Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University, studied 300 Kenyan runners from the Kalenjin Tribe since 1987.
Lieberman discovered that because we learn to make better use of our muscles when we run barefoot, it reduces the impact on the body, and therefore it improves the running economy.
His research got him into barefoot running himself, and his publication “Born to Run” in 2004 gave runners food for thought.
After years of injuries, running author and journalist Christopher McDougall started digging as well. Why couldn’t he run without pain? He discovered that the Tarahumara Tribe in Mexico can run in the jungle for days, on just some self-made sandals. He also realized that his cushioned shoes gave him discomfort.
After six months of training and running in a more natural way, without cushioned shoes, McDougall could join a race with the Tarahumara’s. He ran a whole day in the heat on hilly trails, without getting injured at all.
But despite the benefits of natural running, most of our bodies aren’t used to it anymore.
After running on (cushioned) shoes for years, changing to more minimalistic running too sudden, can lead to injuries as well.
So how to run?
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