Wanderlust Festival – Yoga in the City – LA 2014

Santa Monica, CA – Hundreds of Yogis and Yoginis gathered on the Santa Monica Pier for the Wanderlust Festivals special one day LA event “Yoga in the City – LA.”

The short video above doesn’t show much of the yoga because I didn’t want to stop and shoot video while I was deep into the class. Just know, the yoga rocked and then we rocked.

Yoga in the City featured some of LA’s top yoga teachers. They lead 3 one hour classes with AcroYoga and Copoeira demonstration in between the classes.

I am leading ChiRunning® workshops at the Squaw Valley Wanderlust Festival, July, 17 – 20, so I wanted to check out the Wanderlust vibe. All I can say in WOW! I had a fantastic time. Now I can’t wait for July. Register Here

I signed up for the 4:30 PM class lead by Tommy Rosen, Kia Miller and Shiva Rea. I got there at 3:30, walked around the Kula Market and had a glass of grapefruit and sage kombucha. That was really tasty. The 3 PM class was packed. It was fun just watching such a large group of people doing yoga. Great music spun by DJ Drez added to the high energy.

It was a warm a windy afternoon. My class started out with Tommy Rosen. We started out with a session of Breath of Fire Pranayama. We did it longer than I normally do, and I found it challenging to go that long. Tommy then took us through basic forward folds, extensions and chair poses that really opened up my tight lower back. It had a strong Power Yoga feel to it.
tommy rosen
Kia Miller followed Tommy. Kia took us through sun salutation variations. I love sun salutations. Being out on the pier, looking at the ocean and being immersed in all that energy was awesome.

Next was Shiva Rea. Shiva’s classes always seem to be atypical yoga to me. But, the way she gets you to flow with you breath and movement is magical. The events I have been to with Shiva usually end up in dancing. The music DJ Drez was playing during Shiva’s class were these cool tribal drums tracks. It worked perfectly with the flowing yoga. Everyone ended up dancing, smiling and feeling great.

I hope I can find one of Tommy’s classes here in LA. I loved his portion of the class and attitude. I will be taking Shiva Rea’s class in Squaw Valley this July. Don’t miss a Wanderlust opportunity near you!

Yoga Focused,
Steve Mackel – Master ChiRunning® Instructor

108 Sun Salutations – Part 2 – My Intentions / Goals Are Set

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We finished up the 108 Sun Salutations last Thursday night with 27 B series to start and 27 A Series to finish. Once again my arms were toast, once again my mat was covered with sweat even though the room temp never got higher than 72 degrees. I feel great today.

The groups rocked it. Trust me this is a tough practice. I am always surprised how few gym members actually show and the group that does tend to be endurance athletes.

Last night we set our 2014 intentions and goals. We wrote them them and sealed them in 9 times last night. We talked about how to attain success and we shared one of our goals for accountability.

After 5 years of doing this I feel great again. I feel renewed. I feel fresh and ready to take on these challenges.

Thank you everyone that showed over the last two Thursdays. Thank you for the support and thank you for your effort.

2014 better watch because we are coming after ya! I’m thinking Summer Equinox for the next 108 Sun Salutations.

For more information on setting clear and defined goals check out this post: http://marathontraining.tv/steves-post/setting-goals-for-the-new-year-by-running-coach-steve-mackel

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Yogi

108 Sun Salutations – Over Two Thursdays Jan. 2 & 9 at 7:30 PM

108 2014

Join Steve Mackel and the yoga crew at BreakThru Fitness in Pasadena, do it Virtually or get your yoga studio to host their own. The 108 Sun Salutations will be broken in half, 54 on Thursday, Jan. 2, and 54 on Thursday, Jan 9, at 7:30 PM

The first 54 will be for purification and the second 54 will be for setting your intentions for 2014. Each night’s 54 Sun Salutations will consist of 3 sets of 9 “A Series” and 3 sets of 9 “B Series” Bring in 2014 with purification and intention the way yogis do. The classes with Coach Steve are at Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena, CA. Members are free of course, and for these special classes, there is a $10 charge for non-members. This special price is only for 108 Sun Salutations. More info to come.

