Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A bad day for running minimalists

If you know me, you may know I don't go in for trends.  It's why I will never go on a Paleo diet or be seen planking on a fire hydrant, or join Twitter, and it's why I have no regrets the year the macarena came out.

And don't get me started on Vibram Five Fingers and the importance runners today place on avoiding a heel-strike running form.  As I've said before, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.  With so serious injuries to date, I'll continue heel-striking away.

If you're new to the debate, here is a brief intro: When wearing a shoe, a runner's foot tends to land on the heel, roll forward and push off from the toes.  People have come to blame modern running shoes for this change in running form as we tend to land on the middle to the front of our feet when barefoot.  Our ancestors had neither the fancy shoes we have now, nor the injuries that plague runners nowadays. The running shoe must be to blame, and so an industry was born.

Here's an article from the New York Times today that cites a study in which that very wisdom is contradicted.  Apparently there is a tribe of distance runners in Kenya that are primarily heel-strikers.  In addition, a study conducted at the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon found 94% of runners were heel-strikers.

The jury is still out on this one, it seems, and in the meantime I'll just keep doing what works for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...