Hike – Mindful Mechanics.

Went for a hike today with the Nordic walking poles, but the entire focus was on applying the correct mechanics to walking – exactly as in running.
Keeping a very relaxed ankle the aim was to completely eliminate the “push off” with the toes – even in climbing. The foot is simply lifted up at the end of the stride. This does give a remarkable feeling of lightness and feels incredibly efficient as the work is now being done by core muscles instead of lower leg muscles – but it is so counter-intuitive that it takes a lot of focus and mindfulness. The Vibram Five Fingers were my choice of shoe and so it was interesting to walk on rocks and to feel everything beneath the feet – so much more stable and secure than on cushioned soles. Descending was interesting – trying to use the calves as shock absorbers – it seems to work well even in walking. 
Below are some photos taken today on the mountain…

The Orange Lily or Fire Lily is a lily species native to Europe. It is also called Tiger Lily.
The Orange Lily has long been recognised as a symbol of the Orange Order in Northern Ireland.
In Hanakotoba (花言葉, flower-language), the Japanese language of flowers, the orange lily symbolizes hatred or revenge when given as a gift. (Excerpts from Wikipedia)


  1. Ian, You never cease to amaze me. Great insights and wonderful pics. Not about to go walking with 5 toes as I have tender and now misshapen toes, but will try the lift off. Steph

  2. Hi Steph, Living beside a beach there is an exercise that you can use. Walk on the sand vigorously or run and notice that you leave holes where your heels and toes were on the sand. Now walk really slowly, placing your forefoot on the ground first (or midfoot) and don't push off – just lifting your foot up behind you with a loose ankle. You should be able to get the track perfectly flat. That then becomes the aim when running too and for me it would also be the aim for fast walking. Let me know how you get on.

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