Rocky road and superman are both flavors of ice cream, just as ChiRunning, Pose, Evolution Running, barefoot running, etc. are flavors of “natural running.”
In my previous post, I talked about the problems with the idea that gravity can propel us forward with a “controlled fall.” The post led to a great discussion. many runners shared great comments about various aspects of the discussion.
One comment stood out, though.
David Stretanski made various comments and included a link to his blog. The link provided a diagram of a runner using ChiRunning. The diagram caused an “ah-ha” moment:
All natural running advocates are describing the exact same thing.
Here’s a composite of the pictures from both posts:
If we assume we’re talking about the same basic movement pattern, the discussion can then progress to the details- how to we leave the ground and how do we return to the ground. We can then talk about the role of gravity [in my opinion it DOES affect gait... but not to propel us forward ], muscle activation patterns, the role of elastic recoil, etc.
The take-away: the apparent dissent among natural running advocates isn’t nearly as great as it would appear. This is good news for those of us that teach the ideas… it means there’s a great deal of interchangeability among theories. Have a client that doesn’t respond well to one particular method? No problem, use another!
This idea is no surprise. Many of us have been picking and choosing among various methods for years.
As an aside- many of you may remember my anti-certification rants and my proposed solution. The crux of the argument had to do with locking yourself into one mode of thinking. If you’re a certified Bob’s Magical Running coach, what happens if it turns out Bob’s Magical Running is wrong? Since you’ve invested heavily in the idea, you’re not likely going to have the flexibility to abandon the idea even when presented with overwhelming evidence. You stay on the sinking ship because you have no alternative.
Instead of being a one-trick pony and buying into one singular idea or theory, strive to diversify thought. This not only gives you the tools to address the needs of a wider variety of clients, it gives you the tools to critically examine your own methods and competing ideas. The groupthink associated with large numbers of people all buying into the same idea is the biggest obstacle to progress.