Practice Focused, Steve Mackel – Yogi

108 Sun Salutations Thursday, Jan. 12, and Thursday, Jan. 19, at BreakThru Fitness in Pasadena

This Thursday, January 12, 7:30 PM, at Breakthru Fitness we are starting my annual, kick-off the new year, 108 Sun Salutations. This week, we will do 54 Sun Salutations and Thursday, January 19 we will do another 54 to make the total of 108. Our focus this week will be purging out the clutter in our lives we don’t need. Get rid of bad feelings you may be harboring, release pent up anger, let go of guilt, grief, stress, insecurities, whatever may be holding you back. This “Sweatfest” will help you purge it out, so be prepared. This is a difficult class but all levels welcome, you move at your speed. Do what you can.

This year we are very blessed to have two of my favorite yoga teachers co-teaching the class with me. Susan Wiens – Yoga Beyond the Mat and Mark Frankel. You can attend even if you are not a BreakThru member. Non-Members only are only $10 for these two classes (normally $30) but you must tell the front desk person you are my guest. BreakThru Fitness has mats and towels if you need them.

Breakthru Fitness is located at 345 South Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105 Phone: (626)396-1700, on the corner of Del Mar and Lake upstairs next to Trader Joes with plenty of free parking in the parking structure.

If you want more get there at 6:30 PM and take my Spinning class first. What a 1 – 2 punch!

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Yogi in Training

Free Yoga for Runners this Sunday, September 11, at Lululemon Pasadena 10 AM

Free! Yoga for Runners class this Sunday, September 11, 10 AM at Lululemon Pasadena, 110 W. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91105. You will gain flexibility, strength and a better body/mind connection if you continue to practice yoga. That’s why Gary and I preach yoga as one of the best cross-training workout for all athletes. It also makes us more aware ChiRunners. We practice mostly basic postures. You don’t have to be a pretzel person or super flexible to gain the benefits of Yoga for Runners. All levels welcome

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Yogi/ChiRunner

This Wednesday, July 20, the final 54 of 108 Sun Salutations at Breakthru Fitness, 7:30 PM, in Pasadena

Come join me this Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30 PM, at Breakthru Fitness even if you are not a member. Special for Non-Members only $10, if you tell the front desk person you are my guest. Breakthru Fitness has mats and towels if you need them.

Breakthru Fitness is located on the corner of Del Mar and Lake upstairs next to Trader Joes with plenty of free parking.

If you want more get there at 6:30 PM and take my Spinning class. What a 1 – 2 punch!

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Yogi in Training

Trail Running and Yoga for Runners – Starts This Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 PM


Scenes From Last Year's Thursday Nights

It’s back one of the best Summer group workouts in the area – Thursdays Trail Running at 6:30 PM and Yoga for Runners at 7:15 PM.

We meet at the Picnic Area just South of the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, Click here for directions

5 years ago I started the now famous PTC Brick and now I am doing something like it again. Join us on Thursdays for this great combination workout that will benefit all athletes. The trail run is a 4 mile loop on the Arroyo trail down to South Pasadena, over the bridge, back up the other side to the archery range, then back to the grassy area. We’ll finish with my special Yoga for Runners class.

This workout is appropriate for all levels of athletes, from beginners to advanced. The trail run is 4 miles or 40 minutes whichever comes first meaning, slower runners head back after running 20 minutes out, no matter where they are on the course. This trail is downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back. You’ll get a good run in and can focus on your second half strength since it is uphill. Yoga for Runners is a non-traditional yoga class that combines strength and flexibility. We focus on core strength along with flexibility. This part of the training is 45 minutes and we are usually done by 8 PM.

My Thursday Workout Purpose: I am a believer in understanding the purpose of each workout. In fact, I am surprised how few people talk about workout intensity because every workout is just about getting it done. You need to vary the intensity of your weekly training to make your greatest gains. With that said, I created this workout as a high intensity workout. Many of your high intensity workouts will be shorter. I use the 4 mile loop as an above race pace tempo run or sometimes as an all-out 30 minute effort. I’ll be wearing my Heart Rate Monitor too. We follow this with a Yoga for Runners class emphasizing strength building.

