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


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Runner's World Interviews Me: Ted's Great Adventures

You might enjoy reading this interview online at Runner's World.

Per usual, I enjoy sharing stories about running and life and coaching and just-about-anything with anyone willing to listen and share back. I love stories. Humans are among the best story making beings in the universe. Make'em, share'em and celebrate together.

Interview topics include: my post-Born-to-Run-life, barefoot running, trail running, coaching, 2010 schedule, running 100 miles, my skateboard world record and MovNat. Enjoy.

To read interview online at the Runner's World website, click here.

Barefoot Ted

 The Orange Curtain 100K, 2008.  Photo by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Living Barefoot Show Interview

From the www.LivingBarefoot.info website: We Interview Barefoot Ted: An avid barefooter, Barefoot Ted tells us the story about how he became a barefooter, started his own line of huarache running sandals, and was featured in the best selling book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

Duration: 60 minutes

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Radio Interview about Barefoot Running with Barefoot Ted

Please enjoy listening to this radio interview with me and Cody Stoots of 1560 AM The Game, a sports radio station in the glorious city of Houston, Texas, where my grandfather graduated from high school with Walter Cronkite in the 1930s.

In this interview, you will learn about how I came to start running barefoot, how I found Vibram Fivefingers and how Christopher McDougall's book "Born to Run" has helped facilitate a paradigm shift in the running world...suggesting we are not broken by design.

Duration: 30 minutes

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PS. Cody it was great talking with you today! However, I must protest the description of me as "the Michael Jordon of barefoot running"...as flattering as it sounds. I feel more like the little kid who pointed out that the king has no clothes in the classic tale.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eschew the shoe by Sam McManis

Sacramento Bee newspaper article link here
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, December 20, 2007
Story appeared in SCENE section, Page E1
Title: Eschew the shoe: Runners go toe-to-toe with the competition
By Sam McManis

Sam called me about a month ago and interviewed me for this article. Here's what he wrote about me:

'Barefoot Ted' on a mission

Currently, barefoot running hardly qualifies as a "craze." Though a hardy community of barefooters has congregated on the Internet, where one Web site boasts 1,000 members, the practice still is considered alternative and marginal.

That soon will change, if "Barefoot Ted" McDonald, a serious marathoner from Sun Valley, near Los Angeles, has his way. McDonald's blog charts his odyssey of being a shoe-saddled runner who couldn't go an hour without intense pain to a shoeless runner who has completed the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours, 20 minutes, and completes 100-mile endurance races with no pain.

McDonald, in a phone interview from Southern California, recalls his first barefoot run five years ago as a "religious" experience.

"It was so mind-boggling to me," McDonald says. "It was like, 'Oh my God, I was running ball-heel-ball with no pain.' Within a year of running barefoot, I finished a marathon. Within another year, I had qualified for Boston barefoot. It's been a rapid and wild transformation."

So, if running barefoot can be so beneficial, why don't more people do it?

"Because the sports shoe companies make us believe that if we don't wear these specialty shoes, we'll get hurt," McDonald says. "It's one of the highest profit-making businesses in the country.

"But if people will only try it and ease into it, they'll find there's something elemental or spiritual in (barefoot running)."

If it seems at times that barefoot runners are zealots for their cause, it's because they firmly believe in a shoeless society. Most of the barefoot runners contacted for this story go shoeless full time.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vibram Interviews Barefoot Ted


"Barefoot" Ted McDonald
April 17, 2006
Boston, MA

How did you get started running in FiveFingers?

BFT: I started running in my mid 30's wearing running shoes, but I was never able to train long enough to prepare for a marathon. I tried shoes with extra cushioning and shoes with more stability, but I just couldn't find anything that allowed me to train the way I knew I could. A few years ago, I stumbled across the idea of running barefoot. Could it be possible? For whatever reason, I immediately discovered I was able to run pain free and train longer by running barefoot. Running barefoot forced me to run with good form and gently. No pounding allowed. I also found that I liked the feeling and feedback I received from the ground under my feet.

I started to research barefoot running online and discovered I wasn't the only one running barefoot, that there are many, many people who had been doing this longer than I had. The 20th century is filled with many famous, world-class barefooters. I also read about Dr. Nicholas Romanov and the POSE Method of running which improved my form allowing me to run longer and injury free, and I read about and started corresponding with famous barefoot runner Barefoot Ken Bob.

However, I also like to run trails, which can be pretty tough barefoot, especially steep downhills over rocky terrain. A few months ago I had read about FiveFingers by Vibram, I knew they were marketing the product for walking and some water sports, but I thought I would try them for running on trails.

