Archive for the ‘running clinic’ Category

A Barefoot Running Clinic in the Philippines? Wow!   6 comments

Oh, wait.. sponsored by a shoe company.. oh well..

A little more than a month ago, I saw an invite in Facebook regarding the First Annual Barefoot Running Clinic here in the Philippines, and hosted by world-renowned barefoot runners (they have a book and everything), husband and wife, Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee.

The post boasted “limited slots left” so I immediately signed up, and signed up Michel too. A couple of days later, we got confirmation emails saying we’re in the list. Yey!

I’ve been looking forward to something like this for months!

So very early November 29 saw our whole family in MOA to attend the event, even my in-laws were there (not to join the clinic, of course, but to bond with their grandkids)! I guess there were about 50 participants, and most of them were on their VFFs.

Of course, knowing that it’s sponsored by Terra Plana hindered me from being too excited about what I’d learn during the clinic. I was actually hoping the speakers would make us run barefoot a couple of times around MOA. No such luck.

But at the same time, I was very curious how the speakers would bash wearing shoes while still singing their praises for their kind sponsors. That would be kind of weird, right? I mean I’ve seen videos of these guys in YouTube talking about barefoot running, and they don’t like wearing shoes much.

Well I’m glad to say that the speakers handled it very well. “Shoes,” they said, “are feet-recovery devices”. They are what we use while our feet are still adapting to running barefoot. Run some without shoes today and run some with shoes the next day. Repeat until you run more without shoes than with. Progression is the key. I can see how that can work. That would make sense I guess to most people, especially those that have ran with shoes for a very long time. I just don’t see how minimalist footwear fit in that. Did they mean run with minimalist shoes today then with regular shoes the next day? It wasn’t clarified, and nobody in the audience asked.

But for me, I believe more in the Barefoot Ken Bob way. The only way to start running barefoot is to, well, run barefoot. No “transition footwear” necessary. I don’t think I’ll be hearing any minimalist shoe company knocking on my door soon so that they can pay me to talk about barefoot running.

Anyways, the clinic featured repetitive instructions on how to align our bodies so that it’s in “barefoot running” form (reminds me a lot of Chi Running),

repetitive grabbing-the-floor-with-your-feet walking exercise (much like how birds would walk I guess with their claws),

a rundown of useful exercise and stretching instruments that we can use, a lot of fun and insightful anecdotes from the speakers,

and a Q&A session.

One great thing we got from the clinic is that Michel now does not think I’m crazy for running without shoes on. I’m sure it was also an enlightening day to many of the other participants, and I really hope this would encourage more Pinoy runners to try the minimalist (if not really barefoot) alternative. Then maybe people would stop asking me if it hurts. ^_^


Sole Mates   Leave a comment

Last Sunday, my wife, Michel, was finally able to join the Runnex running clinic in UP Diliman. Yey! Ahem, not to offend anyone, but I would have to say she was also the prettiest woman there. Double yey!

And just in time to train for the QCIM2 this December, too! I’m sure she’d be able to finish a 10k by then, or at least a 5k. But we’ll (read: I’ll) push her so she’d do 10k. I might get a right hook from her for that, but what the hell.

To answer a question you might have, she will not be “following my footsteps” and start running barefoot. I have no issues with that. Promise!

Although if she chooses to on her own.. Nuninu..

So for now, that means she would need better shoes. The ones she used last Sunday were basic “pamporma” Converse shoes we bought a number of years ago. She said she felt that the shoes weren’t allowing her to run well because it wasn’t bending enough, thus impeding her movement. She also complained about the shoes’ stability especially when she had to land on the sides of her feet during the ladder drills.

So we’ll be heading out to a running store soon. Come to think of it, I’ve never been to an actual running shoe store before. I think I find the video gait analysis they do to help them suggest “the right shoe for you” (sorry, folks, can’t help but put quotes on that) very interesting. And I also heard one need not buy anything right then and there even after they do the analysis. Maybe I’ll try that out!

Good stuff.

As expected, her inexperienced calves were hurting Sunday afternoon. But other than that, she had no shin splints, joint or knee pain. A day after, she said her calves were still hurting but the pain was more bearable. RICE should do the trick. She should be ready for another round of running clinic fun next Sunday.

We can’t wait!

Posted September 29, 2010 by Barefoot Yayan in running clinic, starting out

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Injured!   4 comments

For the first time since running without shoes on, I am injured, and it wasn’t even my fault! So this is what happened:

UP Diliman, 5:30am, Academic Oval.

I was running my usual warm-up couple of laps around the Acad Oval before the Runnex running clinic starts when it turned out that there was a running event in UP that day, the ACTIVATE! Run and Pump it Up. Nice purple (blue?) singlets.

The Start/Finish line of this event is infront of AS steps. As always, participants were just loitering about (many were warming up) while waiting for their respective gun starts. Crowded as it is, we had to slow down to maneuver and weave through the bodies of these participants so as not to run them (and each other) over. Apparently, this concept was jusr too complicated for some because the guy a few meters behind me kept looking at the stage while keeping his fast pace. Unfortunately, I was the lucky person whose feet seemed like the perfect landing pad for his heelstrike. I don’t care if you’re wearing the new Brooks shoes, when twice your body weight falls on my toe, that would hurt!

Good thing for me that the b@stard’s aim was off, he was only able to step on the pinky of my left foot. It still hurt, but wasn’t able to keep me from running that day. The pain subsided by the time I completed my first lap, about 2.2k. I was still able to complete another lap, the drills during the running clinic and a 5k to cap the day.


The pain came back while inside the bus going home. I guess the endorphins had already worn off. Every step was quite painful so I had to limp my way out of the bus and take a tricycle going home. Needless to say, the wife was not very pleased with what happened; and had another weapon in her arsenal regarding her campaign against me running barefoot.

Oh well..

When I looked at my foot, my toe was violet and almost 50% bigger, the underside was almost black. I was quite lucky that my brother in law is a physical therapist. He looked at the toe and just advised me to ice it for 20min, three times a day for two days. Then I’d had to apply a combination of heat and cold on the toe a couple of days after that. After two days of ice baths, the pain is now a lot more bearable (although I still can’t run pain free) and the swelling seems to be subsiding. I see recovery before the week ends. Yey!


Like driving vehicles, running is not purely dependent on the runner’s focus and care. Sometimes, an idiot runner will come along and step on your toe.

Many have said that runners are one of the most attentive people you’d encounter on the road. They’d have to be to avoid getting hit by a bus (or an idiot runner). To this I say barefoot runners are more attentive than regular runners. Barefoot runners need to always pay attention to the road and to their surroundings. There’s never a time to go on “cruise control” and run half-asleep.

Last Sunday, a running clinic buddy asked me what happens if I stepped on a rock. I said most of the time I can avoid them but if not, I call those moments “lessons learned”.

Posted August 31, 2010 by Barefoot Yayan in barefoot running, injuries, running clinic

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