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Monday, January 24, 2011

Just the facts Vol.1 epsiode 2

My Contests :

Gu – Ryders – Road ID – Road ID – Ends tomorrow, 10pm mtn time!

Watch for a new contest on Wednesday!

Fantastic week of running!


  • An amazing 16k yesterday
  • A nice 7k tempo on Friday
  • A good 8k easy on the mill on Thursday
  • A good 3x1mile interval session for an 8k total (barefoot-gate at the Goodlife gym) on Tuesday
  • A 24 mile week in week 3 of marathon training! Pretty good methinks.
  • All the awesome comments regarding the raw deal at the gym! Special thanks to the Primalfoot Alliance and Daniel Howell!


  • Getting busted for running barefoot on the ‘mill
  • Having a family full of Croup.

Interesting stuff:

  • BMO Vancouver MarathonI have been a oft-commenter over at the BMO Vancouver Marathon’s facebook page. Kevin Jagger, who’s story is pretty cool in his own right, has been doing a great job of managing the Social Media efforts for the race. He has grown the following from the low 100’s to over 2000 in just a couple months with his timely information and his though provoking questions. I think some days I am on there a little too much, but I am enjoying being part of the convo so much, I just can’t help myself. Today we had quite the convo on how to ease into using minimalist footwear for running!
  • BMO Vancouver Marathon Facebook Question from Kristina Gicas: Does anyone have any suggestions on how to transition into a pair of fivefingers? I bought a pair, ran in them once on a treadmill for 20mins and strained my calf muscles so bad I could barely walk for a couple of weeks!! (Neil?...Barb?...Bueller...)
      • Neil Zeller Walk in them for a week first. Then run for 1 minute. 19 minutes too long the first try, i'm afraid. Go very slow, very very relaxed and take really short strides, keeping your footfall under your body. (the heel is allowed to touch down, after the mid foot) Listen to your body, if your feet tell you to stop, then stop.
      • Scottie Kersta-Wilson Oh man ... S L O W L Y ... injured both ankles and out 8 weeks last season. S L O W L Y. On treadmill I do 1/8th mile walk, and then 1/4 mile run for 6 reps to help build up feet and intervals
      • Mae Lee I would just dump the 5fingers and go back to your regular running shoes.
      • Kristina Gicas Thanks for the tips everyone!! I am going to take Neil's and Scottie's advice and try walking in them first :)
      • Matt Merko I would recommend a shoe that would help you make the transition - like the Kinvara or the Mirage - made by Saucony of course
      • Barb Wilkins The guy at MEC told me to just walk around the house in them for a week before even attempting to walk outside in them. I was lucky that it was spring/summer and I was already walking so much barefoot and in flip flops, but yes SLOOOOOWLY.... Your calves will hurt. I think I started 1 km in them once a week, the rest of the time in my runners. Now I'm 4x a week VFF once regular runners (and regular only if I run trails) You'll naturally find yourself landing mid to fore foot and a much shorter stride and a quicker pace. I have a really hard time going back to runners!
      • Neil Zeller By far the best way to learn barefoot style running is by going barefoot. That's how I started. Your feet will tell you all you need to know. I use minimal shoes now only when conditions prevent me from running barefoot... I had blisters an...d really sore calves for a couple weeks, but now have ran many races inc. 2 half marathons fully barefoot with no injuries or lingering issues... Also, you can read up on Chi running and NPR, they preach a short stride, quick turnover, style, that barefooting is known for... If anyone has any other questions, feel free to email me at nzeller at shaw dot ca. I know the barefoot convo can get old for many, so we can take it offline if needed...
      • Kristina Gicas Wow thanks for all this great advice!
      • Barb Wilkins Neil...I'm thinking of switching to barefoot come warmer months! The only thing that stopped me was the dirty icky ground coming in contact with my pristine feet ;)
        How's the water only, no coffee etc going by the way?
      • Neil Zeller Really good. Without changing anything else, I am down 6lbs in 14 days. I used to get cramps once in a while on my runs and those are gone completely too! Still miss coffee (cheated 2 times)
      • Erin Mcd Go slowly! I've been slowly getting used to them for 6 months now. No point rushing things and risking injury.
      • Jean McAuliffe I started with the VFF Bikila last May and took it slow as others suggested. I was running in them with my training group in July for the Portland half in Oct. I heard you shouldn't run in the VFFs on a dreadmill. The heat and friction are ...not good on the feet and shoes. I ran barefoot once on it. Wow - black! It helps to do exercises to strengthen the calves. A good book to read is Barefoot running ( for helpful tips and exercises. I love them! Can't imagine wearing anything else (except au natural).
      • Maxwell Ferguson ‎"Starting off in VFF" is the problem. Get a pair of shoes with a heel toe differential that is less than 12mm. Then work on form, starting out in VFF is asking to lose massive aerobic capacity due to a dramatically reduced amount of training.
      • Neil Zeller I disagree. Transitioning means you don't toss away your regular shoes right away. You can run the first 10% of your regular runs in vff then put your regular shoes back on. I guarantee what you learn will translate to your stride on your shoes. This way you lose nothing while you gradually use the minimal shoes or go barefoot for longer duration as you build up your footness, as I like to call it.
      • Barb Wilkins I did exactly what you just said Neil. As much as I wanted to wear only my VFF's to run, I'd run 1 or 2 km a week in them for the first month, slowly increasing. Doesn't mean I'd only run 1 or 2km a week, just 1 or 2 in the VFF's! Footness...I like.