I ask all the athletes I work with to really learn to listen to their bodies. This is a primary tenant of yoga.

When you increase intensity, you increase the chance for injury. Pay close attention, find your edge and know when you need to back-off.

If you already have a bunch of high-intensity workouts take it easy with us on Thursdays. Every workout is your own, do what's right for you.

If you are new to yoga, Yoga for Runners was created with beginners in mind. I will discuss form in detail and how it can improve your running, biking and swimming. You go according to your ability level.

What do you need to bring? Running clothes, sweats (in case it cools down) and a yoga mat or a towel. We do the yoga on grass so I just use a towel for our seated poses. I like to be barefoot on the grass.

I recommend you do the entire workout yet many just show up for the yoga, while some just join us for the run.

Cost: As many of you know I’ve been coaching free workouts for years. This year I am asking that you consider making a donation after the training. I’ll bring a box that you can give what you like. I think somewhere between $3 – $10 is fair and it is up to you. I will take 25% of whatever I make each week and donate it to a local charity.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Yoga Teacher

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Strength and Balance Training for Speed with ChiRunning® Coach Ryan Miller

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ChiRunning® Coach Ryan Miller out of Boston runs a 5k in 15 minutes and change, that's fast, you do the math. With ChiRunning® and a stability disc, he has taken time off his old PR. He demonstrates some exercises and talks about secrets that help him pass his

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competitors.

Check out Ryan Miller web site: http://www.sisuproject.com/

Balance and Focus, Coach Steve, CPT

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Read This Article on Shoes, Feet and Running

I posted this article instead of linking to it because some people were having a difficult time getting to it (sorry). This article was linked on the Pasadena Triathlon Club members forum and started invoking quite a few responses. I really like it and I talk a lot about many of its points in my ChiRunning® lessons, in my yoga classes and the importance of massage. I will be commenting on it over the next few days. now check it out.

The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money?

Thrust enhancers, roll bars, microchips…the $20 billion running – shoe industry wants us to believe that the latest technologies will cushion every stride. Yet in this extract from his controversial new book, Christopher McDougall claims that injury rates for runners are actually on the rise, that everything we’ve been told about running shoes is wrong – and that it might even be better to go barefoot…

By CHRISTOPHER McDOUGALL

Last updated at 8:01 PM on 19th April 2009
The painful truth about trainers

Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 per cent of all runners suffer an injury. No matter who you are, no matter how much you run, your odds of getting hurt are the same

At Stanford University, California, two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company’s sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred.

Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer… nothing.

‘Didn’t we send you enough shoes?’ they asked head coach Vin Lananna. They had, he was just refusing to use them.

‘I can’t prove this,’ the well-respected coach told them.

‘But I believe that when my runners train barefoot they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.’

Nike sponsored the Stanford team as they were the best of the very best. Needless to say, the reps were a little disturbed to hear that Lananna felt the best shoes they had to offer them were not as good as no shoes at all.

When I was told this anecdote it came as no surprise. I’d spent years struggling with a variety of running-related injuries, each time trading up to more expensive shoes, which seemed to make no difference. I’d lost count of the amount of money I’d handed over at shops and sports-injury clinics – eventually ending with advice from my doctor to give it up and ‘buy a bike’.

And I wasn’t on my own. Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 per cent of all runners suffer an injury. No matter who you are, no matter how much you run, your odds of getting hurt are the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, fast or slow, pudgy or taut as a racehorse, your feet are still in the danger zone.

But why? How come Roger Bannister could charge out of his Oxford lab every day, pound around a hard cinder track in thin leather slippers, not only getting faster but never getting hurt, and set a record before lunch?

Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons

Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico’s Copper Canyons

Then there’s the secretive Tarahumara tribe, the best long-distance runners in the world. These are a people who live in basic conditions in Mexico, often in caves without running water, and run with only strips of old tyre or leather thongs strapped to the bottom of their feet. They are virtually barefoot.

