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San Diego Marathon Clinic (est. 1976) Message Board › Running Ball/Heel/Ball instead of Heel Strike

Running Ball/Heel/Ball instead of Heel Strike

Ozzie G.
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Post #: 4
In 1996 I went to the user group rec.running to have my answers questioned...and they were. More often attacked would be a better word when talking about there being a better way of running than heel strike.

One of my early articles written and shared with barefoot running was about landing Ball/Heel/Ball. After all these years, it looks like research is catching up with the numerous experiments of one that took place at rec.running when it was focused on sharing all things running.

As I championed Ball/Heel/Ball I was certain that it would not be in my lifetime that the general populus would realize that there is a correct form and style for running...especially after several generations of coaches. These coaches said it was natural for people to run and they didn't need any training or coaching to run properly. Having been at it for over 20 years of teaching this method of running, I saw the tipping point way off in the distance. It seems that I was wrong in this thinking.

With Born to Run and the research of Dan Lieberman and others, we are now realizing that running barefoot or at least with minimalist shodding: e.g. Vibram Five Fingers is more appropriate for homo runnicuslikehellicus.

So with the work of Danny and Kathrine Dreyer and ChiRunning and the work of Nicholas Romanov and his family with Pose Method as systems of teaching running that make this form of running available for all

One of the early questioners of thick, cushiony running shoes was Steven Robbins, MD. Back in 2007 he was quoted.

Steven Robbins, M.D., of Concordia University in Montreal, has fired another arrow at the shoe industry.His latest barb is in plain language, " ... it might be more appropriate to classify athletic footwear as 'safety hazards' rather than 'protective devices.'"

Running and jumping stress your feet and legs.Too much stress causes problems, and there's a high injury rate among runners and aerobic dancers.There is evidence that this injury rate has increased recently.Also, there's a claim that people who wear expensive shoes are hurt more often than those who wear cheaper shoes.Robbins argues this means modern shoes aren't effective.

The Argument for Bare Feet

Robbins has surveyed populations who go barefoot.He says running injuries are rare in these people.He argues this means feet are naturally durable, but they lose it when we wear shoes.

In another study, Robbins encouraged runners to carry out as much barefoot weight-bearing activities as possible.After four months, their arches had shortened, and this goes along with stronger feet.Robbins thought this happened because barefoot weight- bearing made them use muscles weakened by shoes, and led to a general strengthening of their feet.

Robbins found bare feet responded to increased forces in a way that reduced those forces.He believes the more your feet are stressed, the harder they respond to lower the stress.

In San Diego there are two ChiRunning/ChiWalking coaches I know of: Ben Boyd and Chris Nico. At present I am the only Pose coach here.

You might be interested in the DVD's for ChiRunning and Pose Method

I'll be at the Marathon Clinic most Sundays to teach an introduction to Pose Method and ChiRunning. I'll put on the calendar the dates I'll be at the Marathon Clinic. When I'm not there, the Marathon Clinic continues as it has for 34 years with someone warming the group up and then breaking into walking groups, runs of social 6 miles, social 8 miles around the bay, a sometimes social 10 miles, plus a 13 miler usually led by Dave Chaudron.

See you at DeAnza Cove, and check the calendar for the MeetUps that show the Intro class.

Please add your thoughts, sharings, reflections, questions regarding running ball/heel/ball.

And remember that in Pose Method and ChiRunning the heel does touch although the body weight is more on the ball. If you don't allow the heel to touch then you can expect sore calves.

For Pose remember, there is no push off. Also when you get it, you'll realize that a Pull in Pose Method, creates the Pose. That is, Pull and Pose are reciprocal meaning as soon as you Pull, you are in Pose and as soon as you are out of Pose you are in Pull. Both for me are at 180 steps/minute cadence.
A former member
Post #: 6
I'm looking forward to my leg healing so that I can try ball/heel/ball with my FiveFingers!!!
Ozzie G.
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Post #: 5
What is/was the injury and what do you think needs healing?

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