Just the Facts Feature Blogger of the Week is:

***Beth at Shut up and Run***

Beth has a sweet little blog based in Colorado. I just found Beth’s blog a short time ago and was impressed by her dedication to blogging, but was less than impressed by her commitment to running. She is relatively new to the blogging game, so go on over and give her a follow. Her cute little anectodes will make you giggle with glee, and have you saying “yeah, I've been there too Beth! Uh-HUH! ”.  As for the running. she does most of it in a pool. Not sure what that is all about, but I guess to each their own. Her unique water running club includes a group of nice little old ladies who she calls the ‘nice ladies in the pool’, or something like that. So go on over to say hi to Beth, give her some support and a kind word or two. We were all new in the blogging world once, so she could use all the support you can give her. Have a great day Beth and Happy Blogging! Oh yeah, Beth is also going to try out a little race in New England in April. Good luck Beth!

AND - 96 days until my first marathon! I am really excited for the training to get there, as well and the day itself. Can I still use the word, ‘Stoked’?


One of my first contests was to caption this photo I took. Liz won and here is the result! I still LOVE this photo too. Top 12 for me for sure.

Bull motivation


  1. That's the best description of SUAR, ever!

    I, too, appreciate that Kevin's on top of things over at fb. It's great that there's conversation going on - nothing worse than having an event with little to no information. Did you find today's topic ironic given that Vancouver is one of RR's major races of the year? I thought it kind of funny... :P

  2. Yeah, you can also get some great home decorating tips or oatmeal cookie recipies at Beth's fledgling Blog. If only she's post more often.

    All kidding aside..... great bit about the VFF and your advice. I was going to buy some after my race to help in the transition to a better foot strike, but you convinced me to just run barefoot. This would augment my regular running. Cool. You're the best Neil Z.

  3. 96 days until your first Mary...ahhh, enjoy the stoke, Neil...

  4. HAHAHA that poster is AWESOME!!!! SUAR is a rockstar, I get to meet her at our first Half IM in Boulder..

  5. Yay 95 days. Awesome.

    Thank goodness. I. Do. Have. A. Bull.


  6. Thanks for the shout out Neil! The discussions would be nothing without willing and informed fans like yourself! Very much appreciated your support of the event and look forward to finally meeting you one of these days!

    Happy training, see you May 1!