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Detoxing I0I The KISS principle BREATH: The ins and outs Is there a best way to run? WATER: Filtering out the truth Has the human ‘race’ gone off Winter 2012/13 Issue 07 FREE


How to contact us Barefoot Running Magazine TRC Publishing Limited 21 Lyric Mews, Silverdale, London SE26 4TD United Kingdom ISSN 2050-9022 email: website: tel: Overseas:

info@bfrm.co.uk www.bfrm.co.uk +44 (0) 845 226 7301 +44 (0) 208 659 0269

Cover picture: Bruce Tulloh Insert picture: Courtesy of Merrell

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www.trcpublishinguk.co.uk/bfrm

@BareFootRunMag

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


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We hope that you have all enjoyed a healthy, active start to 2013!

Anna Toombs

We’re very excited to bring you this latest issue of Barefoot Running Magazine – we can hardly believe we’ve reached issue 7 already! There’s plenty in here to occupy your tea break and keep you motivated as we head into the warmer weather.

Movement therapist, running coach & author anna.toombs@bfrm.co.uk @ToombsAnna

We’ve been lucky to have input from some wonderful people once again: Dr Stig Walsh – barefoot runner and palaeobiologist – adds some humour to the running and evolution debate, Canadian physiotherapist, Tony Ingram, talks about a different perspective on pain and our regular nutrition expert, Leigh Rogers, puts together some timely advice about detoxing!

Movement therapist, sports performance specialist & author david.robinson@bfrm.co.uk @barefootdrrob

Gareth Underhill, biomechanist and owner of ‘Outfit’ Sports and Fitness store, is a new contributor and offers some essential guidelines on how to choose the right shoe. David has been scouring the research on water consumption – how much is too much? – and we also have the usual news and reviews (check out our products page because we’re on the lookout for some long-term reviewers). We caught up with our friend Yanni for some words of barefoot running wisdom and if you fancy a giggle, take a look at our friend Ricardo’s thoughts on flip flops! As always, a big thank you to all our contributors and to you, the readers.

David Robinson

Leigh Rogers Holistic sports nutritionist, health & wellness coach leigh.rogers@bfrm.co.uk

Steven Sashen Creator of the Xero Shoe & sprinter steven.sashen@bfrm.co.uk

Dr James Stoxen DC Chiropractor & President of Team Doctors www.teamdoctorsblog.com

Gareth Underhill Personal trainer, Sports scientist (Biomechanist/Physiologist) gareth.underhill@bfrm.co.uk

Run Strong, Run Free!

Ricardo D’Ash Avid barefoot runner and co-founder of the Maidstone Barefoot Dashers

Jason Robillard

Tony Ingram

Dr Stig Walsh

Founder of Barefoot Running University, co-founder of Barefoot Runners Society & author

Registered Physiotherapist. Primary author of bboyscience.com

Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeobiology at National Museums in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Main feature

8

Running Show 2012

In focus

12

Bruce Tulloh - I’m still running..!

David’s lab

18

Filtering out the truth about water

Book review

24

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

Injury corner

30

Why learn how pain works?

Technical tip

34

The ins and outs of breath

Nutritional nugget

38

Detoxing 101 for maximum benefits

A conversation with...

44

Yanni - One of the original barefoot revolutionists

The Green Room

50

Has the human ‘race’ gone off course?

Try this at home

60

Footloose and ankle free!

How to:

66

How to choose the correct minimalist shoe

Write back at you

70

Holiday non-celebration

Next Issue

95

What’s coming May 2013

International News National National news news

56 58

On On track track

72 76

International International news news

76 78

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Outside the lab

22

Other peoples’ labs

Questions & answers

26

Your questions answered

Season in pictures

28

A showcase of what you have been up to

Caught in the web

41

Internet snippets

Events

42

Stuff that’s going on

Assorted goodies

56

Products worth a look

What’s on

72

2013 events and race calendar

The Season in pictures

4

The Asics Uksem debate

Barefoot Running UK The latest fromcalendar Barefoot Clubhouse

80 8

It’s your letters

84

Running UK

Your stories and thoughts

The society pages

86

What’s happening within the Barefoot Runners Society

Product reviews

91

B

Minimal review results

Club Directory

96

100

Find a club near you

Anna’s pause for thought

16

The KISS principle

The Dashing Ricardo

48

Flipped out over flip-flops

Sashen speaks

54

Is there a best way to run?

Backchat

98

David Robinson’s latest

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Main feature

n a cold Friday afternoon at the end of November, David and I headed to Esher in Surrey to set up our Barefoot Running UK stand at the Running Show. This was our first event as exhibitors and we were both extremely nervous because we were also part of the seminar programme, presenting a talk on ‘Making sense of barefoot running’. As we had envisaged, there were people already at Sandown Park, the event venue, setting up their stands to display their wares – a multitude of gadgets, gismos and nutritional concoctions to help you run further and faster. We found our stand – K21 – and unpacked the items we’d ordered that were thankfully already there: a book/magazine rack, two stools and a table. We unravelled our big

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banner, complete with photographs of the two of us braving the cold weather, running barefoot through London. We couldn’t quite face unloading all our books and other bits just yet, so went off in search of our friend (and ally!) Tracy Davenport, from Barefoot Britain. We wandered up the row of stands and around the corner and just about spotted Tracy in amongst a whole garden full of pink flowers! She’d gone for a ‘British’ theme with her stand and it looked amazing – we wanted to sit down at her garden table and enjoy a glass of Pimms! Tracy would be selling Xero Shoes at the show, as well as the relatively new ‘One Moment’ shoes and a selection of Reflex Nutrition products. After a quick chat, Tracy kindly let us borrow her trolley to bring our boxes in from the Land Rover (which is working at the moment – hurrah!) containing copies of our book. We also wheeled

Barefoot Running Magazine

Stan in, in his body bag. Stan is the skeleton we use for teaching and has become a bit of a mascot for us too. He is our very skinny, rather silent travelling companion and he completed the look of our stand rather nicely, although we had to give him a baseball cap to make him look a little more friendly. We knew that our presentation would be in ‘Seminar Theatre Two’. However, there were a bunch of guys setting up big screens and rows of chairs right in the middle of the big hall, in amongst the stands. This was slightly disconcerting – our audience could be huge and we began to feel that we might be a little exposed, advocating running barefoot whilst everyone around us was trying to sell shoes. So, David went off to find the organizers and ask them which seminar theatre was number two. As it turned out, the


one furthest away was where we’d be presenting which made us feel a little better. Claire Townsend, one of the organizing team, also came and explained the process regarding our talk and made us feel more at ease about how it would piece together on the day. She said not to worry – that everyone who came would be there because they wanted to learn more. We weren’t quite so sure, having conjured up several images of shoe companies throwing rotten vegetables at us or asking awkward questions! We were ready for them though it they chose to come and listen – we’ve been doing this a long time and anyone who knows David will be aware how he loves a debate! We woke up early on Saturday and got to Sandown Park at around 8.30am. The show was due to start at 9.30am so we wandered around again and ran through our talk for the umpteenth time. Someone announced over the loud speaker that the show was beginning and the

doors opened, allowing in the first few keen visitors. We were surprised and pleased to have a visitor to our stand immediately: she had specific questions about barefoot running and wanted to chat with us first. We began to talk about barefoot running – answering questions about the biomechanics, pros and cons, different types of injury, diet and other types of exercise and training as plenty of interested runners came and went. At about 10.30am or so, our friends Ricardo and Robin showed up. It was great to see familiar faces and they made us feel more relaxed as the time for our presentation loomed closer. Ricardo took numerous photos from different angles as we chatted with more punters. We were in the midst of discussion with some runners when David Townsend, one of the organizers arrived and told us, “time to go”. Our stomachs lurched as we walked up to the seminar theatre, where there

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were already several people sitting and waiting for our ‘words of wisdom’. We were given head microphones which actually helped us feel more confident – we both used to teach fitness classes so feel quite at home with headsets on. At 11.30am we were given the go ahead to begin our talk, so off we went. We discussed foot strike, technique and injury as well as the mental side of barefoot running. The talk went much as we’d practised it and we soon forgot our nerves. As well as Ricardo D’Ash and Robin Dearle, there were a few more friendly faces in the audience too: Ian Hicks and his family, Chris Fielding and Tracy who managed to slip away from her stand to hear some of the talk. There were some decent questions at the end (all of which we were able to answer!) and we finished by inviting people to come and chat with us at our stand. Thank goodness for Ricardo buying us a coffee, because we didn’t really get the chance to eat or drink anything

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fitness topics. We managed to drop in to Tracy’s stand a couple of times and there was always a great crowd of people there – luckily she had enlisted the help of personal trainer Matt Crane so she was just about coping with all the runners wanting Xero Shoes! We were quite sad to be packing up at the end of the day. It was a huge treat for us to be talking freely about running for two full days and with so many different people.

all day (save for the few samples we pinched from the Pulsin’ stand next door to us, selling delicious raw food bars). We were overwhelmed by the huge amount of interest in barefoot running – so many people have already tried it whilst others are on the brink of giving it a go. Quite a number of people bought copies of our book and signed up to receive the Barefoot Running Magazine’. We were thrilled and exhausted by the end of the day but eager to come back on the Sunday and do it all again. Before we went home, we joined some of the other exhibitors and the organizers in the bar for a drink. We didn’t get far through the bar before we bumped into Emma and her husband. Emma had had a very successful day teaching yoga as well

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as extolling the benefits of yoga for runners (Emma is an accomplished barefoot runner herself). We also met Sam Murphy and her husband who were at the show to discuss the latest fitness fads and running trends. There was a brief moment when we were all in danger of throwing caution to the wind and making a night of it, but thoughts of another long day just (and only just!) stopped us all in our tracks and we said our goodbyes until the next day. This had been a good decision as Sunday proved to be just as busy, with a 10K race held in the morning in glorious sunshine. We weren’t nervous at all for our presentation, which seemed to go very well again and we spent the whole day discussing injuries, technique, racing and all manner of other health and

Barefoot Running Magazine

There was only one dicey moment in the whole weekend when, after finishing our talk, we were walking past the other seminar theatre at the same time the presenter was telling his listeners how, “barefoot runners forefoot strike and get injured”. David’s heckles went up as he said a little too loudly, “I’m a barefoot runner and I don’t forefoot strike” and someone near us grinned and whispered, “fight, fight, fight!” It was all in good humour though and part of the joy of the running world is that people don’t always agree which promotes discussion, investigation and self-progression. The best comment we had at our stand was, “ah, barefoot running! Can I see some of the shoes?” Erm…… If you’ve never attended a running event like this one, do go if you get the chance. It’s a great opportunity to learn and be inspired – as well as pick up some bargains!


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In Focus

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ou may be familiar with the image of Bruce Tulloh as he is one of those relatively rare competitive runners of the past who chose to run most of his races barefoot. However, aside from recognizing the photo, you may not know much about the man himself and his long, successful running career. Tulloh was born in Devon in 1935 into a family full of sportspeople. His grandfather was an international tennis player, his aunts and uncles played various sports and his mother was a runner in school and never lost a race. Tulloh’s own running career was slow in forming as he was focused as much on studying and his career as he was with competition. He ran and raced at school, winning his first race in 1947, but after he left school he went into National Service for two years and was stationed out in Hong Kong, working as an artillery surveyor. It was there that, whilst continuing to run, he began to follow the Stampfl (Roger Bannister’s coach) approach which was largely based around interval training. He would do a variety of intense sessions, such as 4 x 1500m on one day, 8 x 800 on another and a long run on Sundays. As a result of following this training regime, he was able to improve his race times and compete in the Hong Kong National championships.

unaccustomed to a hard, rough surface, he managed a much faster time and from then on competed barefoot whenever possible, always making the decision according to the state of the track on which he was to race. In an interview with Alastair Aitken (www.highgateharriers.org.uk) on running barefoot, he explained, “It was just lighter in weight. You feel freer and easier. Run with better action”. He sometimes wore tape on his toes to protect them, but for most of his races he was barefoot. His running style is much like that of other elite runners – plenty of hip mobility and full stride, quick cadence and a significant elbow bend. He said that often on the track, injuries were due to the spikes on the

bottom of shoes, rather than the actual running itself. In fact, when asked about injury, Tulloh has some sensible and wise opinions. He has experienced relatively little injury throughout his running career (and at age 77 he is still running and walking every day) and attributes this to the fact that his training comprised of high intensity sessions but low mileage. At university, he was running between 30 and 40 miles per week without much other training. He also feels as though he was built to run, being very light with a slight frame. One other important point is that, during his running career, he didn’t

Once he returned to England, he saw his times improve yet again, now that he was back in a more forgiving climate. He went to Southampton University to study biology and continued to run, becoming a member of their successful running squad. It was whilst at University that Tulloh realized the benefits of running barefoot. Having grown up in Devon, he had already experienced barefoot running on the sand and grass. He was also familiar with the training ideas of Percy Cerruty, an advocate of barefoot running and of following a basic, simple lifestyle, or going back to nature. During a training session at the University, Tulloh and his squad were running on a new cinder track and their times over a mile were recorded. Tulloh was disappointed with his result (something like 4:20; his fastest time over a mile is 3:59.3) and decided to try again without his shoes on. Whilst the track was quite abrasive on his feet which were

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make money out of running. After completing his degree at Southampton and a subsequent diploma at Cambridge University, he got a full time job. He had neither the time nor the money to go out or eat and drink to excess. He would go to work, come home, run then go to bed! He believes that nowadays there is almost too much complication surrounding athletes and their training. They have stretching plans, high mileage targets and pressure to perform with sponsorship deals at stake. He reckons that people in general spend “too much time poncing about in the gym” whereas all his training had to be quick and effective, squeezed in with his work and home life. He has written many books, including one called ‘Natural Fitness’ and strongly believes that part of the problem with sports, performance and general health is the increased affluence of our society which gives us too much choice and offers too many temptations. He is a man who says it like it is: in his book he suggests that, “The fat man is a symbol of the surplus society”. Tulloh either won a national title or set a new national record every year of his running career. His biggest achievement though was winning gold in the 5,000 metres at the European Championships in 1962. The reason he gives for this is that it takes so much planning, dedication, thought and preparation to perform at your best on one particular day in one particular race. It’s actually extremely difficult to coordinate all the necessary parts of the winning recipe, which is evident in the performances of numerous athletes who are on top form but are not able to be victorious on race day. Another of Tulloh’s great achievements

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was his run from Los Angeles to New York (3,000 miles) in 1969. He saw the record for this run in the Guinness Book of Records and thought, “73 days? That seems easy, I could beat that”! He managed to get sponsorship for the challenge and was able to take his family with him. It didn’t start well – he passed out after two hours of running from the pain of the cramp in his legs. His wife was dubious as to whether he should carry on but his matter-of-fact attitude prevailed and he merely asked for, “a salt tablet and some water” before moving on again. He also developed significant pain and swelling in his Achilles tendons but again, instead of giving up, he strapped his ankles, bought some boots and set off again at walking pace. He walked for three days (up to thirty miles on the third day) before bringing the running back into his routine, wearing trainers for running and alternating that with walking in the boots. At the end of the journey, he’d averaged 48 miles per day and beaten the record by 8 days! In an interview with Martin Yelling, owner and host of Marathontalk.com, he was asked what his thoughts were about the recent boom in barefoot running. His belief is that there has been a huge increase in interest in running generally, even though many people aren’t built for it. He thinks that heavier people maybe shouldn’t run and need extra protection/ cushioning as a result. He does point out that with the thicker shoes, the runner is elevated off the ground which makes them more unstable and therefore susceptible to problems. He doesn’t necessarily think that running completely barefoot is the key – it’s more about the lightness of the shoe, i.e. the thinner and lighter it is, the easier it is to run.

Barefoot Running Magazine

And what’s his running secret? He attributes his success and running ability to several factors. His build, the low mileage and a bit of good, old-fashioned luck were essential elements. He also believes a runner requires enthusiasm but also the ability to know when to ease off. A runner also needs a basic desire to run – to be able to find enjoyment in it. He says that some people marvel at the sacrifices he’s made. In other words, they think he’s missed out on the drinking, partying, rich food, etc. However, he doesn’t feel any sense of loss for these things at all. His logic is very sensible: if you enjoy running, do what you need to do to be able to keep enjoying it for as long as you can. And that means looking after your body. Tulloh is currently writing a book about fitness for people over 60. He jokingly says he might give it the title: ‘Live Longer, Live Better: How to avoid dying for as long as possible”! More seriously though, his philosophy is that the earlier in your life you start looking after your health, the longer you’ll live and the more healthy you’ll be. He is a true inspiration, telling it like it is with no frills and gimmicks. Check out his interview with Martin Yelling (still available on the website: www.marathontalk.com) and see his impressive list of books, available to buy in various places, at www.tullohbooks.com Sources 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

www.tullohbooks.com www.highgateharriers.org.uk www.sporting-heroes.net www.englandathletics.org www.marathontalk.com www.wikipedia.org Tulloh, B. Natural Fitness: A revolutionary fitness programme;1976


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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Available direct from www.trcpublishinguk.com


esterday we went for a group run with a couple of friends. Unfortunately, our PC completely crashed the night before, so we were late in meeting them due to the fact that David was frantically trying to relocate files and reload programmes all through the night. However, despite us being 15 minutes late, our friends weren’t getting agitated and looking at their watches. In fact, although they’d never met, they found each other at the meeting place and were happily chatting when we eventually turned up. One of them, Ricardo, never seems to bat an eyelid about anything – he is a genuine, placid man. He’s also taken to barefoot running like a duck to water, with nothing but positive experiences as he gradually runs further and faster but without any pressure to do so. I often say that people who seem to be able to take or leave running are the ones who make more progress than those who absolutely must run but find themselves injured 50% of the time, confined to non-running misery on the

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sofa. After much thought and discussion over the years, I am almost entirely (grammatically incorrect, I know) convinced that mental attitude is more relevant to injury prevention than training or technique. Every injury story I hear contains a phrase in it somewhere along the lines of, “I felt a pain but decided to keep going”, or, “I felt tired and knew I should take a rest day but” Injuries are so often a result of making the wrong decision, rather than there being something fundamentally wrong with technique. That being said, there are always several contributing factors to injury but the mind and the body are inextricably linked so that one will continuously affect the other. This is what formed the basis of my thought processes as I ran today. Some people are natural thinkers and some are more inclined to just ‘do’. I was reminded of the phrase that popped up regularly in Scott Jurek’s book, “Sometimes you just do things”. This is what Scott’s father would tell him if he asked too many questions. In other words, he was saying, “Stop thinking


about things too much and just get on with it”. I have a propensity to over-think things. It’s naturally in me to do so and this is what guided me towards studying psychology at university and later, working with clients for whom the psychological element of their issue (whether struggling with weight management or dealing with chronic pain) has become more dominant than the original or initiating physical one. In many ways, this is a good thing. It helps me to empathize with my clients; I can feel what they’re feeling which allows me to create strategies for improving their health and lifestyle approaches. On the downside, it’s also made me an even deeper thinker – and combined with learning more about how the human body and mind work on a daily basis, I find myself over-thinking problems A LOT! This includes my own running form. When I was running in my twenties, I was aware of how my body was moving and feeling but was as focused on other thoughts – work, relationships, etc. Now I’m much more in tune with my mechanics and how my body should be

moving – perhaps a little too much! A very well respected osteopath named Leon Chaitow once said that if you have a pain or injury, your body just needs a couple of therapeutic interventions to promote the body’s own self- healing processes. He warned against interfering too much – it can make matters worse.

