Congratulations Jez Bragg on Completing the Te Araroa Trail

Jez Bragg, UK Ultra-Runner, has just completed his 3,054km journey over the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand in an astonishing 53 days, 9 hours, and 1 minute… That’s 56.km (35miles) per day. Incredible.

“It was raw emotion for me; all my heart and soul, sweat and tears, had been put into realizing this moment, and it almost happened too suddenly to take it all in. I’ve been a robotic state for most of the time since I started – in my own little bubble – and I think it’s going to take several days to snap out of it.”

Now, this is such a huge achievement, I think it is worthy of consideration for Sports Personality of the Year 2013!

Jez Bragg Te Araroa Trail 2013 Sports Personality of the year 2013 Feetus Ultra Running

Congratulations Jez

Read his story here: http://jezbragg.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/day-53-riverton-to-bluff-finish-o.html

Trail Runners – An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Torq Trail Running Feetus.co.uk Gels Drinks Energy

Become a Torq Trail Runner

This is an opportunity of a life-time for all you trail runners! Is it wrong to call it a trail runner’s wet dream? Perhaps, but please withhold judgement until you have read this:

TORQ is looking for runners who will join the TORQ Trail Team for 2013 and enjoy many of the benefits of a professional running team.
Anyone who is committed to running on the trails and exploring the outdoors – as well as their own limits – is encouraged to apply to be part of the team: this is not just for elite runners.
Those successful in being selected for the team will spend a year as part of the TORQ Trail Team, with many of the benefits usually only available to professional teams, including:

  • A nutritional assessment and nutrition products from TORQ Fitness
  • Team-branded kit for training and racing
  • A three day training and preparation trip running in the Alps on the UTMB course around Chamonix from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd June 2013
  • Appearances in features in Trail Running Magazine
  • Support and advice throughout the season

The sign-up process is easy. All you have to do is fill in a simple form, here: http://bit.ly/11mCShu

Don’t forget – Feetus.co.uk goes live very soon. Keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter to take advantage of some fantastic competitions PLUS some exclusive discounts: Feetus on Facebook and Feetus on Twitter

Happy running!

Gordon Pirie’s ‘Running Fast and Injury Free’ – A Must-Read for Aspiring Runners

Gordon Pirie’s ‘Running Fast and Injury Free’ – A Must-Read for Aspiring Runners

I first read this book back in 2009 whilst nursing a knee injury and trying to find a solution. Much of the content mirrors what Christopher McDougall covered in his bestseller Born to Run, and other subsequent running publications related to running performance.

Go Barefoot or Go Minimalist

He points out that no professional athletes compete in “overstuffed, wedge-heeled orthopaedic boots that most joggers wear”, and that “the difference between running in bare feet and in the typical jogging shoe can be up to 30 seconds a mile.” As such, Pirie always advised his trainees to wear the lightest shoe they could find. “These shoes” Pirie continues “should have the same amount of padding at the front under the toes as at the rear, with no wedged or flared heels.”

Technique

In Running Fast and Injury Free, Pirie’s advocated technique is not too dissimilar to the POSE Technique, or what is commonly regarded as the natural / barefoot style. He advises taking shorter steps (3-5 steps per second) as opposed to striding and heel-striking, which wastes energy on vertical movement of the body (Joggers ‘bobbing’ up and down). He also describes his collaboration with Adidas-founder Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler on designing running shoes.

Performance Gains

Pirie was a controversial character, and he doesn’t shy away from the odd controversial statement in this book. It is at times contradictory (“walking damages running”, then later adding he would add 4-hour walking sessions to his training. Yet ‘Running Fast and Injury Free’ is still an enjoyable read with some fantastic advice, and by taking heed of some of Pirie words you will probably cover more ground faster.

Running Barefoot Minimalist Fast and Injury Free Gordon Pirie Feetus.co.uk

Zapotek, Mimoun, and Gordon Pirie lead the way in the 1952 10,000m Final
(Also notice Sando (84) missing his left shoe!)

