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The Naked Runners Blog


Naked November is back...!



Following the success of the inaugural Naked November campaign in 2012, the month-long celebration of nakedness returns again this year & is sure to be bigger, better & even more naked!


Naked November is not about harassing or pressuring you into running a certain way...we love the fact more people than ever are running and that's the most important thing.

But in these modern times where our lives are so often tied to the multitude of gadgets and devices on offer (see above), we’d love to give you the option of going without some of these things every now and then.

We call this 'running NAKED’....stripping back the experience to uncover the raw, unrefined approach to running that dates back thousands of years.

Step 1) Keep your clothes on (its not THAT sort of naked!)
Step 2) Leave 1 or more gadgets behind (e.g iPod/mp3, phone, HRM, GPS, watch, metronome, guitar tuner, or any other device)
Step 3) Run!

HOW OFTEN? On at least one of your runs during November, or as many times as you like!

IDRN: 'International Day of Running Naked' is a day where the worldwide running community can celebrate getting 'naked' together. This year IDRN takes place on Saturday 30th November.

To celebrate #IDRN (International Day of Running Naked) you can get involved by taking part in the Naked parkrun Challenge.

There are 3 options:

* Global Naked parkrun Challenge

* Aussie Naked parkrun Challenge

* Region of Runners Naked parkrun Challenge

All you need to do is:

1) Like The Naked Runners FB Page

2) Submit your predicted finishing time via the appropriate online form (above)

3) Run naked (free of timing devices/gadgets) & enjoy!

We'd also love you to share your naked experience with us via a comment, picture or video using your social media channel of choice. Just use the hashtag #IDRN & #NakedNov13

There are a number of prizes up for grabs for the closest predictions in each category, including the much sought-after #performanceenhancing garment, a Naked Runners headband!

* 'But I Need My Phone For Safety?' - take whatever you need on your runs to feel safe (ID tag, phone, C-Spray).

* 'But I need to record my runs on STRAVA/MAPMYRUN/GARMINCONNECT/RUNKEEPER/DAILYMILE/ENDOMONDO?' - you gotta do what you gotta do. If its important to keep a record of your runs, do it!

TAKE THE PLEDGE: "I pledge to run naked in November!"

We'd love you to share your pledge by posting a photo or video on the Facebook Event Page, or via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags: #NakedPledge & #NakedNov14


Naked November Campaign


November is the month to Ditch the Distractions & strip back your running experience.

How Do I Run Naked?

Step 1) Keep your clothes on (its not that sort of naked...!)

Step 2) Leave the gadgets behind (e.g iPod, HRM, GPS, watch)

Step 3) Run!

How Often?
At least once during November, but the more the better.

Take the Pledge

"I pledge to run naked in November!"

Sign up to the Facebook Event Page.

Share your Pledge

via Twitter using the hashtag #NakedPledge.

You can also share your pledge with us on Facebook by posting a photo or video.

You can even make an audio recording of your pledge, get it to us & we'll play it on the Podcast through-out November.


Barefoot Running on Catalyst (ABC TV)

Following on from the recent segment called Exercise is Medicine, Australian science-based show Catalyst took a look at Barefoot Running. Segment outline via Catalyst website:

Barefoot Running
'Is running barefoot better than running in shoes? Ruben Meerman gets hooked up to monitoring equipment to measure the impacts of hoofing it barefoot versus in runners.'


Segment Outline & Transcript via Catalyst website


The 2012 Magic Mile Global Team Challenge

What comes to mind when you hear the word 'MILE'...?

Bannister? Landy? Elliott?

4 minutes...?

1.6something km...?

That song by The Proclaimers?

Perhaps even the 'Mile High Club'...?


Well, for two weeks in September, the importance of the MILE will be redifined, as all corners of the planet get set to take part in the 'Magic Mile Global Team Challenge'.

Its simple, TEAM UK vs TEAM USA vs TEAM REST of the WORLD...
(already being called the Ryder/Presidents Cup of Running)

1 mile.

