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Spring 2013 Issue 08 FREE

You saw joy and you showed us how cruel you could be. I was stunned, angry and confused, Today I'll run. I will run in defiance of you. You tried to instill fear. When I see fear, I will conquer it, And I will run. I will run in defiance of you. You showed us your hate. When I see hate, I will show love, And I will run. I will run in defiance of you. You highlighted prejudice. When I see prejudice, I will teach inclusion, And I will run. I will run in defiance of you. You may claim your God is true. When I see religious intolerance, I will embrace all, And I will run. I will run in defiance of you. Your aim was to hurt. When I see pain, I will comfort, And I will run. I will run in defiance of you. You tried to take my voice. When I see oppression, I will fight for human rights - even yours, And I will run. I will run in defiance of you. You wanted to divide us. When we see division, we will unite together, And we will run. We will run in defiance of you. You will try to physically break me, To stop me from running. I will crawl. I will crawl in defiance of you. You will see my defiance and restrain me. I will lie and dream of freedom. I will dream. I will dream in defiance of you. You may destroy me. I will inspire others. They will run on my behalf. They will run in defiance of you. Your name is not important You have not succeeded We do not care what you think. We will run in defiance of you. And remember.

How to contact us
Barefoot Running Magazine TRC Publishing UK Limited 21 Lyric Mews, Silverdale, London SE26 4TD United Kingdom ISSN 2050-9022 email: website: tel: Overseas: info@bfrm.co.uk www.bfrm.co.uk +44 (0) 845 226 7301 +44 (0) 208 659 0269

Cover picture: Anton Krupicka courtesy of New Balance Insert picture: Courtesy of Eric Rutin Poem: In defiance of you by Kate Kift http://barefootkatiek.blogspot.co.uk

Find us at:
www.facebook.com/BarefootRunningMagazine

www.trcpublishinguk.co.uk/bfrm

@BareFootRunMag

The health and fitness information presented in this magazine is intended as an educational resource and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor before attempting any of the exercises in this magazine or any other exercise programme, particularly if you are pregnant, elderly or have chronic or recurring medical conditions. Do not attempt any of the exercises while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Discontinue any exercise that causes you pain or discomfort and consult a medical expert. Neither the author of the information nor the producer nor the distributors make any warranty of any kind in regard to the content of the information presented in this magazine.

Hi Everyone Well, we’ve been a bit behind with this issue but the weather has been a bit behind too so that’s alright! Glad it’s getting warmer.. We have a bigger than ever issue for you (number 8!), including some new contributors. Ultrarunner, Jonathan Mackintosh, has reviewed the Mizuno Cursoris for us whilst another new columnist, Chris Fielding, has been investigating gluten free beers. To complement this, Abby, a coelic sufferer, has kindly given us a very positive account of living with coeliac disease, whilst our nutritionist, Leigh Rogers, explains the pros and cons of alcohol. I had a great Skype chat with Danny Dreyer, founder of ChiRunning, whose spiritual approach to running has helped thousands achieve better running form (see page 52). David has been in his lab again – beware if you drink out of plastic bottles because you’ll be having second thoughts after reading what he’s found! Togo Keynes (Njinga Cycle Tours & Training) gives us some pointers on choosing the right bike, whilst we offer some hip opening exercises to improve overall movement and running form. The usual news, letters, pics, etc. are sprinkled throughout, including a piece from someone who tells us what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a barefoot running enthusiast’s rants! We’d like to dedicate this issue to those affected by the events at the Boston Marathon and thank Kate Kift for letting us share her poignant words with you all (page 2). Run Strong, Run Free Anna & David
Anna Toombs
Movement therapist, Pilates instructor, running coach & author anna.toombs@bfrm.co.uk @ToombsAnna

David Robinson
Movement therapist, sports performance specialist & author david.robinson@bfrm.co.uk @barefootdrrob

Leigh Rogers
Holistic sports nutritionist, health & wellness coach leigh.rogers@bfrm.co.uk

Steven Sashen
Creator of the Xero Shoe & sprinter steven.sashen@bfrm.co.uk

Gareth Underhill
Personal trainer, sports scientist (Biomechanist/Physiologist) gareth.underhill@bfrm.co.uk

Ricardo D’Ash
Avid barefoot runner and co-founder of the Maidstone Barefoot Dashers Ricardo.d’ash@bfrm.co.uk

Monja Knoll
Psychologist, Lecturer and Tim Minchin fan

Ian Hicks
Barefoot running enthusiast ian.hicks@bfrm.co.uk

Togo Keynes
Cycling Coach, Sky Ride Leader, Spinning Instructor, Personal Trainer, Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist www.njingacycling.com

Chris Fielding
Blogging enthusiast and barefoot runner. Founder of Barefoot Beginner www.barefootbeginner.com

Steve Gangemi (AKA Sock Doc)
Chiropractic physician & MovNat coach www.sock-doc.com

Jonathan Mackintosh
Keen ultrarunner and blogger www.pixelscotland.com

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Main feature
The history and evolution of the Boston Marathon 1897 - 2013

8

In focus
Anton Krupicka - Standing on top of the world

12

David’s laboratory
Bottled water! Is it crystal clear?

20

Book review
Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet

28

Injury corner
Educate yourself to recover from and prevent injury

36

Technical tip
Postural alignment

42

Nutritional nugget
Alcohol - just how good is it for you really?

46

A conversation with...
ChiLiving founder Danny Dreyer

52

The Green Room
Abby Turner – on being a ‘Coeliac’

62

Try this at home
Freedom is HIP! 4 exercises to open the hip joint

74

How to:
Purchase the correct bike for your needs

80

Write back at you
View from the other side by Monja Knoll

84

Next Issue
What’s coming Summer 2013

121

International News
1

National news National news On track On track International news International news
Page 6 Spring 2013

56 72 72 90 76 92
Barefoot Running Magazine

Outside the lab
Other peoples’ labs

27 32

Questions & answers
Your questions answered

Season in pictures
A showcase of what you have been up to

34

Caught in the web
Internet snippets

49

Events
Stuff that’s going on

50

Assorted goodies
Products worth a look

70

What’s on
2013 events and race calendar

86 4 94 98 98

The Season in pictures Barefoot Running UK
The latest from Barefoot Clubhouse Running UK calendar

It’s your letters
Your stories and thoughts

The society pages
What’s happening within the Barefoot Runners Society

100

Product reviews and results B Club directory
Find a club near you

102

123

Anna’s pause for thought
Tips and general musings

18 58 66 124

Chris Fielding
Roving Barefoot Reporter

Sashen speaks
Barefoot Running is bad for you!

Backchat
David Robinson’s latest

Backchat Barefoot Running Magazin e Spring 2013

David Robinson’s latest

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he events that occurred at this year’s Boston Marathon shocked the whole world – runners and non-runners alike. We wanted to pay tribute to those who were affected, but rather than dwell on the awful details of what happened, we thought we’d delve into the history and evolution of this great race and remind ourselves why runners run and why we won’t be stopped! The first Boston Marathon was held in April of 1897, with just 18 participants. Back then, the race distance was 24.5 miles and remained that same distance up until 1924 when it was brought up to the standard 26.2 miles to conform to the IAAF ruling. The course is run through eight different cities and towns of Massachusetts. As one of the Marathon World Majors, it is the oldest and also the one with the highest elevation change, with a series of challenging hills that begin at around mile 16 and finish around mile 21. People familiar with route will know that the last hill in the series is known as ‘Heartbreak Hill’, although this is not to do with how challenging it is on your heart but the result of a journalist’s report in 1936 when he told of the broken heart of the runner who almost won, only to be overtaken on the hill by the eventual race winner. The race is traditionally held on Patriot’s Day - the third Monday in April – and this can mean unpredictable weather too. Over the years, the temperature has usually been between 40 and 50 degrees but runners in 1905 would have been particularly challenged by the unusual 100 degree temperature! The Boston Marathon is one of a number of marathons for which runners need to achieve a qualifying time in order to enter. The speed goals are pretty tough: under 3:05 hours for men and under 3:35 hours for women. However, about one fifth of the places are reserved for sponsors, charities, etc. so there is scope for slower runners to join in. The current men’s course record was set in 2011 by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, who ran the race in an incredible 2:03:02. The women’s record has stood since 2002, when another Kenyan, Margaret Okayo, achieved a fantastic 2:20:43. The 2011 race was a particularly significant one for Japan too – both the men’s and women’s wheelchair races were won by Japanese athletes, just after the terrible earthquake that devastated their country. Incidentally, the Boston Marathon was the first marathon to include a wheelchair segment. People often associate the Boston Marathon with the controversy that surrounded women’s distance running back in the 60’s and 70’s as women became more interested in it but were told it was bad for their health. To clarify, this was only Western thinking; in other cultures, women were regarded to be as resilient as men. Chinese women in the Red Army during the 30’s trained hard, with long distance running being an essential part of their regime because the endurance it built helped them in their fighting. Women in the Soviet Union were also on a par with men, practising the same sports and competing at the same levels. Even in Western society, smaller, poorer communities saw women carrying out physical work on the land alongside the men. So, the opinion that women weren’t strong enough to run came from a very small minority and a certain class of people. Luckily, some talented women were determined to reverse this thinking, even if it got them into trouble! Despite a few women having already run very respectable marathons (French woman Marie-Louise Ledru in 1918 and Englishwoman Violet Percy in 1926) the Boston Marathon, much

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later on in the 60’s, was still a men-only race. The first woman to unofficially run the race was Roberta Gibb in 1964 (in a time of 3:19:33) and she went largely unnoticed, concealing herself well at the starting line. It was later in 1967 (when Ms Gibb also ran again) that there was a great deal of media coverage as Kathrine Switzer competed in the race, along with her boyfriend Thomas Miller. When the race co-director found out that there was a woman running, he drove out to the course to try to pull her out of the race. There are several pictures of the scuffle as her boyfriend defended her so that she was able to finish. Unfortunately, she was banned from further competitions for her illegal entry, but the public’s sympathy was entirely with her and she inspired many other women to take up running.

Boston 2013
The explosions at the finish line of the 2013 race cast a huge shadow over the otherwise joyous coming together of those who love to run. Three people were killed and over 260 injured in the cowardly attack. However, in the great spirit of the running community, runners all over the world have come together to commemorate the lives of those affected by the tragedy, holding their own group runs and ceremonies in tribute. The ‘One Fund’ has been set up to raise money for the victims’ families and so far, over $28 million dollars have been raised. A concert will be held on 30th May in Boston to raise further funds and give people the opportunity to reunite once again “in defiance” of the perpetrators. Kate Kift’s words (page 2) say it all. If you’d like to make a contribution to the victims and their families, please visit: www.onefund.org

Sources
www.bostonmagazine.com www.onefundorg www.cnn.com www.baa.org www.wikipedia.org Gotaas, T: Running: A Global History (2009)

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In Focus

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ometimes known as the barefoot ultra runner, Anton Krupicka is perhaps one of the most familiar figures in the ultra running world. Just punch in ‘ultra running’ on YouTube and he’ll be in at least three or four of the first page of clips, with just his shorts on and long hair flowing in the wind. He may well be a relative of Ken Bob Saxton... Anton’s interest in running began back in the 5th grade when he wanted to produce a decent time for the 1 mile time trial. He trained for this by running one mile per day...and just never really stopped. In terms of ultra running, it certainly helps to be surrounded by beautiful places in which to run, so for Anton, growing up in Nebraska, it was perfect. During his running career, he has clocked up some very impressive mileage and times: 100 mile Personal Record (PR) = 13:18:52 at the Rocky Racoon 100 50 mile PR = 5:42:37 at the American River 50 He’s also a two-time Leadville 100 winner, which really puts him right amongst the top runners in the ultra world. Prior to the barefoot running boom, Anton was known for taking a knife to his running shoes and getting rid of all the excess padding and support (there’s footage of him doing so on YouTube). His approach to his life is minimal too – he says that he sometimes likes to empty his life and fit all that he owns into one truck, living out of it for an entire summer. When he runs, he’s known for wearing just his shoes and a small pair of shorts, although he finds the amount of interest in his running garb, or lack of it, a little strange. He doesn’t do it to make any kind of statement – he’d merely like to remain at a comfortable temperature, rather than getting too hot and also be able to move as freely as possible – in which case, the fewer clothes, the better. He carries this sense of simplicity into his diet too. He tends to eat mainly whole grains, fruit and vegetables and rarely has junk food. He’s not vegetarian but doesn’t eat much meat. During a race, he’ll opt for water, a few gels and a bit of salt. He saves solid food for post-race.

In most interviews, he’s asked about his diet and he’s very blasé about it – there’s nothing specific or monitored about his nutritional intake, he just takes it all in his stride. Anything is, “fair game” he tells one interviewer in the Runners World profile on YouTube. Another topic that crops up in interviews is barefoot running and Anton has also written about his thoughts on the subject in Runner’s World. “I view footwear as an experiment-of-one type situation that should be based on personal goals and individual preferences, not necessarily on a generalized theory”. Anton is an ambassador for New Balance and predominantly wears their minimalist shoe range – sometimes with crampons attached to the bottom when he’s traversing mountainous, snowy terrain. He runs around 30 completely barefoot

miles per week to improve his form and proprioception; this is also when running feels the most comfortable. Perhaps he’d do more if the terrain was more forgiving but as he and many others state, “shoes are tools” and must be used when it’s appropriate to do so. Anton’s training regime has changed over the years. He used to focus on the mileage and aim for around 200 miles per week during peak training times leading up to races. Over the last couple of years, this strategy has changed, largely due to injury as well as a development in his mental approach to the sport of ultra running. In early 2011, Anton took part in the Rocky Racoon 100, enjoying a good race with fairly decent training leading up to it. In hindsight, he did have a niggly

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left foot and some discomfort in his right shin which, whilst relatively mild before the race, seemed to flare up afterwards and on top of this, he lost a mini battle against a cold which turned into a bout of flu. Over the next couple of months, as his blog details, he wasn’t able to do much running because these niggles just weren’t going away. He could no longer put them down to post-race fatigue and realized that something was a little mechanically awry. In June 2011, on the home stretch of a run and on relatively easy and level terrain, Anton caught his left toe on something and as his right leg came through to prevent him falling, he hyper-extended the knee and heard a ‘snap’. This is never good news and Anton later found out that he had broken his fibula, part of which was now floating close to a very swollen knee. This isn’t something he seems to dwell on and is quick in his blog to point out that, although this situation was frustrating, it was only temporary and he was still very lucky compared to many others. The good that came out of this break and rehab programme was that Anton began to focus less on mileage and more on just the time he spent on his feet. He began to set vertical goals, rather than horizontal ones! This involved more hiking, scrambling and the use of ropes and the aforementioned crampons as he tackled different summits in all kinds of weather. Now, he generally aims towards approximately 25 hours on his feet during training per week and 14,000 – 15,000 feet of vertical climb. This way, he’s using his body in a more diverse way which, as most of us understand, is generally better than consistent, steady pounding on even terrain. He still has the odd twinge and has been sharing the details of a hip problem on his blog that he’s had since before Christmas. He writes, “Injuries are a funny thing. I’ve run every day for over two weeks now but I still don’t have 100% confidence in my hip. But it’s never really hurt, either. I’m hoping that with continued vigilance, diligence with my exercises, and acupuncture, I’ll gradually get there”. There’s lots of info and insights on

his blog and he also writes for a few other websites, including the Running Times (www.runningtimes.com) and Ultimate Direction (www.blog.ultimatedirection.com) along with his good friend and frequent running partner, Scott Jurek. His goal with his blog is to share his experiences with people to hopefully give them some motivation and helpful tips about the world of ultra running. Regarding motivation, he explains how his own love of running stems from a passion for the mountains. Whilst racing is part of the picture – and he enjoys the community aspect and ego boost that comes from racing – he is adamant that the key to a long, satisfying relationship with running is to find the enjoyment from the actual ‘doing’ rather than just end-goal achievement.

As well as continuing to train and race, Anton is also the subject of an upcoming film, due for release sometime this summer. It’s called, ‘In the High Country’ and is filmed by Joel Wolpert. You can find out more information at: www.thewolpertinger.com. To keep updated with Anton’s running and helpful insights, visit his blog at: www.antonkrupicka.blogspot.com.

Sources:
www.newbalance.com www.antonkrupicka.blogspot.com www.runnersworld.com www.runningtimes.com www.blog.ultimatedirection.com www.thewolpertinger.com www.youtube.com

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“Anytime you head into the mountains, it’s a fascinating but not entirely predictable, controlled environment. It’s a capricious arena, as is life in general. Of course, that wildness is part of why we go…”
Anton Krupicka

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he other day, I was thinking about 'comfort zones'. It's a phrase you hear a lot in the fitness world and although most have a general understanding of what it means, it is in fact quite ambiguous. The ambiguity manifests itself in two ways: firstly, exercisers are unsure whether they are supposed to stay safely within their comfort zone or try and push beyond it and secondly, there's really no tangible measure of what it is exactly because it's a subjective perception of effort. As an idea, it is sound because it is based on the premise that you should listen to your body and adjust your effort level accordingly. However, the ability to do that is quite tricky. As an example, many years ago when I worked in a gym, part of the standard fitness assessment was to monitor the gym member as they cycled on a bike, noting their heart rate and 'Rate of Perceived Exertion' (on a scale of 1-10) as they pedaled at a

constant speed for ten minutes, with resistance being added every one or two minutes. I remember clients working hard but only feeling a 4 or 5 on the scale, whereas others were clearly taking it easy but claiming a 9.

“Leaving your comfort zone can also mean identifying your fears and facing them.“
These discrepancies were often linked to the subject's previous exercise experience. For instance, those who were used to pushing their heart rate up and breaking a sweat were comfortable in familiar territory, whereas new exercisers felt out of control. I can expand on this with my own personal experience with

exercise. I've been a big fan of cardiovascular/endurance exercise for such a long time that when I'm out for a run and I feel my body start to respond with deeper breaths, heat generation and a raised heart rate, it feels like an old friend. In fact, weirdly, it feels safe. In terms of pushing my cardiovascular system, it's such a familiar sensation to me that I just know how much I can push myself. I recently ran a stupidly steep hill that I'd not run for a few months and felt that quivering feeling at the back of my throat (you know, the one that tells you that you might just be about to vomit) but still knew that I could get to the top and be ok. And that's purely down to experience. I would certainly admit, however, that it wasn't particularly comfortable! Barefoot running has made me re-consider what the term 'comfort zone' means though. Looking back, I realize that I

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used to think about it in quite a one dimensional manner. It was all about how hard I could push my body - how fast/far I could go or how many reps I could perform in the gym. In the gym. Hmm, is that really the only place I can push myself or get out of my comfort zone? How about: RUNNING BAREFOOT IN THE SNOW AT -2 DEGREES?! Wow, that takes things to a different level. Gosh, how I've been kidding myself! Pushing my heart rate up and getting hot isn't getting me out of my comfort zone at all - not really. It's not particularly uncomfortable at any stage. It's just different levels of work. Getting outside your comfort zone is about doing something that makes you uncomfortable. Part of that might be doing something new or unknown. Barefoot running was an uncomfortable challenge at first; not only was it quite painful on my tender feet, but I also just didn’t know whether or not I would be able to do it. Or what to expect. Added to that was the concern about what other people would think about me doing it. The embarrassment factor – sometimes much worse than physical pain! There was me thinking I’d been challenging myself when in reality, I’d been coasting along and probably getting stuck in a rut too. I’ve always done some running outside but I’ve also tended to exercise indoors a lot too – more latterly at home than in the gym which I stopped around eight years ago. Those who know me will be aware of the fact that I hate the cold – I just find being cold one of the worst states to be in and I feel cold much of the time, even in the height of summer. It’s a weakness that I’ve never really tried to deal with, hence the indoor exercise, especially in the Winter. My attitude changed with barefoot running though. It was something that I was in awe of, something that I didn’t find easy initially but found myself falling in love with nevertheless. I’ve been out of my comfort zone as much as I’ve been in it and it’s helped me immensely. In my running

practice, it means I no longer opt for a fitness DVD if I spot a drop of rain – instead, I head out and embrace it. I meet the challenge of nature head-on rather than hide away from it and miss its glory. It’s still a challenge to get outside when it’s very cold but I always go if I’ve planned to because I do warm up and it’s always fun! And in my pursuit of fitness, that must include being able to keep going in adverse conditions. Leaving your comfort zone can also mean identifying your fears and facing them. I’ve been safely training people and teaching classes which is fine, but since taking on the challenge of barefoot running it almost feels that the sky’s the limit (or not!) and David and I have grown our little newsletter into what is now Barefoot Running Magazine. I’ve learnt not to limit my own progress by being afraid. Going back to the fitness side of things, until a couple of years ago I’d not swum for ages because my shoulders have a

tendency to dislocate. I decided to take it up as an add-on to the running, doing just breaststroke with a scary, half length of crawl at the end of the session, worrying about my shoulders. Waaayyy outside my comfort zone. But I kept going. Now, I can crawl easily for pretty much as long as I want, something I never thought I’d do as I watched others in the pool with their effortless strokes. Yoga too is something I’ve struggled with in the past but again, it’s just taken patience and the decision not to just take the easy way out to now start feeling some real progress. These, as always, are just my personal thoughts but they do evolve from years of working with clients and learning from them. So, I’m guessing some of this might ring true for some of you and maybe it’s time to find out what other worlds are outside your comfort zone!

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David’s laboratory
Bottled water! Is it crystal clear?

“Fu-ti-can... It's Japanese. You wouldn't know it. It's in the Japanese character to do this sort of thing. They build these special ships… and sail them to the farthest navigable extremes... And look for the bluest iceberg they can find... and they tow it back. And one is able to drink something… that was last in liquid form about 30,000 years ago.” “Expensively clean.” “What does it taste like?” “Like water.” - Dialogue from
Kiss the Girls (Paramount Pictures1997)

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ast issue I looked into how much water we, as individuals, need to sustain a healthy lifestyle but one question that kept cropping up was: Is bottled water good for us? The image of a bottle of water is often depicted alongside young, sporty-looking individuals, full of life and vitality and would lead you to think that the two go hand in hand. However, it now seems that bottled water may not be as clean and fresh as the bottled water companies would like us to believe. Prices for bottled water range drastically - from £1.00 GBP for your run-of-the-mill 500ml plastic bottle product to a ridiculous £40.00 ($60.00) price tag for a single bottle of ‘designer’ water. One glitzy bottle (no names mentioned here) even fetched an outlandish £40,000.00p ($60,000) for a mere 1.25 ml of fluid! However, today bottled water companies are facing major criticisms as regulators and consumers voice concerns over the health and environmental implications of the plastics used in the manufacturing process. Supporters of the global warming theory believe that the packaging and shipping is unnecessarily consuming energy and contributes to global warming, while the empty plastic bottles add to litter and solid waste when disposed of after use, contaminating both land and sea. With UK bottled water sales equalling 2055 million litres (543 million US gallons) in 2010, and US sales surpassing 33.1 billion litres (8.75 billion US gallons), exceeding sales of all other beverages except carbonated soft drinks,[1] demand is driven by a variety of factors including convenience and taste preferences, along with the best marketing/advertising possible to foster the perception that bottled water is safer and much more healthy than local municipal water. But is this true? Firstly let’s look at the true cost of disposable bottled water and the effects it is having on our health and environment. Deputy Chief Inspector, Claire Jackson, of the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), controversially stated recently that local municipal water is not only just as good as

the bottled variety, but frequently is a great deal fresher, due to the fact that the bottled water can sit in storage and then on supermarket shelves for up to two years before consumption.[2] Ms Jackson went so far as to describe bottled water as 'a fashion accessory'. Not surprisingly, bottled water company representatives insist that the seals on bottles protect against any bacterial contamination, regardless of storage time. They also reiterated their product’s superiority to tap water, which, they claim, can be contaminated by bacteria, pesticides, lead, nitrates from fertilizers and chlorine.[3] Spokeswoman for – and advocate of – bottled water, Jo Jacobius, said: "The choice between the two is whether you want your water naturally clean or chemically cleaned."[4] Are the bottled water companies correct? It seems not! In actual fact, research shows that both forms (bottled and tap) have significant chemical contamination and toxicity.[5] Municipal water undergoes chemical treatments contains added substances, such as chlorine and fluoride, but according to research, so does bottled water.[6] Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the US’s

most ardent environmental crusaders, found that approximately 22 % of the brands they tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits.[7] The Environmental Working Group conducted tests on ten different bottled water brands at the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, where the group found a series of impurities and contaminants. The tests came back positive for fluoride, arsenic, fertilizer, prescription drugs and radioactive isotopes.[8] This is not to say that impurities of this nature do not occur in tap water, because they do! Take the incident in 2008, for example: 250,000 people in Northamptonshire, UK were told to boil tap water for drinking after routine tests by Anglian Water found cryptosporidium (a parasite that causes stomach upsets and diarrhoea) in a sample from supplies to Northampton, Daventry and surrounding villages.[9] But, unlike bottled water companies, municipal water providers dispense information regarding filtration methods and possible contamination. Critics of bottled water also like to point out that over 25% of all bottled water on sale today began as municipal

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water[10] and in some cases undergoes further treatment before being bottled, for example Pepsi’s ‘Aquafina’.[11] Dasani, a CocaCola product, is simply purified Philadelphia municipal water that has had minerals added back in.[12] Once sold in the UK (and taken from the Thames water supply) Dasani was pulled from the shelves in 2004, when it became contaminated with bromate, a cancer-causing chemical.[13] The Drinking Water Inspectorate confirmed it had checked the Thames Water supplied to the taps in the factory in Sidcup, England, and found it free of bromate.[14] It is believed that the purification process was at fault, during which calcium chloride was added, containing bromide, for the ‘taste profile’. This in itself was not a problem, but when ozone was pumped through it, oxidizing the bromide and converting it into bromate, that, most definitely, was a problem! When it was finally dispatched to the shops, the ‘pure’ bottles of water contained up to twice the legal limit for bromate (10 micrograms per litre).[15] The whole scandal was a marketing nightmare for Coca- Cola - such that they abandoned the sale of Dasani in the UK and have not remarketed here for over a decade.