Come race day, the Tarahumara don’t train. They don’t stretch or warm up. They just stroll to the starting line, laughing and bantering, and then go for it, ultra-running for two full days, sometimes covering over 300 miles, non-stop. For the fun of it. One of them recently came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing nothing but a toga and sandals. He was 57 years old.

When it comes to preparation, the Tarahumara prefer more of a Mardi Gras approach. In terms of diet, lifestyle and training technique, they’re a track coach’s nightmare. They drink like New Year’s Eve is a weekly event, tossing back enough corn-based beer and homemade tequila brewed from rattlesnake corpses to floor an army.

Unlike their Western counterparts, the Tarahumara don’t replenish their bodies with electrolyte-rich sports drinks. They don’t rebuild between workouts with protein bars; in fact, they barely eat any protein at all, living on little more than ground corn spiced up by their favourite delicacy, barbecued mouse.

How come they’re not crippled?

Modern running shoes on sale

Modern running shoes on sale

I’ve watched them climb sheer cliffs with no visible support on nothing more than an hour’s sleep and a stomach full of pinto beans. It’s as if a clerical error entered the stats in the wrong columns. Shouldn’t we, the ones with state-of-the-art running shoes and custom-made orthotics, have the zero casualty rate, and the Tarahumara, who run far more, on far rockier terrain, in shoes that barely qualify as shoes, be constantly hospitalised?

The answer, I discovered, will make for unpalatable reading for the $20 billion trainer-manufacturing industry. It could also change runners’ lives forever.

Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, has been studying the growing injury crisis in the developed world for some time and has come to a startling conclusion: ‘A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.

‘Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had a much lower incidence of knee injuries.’

Lieberman also believes that if modern trainers never existed more people would be running. And if more people ran, fewer would be suffering from heart disease, hypertension, blocked arteries, diabetes, and most other deadly ailments of the Western world.

‘Humans need aerobic exercise in order to stay healthy,’ says Lieberman. ‘If there’s any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run.’

The modern running shoe was essentially invented by Nike. The company was founded in the Seventies by Phil Knight, a University of Oregon runner, and Bill Bowerman, the University of Oregon coach.

Before these two men got together, the modern running shoe as we know it didn’t exist. Runners from Jesse Owens through to Roger Bannister all ran with backs straight, knees bent, feet scratching back under their hips. They had no choice: their only shock absorption came from the compression of their legs and their thick pad of midfoot fat. Thumping down on their heels was not an option.

Despite all their marketing suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all in injury prevention

Bowerman didn’t actually do much running. He only started to jog a little at the age of 50, after spending time in New Zealand with Arthur Lydiard, the father of fitness running and the most influential distance-running coach of all time. Bowerman came home a convert, and in 1966 wrote a best-selling book whose title introduced a new word and obsession to the fitness-aware public: Jogging.

In between writing and coaching, Bowerman came up with the idea of sticking a hunk of rubber under the heel of his pumps. It was, he said, to stop the feet tiring and give them an edge. With the heel raised, he reasoned, gravity would push them forward ahead of the next man. Bowerman called Nike’s first shoe the Cortez – after the conquistador who plundered the New World for gold and unleashed a horrific smallpox epidemic.

It is an irony not wasted on his detractors. In essence, he had created a market for a product and then created the product itself.

‘It’s genius, the kind of stuff they study in business schools,’ one commentator said.

Bowerman’s partner, Knight, set up a manufacturing deal in Japan and was soon selling shoes faster than they could come off the assembly line.

‘With the Cortez’s cushioning, we were in a monopoly position probably into the Olympic year, 1972,’ Knight said.

The rest is history.

The company’s annual turnover is now in excess of $17 billion and it has a major market share in over 160 countries.

Since then, running-shoe companies have had more than 30 years to perfect their designs so, logically, the injury rate must be in freefall by now.

