One Wheel Down With the Axle Dragging

It was mile 283…and I was sulking in the pain cave.

The tendons around my knee caps were completely trashed. It was as if a tiny tornado had ripped them apart. And each step flayed them further from the cartilage.

I couldn’t take the suffering any longer. So I sat down on a bench that ran parallel to the course.

Was this what the halfway point of a 10 Day Race was supposed to feel like?

If it was. I was one wheel down with the axle dragging.

Sensing my grief, Ashprihanal Aalto, the race leader and the world’s best multiday long distance runner…

Sat down next to me, fished his pocket for a piece of paper and began to read out loud:

“Make yourself feel that you are not the runner, but that somebody else is running in and through you. You are only the witness, the spectator.”

When I asked if he had written the words. He said no. It was from Sri Chinmoy. The Indian spiritual teacher who the race paid homage to.

Aalto added that even though adversity feels like it will never end…

It is only temporary.

And when we focus on giving our best. We become lightning rods for transcendence.

We shared a fist and Aalto disappeared into the distance.

I pondered the experience for a few minutes. Got up. And started a slow shuffle. Dwelling on being the witness for the ride my body was taking.

Moral of the story:

If you’re in a running rut. There’s tremendous power in getting back on the horse. Even if you feel directionless and defeated.

That’s why…

When you subscribe to The Runner’s High Newsletter, I’ll ship you a free copy of my book “Endurance Secrets”. It covers everything from how to build a 12-month training plan from scratch to reframing your mind for race day success.

Reserve your copy here:

http://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

thnx,

Barefoot Alex

The Annoying Lady at Starbucks ☕️

Earlier today, I was sipping a macha latte at Starbucks.  Editing “Endurance Secrets” like a madman when an annoying lady sits down next to me.

She unpacks her belongings.  (pencil case, laptop, 3 notebooks, and a 1-gallon jug of water).  Making enough noise to distract me from my work.

More…I can sense she’s staring at me.  So, I look up.  She has a power cord in hand and is glancing towards the wall.

This is Starbucks code for “can you please plug me in?”

She passes me the cord but it gets tangled in her mess of stuff.

But then something strange happens…

Before she has time to speak.  I hear the word “drape” echo in my mind.  It happens 2 seconds before she says:

“Try draping it along the chair.”

I sit there dumbfounded for 3 seconds and stammer…

“Before you spoke.  I heard in my head what you were about to say.”

For 45 seconds, we discuss the occurrence.  Coming to an agreement that it was a telepathic experience.

500 seconds later, I’m pouring over Google, trying to find information on telepathy.

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Here are my findings…

Telepathy is the communication between two minds, separated over a distance, without the use of the five known senses.

It’s is also considered a form of premonition.  Aka the ability to know the future before it actually happens.

At some point or the other, you may have experienced this.  E.g. Maybe you pick up your cell phone only to have it ring in your hand.  And when you look to see who is.  It’s the person you were just thinking about.

Or…

Maybe you were in a race where the miles played out exactly as you envisioned them.

If the latter hasn’t happened to you…

Imagine if each time you toed the starting line you had this feeling of knowing.  No doubt you’d be nabbing PRs on a regular basis.

That’s the superhuman power of telepathy and premonition in action.

And it’s possible when you practice the easy 7-minute mental rehearsal routine found in the first issue of the Runner’s High Newsletter, to reserve your copy, go here:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Back to editing for now.

Peace,

Barefoot Alex


Marathon Training Secrets of a Barefoot Hippie

I got this question from a friend from Mumbai today:

——-

Hi Alex,

I am running one half marathon per month.  Now, I am planning to run a full marathon in 4 months.

I need guidance from you. Can you help me with a training plan?

Thanks in advance!

——-

What I’m about to say WILL ruffle the feathers of many diehard running coaches.

How come?

Because my approach to marathon training flies in the face of popular opinion.

There’s no lifting involved.  Zippo speed work.  And zero need for 10 hour training weeks.

Why?

Because doing too much of these activities accelerates stress levels in the body.  And when the stress piles up.  You start experiencing symptoms such as these:

*Constantly cranky
*Seriously Sore; injury prone
*Goldendoodle-like attention span

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Instead…

Focus on building a rock solid aerobic base.

To accomplish this.  Keep 100% of your runs at an easy conversational pace.

Easy running accomplishes 3 things:

1) It sets the stage for introducing more intense works later down the road.