There has also been the worry over calcium levels being too high in many bottled brands, particularly when there is not enough magnesium present in the same product to allow the calcium to be absorbed properly, which researchers believe may lead to calcification in soft tissues and arteries and in turn, could adversely affect bone density.[16] There are further concerns regarding high levels of sodium (salt) that some companies add to their products for taste purposes.[17] Sustain (an environmental charity) says: "While mineral waters usually contain only trace amounts of minerals - including sodium - people with high blood pressure or who have had a stroke or a heart attack should check labels carefully."[18] The Environmental Protection Agency suggests 20 mg or less of sodium per litre should be the aim in drinking water.[19] Let’s now look at the containers themselves. The vast majority of disposable water bottles are a type 1 plastic (Polyethylene Terephthalate, also known as PETE or PET)[20] and this can be a problem. While water is clear, it’s not always clear where the plastic bottle ends and the drink begins! Some researchers are now

investigating the claims that certain plastics are ‘leaching’ into their contents. There has been much speculation whether the amounts are harmful, and whether it is even a concern when it comes to disposable water bottles. It seems that small amounts of chemicals from these PET water bottles, such as antimony (a semimetal that’s thought to be toxic in large doses) may not necessarily be harmful in small doses but eventually could cause increases in blood cholesterol and decreases in blood sugar in those that drink bottled water over a number of years.[21] There is also concern over a chemical called DEHA, also known as Bis(2-ethylhexyl) which has been demonstrated to induce liver adenomas and carcinomas in mice but not in rats.[22] According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), it is "not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3),"[23] suggesting inadequate evidence of human carcinogenicity. However, both these chemicals are thought to accumulate the longer bottled water is kept in a hot environment. The cancer claim has been rebutted by Cancer UK, stating on their website, “A group of hoax emails have been doing the rounds for a few years warning about the so-called dangers of plastic bottles, containers and films. The emails generally warn people about one or more of the following; freezing water in plastic bottles, reusing plastic water bottles, leaving plastic bottles in cars, microwaving food in plastic containers or covered with plastic films. However, there is no convincing scientific evidence to back up these claims or to suggest that any of these products could cause cancer.” It went on to say, “There is no convincing scientific evidence to substantiate these health warnings against plastics. In the UK, there is legislation in place to ensure that all materials that come into contact with food, such as containers for pre-packed food, are thoroughly tested before they can be used.”[24] This may or may not be true, but what about the environmental concern? PET is manufactured using crude oil. Specifically, 47 million gallons of oil per year goes into production worldwide, an estimated 17 million barrels of which

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are used in the US alone, according to the United States Conference of Mayors and scientists at the University of Louisville.[25] What’s more, 80 % of 28 billion PET water bottles sold annually in the US are simply thrown away and not being recycled, according to data from the Container Recycling Institute.[26] Worldwide, recycling rates are even lower; up to 90% of bottles are not recycled.[27] This is creating a disastrous outcome. It is believed that PET bottles produce up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year and take 400 to1000 years to degrade, according to Food and Water Watch.[28] Which begs the question: If our current rate of consumption continues, where will we put all of this discarded plastic? Well the answer seems to be: Into our seas and oceans. ‘Islands of litter’ in the five Ocean Gyres have now been discovered, with an estimated mass of 100 million tons in the North Pacific Ocean (AKA: ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’) alone. 80% of its mass of garbage originates from land, 20% from ships, and - not surprisingly - 90% of it is plastic.[29] Worldwide, according to the United

Nations Environment Programme, plastic is killing a million seabirds a year, and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles. It kills by entanglement, choking and clogging up digestive tracts, leading to fatal constipation. Bottle caps are routinely found in the stomachs of dead seabirds, marine mammals and turtles.[30] Let’s not forget the carbon dioxide. The Pacific Institute estimates that for every ton of PET manufactured, around 3 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced and in 2006, bottling water plants within the US created more than 2.5 million tons of CO2. Add the delivery miles by ground transportation (lorry, rail and/or ships) and the true cost is outrageous! For example, for each bottle of Fuji water imported into the US approximately 250g of CO2 is produced - 93g for bottle manufacturing in China, 4g for transporting an empty bottle to Fiji, and 153g for shipping a full bottle to the US. Peter Gleick, an expert on water policy and director at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, stated, “Overall, the average energy cost to make the plastic, fill the bottle, transport it to market and then deal with the waste would be like filling up a quarter of every bottle with oil."[31]

Not to mention the adverse effects on ground water levels if bottling plants pumping out more water than is naturally replenished. For example, Perrier's Zephyr hills facility requested an increase to pumping from a spring on a private ranch in central Florida by 600% in the next 10 years. The request was denied by a judge, ruling that the pumping could dry up Tampa Bay resident tap water, some 37 miles downstream.[32] It must be remembered that rivers are delicate ecosystems and therefore tapping springs and aquifers, even on a small scale, can alter their dynamics, disrupting the food supply for fish and other wildlife. "It's a very complicated system, and we don't have a very good predictive understanding of how the properties of the river channel will be affected” , warns Kurt Cuffey, assistant Professor of Geology at the University of California at Berkeley.[33] So instead, should I use municipal water in a purpose manufactured sport plastic bottle? The concern of ‘leaching’ of certain harmful substances from the plastics is not only a possibility with reused disposable bottles, but also with many reusable sports/ juice bottles

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and office water cooler containers that are generally made from polycarbonate (a type 7 plastic). The chemical in question is Bisphenol A or BPA. It is a chemical used in the creation of polycarbonate plastics and therefore not only used in the manufacturing of sport water bottles but is also used extensively in consumer products ranging from laptop computers and CDs to car components, and even the linings in other food and drink containers,[34] with a world production capacity increasing from 1 million tons in the 80s,[35] to more than 4.7 million estimated tons by 2012.[36] Such is the extent that a recent study in the US found that 95% of the adults tested between 1988 and 1994 had BPA present in their urine[37], as well as in 93% of children and adults tested in 2003 and 2004,.[38] A 2011 study that investigated the number of chemicals pregnant women are exposed to in the U.S. found BPA in 96% of women and was commonly found in the umbilical cords of babies in utero.[39] As Dr. Hugh S. Taylor (reproductive endocrinologist at Yale University School of Medicine, who is studying the impact of the chemical on female reproductive health) says, “Everyone is exposed to it.” Historically, back in the 1930s, BPA was used for two purposes: 1) To enhance the growth of cattle and poultry and 2) As an oestrogen replacement for women.[39, 40, 41] Although it was only used as such for a short period of time, it is only relatively recently that research has begun to highlight the safety concerns surrounding the chemical, particularly exposure to it during pregnancy and subsequently for young babies.[42] Professor Frederick vom Saal, a biology professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has spent over 10 years researching the effects of BPA exposure during pregnancy and on young children, after coming across it in 1997 while studying foetal development. He believes that, “The foetus and infant are exquisitely sensitive to Bisphenol A. One hit during a brief window of time can influence future development as it passes through the placenta from mother to baby. Even low levels of exposure while the baby is developing can cause lasting changes in reproductive and metabolic development. Actually

there is so much BPA in the environment it is as if we are all wearing ‘a sex hormone patch’.”[43] This research project, one of many initiating from the early 1990’s, has proven that Bisphenol A does leach into its external environment. So now the debate is whether BPA is damaging or not. What is so unusual about the research findings is, scientists believe that low doses can cause genetic abnormalities while high doses may not, as Prof. Saal explains, “The foetus and infant are exquisitely sensitive to Bisphenol A. One hit during a brief window of time can influence future development”. He added, “These changes to the foetus are permanent and irreversible, whereas impacts of adult exposure are seem to be reversible.”[44] This causes different viewpoints amongst regulators. In 2010 the US Food and Drug Administration started supporting efforts by manufacturers to remove BPA from baby feeding bottles, as well as infant feeding cups and to replace it in food can linings, but at the same time rejecting an outright ban on all food packaging, saying that the science was still uncertain. Canada in the same year concluded that, while adverse health effects were not expected, the margin of safety was too small for formula fed infants and so declared BPA as a ‘toxic substance’ to human health and the environment,[45, 46] but to date no other country has followed suit, although in 2011 the European Commission banned BPA from baby bottles, while the European Food Safety Authority concluded that consumers are not at risk from exposure to BPA leaching into food, and has criticized the methodology of scientific studies concluding otherwise. Even now the row is continuing with the UK and a number of other EU member states opposing a new plan from the French regulators to ban BPA from all food packaging by 2014, after the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safely raised concerns after a hazard assessment, stating it would be a breach of rules.[47] Even though BPA has been banned in the construction of baby bottles it is still considered safe by the UK Food Standards Agency and this organization told the European Commission that the draft French bill ‘does not follow sound science’.

France's Health Minister Xavier Bertrand has backed the ban, which was proposed by Dr Michèle Delaunay, a doctor and member of France's Socialist Party, who warned that the chemical could be behind cases of young girls prematurely developing breasts and in September 2012, Ms Delaunay went on record stating: "The chemical (BPA) poses other risks. It can be responsible for obesity, cardiovascular diseases and could possibly increase the risk of cancer."[48] UK based cancer charity, Breast Cancer UK, that led the campaign back in 2010 to the ban of BPA in baby bottles throughout the EU, has welcomed the French Food Safety Agency’s opinion on its internal review by launching a petition (www.nomorebpa.org.uk) urging the UK government to ‘take the lead’ and ban BPA and other endocrine disrupting chemicals in food and drink packaging.[49] Lynn Ladbrook, campaign manager for Breast Cancer UK when asked said, “We want the UK government to take the lead on endocrine disrupting chemicals in Europe and look to ban the import and export of BPA. We will present the petition to the UK government and hope for a UK-wide ban or for them to take an approach like France has done.” She added, “We need to take the precautionary principle, the rise in breast cancer cannot be down to genetics and environmental exposure alone, but we need to ensure the chemical is not simply replaced by chemicals of a similar molecular make up but replaced with safer alternatives. The onus is on the industry and at times like these, it often spurs innovation with manufacturers already looking at alternatives because of consumer pressure to phase it out.”[50] Elizabeth Salter Green, director of the pressure group Chem Trust said: "The UK is trying to scupper the French ban, but it is not alone. Many member states seem to want to stop the French initiative.

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Symbol Acronym Full name and uses
PET
Polyethylene terephthalate - Carbonated drink bottles and frozen ready meal packages. Does not clean well - DO NOT reuse High-density polyethylene Milk and washing-up liquid bottles. Few scholarly studies show no toxicity Polyvinyl chloride - Food trays, cling film, squash bottles, mineral water and shampoo Low-density polyethylene Carrier bags and bin liners Few scholarly studies show no leaching Polypropylene - Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays

HDPE

PVC

LDPE

water. Unlike municipal tap water, to be produced and shipped, bottled water uses up a vast amount of crude oil and other fossil fuels, fills up landfills and pollutes our oceans, wastes money and does not go through nearly as rigorous filtering and cleansing processes as western world tap water does. My answer is to invest in good filtration within the household, either through a filter jug or, better still, inline filters for the kitchen and/or bathroom. Another worthwhile investment might be a BPA-Free, reusable drinking container such as the ‘Bobble’ (see page 118). As Anna said at the Running Show 2012, “Just taking your shoes off to run is not going to fix all your problems. We have to change other aspects of our lives – eating out of boxes, drinking out of plastic - that’s also unnatural!” The best option for the majority of people is to look at their daily lives and figure out where they can limit their exposure to manmade substances and live as naturally as possible within their own capabilities. This recipe will be different for everyone, but given the above, it’s certainly worth some time thinking about it!

PP

PS

Polystyrene - Yogurt pots, foam meat or fish trays, hamburger boxes and egg cartons, vending cups, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys Any other plastics that do not fall into any above categories. Beverage bottles, computer cases and baby bottles until 2011. Known to contain BPA

Other resins

Understanding the plastic code © 2013 I feel this is very much a reflection of what industry wants. The UK does not manufacture BPA, but we do use it a lot in consumer products."[51] But not all in the food industry are opposed to the removal of BPA, as Heinz and Campbell's, two of the world's biggest food manufacturers, are publicly committed to removing BPA from all their products.[52] So what do the findings suggest? BPA first caught the attention of researchers' after experimental mice began to display uncommon genetic abnormalities. The defects were later attributed to the plastic cages and water bottles and the fact that this equipment was cleaned in powerful detergent, causing BPA to ‘leach out’.[53] The researchers realized after determining how much BPA the mice had been exposed to, that even an extremely small dose, of 20 parts per billion daily, for just five to seven days, was enough to produce detrimental effects.[54] To date, over 115 Peer-reviewed scientific animal studies have been completed and 81% found significant effects from even lowlevel exposure to BPA, and it seems no one is immune to these health implications. Research has linked BPA to: Structural damage to the brain,[55, 56] hyperactivity and attention deficits,[57] increased aggressiveness and impaired learning,[58, 59, 60] an increased fat formation and risk of obesity,[61, 62] altered immune function,[63, 64] early puberty,[65] stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, and ovarian dysfunction.[66, 67, 68] Not to mention changes in gender-specific behaviour and abnormal sexual behaviour,[69, 70] and the stimulation of prostate and breast cancer cells.[71, 72, 73, 74] However, BPA's proponents argue that the substance does not accumulate in your body and therefore is not harmful, even though BPA has been found in 98% of all people tested in the US.[75]

References
1. Zenith International. The 2011 BSDA Report: By Popular Demand. www.britishsoftdrinks.com/PDF/2011% 20soft%20drinks%20report.pdf; 2011 2. Utton T. ’How old is your water?’ Daily Mail online; 2009 3. Caplin C. Is tap or bottled water best for our bodies? The Daily Mail; 13th April 2004 4. Tap water ‘never better’. BBC News; 9th July 2003 5. Ikem A, Odueyungbo S, Egiebor N & Nyavor K. ‘Chemical quality of bottled waters from three cities in eastern Alabama’. The Science of the Total Environment 285 (1-3): 165–175. doi:10.1016/S0048-9697(01)00915-9; 2001 6. DWRF Analysis of the February 1999.Natural Resources Defense Council Report on Bottled Water. Drinking Water Research Foundation; July 1999. 7. Zinczenko D. The Truth About Bottled Water. Yahoo health; 2009 8. Gutierrez D. Bottled Water Found Contaminated with Medications, Fertilizer, Disinfection Chemicals. Natural News; 04 April 2004 9. Sickness bug found in tap water. BBC News; 25th June 2008 10. Olson E. Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype? Natural Resources Defense Council; March 1999 11. PepsiCo. Aquafina: HydRO-7™Process http:// www.aquafina.com/purity-guaranteed.php#; 2012 12. Larsen Dr B. Discover the Fountain of Youth: PH Definitely Affects Your Life And Disease; 2012 13. Dasani UK delay cans Europe sales. BBC News; 24th March 2004 14. Lawrence F. Things get worse with Coke: Bottled tap water withdrawn after cancer scare. The Guardian; 2004 15. Watch out your health people (2008). Don’t buy Dasani water please. www.watchout2008.blogspot.co.uk /2008_06_01_ archive.html; 19th June 2008 16. Morr S, Cuartas E, Alwattar B, & Lane J. How Much Calcium Is in Your Drinking Water? A Survey of Calcium Concentrations in Bottled and Tap Water and Their Significance for Medical Treatment and Drug Administration 17. Azoulay A, Garzon P & Eisenberg M. Comparison of the Mineral Content of Tap Water and Bottled Waters. J Gen Intern Med. 2001March; 16(3)168-175doi: 10.1111/ j.1525-1497.2001.04189.x

Conclusion
For me, weighing up all evidence I’ve found regarding bottled versus municipal water, I personally have to fall onto the side of municipal tap

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connection. Princeton, N.J: Princeton Scientific Pub. Co. pp. 1–8. ISBN 0-911131-35-3; 1992 Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999; 23 September 2010 [cited 2nd February 2012]. The Government Canada -Chemical Substances: Bisphenol A. www.chemicalsubstanceschimiques.gc.ca/challengedefi/batch-lot-2/bisphenol-a/index-eng.php [cited 2 February 2012]. Audran X. Proposed Bisphenol A ban in food packaging would impact U.S. exports to France. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service - Global Agricultural Information Network Gain Report ; 2012 Reseau Environnement Sante. (2012) ‘Bisphénol A (BPA) sur Internet : Faits marquants’ Veille Internet BPA du 3/04/2012 au 15/04/2012 No More BPA campaign. Breast Cancer UK. www.nomorebpa.org.uk; 2013 Whitworth J. (2012) ‘UK charity urges government to ban BPA in food and drinks packaging’ Food Production Daily; 31 October Hickman M. (2012) ‘Britain to fight landmark ban on chemical linked to cancer’, The Independent; 10 April Bowmer A. 2012) ‘FSA oppose French proposal to ban BPA, reflecting industry concerns over consumer concerns’ RSA Environmental Health; April vom Saal F, Akingbemi B, Belcher S, Crain D, Crews D, Guidice L, Hunt P, Leranth C et al. Flawed Experimental Design Reveals the Need for Guidelines Requiring Appropriate Positive Controls in Endocrine Disruption Research. Toxicological Sciences 115 (2): 612–613. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfq048. PMID 20164146 ; 2010 Mercola's Dr. J. (2009) ‘232 Toxic Chemicals found in 10 Babies’ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/ 12/31/232-Toxic-Chemicals-found-in-10-Babies.aspx Palanza G, Gioiosa L, Vom Saal F, Parmigiani S. Effects of developmental exposure to Bisphenol A on brain and behavior in mice. Environ. Res. 108 (2): 150–157. Bibcode 2008ER....108..150P. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2008.07.023. PMID 18949834; 2008 Panzica V, Viglietti-Panzica C, Mura E, Quinn M. J, Lavoie E, Palanza P, Ottinger M. A. Effects of xenoestrogens on the differentiation of behaviourallyrelevant neural circuits: Frontiers in neuroendocrinology 28 (4): 179–200. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2007.07.001. PMID 17868795; 2007 Richter Ca B. L, Birnbaum L. S, Farabollini F, Newbold R, Rubin B. S, Talsness C. E, Vandenbergh, J. Walser-Kuntz D. R. et al. In vivo effects of Bisphenol A in laboratory rodent studies. Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) 24 (2): 199–224; 2007 Jones D, Miller G.W. The effects of environmental neurotoxicants on the dopaminergic system: A possible role in drug addiction. Biochemical pharmacology 76 (5): 569–581. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2008.05.010. PMID 18555207; 2008 Leranth C, Hajszan T, Szigeti-Buck K, Bober J, Maclusky NJ. Bisphenol A prevents the synaptogenic response to estradiol in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of ovariectomized nonhuman primates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A;105(37):14187–91. doi:10.1073/pnas.0806139105. PMID 18768812. Bibcode:2008PNAS..10514187L; 2008 Chemical in Plastic Is Connected to Health Problems in Monkeys. The Washington Post; 4th September 2008 (cited 6th September 2008) Ogiue-Ikedam T, Tanabe N, Mukai H, Hojo Y, Murakami G, Tsurugizawa T, Takata N, Kimoto T. et al. Rapid modulation of synaptic plasticity by estrogens as well as endocrine disrupters in hippocampal neurons. Brain Research Reviews 57 (2): 363–375. doi:10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.06.010. PMID 17822775; 2008 Elobeid M & Allison D. Putative environmental-endocrine disruptors and obesity: a review. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity 15 (5): 403–408. doi:10.1097/MED.0b013e32830ce95c. PMC 2566897. PMID 18769210. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2566897; October 2008 Heindel, J.; Vom Saal, F. Role of nutrition and environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals during the prenatal period on the aetiology of obesity: Molecular and cellular endocrinology 304 (1–2): 90–96. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2009.02.025. PMID 19433253; 2009 Clayton T, Todd M, Dowd J, Aiello A. The Impact of Bisphenol A and Triclosan on Immune Parameters in the U.S. Population, NHANES 2003–2006. Environ Health Perspectives 119 (3): 390–396. doi:10.1289/ehp.1002883. PMC 3060004. PMID 21062687. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060004; 2010 O'Connor JC & Chapin RE. Critical evaluation of observed adverse effects of endocrine active substances on reproduction and development, the immune system, and the nervous system. Pure Appl. Chem. 2003;75(11–12):2099–2123. doi:10.1351/pac200375112099; (cited 28 February 2007) Bucher, PhD J & Shelby, PhD M. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Since you asked – Bisphenol A (BPA): Questions and Answers about Bisphenol A (cited 2 February 2012)

67. Vogel S. The Politics of Plastics: The Making and Unmaking of Bisphenol A 'Safety'. American Journal of Public Health 99 (S3): 559–566; 2009 68. Jenkins R. N, Russo J, Carpenter M, Eltoum I, Raghuraman N, Jenkins S. Oral Exposure to Bisphenol A Increases Dimethylbenzanthracene-Induced Mammary Cancer in Rats. Environmental Health Perspectives 117 (6): 910–915. doi:10.1289/ehp.11751. PMC 2702405. PMID 19590682. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2009/11751/11751; 2009 69. Bosquiazzo V, Varayoud J, Muñoz-de-Toro M, Luque E, Ramos J. Effects of neonatal exposure to Bisphenol A on steroid regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor expression and endothelial cell proliferation in the adult rat uterus. Biology of Reproduction 82 (1): 86–95. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.109.078543. PMID 19696011; January 2010 70. Nakagami N, Negishi T, Kawasaki K, Imai N, Nishida Y, Ihara T, Kuroda Y, Yoshikawa Y. et al. Alterations in male infant behaviours towards its mother by prenatal exposure to Bisphenol A in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) during early suckling period. Psychoneuroendocrinology 34 (8): 1189–1197. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.03.005. PMID 19345509; 2009 71. Monje V, Varayoud J, Muñoz-De-Toro M, Luque E, Ramos J. Neonatal exposure to Bisphenol A alters oestrogen-dependent mechanisms governing sexual behaviour in the adult female rat. Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) 28 (4): 435–442. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2009.06.012. ISSN 0890-6238. PMID 19577632; 2009 72. Brisken C. Endocrine Disruptors and Breast Cancer. CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry 62 (5): 406–409. doi:10.2533/chimia.2008.406; 2008 73. Soto V, Vandenberg L. N, Maffini M. V, Sonnenschein C. Does breast cancer start in the womb? Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 102 (2): 125–133. doi:10.1111/j.1742-7843.2007.00165.x. PMC 2817934. PMID 18226065. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2817934; 2008 74. Richter T. J, Taylor J. A, Ruhlen R. L, Welshons W. V, Vom Saal F. S. (2007). Estradiol and Bisphenol A stimulate androgen receptor and oestrogen receptor gene expression in foetal mouse prostate mesenchyme cells. Environmental health perspectives 115 (6): 902–908. doi:10.1289/ehp.9804. PMC 1892114. PMID 17589598. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892114; 2007 75. Prins T, Tang W, Belmonte J, Ho S. Developmental exposure to Bisphenol A increases prostate cancer susceptibility in adult rats: epigenetic mode of action is implicated. Fertility and Sterility 89 (2 Suppl): e41–e41. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.12.023. PMC 2531072. PMID 18308059. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2531072; 2008

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Outside the lab

here have been concerns about the prescription of the anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, due to its various side effects. A team of researchers recently investigated the prescription patterns of the drug in 15 different countries to find out whether or not it was being overprescribed and indeed, they found it to be a common choice amongst doctors to treat patients with painful conditions, such as arthritis (article published in PLoS Medicine). The main concern is the risk of heart disease associated with the drug. It is suggested that 1 in every 1,000 patients who have been taking the drug for a year will develop heart disease and it is not generally prescribed for patients with existing heart disease. There are other anti-inflammatory drugs that may be considered as an alternative – it is something that should be discussed between patient and doctor to find the most appropriate drug, if necessary. The UK’s drug regulator, the MHRA, is keeping diclofenac under review which is somewhat reassuring, considering that what was once a prescription-only drug can now be purchased over the counter, albeit at a low dose.

esearchers at the University of California have identified a gene that is linked to migraines. The research team, led by Louis Ptacek, initially studied two families of sufferers to first identify the gene and then continued their research on mice. The mice with the genetic flaw displayed the same sensitivity to light, touch, sound and pain that are typical symptoms of a human sufferer. They also appeared to suffer less when administered with migraine relief drugs. The team are excited to be able to improve medication for migraine sufferers with this new knowledge. Serious migraines can be extremely debilitating, with loss of vision and vomiting that can last for several days. Their research also found that the ‘migraine gene’ has a role in sleep patterns which will help in treatment in terms of sufferers getting the appropriate amount of sleep. Good news for migraine sufferers – not such good news for the mice…!