After all, Adidas has come up with a $250 shoe with a microprocessor in the sole that instantly adjusts cushioning for every stride. Asics spent $3 million and eight years (three more years than it took to create the first atomic bomb) to invent the Kinsei, a shoe that boasts ‘multi-angled forefoot gel pods’, and a ‘midfoot thrust enhancer’. Each season brings an expensive new purchase for the average runner.

But at least you know you’ll never limp again. Or so the leading companies would have you believe. Despite all their marketing suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all in injury prevention.

If anything, the injury rates have actually ebbed up since the Seventies – Achilles tendon blowouts have seen a ten per cent increase. (It’s not only shoes that can create the problem: research in Hawaii found runners who stretched before exercise were 33 per cent more likely to get hurt.)

Roger Bannister

OXFORD, 1954: Roger Bannister crosses the finish line, running a mile in 3:59.4, in thin leather slippers

In a paper for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine last year, Dr Craig Richards, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, revealed there are no evidence-based studies that demonstrate running shoes make you less prone to injury. Not one.

It was an astonishing revelation that had been hidden for over 35 years. Dr Richards was so stunned that a $20 billion industry seemed to be based on nothing but empty promises and wishful thinking that he issued the following challenge: ‘Is any running-shoe company prepared to claim that wearing their distance running shoes will decrease your risk of suffering musculoskeletal running injuries? Is any shoe manufacturer prepared to claim that wearing their running shoes will improve your distance running performance? If you are prepared to make these claims, where is your peer-reviewed data to back it up?’

Dr Richards waited and even tried contacting the major shoe companies for their data. In response, he got silence.

So, if running shoes don’t make you go faster and don’t stop you from getting hurt, then what, exactly, are you paying for? What are the benefits of all those microchips, thrust enhancers, air cushions, torsion devices and roll bars?

The answer is still a mystery. And for Bowerman’s old mentor, Arthur Lydiard, it all makes sense.

‘We used to run in canvas shoes,’ he said.

‘We didn’t get plantar fasciitis (pain under the heel); we didn’t pronate or supinate (land on the edge of the foot); we might have lost a bit of skin from the rough canvas when we were running marathons, but generally we didn’t have foot problems.

‘Paying several hundred dollars for the latest in hi-tech running shoes is no guarantee you’ll avoid any of these injuries and can even guarantee that you will suffer from them in one form or another. Shoes that let your foot function like you’re barefoot – they’re the shoes for me.’

Soon after those two Nike sales reps reported back from Stanford, the marketing team set to work to see if it could make money from the lessons it had learned. Jeff Pisciotta, the senior researcher at Nike Sports Research Lab, assembled 20 runners on a grassy field and filmed them running barefoot.

When he zoomed in, he was startled by what he found. Instead of each foot clomping down as it would in a shoe, it behaved like an animal with a mind of its own – stretching, grasping, seeking the ground with splayed toes, gliding in for a landing like a lake-bound swan.

‘It’s beautiful to watch,’ Pisciotta later told me. ‘That made us start thinking that when you put a shoe on, it starts to take over some of the control.’

Pisciotta immediately deployed his team to gather film of every existing barefoot culture they could find.

‘We found pockets of people all over the globe who are still running barefoot, and what you find is that, during propulsion and landing, they have far more range of motion in the foot and engage more of the toe. Their feet flex, spread, splay and grip the surface, meaning you have less pronation and more distribution of pressure.’

Nike’s response was to find a way to make money off a naked foot. It took two years of work before Pisciotta was ready to unveil his masterpiece. It was presented in TV ads that showed Kenyan runners padding
along a dirt trail, swimmers curling their toes around a starting block, gymnasts, Brazilian capoeira dancers, rock climbers, wrestlers, karate masters and beach soccer players.

And then comes the grand finale: we cut back to the Kenyans, whose bare feet are now sporting some kind of thin shoe. It’s the new Nike Free, a shoe thinner than the old Cortez dreamt up by Bowerman in the Seventies. And its slogan?

‘Run Barefoot.’

The price of this return to nature?

A conservative £65. But, unlike the real thing, experts may still advise you to change them every three months.