2) It allows you to run more.  (Which is one the best ways to improve)

3) You won’t be dead tired afterward.  So you can still have the energy to channel towards family responsibilities, a full-time work schedule, and other hobbies.

Caveat…

The biggest problem people face with easy running is that it feels too slow.  Realize this means that your aerobic conditioning needs some serious TLC.  And that more time must be spent building out this underdeveloped system.

The GOOD news is…

In my book “Endurance Secrets”, I am going to show you how to (1) calculate your most efficient easy running pace (2) how to structure a 12-month training plan that takes the guesswork out of what workouts to do and when.  Better yet, this book is free when you invest in a copy of the “Runner’s High” newsletter.

Speaking of the Runner’s High Newsletter…

This baby goes to the printer next Saturday.  So there’s no time for dilly-dally.  Subscribe in time here:

http://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Dhanyavaad,

Barefoot Alex

Weird Way to Overcome Race Day Jitters 🏁

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was playing with action figures.

I had cardboard boxes filled with X-Men, Ninja Turtles, Street Sharks, and GI Joes.

Anyway…

I would sit in my room for hours devising intricate storylines.

Inventing worlds with pillows and discarded carpet pieces.  Not stopping until I crafted the perfect setting.

Here’s a sample scene:

==

Wolverine: Freeze!!

Spiderman: Logan, put down Donatello.  If you want a brawl.  Duke it out with me instead.

Wolverine: Take another step and I shred him to turtle bits.

Superman: Your bone claws are no match for my superhuman strength.  Put.  Him.  Down.

Professor X: Listen to them, Logan.  We mean you no harm.

(Superman and Spiderman inch towards Wolverine)

SLASH!!!

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Donatello’s head goes rolling like a hippie at Bonnaroo.

==

Scenes like these were my bread and butter.  I’d imagine them all day long.  Only stopping when Mom called me down for dinner.

What’s this got do with you?

Probably nothing.

But it goes to note…

These fictitious episodes (albeit gruesome) where the cornerstone to developing active imagination.

The secret form of communication that works in tandem with the subconscious mind.  And when you practice active imagination often.  The sensations can get very vivid.

Especially when you apply it towards more mature themes.  Like envisioning yourself nabbing a PR on race day.

Speaking of…

Is it just me or do a lot of runners suffer from performance anxiety? (And who can blame them?) I’m not one to doom & gloom, but I AM one to be prepared.  And I believe it all starts before you toe the starting line.

If you want to take a look behind the curtain at the 7-minute mental toughness method I use to combat competition anxiety:

Go here:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Cowabunga,

Barefoot Alex

P.S. No Ninja Turtles were hurt during this reenactment.

It was all in my head (pun intended) 😉 

My Leadville 100 Horror Story 👻

Let me tell you a story.

But first…We have to fire up the flux capacitor
.

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.

Ok, now it’s August 2015…

And I’m at mile 38 of the Leadville Trail 100 Run.  Floating along on a buttery single track trail.  Hydration pack on my back.  LUNA Sandals on my feet.

I’m making good time.  Far better than the year before. (where I barely sneaked in under the 30-hour cutoff)

Speaking of the previous year…

I can remember the course like the back of my hand.  But oddly, the trail I’m on looks different.  And I haven’t seen a course marking (or another racer) in close to an hour.

“OMG, WTF! I’m lost”

My runner’s high vanishes as quickly as Chumbawamba’s music career.

I have two choices at this point:

1. Launch myself into oncoming traffic.
2. Haul my arse up the way I came. Huffing it to the next aid station.

Even though I’m cotton-mouthed, starving, and lightheaded (we’re at 10,000 ft after all).  When I reach my crew several odd hours later.  Their signs of relief were evidence I made the right decision.

I placed the dreaded detour behind me.  And absorbed their encouragement for the rest of the race

Crossing the LT100 finish line was pure euphoria. (And a HUGE 100 mile PR)

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Thinking back…There was never a doubt to call it quits.

Why?

My mindset was dead-set on finishing.

It was unbreakable.  Unshakeable.  Unwavering.

And I’ll show you how I developed this mental toughness in the first issue of the Runner’s High Newsletter.

A word to the wise.

Just because this mental method takes 7 minutes to master.  Doesn’t mean it’s not potent.  It’s a powerful subconscious tool.  Use it for good and NOT for evil.  Only serious inquires click the waitlist link below:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Sincerely,

Barefoot Alex

Broken Beer Bottles Are No Match For Naked Feet 🍺

Behold… a cautionary tale.