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Book review
Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet by Michael Sandler & Jessica Lee

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hen I first received this book for review, it was quite daunting – a thick, heavy book containing almost 400 pages of information! However, Michael and Jessica’s writing style is an easy, conversational flow and I soon became absorbed in what they had to say. There are many benefits to being barefoot, both mental and physical. The focus of the book tends towards the healing nature of being barefoot and the spiritual well-being that comes from connecting with the earth. The authors refer frequently to ‘vitamin G’ – the ‘G’ standing for ‘ground’. They explain the concept of the earth’s frequency being in tune with that of the human body. They touched on this in their book Barefoot Running but cover it in greater detail in this book. It’s a fascinating subject and one that has been researched quite extensively by a man called Clint Ober who has developed a series of popular products, such as the grounding pad which helps improve sleep and reduce muscle stiffness. Michael and Jessica also include a section on dirt, which was possibly my favourite part of the book. Again, they emphasize that dirt isn’t actually ‘dirty’ – it has many healing properties. Funnily enough, we all know this but don’t recognize it because it’s almost in disguise in our society. People use mud packs on their skin to improve texture and quality and will pay significant sums of money for these mud packs, which probably contain very little of the stuff in its natural form. Michael and Jessica spend some time reminding us just how good dirt is and how they use it as their go-to remedy, collecting it directly from the earth so that it has all of its natural ingredients, to reduce inflammation and help injuries heal more quickly. Both authors (as well as the majority of their readers, no doubt) have sustained injuries that have seen them hobbling about for a good few weeks. They both offer insights into how they coped with their injuries and what they learned from them. In all instances, connecting with the earth was an integral part of their recovery. The practical guide to barefoot walking begins about half way through the book. They begin by

explaining that almost anyone can walk barefoot and benefit from it. They run through excuses that they’ve heard and explain why they are just that – excuses, rather than sensible reasoning. They then take a look at posture and offer some suggestions as to how to improve posture with visual cues and exercises. After this introduction, they are more walking specific and explain three different methods of walking: 1) The Feather Walk (walking silently, lightly up on your toes), 2) The Tiger Walk (focusing on strengthening the feet by ‘grabbing’ the ground) and 3) The Walk and Roll (slightly more of a glide – to be used when the Feather Walk doesn’t feel appropriate, perhaps due to the terrain or fatigue). They then go on to offer a three month barefoot walking programme. The first four weeks are written in detail, with a day by day guide. It

begins with a series of 10 to 20 yard walks with rest in between each stint and with a total distance of no more than 100 yards. This sounds like a very small amount, but by the end of week four, they have progressed you gradually to 30 minutes of continuous barefoot walking. Months two and three are more of a general guide but by the end, they suggest that you will be happily walking significant distances (or times) as well as over varying terrain. Michael and Jessica stress the importance of cross training and offer numerous examples of other exercises and an outline of what aspects of health and fitness they will improve. They also explain some fantastic foot and ankle exercises with photos to accompany the instructions. There’s a lot of research about how being barefoot can help people of all ages and Michael and Jessica

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cover this in different sections about children and the elderly. For young kids, it’s extremely important that their feet are allowed to develop naturally and for older adults, being barefoot significantly helps balance and coordination. The injury section is very detailed, tackling many foot-related problems but also discussing typical injuries of the lower legs, hips and spine. As they point out, injury is often a result of attitude – forcing the body to do a little too much. Michael writes, “When I leave ego alone I never seem to get hurt.” I think we can all identify with that! Michael and Jessica have included a very interesting section on diet. They both eat 90% raw and have reaped the benefits of making this drastic change to their eating patterns. Neither of them are qualified nutritionists but, like many fitness professionals who’ve been in the game a long time and who’ve been open minded enough to experiment, they can offer scientific back up as well as anecdotal evidence regarding their nutritional advice. As with any book about barefoot walking or running, there’s also a

section about shoes! As is the case for most barefoot proponents, they recognize the fact that shoes are sometimes necessary and they offer a decent guide into what to look for in a shoe as well as mentioning their own particular favourites. Finally, they hint towards barefoot running and if the reader has followed all the advice in the book, that progression will feel as natural as anything. I guess for some readers, they might find the ‘spiritual’ point of view is not something they buy into and this is a strong theme at the beginning of the book. There is even a section about hugging a tree! I would challenge anyone to hug a tree and not feel better though – part of the bigger picture of being barefoot is learning to be open to new experiences. And don’t be put off by the small font and number of words – it’s written in very manageable chunks so that you can read it section by section. Michael and Jessica really have thought of absolutely everything so that even if you think you know everything about walking barefoot, you will learn from this book. A highly recommended read.

Barefoot Walking: Free Your Feet to Minimize Impact, Maximize Efficiency, and Discover the Pleasure of Getting in Touch with the Earth. By Michael Sandler & Jessica Lee Paperback: $19.99 Language English ISBN-13: 978-0307985910 www.runbare.com

Svetlana Masterkova © Reuters

Running fact 1. The female record for one mile is 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia on 14th August 1996.

Did you know
Running fact 2. The human heart, while running, creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.

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Questions & answers 123456789987653212

check out the calendar in the Barefoot Running Magazine. All the best Anna Many thanks Anna, I live in the Basingstoke area. After spending my childhood in bare feet everywhere, a recent article had me going for it again. Did a trial walk to local Tesco but they were very unhappy to have someone walking around their store in bare feet - health and safety!! However I said I was an adult and took full responsibility for myself and what do they do in summer with everyone in flip flops but it was to no avail - if I do it again what's betting they throw me out?

than not (in my experience) go without socks and often remove the inner sole of shoes too. A lot comes down to personal preference. If you're injured though and getting back to running slowly - completely barefoot is best! Progress gradually, patiently and wisely :)

Hello, Just thought I would let you know of progress. I think I may have had a eureka moment. My posture has been getting better and better. I told you about the Alexander technique and that is helping loads. I think I mentioned before, it just underlines what you talk about with posture in your book. Just some of us need a little more help to get it!!! Anyway, things were improving but just not quite there. I was still aware that I was overusing my right hip flexor and not using my glute, and I was rotating forward on the right rather than extending from the hip. Then just this morning I got it! If I just relax and make sure I allow my shoulders and hips to rotate when I walk and run, I am much more balanced. Of course, this is dependent on good, tall posture. I remember you telling me that I needed to do this when we were out running but at the time I was too tense in my upper body to be able to. Well, now I can and it makes a lot of difference. So, did I need to be barefoot to achieve this? Well actually, I have been minimalist rather than barefoot for a while since barefoot didn’t work for me to start with. Hmm, I think being barefoot or minimalist helps hugely with posture and balance. For now I shall carry on and try and actually build up some mileage. I fancy giving proper barefoot another go too now that things are going better… .just for fun! I had another look at a running film of me too. I decided that the “down bounce” on the left I was concerned about is more of a “no bounce” on the right. My right leg lands less bent than my left. Maybe this will improve as I get stronger.

Send your running questions to Anna & David and they will endeavour to answer them for you: letters@bfrm.co.uk
Are there clubs around the uk? (Susan, Basingstoke) Hi Susan Thanks for your email, I’ve added you to our subscriber list. There aren’t really any official clubs as yet. However, we have a group on facebook through which people are beginning to organize runs in their own areas. If you use facebook, search ‘Barefoot Running U.K.’ and request to join and then just put a post on there to see who’s in your area. Alternatively, if you let me know whereabouts you are I can possibly put you in touch with someone who organizes runs as the network is growing quite rapidly! David Robinson and I are holding several group runs this year in various places around the UK, so

Sorry, this is probably a silly question - I'm injured at the moment, but can start very short runs in the next week or so. I thought it would be an ideal time to start the transition to minimal/Barefoot running, the question I have - do people still wear socks in minimal shoes? I've got some Merrells that I'm going to use, but it just doesn't feel right with no socks, but then thinking about it, the whole point is to get as close as possible to the ground, so why stick socks in as well??? I'm confusing myself! (Karen, via facebook) Hi Karen - starting with "very short runs" is perfect for going completely barefoot, so that's what I'd recommend. Regarding the sock question, more people

Posture
1.
a. A position of the body or of body parts b. An attitude; a pose 2. A characteristic way of bearing one's body; carriage 3. Relative placement or arrangement 4. A stance or disposition with regard to something 5. A frame of mind affecting one's thoughts or behaviour; an overall attitude.

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The latest National news

Shin splints may refer to a number of lower leg complaints and injuries. In most cases, shin splints refer to the pain that results from overload on the tissues that connect muscles to the shin bone (tibia). They also may come from the small bone of the lower leg and ankle, called the fibula. The medical term for shin splints is Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.

used to walking barefoot, on concrete to start with. I would recommend that you wait until the pain is gone before you run and the walking will give your feet a chance to gain strength and flexibility, as well as starting to build up the fat pads on the soles of your feet. Start with smooth concrete and progress to rougher surfaces when you feel ready. Patience is the key! There’s a great book that’s just been released called Barefoot Walking by Michael Sandler (see page 28). It explains everything in detail – including the healing influence of connecting directly with the ground. We’ve written a book that will teach you all you need to know about barefoot running (which you can begin to do once your injury is fully healed). It’s available here: www.trcpublishinguk.com Our feet are designed for walking and running, so biomechanically it makes sense. It also means that you can’t do too much too soon (speed or mileage) which is another reason why it’s linked to less injuries. Be patient with it and it won’t take you too long to make progress. If you try and force it, it’ll end up taking longer. Anything that’s repeated too much will potentially injure you, so further down the line, you should vary the surfaces you run on as well as doing other types of training (the more you mix it up, the better). If you can find a nearby movement therapist and/or running coach, it would be useful to have your technique assessed – there maybe some corrective exercises that will help ( I wouldn’t like to suggest any without seeing you). You didn’t ask about minimalist or ‘barefoot shoes’ but, as I said, I would begin completely barefoot. You want as little interference as possible as you learn to improve your walking and running gait. Minimalist shoes are great for everyday wear though. I hope this helps!

I listened to your interview with Caity last week (the podcast). I really enjoyed it. I thought you came across as very knowledgeable and told it like it is. I found the contrast between you and Caity quite funny. In a good way! Anyway, hope all well, take care! Anne (Liverpool) Hi Anne It’s really good to hear how well you’re progressing. You’ll probably find that you experience many more eureka moments – that’s what it’s all about, just continuously learning, discovering and enjoying. I always think that the number one rule for everyone is to relax – it’s so easy to begin restricting natural movement when you over-think your running form. As you’ve discovered, many people find it useful to explore other movement techniques to help them understand their own body and movement – which then aids them in running. I wholeheartedly encourage all runners to try other forms of movement and find what works for them, whether it’s one particular regime or just a mixture of many. It sounds as though you’re enjoying it so, above all, keep having fun! And thankfully, we are seeing some sunshine too which always helps! Glad you enjoyed the podcast. I think it was only interesting for runners though – my sister said she tried to listen to it but got bored!

Thank you for keeping us updated – it’s great to listen to your running story develop! All the best Anna

Questions & answers

Hi there, I'm hoping for some advice if possible. I am currently recovering from an injury (medial tibial stress syndrome) which I picked up after running too much while training for a marathon (which I now need to pull out of). I was running in neutral shoes, always on tarmac, 4-5 days a week. I've read a lot about running barefoot, and have tentatively started trying it out over the last 4 weeks. However I am still having some pain from my injury (it's been 11 weeks now since I got the injury). I'm only running for 10 minutes at a time, once every five days. Should I wait until I am completely recovered before starting barefoot running? I am a slight over pronater which is how I think I picked up the injury. Any advice you can give would be really appreciated. Many thanks, Sarah. Hi Sarah Sorry to hear you’re injured. That is often the nature of racing unfortunately – if you run according to a schedule rather than what your body is telling you, an injury is likely to happen eventually. However, you are in a perfect position to begin barefoot running! The best way to start is completely from scratch, completely barefoot. I would suggest that you start by getting

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Season in pictures
A showcase of what you have been up to for the past 3 months

Victoria Zaniewicz, Tracy ‘Barefoot Britain’ Davenport, Ricardo D'Ash, Zsolt Velykovits and Robin Dearle at this year’s IBRD Brighton run Stephen Fowler. “This is why I run with friends/amigos” post- race in sunny Spain

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Left to right: Alan Thwaits, Chris G and Marcus C after finishing the Sarasota Half Marathon in March

IBRD 2013 German BRS chapter

Patrick Sweeney making friends at the Bare Burro 5K race

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Injury Corner
Educate yourself to recover from and prevent injury by Steve Gangemi

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obody wants to be injured and if you’re injured you obviously want the injury gone as soon as possible. Properly treating an injury involves more than just looking at the symptom, which is usually where the pain is felt. You have to understand why you’re injured to properly assess, treat, and prevent that injury and any other injury from occurring again and that can sometimes be hard to figure out on your own. We live in a symptom-based treatment world which relies on outdated, unproven, and often harmful therapies. Combine this “professional” help with the loads of advice out there, (yes, including Sock Doc advice), and you’re left with wondering what to do and who to trust. One of the most common questions I receive is from an injured athlete asking me what they should do for a certain injury. So many people are injured though the majority of them can be avoided. Of course there are exceptions such as accidents – sudden trauma to your body maybe from tripping over a rock while running or some jackass taking your flag football game way too seriously. Ideally what you should be doing for any injury you ever sustain are some specific therapies and lifestyle adjustments which are individualized for you and only you. That means your plantar fasciitis may need a trigger point addressed on the back of your upper leg and you may need to change your training by easing off the anaerobic workouts. Someone else with the exact same symptoms may have a trigger point by the arch of their foot and they need to change their running shoes. Another with the same injury may

not even have a trigger point but their foot pain, though the same as yours, is a result of four cups of coffee a day and working twelve hours, six days a week. But of course we all can’t have individualized treatment. So the information I provide here, which of course is typically the opposite of what many are told, is meant to cover the most common findings which are present when there is an injury as well as assessments and harmless treatment options you can try yourself. In my office, there’s a whole lot more I do when I see someone with an injury; but I also use the very same therapies and principles I discuss throughout the Sock Doc site. So you want to take care of yourself, and use the advice of others as you see fit. Of course you don’t want to be foolish and end up trying to assess and treat your own injury only to realize weeks later you had a broken bone or something even worse the whole time. But it also doesn’t mean that if you turn an ankle you run over to your hospital to have an X-Ray, CT scan, and MRI lined up the next day. The point here is to be smart about your injury and think about why you got injured and what is going to make the most sense to you and given your situation. I’m not here to convince you of anything; I’m sharing ideas, knowledge, beliefs, and experience gained over many years. You can take or leave anything on the Sock Doc site. But if you choose to learn this different approach and give it a go, you have to give just more than a “try”. This isn’t some program where if you don’t get better in a day or two

then you head back to your old ways. Regardless of how you respond, I encourage you to consider and learn perhaps controversial and unorthodox methods for the prevention of injuries. Conventional vs. Natural Methods: Risk vs. Rewards The natural assessment, treatment, and prevention principles and therapies which I discuss come with zero downside risk - that is as long as you’re doing them correctly. In other words, if you’re working a trigger point on your Achilles tendon and it’s becoming more and more inflamed then that is a problem. But if you’re doing such a thing then you’re not only doing the therapy wrong, (as I often say stay off the injured area), but you’re also not listening to your body. You should either see improvement or at worst no further increase in symptoms when applying any therapy. Some next day discomfort, but not pain, is sometimes normal and expected. Conventional therapies come with risks. The common “go-to” methods of stretching, bracing, icing, and drugs such as NSAIDs rarely, if ever, help. But many (most) continue to use them despite the fact that they often cause more harm than benefit. Some will tell me they feel better stretching but that’s often because it’s providing mechanical stimulation to the area of pain and temporarily damping that pain. It’s not correcting anything and actually will delay healing. Same goes with ice – it’s great for pain reduction but not if you want waste products removed and healing nutrients and blood circulated to the injured area.

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But we love to ice and stretch. Think you’re an exception to this rule? I don’t. And of course many take the anti-inflammatory drugs every day or for every injury. These are still provided in many major races (often endurance type) despite the fact that we know of their impact to health. Not only will they tear up your gut perhaps to the point where you have fecal bacteria in your bloodstream but they slow down connective tissue repair. But if your diet is less than ideal and thus provoking inflammation then you’ll feel better when you take your NSAID, that’s a fact. If you choose to make some lifestyle/dietary changes and figure out the problem then lasting results will follow.

Minimalist Footwear? Conventional Footwear? Barefoot? Orthotics? How about the minimalist footwear idea or going barefoot – is that for you? That depends on you. The sole reason I wrote “Healthy People = Barefoot People” (see my website) is so athletes can understand the relationship between their feet, footwear (or lack of), and health. Should you wear a more supportive shoe when you’re injured? It depends on your injury. Someone may need less of a shoe to help them recover from an injury while another may need a bit more. It’s not uncommon for a little bit more heel in a shoe to help relieve an Achilles tendonitis issue; many have created such a problem by going the minimalist route too quickly. But

also know that if you’re feeling much better always wearing a shoe that provides more support that doesn’t mean you just wear it all the time and never work your way to more minimalist. You’re not correcting the problem if you’re in that situation. How about orthotics or even some sort of heel lift or arch support – do you need them? I can’t personally tell you what you need or don’t need but I can tell you that they will never correct the problem. Sure there are cases of acute trauma to the foot and a temporary orthotic brace may help relieve the pain and start the healing process. Though think how often someone is put in such a device for only a few days or weeks. Very rarely. Some doctors believe in the necessity of orthotics with specific injuries and

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for their “aging population”. None of this changes the fact that while orthotics may provide some relief they aren’t healing the problem or figuring out why the person is unable to function without such support. Instead of relying on orthotics, figure out the source of the problem so you can move unassisted again, regardless of age. Find me a truly healthy person in orthotics and I’ll reevaluate my position. Look at the bigger picture. But focus on the problem. When you’re injured it is fine and helpful to treat it symptomatically to some degree to lower the pain quickly, but you need to go further and figure out why the injury has occurred and that’s a much bigger picture. Sometimes it’s an easily solution – say if you have been wearing the wrong footwear. But often it’s much more than that. Lifestyle stress, dietary inadequacies including poor food choices, and training problems are often either the reason you’re injured and/ or not recovering. These are also much harder to figure out on your own and address and sometimes it takes more than just eating “Paleo”, more aerobic training, and lowering stress at work. When there is an injury there are always muscle imbalances. Not sometimes – always. In my office I am constantly evaluating, testing, challenging, and treating these imbalances to figure out the best approach to an injury while correcting other problems along the way. So since you can’t provide such detailed service to yourself you have to try the general (though they can be very specific) applications of such therapies as I show in the videos and discuss throughout my website. Sometimes I am told that someone isn’t improving with the “natural” approach because they’re also still doing other conventional therapies

at the same time. This combined effort often doesn’t help. If you’re still wearing that night splint to stretch your plantar fascia and wondering why the trigger points or other non-invasive approaches aren’t helping – well, improvement is probably not going to happen. Seeking Professional Help: Choose the therapist, not the therapy. As most of you know, I answer each and every question on this site personally. There is only one “cut and paste response” I have written which I use. It is this: “As I often say to people – ‘Sometimes you just gotta be treated by a doc or therapist who looks at the entire body from a structural, nutritional, and emotional perspective and understands how everything is interrelated and attributing to a health issue or injury. Although

there’s not a lot of “us” out there, that’s your best bet. A good doc will be able to get you back in a very short period of time and if not, at least explain why it may take longer.’” So ask around and do your own research when it comes to your health. Look for an individual – a physician or therapist – who shares a similar philosophy and approach to health and fitness. If you’re focused on a title or a bunch of letters after a name, you probably will not have much luck; (though the guy at the gas station giving foot rubs is probably a bad idea). The best advice I can give you when seeking someone out is to see how much time that person spends with you and actually listens to you. If it’s only a few minutes and more of a question and answer session (they’re asking the questions)

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Otherwise known as the ‘Sock Doc’ because he advocates being barefoot whenever possible and socks as the next best thing, Steve Gangemi is a highly experienced physician and coach. He is a chiropractic physician and has training in functional neurology, biochemistry, acupressure meridian therapies, applied kinesiology and dietary and lifestyle modification methods. Steve is also a certified MovNat coach. His approach with his clients is holistic, addressing the whole body when looking at movement function, as well as taking into account lifestyle and nutritional habits. Steve practises what he preaches which is evident in his admirable athletic achievements, including 20 Ironman competitions and numerous triathlons. Steve runs a busy clinic in the US as well as generously offering many fantastic articles and insights through his website. www.sock-doc.com

and not a conversation especially one that at least goes a bit beyond your chief complaint, then it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere. Finally, and this is the part nobody likes to have to face – don’t go to a doc or use some therapy just because your insurance pays for it. Yeah I know it sucks that health insurance pays little, if any, for real “health care.” It’s like auto insurance – it doesn’t pay for your maintenance, wear and tear, or when you break down. Yeah, you should have a doc available when you need to see him or her for an ailment but if you’re going to someone just because they take your insurance it’s often a bad idea. The same goes for therapies. Would you pay the $300-$400 out of

pocket for those orthotics? Would you pay hundreds of dollars for a cortisone shot or PRP injection? How about a couple thousand bucks for that MRI? Don’t use it just because it’s “paid for”, it’s the wrong approach. Not to get into the whole insurance debacle out there, but you, I, and everyone else are paying for it somewhere down the line – premiums don’t jump every year for no reason. A good doc or therapist may cost you but a bad one will cost you more.

