Monday, October 30, 2017

33Shake Chia Gel Review

When I switched over to my keto/fat-enabled running training mode, I knew I also needed to switch up my race nutrition. I had heard about 33Shake on both Trail Runner Nation podcast and the Primal Endurance podcast. Knowing that it was made with chia seeds made it all the more appealing. If you go back to one of my first posts about Iskiate, the Raramuri chia seed beverage, you know that I was experimenting with chia seeds. However, I never really got a good handle on the drink. It seemed too much liquid to down and very seedy (for a beverage).

 Fast forward to today..

 After hearing about 33Shake, I decided to look them up. The chia energy gel comes in a squeeze pack that you might find baby food or squeezable applesauce pack. I opted to buy a 10-pack of the chia energy gel, which cost me $27.50 plus shipping. The product arrived promptly after a few days. On my next weekend run I took a pouch with me -remembering to fill it up with water to get it soaking (it takes about 10 minutes to gel up). Mostly I wanted to see how the chia gel tasted and if there were any negative affects on my stomach. With my fat-enabled training, I've been doing fasted morning runs, so I waited about a half hour into my run before downing the pouch. First, I must say that the chia gel has a great taste. It almost tastes like maple brown sugar instant oatmeal both in flavor and texture. I will admit it took a couple squeezes to figure out if I liked it and how to exactly "eat" it. Keep in mind, I hate normal gel/goo packs - I could never stomach the flavors or the slimy texture. With the chia gel, I figured don't chew the seeds, just swallow. I suppose you could chew if you wanted to, but in my opinion it's just going to leave you with a bunch of seeds stuck in your mouth. At the end of the run, no issues with my stomach.

About a week later I took two pouches on an hour and a half run. I took one 20 minutes into my run and then the second about 40 minutes later. I wanted to test how my stomach would handle more than one pack. Again, no issues with my stomach. It was easier to take in now that I knew just to swallow the gel. The one issue I had on this run was that one of the packs was a little light on water. The result was slightly drier chia seeds and an inability to get all the gel out of the squeeze pack. Mental note to make sure that each pouch is really full before heading out. Following the run and 2 gel packs later, no stomach issues.

So, the good news is that my stomach can easily handle 33Shake Gel packs. Now the real test will be energy levels on a longer run. I also plan on testing them for a weekend backpacking trip coming up. I'm hoping that I can off-set some of the backpacking food that I will have to eat (that is not Keto). More to come in the next month - more training, more blog posts. I will update the 33Shake experiment as my runs get longer.

 Go Bare or Go Home!

 **NOTE** 33 Shake Chia Energy Gel was purchased with my own money and the review above is my honest assessment of 33Shake to this point. If you are interested in trying out 33Shake you can find their website at

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Keto/Fat-Enabled Running

Coming up on New Year’s Day, I will be racing in my first 24 hour run. Last month I was trying to decide how I was going to effectively train and power my body through 24 hours of running. I’ve struggled from time to time with nutrition and overtraining issues. With regards to nutrition, I’ve managed to train my body to take in food over long trail runs. However, I’ve never enjoyed or had much success with the typical gels that runners and cyclists use during races. Sports drinks have, likewise, had mixed results during training and racing. With respect to training, I’ve gone the junk miles route with building a base and then ramping up to crazy miles to a peak and then tapering and I’ve done strength training with minimal miles - long and slow.

In my past training, I’ll freely admit that I’ve never been a stickler to any sort of diet. I generally eat healthy, but I do enjoy fast food and pizza. Those who know me well, know that I am a Pepsi addict. After biting the bullet and signing up for this race, I knew something had to change. I knew that I was not going to be able to continue with my status quo training methods. Over the past 7 years as a barefoot runner, I've come to learn a lot of things about how we as humans are designed and how my own body fits into that mold.

So, how did I end up at a Keto/fat-enabled training model? By accident.

It's funny how you come across things that you don't think will have a major impact on you until well after the fact. It's also amazing how the seemingly random puzzle pieces of life fall into place at the right time.

For those of you who have followed my journey, you know that I began barefoot running after reading Christopher McDougall's Born to Run. If you have read the book, you also realize that it is not really a book about barefoot running per se. However, the book has inspired a large number of people to take up barefoot running. When I read that book, I was looking for something to inspire me. I was a frustrated runner. I hated training for marathons, but I loved the challenge. After reading the book and jumping in feet first on barefoot running, my entire outlook on running changed.

