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Marathon de Paris in Huaraches : Finally, I am a real runner !!!

Last Sunday, I ran the whole 42.2 km of the Marathon de Paris in Huaraches, the running sandals of the Tarahumara, the Mexican tribe of the best endurance Runners on Earth.
I ran it much much slower than any of them, but I think I enjoyed it just the same.

That is the Tarahumara Spirit : Running must not be painful, EVER !!!
So while you are having pleasure, why speed should be an issue. Think of another activity where you do not want to end it too soon !!!

I practiced running in sandals for 2 years, with the last 6 months of gradual increase in distance, running only in Huaraches.

Last month, I reached a volume of 3 times 10-12 km per week with some longer runs.

I now run with shoes only when the temperature is too cold and my second toes are becoming grey of ischemic freezing. or in mountain trails because I cannot run downhill, and then the string between the toes hurts.

Otherwise, I only run in sandals now, to build up real legs, calves and feet.

When running long distances in Huaraches, you have no choice but to be light and smooth, with no impact, otherwise you will break something eventually, calf muscle, Achilles tendon, metatarsal bones or bursa, etc. If you cannot have a sound-less stride for the whole run, you are not well prepared enough.

As everyone, I ran too much, too fast, too early and got injured. But you cannot tell where too much is until you test it, right? And the barefoot feeling is so great that you cannot help doing the extra distance that will hurt you.

So after the "classical" transition problems (mine was mainly Achilles tendonitis that required shockwaves, excentric stretchings and mesotherapy), I could run regularly in sandals last November.

But in February, I started to develop a little inflammation of the bursa below the second left metatarsal bone, that appeared after "long runs", 20 km and more. So I was not sure to complete the distance without breaking something. And that is the magic of the marathon, when you are not sure to finish. I knew I had to be as light as a feather for more than 4 hours. And that means real legs.




Finally, even with the cobblestones in some streets, that you really feel with the 4 mm Xeroshoes, I could land smoothly for more than 4 hours and a half, and finished without pain whatsoever, no wall at 30-35 km, no back pain or hip pain, just pleasure.


Merde, c'est bon !!!



My best Marathon !!!


And please, do not forget to help the Tarahumara by donating to the Tarahumara Children Hospital.

Just click on this link.

They need your help. Thank you so much for your generosity.
























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Fine tuning of my Huaraches

In March, I found a setting to tie my Huaraches and avoid the string rubbing!

I noticed that even though I have a neutral and silent stride and can run miles barefoot, I could not solve the issue of the rubbing of the string between my 1st and 2nd toe.
In fact, the blisters came after 5-8 k, and not between the toes, which would be a sign of overstriding, but BELOW the toes. Plus, I also made a terrible flapping sound when running.

So I checked my stride on video and found that I dorsiflex a lot, i.e. my toes are bent a lot upwards before landing. When I do that when still, I can clearly see the strings touching hard the skin far below the 1st and 2nd toe. OK so that explains the rubbing and the huge blisters in some cases.
Then, I checked on internet photos of sandals worn by the Tarahumaras. Shit, if these guys can run 100 miles in sandals, there must be a solution.
And in some photos I noticed that they wear their sandals with the string between the toes attached more forward that …