Lynne Allbutt, 47, is a TV presenter, columnist and landscape gardener from Wales. Last year she became the first person to run across Wales barefoot, completing 52 miles. Lynne believes that wearing shoes can rob us of our ability to feel and really immerse ourselves in what’s around us. Going barefoot, Lynne explains, is almost meditative.
Lynne was inspired to complete her challenge to cope with struggles in her personal life. In her book, Lynne notes how uncovering her feet also led to an unexpected uncovering of subconscious fears of ridicule and rejection which she had carried through her life. Lynne also discusses coping with her mother’s bipolar disorder, abusive relationships, and setting up her own gardening business.
Lynne trained for seven months, including three months through winter, training after work in the dark. A team of friends supported her on the run, while Lynne snacked on foods like apricots and pumpkin seeds to keep her energy up.
At only 12 miles in the TV presenter started to experience pain in her right foot, but determined to keep going Lynne was up the next day at 7am to carry on her challenge. On her blog, Lynne recalls how on the final stretch of coastal path, “every single stone felt like a golf ball under my foot”. Despite the pain though, Lynne took comfort from the great views, which she describes in her blog: “I felt completely enveloped in Nature and carried by the elementals and Nature spirits.”
Lynne hopes to promote barefoot running through her Community Interest Company (CIC), Barefoot Running. If you want to try barefoot running, have a look at some of Lynne’s top tips below:
- Start slow – Try walking around the house barefoot first. Then, try sitting outside with barefeet to get used to the feel of the earth.
- Start soft – For your first barefoot venture, try a gentle walk on forgiving terrain such as grass or sand. Walk slowly and try to notice the sensations you feel.
- Prepare – have footwear to hand for surfaces not barefoot-friendly. Lynne suggests flip flops as easy shoes to carry.
- Research – Lynne did some training in barefoot shoes, especially in the dark. This can make the transition to full barefeet much easier.
- Share it – get your friends and family involved to make the experience easier and more fun!
For more information on Lynne and barefoot walking visit lynne.allbutt.co.uk