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Industrial Athletes and Minimalist Shoes: Can it Reduce Workplace Injuries?

Dec 22, 2012 | 3 Comments

Since Cyber Monday, I’ve been working for UPS helping to deliver packages. There are several reasons I took the seasonal job, some of which are related to running. I was in a bit of a funk and needed to take a break, but needed an activity to maintain my fitness level. Spending many hours five days a week running heavy boxes up and down apartment building stairs has certainly did the trick. I actually lost weight, got stronger, […]

Why Running Makes Us Happy: The Importance of Flow

Dec 10, 2012 | 8 Comments

Most of us have probably heard of “flow states.” It’s a state of consciousness where we get lost in the activity we’re doing. Our focus is so intense, we lose awareness of the outside (and inside) world. We don’t notice the passing of time and feelings of hunger, thirst, or fatigue. Our inner monologue ceases. We become completely engrossed in whatever we’re doing.

My first experiences with flow states came from my days as an artist. I […]

I’m Not Curing Cancer: The Narcissism of Running

Dec 5, 2012 | 24 Comments

Fair warning- this is going to be a somewhat disjointed post. This post is essentially about the renewed realization that what I do a runner isn’t terribly important. I shouldn’t be too excited to pat myself on the back for running any given race… there are people out there that do far more demanding things as a necessity for survival.

I recently started working as a temporary driver’s helper for UPS. The job involves helping deliver packages […]

Barefoot Running Jumps the Shark

Dec 1, 2012 | 12 Comments

Okay, maybe barefoot running hasn’t jumped the shark… but the mystique has dies considerably.

And this is a good thing.

The running world has learned the lessons from barefoot running, namely:

Running form is important,
Plantar tactile sensations are useful tools,
The transition is not without risk and won’t necessarily produce positive results in everybody that tries it,
Shoes have a time and a place,
Various qualities of shoes affect gait in a variety of ways.

Now that we’ve learned […]

When Learning to Run With Better Form, Should We Automatically Start Slow?

Nov 14, 2012 | 19 Comments

What is the ideal pace start when teaching running form? For years, many of us have taught people to start at a very slow pace, then eventually speed up. The logic was simple- this helped prevent injuries. Running faster puts more stress on your body.

There’s a problem with this generic advice, however.

Many people find it more comfortable to run at a faster pace. By forcing them to slow down, we’re taking them out of […]

The Problem with Video Analysis of Running Gait

Nov 11, 2012 | 6 Comments

I get quite a few requests to observe people’s running gait via video to analyze how they run. Over the years, my attitudes on video analysis have changed significantly.

Back in the day, I loved video analysis. It was an easy method to see what was happening with gait. If the video could be slowed down, it’s possible to see flaws in form that would otherwise go unnoticed.

My positive opinions have been changing, however. The reason is simple- video doesn’t show […]

All Running Research is a Damned Lie!

Nov 9, 2012 | 7 Comments

Okay, not really. But it may be close.

I’ve been fascinated by running gait for a number of years, mostly stemming from my attempts to explain why barefoot running could be better and the desire to improve my teaching methods. The more I dig, the deeper the mystery becomes.

The problem: There are A LOT of people that claim to know precisely how we run… and they have fundamental disagreements with others that claim the same.

Where is the Medical Community Heading Regarding Barefoot and Minimalism?

Nov 2, 2012 | 9 Comments

I’ve had a few very interesting conversations with members of the medical community as of late. It seems there’s a growing movement, initiated by younger researchers and practitioners, to thoroughly investigate the ideas of barefoot and minimalism.

This isn’t a group of renegade hippy doctors rejecting the ‘Man; it’s a group of professionals that are questioning the assumptions about topics like running gait and the need for medical interventions. There seems to be a growing rift between […]