The Desert Ultra Powered By VIVOBAREFOOT | Barefoot Blog

Learning the skill with an Independent nudge

March 03, 2014 by Jamie Page

Independent Running Blog

Oscar Quine recently visited The VIVOBAREFOOT Experience in Covent Garden, London to spend some time with our head coach Peter Ford.

The sessions involves filming your ‘before’ running technique and guiding through skilful running technique. Oscar likened the experience to being nudged:

“Some Whitehall wonk a while back adopted the concept of 'nudging'. By showing an over-liberal gas user their frugal neighbour's bill, for example, they could be 'nudged' into changing their behaviour. Watching back a video of myself flapping like a goose on a treadmill, I finally grasped the principle.”

Over the course of the session our coach helped Oscar learnt the correct terminology for said flapping!

“I have a ‘long, lopey stride’, a ‘low cadence’ and I ‘overuse’ my upper body. Thankfully, Ford and the VIVOBAREFOOT running brand-cum-philosophy are on hand to iron out my, er, quirks.”

The shoes were shed and Oscar went barefoot as part of the relearning experience:

“Having broken down my style, it's back on the treadmill, shoes off. Core to Vivo is the idea that the modern running shoe impedes the foot's ability to sense the ground. ‘The reason you land on your heel is because the cushioning in your shoe allows you to,’ Ford explains, adding that running like this does not just look silly but will eventually lead to injury.”

But it’s not just about going barefoot it’s about engaging the brain and the feet and focussing on posture and rhythm.

“I'm told to focus on looking up and use short snappy contact between my feet and the ground – led with the ball of the foot – to create a faster cadence. Posture and rhythm are key. ‘As soon as you put your head down, your pelvis will push back. Your pelvis is anteriorly rotated,’ Ford shouts at me over the roar of the running machine, slapping the soles of my feet if they fall back into bad habits.”

Finally they took a closer look at the feet and the importance of strong, supple and healthy feet. The best way to activate your feet, some regular to-ga:

“That's toe yoga to me and you. Tucking my big toe under my foot, with the other four toes out straight, is supposed to condition the muscles around the ball of the foot, with which the runner should lead. It is a most painful exercise – but perhaps could be the panacea needed for treadmill flappers, wigglers, and flouncers the world over.”

Read the full article on

To book your session at The VIVOBAREFOOT Experience which is located at 64 Neal Street, in London’s Covent Garden, please book online at

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