One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Friday, March 19, 2010

Google Talk on "Born to Run" and Barefoot Running

Had the pleasure of giving a Google Talk recently and would like to share the video with you.  When I look back on videos of me talking, the sentence below always comes to mind...Christopher's description of me in Born to Run:

"Barefoot Ted talked the way Charlie Parker played the sax: he’d pick up on any cue and cut loose with a truly astonishing torrent of improvisation, seeming to breathe in through his nose while maintaining an endless flow of sound out of his mouth."

In the end, I truly love telling the story of my barefoot journey, primarily because I think that it is a journey worth taking for any sophisticated, 21st century, highly evolved primate with human ancestors.  Done well, running makes us happy and fit...and if done thoughtfully and presently, running reconnects us both to one of our greatest fundamental physical capacities and to the earth.  We are ultimately rewarded with joy.

I say don't obsess about distance and speed...rather seek out that sweet spot of joy in running and let that be your guide.  In the end, joy is a great teacher...of both your mind and body.


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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Why run barefoot?

This is a nice little video demonstrating why barefoot or minimal running is beneficial.

From YouTube: Same runner, same day, with no instruction given in between videos. On the left, correct nice SHOE LESS forefoot strike. On the right, incorrect, with SHOES, heel strike, braking, straining. Sneakers are designed to affect the way our foot strikes the ground, yet in this video you see it affects what we do in the air. Try this experiment yourself.


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Monday, January 05, 2009 - Methode Naturelle 21st Century Style

Erwan Le Corre has launched his website and released his latest video to the public.

I have been corresponding with Erwan since 2006 and have been anxiously awaiting the formal introduction of his school of physical fitness.

According to Erwan, Movnat is:

an education system that empowers zoo humans to experience their true nature. Our true nature is to be strong, healthy, happy and free.

Please take a moment to visit Erwan's website I plan on becoming a certified MovNat instructor.


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Monday, October 01, 2007

Scott Wins Spartathlon 2007

Valmir Nunes (#3 - 25:37:40) , Scott Jurek (#1 - 23:12:14) and Piotr Kurylo (#2 - 24:29:41) at Awards Ceremony

Spartathlon is a 246 kilometre (152.85 miles) ultramarathon race held in Greece since 1983 between Athens and Sparta. read more >>>

Big! Thank Yous to Scott and Leah for inviting me to Greece and taking such good care of me. You can link to Scott's blog here. Wikipedia here.

Super special thanks to Shannon of Moeben Sleeves for co-sponsoring my trip and Robert Renfro of Solar Communications International. Greatly appreciated.

Glenn Tachiyama's excellent photos of the race found here.
Lisa Bliss' blog here and photos here.

Scott running through Ancient Nemea
Note: Nemean wine is VERY good.

Map from

Pre-Race Interview Part 1

Pre-Race Interview Part 2
Scott with many of the top Japanese runners from club MY☆STAR.
This year's race including the following top Japanese runners:

In the future, Scott hopes to make more trips over to Japan to both race and gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture, especially traditional vegetarian food culture. Meeting this club is a good first step.

Luckily for me, I became fluent in Japanese after studying it in university and living in Japan for nearly 5 years. With 80 Japanese participants in this year's race, I had the unique opportunity of using my Japanese in Greece! My Japanese is a little rusty, but it comes out of me without thinking too much which is nice.

Great photo with Yukio Morishita (last finisher) and Scott Jurek (first finisher)

Scott shakes hands with the legendary John Foden, founding runner of the Spartathlon

What an amazing experience. I caught most of the race on video from start to finish. I have made a quick-fix video above, but plan on taking more time in the near future and putting together a video that highlights the top runners throughout the race.

Offical website:
Thanks to Christos Tsiakiris

Spartathlon was made possible through the exclusive support of the
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The race is very fortunate to have such an organization supporting it. I think that the Sparatathlon is a fanatastic event with an amazing history. It brings together so many top-level runners from around the world in such a beautiful and friendly country.


Thanks to the following:

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Spartathlon 2007 - The Crew

Dr. Lisa Bliss, BFT, Leah, Scott and Glenn Tachiyama at start line

On the streets in Athens...cheering ALL runners (video below)

Coffee Break...thank you!

Dr. Bliss teaches Glenn how to smoke!

Mark Godale, Lisa Bliss, Valmir Nunes, Scott Jurek
Top runners doped on nicotine thanks to Dr. Bliss?

Nunes' secret weapon?

