Category Archives: Completely Barefoot

Coaching Tour of Ontario & Quebec

Last week I was away on an epic, whirlwind Natural Running Coaching tour of Ontario & Quebec. The trip was awesome and entailed A LOT of talking. I coached staff from VIVOBAREFOOT retailers and minimalist shoe consumers in addition to having LONG conversations about the different offerings on the minimalist footwear market. I was hoarse for a good three days after the trip.

For more details, you can check out my recap at: http://naturalrunningcoaching.com/2012/07/nrc-in-ontario-quebec-recap/.

And here’s a map of the route we took:

More Barefoot Time and Coaching Update

I’ve probably spent more time barefoot in the last two months than I have any other time in my life. The increased barefoot time is absolutely due to the increased time I’ve spent coaching. It’s been a very busy couple of months for coaching events. Natural Running Coaching is sponsoring the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series in Alberta this year so I attended a promo table at the first two races. I’ve held 4 Introduction to Natural Running – Large Group Clinics in the last two months. I’ve personally coached dozens of people through One-on-One or Small Group Coaching and transformed them into Natural Runners. And most recently, attended the Footstock 2012 Race Expo where I shared Natural Running with countless people.

Coaching really has become my passion job and I am grateful every time I get to share Natural Running with anybody willing to learn. And the increased time being barefoot is an extra special added bonus. During Natural Running Coaching, we use being barefoot as a tool to better listen to your body and feel good running form. It’s all about form, however, and not footwear. Once you understand what good running form feels like, it doesn’t matter what you wear on your feet, although shoes that provide as much proprioception as possible definitely help to maintain good form.

Here are some pics from my recent coaching endeavours:

Me at the 5 Peaks Northern Alberta Series Terwillegar Race

 

Walking practice at a Small Group Coaching Session in Canmore, Alberta

 

Squatting practice in Canmore
Jumping practice in Canmore
A coaching client’s BEFORE picture
And AFTER picture
Me at the Footstock 2012 Race Expo (with the NRC TV Extraordinaire)

In case my blogging frequency decreases further, don’t worry, I’m still here. I’m just enjoying coaching! You can keep updated with NRC adventures at NaturalRunningCoaching.com.

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. :)

Road Tripping

My spouse and I just returned from an 8-day road trip to the U.S. and back. We drove south through Alberta, crossed the border into Montana, drove through Idaho, Nevada, and reached California. We stayed in Auberry, CA for three nights where we learned how to ride dirt bikes through Rich Oliver’s Mystery School (if you’ve ever wanted to try dirt biking, I would highly recommend going to Mystery School, Rich and his wife, Karin are wonderful hosts and teachers). We drove back up through California, along the coastal highway in Oregon, across Washington, a little ways through Idaho again, across the border into British Columbia, and then back home to Alberta.

It was a trip of three seasons: we drove through snowstorms on the way down as well as beautiful fall colours and experienced summer again in California. On the way back, it was the reverse until we reached winter again in northern Washington.

Why would I write about my road trip on a blog about being barefoot (or it’s alternative of minimalist footwear)? Because sometimes it’s hard to pick the best shoes for travelling. I often find it a dilemma picking which shoes to pack before going on a trip; I’m often limited in space. This trip I brought my Soft Star Moc3s, the VIVOBAREFOOT Evo, and the VIVOBAREFOOT Boxing Boot (they just arrived to review).

So what did I wear? Mostly the Moc3s. I find they are really very comfortable for road tripping. They feel like slippers and have plenty of room to wiggle my toes wide. On the occasions where we got out of the car to see up close what we usually drove by at 70 m/hr, I enjoy the extremely minimal sole and their amazing ground feel. I loved being able to feel the squishy ground at the Redwood National Forest in Oregon and the beach beneath my feet at the ocean. They were even fine in the snow as long as I didn’t need too much traction. :)

And here are some pics of our trip:

Yes, I’m actually barefoot! The ocean is a little cold this time of year but I did manage to run along the beach and into the cold water. This picture was taken after the dip.

A little further along the coast from the dip. The Soft Star Moc3s are perfect travelling shoes.
You can’t tell, because I’m so small in the picture compared to the enormous redwood tree, but I’m wearing the Moc3s. The ground covered in redwood needles was wonderful to feel through the minimalist soles.

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!