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Changing Shoes in Races: A Secret Hack to Reduce Fatigue and Run Faster?

Jul 11, 2012 | 3 Comments

Here’s what we know:

Running long distances is fatiguing
Different shoes slightly change the biomechanics of running form
Changing biomechanics slightly changes how the body works, including changing stress on various body parts and possibly changing muscle activation patterns (Pete Larson and Bill Katovsky discuss this in “Tread Lightly“)

Here’s what we can assume:

Changing biomechanics will provide relief for fatigued muscles

So…

In long races, it may be advantageous to change shoes. The key- they must be […]

Running Faster: Humbled by a Tempo Run

Jun 26, 2012 | 12 Comments

I want to get faster. Part of my plan involves the addition of tempo runs to my training.

Shelly and I did a 60 minute run- we ran down the road for 30 minutes, turned around, then ran back. The goal is to get as far as possible and make it back to the start line before time expires.

The first mile was great! I was being mildly conservative, but manages to cruise to a […]

Why a Barefoot Runner Will Never Win a Trail Ultra

Apr 9, 2012 | 18 Comments

A barefoot runner will never win a trail ultra*.  Ever.

How could I make such a bold proclamation?

Experience.

Since Shelly and I began traveling, we’ve had the opportunity to run a lot of trails around the country.  During that time, I’ve done a lot of experimentation using heart rate as a measure of effort.  The goal was to make my running form as efficient as possible.  An unintended benefit has been a glimpse at […]

Three Different Takes on Minimalist Shoes

Mar 5, 2012 | 7 Comments

Over the last week, I’ve been traveling throughout the Pacific NW and Mountain West to do a series of Merrell Bareform clinics at various shoe retailers.  It was fascinating to see how different retailers handled minimalist shoes.  Three of the stores were what would be considered “run specialty”, the designation the industry uses to describe stores that cater primarily runners.  One was an online retailer.  The last was a minimalist-only running store.  Here are some thoughts on […]

Misconceptions About Barefoot Runners, Shoe Stores, and the Shoe Industry

Dec 24, 2011 | 13 Comments

Over the last few years, I’ve had a unique opportunity to be involved with the heart of the grassroots barefoot running movement, the opportunity to work with designers and marketers within the shoe industry, and the opportunity to engage in conversations with retail store owners and employees.  These different worlds typically have misconceptions that sour perceptions of each other.  I want to dispel many of these misconceptions here:

Misconception #1: Barefoot runners want to destroy the shoe […]

The Raised Heel Shoe: Could Jessica Rabbit Run a Marathon?

Dec 20, 2011 | 16 Comments

The raised heel shoe.  Is it a good thing?  Some believe it is.  In some cases (unrelated to running) it may not be so bad, as we’ll see below. What about running shoes?  The vast majority of runners, especially road runners, run in raised heel shoes.

Let’s take a look at the effects of raising the heel of a shoe.

Normally, our posture is pretty good.  By “normal” I mean barefoot.  Our backs are straight.  Look […]

New Balance MT110 Review

Dec 9, 2011 | 17 Comments

I’ve been on a quest for the perfect mountain running shoe for some time.  My current preferred shoe is the Merrell Trail Glove.  This shoe works great over the vast majority of mountain trails- as long as I can see the trail and am not fatigued.  This really only becomes an issue in 100 milers in the mountains, so a specialized trail running shoe isn’t on my “absolute necessity” list.

Having said that, a mountain trail shoe that offered […]

An Open Letter to Shoe Designers: Think Sculptures, Not Paintings

Dec 2, 2011 | 8 Comments

Dearest shoe designers,

When you set out to design your next round of shoes, please consider this idea- the human foot is perfect.  You cannot improve upon the design by adding technology, no matter how much you believe in your ideas.

The best shoes in the world do one thing exceedingly well- they get out of the way.  They allow the foot to work in a way that takes full advantage of its natural capability.  Anything […]