Team Jerker at Awards Ceremony
photo copyright Glenn Tachiyama

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Angeles Crest 100 - 27 Hours

Running down the El Prieto Trail, less than 4 miles from finish

A BIG thank you to Vibram for letting me run in some prototype FiveFingers and Green Foods for Magma Plus which I know had something to do with a 5 hours+ improvement on my time compared with last year!

At the award ceremony

Coming into Islip photo by Christina Hennessey

Thanks to Wild Mountain Runner founder Freddie Perez for giving me a ride to Wrightwood and support during the race. Big thank yous to Arturo Valdez and Jose Hernandez who paced me from Chilao. Thanks to Chris Rios, Deb Clem and Sunny Blende for aid station helped a lot.

Coming into Buckhorn photo by Christina Hennessey

More to come...

Video of me entering 52 mile checkpoint

My report to the Ultra group:

Howdy Folks

I surprised myself big time this weekend.

My goal was to finish better than last year.

Last year's goal was simple: to finish...alive.

Last year's time: 32:16 This year: 27:00


Prerace: pizza and beer with Freddie Perez in Wrightwood. Two
Newcastles and 7 pieces. Also, spaghetti dinner.

Sleep: not so good at the Methodist Camp in same building as the
visiting Tarahumara along with Chris Rios and John Radich. Only slept
a little, but Jenn Shelton visited me in my dreams, so can't complain.

This year I ran in two different prototype FiveFingers that cover the
entire foot preventing crap from getting in the shoe. I had NO chance
to test the shoes before the race. I also wore Injinji socks borrowed
from Robert Andrulis as I left mine at home. These helped me

Finally had a chance to wear my Dirty Girl gators, and my Moeben
sleeves that Gary Hilliard threw at me as a prize as I was leaving the
Mt. Disappointment post-race party. Both were extremely effective
although Ken Hamada said I looked unusual, i.e., like a freak.

Nutrition. This year I used drop boxes. I prepared my own powder
using a mixture of malto dextrin, soy protein, Green Foods Green
Magma, E-Caps powder and Chia seeds.

GU: 2 an hour

Watermelon at many aid stations.

Progresso Chicken soup, drank cold out of the can 2 times, trick
learned from Flaco Mendoza.

Idlehour aid station: solid food and Miso soup. Thanks Joe. This is
the place to stop and eat at mile 82.

Pacers from Chilao to Chantry and Chantry to finish, Wild Mountain
Runners Arturo and Jose.

BFT, Freddie and Arturo at the finish

A lot of help from my friends.


PS. I leave for Greece on Saturday, filming and crewing for Scott.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Leadville 100 - Crewing and Pacing

Nearly 600 Starters, ONLY 210 Finishers

Caballo Blanco's (Micah True) Crew for Leadville 100 in 2007
Deborah (Cebolla), Adrian (Brocoli), Caballo, Ona (Monocita) and BFT (El Mono).

My interviews with Caballo Blanco Pre- & Post- Race

Club Mas Loco member Chris Labbe, aka Cabro,
finishes in under 25 hours
Paced from Haggerman Pass Rd. to the Dam
wearing Vibram FiveFingers Sprints

Leadville Trail 100, August 18-19, Leadville, Colorado

Elevation: 10,152 feet (3094 meters) from Wikipedia:

The historic City of Leadville is a Statutory City that is the county seat of Lake County, Colorado, United States. Leadville is a former silver mining camp that lies near the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The city's central district has an elevation of 10,152 feet (3094 meters), making Leadville the highest city in North America. The federally designated Leadville National Historic District includes many historic structures and sites from Leadville's dynamic mining era. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 2,688 in 2005.


Many people have told me that Leadville indeed may be barefootable, i.e. doable by one conditioned and well practiced in the art of barefoot trail running.

One question I hoped to answer during my trip to Leadville this year was whether or not one could finish the course unassisted by footwear within the 30 hour cuttoff.

This question remains open.

While crewing and preparing to pace Caballo, I got a good overall picture of the course, but not much of the trails.

While pacing for Mas Loco member Cabro (Chris Labbe), I wore my FiveFingers Sprints.

Why not barefoot?

Well, it was not my place to experiment on a rocky portion of the course during the last 15 miles of a race at 3am in the morning in the dark on an unfamiliar trail with a runner who is close to breaking 25 hours.

The FiveFinger Sprints performed quite well in this section of the trail that I ran. It would have been much trickier to handle this territory at night barefoot during the last 14 miles of a 100 mile race..., but POSSIBLE in my estimation.

Perhaps I will give it a try next year.