I soon discovered that FiveFingers gave me some of that same feeling I get running barefoot, but they allowed me to run trails and rough terrain for longer periods of time more safely. Now I use them as part of my regular training program.

Although this particular version was not designed specifically for running, it works pretty well. I've even ran a couple 50 mile trail races in FiveFingers.

Do you recommend FiveFingers for other runners?

BFT: These shoes have great potential for runners. Athletic trainers, health professionals, and even footwear manufacturers are all beginning to embrace the many health and performance advantages of running barefoot. People are finally beginning to understand that running barefoot, even if its on grass a couple of days a week, can improve strength, balance, agility and most importantly running form. Most overuse injuries are really misuse injuries caused from poor running form. Learning good running form is an important step toward running injury free.

I know that most people are more accustomed to wearing shoes running. While running in shoes may offer great for support, shoes can "cast" the foot, which can lead to some atrophy of the muscles in the feet and lower legs. Wearing FiveFingers, even if it's just for a couple of hours 3 times a week, can help to revive and strengthen those muscles. I would recommend you start by wearing them 1-2 hours at a time for the first few weeks, allowing your foot muscles to adapt.

Are your paid to endorse Vibram FiveFingers?

BFT: Actually, I liked the product so much I contacted Vibram to let them know. When I told them how much I liked the product and that I was using them for running they were pretty surprised. Now they provide me with product to test and report back, they help pay for some of my travel expenses for races, but no, I'm not on the payroll. I like working as a Vibram tester, giving them feedback, testing the product under extreme conditions.

In the end, I don't like shoes; however, FiveFingers are not really shoes in a traditional sense. I can endorse them because they really work for me.

Is running barefoot or in FiveFingers a good idea for everyone?

BFT: Not necessarily, running barefoot or running in FiveFingers is a very personal choice and not for everyone. Individuals should research this approach to determine if it is right for them. There is a great website where you can learn more at Posetech.com. FiveFingers work pretty well when you employ the Pose Method of running.

But remember, begin gradually, use caution, listen to your body, and as they say at Vibram, you should always consult a physician before beginning, or changing, your regular exercise routine.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nike Podcast Interviews at Griffith Park

Photos by Ona McDonald

Today many of us Wild Mountain Runners were interviewed for a Nike sponsored podcast featuring running groups from all over the country.

We were joined by the famous Barefoot KenBob of RunningBarefoot.org

Some runners did not participate, because they thought that their endorsement contracts did not allow them to be in a Nike sponsored film, even though it was not a ad. I thought that was strange, but more room for us hams to yap.

After the group interview, they also interviewd me about ultra running (which I am new at). They decided to use the backdrop of my infamous 1966 VW Beetle. I proudly wore my Clif Bar visor and my Vibram FiveFingers jersey, shoes and shorts.

Any inspiration I can give, I will give. Hopefully it is not all hot air!

Best Regards, Barefoot Ted

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Press Release: Barefoot Ted to Run Boston in FiveFingers™



Long Distance Runner Will Compete Almost Barefoot in
Vibram® FiveFingers™

WHAT: Vibram®, the worldwide leader in high performance footwear soles based in Concord, Mass., will sponsor Ted McDonald, a.k.a. Barefoot Ted, a six-time barefoot marathoner to compete in Boston. Ted will wear Vibram® FiveFingers™, a unique glove-styled shoe that offer all the health benefits of going barefoot with the gecko-like grip and the protection of a Vibram® sole.

FiveFingers™ was originally developed by Marco Bramani grandson of Vibram Founder Vitale Bramani. Bramani loved the balance and control of sailing barefoot but wanted better slip resistance and toe protection from dangerous rigging.

Although this product is intended for sailing, sea kayaking, and related sports, the concept is gaining traction with barefoot runners, walkers and recreational sports enthusiasts. FiveFingers™ stretches and strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving balance, agility, strength and speed.

WHY: For Vibram®, this is an opportunity to showcase their innovative FiveFingers™ while illustrating the many health benefits of going almost barefoot. For Barefoot Ted, an avid proponent of barefoot running, FiveFingers™ gives him the freedom and sensation of running barefoot, with the protection of a Vibram sole.

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hopkinton, Mass. to Back Bay, Boston, Mass.

CONTACTS: For more information or interviews, contact Anne Tommasi, Tommasi PR 603.893.5878, atommasi@adelphia.net

Photo by Ona McDonald

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