“David learnt in the martial arts world, it’s best to use the ‘KISS’ principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. “ I believe it’s the same with movement and running. We are all so absorbed in executing the perfect running mechanics that we will inevitably fail. Our bodies are saying, “For heaven’s sake, stop interfering and let me do my thing!” I’ve lately been trying to think less as I run and it seems to be beneficial. Often it’s useful just to focus on breathing, rather than specific elements of running form.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be aware of how you’re running – it’s easy to get lazy and slip back into bad habits. But, as David learnt in the martial arts world, it’s best to use the ‘KISS’ principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you can just go out and run, like we did yesterday, with no particular plans for a route or speed, or a fixed method of going about it, it becomes easier. And more enjoyable. If you find that you’re inclined to over-think your technique, just try being more matter-of-fact about your next run. Rather than anticipating how cold your feet might be, how the ground will feel, whether you’ll have enough energy, whether you’ve eaten the right food, how long you might run for or how fast, just go out and run. Let your body do the work and give your mind a bit of a rest and see how it feels. This is one of the things I love about barefoot running: its simplicity. No gadgets, time limits, restraints – just running.

Supported by:

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David’s laboratory Filtering out the truth about water

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hen we think about sports nutrition we usually conjure up images of complex protein shakes or well packaged energy bars, but whatever we envisage, it’s not generally water. Water is often overlooked and taken for granted, possibly due to its abundance and its association with natural health and vitality. But, should we consider the implications of our water consumption the next time we head out for a run around the block with a two litre bottle in our hands? We all know how essential water is for life. After all, it makes up approximately 70% of our body’s weight (8.4 stone of water in a 12 stone adult), acts as an essential coolant within the body, helping to regulate internal temperatures and aids in the transportation of essential elements throughout the body’s matrix. However, scientists are now voicing their concerns that we are consuming too much at the detriment of our health and are calling for recommendations to be laid out. Dr David Martin, an exercise physiologist at Georgia State University USA, whose study focused on the drinking habits of runners, believes that recommendations are well overdue. “We are very worried about the increasing group of people who are taking up running for the first time and hold the party line ‘make sure you drink, you can’t drink too much, remember to carry water with you or you’ll get dehydrated. Oh! And, don’t worry about the heat, just drink more!’ But that’s wrong, wrong, wrong!”

Some people collapse because of it, as happens quite frequently in the marathon.” This opinion is supported by Dr Martin and his colleagues at Georgia State University, who examined the causes of illness in runners since 1985 and found 70 causes of Hyponatraemia - far more than those suffering from dehydration. Of course experts are not calling for radical restrictions or bans on workout fluids, but they do feel that the certain myths concerning fluid consumption should be put to rest. Louise Sutton, a sport dietician and lecturer in health and exercise science at Leeds Metropolitan University, recorded that, “It’s a common myth that we can’t drink too much water. In fact, it’s relatively easy to overindulge in water consumption.” Indeed in some cases, runners are under the impression that the lack of energy during exercise is due to dehydration and therefore drink more, but actually it can be due to having water intoxication syndrome when the loading of additional fluid creates more issues, such as those which have led to USA Track and Field (the governing body for the athletes and running in America) to urge anyone who partakes in regular cardio-respiratory exercise not to indulge in excessive amounts of water due to the implications and health risks attached.

Well, it’s dependent on several factors: body composition, athleticism, duration/type of exercise, ambient temperature... and so on. For the purposes of this article we will use an average adult (70kg in weight) with an average exercise pattern and who lives in a moderate ambient temperature. It is considered that this individual will lose one to one and a half litres of fluid per day, around 650 - 850ml, through breathing and sweating and 350 650ml through urination, equating to four to six average glasses. However, these figures will rise if they partake in exercise. Exercising muscle is considered to generate 20% more heat than that of an inactive muscle, meaning that our average test subject (the 70Kg adult) will expect to lose approximately one extra litre of fluid per hour of exercise, equating to 4 glasses. So in a typical day, including 1 hour’s exercise, it is possible for our individual to lose about two to two and a half litres of fluid or an equivalent eight to ten glasses. However, we must take into consideration that drinking pure water is not usually the only source of fluid and that an average diet can provide well over one litre of fluid through the intake of foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk, fruit juices and

So what is the correct amount? The general belief, or should I say myth, is that we should drink two litres (or eight glasses) of water per day but is this correct?

Experts here in Britain agree with their American counterparts. Dr Dan Tunstall–Pedoe of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and medical director of the London marathon for over 27 years, went on record with, “Drinking water at every opportunity can create many serious problems such as water intoxication or Hyponatraemia. That’s a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium and other bodily salts or electrolytes in the blood which will cause dizziness and even respiratory problems.

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Food source

Content

Apples (100g)

84.5ml

Grapes (100g)

81.8ml

Milk (1 pint/568.27ml)

531.8ml

Broccoli (85g)

77.43ml

Sweet corn (85g)

59.42ml

Tomato soup (220ml)

185.24ml

Cup of white tea/coffee (240ml)

238ml

Table 1: Examples of the water content of some foods according to the British Nutrition Foundation. tea/coffee (see table 1, page 20). This fluid intake will go much of the way to meeting the test subject’s - and our - daily requirements, making drinking too much quite easy. ”Even a baked potato is 75% water,” says nutrition professor Susan Barr of the University of British Columbia, who sat on a CanadianU.S.A. committee that looked at fluid intake. "There's nothing magical about water from a glass of water as opposed to water from food or any other beverage.” So where does this myth originate? When asked, senior nutrition scientist Gail Goldberg said, “There is a perception generated, for example by newspapers and magazine articles, that all of our fluid requirements have to come from water. This is simply untrue." While author, Speros Tsindos of the department of dietetics and human nutrition at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia, suggests that, “The two litre of water a day recommendation was driven by vested interests rather than health. Thirty years ago you didn’t see a plastic water bottle anywhere, now they appear as fashion accessories. As tokens of instant gratification and symbolism, the very bottle itself is seen as cool and hip.” Dr. Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth Medical School also put these recommendations to the test and found them to be more urban myth than medical dogma and lacking in scientific basis. So it seems that this eight x eight oz recommendations have no scientific basis and this is unsurprising.

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What is surprising is that, despite any conclusive evidence that we need to drink so much, sales in 2010 of bottled water amounted to over £1 billion ($1.58 billion), with over 150 individual products lines sold in the United Kingdom alone! Please forgive the pun, but it seems that this marketing myth has muddied the waters somewhat. And the answer to the amount of consumption needed is quite simple. We need to trust our thirst mechanism as Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia explains, “Despite the common notion that it's important to drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day, there’s no evidence that benefits health in any real way and it really represents

% Body Weight Lost 0.5

an urban myth. In fact, there's no evidence you need to drink more water than what thirst dictates." This leads onto another potential myth that you may have heard: that the thirst mechanism is inadequate and that once you’re thirsty, it’s already too late. So, is this yet another urban/marketing myth or does it hold water? Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition at the Pittsburgh University Medical Centre has the notion that, "Exercise blunts your thirst mechanism, and you lose fluid so rapidly that the brain can't respond in time." I personally question this as I don’t believe that a creature could have evolved over millions of years of hardship without an effective thirst mechanism. It is thought that the theory came from a study (titled: Voluntary dehydration in man) by John Greenleaf in1965, where he examined four well-trained men to discover how much water they would ingest during exercise within a hot environment. Allowing them to drink when thirsty, Greenleaf found that they were unable to replace 100% of their body weight losses and the study therefore concluded that the thirst mechanism was not sufficient for regulating hydration. However, using body weight as a measure has been shown to have its flaws. Ross Tucker Ph.D. and Jonathan Dugas Ph.D. director of

Symptoms Thirst

2

Stronger thirst, discomfort, appetite loss

3

Dry mouth, reduced urine

4

Increased effort, flushed skin, impatience, apathy

5

Difficulty concentrating

6

Impaired temperature regulation

8

Dizziness, laboured breathing, confusion

10

Spasticity, imbalance, swollen tongue, delirium

11

Kidney failure, circulatory insufficiency

Table 2: Effects of dehydration.

Barefoot Running Magazine


of Clinical Development of The Vitality Group recently performed a study where their volunteer cycled for just over two hours, during which time he lost 300g of carbohydrate and fat while drinking when thirsty. The subject’s total body weight loss was 1kg, yet 300g (30%) of that weight loss (or as we are led to believe ‘dehydration’) was not due to water loss but represented the calorie expenditure the subject had burnt. Tucker and Dugas concluded that the weight loss method overestimates ‘dehydration’ by 30% due to the lack of consideration of fuel that has been burned during the exercise. They go on to suggest that electrolyte balance is of more concern than body weight. They, and others, explain that as you exercise, your body adapts by secreting an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) that inhibits the loss of water through urine. This hormone is released into the system when bodily fluid becomes too concentrated and even when the levels increase only marginally, this also sets the thirst mechanism in place. This knowledge is what helped launch the now vast range of ‘isotonic’ drinks. Those of you who are seasoned endurance athletes probably know how to make your own – usually a mix of orange juice, water and a little bit of salt! If a person has access to fluid, they are quite unlikely to become dangerously dehydrated. Take a look at table two, outlining the various symptoms of fluid depletion and you can see that the thirst mechanism kicks in well before there is any danger of becoming dehydrated. It is extremely important for endurance athletes exercising for long periods to understand their own bodily needs for fluids and fuel. This is a very individual experience. For example, back in the 1950’s Kenyan athletes were found to be better equipped at storing water than their Scandinavian counterparts, simply because they have adapted for running long distances in hot climates with less access to water.

consequently always find themselves thirsty as they have altered their body’s processes. The opposite may happen too, i.e. an endurance athlete may well be able to train their body to ignore the first signs of dehydration, which isn’t necessarily healthy either! Having spent some time reading and researching the topic, I’ve reached these conclusions: humans have a very sensitive, in-built sense when it comes to the necessity of consuming fluid, and thirst is a deep rooted, natural physiological desire for water. After all, where would the human race be if we waited until we had dangerously low fluid levels before hunting out water in the plains of Africa 50,000 years ago! The point is to be sensible about fluid intake and general nourishment. If your diet is full of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables it will run more efficiently than if you consume processed, unnatural foods. Your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels are affected by your diet so this really should be something to consider. Listen to your body and your thirst as well as following a progressive endurance programme – your body won’t adapt well if you suddenly go from running a 10k to running a 50k ultra. Experiment – find out what works for you in terms of fluid and food. Some people use gels successfully whilst others prefer jelly beans and bananas. Lastly, be aware of your surroundings. If you’re out running in the middle of nowhere, then it’s safest to know where you can get fluid if you need it. Your body will also have different requirements according to the temperature and climate. Ultimately, listen to your own personal needs rather than to questionable studies that are often funded by drinks companies!

References: American Journal of Cllinical Nutrition, 48: 1023-1033 1988 Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2002 Nov;283(5):R993-1004 Almond CS, Shin AY, Fortescue EB, et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 2005;352:1550-1556. Hyponatremia among runners in the Boston Marathon. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, June 2010 Berning J R. & Nelson Steen S. Nutrition For Sport & Exercise (2nd edition); 1998 Dunham W. Reuters US Edition. Research debunks health value of guzzling water; Apr 2, 2008 Egan G, Silk T, Zamarripa F,et al. PNAS. 2003;100:15241-15246. Neural correlates of the emergence of consciousness of thirst. Greenberg A, Verbalis JG. Kidney Int. 2006;69:2124-2130. Vasopressin receptor antagonists. Kent M. Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine (2nd Edition); 1998 McKinley MJ, Johnson AK. News Physiol. Sci. 2004;19:1-6. The physiological regulation of thirst and fluid intake. Noakes T MD. Lore of Running (2nd Edition); 2002 Parsons LM, Denton D, Egan G, et al. PNAS.2000;97:2332-2336. Neuroimaging evidence implicating cerebellum in support of sensory/cognitive processes associated with thirst. Rambali P. Barefoot Runner: The life of marathon champion Abebe Bikila; 2006 Stedman’s Medical Dictionary (27th Edition); 2000 Stricker EM, Sved AF. Nutrition. 2000; 16:821-826. Thirst. Tucker R Ph.D. & Dugas J Ph.D. Science of sport; 2010

Your own body will adapt too. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any clear evidence yet, but I have clients who have read that they should drink lots of water and

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Outside the lab

recent study (published here: PLoS ONE 8(1): e52548. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.005254) investigated footstrike in habitually unshod adults from Northern Kenya. 19 males and 19 females took part in the study which was designed to look at the tendency for barefooters to land on their midfoot or forefoot but also find out if and how this changes according to speed. In previous studies (most notably those of Professor Daniel Lieberman), midfoot and forefoot striking appear to dominate in habitually barefoot runners and results in lower impact forces through the body. In this latest experiment, however, the runners, who were asked initially to run at a comfortable endurance speed (which inevitably varied between individuals), tended to favour a rearfoot strike. They were also examined running at faster speeds, when midfoot and forefoot striking began to take the place of rearfoot striking. The researchers offered a number of conclusions to their findings. They note that the runners studied by Professor Lieberman were running consistently higher mileage than their Northern Kenyan counterparts, so perhaps they had learned to land more towards the midfoot to reduce applied forces. They also highlight that there was quite a lot of variation in what each subject considered to be ‘a comfortable endurance speed’ so the findings couldn’t be put purely down to pace alone.

© 2012 TRC Publishing UK Limited

Ultimately, as many already suspect, there are many factors that contribute to an individual’s particular landing preference and further research will continue to enlighten us – or at least, open up more questions!

© 1991 Paul Lamond Games Limited

esearch commissioned by the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions has found that the average Briton (based on interviews with 2,162 participants) believes that ‘old age’ is precisely at 59 years, 2 months and 2 weeks. The interviews were conducted with people of both genders and all ages from 16 upwards.

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Unsurprisingly, the results varied greatly depending on age, gender, employment status, etc. Women were generally more optimistic, believing that they stop feeling young at 42 compared to men, who start feeling old at 38! Women also perceive ‘old age’ beginning at 60 whereas for men, it’s aged 58.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Those who were unemployed and did not own their own home also felt older earlier than those with jobs and their own place to live. The study certainly highlights how perceptions of age vary according to circumstances but ultimately, we should all be focusing on living our lives rather than obsessing with the numbers!


SOPHIE WALKER Published by Piatkus on 4th October 2012 £13.99 Trade Paperback 'Very powerful, very moving, and an important contribution to better understanding of a much misunderstood condition' Alastair Campbell ‘This is a book about Asperger's Syndrome and a book about running, but it's so much more than that. It's at heart a love story, testament to the power of a parent's fierce devotion to their child. Any parent will see in it something of themselves’ Gaby Hinsliff, journalist and author of Half a Wife When Sophie Walker's daughter Grace was finally diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, Sophie was close to falling apart. Daily difficulties fitting in at school, left bright, artistic Grace frustrated and Sophie feeling teary, sleepless and depressed. Feeling overwhelmed by life, and fighting off a prescription for anti-depressants, Sophie determined to stop neglecting her physical and mental wellbeing and decided to go for a run. She soon found release in running and set herself the challenge of completing the London Marathon to raise awareness of Asperger’s and to make herself strong enough to support her beloved, courageous child. In running she found the strength to battle for Grace’s education, happiness and future as well as the strength to overcome her own depression. A beautifully written and extraordinary frank account which charts the highs and lows of raising a child with Asperger’s and the challenge of becoming a long distance runner. The book began life as the popular blog Grace Under Pressure which had an amazing response from readers and was promoted by Mumsnet and the National Autistic Society and has scores of loyal readers. Sophie Walker has worked as a journalist for Reuters news agency for fourteen years, reporting news around the globe. She has written about oil, trade and politics in Washington and has been foreign correspondent in the UK, travelling to Iraq and Afghanistan with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. She was selected as Ambassador for the National Autistic Society’s new Autism Action Network in October 2011 Sophie completed the London Marathon on behalf of the National Autistic Society, raising £4,000, and has signed up for next year’s too. She has also appeared recently on both the BBC and Channel Four discussing the governments proposed changes to the special education needs system. Barefoot Running Magazine

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Book review Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek

ost of you will be familiar with the name Scott Jurek due to the part he plays in Chris McDougall’s Born to Run. If you’re a more serious runner and are au fait with the world of ultramarathons, you will know he’s one of the most famous and revered ultrarunners in the last twenty years or so. The title of his book implies that he’ll be talking about eating and running. He’s notorious for his running feats fuelled by a vegan diet, so one assumes he’ll explain what he eats and his training regime. If that’s what you’re expecting, then you’re in for an overwhelming surprise. The book is really about Scott’s journey; an almost – at times – heart wrenching account of his life so far, with running at the very centre. He begins by describing his childhood and family set up and how this formed the basis for his urge to run and his interest in wholesome food. As Scott’s story progresses, he appears to be searching for the reasons why he runs. Sometimes, there’s a sense of running towards something, sometimes running away and often, both. The book is written in such a way that you experience his transition with him – running begins as more of a competition, something more superficial, but his appreciation of running deepens as the book unfolds, teaching him, challenging him and

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at one point, completely eluding him.

can look up your favourites.

Scott describes several races and tells of practicalities such as preparation and the correct fuelling. As the reader, you will feel his pain as he runs a number of gruelling races, one with a broken toe and another with a broken ankle! You begin to understand that running technique and the right food are only part of the recipe for an ultrarunner; natural talent is a real bonus (Scott’s best friend Dusty can run like the wind, even with a penchant for alcohol and drugs) and mental strength is essential.

This book is a must-read for every runner and aspiring runner. If you don’t run already, it will awaken in you the desire to feel what Scott feels when he runs. It’s in all of us and Scott relates it beautifully in this wonderful book. Read it soon!

Book details...

At some points the book is quite dark as Scott bravely reveals his demons in a frank, yet poetic manner. There’s a sense of desperation at one point when he loses a number of people close to him and running no longer fills the void or answers his questions. The book is not miserable, however. In fact, there’s a sense of hopefulness and a pure love for running that streams throughout and the allure of running will beckon even the most reluctant reader. In fact, I’d defy anyone reading the book not to want to sign up for an ultra before they’ve finished it! There are recipes at the end of each chapter, all vegan and seemingly delicious. There’s also an index of the recipes at the end so that you

Barefoot Running Magazine

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness By Scott Durek with Steve Friedman Paperback: £17.99 272 pages Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Language English

ISBN-13: 978-1408833384


Limited spaces at World Heritage sites

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Questions & answers 123456789987653212

glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery.

Send your running questions to Anna & David and they will endeavour to answer them for you: letters@bfrm.co.uk Hi, I am based in Bromley in London. I am recovering from a slipped disc (L5) in my back and looking to start exercising again. I have been encouraged by my consultant to dramatically improve my core strength to protect my back and learn how to exercise whilst looking after my back. He particularly emphasized learning to run properly in a way that won’t cause injury (as I had IT band issues before). Having been a keen sports person before the injury I am eager to get exercising again but don’t want any more pain/injuries and want to start off doing things the correct way! I was interested in your services as you specialize in both running and recovery from back injuries/core strength. Look forward to hearing from you. Rhonda, London Hi there,

There is always a lot of focus on ‘core strength’ with people who’ve suffered a disc prolapse as sometimes certain muscles can ‘switch off’ due to pain, or at least the stabilizing mechanism within the body can become altered and muscles don’t work as they should. The goal is to teach the soft tissues to work and move in a supportive but fluid way, so in terms of core strength, it’s about getting the muscles to actually work properly in isolation but, as soon as possible, adding in increasing complexity to movement and making sure the muscles continue to work in a functional manner. The way that you move is key and running is just part of the general aim of moving well (with control and fluidity). The disc prolapse was likely caused by some movement/stability issue in the first place. Let’s set up a consultation and go from there!

Hi Stephen I’ve added you to our subscriber list. You should really try a bit of barefoot running to give you a better feel for what you’re aiming for. It’s much more difficult to run with good form in conventional running shoes as the weight hinders a quick cadence and the raised heel gets in the way. Essentially where you’re going wrong though is trying to land on a specific part of your foot. Instead, just try to focus on the shorter stride and quicker cadence. Also, think of leading with your knees. All of these will cause your foot to land beneath you, rather than out in front, which should naturally eliminate any heel striking. We’ve written a book about barefoot running which contains a lot of detail about general running mechanics – the book is available here: www.trcpublishinguk.com Hope this helps!

