Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Skillz, a challenge, and perspective in the news

  If I were to ask you if you have running skill would you answer yes or no?  Or are you the kind of person who would call bullshit and say that its a ridiculous question that needs context to be useful?

The above question is fun to play with and could be applied to many things in life. Kind of like asking a baseball player if they are good at playing baseball. They might answer yes but they can pitch a shut out and yet strike out at bat every time, so was the question reasonable in the first place?  Same with running.  You could be an excellent sprinter and lousy marathoner and yet call yourself a "good runner".  There are so many perspectives in life that a debate about shod vs barefoot is only the tip of the iceburg and when we actually get to the complexity is when it really starts to get interesting!

I thought I would share some links that are showing promise and upping the levels of complexity in the debate of shod vs. barefoot. 

This is a quote from Jason Robillard today on Barefoot Running University

"This is a quickly-developing story.  The details are a bit sketchy, but the news was too exciting to pass up.
Recently Zero Drop posted a quote from Simon Bartold of Asics. 
This led to a spirited debate, which was continued on Runblogger.  I mentioned the debate in my last post.
As a result of these debates, Dr. Craig Richards of Hunter Gait and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running, offered to conduct independent testing of shoes if manufacturers were willing to submit the shoes."

A call for manufacturers to submit their shoes for independent testing.....brilliant!   Whether or not manufacturers submit shoes or not will be telling in and of itself.

 Also there is a blog out called The Science of Sport that talked about presentations at the recent meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver.  There was a symposium on barefoot running that was led by Irene Davis and Daniel Lieberman, both advocates for barefoot running and top scientists in this field.
The blog goes over what was presented at the symposium.  Good stuff and I really do like graphs :)

Have you heard of Dr. Irene Davis?  Here is a Runners World interview with her.  She has been a leading researcher in the running field for 20 years and has recently taken a new position in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School as director of the Spaulding National Running Center that she is developing.

“I believe there is a compelling body of evidence that suggests we need to consider a paradigm change," ~ Irene Davis~

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming......Run smiley!


misszippy said...

No doubt running is a skill and one that can be perpetually fine tuned.

I am very familiar with Irene Davis--I actually tried to go see her a while back when she was in Delaware but it was right after she left for Harvard. I think she and Lieberman are a great team!

Johann said...

I sometimes feel I have no running skill. But if so, why and how have I run more than 100 marathons and more than 100 ultras? I must have something somewhere I guess. I'm not a star but I suppose I can run, even if it is slow...with skill.

Anonymous said...

I def feel skillless! I still need shoes for my half IM! UGH!

Jennifer said...

What a great post! Do you know if the barefoot coaching program has opened to the public yet? Would love to do that:)

Jen said...

Skills....lets see. That is hard. I'm not sure what I have except for a love of my body in motion. That dance with nature, the rythmic feel of movement, of action. That thing we call running.
I read that article and thought it that the interviewer was quite obvious in her bias. But I thought she did a great job answering her and clearing things up.

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