Thursday, August 27, 2009

Must Read

Funny how things play out...

A couple weeks back I had planned to start a series on why I'm convinced that humans were designed to run, and meant to run far. I had several articles to share which would reinforce my points and even a few more YouTube videos for inspiration (who can forget the "Persistence Hunt" video from a few weeks back, though I think a few of you are trying to forget it... sorry.). Piggy-backed on this article was to come my view on why I feel so many people avoid running, don't like running and why there are so many running related injuries. I was also going to make my case as an advocate for minimalist footwear when it comes to running. Since last Spring I have been transitioning into more and more basic and minimalist shoes (it can be a long journey, another story for another time). Again, I had plenty of supporting evidence, statistics and videos to share. For example, did you know that in the past 30 years, since the advent of the modern cushiony, squishy running shoe, running related injuries have actually increased rather than decreased; as in per capita - as in 80% of all runners will have an injury in the next year! And why is this? I'm of the mind, along with a ground-swell of others, the reason IS the modern running shoe and the fact that most people really don't know how to run properly. The top of the line running shoe with all it's cushioning, support, motion control, and flashy-ness promotes heel striking rather than a forefoot contact (which is how the foot is designed to work), jacks up your innate ability to use your feet as they were designed, and actually leads to injury rather than reducing you risk. Another interesting statistic? The more expensive the running shoe, the higher incidence of injury! Hummm, interesting indeed. Most people think we should just go out and run, yet running is a skill just like throwing a ball, swinging a tennis racket or golf club, and very few people have been coached in running technique. And, of those who have been coached, most have been coached incorrectly. Top that off by lacing your feet up in the latest and greatest running shoe and you have a recipe for injury and a general hatred towards running.

So why did I put the skids on writing this series? Turns out, someone already did and they did it waaaay better than I ever could and in a far more interesting and entertaining manner than I could have conceived. It all started a couple weeks ago when I was flipped over to watch the last couple minutes of "The Daily Show" and caught this segment:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Christopher McDougall
Daily Show
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Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Which lead me to read this book:

Which led me to feeling 1) excited that someone had written this book and done it so well because it says everything I wanted to say. And, 2) pissed off that someone had written this book and done it so well because it says everything I wanted to say. Damn, stole my thunder, and I thought I was so darn smart : ) If I could have written a book on running, this would be it.

Christopher McDougall's book is a must read, especially those of you involved in BTWG and those who run or are afraid to run or have excuses not to run. It is also a must read if you are thinking of attending my running workshop next month. Or, heck, it's a great book so it's a must read if you are into books.

This is a fascinating story on the one hand and virtually everything he covers is spot on with what I intended to say. So, rather than re-invent the wheel, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of "Born To Run". When you finish the read, pass it along to others, especially your sports medicine doc, your podiatrist, and the surgeon who is licking his chops to carve on your knee and "fix" your running injury.


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