Introducing 365 around the world – a couple travelling the world.
“I ran further and harder than anyone else! 106km”
Rarely in my life have I been welcomed with more grace and open arms than with Antoine and Sophie in their beautiful home in Grasse. I felt part of the family immediately and was sad to leave after only two days. This set the tone for a weekend on which my feet only touched the ground when I was running!
Verdon Canyon is one of the biggest canyons in the world and renowned for its turquiose blue waters. However on the way there with Antoine and Levi (a norwegian athlete standing 6’6 tall…) It dawned on me that the furthest race I have ever run is comrades at 89km and longest in terms of time is Platteklip at 11h. This race will trump both.
Verdon is a major race on the European calendar with 1000 athletes taking part from all over Europe. This was the 20th edition so a special occasion all round. It is at the outset hard to explain how big the language barrier is in the EU. The race briefing was in French, and the entries and signs and spectators, marshalls etc…. Read more…
The first thing to notice is the thin sole. Immediately, you feel close to the ground. The barefoot feeling can never be fully replicated in a shoe but if you need protection from the weather or the terrain, this is the alternative. The removable insole also allows you to choose just how barefoot you want it to feel.
The 4mm sole achieves a nice balance of allowing you to feel the ground whilst at the same time protecting you from stones and thorns with its puncture resistant sole. The lack of heel to toe height difference will take some getting used to for those unaccustomed to it and some runners may feel like they are slapping the ground as they run. However, with a sensible ‘breaking in’ [learn more about transitiong properly to barefoot] period the muscles of the feet and lower leg will relax and adapt to the new sensations allowing the foot to land in a more relaxed fashion. This is when you can begin to enjoy the feeling of running closer to how nature intended and start to use your VIVOBAREFOOT shoes as a training shoe.
I hope the title caught your attention. Fact is I had the most amazing experience learning proper barefoot running technique from the coaching team of VIVOBAREFOOT. I literally felt liberated and born again, no exaggeration.
Of course, it’s not as simple as just taking your shoes off and running. Luckily I had the priviledge of learning from the students of Lee Saxby, the authority on barefoot running. A lot has been made of this book called Born to Run, Chris McDougall. The book that allegedly sparked a revolution. Well, Lee Saxby was McDougall’s coach. Also present (as a learner) was a London Marathon expert and advisor to over 50 charities on long distance running, Greame Hilditch. His book on running marathons has even helped BBC presenter Sophie Raworth to complete her marathon, a year after collapsing in one. It was thus an honour to be in such esteemed company, training in a centre just down the road from me at Premier Global, North London.
A friend introduced me to barefoot Parkour a few years ago. It’s quite difficult. In high-impact discipline practised on concrete, railings and walls, taking off your shoes seems like the last thing you’d want to do. The question of what was better for Parkour – thin, light martial arts shoes or heavily padded running shoes – was still very much open back then. But the benefits were clear immediately.
Glasgow Parkour Coaching have been try out some barefoot movement in recent months and have seen a number of benefits that supplement our regular Parkour training. Using Vivos on light training days, and practicing small movements with maximum proprioception definitely improves co-ordination, balance and precision which are absolutely essential for parkour. Any training that we can do that strengthens the ankles, allows them to move around their full range of motion, and promotes a natural foot movement will support our jump and landing strength that we need to practice safely. Read more…
In just over 2 weeks I fly out to Serbia to walk from the north to the south of the country; a journey of about 500 miles. The task is simple. But I don’t think it will be easy.
So why Serbia? Since i cycled through the country in a couple of years back i fell in love with the country. The people took good care of me, I made friends for life and I learned a lot about a country that i knew very little about before i crossed the border. But i didn’t learn enough. I wanted to learn more. Read more…