Debunking Running Dogma; Cracks In The Foundation

Let’s be honest.  While you are at work, you are thinking about running.  You know it and I know it.  Do not kid yourself.  It may be even worse if have entered the natural running paradigm, because now you get to think about running form and technique.

There are so many brilliant aspects to the natural running movement, but perhaps none more important than how you move and more importantly how you are designed to move.  Regardless of whether you are barefoot, in minimalist shoes or big clunky shoes how you move is of the utmost importance.  If you have bad form (which we’ll define in a later post) it doesn’t matter what if anything you have on your feet.

This conversation picked up some very big momentum over the past week.  I wanted to share a few of the best conversations going on.  The information and passion is definitely worth the read.  Enjoy.

Asics Have Really Dug In Their Heels:  This is over on Bill Katovsky’s terrific running site Zero-Drop.com.  This was a some what spirited debate about the role of shoes, the impact of an elevated heel and using data as a weapon.  The comments section is where the magic is.  This was the article that really kicked things off over the past week.

ASICS versus Zero Drop, Maximalist versus Minimalist:  If Pete Larson isn’t your sinsei and his site Runblogger.comisn’t on your list of daily check-ins, then it should be.  This post came as a response from Pete (who is professor) to Simon Bartold (researcher of Asics) who had some issues with running data.  Again it is well worth the read.  My hope is that a footwear companies will become much more data oriented and make these kinds of things available to their customers.

The Barefoot Running Debate:  Born to Run, Shoes & Injury:  The Latest Thinking;  This is another very comprehensive post by South Africans Ross Tucker, Ph.D & Jonathan Dugas, Ph.D. on the excellent site SportScientists.com.  The genius of this piece and having it come from an unbiased researcher is the very practical approach they discuss the data.  Again, the article is worth reading and the comments section is just as enlightening.

The Science of Barefoot Running:  Even the “Old Grey Lady” has come into the fray with a good, but not complete (especially when compared to the above references) article on barefoot running.  The thing I took away from this is that technique is still king.  It almost doesn’t matter what you do or do not have on your feet.  If your running technique is not efficient,  it can be a tough issue to buy your way out of.

These are great resources to educate yourself and become a more empowered athlete and an consumer.  Educate yourself, watch out for good marketing campaigns and question everything.

Cheers,

Patton

About this punk: Patton Gleason is president and founder of NaturalRunningStore.com and the Flow Running teaching method.  He is a running industry veteran and loves the irony of promoting barefoot running and owning a store that sells shoes.  He lives in McKinney, Texas with his beautiful wife and three children.  He has got a thing for long runs, burpees, pumpkin pie and bluegrass music.  Seriously send him some pie.  

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