Category Archives: Barefoot Running

Run Barefoot Girl Podcast Interview with Yours Truly

I recently had a lovely chat with my friend and fellow podcast host, Caity McCardell. The scary part was the interview for her wonderful podcast, Run Barefoot Girl, where we talked mostly about Natural Running Coaching. Even though the interview portion lasted maybe 30 minutes, Caity and I ended up chatting for 2 hours in total. How time flies when you’re having fun.

Anyway, Caity recently posted the interview and it can be found as Episode #39 of RBG. I posted a little more about it on the NRC website as well. I haven’t found the courage to listen to it yet so, if you do, let me know what you think. I was more than a little nervous being on the receiving end of interview questions instead of my usual giving end.

Back at the Track

As all the sidewalks and paths have been icy where I live, I’ve returned to running at the indoor track.

The indoor track at Spray Lake Sawmill Family Sports Centre

To keep it from being too boring, I thought I’d try a variety of shoes and see which ones I like best for indoor track running. I always start out running a few laps barefoot. Then I put on some shoes (and socks if necessary), run a few more laps, switch shoes, and repeat. Below are the pics of the shoes I ran in my last time at the track and some thoughts for each model.

No shoes: best barefoot feel (hehe), not that grippy, felt like I was landing too far laterally on my forefoot (I haven’t figured why that might be), very quiet landing, got quite a few looks from other runners.

VIVOBAREFOOT Lucy Lites: AWESOME track shoes, my preferred shoe for running on the track, excellent grip, felt like I was running super fast, no shock absorption (how I like it), felt like I was landing on the medial forefoot more easily than barefoot, not as quiet as barefoot, love the uniformity of the outsole, ADORE the width, no need for socks with their super soft inside, kind of hot even without socks.

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero: despite their being designed for trails, I like them for indoor track running because of their excellent flexibility, a little high in the stack height, outsole absorbs some impact making for a cushy run (which I don’t particularly enjoy, I like no shock absorption whatsoever), love the width, need socks because the inside is kind of rough, good ventilation, not too loud on the track (in terms of sound but not colour).

Soft Star Moc3: soft inside, great width, really loud slappy sound, good ventilation, decent grip, surprisingly uncomfortably cushy on the track.

Vibram FiveFingers Performa Jane: great grip, very quiet, quite comfortable upper, no shock absorption, but I can feel the edges of the pods underfoot which is kind of distracting.

Switching shoes is a great way to make an indoor run more fun. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do that. Winter makes me miss some of my great barefoot alternative or minimalist shoes so indoor running lets me wear them for a while. At least until Spring arrives. :)

Run Barefoot Girl Interview

I had the pleasure and honour of being interviewed by Run Barefoot Girl‘s Caity McCardell a little while ago. Caity has completed her editing magic and posted the interview recently. It was definitely weird for me being on the other end of the microphone questions. I probably could have gone on and on, however, as we were talking about my favourite subjects: minimalist footwear and natural running.

Here’s the link to RBG Episode #6.

For those not familiar with Run Barefoot Girl, it’s a website and podcast dedicated to ‘celebrating women who run barefoot.’ It’s DEFINITELY worth checking out!

Tales from New York City

My trip to New York was utterly amazing in every way. I learned so much about biomechanics, coaching and people in general that I will undoubtedly be processing for quite some time. In short, it was truly life-changing for me.

I arrived at Newark on Saturday after an uneventful flight (other than a lovely conversation with a local Calgarian and a plane-shifting wind close to landing), followed by an easy and direct shuttle ride to the Chelsea International Hostel (which I highly recommend for low-budget travellers). It was late when I arrived so I hung out at the Hostel to prepare for the following day of sight-seeing. (I ended up moving to the Gershwin Hotel on Thursday night, which was totally awesome and would recommend to any New York tourist no matter the budget as they have a wide range of rooms available.)

On Sunday, Angie Bee Hotz (super mom and barefoot runner), Sabra Ellingson (Operations Director for VIVOBAREFOOT), and I walked all over Manhattan soaking in the sights. We met at the Chelsea Piers Sports Centre, where the VB Coaching Program was going to take place, and then walked and rode the subway around Manhattan checking out Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, Battery Park, and ended the tour with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. We managed to squeeze in quite a number of sights in a short time. It was so much fun hanging out with Angie and Sabra! We ended the day with a late supper at the Brooklyn Public House and I headed back to Chelsea to get some rest and recharge for the beginning of the VB Coaching Program course.

Me and Angie Bee at the American Museum of Natural History

I don’t want to go into detail about the course, it would take me a week. It was outstanding! I feel incredibly honoured to have participated and been given the opportunity to learn from Lee Saxby and meet the wonderful people who also participated in the course with me. Congratulations need to be given to Lee for the incredible success of the event. Not only does he possess a profound depth of knowledge in human movement but also the skill to share that knowledge clearly and effectively to his students with a wide range of backgrounds. Thanks must be given also to Michelle Hinsvark, the VB U.S. In House Marketing Executive; she was completely invaluable to the running (haha) of the course.

Basically, we were taught the biomechanics of human locomotion, how to diagnose inefficient and/or injurious running form, and how to coach correct form using video analysis and drills. I am excited to apply what I learned to not only improve my own form but that of any runner interested in becoming a more efficient and potentially uninjured runner.

The basics are already available to anyone who wants to learn. I highly recommend Lee Saxby’s ebook Proprioception – Making Sense of Barefoot Running. It outlines the concepts and exercises important in the evolution of a not only a barefoot runner but anyone who wants to develop their sense of proprioception, the most important sense that humans have in developing good biomechanics.

Me and Angie Bee after the course

Me and (genius coach extraordinaire) Lee Saxby

Miscellaneous Updates

I prefer to write one blog post per subject but my ‘Barefoot Adventures’ have taken over my life recently, in a totally awesome and creative way. So here are some updates as to what’s going on in my world:

I wrote my first Book Review for Living Barefoot. Al and I decided to venture into writing book reviews and I thought the first one should be for Born to Run. It’s definitely a different writing style and process than writing shoe reviews. In fact, Al was so surprised with it he initially doubted that I wrote it. :) Here’s the link: http://www.livingbarefoot.info/2011/04/book-review-born-to-run-by-christopher-mcdougall/.

My WOODWAY Treadmill Review was posted. I had so much fun at Stenia Health and talking with the owner, Kelsey Andries, that I had to write more about the WOODWAY treadmills. There was a bunch of material that I’d taken out of the Barefoot Running Treadmill Review that I felt still needed to be shared so I wrote the WOODWAY Treadmill Review for this material. If you’re looking for a treadmill to run barefoot on, these were undoubtedly the best of the 20 treadmills I tried. Here’s the link: http://www.livingbarefoot.info/2011/04/review-woodway-treadmills/.

This past May 1 was International Barefoot Running Day! As I had run the day before (in my Evos), I celebrated by going for a barefoot walk with my family. I’m working up to barefoot running outside (after many barefoot runs indoors this winter) so decided to start this year’s barefoot running program with some barefoot walking (as suggested in the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running). I have a long way to go before I’m ready to run barefoot on concrete, my tender feet have some sole strengthening to do. But spring is here and the weather is warming up so I can look forward to many more barefoot walks, progressing to barefoot runs, in the coming months.

Living Barefoot Coaching has taken off! I have two clinics booked already and plan on looking for many more venues when I return from the VIVOBAREFOOT Coaching Program in New York. This is super exciting for me and I can’t wait to share the joys of Natural Running with experienced runners and those looking to start or get back into running.

Stay tuned for stories from New York City! Off to pack…