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Barefoot Running Magazine

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Technical tip
Postural alignment by Anna Toombs

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ody alignment is a key issue in running. In fact, it’s pretty important all of the time, especially when you’re upright and your body needs to function efficiently when subjected to gravitational forces. Most people have seen a picture of what ‘ideal alignment’ looks like. A straight line can be drawn from the ear, down through the shoulder, hip and ankle. We tend not to see this kind of posture in Western society but it’s fairly common in cultures where individuals live a more natural lifestyle, working the land and keeping active rather than sitting inside at computers for the majority of each day. Too much sitting down and not enough activity will change the shape of your body, causing lengthening in certain tissues and shortness or tightening in others. The typical posture that results from inactivity is one where the head sits forward of the rest of the body, causing strain on the muscles of the neck. The chest tends to be slightly ‘sunken’ so that movement in the rib cage is restricted. The hip flexor muscles are often short and restricted, as are the calf muscles. Your body is always trying to maintain balance and it will adapt and shift so that you are able to stay upright. For example, if someone’s head is sitting further forward than it should, the pelvis will often counteract this by tilting forward. Sometimes the pelvis will tilt the other way and then the individual will change the weight distribution in their legs and feet to compensate. All of this usually means that certain areas of your body are over-working and under tension, often causing pain. If you add further stress to an awkward posture by running, you are quite likely to eventually feel more pain and discomfort. So, what’s the answer? Well, the starting point is to figure out where your own compensations are (often NOT at the site of pain!). Each person’s body will be different, so if you can, find a professional to assess your imbalances. Also, try to feel your body more – when you’re out running, pay attention to the areas of your body that feel restricted or seem to tire more easily. Ask someone to film you

to see where your pelvis and neck are sitting as you run – is your movement fluid or is it awkward and halting? Once you understand your own particular areas of weakness, you can begin to work on them. This might be under the guidance of a Movement Therapist, Pilates teacher or Alexander Technique/ Feldenkrais practitioner. You can also begin to identify patterns in your everyday movement that might be contributing to your imbalances. Do you sit for long periods of time without regular movement? Do you wear shoes with a heel (any form of conventional shoe will have a raised heel)? Do you slump at your desk or slump when you’re watching television? Do you always sit in the same position when watching your favourite TV programme? If you go to the gym, is your workout balanced? Do you cross-train or do you always do the same exercises? The reason for all these questions is that there will be several contributing factors to your body’s shape and how comfortable it feels. It’s no good just trying to lengthen your spine when you run – because most of your time is spent not running! It’s also difficult to ‘force’ better posture. Think of it more as a work in progress and have an awareness of your posture and movement throughout your day. Using imagery and visualization is a very helpful tool. If someone tells you to, “Stand up straight” you will immediately tense into a position that you can’t maintain. Instead, if someone asks you to, “Imagine you have a bowl of water balanced on your head”, you will adopt a different posture but in a more relaxed and fluid manner. Try it! It’s harder for some than for others to visualize images, but it’s something that can improve with practice. There’s an infinite number of images you can use too – a piece of string lifting you up through the top of your head, glasses of water balanced on your shoulders, etc. Using imagery invokes a more gentle physical reaction, rather than actively trying to tighten your muscles into

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a particular position. Remember, too, that posture is fluid. Your aim is for your movement to flow effortlessly, so try not to keep your body too rigid. If you’re running and feel that trying to lengthen is just making you tighter, drop your arms, turn your head side to side and take some deep breaths. Do a few side steps or zigzags to help you release and bring you back into your natural running rhythm. One more point to consider is where you aim your gaze. Typically, when people first try running barefoot, they’re very focused on the ground, being careful to avoid obstacles. This will alter your head position and therefore your entire alignment. Try to learn to scan the ground ahead rather than directly beneath you and use your eyes to look down rather than dropping your whole head. Staying relaxed will encourage better alignment, so make sure that when you’re running, you’re travelling at a pace that allows this to happen. For more in depth information and guidance on posture, alignment and soft tissue, check out: Run Strong • Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running by Anna Toombs and David Robinson, (available from www.trcpublishinguk.com)

Did you know

Running fact 4. The current male marathon world record of 02:03:38 was set by Patrick Makau of Kenya on 25th September 2011, at the Berlin Marathon, even though Geoffrey Mutai, also of Kenya, ran a 02:03:02 at the Boston Marathon 2011. This is due to the Boston courses’ elevation and point- to-point measurements not making it eligible for world record consideration by the IAAF.

Running fact 5. Twenty six bones, thirty three joints, one hundred and twelve ligaments and a network of tendons, nerves, and blood vessels are found in the human foot. These amazing components work together as a system when we stand, walk and run.

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A comprehensive guide into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of barefoot running. The book explains the theory behind running barefoot as well as providing practical advice, drills and exercises to help readers improve their running technique. Although the emphasis is on barefoot running, this book is useful for any level of runner, whether barefoot or not.

Available direct from www.trcpublishinguk.com

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Nutritional nugget
Alcohol-just how good is it for you really? By Leigh Rogers

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t comes up as a topic of debate regularly and particularly at social gatherings involving a glass or two of the stuff: Is drinking alcohol really beneficial for you and, if so, how much is too much and what are the best options? We deal with this question a lot in our practice too as clients struggle to figure out just what they should be doing with regard to their social or sometimes anti-social levels of drinking. Well, the answer is that it's not clear cut unfortunately, as it's got both good and bad properties and everyone will have their own tolerance level. Let's dive a little more into the basics. The

constant throughout the week, reflecting their more moderate and consistent drinking patterns. Alcohol also upsets blood sugar levels. The drop in blood sugar leaves you feeling starved for energy and nutrition, resulting in excessive cravings for greasy, fat foods that will help provide a quick fix. How many times after a night out do you NEED to stop at the kebab shop on the way home? If you are trying to lose weight, alcohol can have a detrimental impact on your plans. Alcohol enhances both active overeating and passive overeating. Active overeating is your conscious decision to ‘fill up now.’ Passive overeating describes the amount you eat once the food is in front of you. Too much alcohol affects your ability to determine if you are full. It also contains tons of empty calories with no nutritional benefits as it does not contain any minerals, vitamins, fats, fibre, or proteins necessary for basic bodily functions. Even at moderate levels, alcohol can cause delayed reaction times and affect judgment and perception. One out of six traffic accidents in the UK happen under the influence and as much as twothirds of people who are admitted to hospital or die from burns have been drinking.

Finally, alcohol also disrupts healthy sleep, essential for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It initially acts as a depressant helping you to fall asleep but reduces REM sleep leading to restless sleep patterns.

The upside:
There are however a few good points too. Having a glass of wine in the evening definitely helps ease the stresses of a crazy day. While we are not suggesting you down a bottle after a particularly bad day, having a glass of wine to help mellow you out a little is better than stewing with all that negative stress energy. Some research suggests that it may help protect against heart disease and strokes. Drinking alcohol raises levels of HDL- the good cholesterol reducing the formation of arterial blood clots which typically lead to heart attacks. Most reports refer to red wine and the benefits of its high antioxidant levels. So if you are going to drink, here are our top 7 recommendations: 1. The all too familiar advice, moderation is crucial if you are going to receive any of the health benefits. Quantifying what moderation is, is slightly challenging as a number of

Downside:

By nature it is addictive and toxic. Alcohol is less addictive than nicotine, crystal meth and crack, but more addictive than heroin, cocaine and caffeine. When consumed, it requires enzymes in the liver to help break it down into acetic acid (vinegar) which is the end product our bodies are able to flush from our system. Not everyone has the same quality and quantity of these enzymes which determines how effectively you are able to metabolize alcohol and the resulting side effects you will experience. One stage in the breakdown of alcohol requires the enzymes to turn the ethanol into acetaldehyde, an incredibly toxic compound that’s been implicated as one of the causes of those dreaded hangover symptoms. This toxic load on the liver, combined with dehydration, leads to headaches, tiredness and poor brain function. More than 2 drinks a day has been reported to increase the risk of liver disease and certain cancers such as stomach, liver and colon. For women, the risk of breast cancer increases the more alcohol you consume and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol - or binge drinking - can also raise blood pressure, a risk factor for heart attacks. A study which monitored binge-drinking patterns in Northern Ireland at the weekends reported a much higher incidence of heart attacks on Mondays and Tuesdays due to the increase in blood pressure as a result of excess alcohol. In contrast, blood pressure levels in French drinkers were

Image courtesy of NHS

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2. 3.

4.

5.

factors can influence an individual's limits. In general though, for a healthy adult with no history of alcoholism, 3-4 units a day is recommended for men and a limit of 2-3 units for women, who generally tend to metabolize alcohol more slowly. But what does this actually mean in drink size? (see diagram page 49). Make sure you have alcohol free days every week by limiting your drinking to 2-3 times a week . Drink darker beers and red wine for the most health benefits. Red wine contains some nutrients that are beneficial to the body such as resveratrol, tannins and anti-oxidants. Look for sulphite (a preservative) free organic wine and notice the difference in how you feel after drinking it. Make sure you drink with food,

preferably some protein to slow down the absorption of alcohol. 5. Drink a big glass of water for every glass of alcohol you are having. 6. Try and stay away from alcohol with sugary mixers such as margaritas, daiquires etc. These add to the increase in blood sugar levels already caused by alcohol. In summary, as long as you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle with good diet , regular exercise, proper sleep, fresh air and sunshine, the occasional drink won't throw you too far off balance. Simply make sure you maintain the 80/20 rule, healthy wholesome living 80% of the time so that you can throw a little caution to the wind the remaining 20% to ensure long-term health and wellness.

If you have any questions or feel you need specific support in addressing some of your health concerns, please contact us at info@meorganic.co.uk. We have all the tools and tips to support you in creating a healthier, more energized lifestyle. Plus, for all Barefoot Running Magazine readers we will be offering a FREE 30 minute Breakthrough session on SKYPE plus 10% off our programmes if booked in the month of May. To stay updated with tips, recipes and health news, like us on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/#!/meorganic

me organic is a holistic health and wellness
business based in Richmond, London. We focus on transforming the health and fitness of our clients through 1to1 nutrition programmes, personal training, cycling coaching, health workshops and more. Contact us for your FREE session and receive 10% off all our programmes for all Barefoot Running Magazine readers. Plus 10% off all workshops, using code: barefoot12. Visit www.meorganic.co.uk for more info.

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Caught in the web
www.caughtintheweb.com/spring2013/13/page45

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Stuff that’s going on

arefoot Running UK is holding a one day barefoot running workshop in Edinburgh on Saturday 22nd June, from 9am – 6pm. The workshop is based on Anna Toombs and David Robinson’s book, Run Strong • Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running. The focus is very much on anatomy, movement and running mechanics so any runner will benefit, regardless of ability, fitness level or footwear type. The day includes a mixture of theory and practical work and participants will receive individual feedback on their technique. There are limited spaces available and several have gone already, so book soon to avoid disappointment! For more info and to secure your place, please visit: www.barefootrunninguk.com

Events
his is a race that attracts runners from all over the world, with beautiful scenery and something to offer everyone. As well as the marathon on 24th August, there are various other races over the weekend, even including a ‘Lazy Town Race’ for kids! It’s an ideal venue for a decent run as well as a mini break, with a large number of hotels within walking distance of the race start. Entry includes the ‘usuals’ such as a t-shirt and medal but participants can also enjoy a pasta dinner at the EXPO and free entry to the geothermal baths and pools. For more details and entries, visit: www.marathon.is

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Stuff that’s going on

his event will be taking place between 7th and 9th June in Chicago. It is sponsored by ‘Healthkeeper’s Alliance’, a group concerned with providing people with a wider, more natural range of methods for improving and maintaining health. The message is that there are ways other than conventional medicine that can help people manage various health-related issues, from hormonal imbalances to cancer. There is a long list of keynote speakers, ranging from osteopaths to nutritionists to spiritual healers. Tickets are only $20 per day or $35 for the weekend. For more information and bookings, visit: www.healthfreedomexpo.com

Events

his popular event takes place on 27th and 28th July this year at the Excel Centre. It’s a well-organized race that is also perfect for spectators. We watched a friend compete last year and it was a great day out in the sunshine, although the hot weather was tough for the competitors! General entries are now closed but there are still charity places available. There are two different distance to choose from (sprint or full) and you can also enter a relay team of three so that each team member completes one leg (either the swim, cycle or run). Public transport takes you right to the hub of the action and there are numerous places to stand and watch the various legs. Check out the website for more info: www.thelondontriathlon.co.uk

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A conversation with…
ChiLiving founder Danny Dreyer

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anny Dreyer is an accomplished ultramarathon runner and founder of ChiRunning, an approach to running that encompasses many of the mental and physical components of T’ai Chi. We caught up with Danny to find out more about the ChiRunning story…

The beginning
Danny had been a keen runner for many years when he reached what he refers to jokingly as a “mid-life crisis”. It was back in 1991 when he decided he wanted to do something more with his running and wondered at what level he could become competitive. He didn’t think he would be fast enough, even over marathon distance, to be up amongst the front runners but he did stand a chance in distances over the 26.2 miles, so he made the decision to begin training for his first ultramarathon. Three and a half years later, he completed his first 50 miler and placed in the top ten finishers!

T’ai Chi
Danny tells me that he was always searching for efficiency in his running, working towards improving distance and speed with the least amount of effort possible. However, it wasn’t until five years later that he experienced a kind of epiphany during his first T’ai Chi class. His instructor taught him that movement should come from one’s centre and most of his first class was focused on posture and development of his grounding stance (which later became one of the fundamental aspects of ChiRunning). Danny immediately recognized that the physical elements of T’ai Chi – moving from the centre, posture, alignment, etc. – could easily relate to running. He points out to me that when you’re doing 10,000 steps with every mile of running, you’d better have good posture or you’re in trouble! He also realized that the mental or spiritual components are of equal importance to physical capabilities and that an overall balance of the mental and physical helps to create a balanced, happy runner.

ChiRunning is born
In 1999 Danny moved from Boulder to San Francisco which is where he began teaching ChiRunning. Danny tells me that the West Coast of America is very open to new ideas so it was a perfect place to test the water. I was curious to know how Danny had reached out to people with his new concept, given that the internet in those days was still relatively new and certainly not the buzzing, networking hub it is today. “Email”, Danny replies. He explains how he visited all the local running clubs, offering lessons on how to run

well and during these sessions began gathering a database of email addresses so that he could contact students to let them know of forthcoming workshops. These popular sessions continued and he gained individual clients too as the word began to spread. Later on in 1999 he sent out his first newsletter to all the subscribers and things continued to escalate from there, with the ChiRunning subscriber list currently up to 50,000 – and growing!

Ultrarunning
At this point in the interview, I wanted to go back to the subject

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of ultrarunning because it seems to me that the further you run, it becomes less about the running and more about mental strength. Danny agrees. In fact, when I asked him whether his motivation to run ultras was purely the competition, he explained that was only part of it. “It was also partly a spiritual practice. Because if you’re out there for enough hours, it really breaks down barriers – breaks your ego down and opens you up to the environment, to change. All the rules start falling apart when you’re out there”. As Danny talks, I’m struck by the parallels between running and the martial arts. As Danny points out, running an ultra, “teaches you an incredible amount both on a physical level and emotional level”. Crucial elements to a successful running practice are, like the martial arts, focus and discipline. “Running can be as mindful as yoga or meditation” Danny explains. And you certainly need to tap into those skills when running long distances; they help you “work with your own voices when they tell you get out the bus fare and go home!” The word ‘mindful’ featured a lot in our conversation, because that is really one of the key elements of ChiRunning. You don’t have to run

ultra distances (phew!) to achieve a mindful practice. As Danny says, it can be “as simple as walking”. What it’s about is “creating the conditions for energy to flow. Be in your body, not your head”. In other words, being in your body helps you to focus on the present moment, whereas being in your head can lead you away from it.

technique through watching the practical demonstrations.

ChiWalking
After the success of the ChiRunning book and DVD, Danny began to receive requests from people who didn’t run but were interested in getting the same benefits from their walking practice as they’d seen others experience through ChiRunning. Danny was happy to put together a programme for walkers that followed the same principles of ChiRunning, many of which translate immediately, such as moving from the centre, being mindful and learning not to overuse the legs. The book was released in 2006 and includes 12 different types of walking so that walkers can choose what they’d like to achieve from each particular walk, whether it’s a cardiovascular workout for fitness, a meditation session to relax or mental focus for inspiration. The feedback has been very positive – ChiWalkers are finding that they can walk further and faster with less impact. So, if people are walking further and faster and getting fitter, do they naturally start to want to run? Yes! “That’s why we developed

The book and DVD
Danny’s wife Katherine was the inspiration behind the book: ChiRunning: A revolutionary approach to effortless, injury-free running. Katherine’s background was in publishing and she felt that it would be a productive step to harness the ChiRunning principles and reach out to more people. She found an agent and together, Katherine and Danny created the book. The first edition was released in 2004 and the second edition in 2009, containing a further 60 pages of information and what Danny describes as being, “more applied”, meaning that he has outlined the steps to learning ChiRunning in a clearer, structured manner. There is a DVD that complements the book which has also been updated, which allows a student to gain a deeper understanding of the

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Image credit: www.wncmagazine.com
the walk-run DVD” Danny tells me. It explains how to carry the mindful, internal practice that walkers have learnt into their running. There are many walk-run programmes available but the mindfulness is key as Danny points out, “In walkrun programmes, people give running their best shot but when they walk, they just stroll!” The key is maintaining the right mind-set and focus throughout. “The other reason why we came up with ChiWalking as well is because you walk many more hours in the day than you will ever run. So it’s a really good way to keep your practice going throughout the day - whether you’re carrying groceries to the car or sitting at your desk, you can always be working your focuses”.

Barefoot running
Of course, I was keen to get Danny’s opinion about running barefoot. Danny will often ask students to remove their shoes as part of workshop training: “I give them an experience of what it feels like to run without shoes”. Most of Danny’s running is on rough trails, so he personally wears minimalist, zero drop shoes but his preferred shoe will always be the one that “does the least.” It’s for protection, not for helping you to run better. “You might as well be taking a performanceenhancing drug if you’re relying on your shoes to enhance your performance”. Well said!

and to have a bit of fun with it too. The online training programme is also something that Danny is keen to develop further. He feels that many online programmes are too generic and the ChiRunning programmes are unique for two very important reasons: 1) They are technique-based and focus on different areas of the body and 2) They are race specific. So, people can really gear their training towards a specific event, so that they’re incorporating similar conditions to those of the race for which they’re training. The golden rule for racing is to come prepared – this is something that Danny feels very strongly about and he’s planning to build specific programmes for the more well-known events such as the London marathon and other world-renowned races. Danny is also looking forward to the introduction of webinars. These will include demonstrations, the opportunity for people to call in and ask questions, etc., so it’s an exciting step towards an interactive approach to teaching the ChiRunning principles. Danny and I also discussed the

Looking forwards
So, what does the future hold for ChiRunning? Well, there are many new ventures in development, one of which is a Smart Phone App which has just recently become available within the next two or three months. It will guide the user towards mindful training, they’ll be able to check in and monitor what they’ve been doing and they’ll be given goals – something to strive for. There may also be a ‘gaming’ aspect to it where people can compete on a friendly level, just to give them some extra impetus, the chance to connect with others

science. We both agree that anecdotal evidence speaks volumes about the benefits and success of any particular running method, but people always want the scientific back up. The good news is that ChiRunning has produced some great results in recent studies, demonstrating in one particular study that ChiRunners experienced the least amount of impact when running, compared with groups of runners in traditional shoes and minimalist shoes. The US army are currently testing ChiRunning in a small, pilot group of special forces soldiers to investigate its impact on injury rates. If all goes to plan, a further study will go ahead with 680 soldiers all following a programme initially taught by Danny and with follow up training from a local ChiRunning instructor and further online coaching. One more avenue which Danny is keen to investigate further is how ChiRunning Principles can be used in other sports. Not long ago he met up with Terry Laughlin, founder of Total Immersion Swimming. Danny tells me that straight away, the two of them were on exactly the same wavelength with their

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thoughts; Danny advocates not over-using the legs in ChiRunning and Terry teaches not to use the arms for power in swimming. They both highlight the importance of movement from the centre. Danny said they now refer to each other as, “Twin sons of different mothers” due to their almost identical philosophies within the two very different modes of movement. Danny and Terry taught each other running and swimming respectively and hope to transform the world of triathlons with their like-minded approaches. All of these different products and pathways are leading towards Danny’s overall goal, which is to spread the word about ChiRunning and help as many people as possible to get outside and enjoy running more.

to work your core a lot but you don’t want to be going out and just building a bunch of muscles”. His philosophy is akin to the ‘functional’ or ‘natural’ training that people are moving towards and Danny describes his T’ai Chi as, “Outside the studio Pilates”. In T’ai Chi, you strengthen and stretch through movements rather than just isolating certain muscles that may well lead to imbalances. We touched briefly on treadmill training, which Danny described as “mindnumbing; the opposite of mindful!” When people ask him about using a treadmill, he tells them that running on a treadmill is in fact not running but, “Keeping balance on a moving object”. The only reason he would advocate using a treadmill is, “purely for convenience” – i.e. when the weather is too extreme for running outside. What’s Danny’s take on diet? Again, the concept of balance is Danny’s main goal – don’t eat too much of any one particular thing. He tends towards a diet with less meat and more grains but is careful to source organic, natural food sources and steers clear of wheat, which he thinks is probably too processed in today’s society for most people’s systems to tolerate. I remember Danny’s enjoyment of cheese which he wrote about in the book – he claims he is still very

much a fan of cheese but it doesn’t seem to be doing him any harm! As we wind up the interview, I wish Danny luck in his upcoming marathon, only a few days away. He has been coaching a number of runners to run this race alongside him – the hilly, off road Asheville Marathon. 75 people signed up to join his training group and he has regularly had at least 15 runners turn up for each coaching session. He was looking forward to racing with the group and crossing the finish line together. This sense of giving and genuinely caring about other people’s running enjoyment is what gives Danny his motivation to continue on his path and this is apparent both when speaking with him and reading his books. As ChiRunning continues to spread across the world (there are 200 registered instructors worldwide, including the US, UK, Germany, Singapore and Australia) there will be more and more happy runners. Visit Danny’s website: www.chiliving.com for information regarding tuition, courses, books and DVDs. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Danny for taking the time to speak with us and look forward to running with him one day in the future!

Day to day
Danny and his wife Katherine run the business together. They also have a 13 year old daughter, a cat and a dog. “We conceived our daughter and our business in the same month – January 1999”, Danny tells me. “We’ve always said we raised twins!” Katherine is the business side of things (Danny says he “wouldn’t know how to run a business if I had a gun to my head!”) and half the authorship. Danny is the “face out in the world and developer of new material”. Both he and Katherine are creative people. “We think the same and feel the same and that’s why you feel the language in the book”. Over the years, they’ve learnt how to work together and support each other in their work. I wonder how Danny fit his training in too and ask him what a typical week will look like for him in terms of his own exercise. He runs 5 times per week (he’d already been for a run when we spoke at 9am) as well as taking an advanced, hour and a half T’ai Chi class each week. On top of this, Danny fits in a further 15 minutes each day of his own T’ai Chi practice and ensures that he spends some time each day just meditating. Other than the word ‘mindful’, the other recurring word in our conversation was ‘balance’. “People ask about stretches and strength training and you do need

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Running and Biomechanics Specialists
Workshops and individual tuition to help improve running performance and reduce injury. Visit the website or contact us for more details. www.barefootrunninguk.com info@barefootrunninguk.com 0845 226 7302

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magine being told you can never have a beer again! Ever! Derek Green received that message in 1988. But..... Derek Green is a Yorkshireman and in my experience Yorkshiremen don’t take that sort of thing lying down. I love a beer, it is true. I can’t imagine being given that message. So when Anna asked me to investigate gluten free beer for this issue, it was too good an opportunity to miss. My wife has been gluten free for years and as well as barefooting I also write a little bit about beer. It was as though the separate parts of my life were coming together at one point. That point was a meeting with David Ware of Green’s Original Gluten Free Beers. David took over the company from Derek Green in 2011 and I met him at his offices based in Hazel Grove

in Cheshire. Greens Beers export all over the world and their story is an interesting one. Derek Green was a textile merchant from West Yorkshire and a diagnosed coeliac. Derek had managed to adjust his life accordingly but longed for a beer. Cider and wine are all very well but sometimes only a beer will cut it. Derek just couldn’t get hold of gluten free beer in the UK and so, after his retirement in 2002, he embarked on a mission to put that right. Derek knew that there was a long held tradition in African countries of brewing beer from Sorghum. Sorghum is a grass and is mainly used for animal feed but it is also completely free of gluten. Traditionally, the sugars are extracted and used to make beer. However, making a palatable sorghum based beer

David Ware of Green’s Original Gluten Free Beers

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can be a challenge. That was the challenge that Derek took on. A determined man, Derek couldn’t persuade any of the main breweries to take on the idea. They considered it was just too much of a shot in the dark. Even ten years ago, the market was very different than it is now. Then Derek had a lucky break. He met a professor of brewing from Belgium who was sympathetic to his cause. The professor had a daughter who was a coeliac and he offered to help. Thus in 2004, Green’s first beer was born. It was called ‘Discovery’ and is still going strong. Over the next few years, Derek’s company brewed a range of styles, each one made from a sorghum base and they began to sell all over the world. Then the Spanish brewing giants Estrella entered the mix and turned things on their head. Estrella started to produce gluten free beers using a completely different method. They perfected a way of removing the gluten from traditionally brewed beers at the end of the process. This was revolutionary and with their extensive distribution networks, Estrella’s beer quickly became available everywhere. Derek and the professor went back to the drawing board and in 2008 perfected their own method of removing gluten using natural processes. This opened up a world of possibilities but Green’s brand is all about quality and only the best will do. To ensure a high end outcome, Greens selected an award winning Belgian beer and removed the gluten, leaving behind a premium product. They quickly used this method to produce a Pilsner and Golden Ale and sales of this way outstripped their sorgham based beers. For the record, my wife is fussy and she enjoys both these beers. As David was telling me this, my heart sank. I had read lots about their sorghum based beers and independent reviews talked of rich, complex beers that stood up against any traditionally brewed dark ale. If beer can be made simply by removing the gluten at

the end of the brewing process, then maybe these sorghum beers would die out. David held up one hand to quell my fears and my education continued. It seems that the term ‘gluten free’ means different things depending on which part of the world you inhabit. In Europe, a beer can be labelled as gluten free as long as it has less than 20 parts per million gluten. In the US, the rules are different. A beer can only be labelled as gluten free if it has been made

from gluten free, raw materials. All the work that’s done to remove gluten after the beers have been brewed is completely immaterial in the US. Although rigorous testing shows that his malt based beers contain no detectable gluten, David cannot sell them in the US as ‘gluten free’. Green’s US market require his sorghum based beers and they continue to do very well over there. The filtering process is natural, no

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animal products are used, making Green’s beers suitable for vegetarians. A host of awards has followed. Before our visit, I went to visit the supermarket to pick up a couple of bottles. I scoured the shelves and eventually found them tucked away in the ‘Free From’ section, in a completely different part of the store. When I pointed that out to David, his decades of experience in the brewing industry came to the fore. He asks the store to put them there. In the same way that coeliacs don’t go down the bread aisle, David says that many coeliacs also don’t bother with the beer aisle because there isn’t anything there for them. A good point well made. David was kind enough to crack open a couple of bottles. The dry hopped lager was excellent. Crisp and just the job on a hot day. The Discovery was a good quality darker beer. It had a short finish, leaving a faint apple aftertaste that spoke of its sorghum base. Very nice!