You can both read the book for free online, or download the PDF here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13695/Gordon-Piries-Running-Fast-and-Injury-Fre

Gordon Pirie’s Laws of Running:

  1. Running with correct technique (even in prepared bare feet), on any surface, is injury free.
  2. Running equals springing through the air, landing elastically on the forefoot with a flexed knee (thus producing quiet feet). On landing, the foot should be directly below the body. (Walking is landing on the heels with a straight leg).
  3. Any and all additions to the body damage running skill.
  4. Quality beats quantity; the speed at which you practice the most will be your best speed.
  5. Walking damages running.
  6. The correct running tempo for human beings is between three and five steps per second.
  7. Arm power is directly proportional to leg power.
  8. Good posture is critical to running. (Don’t lean forwards!).
  9. Speed kills endurance; endurance kills speed.
  10. Each individual can only execute one “Program” at any one time; an individual can be identified by his or her idiosyncrasies (i.e. “Program”). An individual can change his or her “Program” only by a determined, educational effort; each individual’s Program” degenerates unless it is controlled constantly.
  11. Static stretching exercises cause injuries!
  12. Running equals being out of breath, so breathing through the mouth is obligatory (hence the nickname “Puff Puff Pirie”).

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts and comment on this post.

Online: http://www.feetus.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FeetusOnline

Twitter: https://twitter.com/feetusonline

Who Loves Competitions?

I wanted to write a very brief blog post today to alert our current followers of some very exciting news.

Later next month we’ll be hosting a sequence of competitions to celebrate the launch of feetus.co.uk.

Incredible Prizes

We have some amazing prizes to give away. Not just the odd ‘Here’s a £5 voucher to spend at feetus.co.uk when you spend over £100’ – I’m taking about physical freebies – Things you can wear, things you can eat, things you can use! Whether you’re a barefoot fanatic, a minimalist geek, an ultra-marathon freak, or just a casual runner – You’ll LOVE this giveaway!

Without giving away too many details…

The free-to-enter competitions will be centred around our brand-new online running store (live next month), and our social media channels Facebook and Twitter.

Why are we GIVING things away?

Because we want you to love feetus.co.uk. You will love the stuff we sell. You will love the customer service. You will love our beautiful online running store. And we want you to tell all your friends about feetus.co.uk too!

What now?

March your bare soles over to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ us. Retweet us on Twitter. Keep your beady eyes on us for more information

Online: http://www.feetus.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FeetusOnline

Twitter: https://twitter.com/feetusonline

Image

An Army Marches on its Stomach

An Army Marches on its Stomach

Famous words by Napoleon Bonaparte. And it’s completely true.

How many of us have ‘hit the wall’ or ‘bonked’ on a long run? If you have, I’m sure you will have vowed never to hit that wall again!

I remember one time heading out on the bike with a plan of cycling a straightforward out-and-back across the Cleveland Way. It was one of those perfect days for cycling – sunny, warm, no wind (very rare on the North York Moors!) and so I got carried away, and decided to keep on riding. Of course, the extra distance I was covering only meant I had that same extra distance to cover on the way back.

Cutting a long story short: I was ill-equipped. The food and drink I was carrying was insufficient. I became seriously fatigued, weak, and disorientated. I took a break by a trail in Guisborough Forest, and then opted to curl up in a ball, feeling sorry for myself. I was ‘rescued’ (haha!) by a couple out walking, who kindly donated a Cadbury’s Boost. That gave me enough energy to continue cycling until I found myself with enough phone signal to call my wife for a lift. #Embarrassing!

Try hitting the wall

I learned my lesson the hard way. It might sound crazy but I would recommend everyone to hit the wall during a training run. You’ll certainly earn some wisdom points for it, and will hopefully never make that mistake again during a race!

What causes bonking?

In short, you bonk due to low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), effectively running out of fuel for your body and your brain.

How to avoid hitting the wall

Simplistically: Eat properly for exercise, and eat at regular intervals. Find out which foods suit you best – which are easiest to consume, to digest, and what you enjoy most.

