Neo Trail: Nothing in the world makes mas giddy as shoes. #shoegasm

This has been the most intense training week ever. Ever.
We know there are a lot of things that make our running better. And because I am not willing to diet or do much speedwork, I’ve submitted myself to pretty much everything else this week. It was my do or die test week!
I know about all the stuff I should be doing: drills, core workouts, arms, hip & glutes strengtheners,  plyometrics, yoga, hill sprints, stretching, flexibility, etc., etc., etc.
So, I made lists, lists of lists, and then a master plan for the week. It was grueling. It was ALL running related, and around two hours every day, including the runs. I’d start with the drills I learned on the natural coaching course, and after 5 minutes I was exhausted and done.By Wednesday morning, before I was to do 3 mile repeats, I was already slow and sore. Fabulously, Texas Dan was there to pace me (poor him!), and man, was I a whiny and tired puppy! I managed the three reps (unwillingly!!) and then finished with 9 miles! Dead. Thursday, I could barely walk normal, but I kept at it. By Friday, no running and 2 hours of core and hip related stuff later, I was a big tired mess. 
And I did all of this in my Evos. I love these shoes. I have been doing everything in them, even speedwork. My feet are SO comfortable. Ah, it’s pure love.  
But I know they require a lot more foot strenght, so I felt I had to back off for the long run.

Feet felt really tired Saturday morning (I had also been out all day Friday after my super-workout-week!). So, as I was heading out on Saturday for my first Chicago training “longish” run, I figured my feet needed an easy alternative for one day… I have been wearing the same asics model for 6 years (and you know I have lots of shoes!), there’s a few pairs that have never failed me and I know I can trust them to run for me. I felt my feet had earned the rest and comfy of the super cushioned and heely asics, fine.
I obviously had no idea. My feet started fighting the shoe. I was uncomfortable and with every step; my feet, now trained to feel the surface, kept pushing and trying to dig through. It felt like a cast and every 2 or 3 minutes and I would get a sudden urge to take the shoes off and throw them at something. Suddenly, I couldn’t land well and was doing midfoot. WTF????!?!?!! Luckily, my cadence wasn’t affected much but my legs had to work harder to pivot and land well. Yuk. I started feeling some tender spots and blisters growing in my arch by mile 5!!! I felt like I was a traitor my well trained feet, forcing this crap under them. It’s amazing how a shoe that was like my second skin for so long, is now the most uncomfortable thing (and it sucks that I have so many of them now!). It’s also really good news! Dear feet, thank you for being so OSOM, I promise I’ll be smarter next time!

was invited, along with 9 other people from all over (UK, St Barts, California, etc.) to participate in the first ever VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program.

About The Course

The Coaching Program was a full-time, week-long training based on the eBook recently published by VIVOBAREFOOT: 

Proprioception - Making Sense of Barefoot Running

Master the skill of Barefoot runningProprioception is the body’s awareness of its own motion and position. It’s essential to enjoyable and injury free running and is the secret to optimum performance. Understanding and developing your proprioceptive sense is the first step on the journey towards awakening the skill of natural movement. This training resource cuts through the myths and misinformation to bring you the ultimate guide to barefoot running. 

About The Instructor

Lee Saxby

VIVOBAREFOOT has chosen to partner with Lee Saxby, ”the world’s best barefoot running coach”, to create the definitive barefoot running resource because he understands barefoot running and natural locomotion better than anyone else.Lee has spent 20 years studying with the leading researchers across the fields of biomechanics, nutrition, athletic training, evolutionary biology and functional medicine.The coaching drills he uses are based on a deep understanding of the biomechanics of movement and his extensive practical experience of fixing injured runners and developing performance athletes.

Chris McDougall - Author of Born to Run"The first time I saw Lee Saxby was the last time I ever had a running injury."About three years ago, I was in the midst of researching my book, Born to Run, when I developed a nagging heel pain. This was puzzling: I thought I’d learned ideal running form from Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians and would never be injured again - and yet I was. So I made the usual round of visits to podiatrists and sports medicine physicians, and got the usual useless advice. They said I needed orthotics and Ibuprofen and a night splint. I should stretch my calves, and roll my foot on a golf ball, and take time off. They all warned me about the dangers of distance running, but none of them - not one - ever asked to see me run.

Professor Daniel Lieberman - Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University"I’ve never seen anyone better able to diagnose and correct a runner’s form, and he has that ability — special to good coaches — to translate his advice into words that make sense and which you can follow."

What Really Happened

I learned loads about proprioception, kinetics, kinematics, mechanics, physics, natural laws and chemistry, running form, drills, posture, balance, rhythm, cadence, the foot, rockers, blockers, evolution and adaptation, metatarsals and phalanges, footwear, hybrid/unnatural movements, biomechanics, injuries, balance, morton’s toe, flat feet, high arches, trailing legs, plantar fascia, elastic recoil, gravity, calcaneograde, diggigrade, plantigrade, subconcious vs conscious posture, head chasers vs pelvis chasers, ground reaction forces, centers of gravity, levers, observational science vs conceptual science, myths vs science, plyometrics, chemical cost, coupling time, motor systems, anatomy, axes of leverage vs axes of balance, fears, our animal brains, movement, muscle action, shapes we make, forces we create, runners vs joggers vs sprinters vs walkers, flexibility, milestones to master, how to diagnose, how to coach, how to run relaxed, and how to relearn the skill to run. And some british jargon too.

It was quite intense and loaded with lots of data and science, but we also got to test out every single natural or physics law during the course. We would work on our flexibility, drills, and plyometrics throughout the day and that would tie up nicely with all the hard data we would get from the presentations.They gave us these amazing little (and super light) cameras with which we would video everything (and slow down to 60 frames per second right on the spot) so you could not miss anything in anyone’s form. We taped each other’s form. We would coach each other and then we would tape the change.  

my before and after

We played with loading plates to see where we leveraged or balanced depending on locomotion choice. We would go outside, tape anyone who would inadvertently go by (notice I didn’t use “run”!) and then analyze their form and what drills they would benefit more from. Luckily we were in Chelsea Piers so we had lots of subjects! We had a very varied group of participants, some were crossfitters, some were trainers, some were sprinters, one super amazing biomechanics genius… and we all had very different feet, arches, toes, postures, rhythms, and issues. It really added a lot to the great learning experience as we all had a completely different background and approach.

The Barefoot Nerds!
Overall, not such a bad time… ;-)
It was challenging, but really fun and englightening. And spending most of the week barefoot, doing drills, jumping on treadmills, squatting and learning a lot about biomechanics surrounded by fit people, is textbook definition of a fun 8 to 5.Lee is a genius. I have learned a lot and can already see the change. And I am excited to share this though I still need to complete the certification. There was a written test on the last day, and I now have to send in three case studies to be fully certified.And then… let the fun begin!!!

I’ve been really frustrated with my shoe situation for over a year. That is too long, right? I blame the VFFs. Since I started using them, every single shoe feels like a brick, and who likes that?

I declare the VivaBarefoot Evos the official Saint Patrick’s day shoe! #evo #stpatrick’sday


I declare the VivaBarefoot Evos the official Saint Patrick’s day shoe! #evo #stpatrick’sday