As fast as you can.

Between 3rd & 16th of September, 2012.

Represent your global place of origin in the battle to see who has the rightful claim to this iconic distance.

The mile is that point where organised Athletics meets recreational running. Anyone can knock out a mile (1.609.344km) and no other distance has been more celebrated in the modern history of running (maybe with the exception of the marathon).

The Naked Runners are honoured to have been selected as Captains to lead Team Rest of the World. Captaining Team UK are Martin & Tom from Marathon Talk.
And leading Team USA are David and Ryan from Bring Back the Mile.

We are calling on all corners of the global running community (apart from the Brits & Yanks who think they call the shots when it comes to global affairs), to get involved. Take part as a group, on your own, as part of an organised event, or map out your own course on the track, path or street.

It couldn't be easier. Sign up NOW at: Marathon Talk Magic Mile Global Team Challenge 2012

Use #signupforfast on Twitter & tune in to the weekly Marathon Talk Podcast for updates.


Exercise is Medicine - Why you MUST watch this video!

We've been getting very excited this week following the screening of a very important piece of journalism on the ABC TV science-based series, Catalyst.

In summary, the video piece titled 'Exercise is Medicine' promotes exactly the message we have been banging on about for a long time - in order to treat & prevent the vast array of chronic health issues faced by modern society, we humans need to relearn & rediscover the ancient practice of regular movement.

If they could see the current state of the world's populations, particularly in the developed, Western cultures, I'm sure our ancestors would be sitting back, thinking to themselves, 'how did these people get things so wrong?!'

Here is an exceprt from the video by Clinical Professor David Goldstein:

Exercise is the only treatment I know of that can achieve this kind of result without any downside. And in a sense, it's a rediscovery of something that's always been beneficial.

Moving away from a sedentary, protection-focused frame of mind & promoting a culture of performance & movement is to be the largest, most affordable & accessible weapon we have in the fight to control & prevent the catalogue of chronic, lifestyle diseases in the world today.

One phrase in particular that really stood out was 'exercise-therapy naive' in reference to the great number of GPs & Health Professionals that ignore or greatly under-value exercise as an effective & appropriate prescription.

So urge you to watch this video, then celebrate your existence by moving in some way. Once you've done this, we'd love you to share this post with as many people as possible, and let us know what you think of it.

Special mention for the barefoot runner that appears mid-way through the clip as well...!


Barefoot Marathon in Mile High City

As part of the 6-week Naked World Tour, I decided to enter a marathon which was on while we were in Denver.
The Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon is dubbed 'The Ultimate Urban Tour' & it definitely was a great way to explore the Mile High City. Apparently Colfax Avenue is the longest road in America so what better reason to hold a marathon on it?!

Having succumbed to a case of acute mountain sickness after a trail run a couple of days after arriving in Denver 2 weeks before, I hoped I had now adjusted to the effects of altitude.

Another challenge with this run was that it was to be my first marathon run in barefeet & longest ever run without shoes (previous furthest was the Hill 2 Harbour Half Marathon back home in Newcastle on April 1st, 2012).

The training while travelling had been steady but certainly nowhere the miles covered in the build up to my previous 4 marathons. The Fear The Deer Trail Half Marathon the week before was a good hit out. As final preparation I went for an 8mile & a 5mile barefoot run in the week of the marathon but managed to sustain a few cuts to the toes which I hoped would heal.

Race day presented perfect, clear, cool conditions for running, with temperatures in the low 40s (5-7C). The pre-race strategy was to first of all take it easy (directed by my footwear selection & lack of training), find some grass where possible & follow the painted lines on the road - as advised by Mark Cucuzzella in the 'pre-game huddle'.

Grass was easy to find early on as the race started inside Denver's City Park. But the catch was that the feet were fast losing sensation due to the cold dew. Once out of the park & onto the yellow lines of Colfax Ave heading Downtown, the feet found their feeling again & I could settle into a nice rhythm.

