Running barefoot along the sand, nearly everyday, is not only good for your calves, it's also brilliant for your soul. In Madagascar for a month where the main roads are worse than mountain trails there's been no alternative but to take off the trainers and run barefoot by the sea.

This is exercise as it's purest, before God invented Nikes. There's a natural tendency for 'pose' running, on your toes rather than heels, which is good for technique. The softer sand is a good test for calves while the ripples left by the sea at low tide are good for stability and core.

The only hazard are pesky small stones and sharp shells - and overheating in the mid-day sun (because low tide isn't always first thing in the morning) but there's always the prospect of a rewarding cool dip in the translucent sea. A dodgy tummy from too much exotic fruit is, also, good for pace, making you run faster back to the hotel.


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  • The Run Diary Duo

    Elaine (Lainey) Deed, Mother

    Even when I was fashion director of Cosmopolitan, I was more often in Nikes than Manolos. I ran six marathons, numerous half marathons. Said ‘never again’. Then Siggy took up running – and I was off...

    Siggy Baylis, Daughter

    Born 26 weeks premature twin baby, weighed 26.2oz. So born to run 26.2 miles! I've now completed my first marathon. I am also a Sports Massage therapist born to help others in their fitness journey... ...