Please subscribe me! Also I'm just learning about better running form and while still wearing my running shoes I'm trying to shorten my stride and land on my mid-foot. I've done a couple of 5K runs like this and have got quite sore shins! I don't think I'm ready to quit my shoes just yet, but is it normal to feel shin-splits while transitioning to a better technique? Any thoughts gratefully received! Stephen, via email

Many thanks for your email and

Hello Hope all is well, I need some advice please. I had to stop all training in the last week of October and first week of November due to work commitments. I did a drills session last week and finished it off with 2 x five minute barefoot runs. I have now got tight calves again and have had to start stretching them twice a day. Should I continue with the drills and drop the running for a while?

A prolapsed disc, also known as a slipped or herniated disc, is where one of the discs in the spine bulges or ruptures (in the case of rupture, the fluid inside leaks out). This can cause back pain as well as pain in other areas of the body. The sciatic nerve is often affected in disc prolapse cases. It is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks, down both legs to the feet. If pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve it can cause:  a lasting, aching pain  numbness  a tingling sensation in one or both legs

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They also may come from the small bone of the lower leg and ankle, called the fibula. The medical term for shin splints is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.

Thanks in advance.

the amount and frequency for a while. It’s always difficult to give completely sound advice only knowing part of the picture but hopefully this helps a bit!

Matthew, London Hi there It sounds as though you may have done a little too much having had the two weeks off. It might be an idea to do the drills on different days to your runs. So, when you go for a run, just make sure you loosen up beforehand and do the double and single heel bounces. Also, when you do the drills, make sure you have 30-60 rest in between each set of drills. You can reduce the number of repetitions for a while too. Were your calves feeling ok before you had to take the time off? What do you mean by ‘tired’? Sore muscles, general fatigue? What were you doing in the two weeks off? If you were unusually active OR inactive, this will have contributed to the calf tightness. Ultimately, try and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you do the drills and your calves are just getting tighter, something needs to change, whether it’s your technique or just reducing

Hi, I've signed up for a half marathon, It’s a trail half marathon going across Salisbury Plain and ending at Stonehenge. It's mostly gravel tracks that are normally closed to the public as the army use it for training. Do you think it is possible to complete this barefoot? l keep reading stories where people say they ran a marathon barefoot only to say later they wore minimal shoes! I can run 7 miles now across similar trails and I'm reasonably confident, but I would really value your opinion whether this is possible? Ian, Wiltshire Hello Ian It sounds like it’ll be a lovely race with some great scenery. The answer to your question about whether it’s possible to run a half marathon or marathon completely barefoot, is a definite yes. It has been done many a time. However, the real question is whether you can do it and that is something you must answer yourself, after being very honest about how your body is feeling and adapting to barefoot running.

I would keep going how you are, only adding mileage when it feels right and see how you feel as it gets close to race time. You don’t want to be adding more mileage than you should, just because you’re trying to achieve it by a set date. I would assume that your goal is just to complete the half, rather than aim for a particular time? One of the things that will add risk to injury is trying to go too fast, but I think you know enough about it now to be aware of the speed factor! If you feel ok for the race and decide to do it, you could ask one of your family members to meet you somewhere en route with some shoes, just in case your form is suffering with the ground texture. Or you could carry them with you, but this is a pain and not the best idea if you’re not used to carrying them. So, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t do the race, but your body will ultimately tell you whether or not you’re ready. A couple of other things to think about: I know you don’t usually run in big groups, so it’s worth finding out how many other runners there are. It can be difficult negotiating terrain when you can’t see far enough in front of you. It might be worth seeing if you can enter a shorter race (5 or 10k) just to get a feel for what it’s like to run in a bigger group. The time of day affects some people too, so if the race it is at a different time to when you normally run, try changing your schedule so you can do some runs at the same time of day as the race. The adrenaline will quite likely give you an extra boost, as well as the spirit in the air that comes with big groups running together. All the best with it and hope the running continues to go well. Keep us posted!

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Questions & answers

Also, before my enforced stop, I was doing the drills twice a week alongside my kettle-bells training, this left me pretty tired. Is it okay to do the drills once a week for a while?

From what I know about your barefoot running ‘journey’, you seem to have taken to it well. You’ve had a few niggles but everything feels pretty sound. I also know you’ve been training off-road, which is another important aspect here; if you’d been training on smooth roads and then wanted to enter this race, I would advise you against it because uneven, rough terrain – if you’re not used to it – can radically change your form.

The latest National news

Shin splints may refer to a number of lower leg complaints and injuries. In most cases, shin splints refer to the pain that results from overload on the tissues that connect muscles to the shin bone (tibia).


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

Magda Kowalka & friend braving the cold in Poland

Ian and Ricardo running at Moat Park as part of the Maidstone Barefoot Dashers

Lou Rantin of Ontario, Canada on the Runner’s Life 2012 Xmas Fun Run

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Left to right: David, Tracy, Anna, Stephen and Olly at Clapham Common just as the weather began turning chilly!

Ian and the Wiltshire Barefoot Runners (left is Steve in the cap, Simon with the beard and Ian in the blue top, below with Daniel, Ian’s son) tackling some serious hills!

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Injury Corner Why Learn How Pain Works? – Seriously Useful Science! By Tony Ingram

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ain is a frequent topic on this site. Some of you may wonder why. Why should you read this stuff, what does it matter to you? In my opinion, if you’re going to learn about injury prevention and recovery, or even health and fitness in general, learning how pain works should be considered fundamental knowledge. Plus, it’s just really super duper mega interesting. But if you really need to be convinced, read this:

Why learn about pain? You’ve felt pain before, haven’t you? Perhaps you’re exceptionally lucky. Maybe you don’t even feel pain (actually, that’s not a good thing). 1 Or maybe the only pain you’ve ever experienced was the one time you stubbed your toe on the kitchen table. What an awful day! Once it was all over, hopefully you treated yourself to something nice, and it’s never crossed your mind since. If you’re like most people, however, you’re a little more familiar with pain. As kids, scrapes, bruises and booboos were a small price to pay for playing outside. If you’re an active individual, you’ve definitely experienced some muscle soreness. If not, it’s probably in your best interest to stop reading this and go outside for some fresh air and exercise. Most active people have experienced at least one minor injury in their life – like a sprained ankle, or a pulled muscle. And unless you have an exceptionally cold heart, you’ve probably experienced some emotional pain as well. Yeah yeah, you’re too cool to have your heart broken… right. If there is one thing everyone has in common, it’s that we’ve all experienced pain at some point. This common experience can differ in many ways, varying by cause, type, location, severity, how long it lasts, and more. It’s almost always different and it’s hard to define… but you know it when you feel it!

All of us? Yup, it’s pretty common. It’s one of the main reasons people go to a doctor 2,3, and statistics show that up to 80% of the adult U.S. population will have low back pain at some point in their life! 4 Pain is usually temporary. It could last seconds, days, or weeks. Eventually it stops with or without any help. But sometimes, the pain doesn’t go away. In fact, about one in three people have chronic pain lasting six months or longer. 5,6 Even if you’re one of the lucky people who don’t have persistent pain, it still affects you. It’s estimated that chronic pain costs the U.S. about $635 billion every year in medical costs and time off work. 7 Ouch! (no pun intended).

What should we do? Everywhere you look, people are making big promises. Perhaps it’s a ground-breaking discovery, or maybe a secret of the ancients. Most of the time, these miracle cures are completely bogus, or an elaborate placebo at best. Unfortunately, when people are in pain, they are far more likely to fall for it. The truth is – despite its enormous

Barefoot Running Magazine

impact on all of us – a reliable “cure” for pain has yet to be found. This is true for both ‘acute’ (new) as well as ‘chronic’ (lasting greater than 3 months) pain, despite the amazing progress of medical science. In fact, the science of pain is only beginning to make sense. Due to some very exciting scientific progress in such fields as neuroscience and biochemistry, our understanding of pain has increased dramatically over the last few decades. It turns out that pain is not just a simple signal from damaged tissues letting you know about an injury. And when it doesn’t go away, it’s not because an injury hasn’t healed, or because something is out of place, or because it’s “all in your head”. Many theories about how pain should be treated have been debunked (or at least seriously questioned), and have been replaced by more promising ideas. Unfortunately, many people – even healthcare workers – are unaware of this new research.

Learn about it! If there is new research out there about what does and does not work, it’s obviously something people should be aware of! But the benefits go beyond simply being informed…

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Tony Ingram is a physical therapist and dancer, currently living in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. He loves science, because it’s awesome.

Research also tells us that learning some of this pain science (how pain “works”) can actually decrease pain, and may even help prevent it! 8, 9 In fact, pain education is now considered a legitimate treatment for persistent pain.

Specifically, he’s super interested in the science of human movement, and how it relates to our physical, mental, social, and cultural wellbeing. That interest started with dancing and led to a career in physical therapy.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not dealing with pain right now – learning this stuff is useful. At the very least, you’ll learn some interesting science about the brain, and a lot of weird things about your body will make more sense. But if you are dealing with pain right now, this information can save you a lot of money, and may finally lead you in the right direction.

Registered Physiotherapist. Primary author of bboyscience.com. Director at Concrete Roots Productions. Member of bboy dance crews: Koala Corp and East Rock Crew.

So get learning!

Education: M.Sc. Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) Memorial University of Newfoundland. M.Sc. Physiotherapy - Dalhousie University B.Sc. Behavioural Neuroscience Memorial University of Newfoundland.

In summary Learn about pain because:

 If you’re not in pain right now, you might be soon (sorry to jinx you).  If you work with people who are in pain (therapists), or people who might develop pain (trainers), then you should probably know what you’re talking about.  Persistent or “chronic” pain is a big deal, and a drain on the economy.  Just like all health and fitness information, there’s a lot of garbage out there.  Pain science is actually, like, super duper mega interesting. Seriously. Learning about pain can actually reduce and prevent pain! There’s probably a lot more reasons than that, but we’ll keep this short. Want to get started? Check out the Pain Education section of this site!

www.bboyscience.com

References: 1. Nagasako EM, Oaklander AL, Dworkin RH. Congenital insensitivity to pain: an update. Pain. 2003 Feb;101(3):213-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 12583863. 2. Mäntyselkä P, Kumpusalo E, Ahonen R, Kumpusalo A, Kauhanen J, Viinamäki H, Halonen P, Takala J. Pain as a reason to visit the doctor: a study in Finnish primary health care. Pain. 2001 Jan;89(2-3):175-80. PubMed PMID: 11166473 3. Hart LG, Deyo RA, Cherkin DC. Physician office visits for low back pain. Frequency, clinical evaluation, and treatment patterns from a U.S. national survey. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1995 Jan 1;20(1):11-9. PubMed PMID: 7709270 4. Frymoyer JW. Back pain and sciatica. N Engl J Med. 1988 Feb 4;318(5):291-300. Review. PubMed PMID: 2961994 5. Johannes CB, Le TK, Zhou X, Johnston JA, Dworkin RH. The prevalence of chronic pain in United States adults: results of an Internet-based survey. J Pain. 2010 Nov;11(11):1230-9. Epub 2010 Aug 25. PubMed PMID: 20797916

6. Ospina M, Harstall C. (2003) Prevalence of chronic pain: an overview, Health Technology Assessment 28 Series A, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Edmonton, Alberta. 7. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. PubMed PMID: 22553896 8. Louw A, Diener I, Butler DS, & Puentedura EJ (2011). The effect of neuroscience education on pain, disability, anxiety, and stress in chronic musculoskeletal pain. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 92 (12), 2041-56 PMID: 22133255 9. George SZ, Childs JD, Teyhen DS, Wu SS, Wright AC, Dugan JL, Robinson ME. Brief psychosocial education, not core stabilization, reduced incidence of low back pain: results from the Prevention of Low Back Pain in the Military (POLM) cluster randomized trial. BMC Med. 2011 Nov 29;9:128. PubMed PMID: 22126534; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3286400

Send us your letters for a chance to win a copy of: Run Strong • Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

We’ll pick our favourite for the winner! email: letters@bfrm.co.uk Page 32

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London City’s First Specialist Health and Fitness Shop Functional Footwear Fitness Equipment

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Technical tip The ins and outs of breath by Anna Toombs

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t’s interesting that in so many disciplines, breath control plays an integral part in the system. In Pilates and yoga, for instance, the inhale and exhale are specified as part of each movement. In the martial arts, there is emphasis on exhaling as you punch or kick to maximize your energy and make you ‘denser’. Conversely, when runners run, many of them will just allow their breathing to happen whilst focusing on other things, such as their posture or cadence. However, it can be extremely useful to incorporate breath control into your running training, as well as practising it when you’re not running. One particular type of breathing, often referred to as ‘nose’ or ‘nasal’ breathing, is becoming more popular in the running world. It basically means breathing through your nose rather than through your mouth. Why would I want to do that? You may ask. It’ll make me run slower! Well, for some people, this has been the key to improving aerobic fitness as well as reducing the likelihood of injury (see Alan Thwaits great blog: barefootjourney.org and also: nomeatathlete.com/breathing -when-running/).

Think about what happens when you run and start to push your limits. What’s the first thing that changes? Your breathing pattern. Your breath becomes quicker and often more shallow, you begin to inhale and exhale through your mouth and if you continue to force the pace, you’ll start to snatch breaths as your form begins to diminish. How many runners do you pass who seem to be breathing that way throughout their entire run, habitually fighting for breath but not getting anywhere? We all know breathing is essential for staying alive. We also know

why, although it’s something that’s taken for granted so we don’t really consider it on a regular basis. The human body needs oxygen to survive; oxygen is part of the chemical reaction that occurs when glucose is broken down to release and provide energy. If oxygen is in short supply, the body doesn’t function as well as it should. Therefore, having access to ample amounts of oxygen means more efficient, more comfortable running. The trouble is that the body is slightly off sometimes when it comes to instinct. Think about what you do when you’re sitting in traffic and late for a meeting, or on the sofa watching a scary film. Do maintain nice long, slow exhales or do you draw your breath in and hold it? For most (if not all) it’s the latter. Regular breathing is the first thing that seems to go out of the window in a stressful situation – which is fine if it’s resolvable in a few seconds (turn the TV off or hide behind the sofa) but if you’re running a bit too fast and stressing your body but still have several miles to go, something has got to give. Your heart beats faster, your alignment falters, limbs begin to hurt and you long to get home and collapse in a heap. Shallow, quick breaths are associated with panic whereas long, slow breaths equal calmness and tranquillity. You may think that being calm and serene

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can’t translate into running, but you’d be wrong! In fact, if you can manage to control your breathing, you’ll achieve a much smoother, more enjoyable ride. So, how do you improve your breathing quality and breath control? Well, there are several ways. Both Pilates and yoga are beneficial for promoting deeper breathing and better use of the muscles associated with breathing as well as freeing up the ribcage. Pilates breathing focuses on lateral breaths, getting movement into the sides and back of your ribcage, whilst yogic breathing promotes using the lower lobes of the lungs and has more relaxing qualities (see our chapter on breathing in our book). It’s important to practise both types and you can do it anywhere, any time. In both types, be more aware of the exhale. You can’t take a deep breath in if your lungs are still full of air! When you’re running, this is also useful, i.e. if you feel you’re struggling for breath, do two or three significant inhale-exhale cycles – focusing on a long exhale – and it will help to bring your breathing back into a rhythm. You can also try nose breathing, as mentioned earlier. Whilst you’re out on a run, try inhaling and exhaling through your nose. You’ll probably find it pretty tough and will need to slow your pace. It’s a bit like barefoot running in this respect – it initially forces you to slow down. It’ll make you aware of how much you usually push yourself and can be quite an eye-opener. There are many runners who incorporate an ‘easy’ run into their schedule but enjoy pushing the limits so much that the easy run becomes just another tempo run! Next time you’ve planned an easy run, try just breathing through your nose and it will lead to a pace that’s naturally comfortable – and easy! – for you.

even want to extend the exhale and try a 2 and 4 inhale /exhale pattern. As a variation that’s slightly easier, you can also try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth and progress towards complete nose breathing. It’s quite an individual preference and the rule, as with barefoot running, is to experiment and find your own formula. As referenced above, Matt Frazier (www.nomeatathlete. com) has been experimenting with nose breathing and slowing his breathing rate from around 30 breaths per minute down to around 12. He’s noticed a significant change in his heart rate, maintaining it at about 120bpm when in previous, similar circumstances (terrain, music, etc.) it would elevate above 140bpm. A word of caution: if you’re not used to taking deep breaths, it can make you feel quite lightheaded at first. It may also cause discomfort if you begin using previously under-used muscles and do too much too soon. So, as with barefoot running, patience and listening to your body are wise rules to follow. If you take the time to experiment with this, you will undoubtedly discover a new element to your running and enjoy it even more. Have fun!

When you’ve tried this a few times, you can start to play around with the rhythm. Hopefully you run at a steady 160-180 cadence, so try breathing in for 2 steps, out for 2. Or try 3 and 3. You might

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become depleted leaving you run down and susceptible to illness or injury. So, it is with this in mind that I’ll recommend a few basics. A good multivitamin geared towards an active lifestyle, but remember that not all multivitamins are created equal. Active individuals simply have different needs because in order for us to perform at our best it is imperative for us to have the correct nutrition; even slight deficiencies can cause us to under perform. Most multi vitamins available in the market today have scientifically researched levels of ingredients based on the RDA, so any bought from a reputable manufacturer should be of a decent standard as long as they contain at least the RDA of the following vitamins B1, B2, B3, B12, C, D and Folic Acid. Ratios of calcium and magnesium (preferably the more bioavailable form of

magnesium citrate) included, which should be ideally between 24:1 calcium to magnesium. This is known to play an important role in skeletal maintenance, but more importantly is essential for cellular energy and optimal muscle function. Consumption of dairy protein powders will help to boost calcium content but is often otherwise easily attainable through natural diet.

Bioperine (or piperine extract – a form of black pepper which aids absorption).

Omega 3, one of the most widely used supplements in the UK today. Most of us are aware that we should be taking it for the numerous health benefits it offers. But it is important to know what you are looking for in a supplement and in this case, don't just go for any old fish oils. It simply isn't Vitamin K-2 (MK7), more readily abnecessary to supplement with Omega sorbed than MK4 and has a longer 6's and 9's as they are much more half life, is also highly recommended as readily abundant in other foods, it is only found in trace quantities in so it really is just the Omega 3 you need foods. It has a number of importo look for. Then it is important to check tant key functions such as prevent- the information on the label as there ing a build up of plaque within the arter- are a variety of kinds out there which all ies therefore preventing some offer varying levels of health beneforms of cardiovascular disease. fits. What you are looking for here is the At the same time it removes any EPA and DHA content, ideally between excess calcium in the blood and de500-1000 mg per day. These have been posits it into bones. proven to be the most effective forms of Omega 3 for improving heart, Look out for products which contain brain and immune function as well as ingredients such as being known to work as an antiinflammatory. In addition to this it is also important to know the purity in terms of heavy metal contamination. What this means is that some of the waters in the world are subject to high levels of contaminants such as mercury and other toxins and it is this which is the other variable you can encounter. Naturally we all know that heavy metals are toxic and should not be consumed, so it is important that the fish are sourced from declared clean water sources. If you are unsure contact the manufacturer who should be able to provide you with this information and even a copy of the certification which will come with each batch.

