass, roseroot, numerous other weeds and greens, tubers, starchy corms (which the Inuit collected from caches made by tundra mice and voles), and the partially digested stomach contents of caribou and other land animals (considered a delicacy, and usually consisting of a variety of lichens, blueberry leaves and shoots, horsetails, grasses, birch, willow, and other plants the animals had grazed on). Whew! That’s quite a list. And, many of those wild foods have a much higher micronutrient content than the cultivated vegetables we get from the store, so a little went a long way. Plus, the Inuit traditionally fermented large quantities of their greens, berries, and roots as a way of preserving them. If you’ve read my posts on fermentation (check out my latest one here!), you know that fermented foods can have major anti-cancer properties, and might offset the increased risk from red meat by shifting the gut microbiome and protecting the colon from dangerous pre-cancerous mutations. What’s more, we can’t rule out the possibility that the Inuit evolved a unique gut ecology that helps them cope with their diet. We already know they evolved a genetic CPT1A mutation that prevents most Inuit from entering ketosis, something not found in those of us descended from non-arctic populations. Could something similar have happened with the Inuit gut microbiome? It’s definitely possible. Bottom line: despite a high meat intake, the Inuit were also eating a huge variety of protective plant foods (and receiving the perks of fermentation), so they really don’t invalidate the red meat and cancer connection.

Does This Mean It’s Better to Be Vegetarian? Not at all! The point of this post isn’t to scare you away from meat, but to emphasize that both plant foods and animal foods play an important (and symbiotic) role in the human diet. Without the protective effects of plant foods, some components of animal products - meat, in this case - can become legitimately harmful

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References:

and raise your risk of diseases like cancer. But, animal products play an equally valuable role for our health, providing nutrients that are low or absent from plant foods (like B12, preformed vitamin A, zinc, highly absorbable iron, easiest-to-digest protein, and complete protein). The danger comes when we have an imbalance between our intake of plant foods and animal products tilting too far in the direction of either carnivore or vegan. The key is to enjoy nutrient-dense items from both the plant and animal kingdoms that lead to healthy gut flora, an excellent micronutrient status, and happy taste buds. While a meat-heavy diet may increase cancer risk, eating lots of veggies mitigates it. When you eat both meat and a variety of vegetables (at least 5 veggie servings a day), the rationale for concerns falls short. Yes, I just concluded what other Paleo peeps have been saying all along: meat is an essential component of a healthy diet for optimal health. But, I think it’s important to emphasize that a detailed reading of the science emphasizes just how important it is for high vegetable consumption to be another essential component of said healthy diet for optimal health. So go ahead and eat that steak, just steam some broccoli and make a salad to go with it.

1. Balder HF, et al. “Heme and chlorophyll intake and risk of colorectal cancer in the Netherlands cohort study.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Apr;15(4):717-25. 2. Bennett J & Rowley S. “Chapter 5: Gathering.” Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut. 2004: McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp. 84–85. 3. Clement FJ, et al. “A Selective Sweep on a Deleterious Mutation in CPT1A in Arctic Populations.” Am J Hum Genet. 2014 Oct 23;95(5):584-589. 4. De Filippo C, et al. “Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 17;107 (33):14691-6. 5. Kang DW, et al. “Reduced incidence of Prevotella and other fermenters in intestinal microflora of autistic children.” PLoS One. 2013 Jul 3;8(7):e68322. 6. Kuhnlein H & Turner N. “Traditional Plant Foods of Canadian Indigenous Peoples: Nutrition, Botany and Use.” (Food and Nutrition in History and Anthropology). 2001: Taylor and Francis. 7. Murray S, et al. “Effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on heterocyclic aromatic amine metabolism in man.” Carcinogenesis (2001) 22 (9): 1413-1420. 8. Price W. “Chapter 5: Isolated and Modernized Eskimos.” Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. 1939: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc. 9. Koeth RA, et al. “Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis.” Nat Med. 2013 May;19(5):576-85. 10. Samraj AN, et al. “A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression.” PNAS January 13, 2015 vol. 112 no. 2 542-547. 11. Tangvoranuntakul P, et al. “Human uptake and incorporation of an immunogenic nonhuman dietary sialic acid.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 14; 100(21): 12045–12050. 12. de Vogel J, et al. “Green vegetables, red meat and colon cancer: chlorophyll prevents the cytotoxic and hyperproliferative effects of haem in rat colon.” Carcinogenesis 2005; 26:387–93. 13. Walters D, et al. “Cruciferous vegetable consumption alters the metabolism of the dietary carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) in humans.” Carcinogenesis 2004;25(9):1659-1669. 14. Wattenberg L & Loub W. “Inhibition of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-induced Neoplasia by Naturally Occurring Indoles.” Cancer Res (1978) 38: 1410. 15. Wu GD, et al. “Linking long-term dietary patterns with gut microbial enterotypes.” Science. 2011 Oct 7;334(6052):105-8.

Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. (a.k.a. The Paleo Mom) is the blogger behind the award-winning www.ThePaleoMom.com, co-host of the syndicated top-rated The Paleo View Podcast, and author of critically-acclaimed The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook. Sarah earned her doctorate degree in medical biophysics at the age of 26. She spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After her second daughter was born, she began to experiment with the Paleo lifestyle. It had an amazing effect on her health, including contributing to her 120-pound weight loss! Over time, she healed herself of a long laundry list of physical complaints including: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acid reflux, migraines, anxiety, asthma, allergies, psoriasis and an autoimmune skin condition called lichen planus. Sarah successfully transitioned her originally sceptical husband and two spirited young daughters to a paleo diet and lifestyle. Her passion for providing straightforward explanations of the science behind the paleo diet and its modifications, plus her love of food and cooking and her dedication to her family, form the foundations of her blog, her podcast and her books. You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Stuff that’s going on

he Endurance Show is taking place next year at the usual Sandown Park venue in Esher, Surrey, UK. Formerly the Running Show, the organizers have gradually spread their net wider to encourage anyone interested in endurance sports to attend. There will be exhibitors representing many sports – running, triathlon, open water swimming and more. The atmosphere at the show is always buzzing and there are plenty of opportunities to attend seminars and workshops and compete in the traditional 5km and 10km races.

Events

Visit the website for more information about the show, taking place on 27th & 28th February 2016: www.enduranceshow.com

f you’re looking to up your running game in 2016, why not begin with a challenging ultramarathon in the breath-taking Nepal capital city, Kathmandu. The North Face® Kathmandu ultra is taking place on Saturday 2nd January 2016 with various distance options: “A hard 50km, and a tough 80-ish km course plus some fun runs”. The fun runs are still pretty challenging, with a choice of 27km or 12km. Previous participants comment on the beautiful routes, friendliness and support from other runners and local people, as well as the delicious food. For more information and booking, visit: www.ultrakathmandu.com

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Stuff that’s going on

his race, not for the faint-hearted, covers a distance of 3312m with an 860m elevation, in snow! Next year’s event takes place next year on Saturday 27th February 2016 at 18:30 hours. There are no rules, just two different categories: the speed class and the backpack class. In the backpack class, you are required to carry a backpack containing everything (if anything!) you need for the race. Any materials (ski poles, spike shoes, etc.) are allowed, although at the bottom of the list of suggested materials on the website it does say “bare feet?” You’ll find several clips of the race on youtube giving you an idea of the fitness that’s required for this climb. It does look like a lot of fun and there is 3,000 Euros worth of prize money and prizes up for grabs. For more information on this tough, yet hilarious race, visit: www.vertical-up.com

Events

or all those who enjoy something a bit different and some useful cross training, this popular event is taking place on 19th March 2016 at the Hilton Dusseldorf hotel, situated just 10 minutes from Dusseldorf International Airport. A series of master classes, led by world class presenters from countries including Great Britain, US and Belgium, will kick off at 13:00 and continue through to 22:00. The early bird price of 75 Euros is now available until 1st January 2016. Places are filling up fast! Visit: www.zumbafest.eu for more details and bookings

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ow are you all doing out there?? Did you enjoy our rather blustery Summer this year? Admittedly, I personally found this Summer to be a bit of a letdown in terms of the weather. HOWEVER, it was much better for running and exercising in (for me anyway) than the normal hot Summers we usually get in the UK. I don’t know about you but running in the heat for me is a killer and takes miles off my distance. So I guess what I’m saying is that there are always positives to take away! I moved house recently and the day it happened I was lucky enough to have a very kind and generous husband who let me run off to London in the evening to go to a book launch. I would never have normally asked but this one was personally important. It was to see the man who started it all for me, my old neighbour, Chris McDougall, launching his new book Natural Born Heroes. It had been a hard

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day already - moving, packing and cleaning, but there was no way I was going to miss this! It was pouring with rain but I jumped on a train and headed to London, leaving my husband with two kids, two cats and a puppy in a new house with no working oven - God bless that man!! When I arrived at the talk I almost immediately managed to grab Chris’s attention and have a brief chat – he was gobsmacked to be seeing me there in London but was due on stage shortly and asked me to wait around to see him at the end to catch up more. But there was also another great surprise in store for me - as I was talking to Chris I heard my name being called and people waving across the room. It was only Anna [Toombs], David [Robinson] and Gray [Caws] there too!! They called me over and all scooched up, making

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room for me to squeeze in with them. It was brilliant to be able to catch up in person and share this great evening with them. After such a tough day it was a real comfort to be sitting amongst friends enjoying something we all love to hear about: ‘Natural movement’. So, back to the move, which has been challenging in many ways as a runner because I moved pretty far away from where I was. One of the biggest challenges I had was finding running routes in an area I am totally unfamiliar with. You know what it’s like - you have a 20 minute route if you only have a 20 minute window, which is always spot on. Finding and getting a handle on new route times and distances is fun but only if you have the time to explore and get lost! Otherwise it can be really off putting going out because it simply isn’t as easy as it once was. And then on top of that I like to run with other people now - it helps to keep me motivated and challenged but now I no longer have a network of people I can just get in touch with to arrange a run. I was kinda hoping to bump into people at the school but it turns out I am the only runner. So I started randomly stopping and

quizzing runners as I came across them. Does that sound odd, desperate even?! If someone did this to you, how would you feel about it? Well, it also transpires that there aren’t many runners altogether in the area and only one local running club. So I looked into the club because if you already run with a club you’ll know it is a great way to not only meet like-minded people but also to help you to improve. But when I looked into it, I found it to be too expensive at four pounds a session compared to the next nearest running club which was 30 minutes drive away at thirty five pounds a year with unlimited training! So at the end of the day I didn’t choose either … yet… but I will probably go for the one 30 minutes away in Hastings. At this point, I was also three weeks away from doing my biggest challenge yet, a 100K ultra called Race to the Stones. My first ever ultra and I was very anxious about not having trained enough, so I got a couple marathons under my belt to ensure I got a few long ones in! I ran both Brighton Marathon and a trail Marathon called the Weald Challenge, possibly one of the most beautiful there is in that part of the world. It was truly stunning.

Barefoot Running Magazine

But I really learned the difference between running a road and a trail marathon barefoot - running that distance off road really slows you down and there are many, many more obstacles to be wary of outside of the natural lay of the land and styles to climb over. The twigs, stones, brambles and (evil!!) holly leaves all take their toll bit by bit, whereas on a flat road you do have to be wary of hotspots or wear spots but generally you will only get the odd rough patch of concrete or pebbly bit. Anyway, as part of my training I had to learn to run in shoes – yes, you heard right, shoes! I would be running the furthest distance I’ve ever attempted and was with three other friends; it was an expensive event and I didn’t want to chance ruining it for any of us. I didn’t want to be the one slowing us down, getting injured because of being barefoot or causing so much damage to my feet that I wouldn’t be able to run again for six months. It was a decision I didn’t take lightly and I spent a lot of time considering my options. I knew that a lot of the terrain would be rocky so that meant anything with too thin a sole could be problematic. So I ended up contacting Earth

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Runners – I am a believer in grounding and always feel stronger running barefoot on natural surfaces. Although they have already been reviewed by this magazine, I knew they would be a good fit for me and the company generously sent me a pair of their Circadian X with the 8mm sole and tan leather straps and suede foot bed. I have to admit that I rather liked the look of them and ended up wearing them pretty much most days as a casual sandal - and still do! I get a lot of compliments about them and no one ever believes me when I tell them that they are my ‘running shoes’ because they do look so good with shorts or a skirt. I’m not going to do a full review of them (as I mentioned, they have already been reviewed here) but when I put these sandals on they felt just right and I think this was largely due to the suede strapping system and quality of a natural material. But it was a first for me with a huarache sandal - they have always needed quite a bit of tweaking in the past to get them to fit right, but I think I do have a slightly odd foot which doesn’t normally help. So, I learned to run in these for my big race and they performed like stars on the day. I didn’t have to think about my feet and once they were on, that was the last I thought about them until took them off, unlike my shod companions. Ironically, amidst my worries about slowing them down, it was them who had to take their shoes off at every rest stop and change socks or put plasters on or tape toe nails down and smother

their feet in lubricant. Whereas my feet were in perfect condition - I’m really not smug in the slightest! The only negative I really found with these shoes was that with the suede foot bed they didn’t do well in the wet. I discovered this when running Bewl 15 the weekend before with another barefoot runner, James Graham. It had been tipping down and was super muddy and my feet kept slipping in the sandals which pulled on the thong between my toes so I ended up just taking them off. But most certainly a big thumbs up in the dry! The sole is definitely harder than that of the Luna sandals, which have more of a spongy feel to them, but both sandals use a Vibram rubber sole. The grip was great too. I will definitely continue to use them for both running in and casual wear. Just a little about the race itself, which was also run by two other barefoot runners who you may know, Amit Boswal and Michael Greenwood, who both set off barefoot but realized that if they wanted to go straight through (this includes running rocky trails, through fields and forests as well as along roads AT NIGHT) they would have to consider wearing something to protect their feet. They both ran amazingly well running the full 100k in one go. It was also an incredible boost for me to see their smiling faces at the start line and at the first check point. I did the version

of the run which was 50k then camping out (having dinner and a few beers which were remarkably reasonably priced at two pounds fifty a can!) and then finishing the second 50k the next day. I know I’m rubbish on no sleep so that’s why I opted for this version. The run itself was challenging, fun and beautiful all at the same time. The staff and volunteers at the aid stations were all happy and helpful and it was at aid station 5 and then later at 9 that I met another minimalist/barefoot runner, John Richmond, who was volunteering! Brilliant! You see, we are everywhere!! The catering was also great with different and varying food options at each station and the half way point meal was great - a lot of very tasty and healthy options as well as stunning cakes which the girls tell me were amazing. I’m not a huge fan of cake and only want salty foods when I long distance run so I always opted for the savoury choices available. The accommodation at the base camp was modest but the showers were hot and clean and there were plenty of points in the dining hall to charge phones and Garmins. The free massage was also a real treat and I think probably went a long way towards not feeling any stiffness the following morning. There were also rollers and mats around to use and free yoga classes to unwind with. The breakfast was again very good and filling with a wide variety of choice which made this little camper very happy indeed. It was an amazing experience and will always bond me strongly with the girls who ran with me. I’d definitely recommend it if you fancy giving ultra distance a go. Meanwhile, jumping back in time to a couple of weeks before Race to the Stones, the Brighton Barefoot took place which I organized this year. I decided to try out a new route so I headed for a (mostly) smooth and (mostly) flat route around the Hove Parkrun circuit. I also introduced a 1 mile race. The day itself started off very wet and drizzly which I was afraid would put people off, but luckily it didn’t. We had lots of entries and a remarkable number of the kids who run with Hove Hornets running club came along to

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give barefoot running a go! Bravo to the youth of Brighton & Hove! There were also a number of fellow runners from my old run club, The Run Squad, who came along and kicked off a few of their shoes too. There were some amazing runners there on the day with some pretty quick times (Michael and Amit to name just a couple). But there was a pair of kids who really were amazing Arthur Louw (8) who is a pure barefoot runner and even teaches adults from time to time, and his incredibly quick

sister Lydia Louw (10) who won the women’s mile race then came first for the 5K too! These two were really something and I hope to be able to interview them soon to find out more about their incredible lives – believe me, after speaking to their father Len for a short amount of time I knew this family were special. So watch this space! After the races we were lucky enough to have in attendence the secretary of the UK chapter of the Barefoot Runners Society, Paul Beales, with his

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lovely family, who put on a Trail Ball tournament! It really was a day of family fun! We all loved being able to try out a new sport; however I think Paul’s son Jonty was a ‘ringer’ - he was especially good and I suspect Paul had been training him up, ha ha ha! The boy’s definitely got a future there. A very special mention also has to go to the amazing Margaret Sinclair, without whose sanity and calmness, the Brighton Barefoot would have been a far more chaotic event!