Edited extract from ‘Born To Run’ by Christopher McDougall, £16.99, on sale from April 23

PAINFUL TRUTH No 1

THE BEST SHOES AND THE WORST

Runners wearing top-of-the-line trainers are 123 per cent more likely to get injured than runners in cheap ones. This was discovered as far back as 1989, according to a study led by Dr Bernard Marti, the leading preventative-medicine specialist at Switzerland’s University of Bern.

Running in muddy terrain

Dr Marti’s research team analysed 4,358 runners in the Bern Grand Prix, a 9.6-mile road race. All the runners filled out an extensive questionnaire that detailed their training habits and footwear for the previous year; as it turned out, 45 per cent had been hurt during that time. But what surprised Dr Marti was the fact that the most common variable among the casualties wasn’t training surface, running speed, weekly mileage or ‘competitive training motivation’.

It wasn’t even body weight or a history of previous injury. It was the price of the shoe. Runners in shoes that cost more than $95 were more than twice as likely to get hurt as runners in shoes that cost less than $40.

Follow-up studies found similar results, like the 1991 report in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise that found that ‘wearers of expensive running shoes that are promoted as having additional features that protect (eg, more cushioning, ‘pronation correction’) are injured significantly more frequently than runners wearing inexpensive shoes.’

What a cruel joke: for double the price, you get double the pain. Stanford coach Vin Lananna had already spotted the same phenomenon.’I once ordered highend shoes for the team and within two weeks we had more plantar fasciitis and Achilles problems than I’d ever seen.

So I sent them back. Ever since then, I’ve always ordered low-end shoes. It’s not because I’m cheap. It’s because I’m in the business of making athletes run fast and stay healthy.’

PAINFUL TRUTH No 2

FEET LIKE A GOOD BEATING

Despite pillowy-sounding names such as ‘MegaBounce’, all that cushioning does nothing to reduce impact. Logically, that should be obvious – the impact on your legs from running can be up to 12 times your weight, so it’s preposterous to believe a half-inch of rubber is going to make a difference.

When it comes to sensing the softest caress or tiniest grain of sand, your toes are as finely wired as your lips and fingertips. It’s these nerve endings that tell your foot how to react to the changing ground beneath, not a strip of rubber.

To help prove this point, Dr Steven Robbins and Dr Edward Waked of McGill University, Montreal, performed a series of lengthy tests on gymnasts. They found that the thicker the landing mat, the harder the gymnasts landed. Instinctively, the gymnasts were searching for stability. When they sensed a soft surface underfoot, they slapped down hard to ensure balance. Runners do the same thing. When you run in cushioned shoes, your feet are pushing through the soles in search of a hard, stable platform.

‘Currently available sports shoes are too soft and thick, and should be redesigned if they are to protect humans performing sports,’ the researchers concluded.

To add weight to their argument, the acute-injury rehabilitation specialist David Smyntek carried out an experiment of his own. He had grown wary that the people telling him to trade in his favourite shoes every 300-500 miles were the same people who sold them to him.

But how was it, he wondered, that Arthur Newton, for instance, one of the greatest ultrarunners of all time, who broke the record for the 100-mile Bath-London run at the age of 51, never replaced his thin-soled canvas pumps until he’d put at least 4,000 miles on them?

So Smyntek changed tack. Whenever his shoes got thin, he kept on running. When the outside edge started to go, he swapped the right for the left and kept running. Five miles a day, every day.

Once he realised he could run comfortably in broken-down, even wrong-footed shoes, he had his answer. If he wasn’t using them the way they were designed, maybe that design wasn’t such a big deal after all.

He now only buys cheap trainers.

PAINFUL TRUTH No 3


HUMAN BEINGS ARE DESIGNED TO RUN WITHOUT SHOES

‘Barefoot running has been one of my training philosophies for years,’ says Gerard Hartmann, the Irish physical therapist who treats all the world’s finest distance runners, including Paula Radcliffe.

