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Do You Have a Nagging Running Injury?

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If you’re a runner, chances are you’re one of the 60-65% of runners who are injured during an average year. I don’t need to list all the common injuries. You know what you have.

Recent research, driven in part by the barefoot running resurgence, shows that much of what we thought was true about running is wrong. For the last forty years people have been taught a “new” running form. The problem is, it’s wrong.

So what is the solution?

Run like your ancestors. Much of the recent research is centered on indigenous runners – people who run all day as if they were crossing the street; people who run as all our ancestors ran—barefoot or with thin moccasins or sandals.

You don’t need to go to Africa and hang with the Kenyans to learn this. Step back, imagine that you were going to design a biped that could outrun any animal—endurance-wise, not speed-wise. Its running style would need to be efficient, durable, and not produce injuries. It wouldn’t hurt if it were fun to do. What would be the main principle? In a word, gravity.

Your design would need to work with, not against, gravity.  Shoe technology over the last 40 years, and current running forms, are based on fighting gravity, not using it. Look at most walkers or runners and you’ll see something interesting: almost all of them are leaning back. But leaning back, you strike on your heel, so you need extra (unnatural) padding. When you’re leaning back, each stride you take is an unnatural strained stride that decreases your performance and makes injuries inevitable.

So back to our design: here you have a tall creature on two feet. Would you want this biped to be leaning back as he ran, or would he be leaning forward using gravity to propel himself forward? Where would he be leaning from – the waist or the ankles? From the waist he’d be hunched over, being pulled down, not forward, so I’d  go for the ankles; it’s the lowest hinge.

Free Running Guide

Go to for a short free guide on how to run naturally using gravity. Share it with a running buddy. Give each other feedback. It’s simple, but we are so conditioned to run our old way we often need feedback. Let us know how it works for you.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advance Rolfer,, 208.265.8440.

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