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A conversation with‌ Veteran barefoot runner, fundraiser and good egg, Barefoot Rick Roeber

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e had the wonderful opportunity the other day of chatting with one of the most well-known, ‘original’ barefoot runners: Barefoot Rick Roeber.

ran a total of 17 more marathons between 1999 and 2003.

Residing in Lee Summit, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, Rick has appeared numerous times in both local and national media as people marvel at his barefoot running feats, including no less than 64 barefoot marathons!

“I was a stupid runner in shoes”, he tells us. He would overstride and clump along, causing unnecessary stress on his body. In fact, his “goofy” running technique caused a stress fracture in his knee, which he suffered with during his Boston Marathon debut.

According to Rick though, he’s a “lazy barefoot runner”. He’s currently training for another marathon and explains how he’s trying to improve on his more recent race times. “I was getting into five hours and over and I didn’t like it”. Rick is using the treadmill to give him some discipline and add in a bit more speed to his training. He still does plenty of road running though and we ask him what people think as he runs the streets without shoes.

together without shoes. “I haven’t looked back since”, says Rick.

These first marathons, Rick ran in shoes.

It was in 2003 that Rick heard about Ken Bob Saxton and barefoot running. “I was fascinated. I’m just a hillbilly at heart – this was a great fit!” He began conversing with Ken Bob, picking up hints and tips and building up his barefoot miles. The first time they actually met was at the Boston Marathon, where they both ran

Rick’s adaptation to barefoot running was remarkably quick. People often ask him how long it takes to get to marathon distance in bare feet; for Rick, he began barefoot running in October 2003 and ran the Boston Marathon in April 2004. That’s quick! One of the things that helped him was following Ken Bob’s advice and starting at the beginning, fully barefoot. A mistake that so many runners make is to try and take a shortcut by way of the “minimalist shoe”. This invariably results in doing too much too soon and getting injured, which prolongs the adaptation time. Various attempts have been made to tempt Rick into minimalist shoes.

“A few years ago the local paper wrote an article saying, ‘Rick Roeber is Lee Summit’s barefoot runner!’ Now, it’s just like, ‘oh yeah, there he is’”. He is obviously no longer an unusual sight around his home town which is not surprising when you consider that he has now been running barefoot for 12 years. We wonder how it all started for him. He tells us that he first started fitness training during a period of separation from his first wife, back in 1990. He thought he ought to do something constructive rather than destructive at this uncertain time, so joined the local fitness centre and started working out. “I hated running at school though. I was the long haired hippy who would hang out in the parking lot, smoke dope and make fun of everybody else – the jocks and that”, he laughs. It all changed when he experienced the endorphin high he got from running and with his first outings in July 1990, by October he was already able to run his first marathon. “That’s my obsessive, compulsive personality!” He jokes. Rick then took a marathon hiatus and didn’t run his next one until 1999 and this time he was hooked; he

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“Ted gave me a pair of Luna Sandals”, he says. “I told him, ‘you know I’m never gonna run in these!’” Tony Post from Vibram also sent him a pair of FiveFingers; again, Rick says he won’t run in them because he’s a purist, but he admits they come in handy walking on the lava fields in Hawaii! We discuss the fact that there aren’t that many barefoot runners out there. Rick tells us that typically in a marathon of two or three thousand runners, there may well only be one or two other barefoot runners besides him. “I love running up behind another barefoot runner and saying, ‘Look! He’s running barefoot!’” Rick refers to his purist preferences only in relation to running. He is not an evangelist about it and certainly doesn’t have a problem with shoes. He is barefoot so often that being barefoot isn’t actually a ‘thing’ for him – it’s not a considered choice to go without shoes, it’s just a natural inclination. He also says that running barefoot, “forces me into better technique”. However, shoes are sometimes necessary, in Rick’s opinion. “My wife is in politics. We’re going to an event tonight and I’m going to wear a suit and I’m going to wear shoes!” “Noooo!” Shouts David. “Not foot coffins!!” “Blasphemy, blasphemy!” Rick laughs. We all agree that footwear – or none – is a personal choice, although there are situations when wearing shoes is a mark of respect for the situation you are in. An awareness of other people and their situations is something that is evident in Rick. When he first began barefoot running, he felt like a bit of a celebrity. “This is pretty cool”, he thought. “I’m big stuff!” However, Rick’s strong faith in God soon made him realize what his barefoot running could do for other people. “God spoke to my heart and said, ‘It’s not about you Rick, it’s about others’”.

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Rick is quick to explain that he doesn’t want to sound as though he is trying to make his faith the focus of the interview. “I didn’t want to get into the religious aspect of my running but it’s hard for me to separate them sometimes because running barefoot really is a spiritual thing for me. I have a strong sense that I’m not only running for myself but for others also”. The majority of you reading this will probably relate to this in some respects. Barefoot running can cause a mental shift so that you feel more appreciative and even more in awe of your surroundings. Whether your faith is a recognized religion or perhaps just a faith in nature and something bigger than yourself, it tends to instil a sense of humility, well-being and hope. At this point we touched on Earthing – a very popular topic amongst barefoot runners, yogis and anyone who finds a connection with the earth to be therapeutic. Rick has an interesting take on this. “God made gravity for a reason. We’re supposed to return to our centre, or the core. As Sir Isaac Newton found out, if you drop something it heads towards the earth, so when we’re heading towards the core of the earth, something remarkable happens”. We return to the subject of helping others. Some of you may have heard of Rick’s charity “Soles for Souls” which raises money for a number of causes.

for his involvement in another charity, Free Wheelchair Mission. The charity’s founder, Don Schoendorfer, sought Rick out after seeing him on television and introduced him to the work he did. The background is that Don, a mechanical engineer, was on holiday in Morocco and saw a disabled lady dragging herself along the floor. It inspired him to design and manufacture affordable wheelchairs for those with little resources and Rick now helps to raise funds for this important cause. All of us wonder together whether there will be a surge of interest in barefoot running when the film of the book Born to Run is released. This would be a great thing for Soles for Souls and for the many others who use barefoot running as their way of supporting a charity. Rick’s opinion is that the book has had both positive and negative consequences. It has been so important in encouraging people to think outside the box (or foot coffin!) and to give barefoot running a try. His reservations lie with the “minimalist shoe” component and the corresponding misunderstanding that running technique will automatically improve with a different type of shoe.

carbohydrates. Rick’s mantra for running a marathon – and one that translates very well into life in general – is this: Inch by inch it’s a synch; mile by mile it’s a trial. “If we look too far down the road, it can be overwhelming. Being more in the moment gives you more confidence, more staying ability”. As we sign off with Rick we’re left with a renewed faith in human nature. Rick is a warm, funny, incredibly genuine man with a kind and generous soul. He comes across as someone who has battled with his own issues but emerged with gratitude and a great deal of wisdom. If you want to broaden your understanding of barefoot running, visit Rick’s website for some very helpful information. You can also find out more about his charity and how to make a donation, should you wish to do so.

What advice can Rick give to other marathoners? Nutritionally, he recommends plenty of water (improving his own hydration has helped enormously with some aches and pains), a higher percentage of protein and eliminating “empty”

When Rick first started running for charity, he raised money for a local school for under privileged children. He then spread his efforts wider and began to help the Kansas City Rescue Mission. This charity holds a personal significance for Rick. As a recovering alcoholic (sober since March 5th 1992) Rick has himself lived on the streets and knows first hand what that feels like. He felt – and continues to feel – a strong desire to give something back and is thankful that his barefoot running provides this opportunity. Rick promotes his charity through the media and there are several clips of him being interviewed on his website. Rick tells us that one of these interviews was the catalyst

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Book review Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement by Katy Bowman

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(Anna Toombs)


ach time I receive a book to review, I automatically flick through it. It’s a habit that remains even though I’ve realized that it rarely provides me with any real insight into the book’s contents and whether or not I’ll enjoy it. So, I leafed through the pages of Move your DNA and came across quite a number of photos of people sitting or lying in simple positions, invariably bolstered with pillows, blankets and supports. I hope those who’ve been made aware of this book via the ‘fitness’ network won’t be put off because they were expecting toned individuals demonstrating new, innovative exercises to build muscle definition. In fact, these seemingly relaxed, ‘not doing much at all’ movements are potentially a huge help for people - however ‘fit’ they are - if they have any kind of movement dysfunction. In context, they fit perfectly. All of which reinforces my opinion that flicking through a book’s pages should not in any way shape your thoughts about that book. Regardless of who you are, Move your DNA will teach you something you don’t know, inspire a change of perspective and – not what I was expecting – make you laugh out loud. The author of this book, Katy Bowman, is a qualified fitness professional and scientist. Her expertise lies in load-science which doesn’t crop up in any detail in most fitness/health-related books but is a fascinating and important subject when it comes to understanding the human body and its adaptations. The title Move your DNA is both ambiguous and clever. Early on in the book, Bowman explains the main thrust of her idea:

results of your DNA structure aren’t necessarily something fixed that you’re stuck with; the way you live directly influences how it manifests itself. The other, simpler message is that you have DNA and that you should move it: Move your DNA!

because you rarely catch a cold and go to the gym regularly. But what about aches and pains? Do you need to see the chiropractor or require any pain medications?

“Because DNA can be expressed differently depending upon how external factors impinge upon the cells within which the DNA resides, and because movement is one of these factors, the way we move has a direct bearing upon how our bodies are shaped – for good and ill. It is not enough for me to tell you just to “move more”. You also need to “move better” if you are to enjoy a more sustainable state of well-being.”

Much of what Bowman writes resonates with me. Throughout her twenties, she was an avid exerciser and used to teach more traditional fitness methods to clients as well as pushing her own body to the limits. I can relate to that! Now, armed with a much deeper understanding, she has a different take on exercise. As implied in the earlier quote, more is not necessarily better and if you look at the lifestyle of the majority of people living in the Western world, it is glaringly obvious that our perception of what constitutes health is extremely warped.

The message is that the physical

You may think you’re healthy

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Is your movement restricted at all? Can you easily reach up high for the book on the top shelf? Or bend down low and twist to look for something under the sofa? Bowman invites the reader to take a step back and consider how fit they really are: “I encourage you to spend an entire day taking note of everything that you do, like turning on the faucet for water and opening the fridge for food. Imagine what you would have to do differently if these things didn’t exist. The more you tally your behavior, the more you will realize just how your movement quantities compare to quantities humans are

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electricity. Many of my fellow fitness professionals relate to the challenge of finding an appropriate way to explain the ‘bigger picture’ to clients without sounding ‘preachy’.

Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement by Katy Bowman

Luckily, the way that Bowman has put her message across in this book provides plenty of inspiration without once sounding like she’s a know-it-all. Her sense of humour is hovering just below the surface throughout so that the reader is opening up to new possibilities whilst chuckling at the same time. The book is structured so that you can read it in manageable chunks and sprinkled with extra titbits of information in little sidebars or boxes labelled “Anatomy bit”.

Paperback: £16.99 Paperback: 264 pages Language: English Publisher: Lotus Publishing (27 Feb. 2015) ISBN-10: 1905367570 ISBN-13: 978-1905367573

capable of moving.” When I begin working with new clients, many of them have a weight loss goal and are certainly not instantly willing to learn to improve their movement and function. To them, this means that losing weight won’t happen quickly enough. Fitness has become such

a manufactured series of physical attributes (tick off your list: six pack, toned muscles, the ability to do lots of bicep curls and do an hour’s aerobics class and you’re good to go) rather than addressing how your body and mind would truly be able to handle, say, a week living in a shelter that you’ve had to build yourself, with no running water or

The diagrams, though sometimes a little blurry, are all helpful in clarifying the text and hand drawn in a ‘rough’ manner which adds to the ‘friendliness’ of the book. The physical exercises, explained with written instructions and photographs, offer a guide to help readers release held tension and move towards a more free-moving yet resilient body. In short, read this book. Whether you’re a fitness/movement professional, an avid gym go-er or a couch potato, you will benefit from Bowman’s clever, wise and funny words.

Running fact 30.

Did you know

A 63.5 kilogram woman running at approximately 6 miles per hour will burn 2,777 calories over the 26.2 mile marathon distance.

Running fact 31. Can you believe it? Over 1 billion pairs of running shoes are sold worldwide each year. Why?!

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Spring 2014

Barefoot Running Magazine Barefoot Running Magazine

Summer 2013

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Assorted goodies Products worth a look

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1. Fitbit Charge HR This latest offering from the ever popular Fitbit range hosts a whole range of features, including a wrist-based heart rate monitor and easily understandable heart rate zones. Other features include sleep/activity monitoring, silent alarm and long battery lift, all of which can link to the Fitbit app. Colours include: black, plum, blue, tangerine and new addition teal. RRP: £119.99. For more information, visit: www.fitbit.com 2. Vibram Furoshiki The sole of the new Vibram shoe wraps around the whole foot and the concept is inspired by the Japanese tradition of packaging items by wrapping them in fabric. The shoes are easy to put on/take off, with the customary Vibram sole and stretch upper. A variety of colours are available. RRP: $110. To learn more visit, www.vibram.com 3. CamelBak Skyline Lowrider Line This hydration pack from the ever popular Camelbak is designed for the serious athlete, with full features including lumbar compression and low-to-the waiststorage, providing a lower centre of gravity and allowing freedom of movement in the upper body. An in-built tool roll means that you’re prepared when cycling out on the trails. RRP: £99.99. Find out more here: www.camelbak.com 4. Toesox This company provides all manner of socks with separate toes, from low rising to ankle to knee length and in a wide variety of colours. They have good grip on the soles and are excellent for both indoor exercise and just wearing around the house to allow your feet the freedom to move. Prices start at $12.00. For more information, visit: www.toesox.com 5. Coola Sun Care The team at Coola are “passionate about making healthy sunscreens people love to wear!” You can buy sunscreen to match your skin type with added antioxidants, beautifully perfumed products and even a sunscreen which will set your make up! There are endless individual products to choose from and also pre-set packages to match your needs. For more information, see this link: www.coolasuncare.com

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Picture from the past

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Freet offers footwear which allows your feet to perform naturally. Each pair of shoes combines the best materials, components and design to provide the wearer with a high quality piece of footwear for any activity, whether it’s running, cycling, hiking or just everyday use. The team at Freet have produced a range of footwear which allows your feet to move freely and in comfort. An environmentally aware company, Freet uses smaller, family run factories, remaining conscious of limiting wastage, and adopts a vegan-friendly approach in all aspects of the manufacturing process.

