January 1, 2013

Moved to NaturalRunner.ca

'Toe Girl' Tina's Barefoot Alternative Adventures has moved to NaturalRunner.ca. My old adventures are all there and future blog posts will all be posted on the new site. ALL my minimal footwear reviews are there, too. You can now stay up-to-date with new blogs posts with the site Facebook page as well!

Hope you like it and Happy New Year everyone!

December 22, 2012

'Toe Girl' Tina's Barefoot Alternative Adventures is Moving!

That's right! This blog is moving to a new home very soon. I've purchased a new domain and been working on a new website layout for some time. In addition to the new home for the blog, ALL my reviews are going to be on the same site, too!

In anticipation of the move, I've disabled commenting on this site.

Stay tuned for the new domain and website announcements soon...

September 25, 2012

Shoe Reviews for Fall/Winter 2012

I know I mention it a lot in my reviews but it is a great time to be a minimalist shoe reviewer. When I first started wearing minimalist footwear in 2008, there were not a lot of options for run specific, work appropriate or winter footwear but now, every season brings new models for a variety of purposes.

This year's shoe reviews have a little bit of everything. Here's a pic of some of this season's minimalist footwear reviews that are coming up:

Fall/Winter 2012 Shoe Reviews
Anyone want guess what they all are?

August 31, 2012

Introducing Speed

Until recently, I've been content with the speed at which I run. It's always been slow but it didn't bother me because I was happy just to be able to run. I've been running with Lee Saxby's running technique for a little over a year now and think I'm ready to introduce speed to my running. In Lee's method, speed taxes your running skill; so to run faster, you have to have good skill. I'm hoping that my skill is equal to the task.

I've done three speed interval running workouts in the last few weeks and I've learned quite a bit about my current running skill level: I can use more skill. I know this will always be the case because there's always some aspect of running form that I can improve on.

My speed interval workouts include a 10-minute warm-up at an easy pace (I have a pace min/km display on my Garmin FR60 for easy reference). My easy pace is about 6:00 min/km. I've been doing 4 or 5 faster pace intervals for about 100 metres or so. My faster pace is about 4:00 min/km. After my speed interval, I'll walk until my heart rate goes back down to 150 BPM then return to running my easy pace for a minute or two, then repeat a speed interval. Then I run home at my easy pace.

Here's an image from my Garmin data of my first speed interval workout:

Here are some observations I've made about running speed intervals (based on how I feel and a video I took of my last speed workout):
  • I need to focus on my landing more because I tend to land more on the lateral side of my foot when running faster
  • Running fast with the metronome at 180 BPM feels much less taxing on my cardio than running fast without the metronome
  • My posture still feels good at either speed
  • I could focus more on hamstrings than hip flexors when running faster
  • I don't overstride any more when running at speed than running easy (thankfully)
  • Running easy tends to be at a faster pace the next time I run after a speed workout
  • My cardio could use improvement (not a big surprise)
  • Running fast is FUN! (also not a big surprise :) )
For future runs, I want to keep my speed intervals at 4 or 5 and try running fast for a longer distance for the next few times.

If you do speed workouts, how do you incorporate them into your running?

July 31, 2012

Coaching Tour of Ontario & Quebec

Last week I was away on an epic, whirlwind Natural Running Coaching tour of Ontario & Quebec. The trip was awesome and entailed A LOT of talking. I coached staff from VIVOBAREFOOT retailers and minimalist shoe consumers in addition to having LONG conversations about the different offerings on the minimalist footwear market. I was hoarse for a good three days after the trip.

For more details, you can check out my recap at: http://naturalrunningcoaching.com/2012/07/nrc-in-ontario-quebec-recap/.

And here's a map of the route we took: