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Newton Panel Discussion on Natural Running Form and Shoes: This is a Must Listen


I’d like to use this post to point you to some excellent discussions of running form and running shoes that have come out in the past few weeks. First and foremost, Newton Running recently sponsored an excellent panel discussion on natural running form and running shoes in Colorado. The panel included Dr. Irene Davis PhD, PT (Director of the Running Injury Lab, University of Delaware), Dr. Mark Cucuzzella MD (Associate Professor, University of West Virginia, elite masters runner), Danny Abshire ( form coach, co-founder Newton Running), Zola Budd Pieterse (Olympian, world champion and world record holder), Danny Dreyer (founder/author of Chi Running), and Jay Dicharry, MPT, CSCS (Director of the SPEED Performance Clinic and the Motion Analysis Lab Coordinator at the University of Virginia). It was moderated by Brian Metzler, managing editor Running Times Magazine.

I listened to the discussion on my long run last weekend (it’s about 1 hour and 50 minutes long), and it was well worth it. I have included video of the event below (thanks to Ian Adamson of Newton Running for posting this on YouTube). Given that it’s mostly just a discussion, I opted to convert the videos into an audio .mp3 file that I could play on my iPod so that I wouldn’t be tied to my computer in order to listen. You can find the audio file here (right click to save the .mp3): Newton Natural Running Panel audio. Again, thanks to Newton Running’s Ian Adamson for giving me permission to share the audio.

In addition to the Newton Panel Discussion on natural running, which I view as a must listen, I’ll point you to two other podcast episodes that are worth checking out. First, in my previous post I mentioned that I also participated in a discussion on running form and shoes on the Runner’s Round Table podcast – you can read more about that and find download links to the audio here: Running Form and Shoes: Panel Discussion on the Runner’s Round Table.

Finally, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, one of the speakers on the Newton panel, recently gave a very interesting and thoughtful interview on the Living Barefoot podcast. You can visit the Living Barefoot webpage for the Cucuzzella interview or download the audio from iTunes by clicking here.

Below are the videos from the Newton natural running panel discussion:

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. thanks for the mp3

    this is a great blog.

  2. Pete – Thanks for coordinating with Newton and offering the MP3 file; indeed this’ll be far easier for me to listen to (appropriately, while running!)

  3. Just got back from my run where I finished listening to the panel discussion. Very good! I had a bit of a revelation when in the final 10-minutes of the discussion the excellent points are made (primarily be Danny Dreyer): a) That we should discard the word “strike” and replace that word with “landing” when referring to the forefoot landing; b) That there’s a huge difference between forefoot *landing* versus forefoot *loading* (the former being appropriate, but when a long-distance/high-mileage runner attempts both forefoot landing and loading they significantly raise their likelihood of injury); c) One of the benefits of the runner relaxing is that upon forefoot landing their mid-foot will naturally load.

  4. Pete, thanks for this post and converting to .mp3. I am a Newton fan who thought he was runing mid-foot. Turns out, not even close. I loved the recent RRT’s episode on form too – great job by the panel and Joe. My Coach lives in CO and just became a Certified Newton Coach (not sure of exact title). With a lot of practice and minfullness, I am really hoping the change my form. I have had two calcaneus stress fractices in the past two years! Again, thanks!

    • Pete Larson says:


      I takes a lot of time and effort, but form change can be accomplished. I ran
      19 miles today, and am pretty sure I managed to avoid the heels for almost
      the entire way. Are you working with Jeff at PRSfit?


    • Ooops, I meant stress fractures

  5. Pete,
    Thanks for bringing this panel discussion to our attention. I thought it was excellent. It definitely reinforces my belief that my efforts in making a transition to this form have been well worth it. Your blog keeps getting better and better!

  6. Tamara Bailley says:

    Thanks for converting into mp3 files, Pete. This is a big help for me especially the form. I had a horrible experience while running barefooted until I tried using newton shoes. In fact, I have a picture of my right deformed foot here – Newton shoes really helps me a lot. Thanks again, Pete.

  7. Joe Garland says:

    I didn’t listen to it all, but too much seems of the view that one should run “natural” because it’s natural. Like unpasteurized milk? Was anything said about the fact that the last two Americans to win NY are heelstrikers (who presumably would not have won were they forced to run midfoot)?

    But for all of this, the key, and right with what we spoke about on RRT, is at 2:45 of number 2, it doesn’t matter where you land but how you land. (Jay Dicharry)

    • Pete Larson says:


      It gets back to the whole issue that I brought up that heel striking
      is a spectrum. Meb heel strikes, but he also doesn’t seem to have an
      extended leg while doing so. He did win NYC, but he also fractured his
      hip while running in the Olympic Marathon trials, so it’s hard to say
      if what he is doing is good or bad. I also don’t think we can really
      know if he would be better or worse if he switched to midfoot. What
      will be interesting is to see how Dathan Ritzenhein does at the NYC
      marathon this Fall as Alberto Salazar recently switched him to a
      midfoot strike (along with Alan Webb).


      On Wednesday, September 22, 2010, Disqus

  8. I created a tinyurl to make it easy to download on my smartphone, which is where I’ll listen to it:

    Thanks for writing this great blog & sharing your experience and knowledge.


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