Which of these statements is NOT correct? A. The Freet Leap is vegan-friendly B. The Freet Leap has a split toe design C. The Freet Leap has a 6mm sole D. The Freet Leap is available in sizes 37-47 UK E. The Free Leap comes in five different colours See adjacent text for entry details.

How to enter Competition closes midnight 4th March 2016. Entrants are open to all, aged 18 or over, except employees of TRC Publishing UK Limited and their families, its developers and anyone connected with the competitions. No purchase is necessary. By email Send your answer to: competitions@barefootrunningmagazine.com along with your foot size. By postal 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, along with your foot size. For more information on the terms and conditions, please visit our website at: www.barefootrunningmagazine.com

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,

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!"

info@yellingperformance.com www.yellingperformance.com Page 114

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on-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – the infamous NSAIDs – are touted by many to curtail inflammation, accelerate healing time, and even improve performance. But over the past several years there’s been more and more research supporting why you probably shouldn’t take an NSAID, due to the inherent dangers and the fact that they really don’t address the root of the problem. As with most things, the athletic community thinks of certain situations where perhaps NSAIDs are sometimes advised and then they find some ridiculous research to back it up with hopes that nobody will verify its relevance or accuracy. One study being pushed around by many well-

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respected coaches is one that compares two medications, only one of which is an NSAID, over a placebo when treating an ankle sprain, and concludes that the drugs are relatively equal. I’m not sure how this justifies that taking an NSAID for an acute injury is beneficial in the first few days post-trauma as it’s often being cited, but people eat this bulls@#t up and pop another pill.

An eicosanoid is a hormone-like substance made from two long chain essential fatty acids. The primary role of the eicosanoids is to regulate immunity and inflammation within the body.

Everyone has their reasons for taking a drug like an NSAID, but I don’t. I would never advise anyone, including an athlete, to take NSAIDs, aside from perhaps a very rare systemic inflammatory life-threatening health crisis. No, your chronic or acute pain and inflammation is not life-threatening.

What is an NSAID? If you’re interested in taking a drug (any drug), it’s important to first understand what you’re taking and then how it works. NSAID stands for Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. Pretty much, this is aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. NSAIDs help to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and to some extent they can help lower a fever. Many athletes experience pain and inflammation often, so NSAIDs might seem like a good idea to help you push through the tough times. But it’s really not a good idea…

How Do NSAIDs Work? To understand how an NSAID works, we need to learn a bit about something called an eicosanoid, (pronounced: eye-kah-sah-noid).

The AA which you make this way is thought to be harmful in your body as opposed to obtaining naturally occurring AA from foods which can actually help heal an injury via necessary inflammatory processes. More on that in a bit.

There are three groups of eicosanoids that are important in the understanding of the NSAID mechanism. Two of these groups are more antiinflammatory and for simplicity I’ll call them Group 1 and Group 3. The other group, Group 2, is more pro-inflammatory. Some inflammation is necessary if you want to heal an injury. Group 1 eicosanoids are derived from the omega-6 fat Gammalinolenic acid (GLA) which are commonly found in vegetable oils and nuts/seeds (the oils of such), whether raw or refined. They are typically a more anti-inflammatory eicosanoid. Group 3 eicosanoids are derived from the omega-3 fat eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which another fat, alphalinolenic acid (ALA) can create. ALA is abundant in flax seed oil and walnuts while EPA is commonly found in the oil of fish and other sea creatures (algae). They are also a more anti-inflammatory eicosanoid. Group 2 eicosanoids are derived from what is known as arachidonic acid (AA), a pro-inflammatory eicosanoid. AA is obtained in the diet from red meat, dairy, shellfish, and eggs. The amount of AA is greatly dependent on the diet of the animal which produced that food, or is that food. However they can also be made from eating excessive omega-6 vegetable oils and a high carbohydrate diet.

Barefoot Running Magazine

There’s one final player here which is an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, or COX for short. COX enzymes are important for the conversion of Group 1, 2, and 3 fats to their respective eicosanoids. NSAIDs simply block the COX enzymes from forming all three eicosanoids – both Group 1 and 3 (anti-inflammatory) as well as Group 2 (pro-inflammatory, usually). If you feel better, (your symptoms are improved), when you take an NSAID, then your fats are out of balance. You’re feeling the effects of the NSAID lowering the high level of Group 2 (AA) because you have too much inflammatory AA in your body. You can also see that the NSAID will lower the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids production too. However, typically when a person is dealing with inflammation they have low levels of Groups 1 & 3 anyway so they reap the ‘benefit’ of the pro-inflammatory Group 2 inhibition.

The Dangers of NSAIDs This also means that if you take an NSAID to try to fight an inflammatory condition you could actually make matters worse by delaying the healing process. This occurs when your levels of Group 2 AA fats are normal as are your Group 1 & 3 eicosanoids. Taking an NSAID will now have an effect on Group 1 & 3, essentially lowering anti-inflammatory levels, while blocking normal and

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necessary anabolic action from the Group 2 AA fats. How about NSAIDs during the acute phase of an injury, especially trauma? NSAIDs will also block the COX enzyme which forms a prostaglandin, which is one type of eicosanoid. Prostaglandin levels are increased naturally in response to trauma so limiting or lowering their formation via an NSAID may help only if there is excess inflammation or your body doesn’t know when to shutdown the inflammatory process. Prostaglandins are there to help repair that damaged tissue and form collagen – the building blocks of muscle tissue. You don’t want to mess around with this natural process, so more isn’t better and some isn’t necessarily advised. I never advise NSAIDs because if the eicosanoids/ fats are balanced then your body can quickly adapt and adjust. The prostaglandins are necessary as some inflammation is vital in order to heal an injury. Gastrointestinal symptoms can result from NSAID use as well as kidney, cardiovascular, and nervous system problems. Ultramarathoners taking NSAIDs while racing have been found to have fecal material in their blood. (That sounds lovely!). NSAIDs

also deplete the necessary sulphur in your body that you need to repair your joints. Even a low dose NSAID can cause the problems mentioned, including slowing down the normal repair of muscle, bone, and other tissue. Additionally, NSAIDs may not only NOT reduce inflammation, but increase inflammation in your body by triggering a reaction of another type of eicosanoid that is made from AA – leukotrienes. Leukotrienes can be several hundred times more inflammatory than a prostaglandin and are known to be common triggers of asthma. So don’t think that NSAIDs will only help and never hinder; this is often not the case as they can have the very opposite effect/reaction. This is especially true if you’re healthy and your fats are balanced; hopefully they are!

Still Want to Pop That NSAID? Last I checked, aspirin and ibuprofen were not essential nutrients in your body. So you can live without, and you should. There are many natural and healthier alternatives to NSAIDs as I write in Part IV of the SockDoc

First Aid Series. There are more true dangers to taking an NSAID than there are actual benefits. The benefits, if any, are short lived, whereas the risks may not be. I’m not about to take the middle of the road on this one just to make everyone happy and toss in some crazy study to support the science behind it all. If you feel better from taking an NSAID then you need to figure out why you have pain and inflammation. Let’s stop thinking there are some true benefits out there with these drugs just because it’s the easy way to temporarily, at best, mask a health issue. * The disclaimer for this article is this: NSAIDs are drugs, and like many drugs those taking them are taking either inappropriate amounts or taking them when they should not be. NSAIDs are no different. Their use is very abused. I’m not telling you to stop taking a NSAID if you’re taking one – I simply want you to understand how they work, why they work, and the risks involved. Often, as is the case with many medications, you may need to educate your prescribing physician, or find a new one if he/she is not open to a discussion about your health.


www.n8pt.com gray@n8pt.com gray@n8pt.com


Green room Keith Bateman – “Older Yet Faster” by Glen Farrelly

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ike many other runners I am very keen on using social media for the sharing of ideas and learning from the hundreds of ‘experts’ out there who all know the best way to land the foot or lift the knees, or what food to eat or the best race preparation. Sometimes it is an absolute minefield of conflicting ideas; however, every now and then you stumble across a real gem! Early in the summer I saw a picture of a barefoot runner with white hair and the caption in the comments of a “World Record time of 5K in 15.29”. This time is remarkable for most runners but what is extraordinary is that the runner in question, Keith Bateman, has just turned 60! I went on to discover that Keith is the holder of 5 M55 World Records and the oldest person ever to break 32 minutes for 10 km.

Keith originally came from a Downhill skiing background and spent 25 years teaching, racing and running his own ski school in Scotland. He started running in 1985 and ran on and off until moving to Sydney in 2000 at the age of 45, with a 10k PB of 36:36, achieved many years before. After 3 years gradually improving from his first Australian 10Km race time of 43 minutes to a PB close to 36 minutes he hit a brick. Keith was also plagued with overuse injuries: ‘Runner’s Knee’, ITB problems, shin splints, bruised toenails, blisters… Since then, with the considerable help and the fantastic support of his coach Sean Williams, consultation with a dietician, analysis from a bio-mechanist and running barefoot, he has continually improved his times with 35 State age-group records and 15 Australian age-group records under his belt (some more than once), and 5 World age-group records. I got chatting to Keith online and cheekily mentioned that I would love a coaching session from him. To my surprise Keith said he would be delighted and, what was more, he would offer a session for free for 10 people wanting to learn how to run faster, more efficiently and barefoot! Keith is currently touring the UK offering coaching sessions and promoting his book, Older Yet Faster. I quickly got to work and offered the 10 places through social media, which were snapped

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up instantly! In the meantime Keith sent me a copy of Older Yet Faster, co-written with his podiatrist wife Heidi Jones. The book is based on Keith's highly successful technique-change sessions, dealing with the runner's number one enemy. It shows what it is, what damage it causes, and how to fix it so you can run smoother, faster, and further. It is also backed up with strengthening exercises provided by his wife and gives tips to aid your transition to more successful, less injury-prone running. It was easy to read and beautifully illustrated to back up the drills that Keith suggests will get you running smoother. Like many us who read this magazine, Keith is definitely not a fan of the ever increasing chunky running shoes that are on the market and he puts the majority of his running efficiency down to running barefoot or in a very minimal shoe. The book encourages the reader to perform the drills barefoot to strengthen the feet and help the foot to land under the hip and in line with the body. Everything I read seemed to make sense and I could not wait to put it to the test under Keith’s expert eye. So on an unusually warm June day

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the nervous and possibly sceptical 10 met up with Keith and his wife Heidi in Green Park, London. After the usual introductions Keith got us to run in our normal style and he analyzed the way we ran whilst he filmed our technique. He quickly assessed that we all over stride and it is this overstride that is slowing us down, putting increased pressure on our joints and effectively putting on the brakes with each step. The next thing Keith asked the participants to do was to remove their running shoes (I think there were only 2 of us at this point who ran barefoot). We were then put through a series of drills to help us get our feet landing under our hips. For me, I could feel an increase in speed almost instantly but when I knew I hit that sweet spot a huge smile spread over my face. Keith’s “Game Changer” was the technique that got me really moving. It starts with some rapid butt kicks whilst keeping the knees back, you tilt your whole body forward and boom you are off (have a look at the YouTube link for a better explanation). When your foot lands directly under you the difference is amazing. Keith helped us as a group

Autumn/Winter 2015

and ironed out any individual issues with massive encouragement and energy - he is the sort of gentleman who is openly excited and exuberant when you make the improvement. After a 90 minute session that showed us lots of correctional techniques, he filmed us again. The difference was amazing. We all went from over striders to more efficient runners. I put my new skills to the test as soon as I was able and have already started cutting my times down (Keith claims that after a couple of weeks using your new skills your time will be cut by 10%!). I spoke to one of the other members of the group and the next day he took 50 seconds off his running time per mile! The proof is in the running. I would highly recommend Older Yet Faster and if you ever get the chance for a coaching session with Keith, take it! (www.keithbatemancoaching.com) A massive thank you to Keith and Heidi and also to Freet Footwear who supplied one lucky group winner with a choice of any of their fantastic ‘barefoot shoes’. Keith - you will be pleased to know I am a just little ‘older’ and definitely a bit ‘faster’!

Barefoot Running Magazine


xeroshoes……..


How to Get the benefits of freediving by Louisa Collyns

Photo by Nanna Kreutzmann

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magine you could fly, peaceful and weightless, moving around in three dimensions. You're alone, but you know someone is always taking care of you. You are suspended in space, and in the silence and calm of the present moment. It sounds like a dream.

I didn’t know how to equalize then. When, years later, I became a scuba diving instructor, I’d often go out on the boat to freedive when I wasn’t working. I loved being able to weave in and out of the scuba divers with more freedom and fluidity than when I was wearing cumbersome equipment.

But this is what freediving feels like. Freediving is breath-hold diving. It is a pure discipline that humans have practised throughout history to be able to forage for fish or pearls. Unlike scuba diving, it allows a much greater sense of connection to nature and also with ourselves. There’s no tank or air supply; just you and the ocean. I got my beginner freediving certification three years ago, but I was freediving before I knew what it was. When we were children, my brother and I loved spending time under water. When I was ten, we spent a couple of weeks on a boat in the waters of the Balearic Islands (where I now live). That’s when I got my first mask so that I could swim under the boat and down the anchor line. I’m not sure how I didn’t pop my eardrums because I’m pretty sure

Leaping forward another decade, I had been back in London for a few years, working as a Pilates teacher. I realized that something was missing and that I needed to get back in the water. This time I wanted it to be freer. I wanted to feel agile and unrestricted in the water. So I decided to learn to freedive. And my life hasn’t been the same since. Everyone can freedive. It is an innate capacity that all humans have. Like whales and dolphins, humans have an inbuilt reflex that slows our heart rate and lets us hold our breath underwater for longer than we can on land. The same physiological response also enables our bodies to withstand the pressure of the water as we dive deeper. All we need to do is awaken this reflex and gradually allow our bodies to adapt. It’s called the Mammalian Dive Reflex. How do we awaken this reflex in

ourselves? Well, by freediving. Three things induce this amazing dive response. They are: holding our breath; the sensation of cool water on our faces and bodies; and the pressure of the water on the body as we dive under. There are safety considerations in any form of breath hold, as you can imagine. This is why it’s important to learn to freedive with a qualified instructor. While we are physiologically designed for underwater breath-hold, the majority of the human race isn’t utilizing this skill. So it needs a bit of re-learning. Basic training will make the experience safer, more enjoyable and more successful. A great way to discover freediving is a one-day introductory course. If you are already comfortable in the water, you can take a 3-day full-certification course. The first thing you learn is to never freedive alone. It’s a simple rule, but it is the difference between an activity that is safe and one that holds a genuine risk. If you’ve ever tried to see how long you could hold your breath, you might have felt a little dizzy afterwards. Take that a little further and you could faint. That’s fine if you’re sitting on your

Photo by Nanna Kreutzmann

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Photo by Nanna Kreutzmann

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Photo by Nanna Kreutzmann

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sofa, but if you’re alone in the water it’s a different story. You also learn about technique. Not just how to equalize your ears and be more streamlined in the water, but also how to breathe to induce relaxation. BREATHING TO INDUCE RELAXATION AND REDUCE YOUR HEART RATE: Newcomers to freediving are often surprised at how calming and meditative it feels. Here's how to tap into the relaxed state that allows freedivers to hold their breath for four minutes or more:

  

First, find somewhere comfortable and quiet to lie on your back. Somewhere you won’t be disturbed Place your hands on your belly Breathe in (through your mouth), slowly inflating your belly, and notice how it sinks as you exhale If you find it hard to let your belly fill up, you can try gently pushing it out as you inhale. We tend to hold our abs in, but the belly movement is key to the benefits of this type of breath-work. Take your time and don’t worry if it feels odd at first Once you can feel the rise and fall of the abdomen, begin to count. Count as you breathe in, and whatever number you get to, try to make the out-breath last even longer Gradually lengthen the exhalation to be double that of the inhalation. It should feel comfortable and easy. Try not to force it To give yourself more control when mouth-breathing, you can push the tip of your tongue against your top teeth and make a gentle hissing sound. This is ‘resistance breathing’. It stimulates the vagus nerve, which regulates the nervous system and induces the relaxation response Deep, slow belly breathing, as well as resistance-breathing, can be used for relaxation at any time. Just a couple of minutes will do.

