The April 2013 issue of Outside magazine features an article about the two different perspectives on running. On one side are the minimalists such as Mark Cucuzzella, Born to Run author Christopher McDougall, and Harvard’s Irene Davis. On the other side are the traditionalists including kinesiologist Joe Hamill, and podiatrists Simon Bartold and Kevin Kirby. As writer Andrew Tilin rather dramatically describes it, “the minimalists believe they’re poised to inherit the earth. The traditionalists have no plans to surrender.”
Though both camps are guilty of oversimplification and stubbornness, they manage to find some common ground. I know which side I fall on, firmly believing that if not for the invention of the conventional overbuilt running shoe, many more people would be running today.
You don’t Know How to Run
By Andrew Tilin
On a summer day inside the Pentagon, Mark Cucuzzella is mobilizing the troops. “Everyone stand up. I want you to feel this,” Cucuzzella barks from the front of a big conference room. The audience is full of military officers dressed in Army or Marine Corps fatigues, Air Force blues, and Navy khakis. They’ve assembled in the Library and Conference Center, part of the Department of Defense’s massive headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia.
The officers quickly get to their feet.
“Now pretend like you’re jumping rope,” Cucuzzella says, and the officers start to quietly pogo off the balls of their feet. Epaulets bounce. Combat boots meet carpeted floor and produce muted thuds.
“One, two, three! One, two, three!” Cucuzzella says. The officers speed up their hops to match his cadence. “Up off the ground, nice and smooth.” Read More »