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Nutritional nugget Detoxing 101 for maximum benefits by Leigh Rogers

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anuary, the month everyone earmarks to start the obligatory New Year detox. In our practice we see so many of our clients ready to start the year off a little healthier than they left the previous one, especially after all the festive season silliness. But how good are detoxes really? Well it depends on how you define a detox. Of course cutting out alcohol, sugar, wheat and dairy and only consuming veggie juices is going to help alleviate some of the stresses on your body, but it’s not going to make a huge impact if it’s only for 2-3 days before you bounce back to your previous diet. We believe a better approach is to minimise these foods in your diet instead and adopt a more long term approach to detoxing. So many people don’t realise how “toxic” they are already and that a few simple dietary changes could help alleviate a number of common issues such as fatigue, muscle and joint aches, headaches, multiple digestive problems such as constipation, gas and bloating and various skin complaints. Our bodies have a detoxifying system in place, namely the skin, lungs, kidney, colon and liver. If too much waste builds up, our bodies struggle to eliminate it and we generally get sick. Many serious diseases are related to toxicity in the body such as Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis and

Fibromyalgia. Your key focus should therefore be learning how to improve the detoxification process in your body and at the same time, reducing the toxic load over the long term. So what is the toxic load? This is basically a build-up of stressors on the body that are not necessarily only due to food. Environmental factors can also play a huge part in contributing to internal issues. It may be a result of many years of exposure to poor diet, heavy metals (amalgam fillings contain mercury) and pesticides, moulds, unnecessary medications, stress ( emotional stresses such as anger, jealousy, loneliness), food allergies, etc. We can live with this for years without realizing what state our bodies are in and rather like the cup runneth over, our bodies may be processing and detoxifying fine until one more stressor hits us and the cup over flows. Each individual has their own biochemical make-up so what may be high levels of toxic stress for one person may not have that big an impact on another. This is one of our key philosophies - bio individuality; what works for one person may not work for someone else. You need to get in touch with your health and learn to listen to your own body a lot closer. So down to the nitty gritty and detoxifying the body. What should you be doing to improve the overall health of your detoxification system?

Understand what the specific toxins are for you: is it environmental, diet or emotional. How about your job, is it causing huge amounts of unnecessary stress with little enjoyment in return? What about your diet- are you a sugar junkie that needs your next fix to keep you going through the day? Really get to grips with what is adding unnecessary toxic load on your body and put an action plan in place to start reducing or limiting your exposure. Analyse your gut health: Be aware of your digestion and start to focus on what foods don’t do so well with you. What makes you feel bloated, gassy or uncomfortable? One recommendation is to start with the top 3 foods you eat the most. See if eliminating one of those at a time from your diet makes any difference. Try two weeks with each food and be particularly aware of any issues when you reintroduce it back. Most people without knowing it generally feel better off wheat. Think about it, in the average diet you are eating it at almost every meal, toast or cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. Try removing it for two weeks and see if you notice any difference. Make sure you are strict and read all the food labels, especially processed foods or sauces, as these generally contain gluten which is the protein in wheat. Worst case you have had two weeks of eating more fruit and veg to fill you up instead. Finally, exercise: One area that so many people don’t put enough emphasis on. You can eat a wellbalanced and healthy diet but unless you are active on a regular basis you won’t gain the benefits of true health. Exercise is a great way to improve circulation, remove toxins through sweating, increase energy levels and reduce stress. But what does this mean in terms of practical day to day living? 1. Drink water and lots of it. At least 8 glasses a day to flush out the kidneys. Start each morning off with a warm mug of lemon water. Great for alkalising and detoxing. 2. Try and eat organic where you can but especially animal protein. Grass fed and free range should be your key decision influencer when buying meat.

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3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Up your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Each plate should have multiple colours on it, especially green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and collards. Often the most forgotten, yet the most nutritious vegetable group. Garlic and onions are great in aiding detoxification too so add some to your cooking on a regular basis. Make sure exercise is a regular part of your weekly routine. Aim for 4-5 sessions a week and make sure it’s a combination of stretching, cardio and weight training as each one offers its own benefits. Eliminate anything starting with ‘white’. White bread, white sugar, white pasta. These foods have zero nutritional value and often are the cause of most dietary issues. Instead, go for healthier options such as quinoa, brown rice and millet. Avoid any unnecessary stimulants like caffeine an nicotine as much as possible. Also, limit your intake of alcohol. As you know, a social glass of wine actually has significant beneficial properties. It’s the binge drinking 3-4 nights a week that our livers do not favour.

8.

Make sure you are regular. If you are not going to the toilet everyday try adding more fibre into your diet. Ground flax seed is a great one for sprinkling on smoothies, soups and salads for an extra dose of gut cleansing fibre. 9. For that extra kick, try and take a sauna or steam bath a few times a month or for a great home remedy, soak in an Epsom salts bath. Not only great for tired muscles but a strong detoxifier too. Add in dry body brushing, particularly over the lymph nodes for an extra detoxifying ritual. Remember, your skin is an organ of detoxification too and brushing those dead skin cells away helps keep the toxic load down. 10. Finally, find at least 30 minutes EVERY day to simply relax. A deep and genuine half hour for you to simply rest and recharge. All these are actionable changes that can be made, as long as you start small. We focus on making long term lifestyle changes that last and that make a difference one step at a time. So to get started

why not reduce your coffee intake by one each day for the first week and build from there. Switch out your rice for brown rice and give quinoa a try. Or simply change that afternoon chocolate to a handful of almonds. We recommend you try incorporating each of these suggestions into your daily routine instead of simply doing your short term detox this year and we are confident you will be feeling heaps better by the time 2014 comes around. If you have any questions or feel you need more support in giving your health a kick start this year, please contact us on info@meorganic.co.uk. We have all the tools and tips to support you in creating a healthier, more energised lifestyle. Plus for all Barefoot Running Magazine readers we will be offering a FREE 45 minute Breakthrough session on SKYPE plus 10% off our programmes if booked in the month of February. To stay updated with tips, recipes and health news, like us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/#!/meorganic? fref=ts

me organic is a holistic health and wellness business based in Richmond, London. We focus on transforming the health and fitness of our clients through 1to1 nutrition programmes, personal training, cycling coaching, health workshops and more. Contact us for your FREE session and receive 10% off all our programmes for all Barefoot Running Magazine readers. Plus 10% off all workshops, using code: barefoot12. Visit www.meorganic.co.uk for more info.

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Caught in the web www.caughtintheweb.com/winter2012/13/page40

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Stuff that’s going on

he legacy of Micah True ‘The White Horse’ will continue as the legendary 50 mile race will again take place this year on Sunday 3rd March 2013. The route winds through the Copper Canyon in Mexico, with local Tarahumara runners taking part as well as keen ultrarunners from the rest of the world. This event is all about giving back to the Raramuri people, helping them to sustain their independent community and pure, simple lifestyles.

Events

This year there is also a children’s race taking place on Saturday 2nd and all runners who complete the course will receive a medal and T-shirt. The course is around 3km and has been called: ‘Corrida de Los Caballitos’, meaning ‘Run of the little horses’. There is plenty of information and interesting stories, photos, etc. on the website: www.ultracb.com

n the world of elite sport, there are many names and faces behind the champions that ultimately deliver the goods. This conference is aimed at anyone who is involved in a team of people working towards sporting success and there will be useful input from coaches at the highest level as well as from athletes themselves. The conference takes place on 21st and 22nd March at the National Football Centre, St George’s Park and includes a guided tour of the facility. For more information, visit: www.mdtconference2013.co.uk

hese three day events, organized by Balanced Body, will be taking place all over the US as well as one in London, UK. They are a fantastic opportunity for any level of Pilates enthusiast, whether teacher or student, to learn from experienced teachers and progress their own practice. There will be small classes with plenty of equipment to try out, as well as the chance to buy discounted equipment that has been used at each conference. The course dates and venues are as follows: Atlanta, Georgia – 1-3 February Phoenix, Arizona – 5-7 April London, UK – 26-28 April Denver, Colorado – 12-14 July Washington, DC – 16-18 August Chicago, Illinois – 27-29 September Visit the website for details and bookings: www.pilates.com

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his race will be taking place in Ireland on 16th and 17th February. The race route is the 26.2 mile distance that’s run every December at the same place, except that this time, after doing the marathon on the Saturday, you have to do it all again on the Sunday!

The race organizers describe it as, “A unique opportunity to truly ‘find yourself’ and test your endurance. The entries for this year’s race are now closed but next year’s registration opens at the end of February and places get booked up fast, so be ready to enter and be equally ready to train hard! More details at: www.clonakiltyback2backmarathons.com

The keynote speaker is Professor Karim Khan, sports physician and editor of The British Journal of Sports Medicine. For bookings and further details, visit: www.actconferenceblog.com

nly the brave survive’ is the motto – or warning! – for this extreme event. It takes place on Saturday 9th March in Redhill and you can choose either the 5k or 10k race. This is one of those fun yet challenging events that seem to have particular appeal to barefoot runners! The race will see you crawling through mud under barbed wire, climbing over walls and carrying tyres on your back as you struggle through bogs and test your endurance to the limits. You are told to ‘expect the unexpected’ which sounds daunting, but all photos of previous runners show them with big smiles on their faces, having had a lot of fun and feeling smug at what they’ve achieved! For more information and to sign up, visit: www.back2thetrenches.co.uk

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Events

The route is a scenic one and the sea is visible throughout the race, save a few miles at the beginning and the end.

The two day conference, taking place at Australian Institute of Sport, will cover a whole range of topics ranging from specific training protocols for athletes through to more general health topics relevant to public health and well-being.

Stuff that’s going on

his annual event will be held on 9th and 10th February in Canberra, Australia, to mark the 50 year anniversary of SMA (Sports Medicine Australia).


A conversation with… One of the original barefoot revolutionists Yanni Papastavrou

ack when many of you had yet to even hear about the benefits of barefoot running, Yanni Papastavrou was already on his way to injury-free running after making the leap and shedding his shoes.

research, patience and carefully monitored progress, easing off when necessary. He doesn’t tend to shout about his achievements, but he can happily run a marathon barefoot, including the Snowdon marathon in snow!

Indeed, Yanni was amongst the ‘first wave’ of barefoot running enthusiasts; the UK version of Barefoot Ted and Barefoot Rick from the States. He’s met them both and can be seen later in this piece with Barefoot Rick, having just raced together in bare feet.

We met up with Yanni a few years ago to discuss barefoot running and our aspirations for making it more accessible to runners and Yanni was fully supportive of our project. We caught up again with him recently to put these questions to him and hope that you find some interesting tips and inspiration from his honest, well-explained answers.

As a scientist, Yanni approached his new venture with plenty of

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How long have you been running barefoot and what led you towards it in the first place? I first thought about running barefoot in the autumn of 2004 in my early 30’s. In the previous year, I had decided to run a half marathon, wearing the best training shoes I could afford, that were specifically fitted for me in a running shop and matched to my style of running. Before that I was very sedentary despite really enjoying sport at school. Anyhow, the challenge of running a half marathon was a new adventure: I had a specific goal to aim for and therefore had to plan carefully to reach the required level of endurance to get there. I found a beginners training plan and dutifully followed it. Initially, I could not run for more than few hundred yards without feeling out of breath, despite running slowly. But as the weeks passed, I noticed that I could run a few miles comfortably without feeling winded. My first big breakthrough was having the experience of running along at “steady state” pace - one that felt comfortable and possible to continue without any need for stopping. Everything progressed well during the initial part of my training, I was building up my stamina, fitness and also losing weight. Then, as the weeks went on, I found I had intense pains in my knees whenever I did a long run of more than 7 miles. The pain was so bad that I could not continue running and sometimes had to walk home. The pain would linger for several days afterwards, making going down stairs almost impossible. But I was determined to complete the training to be able to run for 13.1 miles, so I visited a sports physiotherapist. She treated my acute pain - and diagnosed it as ITB syndrome - a very common overuse injury for runners. I tried doing the stretching exercises that she recommended, but it didn’t help much. I tried strapping my knee too, and again, this didn’t help much. I managed to complete my training through gritted teeth by running only once per week and taking painkillers in order to complete the Half Marathon that I had entered: it was a matter of foolish personal pride. The rest of the week, I cross trained in the gym in order to build the necessary


endurance using other forms of exercise that didn’t injure me. Once I completed that half marathon I decided simply that running was not for me. I wondered why so many people continue to run through the pain, as I did - and this seemed perfectly normal to them: in numerous articles people speak of “punishing” themselves or of “suffering” and so on - a punitive mindset that taken too far seems an unhealthy approach to me both physically and psychologically. There are certainly instances in life where suffering is inevitable, so it seems like a form of insanity to actively seek it! Basically, I figured that I was not designed for running. So I decided to quit running and take up cycling to keep in shape. After a few weeks, I began to miss running and started to do some research on running related injuries. I came across “Running fast and injury free”; a book by a post WW2 British Olympic runner called Gordon Pirie. I was fascinated by how dismissive he was about modern running shoes. In it, he advocates racing flats and running barefoot as a training exercise. He also spoke about running form and advised working on this before building up either distance or speed. This was contrary to everything I’d known or had thought about until then about running. I became fascinated by barefoot running in principle in the autumn of 2004, reading as much as I could, particularly Ken Bob Saxton’s informative website and the Running Barefoot Yahoo discussion forum where much useful advice could be found. Since December 2004 I've been running barefoot and haven't looked back! How long do you think it took you to adapt and what obstacles did you tackle along the way? For me there were several stages of adaptation. The initial thing I noticed in the autumn of 2004 was that I had hypersensitive feet. Even walking along a concrete path with very little in the way of small stones and other debris seemed extremely difficult. I would practice walking outside in such places barefoot just to get used to this

and also spent as much time as possible at home barefoot. This hypersensitivity phase lasted a short while, perhaps a few weeks. But the great thing about barefoot running is the huge extra amount of sensory information available when you run that can act as feedback to help you run more gently - feet have an incredible number of nerve endings to help us feel and interact in real-time to help us with our running form. It has been said that they are our two best coaches, so better not keep them shut in the dark! When I first ran barefoot, I wanted to examine my running form. So I went to the park and took off my shoes and tried running. Bang Bang Bang! I was slamming down heel first. If I put the flat of my hand firmly on the top of my head, I could literally feel the shock waves pulsing right through my skeleton! So I tried running as lightly as possible barefoot, landing on the forefoot and lifting my feet up. I could manage this for only a couple of minutes per session initially, since my calves/feet etc were so poorly conditioned. However, but after two months of gradual build-up I could run up to 10 miles by this new method. I sometimes felt the odd pains in my feet - particularly on the tops of my feet and I would be careful not to overdo it, since I realised that I could create stress fractures in my weakened feet that had only just been liberated from a lifetime of being inside a cast. I did have to be very patient during this period, since I didn’t want to exchange one set of injuries for another. I had to focus a lot on form at this point. I initially had some blood blisters on my toes, so had to curl them up slightly in the manner that one would do to do a martial art kick. A major problem I had after about three months was with my Achilles tendon, that became sore and I had to be patient for quite a few months to allow the whole structure - calf and Achilles - to adapt gradually to running barefoot. I also noticed some pains in my hips caused by running with my feet being splayed out: I learned that good form for me involved running with my feet as close to being parallel as possible. All these adaptations took the

Barefoot Running Magazine

best part of a year for my body to adjust to. Whilst this transitional phase was frustrating at the time, it is now long forgotten. What benefits have you experienced? Are they purely physical or have you noticed a change in your mental approach to running? All measurable aspects of my running improved: both my speed and endurance. Barefoot running simply enabled me to be able to put in the required training to run huge distances. I had found a way of running without being injured. And it is by running long distances that one builds large aerobic capacity.

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I was able to run distances that were unthinkable when I used to run with shoes, including several marathons. After running my first Marathon, I felt so good I and went for a short run the following day to unwind! I also noticed a difference in the level of enjoyment - a sense of liberation when I run barefoot. I could describe it as the “holiday feeling” you get at the beginning of a holiday when you arrive at the beach and take off your shoes and head for the sea. We lay aside the cares of the world. Well, even after a hard day’s work, when I set off home-bound for a run and take my first few steps, I often get that same “holiday feeling”. It has been an interesting and questioning journey and one that has enabled me to ponder certain aspects of what it means to be human; particularly since I tend to live in a somewhat abstract world in my work as a scientist, doing something that educates me in a different way is fascinating. Of course, education means much more to me than learning - it once meant “to bring out” - so in that

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sense, for me, it has been a form of fulfilment. And therefore satisfying! That it runs so contrary to common consumerism that says that fulfilment is just around the corner, embodied in our next purchase is particularly appealing to me. Is all your running done barefoot or do you sometimes wear shoes? I mostly wear footwear when it gets cold. I have a pair of neoprene surfing socks for this purpose, and have owned them for 8 years without wearing them through. They cost me around £10. So I guess I probably don’t tend to use them much. I sometimes wear them when I am running in areas I am not familiar with or when I am running in town and wish to blend in with the crowd. Certainly there are times when I seek moments of solitude in London, this great City I live in, to run in the desert, in some figurative sense.

Barefoot Running Magazine

What sort of mileage do you cover and what’s your running schedule like? My mileage depends a lot on if I am training for a specific event and also on other factors in life. I tend to train in cycles leading up to specific events. When training for a Marathon, I don’t think I’ve ever done much more than 50 miles per week. I find also that I cannot consider my running in isolation - that endurance is also connected to all other aspects of our life and in our relationship to work, family and loved ones. Do you do any other types of exercise? What does running bring you that other forms of exercise don’t? I enjoy playing sports such as squash, football, Frisbee and so on but life being as hectic as it is, I rarely find the time for it. I’ve


always enjoyed cycling, since I grew up in Cambridge, the city of bikes. For me, running seems to be the most complete form of exercise in a way that cycling is not. I have found that if I am in good shape achieved through running, then I can perform well and cycle long distances on a bicycle at reasonable speed. But I do not find the converse is true for me. For a change, I sometimes cycle to work for a few months to have a break from running. I aim to have the equivalent exercise by cycling to work. After these breaks from running, despite putting in a similar effort in terms of training, I find that my running endurance has rapidly diminished and I have to build up again, almost from scratch, which I found a little surprising initially.

the health benefits, it is nice to see the change in people’s perception. When you turn up to a race barefoot, people are less likely to react and say: “You must be insane!”. These days people are more informed and curious, asking things like “Well done! How long did it take you to learn?”. Specifically, I have thought about the wider uses for minimalist footwear. I wonder if such footwear could improve the balance of the elderly, for example, thereby minimising the likelihood of them injuring themselves through falls. I hope that research is done by health professionals in how footwear affects posture and balance. So I hope this “boom” can somehow filter down and help some of our frailest and least mobile members of society.

Having been running barefoot for such a long time, do you feel that you still need to focus on your form or does it come to you completely naturally?

What’s your opinion about ‘minimalist’ shoes?

I find that my form has settled but I still work on it periodically. Keeping my spine stretched vertically upright. Looking towards the horizon. Picking up my feet. Feet parallel. Gentle steps. It’s a form of active meditation on the run to keep perfecting it. I still have to remind myself of form. When I come back to running after a period of cycling, I sometimes find my running form has gone to pot. However, I do find it soon returns swiftly, since it has been practiced over the years. I suppose it is rather like playing a musical instrument: if you become accomplished as a player and proficient in the technique at some point in your life, then you still have to work on it to remain on top of things. And if you have a break from playing, your technique, coordination and so on will become worse and it can take some practice to get back up to speed again. Again, having been in the world of barefoot running some years prior to the ‘boom’, what’s your opinion on how it’s developing? Now that so many runners have heard of barefoot running and have at least some indication of

I only wear shoes when I’m not running and have worn minimalist shoes for many years. I find traditional shoes uncomfortable and cumbersome. In my opinion and the contours of my own life experience, there are many times when shoes are very important both from a physical point of view to keep warm, for example - and from a cultural point of view - shoes have meaning and significance that differs according to contexts and it seems to me an example of human creativity. However, the various kinds of “barefoot” running shoes such as Vibram Five Fingers and so on do strike me as being an overpriced gimmick. I think they combine the worst of both worlds - they mask tactile feedback (required for good running form) but don’t offer any form of cushioning to protect - at least in principle the wearer from their poor running form. For people who wish to push the envelope and run ultra distances beyond 50 miles or on terrains that are more challenging to the barefoot runner such as fell running, where there are many small jagged rocks that would be impractical to navigate barefoot, they are probably useful. It’s the difference between cost and value, I think I was once focussed too much on the former.

