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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 Read More...

Sore Calves? Achilles Problems? Stress Fractures? Plantar Fasciitis? Get Off Your Damn Toes!

Oct 31, 2012 | 10 Comments

Over the last few days, I’ve been answering questions on Reddit. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. The number of people that complain about the following injuries is increasing dramatically.

Chronically sore calves
Calf cramps
Achilles tendonitis
Metatarsal stress fractures
Bone spurs around the heel
Plantar fasciitis

The weird thing- this is occurring in people that aren’t necessarily making a transition to barefoot or minimalist shoe running.

There’s a growing recognition that there are benefits of changing running form to eliminate excessive overstriding. Read More...

Find Your Spring: The Missing Link to Teaching Running Gait

Sep 26, 2012 | 23 Comments

This last weekend, I had the opportunity to hold a running clinic with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella at his minimalist running store in Shephardstown, WV. We covered a ton of useful information, most of which is included in Mark’s video he did for Running Times.

When we were discussing running form, Mark describes the legs as springs. The tendons and ligaments of the feet and legs store energy as the foot hits the ground. This energy Read More...

Does “Lifting the Foot” Make Us Slower?

Sep 23, 2012 | 34 Comments

I conducted a clinic this weekend in conjunction with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella at Two Rivers Treads, his minimalist shoe store in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I like events like this because it gives me the opportunity to learn along with teaching. In this case, I got to see many of Mark’s awesome drills and explanations in person.

We also had a few good discussions on various elements of running form. In particular, someone asked about lifting their feet. Read More...

Should We Teach Running Form?

Sep 4, 2012 | 9 Comments

A few years ago, Richard Knobbs, an Internet friend, asked me a series of questions about running I had never considered. I couldn’t find the original message, so I’ll paraphrase. He asked the following:

Is there a right way to run?
If so, how should it be taught?
What happens if we’re wrong with either question?

The questions were framed around the idea of barefoot running, but can be generalized to the greater running community. A recent article in Read More...

Running Form Isn’t Black and White

Aug 31, 2012 | 10 Comments

I’ve had a little extra free time lately (Pure Michigan…), so I’ve spent some time on the barefoot forums. As has been the case since they first came into being, there’s a mix of regulars with tons of experience and a few newbies. The conversations with the newbies are interesting. There’s a strong tendency to do the following:

1. Ignore advice from experienced barefoot runners.

2. Begin giving advice based on their limited experience.

3. Read More...

How Should the Foot Touch the Ground? A Quick Analysis of Foot Strike

Aug 1, 2012 | 10 Comments

So you decide to take up barefoot or minimalist shoe running. One of the first issues you encounter is foot strike how should your foot interact with the ground?

You scour the Interwez for advice. You read the books. You watch the videos. You get a million opinions.

Some tell you to “run on your toes.”

Some tell you to land on the ball of your foot.

Some say ball-toes-heel.

And so on.

Read More...

Why is a Cadence of 180 Considered a Magic Number?

Jul 27, 2012 | 13 Comments

If you spend enough time around runners and a discussion on running form comes up, you’ll likely hear the “180 rule.” It states your feet should touch the ground 180 times per minute or more. This will result in the most efficient form. In theory.

Unfortunately, the rule is often botched. The most common mistake is to leave off the “or more” part at the end. The result is a belief that every runner should be running Read More...