Last month, a competitive freediver held his breath for ten minutes and seven seconds in a discipline called “static”. The world record for depth is to 128 metres, using a monofin (like a whale’s tail). Photo by Nanna Kreutzmann

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Those numbers sound quite extreme, but freediving is far from it. Adrenaline can play no part in freediving. The freedivers that perform to this level are highly (self)-trained athletes. If you think about it, the faster your heart pumps, the more oxygen you are using. Freediving requires a delicate balance of efficiency of movement, strength and relaxation. SO, HOW CAN YOU TRAIN LIKE A FREEDIVER?

Many freedivers practice yoga. The combination of breathing practise, flexibility and mind-body connection is ideal preparation Pilates has similar benefits and strengthens the body. To swim like a dolphin, you need a flexible spine and a strong centre. It helps with a diver's proprioception, posture and alignment Strength and resistance training are important. Freediving isn't anaerobic at first, but becomes so during a dive as the body uses up its limited supply of oxygen. Freedivers need tolerance to lactic acid build-up Cardiovascular work is great in the ‘off-season’. It gets tapered out when athletes start training in water as it affects breath-hold.

HOW CAN WE APPLY FREEDIVING TO BENEFIT OTHER AREAS OF OUR LIVES?

use an oximeter with students to show their heart rate. When they put their faces in a bowl of cool water, you can see their pulse slow down by 10, 20 or even 30 points in a matter of seconds. Those dramatic moments in films when someone runs to the bathroom to splash water on their face to calm down aren't so farfetched! Try it next time you're feeling frustrated with your boss. Freediving teaches us an awareness of the effect of stress on our performance. Right from beginner level, we learn that mental relaxation is critical. Our brains use up an awful lot of O2! Stress makes it impossible to perform to our full potential. In normal life, it is all too easy to ignore fatigue or anxiety and push on. Freediving is different. It gives immediate and measurable feedback that we can't ignore. We learn to listen to our bodies. Feeling cold, tired or dehydrated will affect the dive. Putting too much expectation on a certain outcome will affect the dive. Competing with others is futile. You can only focus on yourself. This is a good lesson in life. Like many sports, freediving shows us who we are. When you hold your breath and dive under water, you have no choice but to leave your worries to one side and surrender to the sea.

Cold water on the face is a factor that induces the dive reflex. I often

Photo by Xavier Mas Ferrà

Louisa Collyns is a British freediver, AIDA Instructor and Competition Safety Freediver. In 2013 she represented the UK at the 2013 Depth World Championships. She was part of the Safety Team at the prestigious Vertical Blue international freediving competition in November 2014, and she has performed safety at various freediving competitions in Egypt and the UK. She regularly trains with some of the world’s best coaches and competitive freedivers. Louisa is also a highly experienced Pilates teacher, and taught Pilates in London (UK) for over eight years, specializing in rehabilitation. She is now based in Ibiza, Spain, where she organizes retreats and teaches Pilates and freediving. This article is dedicated to Cat Charnley, a competitive freediver who lost her battle with cancer this year at the age of 27. Cat was an example of what it means to live your life to the fullest. She said that freediving helped her to fight cancer and was convinced that it had given her more time. Cat, you were an inspiration to us all in the truest sense. I have never known anyone with such joy, courage and positivity. You inspired me in ways you were too humble to ever imagine.

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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


What’s On Events around the World

Friday 1st

Hardmoors 30

Whitby, U.K

www.hardmoors110.org.uk

Friday 1st

Brooks New Year's Day 10k

London, U.K

www.serpentine.org.uk

Wednesday 6th

Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge

Epcot®, Walt Disney World®

www.rundisney.com

Saturday 9th

Morrisons Great Winter Run

Edinburgh, U.K

www.greatrun.org

Saturday 16th

Country to Capital 45

Wendover, U.K

www.gobeyondultra.co.uk

Saturday 16-18th

HURT 100 Mile Endurance Run

Hawaii, U.S.A

www.hurt100trailrace.com

Saturday 16th

Brooks HellRunner: Hell down South

Longmoor, Hampshire, U.K

www.hellrunner.co.uk

Sunday 17th

Maui Oceanfront Marathon

Wailea, Hawaii, U.S.A

mauioceanfrontmarathon.com

Saturday 23-26th

The Antarctic 100k

Union Glacier, Antarctic

www.icemarathon.com

Sunday 24th

Miami Marathon

Florida, U.S.A

www.themiamimarathon.com

Sunday 31st

Cancer Research London Winter Run

London, U.K

www.winterrunseries.co.uk

Sunday 31st

Tough Guy® The Original

Wolverhampton, U.K

www.toughguy.co.uk

Sunday 7th

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Marugame, Japan

www.km-half.com

Sunday 7th

Midwinter Marathon

Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

www.midwintermarathon.nl

Friday 13-14th

Mercedes-Benz Marathon

Alabama, USA

www.mercedesmarathon.com

Sunday 14th

Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona, Spain

www.barcelona.de

Sunday 14th

The Lost Dutchman Marathon

Arizona, USA

www.lostdutchmanmarathon.org

Sunday 14th

Asics LA Marathon

Los Angeles, USA

www.lamarathon.com

Thursday 18-21st

Princess Disney Half Marathon

Florida, USA

www.rundisney.com

Tuesday 23rd

Sahara Marathon

Tindouf, Algeria

www.runfuntravel.com

Saturday 27th

Streif Vertical Up

Kitzbüehel, Austria

www.kitzbuehel.com

Sunday 28th

Brighton Half Marathon

Brighton, East Sussex

www.brightonhalfmarathon.com

Sunday 28th

Vodafone Malta Marathon & ½

Mdina, Malta

www.maltamarathon.com

Sunday 28th

Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo, Japan

www.tokyo42195.org

Sunday 28th

Kilimanjaro Marathon & ½ Marathon

Moshi, Tanzania

www.runfuntravel.com

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Saturday 5th

The Green Man Ultra

Bristol, United Kingdom

www.ultrarunningltd.co.uk

Sunday 6th

Logicom Cyprus Marathon

Pafos, Cyprus

www.logicomcyprusmarathon.com

Saturday 12th

Te Houtaewa Challenge 90 Mile

90 Mile Beach, New Zealand www.newzealand-marathon.co.nz

Saturday 12th

The Mighty Deerstalker

Innerleithen, Scotland

www.ratrace.com

Sunday 13th

Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon

Silverstone, United Kingdom

www.adidashalfmarathon.com

Sunday 13th

Bath Half

Bath, United Kingdom

www.bathhalf.co.uk

Friday 18th

Jurassic Coast Challenge

Weymouth, United Kingdom

www.votwo.co.uk

Friday 18-19th

PEAK National Snowshoe Series

Vermont, New England, USA

www.peakraces.peak.com

Saturday 19-20th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Marathon

Dallas, USA

www.runrocknroll.competitor.com

Saturday 26th

The Tough 5, 10 & 15k

Greenwich, United Kingdom

www.thefixevents.com

Saturday 26th

Ueckermünder Haffmarathon

Ueckermünde, Germany

www.haffmarathon.de

Sunday 27th

The Spitfire 20

Surrey, United Kingdom

www.eventstolive.co.uk

TBC

Sharm El Sheikh Half Marathon

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

www.egyptianmarathon.net

Friday 1-17th

Annapurna Mandala Trail XVI

Annapurna, Nepal

www.leschevaliersduvent.fr

Sunday 3rd

Marathon de Paris

Paris, France

www.parismarathon.com

Friday 8-18th

Marathon des Sables

Sahara Desert, Morocco

www.marathondessables.co.uk

Saturday 9th

North Pole Marathon

North Pole

www.npmarathon.com

Sunday 10th

Maratona della città di Roma

Rome, Italy

www.maratonadiroma.it

Sunday 10th

Hapalua Hawaii's Half Marathon

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

www.thehapalua.com

Sunday 10th

Great Manchester Marathon

Manchester, UK

greatermanchestermarathon.com

Sunday 10th

SPAR Great Ireland Run

Dublin, Ireland

www.greatrun.org

Friday 15-17th

Brighton Marathon

Brighton, East Sussex, UK

www.brightonmarathon.co.uk

Monday 18th

Boston Marathon

Boston, Massachusetts

www.baa.org

Sunday 24th

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Tuscany Crossing, Italy

www.lostworldsracing.com

Sunday 24th

Virgin London Marathon

London, United Kingdom

www.virginlondonmarathon.com

Monday 2nd

Belfast City Marathon

Belfast, UK

www.belfastcitymarathon.com

Saturday 7th

Malvern Hills 83 Mile Ultra

Holt Heath, UK

www.ultrarunningltd.co.uk

Saturday 7th

Rat Race Dirty Weekend

Burghley, UK

www.ratrace.com

Saturday 7-8th

Genève Half Marathon for Unicef

Geneva, Switzerland

www.genevemarathon.org

Sunday 8th

International Barefoot Running Day

See BRS for locations

www.thebarefootrunners.org

Saturday 14th

Born to Run 50K Trail Run

California, USA

www.marathons.ahotu.com

Saturday 21st

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Causeway Crossing, UK

www.lostworldsracing.com

Saturday 21st

Great Wall Marathon

Jixian Village, China

www.great-wall-marathon.com

Sunday 22th

BUPA Great Manchester Run

Manchester City Centre, UK

www.greatrun.org

Saturday 28th

The Grid Road Race

Pembroke , Malta

www.visitmalta.com

Saturday 28th

London 2 Brighton Challenge

Richmond Upon Thames, UK

www.london2brightonchallenge.com

Saturday 28-29th

Edinburgh Marathon

Edinburgh, UK

www.edinburgh-marathon.com

Monday 30th

London 10,000

London, UK

www.ndcschallenges.org.uk

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ne of the most exciting challenges for me at the moment is developing the Chi Running Instructor Training Course for the UK and Ireland. Potential teachers of Chi Running should have experience, a true passion for running and be able to demonstrate real-world application of the principles. To make it one of the best training grounds for running instructors and coaches it is essential that the course content be relevant to the needs of the runner. With that in mind, what traits should be considered for someone who will ultimately be responsible for people’s health and fitness? The beauty of Chi Running is its

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simplicity but there is complexity underlying this simplicity which a good instructor must comprehend. To quote my colleague and friend Nick Constantine, “Understand before being understood�. In terms of practical understanding, they should know the principles of the technique, basic anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, and the reasoning behind designing training programmes, such as training variables, goal setting, and motivating the client to be mindful of their practice at all times. But a great coach is not only knowledgeable of their subject. Other descriptors that immediately come to mind are: encouraging,

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Barefoot Running Magazine


supportive, challenging (not combative), inspiring, motivating, insightful, clear, kind, empathic, honest, curious, open, accepting, inquisitive. They should have excellent communication skills (verbal and non-verbal) and be able to build a trusting rapport with clients. They must have patience, be able to listen, acknowledge the positives and give feedback. Empathy is essential. The ability to understand a client and see things from their perspective. They should know their own limitations, have authenticity both in terms of credibility and personality, and have confidence in their ability to help the client. Also consider that instructors, coaches and mentors could be seen as using different skills and techniques. Whilst all are ‘teachers’ there are subtle differences. A great instructor is someone who makes complex things simple and can explain or demonstrate a point to others in a way they can understand and use. A great coach is someone who is really adept at reading the client and helping them to reach their own truths and conclusions, whatever those may be. A great mentor is someone who has been there and done that. They understand the struggles their mentee is facing and can give advice from their own experience. These different skills can be used in different situations and it often goes that if you are good at one you are good at the other. But not necessarily.

Become a Chi Running Instructor Chi Running UK & Ireland is looking for highly-motivated people to become part of the team of instructors and enjoy a wonderful business opportunity teaching the unique Chi Running technique. The Chi Running Instructor Training Course provides you with the tools to teach the Chi Running and Chi Walking technique. Become part of the growing Chi Running UK network and help inspire and empower runners and walkers of all levels. The course is delivered by home study and online learning, a 2-day Advanced Technique Workshop and a 2-day Teaching Assessment Workshop. Candidates have the option to take 8 x 1-2-1 sessions with a UK master instructor or director in lieu of the Advanced Technique Workshop.

2015/2016 Course dates Advanced Technique Workshop: 9-10 January 2016, London 25-26 June 2016, Manchester (TBC) Teaching Assessment Workshop: 5-6 March 2016, London 24-25 September 2016, London (TBC)

Ultimately, a great instructor, coach, mentor will have the ability to empower the client to leave each session with something positive. They will have humour, be welcoming, smiling and consistent, making sessions interesting fun and enjoyable! If you are considering working with a running coach these are just some things that I believe you should be looking for in your coach. If you feel you are someone who has these skills then you’d be well-suited to signing up for the Chi Running Instructor Course.

Registration deadline: 2 months prior to Advanced Technique Workshop Final certification: up to 6 months post Teaching Assessment Workshop Entry requirements: It would be appropriate for candidates to have a sound understanding of anatomy and physiology and basic exercise and training variables; hold a minimum REPs-accredited Level 2 qualification or equivalent from other health and fitness-related disciplines including therapy, coaching, and sport/exercise-science; be experienced in the Chi Running and Chi Walking techniques. All candidates must have attended a Chi Running workshop or worked privately with a Certified Chi Running Instructor prior to enrolment for the course. For more information and to register your interest please visit www.chirunning.co.uk

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News from the sporting arena

On track

ritish wheelchair athlete, 23 year old Hannah Cockroft, shone at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Qatar, winning three gold medals in the 100m, 400m and 800m. “Hurricane Hannah”, who has previously competed in wheelchair basketball and seated discuss, was over the moon. “I never expected to come home from here with three gold medals”, she told interviewers. Hannah was part of an incredible team of athletes who brought home a total of 32 medals, 13 of which were gold. Huge congratulations to the team!

n 1st November, New York City saw over 50,000 runners lining up ready for the ever popular marathon. The conditions were relatively favourable - cloudy but dry, with a hint of wind. After a competitive elite race, both the male and female winners were Kenyan, Stanley Biwott winning his first ever marathon and Mary Keitany victorious for the second year running. Experienced and successful wheelchair athlete, Tatyana McFadden from the US, won the female race whilst South African Ernst Van Dyk took the win for the men’s wheelchair division. Running for the charity “Walk for Peace”, Patrick Sweeney and Alex Ramsey also completed the race (Alex without shoes!) as part of their 900 mile epic running journey from Chicago to New York. Congratulations to all!

