Brighton Marathon Runner Nick Hines | Barefoot Blog

Brighton Marathon Runner: Nick Hines

March 14, 2011 by Nick Hines

My name is Nick. I have just turned 48, and have always enjoyed running. When I was at school I was a member of the cross-country team and as a student I was well known for running everywhere. This was usually because I was late for lectures! After university I moved to Brighton, and despite it’s many hills, I continued this habit (even though my timekeeping had improved). Once I had reached 30 I no longer rushed around quite so much but still continued to run for pleasure, as I find running to be very relaxing and almost meditative. The regular rhythm and focus on moving forward frees my mind from the usual inner chatter. The only downside was that running on concrete for more than a few miles would leave my knees feeling sore, despite trying a variety of different running shoes.
My partner’s brother Richard, suffered from a similar but more extreme version of the same condition. Also a keen runner, he had stopped running in the last few years as his knees became too painful too quickly. Chatting with him one day he said he had heard of the idea of barefoot running and had tried it a few times on the beach (he lives in the Canaries). I knew that I particularly enjoyed running barefoot on firm sand, (not in Brighton unfortunately) and seemed to be able to go further without pain, but I had never thought anything of it. Last year when Richard was visiting us he mentioned that Terra Plana had opened a store in Brighton. He was keen to read the book Born to Run to learn more about barefoot running and possibly try the new running shoes that they had just launched.
Coincidentally the first Brighton Marathon took place that year. Since I was a little boy and had learnt about the origins I have been fascinated by Marathons as a feat of endurance and had often wondered if I had the physical and mental strength to complete such a distance.
After visiting the shop and trying a pair of Evos we both bought a pair and I promised myself that if they did alleviate my knee pain then I would enter the second Brighton Marathon in 2011.
The first couple of runs in the Evos felt quite strange as my running style adjusted to the minimal shoes but I quickly began to realise that landing on on my mid foot rather than my heels, dramatically reduced the impact of each stride and thus the strain on my knees. Running felt lighter and easier and as I increased my mileage. I found that my knees did not hurt and neither did I have stiff legs the following day.
So I now find myself committed to running 26.2 miles on April 10th, and am running more miles in a week than I used to run in a month. My partner complains that she has become a running widow!
I am just starting to follow a serious training program and have so far remained both pain and injury free.
- Nick Hines
[Nick is running the Brighton Marathon for The Martlets Hospice based in Hove. They provide expert and compassionate care for patients suffering from cancer and other serious conditions - to donate visit]

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