These beers stand up well in their own right and so the question of pubs arose. Draught simply wouldn’t work; there is too much chance of cross contamination and buying a barrel of a niche product would be too much of a punt for many licensees. I can’t help thinking that many pubs are missing a trick.

would be great to see some behind the bar in more places. There are other gluten free beers on the market. It seems that most countries have their own versions but there are very few premium products that cross borders. Estrella and St. Peters are two others that spring to mind. Green’s business is 80% export and if you can’t find their beers locally then you can always visit their online shop and order some in: www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk Please remember that I have been drinking lots of beer for the last month so that you don’t have to. I have been doing so with an air of self-sacrifice. If you would like to show your gratitude by sending me a bottle, that would be jolly nice.

“David was kind enough to crack open a couple of bottles. The dry hopped lager was excellent. Crisp and just the job on a hot day.”
My wife is gluten free and we know people who will drive miles just to visit a certain gluten free chip shop. If I knew that a pub sold gluten free beer in bottles, especially one as good as Greens, I would be much more likely to head there than other pubs. It

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become depleted leaving you run down and susceptible to illness or injury. So, it is with this in mind that I’ll recommend a few basics. A good multivitamin geared towards an active lifestyle, but remember that not all multivitamins are created equal. Active individuals simply have different needs because in order for us to perform at our best it is imperative for us to have the correct nutrition; even slight deficiencies can cause us to under perform. Most multi vitamins available in the market today have scientifically researched levels of ingredients based on the RDA, so any bought from a reputable manufacturer should be of a decent standard as long as they contain at least the RDA of the following vitamins B1, B2, B3, B12, C, D and Folic Acid. Ratios of calcium and magnesium (preferably the more bioavailable form of

magnesium citrate) included, which should be ideally between 24:1 calcium to magnesium. This is known to play an important role in skeletal maintenance, but more importantly is essential for cellular energy and optimal muscle function. Consumption of dairy protein powders will help to boost calcium content but is often otherwise easily attainable through natural diet.

Bioperine (or piperine extract – a form of black pepper which aids absorption).

Omega 3, one of the most widely used supplements in the UK today. Most of us are aware that we should be taking it for the numerous health benefits it offers. But it is important to know what you are looking for in a supplement and in this case, don't just go for any old fish oils. It simply isn't Vitamin K-2 (MK7), more readily abnecessary to supplement with Omega sorbed than MK4 and has a longer 6's and 9's as they are much more half life, is also highly recommended as readily abundant in other foods, it is only found in trace quantities in so it really is just the Omega 3 you need foods. It has a number of importo look for. Then it is important to check tant key functions such as prevent- the information on the label as there ing a build up of plaque within the arter- are a variety of kinds out there which all ies therefore preventing some offer varying levels of health beneforms of cardiovascular disease. fits. What you are looking for here is the At the same time it removes any EPA and DHA content, ideally between excess calcium in the blood and de500-1000 mg per day. These have been posits it into bones. proven to be the most effective forms of Omega 3 for improving heart, Look out for products which contain brain and immune function as well as ingredients such as being known to work as an antiinflammatory. In addition to this it is also important to know the purity in terms of heavy metal contamination. What this means is that some of the waters in the world are subject to high levels of contaminants such as mercury and other toxins and it is this which is the other variable you can encounter. Naturally we all know that heavy metals are toxic and should not be consumed, so it is important that the fish are sourced from declared clean water sources. If you are unsure contact the manufacturer who should be able to provide you with this information and even a copy of the certification which will come with each batch.

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The Green Room
Abby Turner – on being a ‘Coeliac’

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he first time I ever heard the word Coeliac was when my mum and my aunty (her twin) were diagnosed when they were in their fifties. They were dumbfounded. How could they have lived all their lives without realising they had this disease? The difficulties in diagnosis were soon to become even more apparent for me. Often mistaken for IBS, Coeliac is an auto-immune disease and it's hereditary, so my whole family were tested. I was initially given the all clear from a blood test, only to become very ill a few years later. A second blood test came back positive and an endoscopy confirmed the diagnosis. I waved goodbye to gluten, wheat, barley and rye in my diet forever. Even though I felt sorry for my mum, I was relieved to receive a negative blood test. After all, I’d inherited the webbed toes in our family - surely I’d had my fair share of hand-me-downs? For three years I carried on enjoying pasta, pizzas and pasties. All usually washed down with a lovely cold beer, completely unaware of the damage I was doing to myself. Then, following a beer and BBQ fuelled holiday to Australia, I felt bloated all the time. I ignored it, putting it down to holiday excess. I also ignored the fact I felt constantly tired and had terrible stomach pains and cramps. But, I just couldn’t ignore the embarrassing symptoms (chronic diarrhoea and smelly wind). When you’re spending most of the day on the loo and your boyfriend needs a gas mask, it’s time to go to the doctors. When Coeliacs eat gluten, it triggers an immune reaction which damages the lining of the small intestine and the body can’t absorb all the nutrients from food properly. My body was attacking itself because of the gluten I was shovelling into it, but having had a negative blood test I dismissed Coeliac disease and self-diagnosed all sorts of awful diseases with the help of Google. It therefore came as somewhat of a relief to be told I could be cured by simply changing my diet.

Growing up in the South West, I’ve always considered the Cornish pasty as a major food group, so going without my beloved ‘Oggies’ was going to be a challenge. But knowing how ill I had become before I was gluten free, I pledged to stick to the diet rigidly. By now my mum was an expert gluten free cook and was there to show me the ropes. I felt a hundred times better within a few weeks of not eating gluten and was especially pleased when the more embarrassing symptoms disappeared altogether. My eating habits have completely changed and I usually cook everything from scratch with fresh

ingredients, eating much healthier foods, such as quinoa. I still eat pasta and bread, but just swap these for a gluten free version. I can even get some products on prescription. To prevent crosscontamination, there are two tubs of butter in our fridge, one clearly marked up as mine, so that no wheaty bread crumbs can make their way onto my gluten free toast. Gluten pops up in the strangest of places, so I’m an expert ingredient scrutinizer, reading the small print on everything I eat. Eating out is becoming easier too. A lot of restaurants now mark their menu with GFs, or have separate allergy menus. In places that don’t ,

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I have a well practiced speech for waiters which explains what I can and can’t eat. And it’s wine or cider for me, instead of beer, from now on. Over the years, I’ve watched the gluten free aisles in supermarkets grow. Croissants, crumpets, custard creams, bagels, biscuits and beer – all are available (at a slightly higher price!). Coeliac disease can affect joints and means that you are more prone to osteoporosis. So, as well as taking calcium tablets, I try to keep active and healthy. After I was diagnosed, I put all the regained energy a gluten free diet had given me into exercise. I took up running and got hooked. Building muscle with resistance exercises is essential to help prevent osteoporosis from developing, so running and regular gym trips all contribute to keeping me healthy.

I regularly raise money for Coeliac UK and last year ran the Reading, Baldock and Plymouth half marathons, as well as the British 10K for the charity. I’m now currently training for the Windsor half and the Grim challenge. Keeping to a strict gluten free diet has meant I haven't developed any complications which are linked to Coeliac disease - skin rashes, hair loss, infertility, depression, and nerve problems, to name a few. And yes, it can be frustrating when everyone is tucking into something yummy that I can't eat, but I always put it into perspective. When I compare it to some of the painful treatments people go through for terrible diseases, missing out on a bit of cake really isn’t the end of the world.

Coeliac UK is the leading charity working for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Our mission is to improve the lives of people with coeliac disease through support, campaigning and research. We do this by:

 providing independent and
expert information to help people manage their health and diet  campaign for improved access to fast diagnosis, good medical treatment and safe foods - in the home and out  research into new treatments and possible cures. Further info: www.coeliac.org.uk

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ver since Chris McDoguall’s book, Born to Run, became popular (interestingly, long after it came out), the debate about barefoot running has become heated. There was no big argument when Zola Budd ran barefoot, or when Abebe Bikila won the marathon without shoes, or when Ron Hill competed in the Mexico City Olympics in “the lightest shoes I could find.” But once “regular folk” started kicking off their kicks, it’s become a rhetorical battlefield out there - the converts touting the great benefits of barefoot running, and the critics assuring everyone that taking off your running shoes is akin to playing Russian Roulette. Then the Harvard study came out, showing that when you run

barefoot, you adjust your stride to put less stress on your body. And, right on the heels of it (pun intended), came editorials about how running barefoot is the worst thing you could do… though, most of those editorials came from people who own or work for shoe companies or shoe sellers. A few days ago, someone forwarded me an email saying “Well, I’ve seen people who tried running barefoot and they got injured! I’ve seen people during marathons, sitting on the side of the road in their Vibram FiveFingers, crying in pain!” (Of course, right after, I got an email from a Xero Shoes huaraches running sandal owner, raving about how old running injuries they used to have are gone now that they’re out of shoes, but let’s ignore that for

a moment.) Mark Plaatjes, world champion marathon runner, physical therapist, and co-owner of the Boulder Running Company, has said that he doesn’t think most people have the correct body type for running barefoot. Road Runner Sports sent out an email saying, “Well, if you run barefoot, you could step on something and really screw yourself up!” (that’s not the actual quote, which I’m too lazy to look up, but the gist of what they warned). The Vancouver Sun recently published an article, like dozens of others like it, claiming that running barefoot was dangerous, and the proof was the opinion of some doctors. What amazes me about this back

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and forth nonsense is how enraged the anti-barefoot gang is getting, and how they’ve thrown out not only their logic and critical thinking skills, but how they’ve ignored what every well-known barefoot running coach has advised. So let’s address some of the issues, as quickly as possible (which isn’t hard, since the arguments are simple). If you memorize these answers (or print out this article and have a copy in your back pocket), you can save yourself the frustration and/or humiliation of arguing with some Know-It-All who tries to talk you out of running barefoot. 1. Assertion: Barefoot running will give you plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, ingrown hair, or male-pattern balding (or any other injury). Response: Runners in SHOES get the same injuries! Those problems, when they occur are not from “barefoot running”, they’re from OVERUSE. If someone you knew went to the gym for the first time, and did the workout that Arnold Schwarzenegger used in his Mr. Olympia days, they’d end up with all manner of injuries, soreness and overall inability-tomove-for-days-ness. But nobody would scream from the rooftops, “Weight lifting is bad for you!” They would say, to that individual, “Dude, you did too much too soon. Scale WAY back and build up to that slowly. ”Clearly, the cure for overuse is UNDERUSE. Do less. The only problem is that the only way to know how much you can really handle, is by doing too much… until you’ve done that enough and gotten the hint. I will concede though, that barefoot running form may have an overuse bias built into it, and that’s because the motion of absorbing shock is like doing “negatives” in the gym, doing more eccentric contractions of the muscle. With “negatives,” instead of contracting a muscle to move a weight, you try to resist as the weight pulls against you (think about a bench press in reverse - instead of pushing the weight from your chest, you try to keep a heavy weight from dropping onto your chest). We

are much stronger in the eccentric direction, and it doesn’t give the same kind of “burn” you get from the concentric movement… but the next day, you realize you’ve done WAY too much work. This is similar to why walking DOWN a mountain feels fine at the time, but the next day you realize - due to the massive soreness - that it was harder than walking UP the mountain. Nonetheless, it’s possible to get smart enough not to over train… just takes some practice. 2. Assertion: Some people aren’t built to go barefoot. Response: Not only is there no evidence for this, but what the barefoot running coaches all say is that by running barefoot you develop the skills, strength, and form that allow you to run barefoot. Now, there’s not any hard science behind that argument, YET, either (some

researchers are working on it)… but, come on, which makes more sense: That someone is physically unable to run barefoot or in minimalist running shoes (the way humans have run for hundreds of thousands of years), but is absolutely fine in shoes… or that, due to lack of use, they may need to build up the strength before they can run barefoot. Besides, the only reason they would be okay in shoes and not barefoot, is because they’ve transferred the stress that the muscles and tendons and ligaments would have to deal with if they were barefooted (and get stronger by doing so) into the bones and joints. Again, the message is, Go slowly! (seeing a pattern here?) 3. Assertion: You could step on something or, worse, IN something! Response: Yeah, so? But: a) How bad would it REALLY be?;

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b) How often is this REALLY a problem, or are you just imagining it happening without knowing the actual numbers?; c) Are these injuries worse than the various problems people have in shoes?; d) If you do step in poo… which is easier to hose off: your feet or a waffle-soled shoe? This argument, of course, cracks me up since I offer a solution on my website (www.xeroshoes.com) - get some huaraches running shoes and you’ll add a HUGE (but thin) layer of protection with a barefoot feel. I have to back up to the “stepping in poo” idea, because I just got a call from someone who said they were worried that’s what they would do if they were walking around barefoot. “When’s the last time you stepped in poo?” I asked. “About 20 years ago,” the poo-fearer answered. “Then what makes you think you’ll suddenly start doing it now?” I asked. “Ohh…,” said the former poo-fearer. By the way, I’m a bigger fan of running sandals rather than Vibram FiveFingers (VFF’s) , or Nike Free, or the other minimalist running shoes not because I sell Xero Shoes, but because sandals feel more like barefoot. The VFF’s actually have quite a bit of support, the Nike Free have a big thick heel, and anything with an upper that covers your toes… well, it covers your toes. 4. Assertion: Doctors say they’re seeing more patients with injuries who are running barefoot. Response: First of all, doctors said the same thing 40 years ago when running shoes became popular. Secondly, doctors are not seeing the people who are not having problems running barefoot… because those people don’t go to doctors. In other words, if you don’t know the total number of people who are running barefoot, seeing an uptick in patients is a meaningless statistic. Thirdly, I’ve never met a doctor who asked their injured patient, “So, are you running barefoot or in something like a Vibram FiveFingers shoe?” (hint,

most people who say they’re running barefoot have never put their bare skin on the ground, or worn something as minimalist as Xero Shoes). Fourthly, I’ve never met a doctor who has said to their patient, “Let’s take a look at some slow-motion video of your running and see if the real problem is your form, and not your footwear or lack thereof.” Finally, what cracks me up about the anti-barefoot gang is the simple denial of the numbers. That is, there are a LOT of people taking off their shoes without a problem. WAY MORE, it seems, than those who have any of the easy-to-solve overuse issues. You don’t end up with a movement like the barefoot running movement without a high percentage of happy converts. This alone should, but doesn’t, temper their argument. And, again, the answer couldn’t be simpler: Oh, if you’re going to try barefoot running, you may need to go WAY slower than you thought, you’ll have to learn to listen to your body in a way you haven’t, you’ll need time to build up strength to let you handle the same distances you may now be running, and you may want to get something to give your sole a bit of protection. Enjoy!

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Assorted goodies
Products worth a look

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1.

Fitbit Flex. This new gadget, the latest in the Fitbit range, will be available to gadget lovers very soon. It is a wristband that comes in various colours and is able to track your steps, calories, sleep quality, distance travelled and activity levels, linking to your PC to store info as well as link with friends to share and compete! Visit: www.fitbit.com for more info

2. “Never wipe your ass with a squirrel”. Author and runner, Jason Robillard, has written a fun and extremely useful book called: “Never wipe your ass with a squirrel”. It’s packed full of great tips on trail and ultramarathon running based on Jason’s significant knowledge and experience, written in a manner that will have you giggling throughout. To find out how to purchase either an e-book version or hard copy visit: www.barefootrunninguniversity.com 3. Bobble Sport (750ml). Water Bobble has introduced the ‘Bobble Sport’ which is the latest in their range of BPA free bottles. It has a soft cap and handy carrying loop and comes in an array of fantastic colours. It contains the usual carbon filter that removes impurities for safer, fresher tasting water. Visit: www.waterbobble.com for more info 4. Avenue Madison 2SRAM Dino Black/ Red - 2 Speed £1,055.00p. Check out the latest gorgeous bike from Avenue, the speed Dino black/mat red super-sleek machine! Simplicity is what makes this bike so desirable and the 2 speed gearing system means you can get just a little bit of help on the hills! Visit: www.avenuebicycles.co.uk for more info and models 5. Moving Comfort Vero Bra. Moving Comfort is an all woman company specializing in creating trendy yet functional fitness wear for women, whatever their chosen sport. Their latest offering is a new sports bra, the ‘Vero’, with fully adjustable straps that can be worn straight or cross back. Visit: www.movingcomfort.com

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National news

The latest national news

- cigarettes are becoming an increasing problem amongst pupils in secondary school. As the product does not contain tobacco, it is not covered by the Health Act 2006 and children of any age can, at the moment, buy them legally (sales are currently at the shopkeeper’s discretion). Many secondary schools have banned e-cigarettes as they see them as the beginning of the pathway to smoking normal cigarettes. Indeed, it seems to be the ‘in thing’ at schools, with pupils being found behind the bike sheds ‘smoking’ and for many, smoking the real thing will be a natural progression. One 14 year old

even reported seeing someone ‘smoking’ an e-cigarette in class because the vapour evaporates quickly and is relatively undetectable. It’s a concern that a product originally designed to help people stop smoking is actually encouraging youngsters to start. There are also health concerns surrounding the e-cigarette and its ingredients (one of which is the addictive drug, nicotine) and it has already been banned in a number of countries. The legislation regarding product sales/usage will hopefully change very soon.

43 year old Yoshinari Matsushita was sadly involved in a fatal accident at this year’s race. He was highly popular in the Racing TT paddock and will be sorely missed.

Inquiry called for as the state of the new, non-emergency ‘111’ phone line remains “fragile”, NHS bosses admit.

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The latest National news

survey carried out for the walking charity, Ramblers, has revealed that a quarter of UK adults only walk a total of one hour a week. This includes to and from the car, to the shops, etc. A separate survey by YouGov of 2,000 people found similar results – 43% of the adults they surveyed were walking less than two hours per week. Ramblers (the charity) are trying to promote the health benefits of walking in an effort to get the nation moving and they are, quite obviously, strongly backed by the medical profession. Dr Stuart Biddle, a professor at Loughborough University, has highlighted the mental health benefits of walking which have been proven time and again, such as improved mood, clarity of thought and higher self-esteem. The British Heart Foundation promote walking as one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy – it’s moderate intensity, accessible and cheap! You can find out more about group walks and routes here: www.ramblers.org.uk

National news

he number of organ donations in the UK has increased threefold in the past year. This year’s numbers include the first instance of an individual giving part of their liver to a stranger. A nurse at NHS Blood & Transplant has attributed this significant rise to the raised awareness of organ donating and the fact that people feel they want to do something genuinely good for somebody else. The increase was unexpected but certainly very welcome; three people die every day due to the lack of availability of suitable/ available organs. Those considering donating are advised to do their research and spend some time making the decision. Each donor is also given extensive screening to ensure that they are psychologically and medically prepared. Visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk for more information

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Try this at home

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n the ‘Try this at home’ section of our Winter issue, we discussed how restrictions in the foot and ankle can have an impact on the rest of the body and its movement and we gave you some sample exercises to try as well as some general advice on how to free up those joints. In this Spring issue, we’d like to focus on hip mobility. As we mentioned last time, lack of general daily activity can cause tightness to build up in your joints and the hip joints are no exception. Sitting down for too long is one of the main culprits, as well as exercise programmes that don’t effectively maintain a full range of motion at the hips. If you have restriction in your hips, you may well begin

to experience discomfort in your knees – the poor knee joint is often punished merely for its position within the human body, sitting stranded between the ankle and hip and feeling the effects of what’s going on at those two joints. Lack of mobility and proper function of the ankle and/or hip joint will frequently be felt as pain in the knee which can lead to unnecessary and useless surgical procedures. Opening up the hips on a regular basis, using a range of different exercises, helps overall function as well as avoiding undue stress on the knee joint. Rather than thinking of the hip joints as separate entities, it can be far more useful to recognize them as an integral part of the pelvis and

spine. In our experience, most people will have some pelvic/spinal deviation (for example, the pelvis sitting higher on one side and the spine being slightly rotated) which will affect the movement within the hip joints. With this in mind, the exercises we have chosen involve movement of the pelvis and hips together, rather than trying to isolate the hip joint. As always, these exercises are just a guide to give you some ideas to explore things further. If you have specific issues that need addressing, it’s worth seeing a movement and/or hands on therapist to give you targeted exercises under supervision.

Cross over crawl
1. 2. 3. Begin on hands and knees (Pic. A) Slide your right knee forward and around in front of your left knee. (Pic.B) Sit back slightly. (Pic. C) Rock forward again slightly and release your left knee from behind your right knee, slide it forwards and around in front of your right knee. (Pic. D) Sit back slightly. Keep going with this movement, allowing your weight to shift naturally between your hands and knees. You should find that you progressively move forwards. Try reversing the movement (crawling backwards) to return to your starting position.

B

4.

C

5.

A

D

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Seated twist
6. Sit with your legs to the right, knees pointing left. (Pic. E) Rotate the right side of your pelvis forward and allow your spine to follow that rotation so you end up looking over your left shoulder. Place your hands on the floor wherever it feels most natural. (Pic. F) Begin to make the transition over to the other side, so that your knees lift up and over to the right. You’ll probably want to place your hands on the floor behind you for balance. (Pic. G) When your legs are down on the floor, let your left pelvis rotate forward and allow your spine to follow that rotation so you end up looking over your right shoulder. Repeat this around ten times, or however many feels appropriate. You’ll probably find that one side feel easier than the other. Try and achieve a little more range of movement each time and keep moving fluidly and continuously.

E

7.

F

8.

G H

Side to side lunge

I

9. 10.

Take your legs fairly wide apart (bent or straight), hands on the floor in front of you. (Pic. H) Turn your left foot out and bend your left knee, keeping it in line with the foot. Keep your right foot facing forwards. Look straight ahead and try to flatten your back, drawing your shoulders away from your ears. (Pic.I) Swap over to the other side, straightening your left knee as you bend your right knee. At the same time, turn your right foot out and your left foot to face the front. Stay as low as you can (although your bottom will lift up slightly as you move from one side to the other), walking your hands along the floor to help keep your balance. (Pic.J) Keep swapping sides for 6-8 repetitions, moving carefully but fluidly.

11.

J
12.

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Side lunge with rotation (a continuation of the previous exercise)
13. 14. Take your legs fairly wide apart (bent or straight), hands on the floor in front of you. (Pic. K) Turn your left foot out and bend your left knee, keeping it in line with the foot. Keep your right foot facing forwards. Look straight ahead and try to flatten your back, drawing your shoulders away from your ears. (Pic. L) Walk your hands towards your left foot and turn it out more. Let your right leg rotate inwards as you try and look behind you, past your left leg. Drop down slightly and feel a stretch in your right side. (Pic. M) Walk your hands back to the front, simultaneously rotating your right leg outwards and then bending it, as you straighten your left leg to bring you back into a side lunge position, this time with your right leg bent and left leg straight. (Pic.N) Walk your hands towards your right foot and turn it out more. Let your left leg rotate inwards as you try and look behind you, past your right leg. Drop down slightly and feel a stretch in your left side. (Pic.O) Return to a side lunge, this time with your left leg bent and right leg straight. (Pic.P) Keep moving from one rotation to the other, with a side lunge in the middle. Repeat 6-8 times.

