Sunday, October 24, 2010

Product review: Barefoot Running

Friday was an ok day after the crap weather of Thursday, early morning swim, coffee and work. it's also quite special because it is the first long weekend of spring, labour weekend. 
that means two things: a. summer is round the corner and b.traffic will be bad going north, south east or west. two million people on the roads going to the beach, the mountains, the lakes or wherever they love going; 
Kayaks, mt.'s, road bikes, surfboards, beach tables, boats and all sorts of summery stuff hangs out of cars. 

We opted to go to Ohope beach, in the the Bay of Plenty, east of the north island. 4 hours of driving and a supergood stop at a cheese factory cum coffees shop. It was a stunning day and the our little unit in the holiday park is just neat. 
So, fed by all the positive vibes from racing on Thursday, a cool friday in town and a mid spring break I decided I'd give it a try to barefoot running (BFR). We had lunch first, and a constitutional siesta. 

So...  at 4.30pm it set off wearing just my running shorts, aiming to get some brown back to my skin and a good 70min workout of BFR in the sand. The beach at Ohope just goes on and on and on, it was a balmy 18 degrees with south easterlies, I was running north-west for the first half hour and it felt like it couldn't get any better than that. I turned around at about 7km and got a bit of head cross wind but nothing to worry. The tide was coming in so I went a bit further up the beach on softer sand. 

Towards the end of the run I started to note my big toes getting a bit itchy, I though it would be the friction with the sand causing some minor trouble. I told myself off for being so fresh about BFR and doing such a long workout with no previous slow start. Then I felt the right calf starting to get tight. But it was only 10 more minutes to get back to the start, so I just sucked it up and kept running. 

When I stopped I checked my plants and there they were, two big blisters the size of a 2 dollar coin, one on my big toe and the other on the ball of each feet.
I went on stretching for 10 mins or so to loosen up the calves and quads and gluteals.

Overall I'd rate BFR 8/10. It is a good change from the weekly routines, in my case it makes me work harder with the lower calf and not that much with the gluteals. I did a few efforts to try it out and my stride is pretty much the same, but it still feels a bit jumpier than shoe running. 

On another note, I found a new bike, but I didn't bring it with me so it has not been tested yet, there will be more to come on that front.


  1. I think that's an honest assessment. I kinda wrote it off, but then tried it on the beach without the VF5 and enjoyed it quite a bit.

  2. nice looking ride! and lol @ N W E S...every direction means summer!


  3. So great that BFR has made it down to NZ! :) Great looking ride - heard great things about the TCR.