Was 3 miles into my run commute.  When the sharp jaws of fate clenched their glassy teeth upon my soles.

I winced in pain for 30ft.  Hobbling along like a slug on Valium.  Finally, finding a curb to sit on.

Cradling my right foot, I inspected my big toe.  Where I found a shard of glass firmly mashed into my sole skin.  Most likely a discarded bottle of Bud Lite from the night before.

This puppy wasn’t big.  Maybe the size of a tiny pebble.  But…

Man o man, that sucker hurt worse than squeezed lemons in eye sockets 👀

Anyway…

After a few minutes, (my first attempts were dubs) I was able to extract the glass.

Here’s what it looked like:

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Thankfully, the wound wasn’t too deep.  I was able to finish my jaunt.  With no hiccups to my gait.

Moral of the story:

Running isn’t always cupcakes and pixie dust.

Sometimes crappy things happen.  It’s how you respond to the pile of dung that matters most.

What’s the cure?

Entertain a positive outlook.  It is one of the simplest ways to deal with adversity.

But…simple doesn’t mean make it easy.

That’s where my Runner’s High Newsletter comes in. The first issue shows you…

How to bulletproof your mindset to best handle unexpected snags.  It’s broken down into 4 easy to follow steps.  Each one builds on itself.  So even if you are in a running rut.  You can get your head right in as little as 7 minutes of practice a day.

To learn more, get on the VIP waitlist here:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Major Ups,

Barefoot Alex

How a Couch Potato Turned into the World’s Fittest Human. 🥔

Let me tell you a story.

Recently one of my friends recommended that I read Rich Roll’s book “Finding Ultra”.  The tale of sedentary 40 yr. old who transformed himself from a couch potato into one of the world’s fittest humans.

Curious to hear more…I asked my friend what was Rich’s key to success?

Here’s what he said:

“He was an avid runner in high school and college who got back into running in his 40’s.

The point he makes is to keep your heart rate much lower during training.

Like around 135-140 bpm. ”


When I asked if he’s tried this form of biofeedback training.  He responded:

“I’ve considered this and even tried it but a simple shuffle or jog and 12 min mile will send my heart rate into 150+.

My speed walking at 15 min mile will be at 135bpm.  What gives?”

I shared with him that the heart (pun intended) of endurance training is building the aerobic system.  That developing this system takes time.

For some as long as 3 to 6 months…

But if he sticks with it.  Not forcing the issue.  Rather, letting his body dictate the time it takes.  His pace will get faster at the same rate heart rate.  What’s a power walk today…Has the potential to be a 10-minute mile by winter.

Enter my “Endurance Secrets” book.  A collaborative project with Dr. Phil Maffetone.  AKA the “Grand Daddy of Heart Training”:

This is the exact system Rich Roll used to turn himself into long distance running stud.

Specifically, it’s the kind of training, where (*after* you put the time in to build an aerobic base correctly as I teach inside the book) you’ll discover your speed improves dramatically.  Even running at this pace for two, even three hours, and feeling great afterward.

It’s yours free when you subscribe to The Runner’s High Newsletter.

All you have to do is get on the VIP waitlist.  And you can do that here:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Danke,

Barefoot Alex

The Un-Boring Way to Enjoy Long Runs

Got this interesting question about entertaining yourself on long runs:

==

Are music/podcasts/audio books the key? I don’t usually like to run with headphones as it complicates my set up, but I might consider it if it’s the only option.

Just wondering if you do anything else on your long runs? Like play mind games? Or count land marks or something? I guess route selection is the key, but it’s not always possible to pick an interesting or exciting route. Anyway, just wondering, thanks!

==

My aim with LSD or long slow days is to keep them as single-minded as possible.

However…

When I can’t readily tap into this Zen-like state.  E.g. When the mental chatter is so deafening that it could wake dead.  I deploy these outside of the box methods to induce the flow state:

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1) Sometimes I daydream of getting silver in the 10,000 meter at the next Olympics.  (Silver because I like to keep my daydreams believable haha)

2) I pretend I’m a courier in a post-apocalyptic world.  Where there’s no longer any means of long-distance communication.  And my sole mission is taking vital information to another human settlement.

3) Think about what I’d do if I won the lottery.  Plan out vacations or trips that are upcoming.