Well, in 2015 McDougall wrote Natural Born Heroes. I recently listed to the audio version commuting to and from work. Again, I didn't really know much about the premise of the book, but it sounded interesting. From the get-go I was hooked - an amazing tale of WWII soldiers, amateur historians, natural movement, and human nutrition.

The book was actually a culmination of my personal journey of barefoot running to this point. I have been interested in natural movement since I began barefoot running. Parkour, natural fitness, barefoot running and paleo eating (although I hadn't actually made any nutritional changes) were all interests that have been evolving over the past 7 years. The book brought me around full circle to where I needed to be.

For the past month, I've been following Phil Maffetone, Primal Endurance Podcast and others in an attempt to alter my nutrition and training methods. I've cut out virtually all carbs and most if not all processed foods. My diet is more Primal with most days being under 50g of carbs in my low-carb, high fat diet. My race training has shifted from faster miles to long, slow miles with my heart rate under 136 bpm and occasional high intensity training sessions.

The frustrations with this new method has been with slowing down enough to keep my heart rate under control. Another difficulty has been adjusting what I eat and cutting out all processed foods - especially Pepsi! Old habits die hard. It's amazing how addicting sugar and processed foods are, but if you commit to 2 weeks of no sugar the effect can be life-changing. However, the payoff has really come in training. I have had sustained energy on runs and long hikes - many of which in a fasted state.

I will continue to write about this journey as my race approaches and the training evolves. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Training for a 24 Hour Run

It's been quite a while since I've posted. Family life, while amazing, takes time away from training and racing. Now that things are a little more routine, I decided to put my money down on a race to "motivate" me to get serious about training and racing again.

So, here's what's new. . .

Over the summer I dropped some money on the race fees for the New Year's One Day race on New Year's Eve in San Francisco. So, it's real now. No turning back.

I started out with some easy runs up to 3 miles at a comfortable 11:30 pace. A 24 hour race isn't really about speed as much as it is endurance. However, I was stuck with how exactly to approach my training - long runs, speed workouts, strength training, and nutrition.

After listening to a number of podcasts from Trail Runner Nation and Primal Endurance, as well as reading Christopher McDougall's book Natural Born Heroes, I have decided to go for the fat-enabled, primal eating route. This includes heart rate training and low-carb, high fat nutrition recommended by Phil Maffetone.

So, stay tuned as I document my journey toward a 24-hour race to 100+ miles!

Future posts will include training regimens, sports nutrition supplements that I am incorporating and overall eating plans that I have implemented.

One final note - Please take note of the new running shirts that I have designed with the new Story of a Barefoot Runner logo on them. For this first run of shirts, there is a limit to the first 50 purchased. I am hopeful that more will be in the works!

Run safe!

Barefoot Runner Shirts NOW AVAILABLE for a LIMITED TIME!

Ok, Barefoot Runners! Come and get them while they are hot! I am offering a pre-sale for my new. dri-fit, long-sleeve, barefoot runner shirts. They come with the Story of a Barefoot Runner Logo on the chest and the text "BAREFOOT RUNNER" down the left sleeve. The colors offered are black, graphite, navy, maroon, green, red, royal blue, and white. I hope to offer some neon colors in the future. The cost is $40 per shirt with shipping included (US ONLY). The pre-sale is for the first 50 shirts ordered between now and October 28, 2017. Shirts should be shipped by November 10, 2017. Please use the PayPal buttons below to select Color and Size options. Thank you for supporting Story of a Barefoot Runner!


Monday, January 9, 2017

I'm BACK! New things on the way!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Up and Coming News . . .

Sometimes we become side-tracked in our plans and need to take the time to sit back, re-focus, and set new goals. The past year has been a busy one for me with a new addition to our family. As a result, my priorities obviously changed and my training regimen fell to the wayside.

Now that things have settled into a new routine, I decided to take some time and think about how to move forward from my new "normal."

What is in the works for Story of a Barefoot Runner?

1) Expanding the blog to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you are on any of these social media sites, you may or may not have found my presence there. Story of a Barefoot Runner has a Facebook page by the same name. On Instagram and Twitter the handles are@BarefootTerry. So if you haven't already, check me out there!

2) Podcast in development.