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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mid Day Cart Pusher

Very short video showing my pushing and pulling technique

Took my baby jogger out for nearly 5 hours today in order to see what it would be like running barefoot in the middle of the day on asphalt. All went well, but it only got into the high 80s today. Nothing special as far as heat goes, but a good test nonetheless. Feet are no worse for wear.


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Badwater Ultramarathon 2007

Adalberto (Flaco) Mendoza, 11th Place. 32 hours
BFT, Nancy, Jose Luis, Flaco, Emilio, Milton
July 22-25, 2007

This video covers Flaco's race from start to finish.

This video covers Jorge's race from start to finish using Mari's video

Before the Race in Furnace Creek
Jorge, Jose Luis, Emilio, BFT and Flaco.

John Radich (33:08, 15th) at the Award Ceremony

Gary Hilliard (41:43) at the Award Ceremony

Tracy Thomas (37:26 3rd woman) at the Award Ceremony

Jorge Pacheco (26:41 4th) at the Award Ceremony

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

60" Highwheel Bicycle: Circus Prep

Video of me riding the highwheel
This bike IS too big for me...but I still enjoyed riding it.

Borrowing Dave Moore's 60 inch highwheel bicycle

FiveFingers Sprints make good bicycle shoes
Need something to protect my feet when I jump off!

Yesterday I went out to Apple Valley to meet up with Dave Moore. He is the my guru for all things turn of the 19th century. Among many other things, Dave is famous for building bicycles, old style highwheel pennyfarthing bicycles, styled after the originals.

I own one of Dave's 56" highwheelers that he built for an Australian race. It has an very thin and lightweight 56" wheel and is amazing to ride. However, it is currently out-of-commission, so Dave is loaning me this massive 60" highwheel bicycle.

Two reasons why I am riding again:

1. I still want to complete an IronMan race as-if it were 1890, using technology and techniques that would have been available in that era, the era just before pneumatic tires and the modern bicycle.

2. My daughter and I hope to perform in an upcoming performance of Seussical a Broadway musical inspired by Dr. Seuss being performed by Showcamp.


My Neighbors Entertained.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ashtanga Yoga - My Ideal

It was recently suggested to me that I take a look at Ashtanga Yoga. I have done a little research and must say that I am very much captivated by this practice.


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Forefoot vs. Heel Striking

This clever animation created by the Newton Running Shoe Co. is pretty cool albeit necessarily oversimplistic.

I think that I agree with it as a barefoot runner, but personally believe that each runner has to figure it out on their own. Self-discovery through trial and error.

The Way of Running.


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Monday, April 23, 2007

Hansen Dam Barefoot Training ala Methode Naturelle

Note: I am an extreme and total novice when it comes to MN. Please read the comments to this blog for emails exchanged between me and Erwan Le Corre about MN.

Please visit Erwan's website at

Decided to take my video camera along for my Saturday afternoon run.

In this short video you will see a me running on all kinds of different terrain. I think that it is good to mix it up. Hansen Dam is the perfect training playground to develop your body and mind.

This video shows the beginnings of my interpretation and application of Georges Hebert's Methode Naturelle.

I hope to become a instructor/promoter of his ideas.


PS. Music comes from album PHARAOH OVERLORD The Battle Of The Axehammer (Live) I found at

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon - Week in Review

The above slideshow complete with Phillip Glass music was put together using photos from taken by several members of the Grupo Animales otherwise known as Club Mas Loco.

These photos cover the beginning to the end of the trip, including the hike over from Batopilas to Urique the pre-race ceremony, the race and post-race celebration.

Results from ( : The Ultra Marathon had 38 starters and 20 finishers.

1) Scott Jurek (33)--El Venado--Chumari'--Washington-- 6:32
2) Arnulfo (27)--Chepatare--Batopilas canyon 6:50
3) Billy Barnett (22)--El Rana Lobo--Wolf Frog--Virginia 6:59
4) Jenn Shelton (23)--La Brujita--Little Witch--Virginia 7:00
5) Manuel Luna (42)--Gavilana--Batopilas canyon 7:47
6) Arnulfocito (18)--Santa Rita--Batopilas canyon 8:00
7) Nacho Palma (42)--Quirare--Batopilas canyon 8:03
8) Martin Gallito (21)--Chepatare--Batopilas canyon 8:10
9) Leonardo Cleto (22)--Piedras Verdes, Urique canyon 8:12
10) Jose Hilario (22)--Piedras Verdes, Urique canyon 8:13
11) Sebastiano (37)--San Jose, Batopilas canyon 8:16
12) Mike Adams (38)--El Perro Grande-Big Dog-Washington 8:48
13) Micah True (54)--El Caballo Blanco--White Horse--???? 8:58
14) Barefoot Ted McDonald (42)--El Mono--Monkey--California 9:44
15) Charlie Crissman (38)--El Buho--The Owl--Washington 9:54
16) Chriss Labbe (37)--El Cabro--The goat--Colorado 10:02
17) Jamil Courey (22)--El Carnero--The Ram--Arizona 10:16
18) Deborah Bezanis (49)--La Cebolla--The Onion-Chicago 11:33
19) Samuel Warren (38)--El Girafa--The Giraffe--Washington 11:33