4) I pretend like I’m the observer of my body.  Pulling myself out of my head until I’m floating just above and behind myself.  And imagine that I’m watching a biological machine repeating the same motions over and over.

^^^ Weird, I know but becoming the observer of my meat machine is a really fun game I play.   It really helps with tough hills or when I tell myself I want to stop.

Better yet…

In the first issue of The Runner’s High Newsletter.  I divulge my 7-minute/per day technique for training your mind to best handle long runs (or tempo, fartleks, junk miles…you name it).  Olympians and other major league athletes use this method with great success.

But don’t worry.  It’s average joe friendly.  And once you receive your copy.  You can start experimenting with it immediately.  To find more, get on the Runner’s High VIP waitlist here:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

Mahalo,

Barefoot Alex

Bob Marley’s Lessons from Beyond the Grave

One of the most conspiratorial questions I’m asked is:

“How did Bob Marley REALLY die?”

Tis a vexed question indeed.  Popular notion states:

Cancer of the toe.

HOW he contracted cancer of the toe is a matter of debate.

Many believe the CIA gifted Marley a pair of boots.  And when Bob put them on.  A chemically tainted copper wire stabbed his toe.  Infecting it with a cancerous toxin.

Whatever the cause…the cancer went untreated for many weeks.

He kept touring.  Doing shows. Until…

During a jogging in New York’s Central Park.  He collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.  Where doctors discovered that cancer had spread to his lungs and brain.

On his deathbed at a Miami hospital, the reggae icon whispered to his son Ziggy “Money can’t buy life”.

In a prophetic way, this was Bob Marley’s single most endearing lesson of all.

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Here’s how it applies to running:

In a world obsessed with looking the part e.g. wearable devices, Nike fashion, and cutting-edge shoe technology…

Runners commit to the journey, not for materialistic reward. But because of how it enriches life in the present moment.

Take the movie McFarland, USA for example:

The tale of Coach White who leads his dirt-poor XC team to a state championship.  They didn’t win because they trained the hardest.  Or because they had the best gear.  They won because they found something within themselves that they never knew existed.

Moral of the story?

Regardless of material possession…

You have it within yourself to unearth your full running potential.

All you need is resolve.

And a dead simple method for conjuring inspiration…and how to tap into this state of awareness quickly and easily…without having to be a zen master or without having years of running experience.

I reveal this technique in detail in the first issue of The Runner’s High Newsletter.

To get reserve your copy, get on the VIP waitlist here:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

(head bowed in gratitude),

Barefoot Alex

This “Golden Rule” of Running is Complete BS 👿

Ok, here the thing:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock with your headphones on you’ve probably heard the popular fitness phrase “No pain, no gain”.

Spit this phrase out to a buddy and they won’t as much bat an eye.

Why?

Because this “golden rule” of running has been beaten into our brains by a culture that doesn’t give two turds about your well-being.

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If you blindly follow this hazardous mantra.  A buck bets ten the only thing you’ll gain is a big fat injury.

Or…

Round-the-clock tiredness.  Feeling more irritable and argumentative at home.  Training feels like a chore.  Making it easy to swap your evening run for “This Is Us” and a pint of ice cream.

Let’s rework the phrase.  A more applicable wording reads as such:

“No gain with pain.”

Notice how different this feels?

Sidenote: Without pain, you can induce the runner’s high much easier. (And more consistently…more on this in a sec).

A better approach to getting the most out of your training is to play it chill.

Here’s four ways you can do this on your next run:

1. Warm up slowly. E.g. walk then gradually transition into a trot.
2. Run at a conversational pace. Easy as Sunday morning.
3. Take inventory of things you are thankful for.
4. Cooldown

When you commit to these four steps, you enter a state where the mind forgets that you’re exercising.  Experiencing a perfect balance of energy in your body.

This, my friend, is the runner’s high.

And you know what?  One of the best (and simplest) ways to induce a runner’s high takes place way before you lace up your sneakers.  (If done correctly, at least).  Listen up, listen good, and NEVER forget:  “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”  And that’s where I can help…

The Runner’s High Newsletter includes a potent 7-minute pre-run rehearsal.  A mental training plan that Olympians and professional athletes use to get in the zone.

If you’re interested in learning more…

Go here to get on the VIP waitlist:

https://www.barefootalex.com/newsletter411

To your well-being,