Middle distance runner, Laura Muir, wins Scottish athlete of the year award for 2015

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Autumn/Winter 2015

32 year old mum, Jessica Bruce, breaks world record for pushing a buggy in a marathon in an impressive 3:17:52

Barefoot Running Magazine


She and fellow Japanese athlete, Yuko Takahashi, were in joint lead at the end of the cycle leg and ran shoulder to shoulder into the first section of the 10km run. Swiss triathlete, Jolanda Annen, despite having a “bad feeling” on the morning of the race, determinedly kept up and overtook Takahashi to secure second place, with Takahashi picking up bronze. Congratulations to all 50 athletes who took part.

During this gruelling race over difficult terrain with plenty of scrambling trails, Greenwood battled over the lead with eventual second place finisher, Jasmin Nunige. Greenwood, who struggled with injury earlier this year, is clearly back on form and looking forward to the North Face 50, taking place in California in December. Congratulations to all competitors.

Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus has won the road cycling world championship time trial, completing the 32.9 mile course in 1:02:29.45

Barefoot Running Magazine

JP Bedard has completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times in aid of victims of sexual abuse

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On track

eam Salomon ultrarunner, Ellie Greenwood, has won the tough “Les Templiers” 75k, which took place in the Grands Causses region of France in October.

News from the sporting arena

apan’s Yuka Sato has won the 2015 Tongyeong Triathlon World Cup, having previously picked up a bronze in the 2012 event.


A couple of messages from an injured barefoot running friend (some of you out there know him!). Note: the injury was from a fall and not from barefoot running! Hi Anna & David My recover is going really well. Two of my three physios have commented how quickly I’m progressing considering all the damage to my right foot and they believe it is because I am a barefoot runner. Still not allowed to run so all this week I have been out in the morning doing a 2 mile barefoot walk. My feet are extremely sensitive at the moment as you can imagine but doing gravel paths every time to toughen up my

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Autumn/Winter 2015

soles. It is working as they are a lot less sensitive this morning. The other morning a couple of runners past me on the gravel path, got to the street, took their trainers and socks off and ran barefoot! I must have inspired them! A few weeks later… Really happy my hard work has paid off. The physio has signed me off 4 months early. She was also impressed how thick my fat pads have become in such a short space of time. It’s been great barefoot running and walking again, feeling so free running over the different surfaces!

Barefoot Running Magazine

(Ricardo, via text)


They were just making sure nothing was amiss. I find it all rather amusing! Hi again guys. Last night I completed my first barefoot race - the Blackrock 5 at Kinghorn, Scotland. It was about 4.5 miles, part beach and part tarmac, and I finished in under 38 minutes. It was brilliant, about 1000 runners, a piper playing on the rocks, and a really great atmosphere. I also spotted a fellow barefooter too. Apologies for the confusion with the name change...I got a tad pi**ed at the post-run beer tent and changing my name from Marti Redford to Barefoot Boab seemed like a great idea, unfortunately FB won’t allow me to change it back until an appropriate amount of time has passed! Marti, aka Barefoot Boab

Ian, via facebook

Hello I am contacting you because we are putting a trail in place in Jura/ Switzerland near the border of France and Germany. This first edition will take place on 24th April 2016. Your magazine is widely read by our members, themselves really keen of running/trail. Our biggest representative is Pierre-Alain Vallat as he did the “Diagonale des Fous” in the Réunion Island (162km, 9’000m d+). If you could share our link or mention our existence, we would be really proud of it!

Sooooo…for the second time, I've been spoken to by the police! Not in a bad way, just out of confusion. Someone saw me running barefoot through my town, apparently in distress, and called the cops just because they were worried. This happened last year too. My reply to them: "YOU'D look in distress if you were unfit and had run five and a half kilometres!" [Smiley face]

More information (in French - but images are multilingual) can be found on our website: www.mont-terrible.jimdo.com On our FB page: www.facebook.com At disposal for any further information! Hervé Baour (via facebook)

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The latest international news

International news

he world of sport suffered a great loss in November when the French triathlete, Laurent Vidal, passed away at just 31 years old. Vidal had retired last year, having suffered a cardiac arrest during a training session. He went on to become coach of fiancé Angela Hewitt, who finished second in the women’s triathlon World series this year. Triathlon New Zealand high performance director, Graeme Maw, described him as, “…a sparkle in everyone’s life”. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

ontroversy surrounding drug use in sport continues with the recent alleged “state-sponsored doping” in Russian athletics. A report, published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), has thrown into question the validity of drug tests for Russian athletes, claiming “inaction” against Russian athletes suspected of drug use during London 2012. The findings prompted a meeting of IAAF council members, who voted 22-1 in favour of suspending Russia from all athletics competitions. Investigations continue, with a general consensus amongst athletes that a “clean up” is required within their sport.

Despite Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, US obesity rates continue to rise

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Hawaii community called upon to help raise awareness of the Dengue virus as a result of a recent outbreak on the islands

Barefoot Running Magazine


Stinky feet explained

99

Not so minimal review

100

The Leap by Freet

Not so minimal review

104

Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket

Not so minimal review

110

Xero shoes Amuri Z-Trek

Not so minimal review

116

Gore Air Lady Singlet and Shorts

142

Blank

146

Blank

150

Blank

118

132 Blank

132

160

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

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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 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.

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

Not so minimal

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

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.

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

Long term review

Off the pace. Below average in nearly every area.

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.

Head to head

Good. Above average in some areas but very average in others.

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.

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

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The Leap by Freet

Not so minimal review

WEIGHT

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

3 mm

0 mm

3mm EVA

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

TPU

Mesh Fabric

N/A

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

4 - 11½

37 - 47

5 - 12

6 - 14

167g / 5.9OZ

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“Our shoes have 'less shoe' in them. Deliberately. We combine the best materials, components and design though, to make your experience the best balance we can between natural movement and fitness for the job you're on whether hurtling down a muddy grass hillside or practising yoga. Different shoes for different purposes but always 'less shoe'…

Styling At first glance you would be forgiven for mistaking them for a pair of Vibram FiveFingers.

Fit Freet Footwear offers these shoes in sizes 37 – 47 UK. Being a growing, up and coming company the sizes are only available in one width but there are plans for the future. As a pure barefooter for about 5 years, my feet have got naturally wider and the fit for my size 41 feet was perfect. Even though there was a feel of dedicated toe spaces this did not hinder toe spread at all. Being so light (325g for a pair of size 42) you hardly notice them being on. The mesh uppers even let the air flow through the toes but still give protection from the dropping temperatures. I tested them in 5 degrees Celsius!

Build quality I really put the Leap through their paces on some very rough terrain around the North Downs in Surrey. I was worried that the 3mm dense EVA midsole would not hold up to the job with sharp flint doing its best to slow me down but I was very impressed with how they held up.

Barefoot Running Magazine

There was hardly a mark on them and I definitely did not hold back! The mesh top section is built in sections and carefully stitched together; I was worried that the overlapping of the fabrics might cause rubbing but again there was no problem here at all. The mesh is attached to the sole by glue and I wonder if this might be better improved with a stitch as backup but only time will tell. The lacing system was very impressive, really holding the shoe in position with stretch laces which stopped that feeling of being restricted.

Performance As someone who never runs in shoes, even in low temperatures, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance. They let me move naturally, they conformed to my natural movement and were not restrictive at all. I tested them over 5 miles on rough terrain and roads in the cold and that little extra protection gave me a bit more confidence. I did however take them off for a couple of extra miles to check my form and just because I wanted to!

Barefoot simulation As I mentioned before, I do not run in shoes so this is a tricky one for me to answer but with a sole of only 3mm I got fantastic ground feedback but without any of those ‘ouchy’ surprises! As the sole is rubber there is a tiny bit of

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Not so minimal review

“Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes. How good does that feel? The minimal, technical midsoles and outsoles in both our 4+1 and 5 in1 shoes allow your foot to flex as it moves enabling muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints to work as they were originally intended. This, combined with the separate big toe pocket, allows complete ‘whole foot’ freedom. You can at last go out and allow your feet to mimic natural ‘barefoot’ movement. There are 19 muscles, 28 bones, 112 ligaments and 19 tendons in each foot. These may now be used more as nature intended, and may help condition and strengthen them although we would stress there is no conclusive scientific evidence for this.”

However, these shoes are very different, acknowledging the 100 year old Japanese Tabi split-toe shoes; with the patented Freet 4+1 the big toe can move independently. They come in five different colours and there is something for everyone’s tastes. They look like they feel - very light, but at the same time they look comfortable!

The Leap by Freet

he Leap 4+1 from Freet Footwear is described as an ultralight barefoot shoe. All their products follow along the same philosophy:


The Leap by Freet

Vegan-friendly Styling Lightweight

Cushioning may not suit all Not breathable Straps are a weak point

cushioning but this should not be seen as a bad thing as it helps it mould around objects and fits closely to the shape of the sole, especially as it warms up.

Not so minimal review

Price The RRP is £70. However, they are currently on sale for £35 to make room for the new collection. This makes them one of the cheapest minimalist shoes out there which minimizes the risk if you buy from the website. What is excellent about this company is if you are not happy with the product, you send an email on the “contact us” tab which goes directly to the director who will swiftly make sure your needs are met.

Overall rating If I am extremely impressed with Freet Footwear. They are constantly listening to the needs of the customer and they are doing their very best to ‘get it right’. I have had a sneak peak at the new products due for Summer 2016 and everything looks exciting for the Yorkshire based outfit. The shoes they offer are all completely vegan friendly and there is a range of minimalist shoes for every activity. On my wish list is a pair of vegan friendly office shoes… Freet? Tested by GF

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www.running - memories.co.uk


Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket

Not so minimal review Page 104

Autumn/Winter 2015

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There’s an excellent summary of waterproof clothing over at the www.wiggle.co.uk web site:

I will admit to using something like Salomon’s Fast Wing Jacket AW14 (used to great effect on the 73 mile Great Glen Ultra recently) which offers wind and water resistance in preference to a full on waterproof until weather conditions deteriorate to the point of necessitating fully waterproof garments.

As far as I am concerned, a good waterproof is an essential, especially when venturing into the mountains and, for most of the events that I participate in, failing to carry a waterproof can see you removed from the race on grounds of safety. Ideally it’s a garment that will rarely be used, reserved for the worst of conditions, and, as such, is lightweight and extremely packable, to the extent that you don’t even think twice about packing it in your waist or vest pack.

I will admit to being a bit of a fan boy as far as Salomon are concerned, out of admiration not just for their excellent running kit, but also for what they do for trail running, through their support of some of the world’s finest trail runners, and for the way in which they nurture the talent of the future.

I came across an excellent comment that described a waterproof jacket as similar to having an insurance policy. You hope never to use it, but you’re glad you have it when the need arises. Living in Scotland, I tend to rely on that ‘insurance policy’ a fair bit. Even by Scottish standards, this Summer was poor, with days on which we experienced winds and/ or torrential rain far outnumbering the hot days. The only silver lining to this was that it afforded the opportunity to thoroughly test the Bonatti WP.

My running kit consists of a rotation of Salomon shorts, vests and t-shirts, in particular my favoured Salomon Fast Wing Tee, and, as far as packs are concerned, I haven’t looked at another pack since I found the Salomon S-LAB ADV SKIN3 2015 vest/backpack, which I reviewed for the last issue of Barefoot Running Magazine. I’m currently testing the waist pack equivalent of this pack, the Salomon Advanced SKIN S-LAB 3 Belt - SS15, which I am equally approving of. All of this aside, I have to also admit to having been less than enthused by the Salomon Bonatti Waterproof jacket in testing to date, as outlined

As one of life’s larger runners, with a tendency to perspire heavily when exercising, I will admit to having spent a fair amount of time searching for the ‘perfect’ waterproof. I can most certainly vouch for the above summary from Wiggle. There’s little point in having a waterproof that keeps you dry when that same garment also fails to let the sweat out. In such cases, the net effect is the same, and you end up potentially just as wet as you would have been without the garment. Add in the potential for wind chill and it’s a far from ideal combination. I’ve gone through a number of so called ‘breathable’ waterproofs only to find that I end up cooking inside, discarding the

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Not so minimal review

“Waterproof clothing for use in active sports has a hard job. It must stop you getting wet from the outside but allow the moisture generated by your body to escape. All breathable waterproof clothing will stop you getting wet from the rain but top quality fabrics breathe much better than budget items. Vents help by letting the wind blow moisture away but they're not a substitute for better fabric. Breathable waterproof clothing will only work if the moisture given off by your body is still vapour as it passes through the membrane. To allow this, you need to wear the right clothing underneath and keep insulation to a minimum to reduce perspiration. Technical base layers and fleece fabrics will transmit moisture away from your skin and let it escape through the outer layer. Absorbent fabrics like cotton will stop this process as will wearing the waterproof right next to your skin. As the moisture vapour passes out through the outer layer, it needs to pass into air - not water. That's why the outer fabric is treated with a water repellent finish, so it stays dry. If this finish gets worn off, you need to replace it.”

garment at the earliest opportunity. One particular waterproof jacket lasted just under a mile on its first test before it was discarded and returned to the retailer as ‘not fit for purpose’.

Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket

ightweight, motion fit and minimalist details in this complete breathable weather protection that packs into its own chest pocket. The Bonatti Jacket is essential equipment to bring when running in the mountains." (http:// www.salomon.com/uk/product/ bonatti-wp-jacket-m.html)


Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket

below.

Fit The Bonatti WP SS15 has been updated with a more active fit and motion fit patterning specific to running. The material employed in the construction of the garment, Salomon’s climaPRO™ Waterproof Fabric, has a slight stretch to it and, thankfully, isn’t overly noisy when on the move. Of the many, many Salomon garments that I have, I always wear an extra-large upper and a large lower. However, on this occasion, I found the provided XL to be overly spacious, even when taking into account the potential desire to layer up underneath when required by weather conditions. Unfortunately, this accentuated some of the issues that I had with the garment that, with a better fit, might otherwise have passed unnoticed. As such, I would strongly recommend that anyone considering purchasing this garment try it on for size if at all possible.

Not so minimal review

Styling Detailing has been kept to a minimum, with the intention of keeping the weight of the garment to a minimum, and, at only 210 grams, this would appear to have been achieved. There’s a decent sized zipped chest pocket, capable of carrying smaller, essential items. However, you don’t want to put too much or anything too heavy in here as it will be noticeable when running and feel like it is upsetting the balance of the garment. When not in use, the Bonatti WP packs into this chest pocket, which is extremely handy, minimizing the space that the garment takes up when stored. Aesthetically, there’s no chance of being missed when wearing the Bonatti WP in the provided vibrant yellow and blue colour scheme. However, in terms of increased visibility, be it out on the trail or pounding the pavements, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Build quality The Bonatti WP is constructed from “a climaPRO™ 10/10 fabric blend which prevents water from infiltrating the jacket's exterior membrane whilst simultaneously allowing air to permeate the interior, allowing it to breathe.” The climaPRO™ Waterproof Fabric certainly appears to be durable and fares well in any comparison with similar garments, many of which feel distinctly fragile.

Autumn/Winter 2015

As expected from the Salomon brand, the overall construction of the Bonatti WP is excellent.

Performance The Bonatti WP is Salomon’s lightest waterproof jacket, and has been designed to offer lightweight, durable protection from inclement weather. The garment, no doubt extensively tested by numerous Salomon

Barefoot Running Magazine


I run just that bit too hot in the jacket.

When it comes to the performance of any waterproof item, my first consideration is, obviously, how waterproof a garment proves to be, closely followed by the rain versus condensation calculation. The Bonatti WP proved itself more than capable with regard to the waterproofing consideration.

Further to issues with condensation, I’ve also experienced issues with the lack of refinements available on the Bonatti. As previously mentioned, these issues may well have been exacerbated by the less than perfect fit of the garment but, over the years, I have come to expect these refinements.