20) 36 miler: Leah Jurek (30)--La Venada--Dear--Washington 8:20


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Saturday, March 17, 2007

SURVIVAL SKILLS INTENSIVE with Christopher Nyerges

from SURVIVAL SKILLS INTENSIVE, Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m., $51. We'll be in a higher elevation where we can make shelter, practice weaving, make fire without matches, and put together a great meal from wild plants. Switzer's Camp, Angeles National Forest, Location 3.

This was a fantastic day learning how to do the following:

1. Create yucca cordage
2. Weave a net
3. Identify some edible plants
4. Identify good tinder plants
5. Build a lean-to shelter
6. Construct small animal traps with triggers
7. Start fire without matches

I was particularly happy to learn how to start a fire using a fire drill. The video footage below shows several people working together using just their hands to start the fire. Later, I did the same on my own, from building the hearth to using the drill and getting the fire started. Very cool.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

How to Tie Huarache Sandals Part 2

A couple more videos showing the tieing of huarache sandals. Videos taken while participating in the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon 2007.


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon - Walking the Course

This footage is from two days before the race. We all walked the first section of the course together.

Some of the walkers include Arnulfo, winner of last year's race, and Scott Jurek, winner of this year's race.

Having fun hanging out with our Raramuri friends.

After the hike, we had fun at a swimming spot under the bridge complete with diving.


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Monday, February 19, 2007

Can your running shoes do this? Part 2

Can your running shoes do this? Mine can!

Having fun learning how to balance. Taking full advantage of my environment. The horse trail rails are perfect for balancing. The FiveFingers help me feel a little better about falling off into rocks and cactus.


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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Verdugo Mountains Training Run - A Little Bit of Everything

Today's run had a little bit of everything:

Got in about 12 miles wearing huaraches, 8 miles barefoot and 5 with FiveFingers. The weather was perfect, hot but not too hot with winds blowing storm clouds in at the horizon.

Barefoot Freedom (at Experimental Forest)
Barefoot Freedom 2
Huaraches, Rock and Agave

FiveFingers Rail Walking (video below)
There are SO MANY great trails around here. I am looking forward to introducing more (but not TOO MANY) to this wonderful mountain playground we have in our backyards, with full-size cats to boot. These mountains deserve an ultramarathon. Winter 2008, let's make the first Verdugo Mountains 50 Miler.

Proposed Course: Start at Village Christian School go to Brand Library and on the way go down and up all the side trails.


Although it does not look like a big deal, that rail is razor thin at the top.
I just could not resist that background and my new joy of balancing.
Music by Deep Purple

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Mountain Lion Snack - Deer Bones

So, I have been mentioning for over a year now how I am regularly finding mountain lion tracks on my runs, and a couple weeks back I caught my first glimpse of a local lion. Well, yesterday, I went a step further...I found a victim of the moutain lions, or should I say, I found the leftovers of a meal, a full grown deer. Click here to see the exact location on Google Maps. Amazing.

The video above shows me finding the bones as I find them. I was filming a new trail that I was on. I was following deer trails that criss-cross the hills near where I live. I finally got on a ridge and was heading towards the summit of a hill. Then I literally stumbled upon the scene where a deer met its fate. No corporation or government was involved. Nature 101.

After finding the bones, I decided to bring the antlers home. Its life was not in vain. It lived free until it died and its skull serves as a symbol of the wild mountains that surround us here in Los Angeles, wild mountains that invite us to share in the beauty and mystery of nature...if you can muster the courage to venture into them.

This is the ONLY mountain lion sign I have seen in the Verdugo Mountains.
It is at the entrance of the Whiting Woods Trail.
Sign Reads: Mountain lions are important members of the natural community and may be found in this area. Although these animals are seldom seen, they are unpredictable and have been known to attack without warning.

Keep children close, as mountain lions seem to be especially drawn to them. Avoid hiking alone. Make plenty of noise while you hike so as to reduce the chances of surprising a lion.

New addition to my new place, look in loft window...see? (added Sept. 30, 2008):

From Weathertop Farms, Shadow Hills, California


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