It was at this point we (my brother-in-law Chris & I ran together for the first 9miles) passed a blind runner & his guide. The blind runner, who I have been informed is well-known local running enthusiast, Kerry Kuck, on being told by his guide about the barefoot runner ahead, was quick to comment...'My dog also runs barefoot!'.

In the attempt to find the smoothest line in the road or path I found myself zig-zagging around the course a fair bit & in a moment of carelessness almost wiped out a fellow runner, who I later discovered to be minimalist running enthusiast, Todd Parker. Todd was kind enough to let me know I probably had right of way being a crazy barefoot guy to which I responded 'being crazy doesn't necessarily give you those privileges!'.

Running through Mile High Stadium (home of the Denver Broncos & less famously the Denver Outlaws) was a thrill which we got to enjoy on the way out & the way back. I made sure to run down the middle of the field each time & soak in the surroundings, which no-one seemed bothered by.

As the course headed West we entered the delightful little residential area called 'The Glens'. On arrival runners were greeted with Hawaiian lays accompanied by the dulcet tones of a John Denver Tribute Band (consisting of a guy playing a guitar), belting out 'Rocky Mountain High'...very fitting.

Just after the turn for home, around the 16mile mark, I came across a guy I had met the week before at 'Fear The Deer', Eric Blood, who was running his first ever marathon & longest ever run, in his Invisible/Xero Shoes. Eric had to be about the happiest guy on course & running alongside him for a couple of miles gave me an enormous boost. Eric had spotted my footprints on the path around Sloan's Lake earlier & was intrigued to find the mysterious barefoot runner.

Interestingly I was not the only runner with naked feet in the race. Alex Lopicollo (aka Barefoot Alex) was up ahead also running his first barefoot marathon. I must have spotted at least a dozen runners wearing Fivefingers as well.

Feeling pretty good after running with Eric, I decided to do something I'd never attempted in any of my previous marathons & probably not something a lot of other people have done.

Spread out along the longest stretch of Colfax Avenue were a number of live bands & musicians spurring the runners along with their uplifting tunes. On the way out I had the idea that it would be cool to jump on the drums for a quick bash then keep running. On the way back that is exactly what happened.

On the side of the road between mile 17 & 18 a funky 3-piece band was jamming out when I detoured off the course & approached the drummer asking if he wouldn't mind if I subbed in. After the initial puzzled look he obliged & soon we had picked the groove back up & were rocking! Apart from the fact that I love playing the drums, it was quite nice to have a seat for a few minutes!

Thinking I had better get back to the task at hand I jumped up, bumped fists with my new band-mates & continued running...much to the disbelief of the band & any onlookers! I'm still trying to find out the name of the band so I can get in touch to say thanks.

Fully thawed now, I was starting to notice the cuts on my toes reappearing which became a challenge which meant the search for the smoothest line for the final 4 miles was taken to a whole new level.

Soon enough though, City Park re-emerged & I was pumped to be heading down the finish chute to the cheers & high fives (& the customary strange looks) of the crowd. Who, it must be said, along with lots of fellow runners, were awesome with their support for the entire run. 

Big thanks to my fantastic support team Chris Laird, Shauna Laird & Gabby Robertson (plus bump)!

I was thrilled to finish with a time of 3:58 (best in shoes is 3:01) & even happier with the free beer & barbeque on offer soon after.

All up, a great day out
& one of the most memorable & enjoyable runs on record. No PR (or PB) but I definitely bagged a new PH (Personal Happiest)!

More race photos via the Naked World Tour Facebook Photo Album


Worldwide Media Coverage of Naked Running 

The wheels of momentum are starting to really turn in the world of Naked Running.

Runners World Magazine recently published an article all about the many benefits of running gadget-free:

Tech Time-Out - No watch? No tunes? Leave behind your gadgets and gain a new respect for your efforts. By Jen A. Miller

This article appeared in the May 2012 Issue of Runners World (USA) & the recently released June 2012 Issue of Runners World (Australia).