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Lastly, what advice would you give to someone just starting out with barefoot running? It is so hard to give specific advice since we are all so different. But I have noticed that many people who like running tend to be very target orientated. For some, it can be very difficult to renegotiate one’s targets right back to square one, particularly if the previous targets were very high. For a person used to running many miles, it can be extremely challenging to reconcile that basically, a part of your body has been bound up for years, underused, underdeveloped, weakened and essentially a destabilising foundation of your whole structure. So you have to bear in mind that if it took you several years to acquire a good level of fitness, then it does seem reasonable to suggest that when you start out with running barefoot, then to take the long-term view and expect that for many months, you will be building up again from scratch. I often hear people say things like “I have entered a marathon in 4 months time and keep getting injured when I run beyond 10 miles. Is there time for me to switch to running barefoot to solve my injury problem?”. Such pressurised, goal orientated thinking will be counterproductive: I think it a bad idea to presuppose how long the adaption would take place. My suggestion would be to take a complete break and start from scratch. The specific advice I’d say would be to “Listen to your body”. How we learn to do this and what advice we take from it is uniquely personal. It does help to gain wisdom from others, for example, through the Yahoo barefoot running group. And, enjoy!

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hat a lot of flip flops! What can I say, there are 30 pairs in this picture (yes, count them and spot the duplicate and fairly well hidden pair!). Literally within half an hour of having the picture taken I found another 4 pairs at the back of the cupboard that I had over looked - 34! I have been called the ‘Imelda Marcos’ of flip flop collections many a time - I suppose I can see a slight correlation here although Marcos had well in excess of 2,900 pairs of shoes in comparison. Perhaps one day my current simple collection of 34 pairs of flip flops will find themselves alongside the 765 pairs of Marcos’ shoes in Marikina’s shoe museum! It’s certainly not an FFF (flip flop fetish) although some of you out there with narrow minds might disagree. That’s your choice that’s nice! I have been buying flip flops in their droves for years. I love the feel of flip flops with toe posts

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(can’t stand the other type). They are generally so comfortable and they come in different weights and most importantly many different designs. I love Havana’s but at the right time. They are heavy in comparison to other more spongy varieties and made of solid quality rubber which is why they won’t change shape. However, barefooters will relate too, I have to be in the mood to wear these due to weight and feel which in a way couldn’t be any further from that barefoot feeling. I certainly wouldn’t wear these if I wanted something really light on my feet for example. Surprisingly some of the best flip flops I have bought are like £4 a pair from high street shops (just be aware of the really cheap type with the rubber that feels tacky as these have a habit of cutting the skin between your toes where they rub bad). Why do I have so many pairs of flip flops? Well as I mentioned above there are many types of flip flops, of which many are so reasonably priced, so I tend to see a pair I like and well, just buy them. Oops, collection has gone up again [smiley face]. Magaluf was a classic example:

end of season sale, 5 Euros for a pair of very light and soft spongy comfortable flip flops. What colour to choose? Red, green, blue? Sod it, buy the lot. They are easy to co-ordinate with different clothes, colours and styles and of course the main aim is being almost barefoot and keeping your feet cool and not being squashed in a rigid shoe. Of course a big benefit of having a reasonable number of flip flops is they don’t lose their shape so quick and become imprinted with your foot prints and look cleaner longer (and for a big footer like me you can also use them as bats if you have a ball. Me and the kids have used flip flops on the beach many a time and had a bloody good laugh doing so). Interestingly enough when I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity back in January 2005, there were some porters who literally ran, yes ran, up the mountain carrying baskets on their heads in flip flops. We are talking very rough paths, rocks and extremely uneven surfaces and not once did I see a porter in flip flops trip, fall or have a cut foot. I take my hat off to them. I have tried running in flip flops and believe you me,

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if you haven’t tried it, it can be quite hazardous (barefoot every time when possible). So I appreciate wearing flip flops is not being totally barefoot and is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is close and for someone like me who prefers to live barefoot as much as possible as it feels great, these are a good compromise. As Lady Gaga sings in her hit, You and I: “Sit right down where you belong, in the corner of the bar with your flip flops on” (okay, I changed high heels to flip flops <LOL>). Ricardo P.S. I have been looking for an orange pair of flip flops, size 12 but still finding this difficult so if anyone can help please send to: PO BOX FF12 County Orange

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The Green Room Has the human ‘race’ gone off course? By Dr Stig Walsh

useum folk are a pretty odd bunch, all things considered. Having been reasonably odd all my life I fit right in working in such an institution. Nonetheless, there’s ‘odd’ and there’s ‘odd’, and walking around without shoes even away from public areas is possibly one barefoot step too far on the oddity scale. Most colleagues humour me, but I still get ‘The Look’ from time to time. Anyone running barefoot will be well acquainted with ‘The Look’. It normally starts with the sort of shocked expression one might show to someone intent on carrying a loaded crossbow down Kensington High Street, then as the shock melts it’s replaced by disbelief – the kind of look normally reserved for someone who wraps their head in aluminium foil to keep space-alien brain-control signals out. ‘The Look’ is just one of those occupational hazards. As the barefoot revolution gathers pace (and certainly cadence!) it seems that a growing number of runners are opting to wear minimalist shoes rather than to get their sweaty feet out in the fresh air. I can’t help wondering whether this is because few of us are brave enough to challenge established cultural attitudes – ‘The Look’ can be very discouraging, and may be as much of a psychological barrier to ditching the shoes as the perceived risk of landing on something sharp. However, cultural attitudes are never static; they can and do

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change, but only when enough people engage in an activity for it to no longer seem strange. In a sense, these attitudes actually evolve over time. As a vertebrate palaeobiologist, evolution is a concept that lies at the heart of much of what I do. It is also an important concept to the barefoot running movement, where the idea that technology cannot improve what nature has already provided us through evolution is central to our philosophy. Nonetheless, even as a researcher in evolutionary theory, in the past I have been guilty of thinking of the human foot as a bit of a lame (pun intended) design – too many bones, not enough heel cushioning. This viewpoint seems to be pretty common among people who habitually wear shoes and cannot conceive of their feet ever being capable of running on smooth concrete, let alone sharp gravel, and it must partly account for that shocked ‘Look’ we get. Chris McDougall’s Born to Run made me look at the human body in a different light. Rather than being poorly adapted for bipedal locomotion, we’re actually supremely well adapted for it. Using a motor vehicle-like analogy, everything is there – power from large and powerful muscles that also hold complex joints such as the knee stable; an efficient cooling system courtesy of large areas of naked skin with plenty of sweat glands; legs and feet that form a complex energy-saving

Barefoot Running Magazine

low amplitude spring system; a proprioceptive system better than any traction control or ABS sensor and a remarkably efficient air-intake system. The only thing that seems to be lacking for long distance travel without having to carry food around is a large enough fuel tank, as any ‘bonked’ marathon runner will know well. This does make me suspect the proponents of the palaeo-diet might have a point that we are better adapted to a protein and fat metabolism than to burning primarily carbohydrates.

“what does not kill us makes us strong. I would probably add the proviso that it stands a better than average chance of crippling us too!” When I took that second look at my puny, white and overly sensitive feet it all suddenly made sense; we are well adapted, but not to the world we have created for ourselves. Nietzsche is credited with having said that what does not kill us makes us strong. I would probably add the proviso that it stands a better than average chance of crippling us too! However, he did have a point in that the more we remove hardship, the more we support and make things easy, the weaker we get. For instance, we simply aren’t adapted to sit down all day or


to be carried around in vehicles. After all, a car is basically a comfy chair on wheels with something other than the passenger to provide propulsion. Our bodies are adapted to take a beating, so it’s little wonder muscle imbalances and joint problems arise if those stresses are removed. I find it fascinating that these weaknesses are often blamed on evolution rather than our unnatural environment. There does seem to be a deep-seated idea that humans are somehow incompletely evolved, or not properly thought through in some way. I have often heard the notion that our descent from the trees was so recent that we haven’t quite adapted to walking upright. Those who promote this idea also often point out that our feet are little use for gripping branches, meaning that one environmental adaptation was lost without others being fully developed for the new posture. This is clearly nonsense. Animals do often show evidence of previous adaptations that are no longer of use, such as atrophied wings (e.g., in the ostrich) or digits

(e.g., the dewclaw of a dog), but they always possess enough adaptation to a particular environment to survive. There are no halfway houses in evolution, it either works or it’s a gonner.

“I’ve always liked the Barefoot Runner’s Society’s slogan, ‘Changing the world one odd look at a time’” This ‘unevolved’ idea contrasts strongly with the other deepseated view that is frequently found alongside it, and that is that humans are actually more evolved than the rest of the animal kingdom. This view partly stems from the belief that the size of our brain and our intelligence sets us apart from the rest of the animals. Because of this, most features to have been regarded as separating us from non-human animals have been behaviour and intelligence-related, such

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as spoken language, selfrecognition, and the manufacture, use and carrying around of tools. However, as we spend more time observing animals in the wild it is becoming apparent that these characteristics are less unique than once thought. For instance, magpies have demonstrated self-recognition in experiments using mirrors, chimpanzees use tools, and some species of crows actually manufacture, use and carry tools with them. How long will it be before we recognise auditory signals in other species as forms of non-human language? The idea that humans are ‘more evolved’ is also a result of a commonly held view that evolution is some kind of process of perfection that ultimately culminates in the genesis of a superior species. This is actually a misconception. When Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species the prevailing view was that humans occupied a position on a natural ladder-like scale somewhere south of the Angels and a long way south of God. Even after the work of Darwin

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and other great evolutionary thinkers, there remained a tendency to refer to other animals as being ‘higher’ or ‘lower’, and this view appears to have stuck as a cultural attitude. Today in palaeontology and zoology we tend to use the words ‘primitive’ and ‘derived’, with no implied sense of one being superior to the other. Derived characteristics are thought to arise in order to make an organism better suited (i.e., fitter) for a particular environmental niche, and they don’t necessarily have to be more specialised. For instance, pigeons in Trafalgar Square can fly, but their extinct relative, the dodo, lost that ability because its island habitat made flight unnecessary for finding food or avoiding predators. It instead evolved better adaptations to life on the ground (e.g., a stouter set of legs and pelvis) while its wings became smaller – all of which we would regard as derived characteristics compared with those of its relatives in ‘The Smoke’. There seems no reason for the species not to have been around today had hungry sailors not arrived in the 17th century looking for a takeaway.

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These views and misconceptions about evolution, and human evolution in particular, are essentially pervasive cultural attitudes similar to the one that elicits ‘The Look’ when we run barefoot. I would like to see them change, and I believe that the barefoot movement can help to make that happen. I’ve always liked the Barefoot Runner’s Society’s slogan, ‘Changing the world one odd look at a time’ because it sums up our task so well. Those outings of ‘The Look’ do gradually alter the cultural attitude that shoes are a prerequisite for running, and by so doing help to change the assumption that humans are in some way not fully evolved. Likewise, recognising that modern humans are essentially running apes not so dissimilar to early representatives of our genus brings us closer to the rest of the animal kingdom, challenging the attitude that modern humans represent the pinnacle of evolution. As our cultural attitudes continue to evolve, perhaps we can guide the human race back to a more natural course.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Dr Stig Walsh is Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeobiology at National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh. His research investigates the evolution of the central nervous system in fossil animals, a branch of palaeontology called ‘palaeoneurology’. Stig’s palaeoneurology research uses X-ray micro computed tomographic analysis to peer inside fossil skulls to reconstruct the external shape of the brain. He is specifically interested in determining how the brain and senses of modern birds have evolved from their theropod dinosaur ancestors. Contrary to popular belief, the brain of living bird species is neither small nor stupid, and many avian species show levels of intelligence that match and exceed those of most mammals. The last common ancestor of birds and mammals probably lived around 330 million years ago, so the structure of the avian brain is different to that of mammals. Because the level of bird intelligence in some species is close to that of living primates, the evolution of the bird brain makes an interesting case study with which to compare the evolution of our own hominid brains and senses.


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he barefoot running boom has heated up a debate about the best way to run.

1.

Not enough research to explore the various aspects of the question

Barefoot? Shoes? Barefoot shoes?

2.

Poorly designed research

Midfoot strike, heel strike, forefoot strike?

I can’t say much about #1 other than to hope that more research is done. But if more research is done poorly, then what’s the point.

Recently in New York Times Online, Gina Kolata (whose writing and name I adore) goes after this question. Really, you can stop reading after the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph… and since that’s the most important sentence, I’ll just quote it here: Most of the scientific research is just inadequate to answer these questions. The reasons that the research is inadequate are two-fold:

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So what makes some of the running research, especially the studies that examine barefoot running, so poor? A number of factors: 1.

Bad cohort (the people in the study). Many of the studies solicit “barefoot runners” who’ve never actually run with barefeet. They may have spent some time in Vibram Fivefingers or, worse, in Nike Free…but wearing those is not the same as being barefoot

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(as many readers of this article can attest). Many of the studies have too few runners. Many of the studies have runners that are, say, between the ages of 18-22 and on the college cross-country team (they’re not typical runners). And if the number of runners in the test is small enough, it may be hard to extrapolate from their results. 2.

Missing factors. Many of the studies will look at one aspect of gait and ignore many others, and then try to conclude something about running mechanics. Rodger Kram’s recent study on cushioning, for example, doesn’t look at foot placement (overstriding or not), doesn’t consider weight (which can effect the value of cushioning), type of cushioning, etc. I’m not saying that it’s even possible


to design a study that accounts for all these factors, but when you isolate things too much, it’s hard to draw a useful conclusion… though everyone around you will draw it and then fight to the death defending or attacking it.

the study is worth considering in the first place.

Arbitrary variables. Many studies are done with runners on treadmills running at a fixed pace. The obvious question: Is running on a treadmill identical to running on a track? Not in my experience. Also, is, say, 5 minute/mile pace my usual pace? We know that if you increase your cadence without increasing your speed, you can reduce force on your body and decrease the amount of time you spend on the ground… so by controlling one variable, you could be affecting the results of the study.

There’s a lot of that going on.

Suffice it to say, I’m always glad when the media talk about running, and barefoot running in particular. But I find it unsatisfying when they merely regurgitate the “results” of a study without telling the reader whether

Again, as the article said up top: Most of the scientific research is just inadequate to answer these questions.

2.

Then there’s the straw man problem, which is when you make up a person (complete with opinions) and then argue with that fictional person.

Many barefoot writers (including myself, Pete Larson, Bill Katovsky, Mark Cucuzzella) have noticed that individual differences may be more important than “one right way” to do things, and that it’s hard to get useful data by looking at genetic freaks (like Olympians). Yet the media loves to present these studies, and studies of studies, as if there’s no reasonable thinking on either side of the fence. Not true.

Let’s hope that changes.

Minimalist shoes • Supplements • Books • Huarache kits • Vitamins

www.barefootbritain.co.uk Barefoot Running Magazine

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Assorted goodies Products worth a look

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1.

Oakley glasses are synonymous with quality and performance and this latest design is another great example. They include the Switchlock™ technology which allows for easy lens changing and the frames are super-light, yet durable, with a comfortable, secure grip that helps them stay put even when you’re sweating it out on the toughest run. There is optimum clarity across the entire lens with ample UV protection and a shape that provides maximum vision alongside protection from the wind and rain. For more information, visit: www.uk.oakley.com

2.

This little hydration pack is very handy for those long runs. It fits four small bottles to spread the load and they snap easily in and out of their pods. There is also room for keys, cell phone and an energy bar – all in one little package. For more information and other products, visit: www.camelbak.com

3.

Running skirts are becoming more and more popular amongst the running community. This one is geared towards the ‘busy’ woman who doesn’t necessarily set aside time to ‘go for a run’ but includes it seamlessly into the rest of her day. It includes inbuilt, no-chafing shorts so you can do just about anything in it: running, Pilates, Yoga, dance....you name it. It looks fantastic too! Available from www.skirtsports.com

4.

Pulsin produce a whole range of healthy food, including these great little snack bars. They come in 8 different flavours, our favourite being the ‘Raw Choc Brownie’, about which Pulsin say, “we rebuilt the brownie concept by introducing healthy ingredients.” At 200 (delicious) calories, the bars: are vegan – have no added sugar – are dairy free – are gluten free – have no trans fats – are non GMO. Visit: www.pulsin.co.uk for more info.

5.

These are the ultimate gloves for fitness enthusiasts tackling their chosen sport in the extreme cold. They offer great freedom of movement without compromising on insulation and have a four-way stretch for a comfortable, snug fit. They have silicone grips on the fingers and palms, meaning that you can use even the smallest touch screen device without exposing your hands to the cold. With an understated design and without any frills, they will just get the job done well! Available from www.uk.thenorthface.com

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The latest national news

National news

Courtesy of News Shopper

ondoners, particularly those who used to frequent Greenwich Park to run, walk their dogs or just chill out, are rather angry. The park was used for the Equestrian events of the 2012 Olympics, despite appeals against the disruption and modification to the park. There were concerns that the park would be changed permanently and

London has been announced as host for 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships This event will take place one month before the IAAF World Athletics Championships, also being held in London at the Olympic Stadium.

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it looks as though this may be the case. The area used to have a variety of surfaces and was popular with runners who used to love the challenge of the hills. At the moment, the park is now a flat, muddy and desolate place, currently closed to the public. The Games Organizers, Locog, are being blamed for not employing enough staff to enable the re-laying

of the grass before the Winter (the promise was to have it returned to its original state by December 2012). It now looks as though the Park will not re-open until summer. Locog are reassuring the public that the park will be returned to its former glory and any delay is due to the poor weather and concerns not to rush the transformation which may lead to mistakes being made.

Understaffed and over-stretched: An investigation by the Care Quality Commission has found that 17 UK hospitals are understaffed and not able to meet the needs of their patients.

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At the moment, there has been increased encouragement for manufacturers to display more clearly the quantities of the above in their products but this does not appear to be having any impact on the levels of obesity in the UK, where one third of children are either overweight or obese by the time the leave primary school.

on Valley Stadium in Sheffield is under threat of closure as Sheffield City Council considers various options to cut their yearly budget by a whopping £50 million. The 25,000 seat stadium is like a second home to Olympian, Jessica Ennis, who attended her first summer athletics camp there aged 10 and has continued to train there throughout her career. Closure of the stadium would be a big disappointment to the community, especially considering the fact that the number of children who’ve joined the City of Sheffield Athletics Club has doubled since the 2012 Olympics. The decision regarding the fate of the stadium will be made in March. Let’s hope yet another part of the ‘Olympic legacy’ is not destroyed along with the hopes of young, potential, future champions.

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National news

Mr Burnham proposes that there are legal limits of fat, sugar and salt in foods, particularly those aimed at children. He does not deny the essential input required by parents but believes the government has a responsibility to intervene, both to improve the health of the nation as well as reduce the impact on the NHS.

The latest National news

s obesity becomes more of a problem globally than malnutrition, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham is calling for legal limits on fat, sugar and salt in food.