L

15.

M

16.

17.

18. 19.

N

K O

P

After you’ve got the hang of these exercises, you should feel that each session (which will take less than 5 minutes) instantly releases your hips and, over time, will help you gain more freedom and movement, allowing you to move deeper into each position.

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London City’s First Specialist Health and Fitness Shop Functional Footwear Fitness Equipment Supplementation

11 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LP

www.trainingshoplondon.co.uk

Barefoot Running Magazine

Winter 2012/13

Page 33

Exercise and Movement Therapy is about re-educating your body to move as it was designed to move. It’s about releasing your body from restrictions that result from past injuries, emotional issues, tension and stress. Imagine how a dancer moves; with elegance, grace and control. Using physical exercises, visualization and breathing techniques, Exercise and Movement Therapy teaches you to move naturally, with more agility, balance and coordination. We use variations of this technique with all of our clients – everyone benefits, whether they are sports people, people in pain or those who just generally would like to feel better. Rather than traditional “gym” training where movements are very one dimensional, we teach you more natural, spiralling movements, often put together into sequences to encourage whole body, multi-directional movement patterns, similar to how you move through your daily life.

Website: www.trbalance.com

tel: 0845 226 7303

email: info@trbalance.com

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Winter 2012/13

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How to

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fter all the hype surrounding Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France last year, British Cycling has taken a front row seat amongst the masses of UK sports fans! More and more people have been swept up in ‘cycle mania’ and are wanting to get their first bike but simply don’t know where to start! Buying your first bike can be daunting and somewhat confusing with the wide choice of manufacturers, array of componentry and several price points to consider. Your first decision comes in determining what type of bike you are after. There are over 7 main styles of bikes to choose from and your selection should really depend on what you anticipate your main type of riding to be. Here are my top 12 tips: 1. Decide on the style of bike – what do you want to use it for? Where do you intend to ride it and how often? These questions will help determine the best bike for you. The main beginner styles are as follows: a. Road bike (also known as a racing bike) - designed for racing or fitness riders who have the need for speed or longer sportive endurance road rides. Generally a lighter weight construction than other bike styles with dropdown handlebars and componentry designed specifically for use on paved roads. b. Mountain bike - designed for heavier use off-road and not speed, hence the wider, knobbly tyres. Most will have front-suspension to improve comfort and stability, although more models now have suspension front and rear. c. Hybrid bike - great all-rounder for leisure and commuting riders as it combines the best elements of mountain bikes and road bikes with flat handlebars. Offers lightweight components, an easy riding position, often includes mudguards and slick or semislick tyres for riding on tarmac or cycle / forest paths.

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d. Dutch / Town bike - designed for comfort not speed with a more upright riding position. Generally features a basket at the front plus mudguards, luggage rack at the rear and enclosed chain and gears for low-maintenance riding. 2. Set a Budget – don’t get caught up in all the bells and whistles that bike manufacturers offer. Generally speaking you can buy a good entry level road, mountain or hybrid for approximately £500-600. If budgets are tight then consider buying a second hand bike online or through a local cycle club. Make sure you go with someone who knows something about bikes and stick to the larger more reputable brands as there are so many cheap and badly made bikes that lure you in with their great looks. Often cheap bikes have to be assembled by the buyer. This is more complicated to do than you think and the result is a home-built bike that's actually dangerous. 3. Check if your company offers

ride the bike before you buy it from the shop and try to wear appropriate cycling clothing when test riding so you get the true feel of the bike. 5. Get measured for bike size – one of the most important parts of getting a new bike is to ensure you get properly measured so you don’t have any pain or discomfort later. Some bike shops will offer this service. 6. Buy a good cycling helmet – buy this new and don’t go for second hand or the cheapest options in the store. Good, reputable brands to consider are: Giro, Las, Bell, Kask, Met and Specialized. Always cycle with a helmet when you ride. No matter how short the distance. Safety first at all times. 7. Consider appropriate cycling gear – the key to enjoying cycling is to ensure its fun and comfortable, especially if you intend to ride longer distances. To avoid the unpleasant experience of walking like John Wayne for weeks, consider purchasing a good pair of

cycling pants or shorts with soft inner padding to avoid chafing. You may also want to consider cycling shoes and cleats if you ride often. 8. Buy safety gear – besides a helmet, you should purchase the following: a. Front & rear light (front is a normal light and rear is a red light) - especially important if you will be riding on the roads or commuting to and from work or school. b. Visible waterproof jacket – ideally bright neon yellow or orange so you are clearly visible on the road or cycle path to other cyclists,

a ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme –
this will help you save a considerable amount depending on your scheme and allow you to potentially consider an even better bike. Most cycle to work schemes allow for your bike to be deducted off your salary so you don’t have to pay a lump sum in one go! The downside to these cycle schemes is that your work might only be affiliated to a certain bike shop or chain who may not stock your ideal bike or model. 4.

Consider your gears – the
majority of modern bikes have several gears. Systems with 16, 20, 27 and even 30 gears aren't unusual. The idea here is to provide you with a wide range of gears so that you can ride comfortably up or down anything. So it’s not the number of gears that really matters but whether the range fits the terrain you’ll be riding on. If you’ll only be riding on flat roads you don’t need the super-low gears of a typical mountain bike.

5. Take a test ride – ask to test

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motorists and pedestrians. 9. Buy a puncture repair kit – it’s critical to have the appropriate repair kit and mini bag to attach under your seat. 10. Find a cycle challenge – to keep you motivated and cycling week in week out! It will take you at least 4-6 weeks before you really get comfortable riding and feel the true bug kick in! 11. Sign up for a cycle training

become a more efficient and confident rider. Njinga Cycling has a great training programme for people wanting to get into road cycling or who have signed up for charity cycle challenge and don’t know where to start. Or, find a cycling coach – sign up to a few individual cycling lessons to help you become more confident on the bike and avoid developing bad habits. Email me for more details info@njingacycling.com Feel free to contact me if you need help in buying your first bike. The main thing is to just get out there, be safe and have fun. Happy Cycling!

programme for beginners or intermediates – to learn how to
brake, corner, climb, descend, pedal and choose the most appropriate gear. All of these training drills will help you

Togo Keynes is a Cycling Coach, Sky Ride Leader, Spinning Instructor, Personal Trainer, Holistic Health Coach & Nutritionist and runs NjingaCycle Tours and Training. Njinga offers cycling weekends and training programmes with a difference. They focus on getting the best out of their clients by not only focusing on improving cycling through exceptional coaching and training but providing the nutritional support and focus needed to drive optimal performance. They work with beginner and intermediate road cyclists looking to have fun, get fit and complete their first endurance road cycling challenge. Contact Njinga and receive 10% off their 1-1 cycle coaching sessions. Visit www.njingacycling.com for more info.

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Write back at you
View from the other side by Monja Knoll

love Tim Minchin (comedian, musician; www.timminchin.com). He is funny, witty and very sexy. He also doesn’t wear shoes during his shows. He is barefoot. That’s ok. He is famous, quirky and I don’t mind at all if a comedian wants to make a fool of himself. However, do I have to live with the same behaviour at home? The short answer should be a most emphatic “no”. I fear the long answer is a bit more complex, and difficult to articulate. My other half is, for wont of a better word, ‘special’. To paraphrase Tim Minchin, he definitely does not fall within a bell curve. In fact, he is positioned somewhere so much outside of this lovely statistical construct that I have to send out a sniffer dog to find him. During our very long relationship, I had to put up with quite a lot. On our very first date, he opened the door in a home-sewn kilt (in South England). He also wore a sarong long before David Beckham, for a very short time, donned the same garment (why do these things look sexy on other people?), and my initiation test to pass muster as a girlfriend included the watching and approval of the 1970’s cult horror film Wicker Man (www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt0070917/).

There are too many other things to mention here, but I want to make sure that you, the reader, understands that I’m a very patient and tolerant woman (at least in my mind, naturally my other half disagrees).

“He also wore a sarong long before David Beckham, for a very short time, donned the same garment (why do these things look sexy on other people?)”
Then a few years back, my very special man decided to stretch my tolerance and understanding even more. However, this time he may have taken one ‘barefoot’ step too far. For years, he preached that I needed better running shoes, that I should buy myself some better trainers, and that it wasn’t healthy to run in my old dilapidated trainers. His attitude literally changed over

night, and all of a sudden even new running shoes were pronounced “evil” and unnatural, making us soft and were responsible for all knee and hip injuries under the sun (probably even for the hole in the Ozone layer!). According to my other half, the only logical and natural way forward was to strip ourselves naked (well our feet anyway). Why? I personally blame our rabbit; my other half had been admiring her carpet-like hindfoot for quite a while (yes one of them, our little adopted girl is three-legged). Nonetheless, we are not rabbits, and shoes are not evil. Of course, being a scientist, it wasn’t enough for him to take off his shoes and just run (that would have been fine, no worries). He had to learn everything about it, for instance about the physiology, biomechanics and technique (he even took part in a recent study into barefoot running). Why we have to ‘learn’ the technique of barefoot running if it is our natural state of being is beyond me. He started to buy books on the subject, joined the barefoot running community and spent hours on the Sock Doc website, and also bought

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himself several pairs of barefoot running shoes (surely a contradiction in itself). More importantly, he wanted to share and discuss his newfound ‘obsession’ with someone, and guess with whom! Imagine my horror, when each conversation was swiftly diverted into a discussion about the benefits of barefoot running. I’m not kidding! I’m sure, given the opportunity, he would have even managed to attribute a sore throat to the evil, unnatural state that our poor feet had to endure when encased in evil leather ‘straight jackets’ (probably because of the misappropriation of a foot motor-neuron as a throat pain receptor due to a1/2 inch heel). I thought his previous obsession with the Bronze Age Minoan civilization was bad (I won’t even go there, but see here for short introduction: www.britishmuseum.org/explore/ highlights/articles/m/the_minoans. aspx), but this was infinitely worse. To deal with the situation, I had to turn to my knowledge of the human psyche to explain his behaviour (did I mention that I’m a Psychologist?).

slight tendency to exaggerate). If you are a bit special or poor (like my other half), well you will start barefoot running instead. Needless to say, he isn’t quite convinced that my psychological assessment of his new found interest is entirely correct. However, I found that the short strategic mentioning of the term ‘Midlife Crisis’ is a helpful conversation killer, particularly when he preaches that running barefoot is the answer to all the world’s problems and that it may even reverse hair loss (I might have dreamt that one; I wonder what Sigmund Freud would have to say about this). Of course having made this assessment, I cannot help but notice that there are some advantages to barefoot running, specifically when it is used as an outward expression of the feared midlife crisis. First, a Porsche would cost infinitely more than Vivobarefoot running shoes (we cannot afford this). Second, our neighbours, although very tolerant of this kilt wearing eccentric, may finally lose it if he parks a $ 1,600,000.00 Lamborghini next to our 23 year Renault 19 (when I say the neighbours, I actually mean

myself). Third, it’s also reassuring to know that he isn’t checking out a woman’s bottom when we drive past a female runner, but instead criticizes or makes favourable comments about her running form (heel striking, forefoot striking or midfoot striking; he does the same if we pass a male runner). Fourth, he could have decided to strip off naked completely (being the most natural state of being) and joined a nudist community, which would have the potential to be much more embarrassing and awkward. Imagine having a drink with your friends and your other half tries to convince them to strip off as he normally tries to promote barefoot running (I hope I’m not giving him any ideas). I think, all things considered, the view from the other side is not that bad and I’ll take barefoot running over the purchase of expensive status symbols, nudity and infidelity any day. If nothing else helps, I can always purchase some earplugs, and keep nodding and smiling inanely as soon as he mentions the dreaded word that begins with a ‘B’ and rhymes with ‘dare-put’ once again.

“it’s also reassuring to know that he isn’t checking out a woman’s bottom when we drive past a female runner, but instead criticizes or makes favourable comments about her running form”
It’s obvious what had happened, it’s a midlife crisis! How could it be anything else? According to quite a few of the seminal psychologists (Carl Jung, Erik Erikson & Daniel Levinson), we undergo some form of crisis during middle adulthood (my other half is in his forties). Obviously the decline in our mental and physical faculties (eyesight, hearing and memory), and the realization that we have less time left than we have already lived, makes us re-evaluate our lives. As a result, ‘normal people’ may buy themselves a Porsche or a snazzy motorbike, wear tight leather trousers, die their hair blond and run off with a substantially younger partner (take this with a pinch of salt, by now you may have probably realized that I have a

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What’s On

Friday 1-3rd Sunday 3rd Sunday 3rd Sunday 3rd Sunday 3rd Saturday 9th Sunday 10th Sunday 10th Sunday 17th Sunday 17th Sunday 17th Sunday 24th

Triathlon Show BFR UK Group Run Copper Canyon Ultra Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon Eastbourne Half Marathon Run Strong • Run Free workshop Milton Keynes Half Marathon Brutal 10 Mizuno Reading Half Marathon Wild Warrior Obstacle Race Fleet Half Marathon Hastings Half Marathon

Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey Moat Park, Maidstone Urique, Chihuahua, Mexico Northamptonshire East Sussex Bacon’s College, London Buckinghamshire Windmill Hill, near Frimley Green Park, Reading Wild Park, Derbyshire Hampshire East Sussex

www.triathlonshow.co.uk See page 95 for more information www.ultracb.com www.adidashalfmarathon.com www.eastbournehalf.co.uk See page 95 for more information www.mkhalf.co.uk www.brutalrun.co.uk www.readinghalfmarathon.com www.xrunner.co.uk www.fleethalfmarathon.com www.hastings-half.co.uk

Monday 1-5th Thursday 4th Saturday 6-7th Friday 12-14th

Northwest Passage Marathon & Ultra Sandy 10 Gold Coast Airport Marathon Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

Nunavut, Canada Bedfordshire Gold Coast, Australia Denver, Colorado Oxfordshire Denbies Estate, Dorking London City Death Valley, California Eton College, Windsor King’s Parade, Cambridge Yulara, Australia Savoie, France

www.arcticwatch.ca www.biggleswadeac.org.uk www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au www.pilates.com www.recatothestones.com www.eventstolive.co.uk www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk www.badwater.com www.votwo.co.uk See page 95 for more information www.australianoutbackmarathon.com www.la6000d.com

Saturday 13-14th Race to the Stones Sunday 14th Sunday 14th Monday 15th Sunday 21st Saturday 27th Saturday 27th Saturday 27th Surrey Badger Half The British 10K London Run Badwater 135 USN Eton Dorney Triathlons BFR UK Group Run Australian Outback Marathon La 6000D

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Saturday 3rd Sunday 4th Monday 5th Friday 9th Sunday 11th Saturday 13-18th Friday 16-18th Saturday 17-18th Sunday 18th Saturday 24th Sunday 25th

Inca Trail Marathon Brisbane Running Festival Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon Swiss Irontrail BFR UK Group Run Transrockies Run Balanced Body Pilates on Tour Leadville Trail 100 Run Kimbolton Castle 10k Reykjavik Marathon London Spartan Sprint

Machu Picchu, Peru Brisbane, Australia Dublin, Ireland Graubünden, Switzerland London Wall, City London Buena Vista, Colorado Washington, DC Colorado, USA Cambridgeshire Reykjavik, Iceland Pippingford, East Sussex

www.andesadventures.com www.brisbanemarathon.com www.ie.competitor.com/dublin www.irontrail.ch See page 95 for more information www.transrockies-run.com www.pilates.com www.leadvilleraceseries.com www.nicetri.co.uk www.marathon.is www.spartanrace.com

Saturday 7th Saturday 7th Sunday 8th Saturday 14-15th Saturday 14-15th Saturday 21st Sunday 22th Friday 27-29th Sunday 29th Sunday 29th

BFR UK Group Run Mattoni Prague Grand Prix KamiKaze. The Banzai Challenge Thames Path Challenge (100k) BUPA Great North Run Great Gorilla Run Rock ‘n’ Roll de Montréal Marathon Balanced Body Pilates on Tour Baxters Loch Ness Marathon BUPA Great Yorkshire Run

Brighton, East Sussex Old Town Square, Prague Mapperton, Dorset Putney - Henley (London) Gateshead, Newcastle London, United Kingdom Montreal, Canada Chicago, Illinois Scotland Sheffield City Centre

See page 95 for more information www.praguemarathon.com www.votwo.co.uk www.thamespathchallenge.com www.greatrun.org www.greatgorillarun.org www.ca.competitor.com/montreal www.pilates.com www.lochnessmarathon.com www.greatrun.org

Thursday 3 -12th Saturday 5th Sunday 6h Sunday 6th Sunday 6th Sunday 6th Sunday 13th Saturday 19th Sunday 20th Saturday 26-27th Sunday 27th Monday 28th

UVU Jungle Marathon BFR UK Group Run Royal Parks Half Marathon Rock ‘n’ Roll Lisbon Marathon & ½ MBNA Chester Marathon Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon Run Richmond Riverside 10K BUPA Great Birmingham Run BUPA Great South Run Steeplechase Dublin Marathon

Brazil East London, Location TBC Hyde Park, London Lisbon, Portugal City of Chester Glasgow, Lanarkshire Victoria, British Columbia London Birmingham City Centre Southsea, Portsmouth Norwich, Norfolk Dublin, Ireland

www.junglemarathon.com See page 95 for more information www.royalparkshalf.com www.pt.competitor.com/portugal www.chestermarathon.co.uk www.runglasgow.org www.runvictoriamarathon.com www.thefixevents.com www.greatrun.org www.greatrun.org www.muckyraces.co.uk www.dublinmarathon.ie

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Saturday 2nd Sunday 3rd Sunday 3rd Saturday 9th Saturday 9th Saturday 16th Monday 18th Saturday 20th

BFR UK Group Run Lancaster Half Marathon ING New York Marathon Run Strong • Run Free workshop London Spartan Beast Anthem Richmond Marathon Conwy Half Marathon Antarctic Ice Marathon

Richmond Park, W. London City of Lancaster New York, USA www

See page 95 for more information www.shoestringresults.com www.ingnycmarathon.org See page 95 for more information www.spartanrace.com www.richmondmarathon.com www.runwales.com www.icemarathon.com www.therunningshow.co.uk www.cityofnorwichhalfmarathon.com www.icemarathon.com www.asdmol.it

Bacon’s College, London Pippingford, East Sussex Richmond, Virginia Conwy Quayside, Wales Ellsworth Mountains Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey Norwich, Norfolk Ellsworth Mountains Palermo, Sicily

Saturday 23-24th The Running Show Sunday 24th Saturday 20th Saturday 30th Norwich Half Marathon Antarctic Ice Marathon 24 Ore Del Sol

Sunday 1st Saturday 7th Saturday 7th Saturday 7th Sunday 8th Sunday 8th Saturday 14th Saturday 14th Thursday 19th Thursday 19th Thursday 26th Thursday 26th

Grim Challenge (2 Day) BFR UK Group Run Aspen PE City Marathon Winter Sun 10K Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon BCS Marathon and Half Marathon Santa’s Scamper DAM Jingle Bell 10K/5K Dash Patagonia Running Adventure Urban Jungle Mdina 2 Spinola Mdina, Cockleroy Chaser Sønndersø Rundt

Aldershot, Hampshire Clapham Common, London Port Elizabeth, South Africa Moab, Utah, USA San Antonio , Texas College Station , Texas Calne, Wiltshire Orinda, California Patagonia, Chile Malta Cockleroy, West Lothian Vaerloese, Denmark

www.grimchallenge.co.uk See page 95 for more information www.crusaders-athletic-club.com www.moabhalfmarathon.com www.runrocknrollcompetitor.com www.bcsmarathon.com www.calneleisure.co.uk www.wolfpackevents.com www.andesadventures.com www.maltamarathon.com www.lothianrunningclub.co.uk www.puls96.dk

Wednesday 1st Wednesday 1st Saturday 4th Saturday 4th Saturday 11th Saturday 11th Saturday 11th Sunday 12th

Hardmoors 30 Brooks New Year's Day 10k Brooks HellRunner: Hell down South Salem Lakeshore Frosty Fifty Country to Capital 45 Wendover, Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge Thanet Mountain Bike Duathlon

Whitby, United Kingdom London, United Kingdom Longmoor, Hampshire North Carolina, U.S.A United Kingdom California, U.S.A Epcot®, Walt Disney World® Birchington, United Kingdom Hawaii, U.S.A Preston, United Kingdom Gran Canaria, Spain Illmington, United Kingdom

www.hardmoors110.org.uk www.serpentine.org.uk www.hellrunner.co.uk www.twincitytc.org www.gobeyondultra.co.uk www.avalon50.com www.rundisney.com www.thanetroadrunners.org.uk www.hurt100trailrace.com www.northernrunningguide.com www.grancanariamaraton.com www.thresholdevents.co.uk

Saturday 18-19th HURT 100 Mile Endurance Run Sunday 19th Sunday 26th Sunday 26th Inskip Derby Arms Half Marathon Gran Canaria Marathon Threshold Winter Series Race 4

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Saturday 16th Hog Wild Mud Run Saturday 16-17th

Tampa, Florida. USA www.hogwildmudrun.com
www.clonakiltyback2backmarathons.com West County Cork, Ireland

Clonakilty Back 2 Back Marathon

Sunday 17th Hagg Lake Mud Run Sunday 17th Valentines 10k Sunday 17th Brighton Half Marathon Sunday 17th Barcelona Half Marathon

Forest Grove, Oregon. USA www.haggmud.com Chessington, Surrey www.26point2.co.uk Brighton, East Sussex www.brightonhalfmarathon.com Barcelona, Spain www.barcelona.de Nice, France www.fr.competitor.com/nice

Sunday 17th Rock ‘n’ Roll Nice du Carnaval Saturday 23rd Sunday 24th TuffMan Trail Run The Beast

Pippingford Park, E. Sussex www.humanrace.co.uk Melton Mowbray, LE14 3PF www.thebeastrun.co.uk Tokyo, Japan www.tokyo42195.org Fordingbridge, Hampshire www.racenewforest.co.uk Mdina, Malta www.maltamarathon.com

Sunday 24th Tokyo Marathon Sunday 24th Heartbreaker Run Festival Sunday 24th Land Rover Malta Marathon & ½

Saturday 1st Saturday 1st

BFR UK Group Run Tillingham Valley Rockabilly

The City of London

See page 81 for more information

Nr Rye, East Sussex www.nice-work.org.uk www.no.competitor.com/oslo

Saturday 5th Rock ‘n’ Roll Oslo Half Marathon Oslo, Norway Wednesday 12th

Marathon des Sables 2014 Registration www.marathondessables.co.uk Estes Park, Colorado www.epmarathon.org Edinburgh, Scotland See page 81 for more information

Saturday 16th Estes Park Marathon Saturday 22nd Run Strong • Run Free workshop See page xx for more information Saturday 22-23rd Trans Pennine Challenge (100k) Saturday 22-23rd The Wall Ultra Run Sunday 23rd BFR UK Group Run

Manchester - Sheffield www.transpenninechallenge.com Carlisle - Gateshead www.thewallrun.com Edinburgh, Scotland See page 81 for more information

Monday 24th Midnight Sun Half Marathon Saturday 29th Water Wipeout Obstacle Race Saturday 29th Clif Bar 10 Peaks - The Lakes

Reykjavik, Iceland

www.all-iceland.co.uk

Nottingham www.xrunner.co.uk Brecon Beacons www.10peaks.com

Friday 5-7th

Balanced Body Pilates on Tour

Phoenix, Arizona

www.pilates.com

Friday 5-15th Marathon des Sables Saturday 6th Sunday 7th BFR UK Group Run Marathon de Paris

Sahara Desert, Morocco www.marathondessables.co.uk Richmond Park, London See page 81 for more information Paris, France www.parismarathon.com

Rock ‘n’ Roll Edinburgh ½ Marathon Edinburgh, Scotland www.uk.competitor.com/edinburgh 100k Ultra Sunday 14th Brighton Marathon Brighton, East Sussex www.brightonmarathon.co.uk 50k Ultra Monday 15th Boston Marathon Boston, Massachusetts www.baa.org Sunday 14th Saturday 20th Sunday 21st Friday 26-28th Saturday 27th Run Strong • Run Free workshop Virgin London Marathon Balanced Body Pilates on Tour Lost Worlds 50/100K London, United Kingdom Tuscany Crossing, Italy Brighton, Sussex See page 81 for more information www.virginlondonmarathon.com www.pilates.com www.lostworldracing.com

Sunday 28th Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Maratón & Half Madrid, Ireland

Individuals or teamwww.es.competitor.com/madrid relay

B a r e f oat ot R u n n i n g M Heritage agazine Sprin g 2013 Limited spaces World sites

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News from the sporting arena

On track

Spanish doctor, Enfemiano Fuentes, has been convicted of using blood doping to help a number of cycling clients, after a long investigation that began in 2006 when 200 bags of frozen plasma were seized from his office. Fuentes has been charged under public health laws as doping wasn’t illegal in Spain when the initial search was carried out. He has been given a one year suspended sentence as well as being struck off the medical doctor list for four years. Fuentes claims that he was helping his clients and was providing a form of therapy; he has also hinted at having clients his year’s event took place on Sunday 21st April in sunny, rather warm conditions. Thousands took part and thousands lined the streets to watch this popular race. Runners were encourage to wear black ribbons in tribute to the victims of the Boston explosions less than a week earlier and there were 30 second’s silence at the beginning of each of the three starts. Popular runner Mo Farah ran the first half of the race as part of his preparation to run the full marathon next year. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the buzz, telling interviewers that one of the hardest parts of the race was trying to grab your own drink whilst running past the aid stations. He’s admitted that’s something he’ll have to work on! Men’s race winner: Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) in 2:06:04 Women’s race winner: Priscan Jeptoo (Kenya) in 2:20:15 Men’s wheelchair race winner: Kurt Fearnley (Australia) in 1:31:29 Women’s wheelchair race winner: Tatyan McFadden (USA) in 1:46:02 Well done to all those who took part!

from other fields of sport but has not mentioned any names. This news comes as part of a seemingly continuous problem of drug use in sports. Only a couple of months ago, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after admitting to blood doping. More recently, Turkish runner Asli Cakir Alptekin has been provisionally suspended due to abnormal test results and maybe stripped of her Olympic Gold Medal from London 2012, as has silver medallist discus thrower Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia. Both have received suspensions for drug use in previous years.