Fuel-up at feetus.co.uk

Variety is the spice of life, right? We’re proud to be stocking a top range of sports nutrition from different brands, offering energy gels, bars, and drinks in some top flavours.

  • Torq – My weapon of choice. All ingredients are derived from natural sources, meaning next-to-no chance of getting a stomach upset when it matters!
  • GU – A bestseller in America. A great range of flavours!
  • RunningFood – Relative newcomers to the market with big potential. Chia seed based drink and delicious flapjack.

Why not order a few to see which you like best?

And finally… The moral of the story

Always fuel when out running, cycling, or any form of endurance sport, and refuel sufficiently. Failing this: play dead and ask for a Boost!

Image

Hardmoors 30: The New Years Day Hangover Cure. 2013

Ran the Hardmoors 30 on New Years Day. What a race! Glorious views! Great people! …and it didn’t even rain!

Really enjoyed the first 10 miles, though by starting too fast, I only had myself to blame for my 20-mile demise. After scoffing a few jellybeans and a pink doughnut at the checkpoint at Robin Hood’s Bay, mile 13, I was sick. This could probably be attributed to too much alcohol over Christmas, but from this point onward, I felt like, joint by joint, limb by limb, my body started to say “Why should I help you out today? You should have put in more training! You shouldn’t have drunk so much over the last week! Pig!”

If I had ran with a Garmin on my wrist on the day, the analysis would provide a story in itself. After hitting Whitby at mile 19, it was a welcome relief to be at a checkpoint and actually have an excuse for stopping. I hung around for five minutes, and headed back out on to the (surprisingly busy, considering it was NY Day!) streets of Whitby.

A wrong turn (or rather, missing the left-turn on to the Cleveland Way) after the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey added insult to injury. From here on, the trails were so muddy I could only liken the conditions to Glastonbury.

I cursed every step taken. I wanted to give up. I was bored of feeling shit, and fed up of just shuffling along… I was cursing myself for having a sober, half-ten bedtime the night before when I could have enjoyed an Indian and polished off a crate of beer with the wife. It sounds odd, but at the time I would have easily traded places with someone nursing a New Years hangover. Near the final ascent, a driver asked if I wanted a lift. It was so tempting to eat the forbidden fruit, but I refrained.

Taking another wrong turn less than half a mile from the finish summed up my day. I followed the trail for about half a kilometre, and only realised my stupidity after a pair of walkers told me no other runners had passed this way.

I hit the finish line at the Village Hall in 6 hours, 3 minutes. Disappointed I was, but in hindsight I am extremely proud of finishing after what was quite a long period of feeling low and swearing at mud. It is a fantastic route through 30+ miles of breathtaking scenery and I would recommend it to anyone 100%!

Now, being a man, I have never given birth, but I because I’ve got two kids myself I feel ‘almost’ qualified in making this statement. Ultrarunning can be very much like childbirth. The ‘doing’ is tough, it’s horrible, and you vow never to do it again, but straight after, these feelings are replaced with something you are extremely proud of. The pain is forgotten and you want more!

A partnership is created…

I really enjoyed Running Food’s flapjack on the day though. I had one an hour before the race, and another during, and I definitely felt the benefit from them, and got a huge boost from eating something more substantial than a gel or some sweets.

I had kept Tim’s business card from the race and called him a couple of days after the race to discuss the possibility of becoming a reseller of his ‘RunningFood’ products. What a top bloke! We spent a good hour on the phone covering all topics. I’m pleased to say that Feetus will become a reseller of Chia Charge and that magical flapjack, bringing RunningFood’s stuff to the hands of the UK barefoot and minimalist running market at feetus.co.uk.

It hadn’t occurred to me on the day, but I believe these chia-infused super-snacks will sit perfectly against the brands and barefoot and minimalist items I will be selling at www.feetus.co.uk. Can’t wait!

As for running. I can’t wait for the next race. The Hardmoors Osmotherley 26.2 sounds perfect!

Interested in barefoot and minimalist running, running gear, sports nutrition? Keep up to date with Feetus on Facebook and Twitter:

http://www.facebook.com/FeetusOnline

https://twitter.com/feetusonline