Also, just today The Naked Runners made an appearance in one of the major Australian newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald (& also the linked Fairfax publication, The Age).


Titled 'Do You Run Naked?', the article highlights the proposed benefits of running 'naked' & poses a challenge to the reader to try ditching some of the distracting devices on future runs.

The author, Nick Galvin, himself a keen runner, went to the effort of trying this more stripped-back approach out for himself, after confessing he is a 'serial iPod offender'.

We were actually more concerned with his taste of music after admitting Whitesnake features on his running playlist...!

Galvin comes to the conclusion that... "As in most things, simple is probably better in running"

When an article like this is written, there are always divided opinions & plenty of people who get hot under the collar in defense of their choice to use whatever devices they want on the run.

Above all else, we should never forget that regardless of what people choose to wear or not wear on their run, the main thing is for us humans to do what we've been designed to do...move & move often. (We would add to this, move together).

The aim of the Naked Runners movement is NOT to tell people what to do, but give them the choice to approach running and movement in a different, more stripped-back way. Probably best summed up via this TEDx Talk.

To clarify our stance on the issue, I've added my own comment to the list which you can read here:

The fact is that humans need to be stimulated to move. In years gone by that stimulation came from a need to run, either to catch dinner, or avoid being had for dinner ourselves.

In 2012, this primitive form of stimulation no longer exists so we look for other ways to be 'entertained' while we run or exercise.

The easy option is to turn to the vast array of running gadgets on offer, ranging from the simple watch to advanced GPS/heart-rate monitors & iPods/MP3 players.

More and more, modern runners are turning to these devices in an attempt to remain entertained for the duration of the run. Making the experience of moving a bit more bearable.

But as we're seeing with a lot of things in the world, the easy option is rarely the best one.

Many of these devices are amazing & certainly have their place. But they should all be viewed as tools for use when the conditions warrant.

It is when we have an unnecessary over-reliance on them, that they become a distraction which diminishes the overall experience of the run.

The philosophy of The Naked Runners is to seek entertainment through other less-artificial avenues. This includes: finding beautiful places to run, running regularly with others, positive exchanges with other runners/walkers, varying terrain/footwear/effort.

When these options are unavailable, by all means strap the devices on & go for it. Because let's not forget, the single most important issue here is just to get people moving full stop!

We recommend you try going 'naked' at least once a week to begin with.

By adopting the 'naked' mindset more often, we are confident you will unlock the doors to a whole new level of entertainment & joy with your running/movement, that you previously never thought possible!


There has been some great discussion in the comments section of the SMH article. We would invite you to join the discussion yourself, either on the SMH site, at the bottom of this blog post or via our social media channels:

"Is it worth unplugging occasionally and getting back to basics - or would you no more head out without your iPod and heart-rate monitor that you would without your shorts?"


Learn to Run like a Kenyan

One man has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to identify the perfect running technique. He has travelled the world over and spent extensive time in Kenya working with some of the modern greats including David Rudisha and Augustine Choge. His name is Rob Higley, and The Naked Runners endorse his presence on planet earth to teach us how to run better.

This Saturday, in Newcastle Australia, a small group of runners will start a 4 week experience with Rob that will be a turning point in their running experience. The Naked Runners are pleased to announce that there are still a few places available and we extend the branch out to our mob to make it there if you can.

Details are below

  • Cost for the full 4 weeks is just $80 or $50 for full-time student
  • 2 hours each Saturday morning from 6:45 - 8:45am
  • The squad will be limited to 12
  • You must commit to all four (financially and in participation).  You can't just come to one.
To Register

Please contact Andrew Dodd andrew.dodd@optusnet.com.au or phone 0411 048780 and supply your email and mobile number.

More on Rob

Rob has recently relaunched his website:  http://www.robsrun.org/