Thursday, November 11, 2010

Karl Meltzer's Run on the Pony Express Trail

This video documents Karl Meltzer's record breaking run on the Pony Express Trail. Not the type of dirt trail most think of when trail running, but an awesome run nonetheless.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Superior Trail Running Tour

Video showing an Adventure Running Co. trail tour on the Superior Trail in Northern Minnesota.

Superior Trail Tour 2010 from Andy Holak on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners

This is a great video documenting the work that the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners do to run the Highlands Sky 40 mile trail race and also to maintain trails in federal wilderness areas. The Highlands Sky 40 mile race is one of the few in the nation that runs through federally designated wilderness. The Wilderness Act which created the wilderness preservation system doesn't allow races in wilderness areas. The legislation used to create the new Roaring Plains and Dolly Sods Wilderness Areas specifically allowed the race to continue. This video documents the great work that the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners do to care for these special trails. You can find out more about WVMTR here as well:

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Balance Minumus Line: A Sneak Peak

Cool video featuring Anton Krupicka and the simplicity of trail running with a sneak peak of the new New Balance Minimus shoe

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great Event Calendar for Upper Midwest Trail Runners

Check out the Upper Midwest Trail Races blog for a great calendar of trail running events for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, the Dakotas, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Very comprehensive and well updated.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Donner Lake Rim Trail

From the Truckee Donner Land Trust:

The Donner Lake Rim Trail, a project of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, is almost entirely an all-volunteer effort to build a trail encircling the peaks around Donner Lake. Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians can enjoy the stunning views of the Lake, Mount Rose and the Pacific Crest from the trail, which will be 23 miles when complete.

Trail runners too!

For more information visit: Truckee Donner Land Trust

Monday, February 1, 2010

Florida Trail Running

Check out this great resource for Florida trail runners - Florida Trail Running

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Humans Were Born To Run Barefoot

Article from National Public Radio. Here's the NPR Link to the All Things Considered audio of the program about barefoot running.

January 27, 2010

Humans are excellent two-legged walkers. It's one of the things that make us such successful creatures.

And there are some scientists who say we're naturally born runners as well, that our bodies evolved to run. Now, anthropologist Dan Lieberman, one of the proponents of the "human runner" school, concludes that we do it better without shoes.

He says human ancestors needed to run well — both away from big animals and after small, tasty ones, for example. He based that view on fossil bones. But lately he's been studying runners — living ones.

Video: A Look At Running With And Without Shoes

Shoes Or No Shoes, That Is The Question

It started at a lecture he gave before the Boston Marathon. A barefoot runner — someone who runs long distances without shoes — peppered the professor with questions he couldn't answer. So Lieberman took him to his lab at Harvard University. He had him run over a flat metal plate that measures the collisional force of a footfall. Lieberman says runners generate a lot of collisional force.

"Most runners, when they land and they heel-strike — they land on their heel — they generate this sudden impulse, this sharp spike of force. So it's like someone hitting you on the heel with a hammer, about 1 1/2 to 3 times your body weight," he says.

Two runners: one with shoes, one without.
Benton et. al.

Most shod runners land on their heels, which generates a sudden, sharp spike of force. Barefoot runners land farther forward, closer to the ball of their foot, which exerts much less force in comparison.

But Lieberman was surprised by the extremely low force readings made by the barefoot runner.

"He ran across the force plate, and he didn't have [a high spike], and I thought, gee, that's really amazing, and it kind of makes sense because that spike of force hurts, and I wonder if other barefoot runners do that."

So Lieberman tested several groups of runners: Kenyans who'd been walking and running barefoot all their lives; Americans who grew up walking and running in shoes; and some who had switched from shoes to running barefoot.

On The Ball

Lieberman found that runners in shoes usually landed heel-first. Barefoot runners landed farther forward, either on the ball of their foot or somewhere in the middle of the foot, and then the heel came down — much less collisional force.

And people who switched from shoes to barefoot running eventually, without prompting, adopted the barefoot style. Lieberman, who runs marathons himself, says the reason is simple.

"It's pain avoidance. It's very easy to do. I mean, your body naturally tells you what to do," he says.

Running shoes dampen the shock of a heel-first landing, so that's probably why shod people run that way, Lieberman says.

But is that the most efficient way to run? Lieberman thinks not.

"Turns out that the way in which barefoot runners run seems to store up more energy," he says.

More Spring Out Of The Step

To understand how that works, I talked to anthropologist Brian Richmond at George Washington University. He points out that the human foot has an arch with ligaments inside that stretch and contract with every footfall.

"It allows the arch of the foot and the calf muscles to act as a better spring and to store up energy, and then give it back in the beginning of the next step," Richmond says.

Think of a compressed mattress spring pushed down and then released. Richmond agrees with Lieberman that the front-first landing of barefoot running probably capitalizes on that spring mechanism more than heel-first landing — it gets more spring out of the spring.

Richmond, in fact, has discovered fossilized footprints dating back 1 1/2 million years. Those human ancestors who left them had an arch. They were walking when they left the prints, but Richmond suspects that when they ran, they landed front-first.

"It looks like this is how our ancestors have been running for a million years or more," he says. "It's only been in the last 10,000 years that we've had any kind of shoes, really."

Lieberman published his findings in the journal Nature. He received research funding from a company that makes "minimal" shoes, which mimic barefoot conditions, but he adds that he received no personal income from the company. He also says he's not taking sides over which style of running is better or safer.

"I mean, I think we have to be really, really careful about what we do and don't know. We have not done any injury studies; this is not an injury study," he says. That's next.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to transition to running in minimalist shoes

I’ve had several questions about my minimalist transition, how to’s, etc. So I thought I’d look back and try to put it in a generalized “how-to” post, based on my experience. With the benefit of hindsight, I put it into a generic 8 week program to be full time in a minimalist shoe in 2 months. I personally made the full transition in 6 weeks, but please keep in mind, I’m an ultrarunner and typically run a minimum of 2000 miles a year, compete in a least 6 ultramarathon races per year and have been doing this for nearly a decade. So, my transition may be a bit quicker than most. However, if you spend time barefoot and re-learn your proper running stride (barefoot), listen to your body and don’t overdue it giving your body time to adapt, I truly believe you can do this. And, it won’t take as long as you might think. Happy natural running!

Read the rest of the article on Jeff Brownings blog!