Keep your eyes peeled and ears alert for the launch of Story of a Barefoot Runner podcast this Fall 2015! If you have suggestions on topics or people you would like to hear interviewed, feel free to post a comment below, send me a message on Facebook, or a Tweet. I will do my best to cover the topics you are interested in.

3) Racing.

It's been a while since I've done any serious racing. The next 12 months are going to be exciting. I'm going to be working on training using a mixture of running strategies I've used in the past - long, slow runs, speed work, and total body training using HIIT and MovNat methodologies. I will be writing a series of posts on my MovNat and other training regimens leading up to some big races that I hope to do before 2015 is out as well as beyond. So, stay tuned.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review of the Mizuno Wave Universe 5

Mizuno Wave Universe 5

On a visit to my local running store to pick up a 5K race packet, I noticed the Mizuno Wave Universe 5 on the shelf. The owner gave me a bit of ribbing while I was looking because he knows that I am a barefoot runner. However, when I picked them up, I was quite impressed with the weight of the shoe, the relatively thin and flat-ish sole, and the thin material in the uppers.
After trying them on, I decided to purchase the pair to try as a backup shoe for running trails that might require a little bit of protection. One note, these are probably the most expensive pair of shoes that I have purchased either as a former shod runner and as a minimalist/barefoot runner. The price tag came in at about $125 (Nov. 2014).
First some basic stats on the shoe according to the website:
Weight: 3.2 oz ea (Size 10.5 US)
Stack height: Heel 13mm, Forefoot 11mm
At the time of my purchase, I had assumed that as a minimalist shoe it would have a zero drop. However, after having run in them a few times and then looking up the information on the shoe for this review, I was surprised to find that there is a 2mm drop from heel to toe (13mm heel/11mm toe). The other thing I discovered when researching online is that the shoe is considered a racing flat. However, a someone who refers running barefoot, I usually am looking for a lightweight flat shoe for added protection on technical trails. So, a racing flat could fit the bill if I like the shoe.
I ran approximately 20+ miles in the Wave 5. The test runs were conducted on a combination of paved bike path and single track dirt trails.
First impressions:
The shoes are incredibly lightweight. They almost feel like you have nothing on your feet. One downside is that the toe box narrows in a similar manner to traditional running shoes. Despite this, it does not feel overly constricting on the foot but does not allow for full toe splay typically found in other minimalist shoes that have a wide toe box. The thin sole does allow for fairly decent ground feel. The sole is flexible and allows your foot to flex. There is almost nothing to the uppers. It is basically a thin layer of very breathable material.
The pair I purchased was a 10.5' which is my typical shoe size. They fit comfortably and snug around my foot. The uppers are so thin that they do not constrict your foot as much as a more traditional upper might do. They are extremely flexible.
The footbed is lightly padded. It is thick enough to take the edge off of any rocky terrain, yet thin enough that you have decent ground feel.
Test runs:
On my first run with the shoes, a buddy of mine and I went out for an 18 mile out and back run along a portion of the American River 50 mile course starting near Folsom Lake. Approximately half of our run was on a paved bike path/gravel fire road and the remainder of the runner was on dirt single track. The shoes allowed me to run the gravel sections without any hesitations that might occur when running these sections barefoot.
The next run was at a nature preserve where the video of the shoe was filmed. This run was primarily single track trail running. One thing I noticed on this run was that the dew on the grass easily penetrated the shoe. This did not cause any problems on the run that morning, but it is possible you could have issues with blistering in damp shoes. That being said, the shoes also seemed to dry quickly since the material is so thin.
On the whole, I enjoyed my time running in the Mizunos. My main concern at this time is the drop on the sole. My worry is that changing between barefoot, zero drop shoes, and into a minimal drop shoe might play havoc with my Achilles tendons. The reason I state this is that when I was training for my first 50 miler, I trained almost exclusively barefoot, but on my first run in my Merrell Trail Gloves, I ended up straining one tendon resulting in my only race DNF. With that in mind, I have done lots of running since then in my Merrells without any issue. Since I had no issues following my runs with the Mizunos after 20+ miles it is not likely that there will be an issue.
One odd thing I noted when walking on wet concrete or on tile floors is that the oval shaped recess in the heel acts as a suction cup. This is not a factor when running, but does give an unusual sensation when walking on smooth surfaces.
On a final note, I think despite my reservations about the 2mm drop, the Mizuno Wave's ultralight weight and thin profile has won a spot on my limited shoe shelf.