Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally by. Kelly Starrett and TJ Murphy puts to rest the myth that shoes are the cause for most people's running injuries. They provide a variety of evidence from their experience, interviews from doctors and other researchers to show that weak areas of our body contribute to the running injuries we experience.
Starrett and Murphy provide a framework of 12 standards for runners to test themselves. They also provide a list of exercises to work on and build strength in the weak areas of the body to prevent or recover from a running injury.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways:
1. Enjoy a lifetime of running -- Starrett writes "the key to enjoying running for a lifetime lies within the body itself, and your job is to pave the way." Enjoying running starts with being healthy running. Making sure to stretch and take care of your muscles, connecting tissues and more. Find the root of the pain and correct it through strengthening exercises.
2. Go barefoot as much as possible-- Being barefoot strengthens and mobilizes your feet. If you live near the beach, it's a lot easier going barefoot than if you live where there is rocky soil and clover with bees everywhere. Starrett suggests spending as much time as possible barefoot to strengthen your feet.
3. Bring all pain and problems to the surface-- When you hurt or become injured, don't mask the injury and continue running. If it hurts, STOP! Runners should know their bodies enough to know whether the pain is from pushing yourself or their is an issue causing the pain. Analyze the pain and if it's caused by a possible injury stop. I know this all too well. I continued to run with an injury and I'm just now beginning to build mileage after a few months of short 1 mile runs.
4. Sit as little as possible...find ways to stand--This can be difficult for me at times since I do a lot of computer work. Take time every hour to stand. If possible, raise your computer to a level where it is possible to stand. Lots and lots of research exists and tells us that sitting is killing us.
5. You can improve-- Starrett says it's important to "celebrate the opportunity to improve. It is performance just lying there waiting for you to grab it." It starts with the attitude it is possible to get better. Knowing it's possible to improve is the driving force behind making lifestyle changes. Start today!
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.