Saturday 31 December 2011

New Goals for a New Year

Another year has passed and a new year lays ahead. A blank canvas presents itself in front of you for which you have the opportunity to paint your own picture for the future that lies ahead...

Its the perfect time to reflect on what the previous year brought for you. For some it will be a time of celebration, a time to remember the achievements and ambitions that successfully manifested through hard work, determination and motivation over the past 12 months. Time to sit back, relax and smile about the fruits of your work, enjoying the memories and happiness that came with it. For others though, it may be a disappointing time. Sadly, this is probably true for many of us. Lost opportunities, broken New Years Resolutions, goals that remain underachieved and ambitious dreams that never came true. The good news is that, whichever person you may be, whichever of the two scenarios you relate to the most, a new year lies ahead, bringing with it new opportunity, a fresh start, and the chance to make things happen.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

10 Things a Barefoot Runner Needs for Christmas and New Year

All items in the picture are mentioned in this post
Christmas is fast approaching, bringing with it the usual questions from friends and relatives. "What would you like for Christmas this year?" Well CavemanClarke has been answering these questions too, and so I thought I would put together a short post listing the top 10 things a bareform runner needs this Christmas and for the new year to come. I have tried to choose items that are functional, stylish and not to expensive to save you some well-earned pennies. You don't always have to buy expensive to get an item that works well...

1) Hat and gloves: it makes running a lot more comfortable if you stay warm in very cold, windy weather. I use Nike run gloves and skull cap because they are light, cheap and they do the job well.

2) Long sleeve base layer: This piece of clothing is a must. A tight fitting base layer wicks away sweat, keeping you dry and warmer for longer. Again, try the Nike Pro Combat long sleeve base layer. Its much cheaper than other companies and does the job well. Maybe if your planning on scaling a mountain trail, you might want to try the Helly Hensen Stripe Crew Lifa Long Sleeve base layer.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Barefoot Running

We are always looking for ways to avoid injury, to improve our performance, to grow in wisdom and understanding and discover a path to success. This is the same for everyone who exercises, whatever your area of expertise or interest. But for runners and sports men and women, who run as a fundamental aspect of their training, is barefoot running the secret we have long been looking for as an answer to our prayers? Does barefoot running reduce injury rate? Does it strengthen the body in ways shod runners cannot? Does it increase the enjoyment of running or the euphoric 'runners high' we long to regularly experience? And are shoes really bad for our feet, our body and therefore ultimately, our health?

Well, lets start with the basics of what science has already proven, and the simple answer is: Nothing! More evidence is needed to conclude whether barefoot and minimalist shod running will definitely 1) reduce injury and 2) improve performance. There is very limited coverage of the subject in terms of solid scientific researching to this date. Does this therefore mean we should close the book, put it to the back of our minds, forget it for a while until gold standard evidence tells us the final verdict? Well, the simple answer to that question is NO.

Monday 7 November 2011

Beat the Winter Blues with Exercise!

Winter approaches, fast! Memories of summer feel distant and seem lost in the ever colder weather, leaves swept by the wind and the closing darkness that shortens our sunlight hours. It's easy to feel down, lost, uninspired and, well to sum it all up...Motivation Zero!!!

There is hope to see us through the looming darkness, and the good news is; we all have the ability to harness this power and happiness. You have heard it before I'm sure, but this isn't going to scare me off from telling you again and in the process, add a few more particulars to the mix.....Exercise can help beat the Winter Blues!!!

Thursday 20 October 2011

Merrell Trail Glove vs New Balance Minimus vs Vibram FiveFingers

In recent years the running community have witnessed the rise of barefoot or minimalist running, in which keen enthusiasts strip down their chosen footwear to almost-not-there lightweight, uncushioned and minimal shoes. Some brave hardcore runners even head out the door with nothing on their feet but the mud splatters picked up on their way!!!
I say thank goodness this has come about. For too long shoe manufacturers have wrongly convinced us that cushioning, arch support and mattress like shoes are the way forward to injury free running. This has not been the case. In recent years running related injury has soared. Runners such as myself were left with weak arches, sore knees and painful backache.

In walked (or ran I suppose) the barefoot running revolution. With exception to some individuals taking a 'jump in the deep end' approach thinking it to be the panacea they had been waiting for, barefoot running has provided the running community with a wake up call we needed.

Monday 5 September 2011

Mountain Marathon Kit List

So here it is. The promised post on what I feel is a good selection of kit for anyone planning a multi-day mountain marathon adventure. This doesn’t have to be a race event. It can simply be a personal adventure, a group challenge or whatever you want it to be.

The kit listed in this post is only my personal opinion drawn from limited experience running and camping. If you are planning this sort of event you should work out what is best for you by TRYING BEFORE THE EVENT!!! Also, those of you competing in organised events; be aware that the event usually has a strict kit list that must be met or risk disqualification, so have a check before turning up unprepared.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Lessons from the Peak District

Mam Tor trail running
This post focuses on what I learnt from a few days walking and running in the Peaks. I'm splitting it into lessons for ease of reading.

Friday 5 August 2011

Fun vs Injury

Hi faithful followers and anyone visiting

Just been thinking about injury and fun recently since whilst training for my 1st ever marathon in September have picked up some pains! Just wanted to post some (hopefully) wise words regarding training, having fun and getting injured.

These are my own personal reflections on the past few weeks and may not apply directly to everyone out there. Remember; your body is unique to you, so only you can truly learn and know what best suits you.

Iliotibeal band syndrome (IT band syndrome) is a common runners injury. Its a band of fibrous tissue that runs from the outer hip down the outside of the leg and inserts under the knee joint. Increasing mileage too quickly, over training, faulty biomechanics, footwear, leg length differences and bad running form/technique can all contribute to IT band syndrome.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Get out there...

Find some nature, a quiet place that you love and get out there whenever you can

You'll be surprised just how great, alive, peaceful and happy it can make you feel.

Escape the rat race.

Escape the stress.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Stretch natural

Hi again

Ever wondered why animals don't see their prey and burst into a 10 minute stretching routine in prep for the chase? Ever noticed how the lion doesn't wait for the deer to complete a yoga workout before the chase begins?

Stretching is a concept we have created for ourselves to compensate for the way we live our lives, day to day. And our main enemy? I'm afraid to say its the (less than) humble chair!

Think of the sitting position. A position that puts most of our muscle groups at the position of least stretch. A midpoint between stretches shall we say. And what do we spend all day doing these days? You guessed it...sitting.

Friday 29 July 2011

Natural Existence

Hi to whoever is out there reading this.

I'm new to this blogging thing, I'm not great with computers, but I do promise to teach and inspire whoever you are about a natural existence, free from stress, worry, and evils like the running shoe!!! (More on that to come for sure)

Anyway, with my first minimalist marathon fast approaching and the mountains and hills of England, Scotland and Wales calling me to 'Fastpack' over them with everything I need to survive in a lightweight rucksack on my back, I'll have plenty to teach and motivate you towards a happier future.

Speak soon