However, on a number of occasions, I did find the Bonatti WP just that bit too warm and, as a result, when I removed the garment, I was almost as wet from condensation as I would have been had I gone without it (this obviously doesn’t factor in other elements of protection afforded by the jacket such as protection from wind chill).

Generally, a hood is an absolute last resort for me, for when the weather conditions absolutely necessitate it. However, when required, I like the hood to move with my head so that there is as little restriction on my movement and my vision as possible.

Admittedly, my testing of the garment has been limited to the past couple of months and, as such, I’ve yet to test the Bonatti in colder temperatures. However, certainly as far as Spring/Summer running goes, I have found that

The hood on the Bonatti WP consists of a non-adjustable elasticated section at the back of the hood and an inner elasticated section on the inner of the hood just at the front of the head, again with no scope for adjustment. The lack of adjustability proved problematic, with the hood actually flopping

over my eyes on occasion. Certainly not ideal when running on potentially technical terrain. The cuff area, also slightly elasticated, was similarly lacking in scope for adjustment and, as such, the overly long sleeves extended down over the tops of my hands. This fit would have been perfect if it had been coupled with thumb loops, which appear to have been available on previous versions of the Bonatti but not, for some reason, on this most recent incarnation. I’ve made good use of thumb loops on a number of upper garments in the past and they can be really handy when it comes to ensuring a good fit and, further, in removing the need to wear gloves in all but the most inclement weather.

Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket

athletes, is constructed with ultra endurance participants in mind.

Whilst I appreciate that refinements like this can add weight to a garment, for the lack of these to work well, the garment needs to be an absolutely perfect fit. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t the case with the Bonatti WP.

Price

Overall rating I was actually quite excited at the prospect of completing my Salomon ensemble with the Bonatti WP jacket but the garment just didn't live up to my expectations. When selecting kit for my latest event, the 73 mile Great Glen Ultra, the Bonatti WP didn’t even come into contention when it came to waterproof selection and, given that much of the event was run in torrential rain conditions, I was glad that I stuck with an older, proven garment for the race. Priced at an RRP of around £140.00 (but available for as little as £80.00 if you shop around online), the Bonatti WP does offer a technical, running specific waterproof that compares well with many of the other garments of its type in the market.

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Not so minimal review

RRP £140.00 (now on sale at £98.00 but available online for as little as £79.99)


Salomon Bonatti WP Jacket

It’s certainly lightweight and highly packable, and, despite its lightweight construction, appears to be durable. However, the lack of control over fit of the hood and sleeves, combined with the condensation issues that I experienced, means that the Bonatti WP is unlikely to be my first choice as a running waterproof, at least not until the Autumn/Winter months when lower temperatures mean that condensation may be less of an issue.

Specifications

      

Breathability

climaPRO™ SB Ripstop 2.5L features a minimum 10,000mm waterproofing ability whilst offering a good level of breathability to improve comfort in wet weather for ski & outdoor active sports

Tested by JJM

 

Not so minimal review

Lightweight

Durable Highly packable

 

Fit Lack of hood adjustability

Condensation

Packability Motion fit Waterproof zip Skin fit hood Reflective branding front & back climaPRO™ Waterproof Fabric climaPRO™ 10/10 fabrics are utilized in a variety of garments to maintain the wearer's comfort in wet weather for ski & outdoor active sports. 10, 000 mm waterproof & 10 000 g/m2/24h breathability (MVTR)

Skin fit hood - provides unrestricted bilateral vision with a close fit and full range of motion Chest zip pockets - secures other essential items Active fit - accommodates an optimal range of movement Reflective accents preserve visibility in low light conditions Elasticated hood keeps the elements out Elasticated cuffs deliver an improved fit High chin guard provides extended coverage and improved protection from the elements Weight - 210 grams.

More information go to www.salomon.com

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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.

Contact: lifecalmer@gmail.com

mob: 07508 118072


Amuri Z-Trek

Not so minimal review

WEIGHT (UK10)

FOOTBED

DIFFERENTIAL

MIDSOLE

5.5mm

0 mm

N/A

SOLE

UPPER

LINING

GENDER

FeelTrue®

N/A

N/A

Unisex

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

3½ - 11½

36 - 46½

5 -9

6 - 14

209g / 7.4OZ

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I have tried all the different sandal options provided by Xero Shoes, enjoying the simplicity of the originals as well as the added extras on the newer models, such as the “barefoam” footbed on the Amuri Cloud. I was looking forward to testing the latest shoe, especially with the hot weather on its way…

Amuri Z-Trek

he Amuri Z-Trek is the latest offering from Steven Sashen and his team at Xero Shoes. It has a different lacing system from the other Xero Shoes, with a Z shape which avoids the need for a toe post.

When they arrived, the straps felt a little tight and uncomfortable but you can actually adjust them with a bit of manoeuvring and after a couple of minutes they felt very comfortable indeed. I have read some other reviews where the wearer has suffered some rubbing on the little toe but this has not been the case for me. They fit very well.

Build quality First of all, I am fairly sure that the sole of the shoe will last forever. Second of all, the straps are fairly wide and strong – they won’t be falling apart any time soon.

Styling I have to admit that I initially wasn’t sure of my opinion of the style of the shoe. To me, when I looked down at my feet in them, the two sections where the straps fit through towards the top of the foot and on either side seemed very prominent. However, when I looked at them sideways on or on other people’s feet, they actually looked pretty good.

This is high praise indeed! I have grown to love the style of this sandal and particularly the colour combination that I was sent – “Hunter Green” strapping with a “slate” footbed. The other colour combinations are: Coal Black/ Castle Rock, Mocha Earth/Coffee Bean and Slate/Patriot Blue.

Fit I seem to be between sizes with most shoes and was torn with which size to try with the Z-Treks. I printed out the useful sizing templates from the Xero Shoes website and concluded that a size W6 would be most appropriate; the next size down would have been just a bit too small.

However, I have found it easier to use that strap! It is more akin to what you might be used to with other shoes and if I use the hook/ release to take the sandal off, the straps then seem too short and I can’t then do them back up without some adjustment. I’m sure that with practice it becomes second nature, but I am always in a rush and haven’t yet taken the time. So, with the repeated use of the Velcro, it has begun to come unstitched on the left sandal.

Not so minimal review

I have a client who is extremely fashion-conscious and always comments on my “ridiculous shoes” when I turn up in Vibram FiveFingers and other minimalist variations. However, when I arrived in the Z-Treks, she looked down and said, “New shoes! They actually look pretty good”.

There are two ways to release the straps when you want to remove the Z-Treks. There is a Velcro strap which goes around the back of the ankle which you can undo, but there is also a hook on the strap going over the top of the foot which you can just release. I am guessing this is the one that you are supposed to use and that once the Velcro strap around the heel is in place, then you don’t need to use it.

On the whole, the stitching is very neat and secure. Near the attachments of the straps, the material is a type of suede and the stitching here is extremely neat.

Barefoot simulation As a runner who runs probably 95% of the time without any footwear, I don’t find that any shoe I wear feels very much like being barefoot. In fact, it’s pretty much an

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Amuri Z-Trek

Not so minimal review

impossibility because part of being barefoot is feeling different sensations underfoot and all foot coverings will mask this to a certain extent. That being said, some footwear feels closer to being barefoot than others; the main aspects that I look for are that the shoe is light and flexible. The Z-Trek has a slim, 5.5 mm sole which is perhaps as thin as you might want to go for a sandal that you may take on rocky, off road surfaces. Whilst not as slim as the original Xero Shoe and therefore with not as much ground feel, the Z-Trek still allows you to feel different surfaces under your feet. A useful gauge for me are the raised ‘nobbles’ on the pavements in London that tell blind/partially sighted individuals they are at the edge of a road. In some shoes I can barely feel these - when I’m barefoot I avoid them if at all possible! In the Z-Treks, the sensation is dulled slightly but I am still very aware of the nobbles and the sandals allow my foot to mould around them, rather than my foot being able to just sit on top of them. The Z-Treks feel lightweight. A bonus of a sandal over a closed minimal shoe is also that your feet can breathe which enhances a ‘barefoot feel’. I am also unaware of the straps; they are supportive without being restrictive. On a personal note, I find that any footwear that doesn’t allow my foot to move completely freely will affect my running form. A shoe that is durable and protective will compromise ground feel to a certain extent.

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Price

Hanna at xeroshoes.co.uk for supplying a pair for review.

Historically Xero Shoes, in my opinion, have always been a more affordable choice for a minimal sandal. They are significantly cheaper than other sandals but on a par in terms of quality and minimal attributes. The Z-Treks are priced at £39.95 in the UK (plus p&p) which is very reasonable indeed. These sandals are built to last and you will get your money’s worth many times over.

Tested by ALT

Lightweight/flexible

Overall rating I must say, these sandals arrived at just the right time for me. I was getting too hot in my old Vibram FiveFingers and needed something minimal for visiting/running with clients and general, everyday wear. I have worn the Z-Treks every day since I got them because my feet stay cool and they are comfortable. I always prefer to run barefoot and do so on my own, but often it’s easier to run in some kind of shoe when with clients and these have been perfect for that. If it rains – no problem! There really isn’t much to get wet!

Easy clean Price

Limited colours Limited width

The only potential issue that people might have with the Z-Trek is if they have particularly wide feet as the width is limited due to the design of the sandal. A sandal with a toe post might be a better option for these individuals. It is also marketed as a sports sandal so is functional rather than ‘pretty’. Overall, the Z-Trek gets a big thumbs up from me. Many thanks to Simon

Autumn/Winter 2015

Barefoot Running Magazine


ovement, like life, needs direction and purpose to be worthwhile, to be productive and to be good. Despite having worked my whole life in the “health & fitness” industry, I am only really finding my passion for it and beginning my journey towards mastery of movement. It’s going to be a long one! A lot of the work I engage in with clients is really about behaviour change. Losing weight? Building muscle? Taking up running? We are taught to set SMART goals, something you may well have heard of as the holy grail of successful, target driven change. However, like much of what we do in the “health & fitness” industry, we look for magic bullets, new trends and sexiness, where there should be substance and consistency. Why am I telling you this, you ask? Well, movement is about to become that new trend I fear. It’s about to be chewed up and spat out by our industry. You’re probably going to

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find it on the class timetable at your local health club/spa, over simplified, sped up, sexed up and given a thumping house soundtrack! Like anything in our industry, and any other, what starts out as a good idea becomes sliced and diced, repackaged and sold for maximum profit; that’s the way of the world now unfortunately. If you know anyone who has dieted, chances are they have thrown their money at multiple solutions; Weight Watchers meets, the Cambridge Plan, Herbalife, books on the Atkins or Ducan Diet. They buy the branded products, they yo-yo, they flit, they are ultimately unsuccessful and out of pocket. In exercise, mums switch allegiance from one class to the next as they fall out of favour or get boring, young lads switch their body-building routine for the latest split routine promoted by the latest man-mountain. If the person in question is more adventurous, they will have switched between CrossFit and an MMA gym,

Autumn/Winter 2015

they will have gone “Paleo” or “Keto”, but it’s the same across the board – we are endlessly fickle. The thing is, almost every solution has an element of truth; a point they are making well. But the cognitive dissonance caused by all the competing ideas and solutions benefits the industry financially but keeps you from achieving what you want, or even contemplating what you want properly in the first place! The more you lack consistency the less you achieve and meanwhile, the products and services aren’t really competing against each other for your money as much as we initially think; the chances are you’ll buy into many of them at some point! Several years ago, a client gave me a book called the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. I have never been one for self-help books, but my client urged me to read it, telling me it was a bit

Barefoot Running Magazine


good - I’ve been working on it a long while - but at the moment I’m finding on the longer runs it falters as I get fatigued. I’ve just come back from Switzerland where I ran the Lucerne half-marathon as a training run (sounds more extravagant than it was really - I was staying with friends!). Unfortunately, I managed to hurt my foot, still undiagnosed as yet, but the physio I saw at the event suggested I buy some sturdier shoes and an orthotic – that should fix it. I smiled politely and will ignore the advice entirely. What I will do is slowly, but surely, work on improving my posture, my range of motion, my movement ability and my running mechanics. I decided a good while ago that being a better mover was one of the key principles to guide my exercise choices, and that’s what I’m basing my decisions off today. I’ll let you know how it pans out.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

different to the usual. Long story short, it’s very good. It’s about really thinking about what’s important to you in each aspect of your life and creating a set of guiding principles. It allows you to make more solid and consistent decisions about things and helps you hone your “BS” detector. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was positively impacting my life. Interestingly, it highlighted the fact that almost everything is achieved with small, consistent and proactive action, rather than bouts of frenzied action. This applies massively to diet

and exercise, but equally to anything you want from life. A few months ago I signed myself up to the Paris Marathon. I hadn’t been running enough, I was lacking motivation to run and needed something to give me a kick up the backside and get me out! This was what I came up with. I like travel, fancied a long weekend away with the wife and so this was the carrot I dangled. It worked - I’ve been running, improving and building my distance. My running form is pretty

Barefoot Running Magazine

What’s the moral of this convoluted story? It’s that you should never stop learning, but that your pursuit of knowledge shouldn’t stop you from taking action. Doing, practising, playing, experimenting. This is what moves us forward most, and it’s an essential part of the learning process itself. Along the same lines, it’s not bad to strive for more material things either. There are some amazing products and services out there that simplify tasks and aid us in achieving our goals, but your lack of the latest and greatest fitness gizmo isn’t actually holding you back! You’ll get by just fine without them. They are not the be all and end all, they are a conduit to achieving the end goal, not the end goal in and of themselves. Find the purpose, the principles and the end goals that matter most to you and keep them as the prime focus; that will help you navigate through the minefield of choice. Good movement is the foundation for everything else we do physically. It makes sense to make the mastery of them the focus of practice. It will enhance and make more consistent whatever subsequent exercise choices you make. Good luck!

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Not so minimal review Gore Air Lady Singlet and Air Lady Shorts


Fit Top: I wasn’t sure which size to get but opted in the end for a medium which was the correct choice, as it turned out. I can’t stand running in anything tight and this top, whilst not gaping or sagging, felt comfortable and lightweight without any tightness or restriction. Shorts: Again, I went for a medium which was a good fit. The waistband doesn’t have much in the way of elasticity so a few times I was a bit over zealous pulling them on/taking them off, thinking they would stretch more. No damage was done though and the limited elasticity is actually a good thing – they have maintained their shape and snug (but not tight) fit, rather than becoming loose and saggy.

Gore Air Lady Singlet and Shorts

from: two tone brilliant blue/ ice blue and speed blue/violet as well as a raven brown.

The sizing can be tricky (I would usually go for a small) but there is a very detailed sizing chart so it is possible to work out which size would suit you best.

would suit anyone, regardless of their personal taste. There are some other colours available if you prefer something brighter: two tone brilliant blue/ice blue, white/cadium yellow and a single colour option in jazzy pink.

Aimed at the “ambitious” runner (I think that’s me?!), the singlet is lightweight and soft, giving it a comfortable feel on the skin. The shorts, also for the “ambitious” runner, boast freedom of movement, a feminine look and a wide, comfortable waistband.