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s barefoot or minimalist runners, if you previously ran in conventional trainers, you will no doubt have experienced some discomfort in your calves, ankles, and feet as your body adjusted to the change in mechanics. In traditional shoes, which invariably have a heel, your calves are placed in a shortened position and the joints of your feet are restricted. In a shoe with a heel (which includes most trainers), your ankle is placed in a position that is known as ‘plantarflexion’ (pointing the toes) and over time this restricts the opposing movement, known as ‘dorsiflexion’ (heel down and toes up). When this plantarflexion/dorsiflexion movement range is decreased, it leads to a compensatory increase in the rolling inwards or outwards capacity of the foot at the ankle joint (known as eversion and inversion respectively). This is partly why many people suffer ankle sprains when running in trainers, because their natural flexibility has been ‘skewed’, along with the fact that the ankle takes more of a hit if you stumble because the foot is unable to sufficiently play its stabilizing role. Another contributing factor to ankle stiffness is the modern way of living,

i.e. too much sitting and not enough daily activity, plus the so-called ‘technological advances’ that allow us to be lazy (cars, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.). This ankle stiffness is not only relevant at the ankle; it will have an adverse effect on the entire body. As the whole body is an interconnected unit, tight calf muscles (which will inhibit dorsiflexion) are often accompanied by tight quadriceps /hip flexor muscles and a tight lower back. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can always blame your ankles for these other restricted areas, but a restorative programme should include exercises that improve your range of movement at your ankle joints and by freeing up your ankles, you may well notice improvements elsewhere in your body. So, the big question is: how do I improve my ankle mobility? Well, there are a number of specific exercises that help and we’ll come to some of those shortly. As always though, you need to think more globally as well. For example, if you’ve taken the decision to run barefoot, that’s great, but if the rest of the time your feet are

restricted in heeled shoes, you’re limiting the benefits and progress of your running. This also applies to your level of daily activity; you might religiously run for 40 minutes, 3 times per week, but if you sit at a desk at work all day and travel significant distances sitting down, you’re still limiting your potential. So, assess your daily activity and pinpoint areas where you could increase it. Think about your everyday footwear too; if you can wear a flexible, flat, light shoe during the day, this will make a huge difference. If your boss won’t allow it – have a word! As mentioned, calf muscles can be tight, so releasing the soft tissue of the calf complex will help. You can use a foam roller or rolling pin to do this, as many of you probably already do. It’s a simple and effective method (unless you have the luxury of regular massages). Remember that everything in the body is linked, so it’s also worth spending time releasing the soles of your feet which again, is very simple, if rather uncomfortable. Use a tennis ball to begin with and progress to a hockey ball and golf ball.

Calf rollering Place your lower leg onto the foam roller or rolling pin, foot relaxed. Lift yourself up, using the other leg for support, and roll you lower leg up and down on the roller, allowing it to turn in and out to reach the entire calf complex. You may want to hold position on particularly tender spots, allowing the discomfort to decrease by 75% before you move on to the next one. You can also cross the other leg on top for increased pressure and deeper work. Start with one leg first.

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Foot rollering Standing up, place one foot onto the ball, controlling the amount of weight you put through the ball using your standing leg. Roll your entire foot on the ball, stopping and holding position at particularly sore spots and waiting for the discomfort to subside by at least 75% as the tissues release.

Foot and ankle mobility exercises These can be done almost anywhere and are extremely useful for maintaining healthy movement. Sitting with your legs out in front of you, point and flex your feet, trying to increase the range of motion gradually with each repetition. Then alternate pointing with one foot whilst flexing with the other (to challenge your coordination a little). Then take rotate your ankles in circles, doing 10 in one direction and 10 in the other You could also do this standing, focusing on one foot at a time and holding it slightly off the floor to do the exercises

 Toe splaying – alternate spreading your toes as far apart as you can with squeezing them together as tight as you can. Repeat 10 times on each foot – it’s harder than you might think but improves with practice

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 Toe scrunches – standing up and focusing on one foot at a time, bend your toes and ‘scrunch’ them underneath your foot, then release them. Repeat this movement about 10 times. Warning: you may get cramp in your foot if you’ve not done this one before!

 Foot doming – similar to the above exercise, but keeping your toes straight so that the bend comes at the point where your toes join your foot. This is like a cupping motion. Repeat 10 times on each foot and again, you may experience cramp to begin with

 Heel bounces – with your knees bent and holding onto something for support, do tiny, quick bounces allowing your heels to just kiss the floor each time. You’ll find that this gradually loosens your calves and ankles and improves the ‘spring’. A good one to do prior to a run. You can also do this one leg at a time which is harder so progress to single leg only when you’re ready. Repeat until you feel a sufficient release – usually after around 20 or 30 bounces

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 Calf raises on step – with the balls of your feet on a step and holding onto something for balance, raise up as high as you can keeping your feet and ankles straight (rather than letting them kick out at an angle) then lower down, allowing your heel to drop below the step height. Your focus is to achieve as full a range of motion as possible, without forcing it. You can progress this exercise by working one leg at a time

 Tribesman’s stretch™ – you can either begin standing or on the floor but your aim is to get into the position in the picture, which shows a deep squat with the heels on the floor. This is quite difficult and you may want to hold a weight in front of you to help with balance. You can also try it on a step or curb, so that your toes can hang off the edge. Try sitting in this position several times a day. It’s a very natural position and something you see kids doing all the time, but many people lose the ability – basically because they stop doing it!

Finally, if you don’t find any improvement doing these exercises, seek out an experienced body worker who may be able to initiate a release which you can then continue to work on yourself.

Images taken from: Run Strong, Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running by Anna Toombs and David Robinson. The book contains a full exercise programme for runners to improve mobility, strength, stability and flexibility.

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

Website: www.trbalance.com

tel: 0845 226 7303

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email: info@trbalance.com

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Howtoto: How Choose the correct minimalist shoe

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Barefoot Running Magazine


have a confession to make; I’m pretty geeky! It doesn’t matter what I’m looking to do or looking to buy, I’m guaranteed to research it to death. This is partly a desire to make the best possible choice, but also because I’m so indecisive. Let me save you from my plight and share with you what I know. As a bit of background, I’m a personal trainer, sports scientist (biomechanist/physiologist), and most recently a sports shop owner. As such, I’m hoping that you can take on my advice safe in the knowledge that I’m fairly well placed to give it. That being said, it’s always wise to question, and no one knows your body like you do, so if any advice you hear doesn’t resonate with you or seems plain wrong, don’t disregard your own common sense for someone else’s “expertise”! I am not someone who considers myself a runner. I do run regularly, I have run a marathon, but it was never one of my main focuses as I have always enjoyed all sports. However, I now live in a beautiful part of the country and I’m beginning to understand the simple pleasure of running and of exploring whilst doing it. I previously was a typical bounding runner, making full use of my long leg length. I was told many years ago, during a biomechanics lab session how bad my technique was and why. My change was driven by wanting to improve performance and make running easier. I’ve always liked practising skills, and I saw run training the same way.

Where to start: My first piece of advice is to really distill what it is you want your minimalist footwear to do for you. Only once you have that answer can you start to choose a shoe that matches your need. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s often bypassed and it’s very difficult to be truly self critical of your current abilities. I know as I’ve done it myself. It’s human nature to want the best, but the best is subjective, and what the elite runner’s review in Runner’s World said was that person’s perspective based on their own wants and needs.

How far down the route to truly barefooting is optimum varies for each person. Most of us can associate with the pleasurable sensation of running barefoot on the beach, but not as many see the appeal in winter frost or snow. So do you want a shoe to keep you warm? Do you want the increased levels of sensation and feedback, or do you want to take advantage of the improved mechanics and injury prevention often talked about when referring to minimalism?

Selecting the shoe: First of all, I cannot recommend highly enough going and trying a variety of shoes on. If you are going to be spending any amount of time in your chosen shoe, the primary concern is comfort. If it’s not comfortable for you then nothing else matters. Nothing. I can’t emphasise that enough! Generally speaking minimalist footwear is very light and very flexible, so there isn’t really a “breaking in” period. If they are not immediately comfortable ditch them! The other reason that you absolutely must try these shoes on is that they tend to bend and flex with the foot and it’s therefore imperative that you get the absolute best fit. As always, brands vary in their sizing and as an example I take a half size smaller in many Inov8’s, a half size bigger in

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Winter 2012/13

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Merrell’s and pretty much spot on my size in Vibram FiveFingers. I also know through experience that this pattern isn’t the same for everyone.

Some non-negotiables, whatever the shoe: 

What about transitioning? You may be delving into this for the first time and looking for a “transition” shoe, which you’ve heard is a good idea. The concept of a transition shoe is an interesting one for me. What does that mean? I’m not sure I know! The shoes in this category are normally still fairly well cushioned with smaller differentials in forefoot/rearfoot height than seen in a typical run shoe. It’s why this should be deemed a good transition that I find contentious. For some people it means they can start developing a more efficient forefoot/midfoot running gait whilst retaining some of the comfort levels they are used to and incrementally changing the range of motion at the ankle. Is this a good thing? Maybe, for some. Vague I know! The people that I see this being most useful for are runners who are looking to become “minimalist” whilst maintaining a high volume of training miles. If this is you, Inov8 F-Lites and Merrell Bare Access are worth a look amongst the minimalist brands, as are any racing flat from the traditional run shoe companies (they are very, very similar!). In my opinion the best transition shoe is one you can wear all day – literally. VivoBarefoot do a great range of lifestyle shoes for any occasion. By wearing them all day, you’ll allow your feet to adapt to the increased ankle range of motion and allow the foot to strengthen and become more flexible without subjecting them to the higher impacts of running. If you are unsure whether or not to start a minimalist or “barefoot” journey, this is the best way in bar none.

Wiggle your toes! They should be able to move fairly unrestricted. If you are in a traditionally shaped shoe with a sole and upper, the toe box should be wide and roomy to facilitate this, if you’re in a FiveFinger or other close fitting shoe, they should fit closely and not fold awkwardly or restrict toe movement. This is very important in running as your toes and forefoot splay on impact as a mechanism for dissipating force. Move around forwards, backwards and side-to-side. Your foot should not move around inside the shoe. If it is try retensioning the laces or strapping and do it again. If you are still moving around in the shoe it’s too big, try the next size down. Talking of strapping, this is what stops your foot shunting around inside the shoe, however you may find some designs restrict your natural movement. Experiment with different styles and models and if at all unsure I’d steer clear. You ideally don’t want to be aware of the strapping, or even the shoe, around your foot.

I hope this helps to empower you in choosing the shoe that’s right for you. I know I haven’t provided many specifics, but everyone is different and so are their requirements. If you stick with the “non-negotiables” feel free to apply your own sense after that! As a parting shot, it’s also worth noting that shoes without cushioning don’t have a “lifespan”. You’ll want to replace them once you’ve put a hole in them! That can only be an added bonus surely?

If you are like me and willing to take the time out to learn running as a new skill and build your training volume steadily, I see no reason why you need to go for a transitioning shoe, dive straight in!

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Gareth is a Sport Science graduate with 14 years of experience in the health, fitness and wellbeing industries. In that time he has worked as an exercise physiologist for BUPA, a wellbeing consultant to Sussex Police and many years of personal training and class instruction both privately and at top health club chains such as David Lloyd and Nuffield Health. Currently finishing off his masters degree in biomechanics his areas of expertise are postural analysis and chronic injury rehabilitation, exercise for illness, sports specific training and strength and conditioning. “I’m really interested in how we change our behaviours to achieve our goals. I’m like everyone, and I really struggle to be virtuous much of the time. If you want to succeed it’s about finding what works for you and what you enjoy. If you pit your willpower against temptation, you’ll always lose out. Find what you enjoy and stick at it, because life’s too short for anything else. You should think of exercise as medicine, it is specifically prescribed to provide specific results, you want the minimum effective dose. Outside of that we should engage in as much fun and recreation as we can. Embrace your inner child!”


Running and Biomechanics Specialists Workshops and individual tuition to help improve running performance and reduce injury. Visit the website or contact us for more details. www.barefootrunninguk.com info@barefootrunninguk.com 0845 226 7302

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Winter 2012/13

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Write back at you Holiday non-celebration: A tough concept to describe by Jason Robillard

e rarely celebrate holidays. There, I said it. It’s Christmas day and our plans consist of going to a local park, hanging out, maybe hit the hot tub later. Have a glass or two of wine. In short, today is no different than any other day. We weren’t always holiday noncelebrators. Early in our relationship, Shelly and I enthusiastically celebrated holidays. We put up the Christmas tree, exchanged presents, and attended Christmas parties. We did the same for Easter, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving. Eventually things began to change, though. On the surface, it would seem we lost our “holiday spirit.” In reality, the opposite occurred. We started questioning the logic of changing our behaviours a few days each year. Why should we only eat turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving? Why should we only feel compelled to give during the holiday season? Why should we only dress up in goofy (or slutty) costumes on Hallow’s Eve? Why should we reserve overt affection and romantic gestures

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for Valentine’s Day? That thought process slowly eroded our desire to participate in holiday celebrations. Eventually we generalized this idea to every aspect of our lives. Why reserve travel and adventure to a finite two week vacation period? That’s the idea that led us to quit our jobs and take the path we’re on right now. Gift-giving underwent a similar erosion. Historically, humans gave gifts to each other for a variety of reasons. Reciprocity builds society, after all. However, two points made gift-giving undesirable. First, gifts just add to the material crap we worked hard to eliminate. We don’t need another toaster, flat screen TV, or Clapper. Adding more crap isn’t going to improve our lives in a meaningful way. Second, gift-giving is often attached to deeper feelings. People often give gifts as a means of showing affection. That’s not a bad thing. However, that idea gets severely warped. The actual gift is usually used as an indicator of the level of love or friendship of the relationship. Our solution- we rarely give each other gifts. Or greeting cards.

Barefoot Running Magazine

It’s common for people to ask “What did you do for [insert holiday here]?” The answer is tough because the real answer is usually “Nothing out of the ordinary.” That answer then requires an explanation of the philosophy behind our non-celebration. I haven’t found a diplomatic way of describing the non-celebration without making it offensive to those that DO celebrate any particular holiday. Others typically don’t believe that I really don’t care if they celebrate a holiday or not… I’m not silently judging their decisions. Our decisions don’t make us somehow superior, just different. Just because it works for us doesn’t mean it would work for all. Anyway, I’m curious about other people’s take on any holiday. Are there others that don’t celebrate holidays? I’m sure all of us have some holidays we don’t celebrate. I don’t recall seeing too many people buying Arbor Day decorations. I’m more curious about the big holidays. Jason Robillard www.barefootrunninguniversity.com


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Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

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What’s On

Saturday 16th

Hog Wild Mud Run

Tampa, Florida. USA

www.hogwildmudrun.com

Saturday 16-17th Clonakilty Back 2 Back Marathon

West County Cork, Ireland

Sunday 17th

Hagg Lake Mud Run

Forest Grove, Oregon. USA

www.haggmud.com

Sunday 17th

Valentines 10k

Chessington, Surrey

www.26point2.co.uk

Sunday 17th

Brighton Half Marathon

Brighton, East Sussex

www.brightonhalfmarathon.com

Sunday 17th

Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona, Spain

www.barcelona.de

Sunday 17th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Nice du Carnaval

Nice, France

www.fr.competitor.com/nice

Saturday 23rd

TuffMan Trail Run

Pippingford Park, E. Sussex

www.humanrace.co.uk

Sunday 24th

The Beast

Melton Mowbray, LE14 3PF

www.thebeastrun.co.uk

Sunday 24th

Heartbreaker Run Festival

Fordingbridge, Hampshire

www.racenewforest.co.uk

Sunday 24th

Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo, Japan

www.tokyo42195.org

Sunday 24th

Land Rover Malta Marathon & ½

Mdina, Malta

www.maltamarathon.com

Friday 1-3rd

Triathlon Show

Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey

www.triathlonshow.co.uk

Sunday 3rd

BFR UK Group Run

Moat Park, Maidstone

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 3rd

Copper Canyon Ultra

Urique, Chihuahua, Mexico

www.ultracb.com

Sunday 3rd

Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon

Northamptonshire

www.adidashalfmarathon.com

Sunday 3rd

Eastbourne Half Marathon

East Sussex

www.eastbournehalf.co.uk

Saturday 9th

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Bacon’s College, London

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 10th

Milton Keynes Half Marathon

Buckinghamshire

www.mkhalf.co.uk

Sunday 10th

Brutal 10

Windmill Hill, near Frimley

www.brutalrun.co.uk

Sunday 17th

Mizuno Reading Half Marathon

Green Park, Reading

www.readinghalfmarathon.com

Sunday 17th

Wild Warrior Obstacle Race

Wild Park, Derbyshire

www.xrunner.co.uk

Sunday 17th

Fleet Half Marathon

Hampshire

www.fleethalfmarathon.com

Sunday 24th

Hastings Half Marathon

East Sussex

www.hastings-half.co.uk

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Barefoot Running Magazine

www.clonakiltyback2backmarathons.com


Friday 5-7th

Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

Phoenix, Arizona

www.pilates.com

Friday 5-15th

Marathon des Sables

Sahara Desert, Morocco

www.marathondessables.co.uk

Saturday 6th

BFR UK Group Run

Richmond Park, London

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 7th

Marathon de Paris

Paris, France

www.parismarathon.com

Sunday 14th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Edinburgh ½ Marathon

Edinburgh, Scotland

www.uk.competitor.com/edinburgh

Sunday 14th

Brighton Marathon

Brighton, East Sussex

www.brightonmarathon.co.uk

Monday 15th

Boston Marathon

Boston, Massachusetts

www.baa.org

Saturday 20th

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Brighton, Sussex

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 21st

Virgin London Marathon

Friday 26-28th

Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

London, United Kingdom

www.pilates.com

Saturday 27th

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Tuscany Crossing, Italy

www.lostworldracing.com

Sunday 28th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Maratón & Half

Madrid, Ireland

www.es.competitor.com/madrid

Saturday 4th

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Causeway Crossing, Ireland

www.lostworldracing.com

Sunday 5th

International Barefoot Running Day

Sunday 5th

Bristol 10K

Bristol, United Kingdom

www.runbristol.com

Sunday 5th

Richmond Half Marathon

Richmond, Surrey

www.ranelagh-harriers.com

Sunday 5th

Richmond Park Marathon

Richmond Park, London

www.richmondparkmarathon.co.uk

Monday 6th

Deep Riverrock Marathon

Belfast City, United Kingdom

www.belfastcitymarathon.com

Saturday 11th

Lost Worlds 50/100K

Ladonia Crossing, Sweden

www.lostworldracing.com

Saturday 18-19th

Triathlon Show North

Bolton, Lancashire

www.triathlonshow.co.uk

Saturday 25-26th

London 2 Brighton Challenge(100K)

Sunday 26th

EMF Edinburgh Half Marathon

Scotland

www.edinburgh-marathon.com

Sunday 26th

BUPA Great Manchester Run (10K)

Manchester City Centre

www.greatrun.org

Friday 31st

Jungle Marathon - Vietnam

Dong Hoi, Vietnam

www.junglemarathon.com

Saturday 1st

BFR UK Group Run

The City of London

See page 81 for more information

Saturday 1st

Tillingham Valley Rockabilly

Nr Rye, East Sussex

www.nice-work.org.uk

Wednesday 12th

Marathon des Sables 2014 Registration

Saturday 5th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Oslo Half Marathon

Oslo, Norway

www.no.competitor.com/oslo

Saturday 16th

Estes Park Marathon

Estes Park, Colorado

www.epmarathon.org

Saturday 22nd

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Edinburgh, Scotland

See page 81 for more information

Saturday 22-23rd

Trans Pennine Challenge (100k)

