What Riding an Unusual Bike Has to Do With Changing Running Form

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I often find myself telling clients that I work with in the clinic that changing running form is hard. The difficulty is not so much physical – tissues will adapt to a new movement pattern over time. Rather, the challenge is mainly neurological – it’s very hard to make the body move in a new […]

Form Differences Among Barefoot Running, Minimalist Shoe Running, and Standard Shoe Running

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Based upon research published over the past several years, I’ve come to believe the following about the effects of footwear (or lack thereof) on running form: 1. Barefoot running is different and no shoe perfectly replicates the barefoot condition. Running barefoot, particularly on a hard surface, increases the likelihood that a runner will adapt a […]

Nike Pegasus vs. Nike Free 3.0: Does a Moderately Cushioned Shoe Encourage Barefoot-Like Biomechanics?

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Nike has long touted the design of their Free line of running shoes as having been inspired by barefoot running. Indeed, the newest Free shoes have the phrase “Barefoot Ride” written right on the insole (see photo at left). Personally, I’m a fan of the Frees since they suit my preference for light, flexible, moderately […]

Foot Strike Patterns During Barefoot Running on Hard and Soft Surfaces

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So far this week I have written about studies that have looked at foot strike patterns in in minimally shod or barefoot runners. A study of the Tarahumara in Mexico showed that even among individuals who habitually wear minimal footwear, foot strike patterns are variable during running. A study of the Hadza in Tanzania suggested […]

Foot Strike Patterns During Barefoot and Minimally Shod Running in Hadza Hunter-Gatherers

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Yesterday I wrote a post about a study that examined foot strike patterns in Tarahumara Native Americans from Mexico. That study found that Tarahumara who habitually wear and run in minimal huarache sandals exhibit a mixture of foot strike types (40% midfoot, 30% forefoot, 30% heel), whereas Tarahumara who habitually wear and run in conventional […]

Foot Strike Patterns in Tarahumara Runners Wearing Huarache Sandals vs. Conventional Shoes

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I’ve written a lot about foot strike variability over the years, but I still see people make claims that heel striking is bad, or that barefoot and minimally shod runners don’t land on their heels. Personally, I view foot strike as one aspect of running form that varies with a range of factors. These factors […]

Another Study on the Efficacy and Potential Benefits of a Retraining Protocol to Increase Running Cadence

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A few weeks ago I wrote about a study that looked at the effectiveness of self-directed gait retraining for increased step rate in runners. That study found that runners could indeed make lasting changes to step rate on their own, and increased cadence altered biomechanical variables that might increase risk of injury. These changes included […]

Effects of Cadence Training on Running Biomechanics and Efficiency

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Research has suggested that increasing running cadence (steps/minute) by 5-10% can reduce loading at the knee and hip joints, and this has spurred interest in the use of cadence training in clinical settings. In particular, Heiderscheit et al. (2011) found that increasing cadence reduced peak vertical ground reaction force, peak hip adduction, peak hip flexion, […]

Garmin Forerunner 620 – Some Fun With Running Dynamics Data

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I’ve been working on a long overdue review of the Garmin Forerunner 620 – it’s been a tricky GPS watch to review because it does so much, but also because I’ve had some issues with it. One of my original reasons for buying the 620 was that I was interested in the ability to record […]

Observations on Cadence Change With Running Speed on the Track

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I did a 5x400m track workout on Wednesday (was supposed to be 6×400, but lightning and torrential rain put an early end to the workout!). As usual I was wearing my Garmin 620, and one of the cool features of the watch is that it computes your cadence for you without any additional gadgets or […]