Styling Top: The top is both stylish and functional, with the understated sophistication that Gore is known for. The grey I chose goes with anything and the blaze of yellow with the Gore logo on the front just adds a nice splash of colour, along with some subtle green edging. It’s the sort of top that

Shorts: I’ve had a couple of pairs of shorts with this particular style; wide waistband and flared leg compartments. The length of the shorts with this style is, in my opinion, crucial. I have another pair which are just a bit too short and therefore definitely just for indoor use! If, however, the length is too long, it can look less stylish and also impede your running. Happily, the Gore shorts were the perfect length – long enough to sufficiently cover my bum cheeks but short enough to allow freedom of movement. I chose the black pair, but there are some other colours to choose

Barefoot Running Magazine

Top: I have worn this for almost every Summer run – in other words, this top has seen plenty of sweat and washing powder! However, it is still as good as new. I can’t fault the high quality that is synonymous with the Gore brand. Shorts: As above, in a nutshell. The shorts have seen equal amounts of grime and subsequent washing and still look like new. I think they have many more runs left in them yet and I’ll be wearing them as long as I can until the cold weather forces me into leggings.

Performance Top: It feels so light to wear – definitely a ‘barely there’ feel. As mentioned, I can’t abide anything that interferes with my freedom of movement and this top just feels like a light covering. The other

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Not so minimal review

Build quality ver the Summer I have been testing some Gore running kit, namely their Air Lady Singlet and Air Lady Shorts.


Gore Air Lady Singlet and Shorts

bonus is the quick drying time – a few hours after putting it into the washing machine, it’s ready to go again. Shorts: They manage to feel secure without feeling tight. Drying time, as above, is minimal. They have an in-built knicker-type lining which in some shorts can irritate, but I don’t notice it in these. If anything is wrong with my running performance, I can’t blame either the top or shorts; they are beautifully comfortable. Both the top and shorts have small pockets (the shorts have a zip pocket) which are handy for carrying a key, spare hair band or a few coins.

two or three sets of cheaper garments in the same period. Yes, they’re expensive, but not overpriced.

Overall rating Both the top and shorts have given me a whole Summer of running and will take me through the Winter too if I can handle the cold! I’ll no doubt be wearing them next year too as they are timeless in their design. I give them a firm thumbs up!

Tested by ALT

Price

Not so minimal review

It’s always the same with Gore products: you get what you pay for. A large part of my wardrobe consists of cheaper sportswear that does the job for quite a while before shrinking, becoming misshapen or just disintegrating. I rarely have the opportunity to fork out for more expensive kit, but each time the magazine reviews something from Gore, I am reminded that in the long run, it pays off. There is still so much wear left in both the top (retailing at £49.99) and the shorts (£39.99) and I may well have got through

Build quality Performance Comfort

Price Midsole stiffness Straps are a weak point

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Out-of-the-box Trail test re-

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

Altra Running Shoes Lone Peak 1.5

JJM

(07/2014)

Barepadz™ Barepadz™

IH

(02/2015)

Bedrock sandals Syncline 2.0

IH

(11/2014)

Be Real Shoes Be Real Shoes

TMD

(11/2014)

Earth Runners Circadian

IH

(11/2014)

Freet Leap

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ALT

(10/2015)

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Barefoot Running Magazine


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

GoSt Barefoot PaleoBarefoots®(08/2013)

IH

Human foot My foot

DRR

(02/2011)

INOV8 Bare X 200™

DRR

(01/2013)

kigo (06/2012)

leon

(11/2014)

DRR TMD

Glove Luna Venado

CS

(12/2013)

Luongo Luongos1

IH

(02/2014)

Merrell Trail Glove

(06/2011)

Vapor Glove

(08/2013)

DRR JJM

Mizuno EVO Cursoris EVO Levitas

JJM

(04/2013)

JJM

(04/2013)

Ozark Sandals Tri Black

ALT

(11/2012)

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Not so minimal review results

Drive


Out-of-the-box Trail test re-

Not so minimal review results

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

Shamma

Sockwa G3

(03/2014)

G-Hi

(03/2015)

X8

(11/2014)

IH IH IH

Soft Star Shoes RunAmoc Dash

DRR

(01/2015)

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

ALT

T Rockets

T Rockets

JJM

(07/2014)

Vibram fivefingers Classic Sprint

(01/2012)

EL-X

(07/2014)

KSO

(02/2010)

SeeYa LS Night

DRR DRR DRR ALT

(07/2014)

VivoBarefoot

Breatho Trail

(03/2014)

EVO Pure

(07/2014)

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JJM JJM

Barefoot Running Magazine


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

Xero Shoe 4mm Xero Shoe

(12/2011)

6mm Xero Shoe

(12/2011)

Amuri Cloud

(07/2014)

Amuri Venture

(12/2013)

Amuri Z-Trek

(10/2015)

ALT DRR IH/ALT

IH ALT

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

Not so minimal review results

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

Barefoot Running Magazine

Spring 2014

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t’s been a busy year for us all and whilst we’ve been doing plenty of running, we’ve missed the camaraderie of group running, with only one group run around London back in June.

Barefoot Running Magazine was originally the newsletter for Barefoot Running UK until it grew so big that it claimed its own identity! The Barefoot Running UK website aims to educate runners about barefoot and minimalist running, with plenty of information, photos, videos and links.

Therefore, next year we plan to organize some more group runs around the UK and maybe even abroad if possible. Running in a group, as many of you will know, allows runners to share ideas and personal experiences which can be very helpful for fellow runners. It also feels very natural to run in a ‘pack’ and is a lot of fun! Keep an eye on the website and facebook page for more details and remember that you don’t need to be barefoot or in minimal footwear to join the runs – everyone is welcome.

Visit: www.barefootrunninguk.com

Barefoot Running Magazine

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Club pages

arefoot Running UK is a running coaching company, helping individuals and groups make the most of their running practice by improving their technique and running efficiency as well as encouraging a healthy mental approach to the sport.


Club pages

26th April - London s I head into Pen No.9 of the Red Start its freezing cold, drizzling with rain and absolutely buzzing with runners of all shapes and sizes. Some are in costumes where the rule of thumb seems to be bigger, better, bolder and definitely not made for running in! There are serious competitors; those who are carefully limbering up, deciding on how much they need in the way of fuel to be enough to get round yet still give them a Personal Best. And then there's me. No one will ever give me the moniker of Serious Runner. Let's give you an idea. I have my long hair in bunches (I'm 40) and a flower garland adorns my head. My charity vest has my childhood nickname of Lainy on the front (I find that the general public are able to pronounce LAINY whereas LAINE, for some reason, becomes Leanne, Lianne, Lorraine and anything but my actual name!). The capris pants I'm wearing are modest, sensible, black Lycra. The type that ‘real’ runners wear. The Wonder Woman pants which are over the top of these are not. My bottom is neither small nor insignificant - you'd think I'd be desperate to cover it up (and not by loud, colourful pictures of a heroine that most 80's men still drool over). Hell no, these hips have played an enormous role in getting me to the point at which I am today: lining up to run my first ever marathon.

pull up their socks and tie and re-tie their laces, I look down to make sure my nail polish is still looking fresh. I'm a barefoot runner and I'm about to encounter London's roads with absolutely nothing on my feet. All 26.2 miles of it. In doing so I will become the first woman to run the London Marathon barefoot! So on 26th April 2015 at 10.10am, the gun goes off and we start to move. Slowly, shuffling our way from Pen 9, to 8…through 7,6…5. No, wait, I'm not ready, I'm too cold, I'm....oh, crikey I'm on my way!

One more thing separates me from my fellow nervous, happy, excited running companions. Whilst they

In 2011 I had an operation for a hip arthroscopy which involved surgical dislocation of the ball

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Autumn/Winter 2015

and socket joint, shaving of the hip bone and 12 weeks on crutches. This was followed by another year of constant pain and my mobility range really began to dwindle. It was too much to do a weekly shop in a large supermarket, I often needed a walking stick, and family days out and holidays usually saw me borrowing a wheelchair just so we could still see all the sights. That, coupled with a daily diet of maximum painkillers, meant life was a bit bothersome. In 2012 I lost my wonderful Dad to a horrible liver disease (how ironic that a teetotaler succumbs to cirrhosis of the liver, eh?). His final

Barefoot Running Magazine


weeks were spent in the excellent care of our local hospice, Phyllis Tuckwell in Farnham, Surrey. A second operation followed shortly after Dad died and by now I was fed up of being fed up. Emotional pain was expected at this time, but I was sick and tired of being in physical pain too. I sought a solution in the form of a wonderful massage therapist (and friend and former neighbour!) who helped me back on my feet literally! Together we worked on trigger point therapy, and deep tissue massage as well as Reiki, all in which Pam Pearson is fully qualified.

In June of that year, Steve and I embarked on our first Fun Run, a 5k for which friends, family and customers of our two businesses, SL News & Mags and our Kleeneze distributorship, helped us by raising £1350 for Phyllis Tuckwell. Barefoot came about because I suffered serious shin splints…they bloody hurt, so I searched online how to get rid of them. I read, researched, transitioned carefully and properly, and in time I built my mileage back up. Luckily for me I'd only been running up to 7k so being able to let go of distance at that point and effectively start again was simple. So many people who want to switch to barefoot end up injured because they just cannot get their head around the fact that they will only be running 100m to start with and that's it, your run's over for the day! With distances increasing and joining some online communities

Barefoot Running Magazine

such as Barefoot Beginner and Barefoot Running UK, I made friends with other people who had ditched their trainers. I sometimes run totally barefoot and other times I wear a thin soled neoprene sock-type ‘shoe’ called Sockwa. I've run the Bluebell 10 mile which incorporated a 6 mile totally barefoot run for charity, with Tracy Barefoot Davenport. Tracy is an accomplished, inspirational, fast (!) barefoot runner and she motivated me so much that day that I ran 9.5 miles barefoot, only wearing Sockwa for a short 1/2 mile near the end (once out of the 6 mile charity range). Tracy has gone on to become the first ever woman to run a UK marathon barefoot. She's a bit of a legend and was my inspiration, not only for believing that I could actually train for a marathon, but that I could also try it barefoot. So, about to turn 40 and feeling like I could do with a challenge, I applied to Phyllis Tuckwell to be part of their marathon team. When they invited me in I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! I had pledged to raise £2,500 which, if I'm honest, scared me more than the actual running!

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Club pages

Just a month or so after finding Pam, in April 2013 my daughter decided she wanted to learn to run. Whilst on holiday in Spain, on 10th April, we laced up our trainers (barefoot would come later) and headed out the door to run round the block. We ran to a lamppost, walked two, then repeated for about 20 minutes. Boy, it was tough! But that was it I was hooked. My daughter didn't continue running but I'd got the bug. Finally I could do something at my own pace, in my own style and not have to worry about

anyone but myself. Whilst running may seem competitive, it's generally known that you only ever ‘race’ against yourself. In my case, fast times have never been a motivator, but distance and pushing myself to the next stage have.


I joined our local running club, Blackwater Valley Runners. They have welcomed me in and kept me motivated by the many running routes they take us on. Officially, the club meets one night a week - Wednesdays - but there's always at least one of the leaders going out on other evenings or weekends and as a few of us were signed up for either the London or Brighton marathons, there were plenty of opportunities to run three or more times a week.

Club pages

By March I had lots of miles under my feet (including Fleet Half which was my furthest barefoot run so far) and most importantly I had most of the sponsorship money phew! Once again, fabulous friends, family, customers and strangers had helped with the cause.

hard, mentally, NOT to dwell on the "you're half-way" remarks that were being shouted by the enthusiastic crowd, thinking they were helping I'm sure. But I really did not want to allow myself to realize I still had that distance to go again. So, the mind games started. Mile 15…that's just 5 more ‘til mile 20. Mile 20 was my mental finish, because after that it was then only another 10k (a doddle?). Mile16 then meant only10 more ‘til the actual finish which really, if you think about it, was just the Great South Run, which I ran last October with my friend Philip and my ‘honorary’ niece, Charlotte. So, not too far then. I had prepared in training to not even think about what I had done, just

what I needed to do, and to break it down into small, doable sections. Forget the big picture, I just wanted to look at the small slice of the pie. Mmmm, pie…pie? I'm starving…ooh look there's KFC! No wait, I don't eat meat…just a quick sniff as I go past then. Besides, my third gel looks soooo inviting. And it won't be long before I can eat the pouch of blueberry, raspberry and cherry baby food I have in my waist bag. Yum! You're not tired, you are a strong and independent woman (thanks for that line, Chandler from Friends in TOW Chandler becomes a woman!). Oh, sweet Mother there's my

Back to the race. Not even one mile in and I'm explaining why I haven't any shoes on (actually by this point I'd been asked countless times already!). The 1 mile marker came up so quickly I couldn't believe we were there already. My usual runs see me feeling breathless and horrible until at least mile 6 so I assumed there was still time! I can honestly say that until mile 9 I felt amazing – I didn't even break a sweat. I managed to update my Facebook status at mile 4 and had every intention of doing so every famous landmark that I passed, but my phone battery had other ideas. Thanks iphone, grr! Miles 10, 11 and 12 came up and I bypassed them in a haze of waving, high-fiving, two toilet stops (oh, the queues!) and of course the inevitable conversations about being barefoot. I lost count of the times I heard the following: "Go, Lainy, GO..ooh, great flowers in your hair…wow, love the Wonder Woman pants (pause) OHMYGODSHE'SGOTNOSHOESON????!" Honestly, I chuckled all the way through that first half marathon. Mile 12-13. Tower Bridge. Iconic sight, one I've wanted to run over ever since I began running. Bloody horrible surface! No nice, clean painted line to follow. Instead, patches of broken, rough tarmac. Nice view though! Once past Tower Bridge I had to work really

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darling husband again. Honestly, is that man determined to do more miles than me? This is the 5th (or 6th?) time he's popped up! Cue more photos, smiles, run on spot whilst he sorts his camera out, give him a quick sweaty kiss and "I love you", and I'm off again. Buoyed beyond words just for the simple knowledge of knowing he's out there waiting for me. Twice more I'd have a group of ladies shout, "Your husband is waiting along there for you", and, "Your husband loves you and misses you and will see you a bit further on". (I think, in reality, Steve had said that if they saw this barefoot woman go past, tell her that her husband was walking on further down. I'm sure they embellished upon this for which I'll be forever grateful).

And I'm out of that, thank goodness. Those last few miles weren't that great, it was the loneliest part, although there was never a section without at least one person there, cheering you on. Apart from the Blackwall tunnel, which had a disco playing - WTF?! Ok, so now I'm at 35k. For some reason, although the route is marked in miles, there's a mat every 5k which clocks your time as you run over it. A timing chip ties to your shoelace, or piece of elastic around your ankle in my case, so people can track you as you go round. Something else I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of friends I had who were ‘watching’ out for me and messaging each other. My dear

Club pages

I never appreciated the power of the crowds and seeing your loved ones along the route. Ok, here comes mile 21 (swear warning coming up for my mother and my children). Aargh, this is the gel station. The second one. Opposite the first which was at mile 14 or so. For f**k's sake, this sticky God-awful mess is making it so hard to keep going. It nearly broke me at mile 14 and now I'm having to go through it again, are you friggin’ kidding me? Every f**king stone and small piece of gravel is now embedding itself onto my soles… and into my soul. Walk…don't walk…can't run…keep running. Remember the mantra from your barefoot running friends...tough surfaces don't last, tough soles do.

friend Tracey was given a fright at 30k because according to the tracker, I'd stopped! I hadn't so I don't know why that happened! Oh My, Oh My. 20 mile marker up ahead. I'd already run 2 miles further than I'd ever gone before. Funnily enough though, in my head I'd run 26+ so I never once had that feeling of running into the unknown. I felt that I did just know and that it would require me to suck it up! Probably for me, the most challenging time was mile 23. Even though that meant just a 5k, that was still 3 miles - 3 bloody long miles. I saw Steve again at this point (did I mention he's my hero for being there all the way?) and he said I looked tired. I'm disappointed with myself for looking like that because yes, I was tired, but also at that point there weren't quite so many spectators (I think it was near an

Barefoot Running Magazine

underpass?) and so I took the opportunity to have a break from playing to the crowds. It's actually quite exhausting to acknowledge everyone who shouts and encourages you but I feel you should after all, if they have come out to help you along, the least you can do is wave a thank you as you run (at this point, shuffle/stagger) past. Miles 24-25 were confusing to me. As I came up to 25 I was convinced it was mile 24. Thank goodness it wasn't the other way round - I think I'd have stopped! Around the course I'd only had short walking breaks, through water stations and gel intake which usually came after toilet stops so I'd just slurp/walk for a few yards as I got back into my stride. One section by a roundabout (maybe Westferry?) the road was really quite rough so I allowed myself to get over that surface. But I ran up the slope that came

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shortly after!