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News from the sporting arena

ritish sailor, Andrew Simpson, has died in a tragic sailing accident in San Francisco. The Olympic medallist (Gold at Beijing in 2008 and Silver at London 2012) had only just moved to California with his family to train as part of the Artemis team to compete in the America’s Cup. It was during a practice session that the team’s large yacht capsized and Simpson became trapped underneath it. CPR attempts were sadly unsuccessful. A full investigation is underway and there are concerns that the yachts have become too powerful, making them highly dangerous. Our thoughts are with his family and those who were close to him.

On track

wenty eight year old Vincenzo Nibali has won this year’s Giro d’Italia, his second Grand Tour victory. The Sicilian-born racer was “very happy” with his win and commended the strong team who helped to support him. The multi-stage race takes place annually over a 3 week period and is part of the ‘Grand Tour’ group along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. The UK’s Mark Cavendish also performed well demonstrating his usual incredible sprinting skills, whilst fellow Brit, Bradley Wiggins, had to retire from the race due illness . Congratulations to all the competitors who attempted this gruelling race!

Haile Gebrselassie has confirmed he will take part in the Great Manchester 10k run later this month, competing for his 5th race title.

Mohamad Ahansal of Morocco wins his fifth title at the gruelling Marathon des Sables, with enough energy left to cartwheel over the finish line!

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International news

The latest international news
his year’s World Health Day was celebrated on 7th April, marking the founding of WHO (World Health Organization) in 1948. Each year, there is a theme; this year’s focus was high blood pressure. It is a global problem, with one in three adults suffering from this condition. High blood pressure can be a serious health issue and is linked to heart attacks, strokes, heart and kidney disease. The aim of the campaign was to increase global awareness of the problem, highlighting the causes and consequences and offering guidance regarding prevention and treatment. Many people don’t realize they have high blood pressure, whilst others have symptoms but don’t have the financial capacity to seek treatment. Posters and fact sheets were made available online for people to download and distribute, as well as a 30 second video about high blood pressure. Health organizations, journalists and community leaders were asked to help spread the word as well as individuals being encouraged to have their blood pressure checked and assess their lifestyles for risk factors. There is more information about WHO here: www.who.int All over the world on Sunday 5th May, runners were gathering together to celebrate International Barefoot Running Day (IBRD). Some people ran barefoot in unrelated races that happened to fall on 5th, whilst others held their own barefoot specific runs or races in groups of varying sizes. No one knows why, but Slovenia appears to be rather a hub of barefoot runners, with over 200 getting together this year to run barefoot! At the home of BRS (www.thebarefootrunners.org) you can read all about the different events and how there seem to be more and more people trying out barefoot running and even becoming converts at races they were planning to run in shoes! (See the posts about the Michigan Chapter run). Tracy of Barefoot Britain has written a lovely piece about the UK event – read her report in the BRS pages.

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ews just in that Wayne Botha, ultra runner, has just been granted the record for the fastest 100km to be run barefoot. He unofficially set the record in October last year at Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Race, beating the previous record by 3 minutes, but he’s had to wait months for it to be made official. It is now a recognized record and he has received an official certificate. Botha, who now resides in New Zealand, grew up in South Africa and was inspired by the Comrades Ultra Marathon, running his first ultra, The Two Oceans, in 1995 following it up that same year with his ‘home’ ultra, the Comrades. Botha has the same philosophy as a lot of runners: “…to me running just makes sense”. That pretty much sums it up – well done Wayne!

The latest international news

International news

The Berlin hospital, Charite, has begun an investigation after claims were made in German magazine, Spiegel, that it was amongst 50 East German hospitals that used their patients to test new drugs during the 1980’s. According to the allegations, 600 clinical trials took place and patients were often unaware that the drugs they were being given were untested and therefore potentially dangerous. Funds for the alleged trials came from various US, Swiss and West German drug companies and were given to the East German government which was undergoing financial problems. Several people allegedly died as a result of the trials; the named drug companies are denying any wrong-doing.

Usain Bolt wins the 100m at Cayman Invitational but is disappointed with his time of 10.09 seconds.

David Rudisha got off to a great start at the first in the IAAF Diamond League series in Doha, winning the 800m in 1:43:87.

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Barefoot Running UK
The latest from Barefoot Running UK
e recently taught a workshop down in Brighton on one of the first sunny days of the year! We had a wonderful little group of people, all of whom had dabbled with some barefoot running but were keen to learn more. We taught the theory in Unity Yoga Studio, enjoying lunch in the little garden in the sun. We had some strange looks (as usual) teaching the drills barefoot outside the studio in the street. n 2013, we are continuing to travel around the UK with our one day workshop, the basis of which is formed from our book and the ‘extras’ are layered on top according to what elements of health and fitness our students wish to discuss. As some of you know, although we’ve been running barefoot for several years, it is a relatively recent add-on to the other movement methods that we’ve been teaching for 15+ years. David is an accomplished martial artist, dancer and sports fitness specialist whilst my teaching is a diverse mix of traditional, quite ‘hard core’ training at one end of the spectrum and Pilates, injury rehab and weight management at the other. Here’s an email we received after the session: “Just wanted to say a quick thank you for the Brighton Workshop. I learnt a lot and have been working on my drills!! My calves and ankles are getting stronger and more resilient as a result. I have also been having ice baths on my return from a run which are tolerable in this improved weather and seem very beneficial.”

e’re looking forward to heading up to Edinburgh to teach a workshop at the end of June. We’ve found a great venue with lovely grounds in which to work on the drills and exercises. We’ll be staying up there for a few days and hopefully doing some barefoot walks and runs surrounded by the stunning Scottish scenery. There are still a few spaces left on the workshop, which will be held on Saturday 22nd June from 9am – 6pm – visit the website for more details and booking: www.barefootrunninguk.com We also have limited availability for talks at running clubs/sports shops and individual/group tuition so please contact us if you’d like more information: info@barefootrunninguk.com

of emails asking us if we know of barefoot runners in a particular area and we always direct them to the facebook group where they’re bound to find someone. With this in mind, as the group continues to grow and other groups keep sprouting up across the UK, we’ve decided to sponsor a ‘Club Directory’ within Barefoot Running Magazine. This

will include as many barefoot/ minimalist running groups as possible from not only the UK but worldwide, so that the network becomes more solid. If you have formed such a group that is free to join (and anybody can join in if they happen to be in the area) then please email us with the info and we’ll try to add you into the next issue.

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June 2013
Sunday 2nd
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am London - Richmond Park

August 2013
Sunday 11th
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am London Wall - Location TBC

November 2013 cont.
Saturday 9th
Run Strong•Run Free:
An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running. A running workshop based on our book with the same title Bacon’s College - London

Saturday 22nd
Run Strong•Run Free:
An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running. A running workshop based on our book with the same title Edinburgh, Scotland - Location TBC

September 2013
Saturday 7th
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am Brighton, East Sussex - Location TBC

December 2013
Saturday 7th
BFR UK Group Run
10.30 am Clapham Common , London The Bandstand

October 2013
Saturday 5th
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am East London - Location TBC

Sunday 23rd
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am Edinburgh, Scotland - Location TBC

July 2013
Saturday 27th
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am King’s Parade, Cambridge

November 2013
Saturday 2nd
BFR UK Group Run
11.00 am West London - Richmond Park

Minimalist shoes • Supplements • Books • Huarache kits • Vitamins

www.barefootbritain.co.uk
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Group Run
Most club runs are between 5 and 8 miles, around 9 minute per mile pace. Any footwear is fine! Please email us prior to a run if you’re planning to attend. info@barefootrunninguk.com

Workshop bookings
avid has been busy putting his MMA team through their paces (see their ugly mugs above!). Joey entered an important fight a few weeks ago but sadly wasn’t victorious this time. However, he’s been training hard and is going for the World Title in another few weeks. The team are feeling positive, if a little battered, as David’s relentless coaching sessions has them running two miles as a warm up before they begin two and a half hours of circuits and technical drills. David has also been continuing to cycle and was told his bike was “sick” the other day – it took him a moment to realize that this meant his bike was ‘cool’ rather than broken or offensive in some way! All the workshops are available for booking online so please visit the website. If you’d like to attend a workshop but can’t make any of the dates, please email us as we’ll be adding more dates and venues according to demand.

Bespoke talks and workshops
If you would like to organize your own talk/workshop for your running club, please call or email us to set something up.

’ve decided to take on a new challenge. I will detail it in my new blog (www.yoga108journey.blogspot.com) but I am basically committing to a daily yoga regime for 108 days and cleansing my system (and hopefully my mind) in the process. My yoga practice has improved over the years as I’ve developed a deeper understanding of the system and I’m keen to continue that learning, under the guidance (via DVD!) of renowned yoga teacher, Travis Eliot. I will try to get David to take some photos for me to post – either for inspiration or to give people a laugh, depending on how successful I am!

UK tel: 0845 226 7302 barefootrunninguk.com Overseas tel: email: info@barefootrunninguk.com website: www.barefootrunninguk.com youtube: youtube.com/bfruk facebook: barefootrunninguk/facebook +44 (0) 208 659 0269

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It’s your letters

The latest international news

Hi Looking forward to the workshop (Barefoot Running UK’s Run Strong - Run Free one day workshop) later this month. However, just thought I would update you on my progress thus far... Have been running in minimalist shoes for an hour twice a week for a few weeks now. However, went to Cornwall last week and on a dawn coastal run with the sun breaking out over the hills and the waves crashing on the rocks below, I did it....yes, I removed my shoes and hid them under a stile and off I trotted. Wow, is all I can say. It was an incredible feeling. I felt like a mountain goat as my feet literally

hugged the earth beneath me. Of course, it wasn't all plain sailing. The ground was very cold and my feet did not warm up, also there were parts of the trail which had too many loose stones (Cornwall is slate-tastic!) so I had to turn back sooner than anticipated and get re-shod. My feet tingled all day and into the evening. They felt alive. I left is a couple of days and then this time went along the sand and into the sand dunes. Again it was an awesome experience, with blue skies and a fresh wind. I felt incredible. I ran past a family and the mum said "hey, look, she's running barefoot, I bet that feels great", to which the dad responded "Yeah, but apparently when they get home....." I'd gone by then and didn't hear Dad's inevitable pearls of wisdom from his vast experience as a barefoot runner (not!). I guess I will get that

a lot in the future. However, smug I cannot be as I think I may have gone too far too soon as I felt so good. When I got home three days later I went for a run early and within minutes, twang, pain in my calf! Pants! So have been icing and massaging. I think this is a common problem according to your book (Run Strong - Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running. Although I had no prior warning signs I think the sand dune experience probably set me up for this injury. Feeling deflated but all good experience on how important it is to prepare gradually. Anyway, thought I would share my first barefoot experience with you! (G, via email)

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The latest international news

Any like minded locals who fancy meeting for a cheeky forest run just shout! (Alex, via facebook) I've just been for my first ever barefoot run!! Just had 3 weeks off thanks to a niggle I got from wearing my Vivos so convinced by you lot to go for it, I just have. I didn't go far, just down the road and back plus it is FREEZING out there so I didn't want to hurt myself purely because I couldn't feel the soles of my feet but running barefoot felt so 'right'. I have major self confidence issues so it took a lot to get me out there, but I did it and will definitely be ditching the Vivos. Although I might wear my Xeros once they're here on freezing cold days in the future!! Now all I need is to get to know some other barefooters local to Cheltenham.... (Sally, Cheltenham) Completed my first half marathon on Sunday (5th May). The course was extreme for barefooters, gravel and flint tracks for miles and miles. I wore 4mm xeros for the really rough stuff but bare feet as much as I was able to. Before the race started I tried to hop over a barbed wire fence! Didn't quite make it over and took the barbed wire with me!!! So I was at the start line standing barefoot on a gravel track with blood pouring down my leg!!! Not really a good ambassador for barefoot runners! (Ian, via facebook)

Had a great barefoot run in Le Harve, France, well whilst on board the 'Adventure of the Seas'. Really nice running track on deck 12 (sports deck) that covers 1/5 mile, so 20 laps later and 4 miles under the belt decided enough calories burnt to go and have some more of the fab food they serve on board :) (Ricardo, Maidstone)

It’s your letters

Hey guys - just wanted to say a Big Barefoot HELLO from the New Forest! Very pleased to be part of a growing community of Barefoot Brits. Divide my runs up between minimal trail shoes, huaraches and barefoot - as spring takes hold and summer approaches I'm hoping to keep time spent ' shod' to a minimum - case of needs must with some of the tricky trails near me.

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The society pages
What’s happening within the Barefoot Runners Society
his journey for me began so long ago it is really hard to remember exactly how it all started. I know that it was just after I had made the decision that I was going to go into business for myself in the big, bright, beautiful world of barefoot! I had heard that there was a barefoot run put on in Brighton and thought that as it was on my own doorstep that I should really see it there was anything I could do to help. I managed to track down Martyn the organizer and got his email address. He said that he would certainly be glad of some help as he lived in Nottingham! Quite a trek from Brighton. A couple months later I was planning my second group run in Brighton, people were coming from all over (which is one of the things I love about doing them). Martyn travelled down for it which was a great opportunity for us to meet and chat. We decided to stay in touch so we could work together on the 5k. Little did I realize how consumed I would become with this race! It started off that I thought getting tee shirts printed would be a great keep sake, so I did that with the very talented Andrew Barrow from

Reflex doing the design for me. I really do love the design - thank you Andy! Then I managed to get Reflex to kindly donate goody bags and samples for the day, which was brilliant - thank you Julian! Endless hours were then spent promoting, putting up posters and talking to

everyone, I mean everyone I came across who would listen! Before I knew it the race was only a week away. It was one of those things when you know you have loads of time, it was miles away..... then one morning I woke up and it was only a matter of days!! Yikes! It is always when we face pressure that we decide that it is a wise idea to increase our workload tenfold at least that's what I always do. Sometimes I think I must just be completely nuts. Anyway, going from having all the time in the world to do things, plan and organize, I suddenly had very little and there was so much I still wanted to do! Namely getting race medals, I had always planned on buying them but due to the time - or lack thereof it wasn't going to work out. Then I knew I had to make them so I had thought about visiting a ceramics studio and after my initial consultation realized I just wouldn't have the time. What next.... I know fimo or modelling clay! So I found a how to guide on the internet - it looked easy enough right? But I had never done it before and had zero idea of what to expect.

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I think that it was at this point my better judgement (or not as the case may be....) kicked in. Don't chance it on something which could go completely wrong, it was too important to me that every racer had a medal. Eureka! I had it. So I put it to a Facebook poll and boy was I happy with the results! I was going to do what I know I'm good at and have done a gazillion times on a large scale..... bake cookies. Yep, for those of you haven't seen the snaps I made three types of gingerbread cookie race medals - Vegan, Vegan Gluten Free and regular ones. I went right out and bought the letter stamps, foot shaped cookie cutter and ingredients to start baking! I spent four solid nights baking huge batches (plenty didn't make the cut and somehow made it into not only my belly but everyone I work with at Reflex and the kids bellies too what a shame...not! Mmmm they were tasty!). The day of the race as I'm told always hinges on the weather and this year the gods were kind to us it was a corker of a day! Lots of people came from all over, including a couple I had met from the New Forest when I had done the running festival there! Thanks for coming Vineeta and Tom, we really appreciate the effort in getting there! OK - so there were a few hitches with the day, some of the times didn't get recorded and there were a couple of wrong turns on the course. But I didn't see a single face which wasn't beaming from ear to ear, everyone had a brilliant

time and to me it is this that makes it an amazing event. In fact, it felt like it was all over far too soon. There were lots of familiar faces Ricardo D'ash, Stephen Fowler, Robin Dearle, Joe Addison and my good friend Victoria Zaniewicz doing her first race came second in the ladies and it was one of the first few times she had tried minimal! It is at this point that I wanted to say a great big thank you to my good friend Sam Hastings, her beautiful polite and helpful kids, her lovely friend Bonita, my friend Lionel Jones (whom I'd first met at the first group run I'd planned in Brighton) and the wonderful Stephen Fowler from naked runner. Without all of your help setting up and taking down my gazebo, I think I may have still

been hobbling back and forth to the van! Once packed up I sat in the van looking around at the site for a while, I felt like I was left with a great big gaping hole in my heart. Sad and empty. I couldn't believe it was all over! It really hit me hard, I had a real sense of loss. I suppose when you really put your heart and ‘sole’ into something it is to be expected. Thank you so much Martyn Candler and your wonderful wife Liz for allowing me to be a part of your amazing event, without you none of this would have been possible. Here's looking forward to a bigger better Brighton Barefoot in 2014!

One of the many forums on the BRS website is the ‘Blog’ forum, with many runners contributing race reports, experiences in different footwear and general running anecdotes. The ‘Belfast Marathon 2013’ by Darkland featured recently, taking place on 6th May. ‘Darkland’ was running a leg of the marathon in

bare feet and managed to capture his experience by strapping his iPhone to his chest and recording as he ran. He’s condensed the footage to capture all the moments he received comments about his feet – funny how the same ones crop up wherever you go! They were all positive and encouraging though and it looked like good fun.

Take a look at the footage and have a look at the other blog posts too – lots of interesting bits and pieces and there are always useful things to learn from other people’s experiences.

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Product Review Testers

103

Minimal review
Swiss Barefoot Company Protection Socks

104

Long-term review
INOV8 Bare-X™ 200

108

Tester profiles
Profiles of the latest product reviewers

109 110

Minimal review
Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris

Product review
Silva Runner vs. Silva Trail Runner

114

Long-term review
Living with Xero Shoes™

116 118 120

Product review index

Competition Competition

Win a Bobble Bobble sport Sport

Minimal review results

122

30

34

38

We are an independent magazine and unaffiliated with any particular brand or product. This means that our reviews are honest and unbiased, written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts!

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Name: David Robinson Preferred footwear: Barefoot Preferred terrain: Multi-terrain Tester initials: DRR

Appalling. Not worth unpacking. The box is probably of more use. Very poor. Under performs in every area. Significantly flawed. Poor. Under performs in nearly all areas. Not recommended. Off the pace. Below average in nearly every area. Acceptable. Average in most areas but has its disappointments. Good. Above average in some areas but very average in others. Very Good. Recommended in all areas. Excellent. Highly recommended in all areas. Fantastic. Almost flawless. A must have.

Name: Anna Toombs Preferred footwear: Barefoot Preferred terrain: Multi-terrain Tester initials: ALT

Name: Gareth “Gadget” Underhill Preferred footwear: Minimal Preferred terrain: Tester initials: GGU

Product review testers

Name: Jonathan Mackintosh Preferred footwear: Minimal Preferred terrain: Trail Tester initials: JM

Name: Ian Hicks Preferred footwear: Barefoot Preferred terrain: Trail Tester initials: IH

Name: Preferred footwear: Preferred terrain: Tester initials: -

h nbbkjbb

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Minimal review
WEIGHT (UK8) 55 g / 1.94 oz SOLE Kevlar knit / PVC UK 5½ -10½ (inc ½)
Page 104 Spring 2013

Swiss Barefoot Company Protection Sock

FOOTBED 1.5 mm UPPER Kevlar knit EU 38-45

DIFFERENTIAL 0 mm LINING N/A US-M 6-11

MIDSOLE N/A GENDER Unisex US-W 7½ - 13

Barefoot Running Magazine

Swiss Barefoot Company Protection Sock

aving watched with interest as people debated the pros and cons of this item of footwear on facebook, I was keen to try them out. I must admit, I really did not know what to expect because I run barefoot all the time, unless I’m testing a shoe. Socks were something ‘in between’ so I wasn’t sure if they’d provide a great middle ground or would be not enough of one thing or the other. The Swiss Barefoot Company says this about their sock: “True, genuine new barefoot feeling with cut protection”. On their website, they explain that shoes interfere too much in the connection between the ground and the foot but that their sock merely provides protection for the foot whilst allowing it to move freely. The socks I tested were the original design and there is also now a ‘sockette’ version available which sits just above the ankle rather than reaching half way up the lower leg.

nicknamed them my ‘Shrek feet’. She says that I would probably turn more heads wearing these than going completely barefoot! However, style is not an issue for me and perhaps this is the only colour that can be used given the necessary materials. Some people might hope that the company will experiment with other colours but for me, the performance and feel of the socks are far more important. Styling is more important for minimalist shoes that are for everyday wear as well as running. These socks have been designed purely with outdoor activity in mind.

on the type of shoe. I wore them around the flat for a while, getting used to the separate toe holes. I wear Vibram FiveFingers now and again for everyday wear, but the toes in these socks feel different - a little more snug. When I first went out for a run, I was initially disappointed because my feet were slipping around in the socks which interfered with my running gait. However, as soon as my feet got a bit warmer and more moist (after about five minutes), the socks stopped slipping and instead felt secure and comfortable. I guess the fit will be different for everyone, depending on foot size and, in particular, toe length. My toes are quite short but the socks still feel secure. I wonder how much difference it would make if they added more sizes to the range...it’s probably something they’ve experimented with, so maybe none at all.

Minimal review

Fit
This is an interesting one. There are only four sizes available and each one covers two shoes sizes. So I went for the smallest size (38-39) given that my shoe size is either one of those, depending

Styling
It’s a struggle to find anything stylish about this sock. It comes in one colour – a sort of ‘earthy’ green – with a red cross on the outer side of each sock, presumably to represent (but not replicate) the Swiss flag. I pretty quickly began to refer to them as my ‘gremlin feet’ (like Vibram Five Fingers, they have separate holes for each toe) and one of my clients has

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Swiss Barefoot Company Protection Sock

maybe none at all.

Barefoot Simulation
For those of you looking for that ‘barefoot feel’ without the structure of a shoe, then look no further. The way I’ve begun to describe these socks is that they just ‘take the edge off’ when it comes to running on rough surfaces. You can feel the ground, including every little bump and stone, but there’s just enough protection that you don’t tense up as your feet begin to get tender. David R and I usually run for well over an hour at Richmond Park, over all manner of surfaces including lots of twigs and stones. Towards the end, I often feel myself begin to lose focus as my feet start telling me they’ve had enough. In the socks, I didn’t get that sensation and was able to remain relaxed and focused the whole time. They protect against sharp objects but also, surprisingly, offer a welcome barrier when you land on something hard right in the middle of your plantar fascia. I wasn’t expecting this as there’s no structure to the middle of the sock. It just seems to have been developed to exactly the

right level of thickness. Oh! And another thing I noticed – and something that many of you will relate to – there is no sound! If you run barefoot, you’re used to running silently and having to run in any kind of shoe is disconcerting because they all make some kind of tapping sound when you’re running on concrete. These socks are very ninja-like – no one will hear you coming (unless it’s wet, as mentioned above and then you will squelch a bit...).

Build
This is one of the topics that comes up in discussions about the socks. How durable are they? Well, I’ve run some pretty rough surfaces in them so far and washed them several times (they dried within a couple of days). I’m not sure how long they’ll last over the next few months but certainly for now, they seem to be very well put together and pretty tough!