Manchester - Sheffield

www.transpenninechallenge.com

Saturday 22-23rd

The Wall Ultra Run

Carlisle - Gateshead

www.thewallrun.com

Sunday 23rd

BFR UK Group Run

Edinburgh, Scotland

See page 81 for more information

Monday 24th

Midnight Sun Half Marathon

Reykjavik, Iceland

www.all-iceland.co.uk

Saturday 29th

Water Wipeout Obstacle Race

Nottingham

www.xrunner.co.uk

Saturday 29th

Clif Bar 10 Peaks - The Lakes

Brecon Beacons

www.10peaks.com

www.virginlondonmarathon.com

www.thebarefootrunners.org

www.london2brightonchallenge.com

www.marathondessables.co.uk

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Monday 1-5th

Northwest Passage Marathon & Ultra

Nunavut, Canada

www.arcticwatch.ca

Thursday 4th

Sandy 10

Bedfordshire

www.biggleswadeac.org.uk

Saturday 6-7th

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast, Australia

www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au

Friday 12-14th

Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

Denver, Colorado

www.pilates.com

Saturday 13-14th

Race to the Stones

Oxfordshire

www.recatothestones.com

Sunday 14th

Surrey Badger Half

Denbies Estate, Dorking

www.eventstolive.co.uk

Sunday 14th

The British 10K London Run

London City

www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk

Monday 15th

Badwater 135

Death Valley, California

www.badwater.com

Saturday 20th

BFR UK Group Run

King’s Parade, Cambridge

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 21st

USN Eton Dorney Triathlons

Eton College, Windsor

www.votwo.co.uk

Saturday 27th

Australian Outback Marathon

Yulara, Australia

www.australianoutbackmarathon.com

Saturday 27th

La 6000D

Savoie, France

www.la6000d.com

Saturday 3rd

Inca Trail Marathon

Machu Picchu, Peru

www.andesadventures.com

Sunday 4th

Brisbane Running Festival

Brisbane, Australia

www.brisbanemarathon.com

Monday 5th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon

Dublin, Ireland

www.ie.competitor.com/dublin

Friday 9th

Swiss Irontrail

Graubünden, Switzerland

www.irontrail.ch

Saturday 10th

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Sheffield, Location TBC

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 11th

BFR UK Group Run

Sheffield, Location TBC

See page 81 for more information

Saturday 13-18th

Transrockies Run

Buena Vista, Colorado

www.transrockies-run.com

Friday 16-18th

Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

Washington, DC

www.pilates.com

Saturday 17-18th

Leadville Trail 100 Run

Colorado, USA

www.leadvilleraceseries.com

Sunday 18th

Kimbolton Castle 10k

Cambridgeshire

www.nicetri.co.uk

Saturday 24th

Reykjavik Marathon

Reykjavik, Iceland

www.marathon.is

Sunday 25th

London Spartan Sprint

Pippingford, East Sussex

www.spartanrace.com

Saturday 7th

BFR UK Group Run

Brighton, East Sussex

See page 81 for more information

Saturday 7th

Mattoni Prague Grand Prix

Old Town Square, Prague

www.praguemarathon.com

Sunday 8th

KamiKaze. The Banzai Challenge

Mapperton, Dorset

www.votwo.co.uk

Saturday 14-15th

Thames Path Challenge (100k)

Putney - Henley (London)

www.thamespathchallenge.com

Saturday 14-15th

BUPA Great North Run

Gateshead, Newcastle

www.greatrun.org

Saturday 21st

Great Gorilla Run

London, United Kingdom

www.greatgorillarun.org

Sunday 22th

Rock ‘n’ Roll de Montréal Marathon

Montreal, Canada

www.ca.competitor.com/montreal

Friday 27-29th

Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

Chicago, Illinois

www.pilates.com

Saturday 28th

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Bath, Somerset

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 29th

BUPA Great Yorkshire Run

Sheffield City Centre

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 29th

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Scotland

www.lochnessmarathon.com

Sunday 29th

BFR UK Group Run

Bath, Somerset

See page 81 for more information

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Barefoot Running Magazine


Thursday 3 -12th

UVU Jungle Marathon

Brazil

www.junglemarathon.com

Saturday 5th

BFR UK Group Run

East London

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 6h

Royal Parks Half Marathon

Hyde Park, London

www.royalparkshalf.com

Sunday 6th

Rock ‘n’ Roll Lisbon Marathon & ½

Lisbon, Portugal

www.pt.competitor.com/portugal

Sunday 6th

MBNA Chester Marathon

City of Chester

www.chestermarathon.co.uk

Sunday 6th

Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run

Glasgow, Lanarkshire

www.runglasgow.org

Sunday 13th

GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Victoria, British Columbia

www.runvictoriamarathon.com

Saturday 19th

Run Richmond Riverside 10K

London

www.thefixevents.com

Sunday 20th

BUPA Great Birmingham Run

Birmingham City Centre

www.greatrun.org

Saturday 26-27th

BUPA Great South Run

Southsea, Portsmouth

www.greatrun.org

Sunday 27th

Steeplechase

Norwich, Norfolk

www.muckyraces.co.uk

Monday 28th

Dublin Marathon

Dublin, Ireland

www.dublinmarathon.ie

Saturday 2nd

BFR UK Group Run

Clapham Common, London

See page 81 for more information

Sunday 3rd

Lancaster Half Marathon

City of Lancaster

www.shoestringresults.com

Sunday 3rd

ING New York Marathon

New York, USA

Saturday 9th

Run Strong • Run Free workshop

Bacon’s College, London

See page 81 for more information

Saturday 9th

London Spartan Beast

Pippingford, East Sussex

www.spartanrace.com

Saturday 16th

Anthem Richmond Marathon

Richmond, Virginia

www.richmondmarathon.com

Monday 18th

Conwy Half Marathon

Conwy Quayside, Wales

www.runwales.com

Saturday 20th

Antarctic Ice Marathon

Ellsworth Mountains

www.icemarathon.com

Saturday 23-24th

The Running Show

Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey

www.therunningshow.co.uk

Sunday 24th

Norwich Half Marathon

Norwich, Norfolk

www.cityofnorwichhalfmarathon.com

Saturday 20th

Antarctic Ice Marathon

Ellsworth Mountains

www.icemarathon.com

Saturday 30th

24 Ore Del Sol

Palermo, Sicily

www.asdmol.it

Sunday 1st

Grim Challenge (2 Day)

Aldershot, Hampshire

www.grimchallenge.co.uk

Saturday 7th

BFR UK Group Run

Clapham Common, London

See page 81 for more information

Saturday 7th

Aspen PE City Marathon

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

www.crusaders-athletic-club.com

Saturday 7th

Winter Sun 10K

Moab, Utah, USA

www.moabhalfmarathon.com

Sunday 8th

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon

San Antonio , Texas

www.runrocknrollcompetitor.com

Sunday 8th

BCS Marathon and Half Marathon

College Station , Texas

www.bcsmarathon.com

Saturday 14th

Santa’s Scamper

Calne, Wiltshire

www.calneleisure.co.uk

Saturday 14th

DAM Jingle Bell 10K/5K Dash

Orinda, California

www.wolfpackevents.com

Thursday 19th

Patagonia Running Adventure

Patagonia, Chile

www.andesadventures.com

Thursday 19th

Urban Jungle Mdina 2 Spinola

Mdina, Malta

www.maltamarathon.com

Thursday 26th

Cockleroy Chaser

Cockleroy, West Lothian

www.lothianrunningclub.co.uk

Thursday 26th

Sønndersø Rundt

Vaerloese, Denmark

www.puls96.dk

www

Barefoot Running Magazine

www.ingnycmarathon.org

Winter 2012/13

Page 75


News from the sporting arena

On track he annual Sports Personality of the Year awards took place on Sunday 16th December, with an incredibly talented line-up of possible winners (see right). If the award truly goes to the greatest personality, Bradley Wiggins was a deserved winner. He made us all laugh with his controversial yet honest speeches after his victories in this year’s Tour de France and after winning Olympic Gold. Jessica Ennis (who has also recently had a book published) came second, although this came in recognition of her amazing first place and gold medal in the tough sport that is the heptathlon. Andy Murray was perhaps a surprise

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third place when one considers the rest of the contenders – many would be expecting Mo Farah to be in the top three with everybody the world over knowing how to do the ‘Mobot’. Andy has worked extremely hard however and brought home Olympic Gold as well as winning the 2012 US Open Tournament. The Duchess of Cambridge presented the awards, either having overcome her extreme early-pregnancy sickness, or bravely ignoring it as she stood on stage and chatted further backstage. Sebastian Coe was presented with a lifetime achievement award, presented by David Beckham, in recognition of his achievements in competitive sport as well as organizing such a memorable 2012 Olympics.

Barefoot Running Magazine

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 shortlist. From top left: Boxer Nicola Adams, sailor Ben Ainslie and heptathlete Jessica Ennis Row two: Cyclist Sarah Storey, wheelchair athlete David Weir and golfer Rory McIlroy Row three: Runner Mo Farah, rower Katherine Grainger and cyclist Sir Chris Hoy Final row: Swimmer Ellie Simmonds, tennis player Andy Murray and cyclist Bradley Wiggins


News from the sporting arena

he sporting world, particularly the cycling world, is still reeling from the latest developments in the controversy that surrounds renowned cyclist, Lance Armstrong and the allegations about his use of blood doping throughout his career. In a recent, emotional interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong attributed his final decision to ‘come clean’ to the discomfort and awkward position that his children are in. He had heard that his 13 year old son, Luke, had been defending him at school and via social media and felt that he could no longer continue with his current status regarding his drug use.

©Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

o Farah, British athlete and winner of the 5,000m and 10,000 Olympic gold medals in London this year, was detained for questioning at US customs in December when he was on his way home to visit his family for Christmas. Farah, who makes his home in Portland, Oregon, was stopped by officials because of his Somali origin and even showing them his two gold medals did nothing to convince them that he was not a suspicious foreigner. This is not the first time that US customs have stopped Mo Farah from entering the country. On his return from Canada with his valid US resident’s permit, he was refused entry and informed he was being investigated for being a potential terrorist threat. Luckily his coach (Alberto Salazar) intervened, contacting a friend at the FBI to rectify the problem. Maybe he should employ an entourage to travel with him doing the ‘Mobot’ and then they might recognize him?!

Hole in one! Irish golfer, Rory McIlroy, looks set to be the new face of Nike with a ten year deal worth a staggering £156m!

2020 Olympic bids have begun. Bids have begun for the role of host country for the 2020 Olympics. The current favourite is Tokyo which narrowly missed out on hosting the 2016 Games.

Barefoot Running Magazine

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On track

For the most part, his fellow athletes are not sympathetic and the general public are finding it difficult to forgive what seems to be an entire sporting lifetime of lies. Armstrong still has his fans and admirers, mostly due to his successful battle against cancer and his subsequent work to help other sufferers.


The latest international news

International news

his event was created by the legendary Haile Gebrselassie back in 2001, when 10,000 runners registered to join in the 10km race through the streets of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. It has grown in size and popularity since then and the 2012 November race saw over 36,500 entries. It is an event which is now spread over several days, with a number of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s races held prior to the main event and the atmosphere is one of celebration, with the children warming up for the races by dancing to Ethiopian music played from a stage in the middle of the events field. The main race draws many international, elite runners and the female winner of the 2012 race was the Berlin Marathon 2012 victor Aberu Kebede in a time of 33:27. The male winner, Hagos Gerhiwet, equalled the race record with a time of 28:37. For more information, visit the facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatEthiopianRun

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Barefoot Running Magazine


Rae’s aim was (and is) to raise money for the charity ‘Soles4souls’ (www.soles4souls.org), which provides footwear for those in need of protection for their feet but do not have the resources to buy shoes.

hinese children are under pressure to achieve future Olympic success after China’s astonishing collection of medals at the London Olympics.

The charity helps people the world over and has distributed over 19 million pairs of shoes to those who need them.

Children are hand-picked from around the country to attend specialist sports schools and begin their training as early as 4 years old.

Rae’s facebook page has lots more information about her journey, including photos, links to her blog posts and how to donate. She’s currently raised over $10,000 for the cause.

The schools are notorious for following strict, demanding training regimes for their students, to ensure the best possible chance of success.

Search ‘Rae’s run across America’ on facebook and also visit: www.

© China Foto Press

A no-nonsense approach has been taken with overweight police officers in Indonesia. Any officer weighing more than 15 stone (100kg) must carry out a compulsory, twiceweekly exercise regime.

raesrunacrossamerica.tumblr.com

China is under a foggy haze of pollution which has reached hazardous levels. Many people are wearing masks as they walk the streets and the Chinese government is being called upon to take serious action.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

Page 79

International news

Rae has only been running for two years but quickly discovered the merits of barefoot running and prior to this mammoth distance, had already completed a half marathon and two marathons barefoot.

The latest international news

n Wednesday 14th November, Rae Heim completed an amazing challenge. She ran from Boston, Massachusetts to Huntingdon Beach, California in an incredible 228 days. Not only that, but she ran the majority of the route barefoot!


Barefoot Running UK

We are thoroughly enjoying teaching the workshops because they’re different every time. Barefoot running isn’t a miracle cure to running woes but is an incredible catalyst for re-thinking and re-learning your approach to your health and your running practice. Attendees are usually starting from very different places so each workshop involves plenty of discussion and analysis so that each person understands where they are at the moment, where they want to get to and how to do it.

The latest from Barefoot Running UK

n 2013, we are continuing to travel around the UK with our one day workshop, the basis of which is formed from our book and the ‘extras’ are layered on top according to what elements of health and fitness our students wish to discuss. As some of you know, although we’ve been running barefoot for several years, it is a relatively

Barefoot running is a valuable tool for all levels of runner. It doesn’t need to be the only way that you run but it should form at least part of your training and it needs to be tackled correctly. This is important – so many workshop students have already tried barefoot running but made some errors that have resulted in negative experiences. All they need is some good grounding and guidance to help them move forward safely.

recent add-on to the other movement methods that we’ve been teaching for 15+ years. David is an accomplished martial artist, dancer and sports fitness specialist whilst my teaching is a diverse mix of traditional, quite ‘hard core’ training at one end of the spectrum and Pilates, injury rehab and weight management at the other.

The dates and locations of this year’s workshops can be found on our website, but please do contact us with any specific questions.

ur facebook group has reached 250 members and become a lovely little community of people who are passionate about their running and reaping the benefits of taking off their shoes and running barefoot. We have a real mixture of abilities, ages and running histories, which makes for great stories which are not only interesting to hear but also very helpful to other runners. It’s a place where runners genuinely feel that they have support and can ask any question knowing that several people will be able to help them with an answer. The other thing which we’re very pleased about is people taking the initiative to form their own groups and their own group runs all around the UK. We receive quite a number

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of emails asking us if we know of barefoot runners in a particular area and we always direct them to the facebook group where they’re bound to find someone.

will include as many barefoot/ minimalist running groups as possible from not only the UK but worldwide, so that the network becomes more solid.

With this in mind, as the group continues to grow and other groups keep sprouting up across the UK, we’ve decided to sponsor a ‘Club Directory’ within Barefoot Running Magazine. This

If you have formed such a group that is free to join (and anybody can join in if they happen to be in the area) then please email us with the info and we’ll try to add you into the next issue.

Barefoot Running Magazine


Saturday 22nd

March 2013 Sunday 3rd

Run Strong•Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

BFR UK Group Run 10.00 am Moat Park, Maidstone , Kent

Saturday 9th

Saturday 28th Run Strong•Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

A running workshop based on our book with the same title

A running workshop based on our book with the same title

Edinburgh, Scotland - Location TBC

Bath, Somerset - Location TBC

Run Strong•Run Free:

Saturday 23rd

Sunday 29th

An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

BFR UK Group Run

BFR UK Group Run

A running workshop based on our book with the same title

11.00 am Edinburgh, Scotland - Location TBC

10.00 am Bath, Somerset - Location TBC

July 2013

Bacon’s College - London

Saturday 20th

April 2013 Saturday 6th BFR UK Group Run 11.00 am West London - Richmond Park

BFR UK Group Run

10.00 am King’s Parade, Cambridge

11.00 am East London - Location TBC

August 2013 Saturday 10th

Run Strong•Run Free:

A running workshop based on our book with the same title Brighton, Sussex Unity Studio, Lewes Road

Run Strong•Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

May 2013

International Barefoot Running Day 10.00 am Brighton, Sussex - Location TBC

June 2013 Saturday 1st BFR UK Group Run

November 2013 Saturday 2nd BFR UK Group Run 11.00 am West London - Richmond Park

Saturday 9th

A running workshop based on our book with the same title

Run Strong•Run Free:

Sheffield - Location TBC

Sunday 5th

Saturday 5th

BFR UK Group Run

Saturday 20th An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

October 2013

An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running.

Sunday 11th BFR UK Group Run

A running workshop based on our book with the same title

11.00 am Sheffield - Location TBC

Bacon’s College - London

September 2013 BFR UK Group Run

December 2013

Saturday 7th BFR UK Group Run

11.00 am Brighton, East Sussex - Location TBC

Saturday 7th

10.30 am Clapham Common , London The Bandstand

11.00 am London - City - Location TBC

Barefoot Running Magazine

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

ay back in 2000, David helped a friend of his, Len Woplin, set up a martial arts school in South East London. Since then, he’s been a guest Sensei as the club has developed and new venues and locations have been added. In the last few years, Len has expanded his coaching and entered the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) or what it’s known more brutally as: cage fighting. Last year, he asked David to come on board as Head of Strength and Conditioning, so each Friday evening sees David at the club, overhauling the fighter’s current gym programmes and swapping endless barbell curls and chest presses for more natural, body weight movements. David is also a kick specialist, so his role includes explaining the importance of flexibility, reaction speed and utilizing the ground for energy. Personally, David has been barefoot running in the snow and also getting back into off-road cycling – the muddier the better!

y Pilates teaching took a bit of a back seat whilst we focused on the barefoot running side of things last year but now I’m creating space to start teaching clients using the Pilates reformer and rehabilitation frame (see picture), something that has given clients great results in the past. If you live in London, do email me about the opportunity to work on this fantastic piece of kit – it takes Pilates to a whole new level and is such a useful complement to running as well as being a tough workout! On a personal note, my running goes from strength to strength as I continue to focus, tweak and learn from my practice. I’m careful to achieve a balance too and have been doing plenty of yoga, Pilates and swimming as well as ‘natural strength training’ outside in nature!

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Barefoot Running Magazine

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

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

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

+44 (0) 208 659 0269

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


The latest international news

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your letters

Hi, I'm Julia, and hope to find out very soon if I've got a place in next years London Marathon through my work. I am a keen runner and have done 2 half-marathons and one marathon before, but in a moment of madness decided to run the next one barefoot for charity. My boyfriend thinks I'm off my head! I live in Scotland, but if I am selected I would like to come down for a session with you as am in London fairly often. I have been running on a beach a few time since middle of November, but last week was first time out of the flat without shoes and socks, and although my feet held up well it was a bit of a disaster as my diary shows. Mon 10th: 6.30pm - too cold (-2) Tue 11th: 6.30pm - too cold (-3) Wed 12th: 6.30pm - too cold (-2)

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Thu 13th: 6.30pm - temperature just above freezing, decide to go for it with a 20 minute run along grass at back of flats. Feel absolutely ridiculous in bare feet with gloves, and scarf, and woolen hat. Call lift and nobody in it thank goodness, feet absolutely freezing and not yet left the building, toes just about glued to the floor of lift. Nobody sees me fortunately and I get on to the grass which is rock-hard, but it's dark and nobody can recognize me. I do my run and my feet surprisingly warm up a bit. Manage to get back to the flat without seeing anyone - I feel so self-conscious! Fri 14th: 6.30pm - meeting my boyfriend at 8.30, but decide to go for another 20 minute run. Temperature a bit higher. Unfortunately lift stops at 3rd floor and an old woman gets on. She stares but doesn't say anything, but I feel myself going scarlet. Run a disaster - trod in some dog poo, absolutely disgusting and feel sick. Clean my feet as best as I can on grass and return. Decide never going anywhere again that's dark - couldn't go

Barefoot Running Magazine

through that again and also think there could be broken glass. Sat 15th - depressed, no running. Sun 16th - 7am - decide to go for a 2 mile run on pavement while its still dark, but at least can see with the street lights. Went slowly as first time not on sand or grass. Feet a little bit sore after. However got my first bit of luck: another jogger caught up with me and started all kinds of questions, though he has agreed to go running with me on Wednesday evening in his bare feet. Hope I've not bored you with all this - my feet have come through quite well, but other problems such as extreme self-consciousness and selfish dog owners seem to be the main challenges. Julia, Scotland

EdFor your chance to win a copy of Run Strong â&#x20AC;˘ Run Free email us your letters to letters@bfrm.co.uk


The latest international news

We sell these in our clinic!: www.naturalfeet.co.uk

Kicked off my training for the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14th 2013. Barefoot of course! Made the Dutch local newspapers. My goal is to collect as much money as possible for the Dutch cancer foundation (below is a link where Dutch individuals can donate): http://www.staoptegenkanker.nl/Rotterdam-Marathon-op-blote-voeten I’m sure that there are some commercial companies who would like to sponsor me (t-shirts etc.) Maybe Adidas and Nike will not! [smiley face] If you have any tips who to contact, that would be great. All proceeds to KWF (Dutch Cancer Foundation). Peter Reus, Netherlands

Price= £priceless Stephen Bloor, via facebook

Barefoot beach run this morning, it was 1.5 degrees Centigrade, 20 mph wind gusting to 32, giving us a minus10 wind chill and light snow. It was pretty painful on the feet for the first mile but then they warmed up or became numb, not sure which but they felt better anyway. Not surprisingly I had the beach to myself. Loved it! Gary, via facebook

Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

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It’s your letters

The new ultra-lightweight multi-terrain running shoes giving maximal proprioceptive sensory ground feedback, independent suspension front to back, excellent off-road toe grip, pliable self-regenerating soles with lifetime guarantee. They are water-proof and quick drying, made from an evolutionary fabric which has been in research and development for 4 million years. They are strong yet soft to the touch, with excellent durability and amazing adaptability over uneven terrain. They are the ultimate technique shoe because they help you to connect with the running surface, enhancing posture, and stimulating muscle function.