Club pages

I'm proud that I walked less than 1 mile out of the whole route. The white line became my friend. In fact it became my obsession! I'd seek it out, I'd cross the lane to find the thick, gloriously smooth paintwork. It wasn't so much that the roads were bad - in fact I thought most places were pretty good for bare feet (despite one comment that Steve overheard of, "Eurgh, wouldn't run barefoot here with all those needles". Never saw one I might add!). The line just became something to focus on to get me through. I did chuckle to myself and chastise myself when I found myself berating the walkers (silently, in my head) who dared to hobble along MY line. Gerroff my line! Past the Tower…oh, lock me up if I ever say I'm doing this again. There's Big Ben. Oh how I wished I'd paid attention to the map so that I knew exactly where I was. I purposely didn't because I was so focused on not thinking of the distance that I didn't want to know where I was at any given point and therefore not realizing how far I'd still got to go.

absolutelyf**kingfantastic surprise. I believed I'd finish by myself and meet Steve at some point after. But my wonderful, logical, pragmatic, level-headed, non-emotional husband was right there, 100 yards from the end shouting along with the rest. Joining him were our friends, Steve and Debbie. I knew they'd been there to cheer me and another friend, Matt, on but had assumed that because Matt had finished in 4 hours, they'd left to go back home to Essex. They hadn't. They'd found my Steve and together the three of them clapped and cheered to bring me home. Mile 26.2 - and a few steps. I can stop running now. The medal is placed around my neck and I stumble through the absolute end of the Marathon. I would have a photograph taken, collect a goody bag, meet up

with Steve, Steve and Debbie for a very emotional reunion. Steve… I have a memory that you cried too! I would then be helped back to the hotel, driven home where Maggie and Geoff would join us for a Chinese takeaway. I'd have a hot shower and climb into bed. I'd do all that, but first I would take a moment to remember why the hell I had put myself through all that. My Dad; who would've been my biggest supporter, but ironically I would never have needed to do this if he'd been here! So every penny of the £4,700 (and still rising) is for my dad and everyone else who helped me get to this place. I had three goals today: To raise £2,500+. To run all the way and finish strong. To be the first woman to run the London Marathon barefoot. Job done xxx

Along a long road past St James Park. Is this Birdcage Walk? Am I at the Mall yet? "C'mon Lainy", I hear, "You're nearly there". (Am I? Really? You said this hours ago - you're lying I know you are). "Don't stop now" (I won't) . “SHE'SGOTNOSHOESON?!" (I haven't? Really?). Then…red barriers and crowds and crowds of people, screaming, cheering. The tears threaten to come. In truth, they'd been threatening to come for the past 6.5 hours but now was not the time. I would finish this as strong as I started. (As I type this I'm currently crying my eyes out!). Mile 26…nearly. 800m to go. I can't possibly go on. Yes I can, 600m…400m. A huge, red banner overhead: "You have 365 yards to go". Bloody phone, why did you have to run out? Buck Pal is to my left. Is that Lizzie and Phil I see waving and clapping? And then…there it is, the finish line in sight. But wait, one last enormous

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Club pages

arefoot Runners Society UK Chapter President, Paul Beales, has kindly put together a summary of running festivities held earlier this year on International Barefoot Running Day. It sounds like a fun day was had by all, with Slovenia seeing the biggest turn out again! Remember, International Barefoot Running Day (IBRD) is held on the first Sunday of May every year – all details will be on the Barefoot Runners Society website: www.thebarefootrunners.org

nternational Barefoot Running Day was held this year on Sunday, 3rd May. Seventeen events were reported on the Society website, as well as many reports of individual runners marking the occasion by running barefoot at public races and events. A 6km fun run was organized in Copenhagen by the Denmark Chapter, with the focus being on social running and having a great time. Twenty barefoot runners attended, and we are told had lots of fun.

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pirits were high and there was a great turnout of determined runners in Paris, France, despite being a ‘slightly damp’ day. The 'Animation Barefooting' was organized by French Chapter President, Christian Harberts, and consisted of exercises on the track, and on roads and paths to learn the benefits of barefoot running or minimalist shoes, followed by a relaxing session of TrailBall Zen.

Workshop manager and Chief Instructor Gueng, and his assistants SusHi and Berta27, ran twenty-three participants through a programme consisting of: an introduction to the BRS and its aims, talks on barefoot running in the evolution of mankind, biomechanical considerations, benefits and possible risks of barefoot running. The talks were followed by workouts for running co-ordination, running on different surfaces (tarmac, grass, sand, concrete pavement) and cadence training with a metronome. The group then ran 7km through the city centre of Marburg, along the riverside, pausing several times for additional workouts for co-ordination and posture from physiotherapist Anne, and occasional lively chats on a variety of barefoot and running-related topics.

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here was another great turnout in Marburg, Germany for a workshop hosted by The Marburg Running School.


he Mexico event in Guadalajara was a little smaller, but they are hoping for a much bigger group next year!

espite a terrible weather forecast and a very drab and dreary day, it was great to see so many happy faces (and feet) in Hove Park, Brighton, for the UK event.

Club pages

Forty-two runners in a mixture of bare feet, minimalist and running shoes took part in a 5km race, thanks to the expert hosting of Tracy of Minimal Sportswear. The winner was Mike Greenwood (in bare feet) in a time of 18:30. A traditional 1 mile race and a 100m kids race were also held. The mile was won by Lydia Louw in an impressive time of 06:15, and the 100m dash by Jonty Beales (time not recorded) in bare feet. Those that stayed after the races took part in a quick round of TrailBall Golf on a shortened six-hole course of 1km. The winning team was Tony and Mat from Newbury, who did the course twice, once on their own and once with team addition Jonty.

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hese (family?) members took to the forest for their run in the Czech Republic. Ouch!

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eporting from Hong Kong, ten barefoot runners (including five newbies) and one VFF runner set off for an 8km run from Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower.


Club pages

afa Diez of Entrenamiento Natural hosted a session practising cadence, rhythm and relaxation in Spain.

s always, there was a MASSIVE turnout of barefoot runners in Slovenia! Top job guys!

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here was a turnout of three in Adelaide, Australia: David, Luke and Neil. The weather was a little unpredictable but happily improved, and the day before's rain was replaced by sun and a mild 20C temperature. The team of three ran a 5km loop around the Eastern section of parklands that encompass Adelaide city centre, taking in the River Torrens, the sports fields, Adelaide Zoo and the Botanic Gardens.

After the run they adjourned for a well earned coffee at the St Peters Bakehouse, a popular cafe bakery in this expensive leafy suburb. It was warm enough to sit outside enjoying the coffee and watching the leaves falling from the trees ready for Winter (which turned up on the Tuesday morning after.) Two events took place in Australia this year, the second event being in Old Petrie Town, Queensland. It was their first time at holding an event here, which was kept very low key as the organizers had other commitments on the morning of the run. As it turned out, the rain they had had during the week before had turned creeks into rivers and done a lot of damage, which made the route a little difficult, but those that attended had good fun and they are hoping to have a much bigger event next year. A video of the event shows some of the obstacles they had to go around because of the rain.

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Club pages

Luke, who had been running barefoot for a while, joined the group for the first time, and as they were all experienced barefoot runners, they set off at a good pace around the undulating course, averaging around 6 minutes per kilometre.


n Georgia, USA, BRS members Mokaman, Micsa and NSpollard met up with Aaron, a local Luna Sandals/barefoot ultramarathon runner, and ran on a very nice Spring morning at a sunny 65-70F. The four runners did a 5 mile pavement lap around Stone Mountain, before Mokaman and Aaron did another 4.75 mile lap on the Cherokee trail.

Club pages

The guys managed to 'spread the word' and talked to a couple of running ladies and one guy that had tried barefooting a little, and asked some questions about adjusting to barefoot.

ongboard and Frank also had a sunny day for their run in Burns Park, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA!

he weather was gorgeous for a 1km Barefoot Fun Run held around Green Lake in Seattle, Washington, USA.

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he Barefoot Runners Society is a supportive, international barefoot and minimalist running club with many resources and chapter clubs worldwide. We are a not-for-profit community, organized entirely by volunteers, with currently just over 6,000 registered members.

Our mission is to:

FSailor again marked the day with another solo run in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, on a beautiful day.

And check out the cool shirt!

Some of our resources include: Forum discussions; Barefoot/ Minimalist running groups in your area; International Member Map to find running buddies, Coaches and Mentors; Map of BarefootFriendly Doctors & Specialists; ' Ask the Docs' Forum with six doctors on call; Calendar of Events in all countries; Mileage Competitions; International Race/Trail Reviews rating courses on barefoot friendliness; News; Product Reviews; Blogging; Private Messaging; and an extensive library of information in progress to help you transition safely to barefoot and minimalist running, including a 'Barefoot Running 101.'

ockin’ 5 miles of trails on Mount Diablo, Efrem and Barefoot Terry represented a much smaller group than normal in the Greater San Francisco Area, USA.

Our motto is: 'Changing the running world one odd look at a time!' Join us at: www.thebarefootrunners.org acdiver believes he was the only BRS member to run in the coastal Delaware USA Running Festival. After a previous 10 mile barefoot training run that he walked the last 1.5 miles with tender feet, Macdiver decided it would be best to run in his Merrell Bare Access shoes...

Membership is free.

‌ and ended up with blisters!

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Club pages

Sunny, with no wind, and a temperature around 62F, BF did a nice 3 miles in Presque Isle State Park along the Lake Erie shore.

Offer resources that unite barefoot and minimalist runners around the world; promote barefoot running around the world and at race events as a competitive sport; educate the running public on the health benefits of barefoot and minimalist running; and dispel the myths associated with barefoot running that negatively impact the sport.


United Kingdom

United States

www.facebook.com/MaidstoneBarefootDashers

Boulder, CO www.runBARE.com

Europe

www.barefootbeginner.com

Club directory

lenaweebarefoot.runningclub@facebook.com

Asia

Austin Barefoot Running Club ianhicks1000@gmail.com

www.meetup.com/Austin-Barefoot-Running

www.facebook.com/BangkokBarefootRun

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

Australasia www.barefootnyc.com

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

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Coaching

Nutrition

Therapy

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

Minimal Stockists

Accessories

Personal Training

UNIT 1, BEAVER TRADE PARK QUARRY LANE CHICHESTER WEST SUSSEX PO19 8NY

Barefoot Running Magazine

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

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Web directory

www.n8pt.com


usician Bitty Mclean said it best in his 1993 chart hit Stop the world, I want to get off! Okay, it was 22 years ago, but how right he was. With every passing year I have less understanding of the evolving mentality and direction the 21st Century human race is heading, especially in the West. The “Thank you” and “Thinking of you” type of correspondence has been replaced with internet trolling and negative comments. ‘People’ - and I use that term loosely - would rather record on their mobile devices a tragic accident or situation, such as a man attempting to leap to his death, than embrace his pain and help him off the ledge to safety. It can’t be right, can it? Surely we should be more as a collective than

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this? Are we broken as a society and, if so, is it this fracture that is f@#king up my Zen? The Dalai Lama captured my thoughts best in his Paradox of our age: “We have bigger houses, but smaller families. More conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense. More knowledge, but less judgement. More experts, but more problems. More medicines, but less healthiness. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication. We have become long on quantity,

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but short on quality. These are the times of fast food, but slow digestion. Tall men, but short character. Steep profit, but shallow relationships. It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.”

and are paying the price in our modern world, needing to fill every nanosecond of it, usually with insignificant drivel on social media, or busily filling our lives with the unnecessary, forever aware that time is ticking down for all of us.

I personally blame, in part, the drive to constantly know more, have more and experience more, which in turn retards our own personal inner development. We can never know everything, see everything or have everything, but in the pursuit of the impossible we miss all that we truly have – the ability to gain equilibrium.

Ironically, this obsession to fill our lives with more stuff in the shortest amount of time is - as the Dalai Lama states - creating an emptier society. A window crammed full but an empty room beyond. The bottom line is: we don’t need more, but less.

Cool - now I get to quote Bruce Lee, who said, “It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory”. But that is exactly what we do. We are always rushing to and fro, from one point to another with no acknowledgement of where we are at any precise moment. And why? Partly because “they” - be it media, society or our peers - tell us how we should be, think and act. After all “Modern life is hectic!” It’s also partly because we normalize things too quickly. Take, for instance, the transport network. In other parts of the world there are millions of people with no choice but to travel miles to get the basics in life, like fetching water by foot from a well several miles away, while the West can pop to the corner shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week – merely a few footsteps away and totally convenient. We can also easily travel tens of miles without truly breaking a sweat. But are we, in the West, happier? Probably not! We’re still grumpy because the local store doesn’t have our preferred brand of water, even though it flows freely out of all the taps in our premises, or outraged that the train we want to catch is running two minutes late! Is it really a hectic life? Or are we just inventing unrealistic stresses upon ourselves due to our negative perception of time and the need to constantly acquire more ‘stuff’ before time runs out.

We all need to be more mindful. We need silent places in communities where an individual can just ‘be’. Places where we can just take stock of how lucky we are, regardless of what material things we happen to own. And these places do exist. Gardens, forests, fields. Live in a busy town or city? There are still quiet pockets of nature, perhaps in the form of a park or even inside, perhaps in a gallery or museum. Live in a noisy household? Escape to the ‘throne room’ of the house, even if it is for only a few minutes! Most importantly, these spaces exist in your mind. You just need to find them. I am re-establishing my Zen, not by leaving London and living on a hill top, but just taking the time to look inward and find a few moments each day to reconnect. Barefoot walking/running helps immensely. It brings me back to myself, for it’s all too easy to get drawn into that world of rushing and panicking about precious time. Time runs on no matter what we do. I urge you to take a moment to be ‘in the moment’ – I guarantee it’ll be far more satisfying than buying yet another television or new phone.

We constantly monitor time like a ticking time-bomb. We are obsessed by it. It rests on our wrists, or peers at us from the walls in our houses and offices. We have made ourselves slaves to this manmade construct

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Barefoot Running Magazine

Spring 2014

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Profile for Barefoot Running Magazine

Barefoot Running Magazine - Issue 15 (Autumn/Winter 2015)  

IN THIS ISSUE: An account of Aleks Kashefi’s barefoot run across the UK, a profile of the legendary Gordon Pirie and a chat with veteran bar...

Barefoot Running Magazine - Issue 15 (Autumn/Winter 2015)  

IN THIS ISSUE: An account of Aleks Kashefi’s barefoot run across the UK, a profile of the legendary Gordon Pirie and a chat with veteran bar...

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