Performance
Now, here is where we get to the nitty gritty. I have to say that I was delighted with the performance of these socks. Despite the initial slippage when my feet were dry, the socks quickly seemed to mould to my feet and I felt confident tackling different types of terrain. They kept my feet extremely warm on colder, dry runs and the grip was surprisingly good in the deep, wet mud at Richmond Park. I left David R slipping and sliding in my wake as I traversed some really squelchy surfaces without losing my footing once. They weigh next to nothing too and are as flexible as my own feet, so there really wasn’t any interference in my running stride or speed. They didn’t feel cumbersome or heavy when wet (although on tarmac when they’re wet, they do make a squelchy sound!). I did wonder how they’d feel on hills...just like my bare feet! I also like to do my strength training climbing trees, so I did a test climb in the socks as well. Again, the grip gave me confidence, as did the freedom of movement. I really hate climbing trees in shoes as they can feel restrictive and you can get your feet stuck in between branches if you’re not careful. I didn’t feel like this would happen in the socks.

Price
As I write this, The Swiss Barefoot Company has a sale on and the socks are selling for 38, 35 Euros instead of 59 Euros (sockettes are 35, 75 instead of 55). This is without postage. Some people have suggested that this is quite expensive for a sock. However, as the company director has explained to me, the components that form the sock are quite expensive, as well as the manufacturing process. My own personal use for the socks is for when it’s very

Minimal review

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Swiss Barefoot Company Protection Sock

cold or I’m on very rough surfaces, so for me the price is very fair. I won’t be using them much so I expect them to last a long time.

Overall
I wasn’t expecting it, but I love these socks! All the shoes that I try seem to compromise my technique in some way which is why I always run barefoot, but I feel I’ve found something I can wear that allows me to run freely with just a bit of protection. David R and I are hoping to run in one of those ‘man Vs horse’ races and, for that, on unfamiliar terrain, I think these would be ideal. I do imagine that they will feel very hot when (if!) the weather gets warmer but in terms of protection, I’m looking forward to trying them out when the ground is too hot to run on. These socks are perfect for those who run primarily completely barefoot and just occasionally want the option of protection

when required, without losing the barefoot feel. And if you do usually run barefoot, you’ll be used the stares and comments so the fact that you look a bit like Shrek won’t bother you in the slightest. After all, part of running barefoot is learning not to care about what others think about your choices! For more info and purchasing, visit: www.barefootcompany.ch Tested by Anna Toombs

Great barefoot feel Good grip Limited ground-contact noise

Minimal review

Limited colours Initial foot slip Not for everyday wear

Styling Fit Build quality Performance Barefoot simulation Price Overall rating
Barefoot Running Magazine Spring 2013 Page 107

INOV8 Bare-X™ 200

ince its minimal review back in September 2012 I have definitely put these through their paces. Out in all weathers and on various terrains covering approximately 800 walk/run miles (40 miles per week), they have not come up wanting.

etc. and they have suited all these activities. They were even used as a substitute for motor racing boots on a rally driving lesson! Again, I had no problems with them and, in fact, due to their thinness of sole, the feel of the car pedals was superb.

Barefoot simulation increases Moulds well to the foot Easy to clean

Build Quality
Build quality is outstanding. I have put them through hell over the past six months and except for the loss of the whiteness, they are still solid with no signs of excessive wear.

Maintenance
Maintenance has been a doddle! They have not needed much in the way of care. The most I have done is throw them into the washing machine on a 40º wash probably four or five times over the last half year with only a single threaded lace to show for it.

Slippery on wet trails Discolours easily Comfortable

Functionality
Functionality did however let the side down somewhat. On asphalt and grass trails they perform well, but the lack of grip on wet trails did at points get slightly hairy! That being said, the same terrains when barefoot can often create the same scenario.

Performance
I actually think that these shoes are even better than they were when new as they’ve become more supple and grippy.

Durability
Along with run/walk sessions I have used them while instructing my MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) guys at the ‘Shack Dojo’ in both conditioning (cross training) and the technical aspects of kicking

Overall
I stand by my first test results. The INOV-8 Bare 200 is a fine minimalist shoe and is recommended not only for running but also everyday wear. DRR

Long-term review

Build quality Functionality Durability Maintenance Performance Overall rating
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Swiss Barefoot Company Protection Sock

Hi, my name is Ian and I live in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. I have been a barefoot runner for over a year now. I have just completed my first trail half-marathon mostly barefoot, but with a bit of help from my 4mm xeros over the really rough stuff. Before then I was a minimal runner, wearing VFF’s. The majority of my running is trails - grass, gravel and with the amount of rain we’ve had in the past year, mud! Living in Wiltshire gives me a great opportunity to run some fantastic trails around Avebury and Stonehenge. I tend to avoid running on roads as I keep getting stopped by the police! I’m a member of a small running group called “Wiltshire Barefoot Runners”. We meet up every two to three weeks at different locations around the Chippenham area. Some of us are barefoot runners, others are minimal shoe runners. My preferred footwear is barefoot, but when the conditions become too severe I will resort to VFF’s or 4mm xeros. I became interested in barefoot running after seeing VFF’s for sale in my local running shop. I was hooked from that point. To me, barefoot running is about letting my body work the way it is designed to work - naturally, and also the sheer enjoyment it gives me.

Tester profiles

Jonathan runs the running related www.pixelscotland.com website and writes and reviews regularly for www.therunningbug.co.uk where he authors the ‘Aim High – Anything Is Possible’ blog. A former avoider of anything remotely exercise related, he now lists running ultramarathons as his hobby and lists his completion of seven ultramarathons in 2012, including the 95 mile West Highland Way Race, as his greatest running achievement to date. After the birth of his son Harris in February of this year, the challenges ahead are somewhat different to that of the previous year but he still hopes to complete at least four ultras in 2013, including a return to the West Highland Way Race. A self confessed trainer and gear addict, Jonathan loves nothing more than testing out trainers, particularly those of a minimalist nature, and is constantly on the search for the perfect ultramarathon backpack. His twitter feed (@jonmackintosh) best describes his running: ‘Born to run, just not very fast!’

Jonathan completing the 2012 West Highland Way Race

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Minimal review
WEIGHT (UK8) 205g / 7.23OZ SOLE G3/X10 carbon rubber UK 6-12,13 (inc ½)
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Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris

FOOTBED 12 mm UPPER AIRmesh EU 38½ - 46½,47½ (inc ½)

DIFFERENTIAL 0 mm LINING Synthetic US-M 6½ - 12½,13½ (inc ½)

MIDSOLE AP+ Copolymer GENDER Mens US-W N/A

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Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris

ack at the beginning of the year I received an email informing me that I had been selected to join a mixed bunch of experts, elite runners, ultra marathoners, marathoners, fitness runners and running newbies on the Mizuno EVO UK Test Team. The purpose of the team - to test out the new minimalist offering from Japanese company, Mizuno, their first zero drop shoe, designed entirely from scratch and promoted on the their website as being suitable for 'midfoot running'. As a self-confessed trainer addict, my delight was compounded with the arrival of not one but two new shoes, the Mizuno EVO Cursoris and the Mizuno EVO Levitas, with 12mm and 8mm of cushioning respectively. For my first product review, Barefoot Running Magazine has given me the opportunity to share my thoughts on the Mizuno EVO Cursoris. “Offering a thicker 12mm AP+ cushioned midsole and wider platform, the EVO Cursorsis provides moderate protection and allows for a more natural gait. Exceptionally light and incorporating Mizuno's renowned Wave technology, Mizuno EVO Cursoris running shoes have been meticulously crafted as a 'training tool' for the newer midfoot runner, providing a smoother and more efficient transition from strike to toe off" (www.mizuno.eu/sports/

running/products/discoverevo)

Styling
As soon as I received the email about the UK Test Team I was straight on to Google for a quick search to see what I could find in terms of both information and images. As such, I did have an idea of what to expect when the shoes arrived. However, even 'pre-armed' with this knowledge, I don't think I was adequately prepared for the reality of seeing the shoes 'in the flesh'. Subtle, they are not - quite the opposite in fact! Aesthetically, the shoes make a statement. From a purely personal perspective, the vibrant orange Cursoris fares better than the very purple Levitas. Fortunately I love orange and, as such, didn't find the vibrant orange colour scheme objectionable. However, these shoes are never going to blend in so expect plenty of subtle (and not so subtle) passing glances when you are out running in them! At the end of the day, however, aesthetics are secondary to the fit and performance of the shoe.

are not ‘the' most comfortable trainers that I have ever worn but would definitely rank in any comfort top 10. There is a distinct lack of overlays in the upper of the Cursoris and, as such, the feet move freely, barely constrained by the porous mesh upper. It would be nigh on impossible not to find this comfortable! As someone with wide feet, it’s refreshing to find a shoe with such flexibility in the upper, providing a comfortable instead of overly tight fit. The Cursoris uses asymmetric lacing for improved fit and flex and I personally found that this resulted in a nice secure fit. However, I have come across comments on line that suggest others have found it difficult to get the perfect fit, finding that they lace too loose or too tight. My one and, it has to be said, only real gripe with the shoe, has to do with slight upwards pressure that I feel midfoot when I initially slip on the shoe. However, once running, this slight pressure soon disappears and, in all likelihood, there's a good chance that I only notice this because I spend quite so much time in sparsely cushioned zero drop shoes. I did try running barefoot in the Cursoris but it just didn't feel right and I was concerned that a toe or toenail would do some damage to the soft mesh upper. As such, I opted to wear a thin sock when

Minimal review

Fit
There's no disputing that the Cursoris is supremely comfortable. I would go so far as to say it has an almost slipper like fit. They

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Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris
running in the shoe.

Minimal review

Finally, in terms of sizing, I found that my usual UK size 8 provided the perfect fit so there was no need to size up or down.

from injury. With 12mm cushioning it’s more forgiving than most minimalist shoes but it’s not a comfortable shoe to heel strike in and, as such, this helps to promote the intended midfoot to forefoot landing style. The Cursoris is designed with road/ pavement running in mind but I have actually taken them 'off road', on to my favoured terrain. They coped pretty well with the fairly uneven, often rocky path but there were a couple of ‘ankle turning moments’, highlighting the lack of support in the upper. Fortunately for me, these didn’t come to anything. Given the fairly basic tread on the Cursoris, I doubt very much whether they would cope with, for example, muddy terrain, so I will most likely stick with their intended purpose in future. Note also that this is not a shoe for speedwork. If this is one of your requirements, consider instead the Levitas, with its additional heel support which provides the increased level of stability required when running at higher speed.

Build Quality
The Cursoris are well constructed, neatly stitched, with no annoying seams that I have experienced. My only 'concern' would be the long-term durability of the mesh used in the uppers. However, this kind of concern is fairly typical with a lot of the current lightweight, minimalist offerings.

You might also want to consider how you feel about wet feet if the weather is inclement as the porous mesh upper does little to stop the rain and water from puddles. The consolation to this is that what easily goes in just as easily comes out!

Barefoot Simulation
The Cursoris sits flatter than your average trainer so that the toes are engaging the ground excellent in terms of stability and enabling you to push off in the most optimum way. Landing midfoot, you want flexibility both from heel to toe and, also, laterally, and the Cursoris provides this flexibility with deep multi-directional flex grooves, allowing for a versatile, natural movement. The flex grooves split up the front sole area into a number of ‘pods’, some of which are covered with a reinforced rubber in perceived high wear areas. The rear of the shoe is relatively smooth, offering little in the way of grip.

Performance
The Cursoris is touted for those new to midfoot running and/or looking to run longer distances in a minimalist shoe. With 12mm of cushioning you don't have to scan ahead quite as diligently as you might with less cushioned shoes and if you land on a stone, the cushioning should protect you

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Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris

In terms of feedback, I would describe the level of feedback as moderate, most likely towards the upper end of what you would consider acceptable for a minimalist shoe. There is a small Wave plate under the forefoot area which filters some of the impact and returns energy during the propulsion, ‘pushing off’ phase, something that I think can be felt when running. There’s a definite feeling of ‘assistance’ from strike through to push off. There’s an excellent, very thorough review of the Cursoris and the Levitas by Fred Brossard over at the Runblogger website. Fred captures the essence of the shoes in his review: “Mizuno’s designers have obviously read and studied the ‘What should a real minimalist shoe feature?’ theories that flourish on the web. In their first minimalist offerings, they very seriously tried to respect 5 key principles of minimalist shoe design: zero-drop, wide toebox, minimal structure, light cushioning, and flexibility under the metatarsals which leads to two quite different shoes: the Levitas is a real racer, and the Cursoris is great for smooth, easy runs.” (www.runblogger.com/2013/01/

brooks-drift-mizuno-evo-levitasmizuno.html#XXO7kmb8lg3be5lq.99)

Specifications from the Mizuno website:

Price
Retailing at around £75-80, the Cursoris is a reasonably priced shoe for anyone looking to make the transition to 'midfoot running'. For those who have already transitioned, the Levitas retails for around £80.

 Named after one of the oldest 
known bipedal creatures, the Eudibamus Cursoris Designed to provide a more stable platform and cushioning for someone transforming to a midfoot strike ZERO RAMP offset between the heel and forefoot provides a natural plane tailored to a midfoot strike WAVE TECHNOLOGY in the forefoot for maximum protection, comfort and a smooth ride Flat-bottomed forefoot design coupled with a wider platform provides stability and assurance from foot strike to toe-off 12mm/12mm heel-forefoot design offers a more protective ride

Overall Rating
The Cursoris is a good first entry into the minimalist market from Mizuno, ticking all the boxes for a minimalist shoe. The only question would be over the 12mm of cushioning which may prove to be too much for some runners. Consider that the shoe is aimed at those looking to transition and/ or those looking for a minimalist trainer capable of distances and, as such, the 12mm can be justified in this respect. For anyone looking for a higher level of connectivity with the ground, there is always the Levitas with 8mm cushioning. Having tested both shoes, the 4mm difference is indeed noticeable. Retailing at around £75-80, the Cursoris is reasonably priced; just don’t expect not to stand out when wearing them!

 

Light & flexible Extremely comfortable Wide toe box

Minimal review

Not to everyone’s taste Moderate feedback Porous mesh upper

Styling Fit Build quality Performance Barefoot simulation Price
Tested by: JM

Overall rating
Barefoot Running Magazine Spring 2013 Page 113

Silva Runner vs. Silva Trail Runner

Product review

Iknow that this seems like entirely ithe wrong time of year to be ireviewing headtorches, but I have to share with you what I’ve found. I run with my local run club on a Wednesday night and have recently been on my first night time trail run. This was a revelation for me! Since living in the South Downs I’ve started to enjoy running as a way of getting out in the local landscape, which is stunning. Going out with the run club, I had been using headtorches all winter as a necessary accessory, as outside of the main part of town nowhere has been streetlit. But this was different; this satiated my boyhood want for adventure! Even coming into the summer months, late night trail runs are going to be dark, so I believe this still has value to you. So with my introduction out of the way, hopefully I have piqued your interest. Potentially you are like me and view running with a headtorch as quite an advanced set up; no one wants to have all the gear and no idea! I would suggest that it can be quite the opposite. These things can be very simple and inexpensive and can open up many hours of potential run time that was not available to you previously. Like any technology, they can be very costly and over the top as well. So my review will focus on two different levels of head torches (both made by Silva) with which I now have good experience. The two headtorches are the Trail Runner at £60 and the Runner at £150. To run you through the specs, the Trail Runner is powered by two AA batteries that provide you with 100 lumens of light over a 50 metre distance for about 24 hours of usage. The Runner is powered by a rechargeable battery pack giving you 550 lumens of light over a 90 metre distance and lasts for around 10 hours. Both lights come on a sturdy adjustable headband and both lights can be adjusted for angle.

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Silva Runner vs. Silva Trail Runner

Verdict
So which one should you choose? Unfortunately, now that I’ve experienced the level of performance on offer from the Runner I would find it hard to go back, but then I’m already in possession of both! If you are looking for something practical that will do the job, you can’t go wrong with the Trail Runner, and for the price I think it’s fantastic. It will keep all runners happy regardless of level of experience as it does what you need it to do. However, if you are after the best without having to carry a bulky lighting rig around on your head, I don’t believe you’ll find better than the Runner, the performance is outrageous! If you also go out for night rides on your bike, then this is definitely the one to go for.

I ran with the Trail Runner several times before I used the Runner, and the Trail Runner proved more than adequate for pitch black winter night running. It is supremely comfortable on the head, very light and shows no sign of moving around when you’re running. This was something I had taken for granted until I tried others and they weren’t as comfortable or stable. The light is very easy to use, with one large button for operation and clear signs for the battery running out of juice. Most importantly, the light itself is easily adjusted with one hand when on the run if you want to change the direction of throw. This is far and away the most popular torch at our run club, and I think that’s testament to its good illumination, ergonomics and competitive price point. The runner on the other hand is a different beast entirely, as you may well have picked up on from the specs. The reaction from everybody when you turn it on is the same; astonishment! It is mindboggling how blisteringly bright such a small light can be. It would happily provide enough light for the whole running group and actually makes the head torch of the person running next to you redundant; you wouldn’t notice if it was on or off. Personally, I actually preferred having the rechargeable battery as I just made sure it went on charge after every run and I didn’t have to worry. However, that battery pack is fairly weighty and bulky in comparison to the housing for the AA batteries in the Trail

Runner, which in turn made it less comfortable on the head. However, with a bit of adjustment making the battery pack sit lower on my head, I found a workable solution. If you are running with a backpack this can be overcome altogether as Silva provides an extension lead meaning you can locate it in a pocket of the backpack leaving the headband to be exceedingly lightweight.

Gareth Underhill

Silva Runner

Silva Trail Runner

Product review

Battery Life Max Lumen Light Distance Weight Intelligent Light® Splash proof Price

10hr 550 90m 62g Yes Yes £150

24hr 80 50m 135g Yes Yes £60

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4mm Xero Shoe

Maintenance free Lightweight Foot exposure

Noisy on ground contact Foot exposure

t’s been a while since I wrote my review of the Xero Shoes. They have remained my ‘go to’ shoe for when I need to take shoes with me somewhere just in case, or when I wear them to visit clients.

other shoes that perhaps don’t provide enough grip on certain terrains or certain weathers.

Durability
As I mentioned above, I foresee these having a long life-span. I would expect the laces to snap eventually but this is a minor aspect. I’ve taken them on all manner of terrain and different weathers and they’re still going strong.

Long-term review

Build Quality
I think the soles are going to last forever! They still have plenty of grip and show no signs of falling apart. The lace on one shoe did snap very recently but they are over two years old so I won’t hold this against them! I can still use the same lace too – I just needed to adjust them slightly.

Overall
Still one of my favourites. I haven’t worn them as much over the Winter months but they will remain my shoe of choice for everyday, breathable footwear. ALT

Maintenance
What maintenance?! If they get dirty (and they have done) I just hold them under a tap and give them a scrub with a brush or something. Job done!

Build quality Functionality Durability Maintenance Performance Overall rating

Functionality
I’ve probably done more walking than running in these as my preferred running footwear is still… my feet! They are functional in that they are extremely minimal but still enough to be allowed into shops that might kick me out if I’m barefoot. Very quick to put on/ take off. They’re fine on all surfaces too, which is not the case for some

Performance
The only real issue I have with the Xero Shoes is the one that I have with most other minimalist footwear. They do make a noise when I land, so I have to concentrate on not changing my form to reduce the noise as this makes me run too far towards the front of my foot. As far as walking is concerned, they’re perfect.

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Parts & servicing Race preparation Modifications Custom builds Expert advice from a friendly team 82 High Street London SE20 7HB 07711 015102

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Winter 2012/13

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Bobble Sport BPA-Free Water Bottle

iving in London, it’s difficult to get past the taste of chlorine in the tap water! The taste when water is filtered through the Bobble, however, is just as the Bobble team suggest – fresh, clear and crisp. It’s probably a little big to run with but is easily portable for use in any fitness class, with a cap that doesn’t leak and a handy little carrying strap. If you like your accessories, this is a great (and healthy!) addition to your collection with an array of bright colours to choose from. We have a Sports Bobble to give away to a lucky reader. Just email us at: info@bfrm.co.uk with ‘Bobble Sport giveaway’ in the subject line by the deadline 30th June 2013. Good luck!

Competition
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Bottle BPA-Free Water Bottle

Product review

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Out-of-the-box Trail test results

Minimal review results
Out-of-the-box trail test results
Human Foot My Foot INOV8 Bare X 200™
(01/2013) (01/2009)

DRR

DRR

Kigo Drive Merrell
(06/2012)

DRR

Trail Glove

(06/2011)

DRR

Mizuno

Minimal review results

EVO Cursoris

(04/2013)

JJM

New Balance

Ozark Sandals Tri Black
(11/2012)

ALT

Swiss Barefoot Company. The Protection Sock (05/2013) Vibram FiveFingers Classic Sprint KSO
(01/2012)

ALT

DRR DRR

(02/2010)

VivoBarefoot
(05/2013)

Xero Shoe

4mm Xero Shoe 6mm Xero Shoe

(12/2011)

ALT DRR

(12/2011)

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United Kingdom

United States

Europe

www.facebook.com/MaidstoneBarefootDashers

Boulder, CO www.runBARE.com

Club Directory

www.barefootbeginner.com

lenaweebarefoot.runningclub@facebook.com

Austin Barefoot Running Club
www.meetup.com/Austin-Barefoot-Running

www.meetup.com/New-England-Barefoot-Runners

Asia

www.barefootnyc.com

www.facebook.com/BangkokBarefootRun

www.facebook.com/pages/Barefoot-Running-Group-of-Grand-Rapids

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Minimal review results

Out-of-the-box Trail test results

n the summer of 1976 I got my first bicycle. It was wondrous! Blue and purple frame, with a metal chain guard to stop my corduroy trousers from getting stuck, fat white tyres and hand grip made of hard wearing plastic. To me it was “the bestest thing ever!” In many ways it was my first step to independence as I spent many hours just ‘out’ (nowhere in particular, just out) in my neighbourhood, riding around the streets, parks and woodlands. That little bike became a faithful friend and together we discovered much of the world I still see around me to this day. With pride of place at the end of my bed all that summer, it was always within hand’s reach, but like so many things in life with the passing of two summers and a 7 inch or so growth spurt, I outgrew my old friend and moved on to a bigger and faster, more ‘grown up’ bike.

But I must admit that in all the years since then and all the bikes I’ve owned (and there have been a fair few) from rugged mountain versions with hi-tech suspension systems to lightweight road racers that I could pick up with my small finger, that little second hand fat white-tyred, purple and blue bike holds my affection. It was more than just a piece of equipment I used for training or racing. It breathed life not only within itself but into me as it transported me into new environments and an ever greater world view. For me, it was one of the milestones in my life; a true life changer, up there with my first day at school, my first day at work, my first car and my first home. But, as the years roll on there seem to be less and less milestones left that allow me to experience the world in a different light.

I truly believe that these milestones have greatly contributed to the man I am today. Be they good or bad, it is quite irrelevant; the development of my mind, body and soul is the

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result of these experiences and I wouldn’t change them. But in this modern world of Ethernet connections and data clouds it is becoming harder and harder for kids to achieve a rounded development. ‘They’ (the do-gooders with loud voices) want everything to be safe and secure. The youngsters shouldn’t be out riding their bikes on their own, without being padded up on every joint and a crash hat two times the size of their own heads, and as for venturing into the woods? No way! The risks are too high with speeding cars and weird men lurking in every shadow. It’s not just the youngsters that are being corralled into a homogenized state of existence. We adults are at risk of losing our ability of opening new avenues of thought and lifestyle as the cotton wool, single-minded world is closing in all around us. But I have found throughout my years in the martial art world and more

recently, engaging in barefoot running, there are always ways to not conform and instead literally follow a new pathway.

“Technology removes us from real interaction with people. Shoes remove us from interaction with the earth.”
We should not stop discovering milestones. On the contrary, we should go out of our way to find more. My old bike was just a few components welded together. It could have been any colour and any age. What it represented was the important thing – my first steps to freedom. Technology removes us from real interaction with people. Shoes remove us from interaction with

the earth. Taking off my shoes and walking or running brings me back to myself and at the same time reminds me that the world isn’t closed and rigid – it is open, vast and ready for me to explore. Run strong run free.

©TRC Publishing UK

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B a rB ea fo re of t oR ou t nR nu ing nin Mg ag Ma azg in ae z i nW e i nS tp er i n 2g 0 12 20 /1 13 3 P Pa ag ge e 1 12 11 7