The society pages What’s happening within the Barefoot Runners Society

www.blurmediaphotography.com o I was diagnosed with mononucleosis about a month ago. For those of you unfamiliar with this virus, it causes a litany of symptoms -the highlights of which are low, low, low energy, an enlarged spleen, and an average recovery time of SIX weeks. And yes, it is contagious, and although only moderately so, the contagious time is only a guess. Therefore, I will be missing at least two weeks of work – as the ramifications of spreading this around are so much worse than a cold. I have also been blessed with itching. I mean, everywhere, all the time, moderate to extreme – and nothing I can do about it. When I am able to stay awake, I worry all the time about the state of my body as it relates to my, now, inability to run. For the last 18 months I have been running, regularly, and I have become the strongest and most agile I have been in my life.

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I have come to crave running physically, intellectually, emotionally and even spiritually. And now, I can’t run. I can’t run, #1, because I have no energy. It takes almost all my energy just to get up, pee, take my vitamins, and eat. I can’t run, #2, because I have an enlarged spleen. I am a trail runner and all it would take is one wrong slip on the mud and if I hit my abdomen/rib cage just right, “pop”– I would rupture my spleen. Not my idea of a good time. And, no, I don’t enjoy pavement running, because it exacerbates most of my body’s imbalances, whereas trail running actually decreases them. I battled years of back problems prior to running, and as long as I run about 15 miles a week, they stay away. What aggravates them more

Barefoot Running Magazine

than anything is lying in bed longer than 8 hours a day. Initially, the mono caused me to sleep all day and night. Then 12 hours, followed by an hour or two up, followed by another 12 hours. Now, I sleep more like 14 hours, upon which I have to DRAG myself awake, followed by a VERY strained and exhaustive 6 hours up, followed by going right back to sleep for 14+ hours. So, I was SHOCKED that my back did not really start to bother me until about the 7th day of this ridiculousness. I have to attribute this miracle to the balance my musculoskeletal system had achieved through running these prior 18 months. If this illness had happened to me 2 years ago, I would have been practically paralyzed with back pain/tension by day 3 of this kind of extreme inactivity. But on the 7th day I began to panic. My upper back,


neck, and hips were starting to lose control of themselves. I was starting to lose control of my mind worrying about what was going to happen to my body. I was convinced that the positive effects of 18 months of running would reverse in a matter of 2 months and I would be reduced down to a slithery glob of painful, lardish, jello-ish muscles, and ooze onto the floor. One thing about running is that… nothing else is like running. My body works best with long, slow trail runs. It takes a long time for my body to “shake out” and get to a point, alignment-wise, where it can then begin to reap the benefits of the run. I knew that inactivity would be the death of me, running or not. I finally concluded the swimming pool would be the “safest” place to exercise as it is difficult to fall when you are already in the water. So on day 7, I used my ration of energy for the day, on the swimming pool. I just did some super slow laps at first. Then I remembered I used to “run” in the pool and I started doing that. I did it with a twist though, I would run in a circle, like around and around in one spot. That way it gave a little “trail” variety to the running. I walked back and forth through shallow water. Without gravity able to do its thing, like in running, I found that it took a lot longer to achieve similar results with regard to my musculoskeletal alignment. After at least 2 hours, I felt a distinct improvement. I went again the next day and again, about 2 hours was what it took. So as I am doing the incredibly slow, careful laps, my body is repeatedly drawing to my attention the fact that my upper body sucks.

The Barefoot Runner’s Society welcomed a new doctor into its home back in November last year. His name is Doctor William Charschan and he is a certified Chiropractic Sports Physician with well over twenty year’s experience. He often holds an official physician position at many different sporting events and is Medical Director for USA Track and Field New Jersey.

Yes, it does. I was just thrilled that running did so many positive things for the imbalance in my hips –that I pretty much disregarded my upper back, shoulders, neck, etc. I’d occasionally try to add in some exercises for them but, mainly, my running kept it tolerable. From lying on shoulder blades for so many hours, they are “winging” out away from my back - which, in turn, strains my back, neck, and hips and causes a lot of trigger points, everywhere. It takes a full hour of laps, mainly back-strokes, just to get my shoulder blades back where they belong. And it is not until they are back where they belong that I can even “begin” to start to exercise. Once they are re-positioned, everything feels better, including my hip alignment. Then I feel like I am getting better benefits from running in the water. So what is the moral of the story? I dunno. I guess it’s that I have managed to convince myself that the results of 18 months of running is not going to disappear over the next couple of months. Also, perhaps this is a wake-up call to pay more attention to my upper body. And of course, as always, it is an exercise in patience, because now I have to spend TWICE as long exercising to get similar results. It’s also a reminder in what priority exercise should take when push comes to shove. And this is a HUGE push and shove situation. Physical inactivity is the killer of the soul. I won’t allow my soul to be killed. I will save my energy for physical activity, over ANYTHING else! Thank goodness I even have a few hours of (albeit low) energy a day to devote to it. Otherwise, I would seriously be in the loony bin.

He has written a book about coping with chronic pain (Cheating Mother Nature) and is currently working on a book specifically for runners, relating to running form and injury. Dr Charschan joins a fantastic team of barefoot friendly doctors in the ‘Ask the docs’ forum, so be sure to visit that section of the BRS website to find the answers to your injury woes.

Barefoot Running Magazine

f you fancy some company as you polish off your post-run beer, check out the Barefoot Pub forum, where members meet up to talk about anything and everything. You can just enjoy reading the threads or join in if you’re feeling sociable!

fter much debating, to-ing and fro-ing, International Barefoot Running Day will be held on the first Sunday in May (5th May) as per the last two years. There is another celebration on the 5th May, Cinco de Mayo, which was why some people wanted to change the date. However, after a vote and some discussion, it has been decided that those celebrating IBRF and Cinco de Mayo will have double the fun and a very memorable day! Bob Nicol (Barefooting Bob) is coordinating IBRD as part of his new position as Administrative Vice President.

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It's that time of year again! Time to start the IBRD Tee Shirt design contest! What is your vision of International Barefoot Running Day? What does IBRD mean to you? How would you represent IBRD to the world? If you can envision it in design, perhaps you can share it with us. If you have skills, and we know you do, please consider putting together something for the 2013 IBRD T-Shirt design contest. We will begin

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Winter 2012/13

accepting your submissions right away. We will collect them and then present them to the BRS members on February 21. We will vote on these designs immediately, and the contest will run until March 7. We will announce the winner and then place the winning design in our Store. There, you will be able to purchase t-shirts (they have micro tech shirts too!) and other merchandise with the winning design on it. Remember, these are the official 2013 IBRD t-shirts and will be worn all over the

Barefoot Running Magazine

world! (These dates are not set in stone and may be shifted just a tad one way or another.) The winner will receive lots of kudos from their peers and a 2013 IBRD T-Shirt with their own winning design on it. Please email your designs to both BobNicol@TheBarefootRunners.org and BarefootTJ@TheBarefootRunners.org. Thanks! Let the games begin!


Summer 2012 Issue 5

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â&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on

k al tw s u

j

D

Parts & servicing Race preparation Modifications Custom builds Expert advice from a friendly team 82 High Street London SE20 7HB 07711 015102

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Barefoot Running Magazine

by


Name: David Robinson Preferred footwear: Barefoot Tester initials: DR

Name: Anna Toombs

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

Preferred footwear: Barefoot Tester initials: AL

Very poor. Under performs in every area. Significantly flawed. Poor. Under performs in nearly all areas. Not recommended.

Name: Gareth “Gadget” Underhill Preferred footwear: Minimal

Off the pace. Below average in nearly every area.

Tester initials: GU

Product review

Acceptable. Average in most areas but has its disappointments.

Name:

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

Preferred footwear: Barefoot or Minimal Tester initials:

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

Preferred footwear: Barefoot or Minimal Tester initials:

We are looking for two more long-term product testers to join our team. If you review products on your own blog that you’d like to promote, or enjoy writing, please send us an email with a sample review and we’ll be in touch with more details. We hope to fill these positions to include reviews for the Spring issue in April/May.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

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h nbbkjbb

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!

Name:


Out-of-the-box review: INOV8 Bare - X™ 200

Minimal review

WEIGHT (UK8)

FIT

UPPER

LINING

ANATOMIC

SYNTHETIC, TPU

MESH

FOOTBED

MIDSOLE

SHOCK-ZONE™

DIFFERENTIAL

3mm

N/A

0

0mm

SOLE

COMPOUND

GENDER

PRODUCT CODE

BARE-X™

STICKY

UNISEX

5050973233

UK

EU

US-M

US-W

4-12 (inc ½)

37-47 (inc ½)

5-13 (inc ½)

6.5-11(inc ½)

200G / 7.1OZ

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Barefoot Running Magazine


some people off, this is a shoe that anyone can wear and not feel that they’re making a statement, either when running or just paying a visit to the local shop for some milk. It also has a very ‘unisex’ quality to it so would suit either male or female wearers.

Other attributes that give this shoe a ‘barefoot feel’ are its generously wide toe box, flexibility and ‘sticky’ rubber sole, aiming to achieve a grip level similar to that of bare feet. It is also possible to remove the midsole which will give you a further 10% reduction in weight, although the midsole itself is relatively unformed, in other words not asking your foot to conform to a preconceived shape.

Fit

Here are my thoughts on the shoe, having tested it for three months:

Styling There is actually a new model on the way but the look is very similar. My shoe is pure white and I love the classic, no nonsense ‘80’s trainer’ look. It is a simple design that looks great as a training shoe as well as an everyday shoe. The newer colours are blue/white or black/red.

I’m not sure if this will be the same for everyone, but I did need to go half a size up compared to my usual size, although I must admit that I only very occasionally buy shoes and I know that my feet have changed shape with barefoot running, so maybe my natural size is bigger now anyway! As I say, the shoes were immediately comfortable and I have not suffered with any blisters or areas of rubbing as I’ve worn them in.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Innov8 shoes are known to be a high quality brand and I find these shoes live up to that reputation in their build quality. The gluing and stitching are thorough and secure. I’ve washed them twice in the washing machine and have not had any trouble with them having done so. One issue I often have with shoes is the lacing coming loose, but it is not the case with these shoes.

Performance Some people have commented that there is not enough grip on the sole of these shoes and that they are slippery on wet surfaces. Initially, I also found this to be the case but as the manufacturer’s ‘sheen’ wore off, the soles became duller and therefore provided more grip. It took a matter of a few weeks for the shine to reduce and the grip to improve and it is now absolutely fine. I have tried shoes in the past that remain slippery in the wet so I was pleasantly surprised that the grip improved with these shoes. They just take a bit of wearing in as far as grip is concerned. In terms of running performance, I tend to take the inner soles out

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Minimal review

With so many minimalist shoes on the market that have a more distinctive look that may put

As a seasoned barefoot runner, I often find shoes very restrictive and they consistently feel too narrow. Innov8 shoes have been criticized for this in the past. However, I found the Bare X200 shoes to be very roomy in the toe box and they were immediately comfortable – like a pair of slippers! The cut of the shoe around the ankle suits me well too, allowing my feet and ankles to feel free. I also find that I can wear these with or without socks and they fit well either way.

Build quality

Out-of-the-box review: INOV8 Bare - X™ 200

nnov8 shoes have long been synonymous with quality and performance which was why I was excited to try their first zero drop shoe, the Bare X200. Nicknamed by some as ‘the purest barefoot running shoe’, it weighs in at just 200 grams (7.1 ounces) and has a slim, 3mm sole.


Out-of-the-box review: INOV8 Bare - X™ 200

Minimal review

which takes the thickness down to just 2mm. This makes for a very light, slim shoe which does not interfere much at all with my natural running mechanics.

Barefoot simulation Due to the slim sole, I am able to get quite a lot of feedback from the ground and can feel variations in the terrain. Again, the flexibility of the shoe allows my foot to adjust, to a certain extent, to the ground beneath me. Most shoes fall down in this category, simply because it’s very difficult to simulate barefoot running in a shoe! However, this was one of the thinnest soles I’d tested and I was quite impressed with it.

Overall rating I would recommend this shoe. I’ve done around 100 miles of running in them, as well as worn them for day to day living. I’m looking forward to trying the newer version of these shoes, which apparently is very similar but weighs even less! They were comfortable from the off and I forget that I’m wearing them (which is unusual as I tend to find most shoes restrictive these days). Having people stare doesn’t bother me, but for those of you who want to steer clear of the more ‘out there’ minimalist shoes, these ones blend right in. They are a great shoe for those wanting to keep their feet protected and don’t want to go completely barefoot, but are ready for a more flexible, less structured running shoe.

Price

Winter 2012/13

Sizing Slippery when new Limited colours

Styling Fit Build quality Performance

The price is probably somewhere right in the middle of the price range of similar shoes, retailing at around £90 and in my opinion is very good value for money. The quality and comfort make for a long-lasting shoe that is probably one of the best minimalist shoes out there at the moment and comes from a very well-respected brand.

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3mm sole Lightweight Comfortable

Barefoot simulation Price Overall rating Barefoot Running Magazine


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Tested by

Rating

Overall

Price

Simulation

Barefoot

Performance

Fit

Build Quality

Styling

Human Foot My Foot

D.R

(01/2009)

INOV8 Bare X 200â&#x201E;˘

D.R

(01/2013)

Kigo Drive

D.R

(06/2012)

Merrell Trail Glove

Minimal review results

and Model

Out-of-the-box trail test results Make

Out-of-the-box Trail test results

Minimal review results

D.R

(06/2011)

Ozark Sandals Tri Black

A.T

(11/2012)

Vibram FiveFingers Classic Sprint KSO

D.R

(01/2012)

D.R

(02/2010)

Xero Shoe

4mm XeroShoe

(12/2011)

6mm XeroShoe

(12/2011)

A.T D.R

www.trekoblog.com / The method and the images presented here are owned by Scott Hadley, PhD, DPT. Copyright Š 2011, Scott Hadley, PhD, DPT. All rights reserved.

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2mm premium shell cordovan upper and 2mm Vibram rubber sole with the new elasticized leather laces.

$124.95 plus shipping

The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rolls-Royceâ&#x20AC;? of huaraches.

The ATS Perfectly designed for wet, muddy and rugged conditions.

$85.00 plus shipping No more tender feet on those long rocky trails.

Luna Sandal Company 1108 19th Ave E. Suite B, Seattle, WA 98112 | 206-395-8238 www.lunasandals.com

Out-of-the-box Trail test results

Combining the 8mm or 10mm Leadville Vibram sole with a non-slip footbed on top.

Minimal review results

The Equus


ee Majors – what a guy! While growing up he was my action hero. My friends and I could often be found running in slow motion across the playground as though we were the six (or in the case of my friend Alan P, ten) million dollar man. Then later he became the ‘Fall Guy’ – “the guy that might jump an open drawbridge or Tarzan from a vine, 'cause he was the unknown stuntman, that made Eastwood look so fine”.

became more sensible, we forgot about such things and conformed to a standard life.

Blowing our little tiny minds!

“I used to teach sports and do triathlons. I swim, do fencing and yoga. I spent a year learning it in India. I don't remember that. I used to teach yoga. India’s lovely!”

Back in the seventies and early eighties they never suggested “not trying something at home” and so we did. If there was a garage roof that could be jumped off, it was. We would even jump our bikes over bonfires, imagining them to be Colt Seavers’ pickup truck. Gone were the days that my friends and I wanted to be cowboys and astronauts when we grew up; instead we longed to be stuntmen, without fever and full of action. Of course, as we approached adulthood and

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But a few people didn’t lose that lust to become that unknown hero of the silver screen and one of those people was a chap named Ben Bellman. I had the pleasure of meeting Ben at the Running Show back in November when he was led to our stand by one of the organisers, David.

As he approached, he looked out of the corner of his left eye and asked, “What’s this barefoot running about? I’m not angry!” He continued to explain who he was and how he had ended up with injuries that had taken most of his sight and nearly his life. He had been an up and coming

stuntman working on films such as Gladiator, Charlotte Gray, The Count of Monte Cristo and even getting a nomination for his sword fighting sequence in the James Bond movie ‘Die another day’. Sadly, on one fateful day in 2002, a parachute jump went seriously wrong, leaving him with horrendous brain and bodily injuries. Ben told us, “In 2002, on my thousandth jump, I fell out of the plane. I don't know if the parachute opened. Every bone in my body was smashed and my brain came out. I'm made of metal now. I make machines beep.” He went on to say, “I was in a coma for months. They thought I wouldn't be able to walk, see or speak. I've got no memory of the accident or being a stuntman. I had a white horse – I remember my horse. She was lovely.” “Every day I do stretching and exercise in my room. I used to teach sports and do triathlons. I swim, do fencing and yoga. I spent a year learning it in India.

Barefoot Running Magazine


Even though I could see that Ben’s injuries had left him with speech and movement difficulties, he was still filled with a passion for everything sport-related and his ambition is to one day get back into the world of film as a stunt director. He chatted away for over half an hour about how his life is now, the people in it and his love of music and travel. Ben’s sentences would often stop with sudden concern and he would worriedly say, “I’m not angry” or “Do I scare you?” but, once assured and encouraged to continue, his face would light up again as he continued to speak about his passions and ask us questions about our own interests. That night, while travelling home, Anna and I chatted about the hectic day and all the people we had met. Ben and his injuries monopolized the conversation. In him, one sees so much love for the world and all things in it. He found everything ‘lovely’ and he didn’t seem angry about his situation or the accident that had created it. He had followed his dream regardless of the outcome and even after being seriously impaired both mentally and physically, he’s still determined to live his dream.

How many of us can say the same about ourselves? Ben is an inspiration and I am sure that he will not stop trying until he achieves it.

“Ben is an inspiration and I am sure that he will not stop trying until he achieves his dream.” I feel it’s only right to finish with some words of wisdom from Ben. “I love ballet. Caravaggio, Goya, Chekhov. And I read Shakespeare. I don't know why, but I do. I read sports books every day too. I have to hold them close, because I was blind after the accident. My sight is getting better and my days are full. I lived; I'm happy about that. I lack memory, but everyday I wake up and feel a bit more human.”

The inspirational Ben Bellman

If you wish to learn more about Ben, please go to Headway East London at www.headwayeastlondon.org

Keep battling on Ben and I hope we meet again!

Headway East London is at the forefront of support for brain injury survivors, their families and carers. We run Headway House, the only brain injury centre of its kind in inner London to offer specialist services and therapies. We believe that everyone has something to contribute within Headway and the wider community – that every person with a brain injury should be valued, respected and deserves every opportunity to live a full and active life. Visit our blog www.headwayblog.blogspot.co.uk to get a flavour of what we’ve been up to recently.

Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

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ŠTRC Publishing UK

Page 100

Winter 2012/13

Barefoot Running Magazine


Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

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Barefoot Running Magazine - Issue 7 (Winter 2012/3)