Ethiopian Abebe Bikila on his way to gold in the 1960 Olympic marathon - running barefoot

Ethiopian Abebe Bikila on his way to gold in the 1960 Olympic marathon – running barefoot

For decades, Dr Hartmann has been watching the explosion of ever more structured running shoes with dismay. ‘Pronation has become this very bad word, but it’s just the natural movement of the foot,’ he says. ‘The foot is supposed to pronate.’

To see pronation in action, kick off your shoes and run down the driveway. On a hard surface, your feet will automatically shift to selfdefence mode: you’ll find yourself landing on the outside edge of your foot, then gently rolling from little toe over to big until your foot is flat. That’s pronation – a mild, shockabsorbing twist that allows your arch to compress.

Your foot’s centrepiece is the arch, the greatest weight-bearing design ever created. The beauty of any arch is the way it gets stronger under stress; the harder you push down, the tighter its parts mesh. Push up from underneath and you weaken the whole structure.

‘Putting your feet in shoes is similar to putting them in a plaster cast,’ says Dr Hartmann. ‘If I put your leg in plaster, we’ll find 40 to 60 per cent atrophy of the musculature within six weeks. Something similar happens to your feet when they’re encased in shoes.’

When shoes are doing the work, tendons stiffen and muscles shrivel. Work them out and they’ll arc up. ‘I’ve worked with the best Kenyan runners,’ says Hartmann, ‘and they all have marvellous elasticity in their feet. That comes from never running in shoes until you’re 17.’

SO SHOULD WE ALL BE RUNNING BAREFOOT?

BY JUSTIN COULTER, SPORTS PODIATRIST

Skeleton foot

Running barefoot may have some benefit in muscle strengthening as the muscles have to ‘tune in’ to the vibrations caused by impact loading.

If, like Zola Budd, you grew up running barefoot on a South African farm, your tissue tolerance would adapt over time. But for someone who has grown up wearing shoes and is a natural heel striker (see right), the impact loading will be beyond tissue tolerance level, and injury will occur.

We are all individuals, therefore it is prudent to have your own running technique assessed and work around that.

As for getting out your old worn out trainers and running in them – don’t! Based on the individual’s size and running surfaces/conditions shoes should be changed between 500-1,000 miles. It’s best to seek the advice of a specialist running store.

Running in trainers

Running barefoot

Yoga Teacher Training with Rosie Good Starts in May


Dear SoleRunners,

“If you want to learn something, teach it” Yogi Bhajan

It is my pleasure and honor to introduce you to Rosie Good. This is my yoga teacher. If you wonder why the yoga you practice with me in class or after running is so effective…this beautiful woman’s spirit and dedication to yoga is the reason.

Four years ago I began doing yoga. And three years ago I decided to take Rosie’s teacher training. Mainly just to learn more…she has more in class hours than any other yoga teacher training in Los Angeles.

Something happened to me in that training. I cannot even begin to explain the shift in consciousness…but it was profound. Runners comment every Saturday why I seem so calm and relaxed…I simply say it’s because I practice yoga.

I could barely touch my toes when I started Yoga Teacher Training with Rosie and now I have amazing flexibility.

More than that though, in a teacher training class you learn about the history, philosophy, and traditions of yoga. You read amazing books like the Bhagavad Gita and The Upanishads.

The best thing about the training for me was…I became a yoga teacher. Rosie has you teaching from day one…granted just one pose…but it builds from there.

By the time I was finished the training, I could teach for 30min – 60min easily and with confidence. Since then I’ve taught classes throughout Los Angeles, Catalina Island, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Most importantly, I’ve helped a lot of people become more flexible and recover from their running. I’ve brought a little peace and harmony and love in the world through a yoga mat. That’s pretty cool. And it wasn’t even me…it was just teaching this amazing tradition of yoga.

Well, SoleRunners is about to start in April. Since Steve and I started coaching together a few of our runners have become yoga teachers. We love to give aspiring yoga teachers the opportunity to teach to our runners or to help out our classes in the studio. We will help mentor you and give you teaching opportunities.

To tell you the truth, we need more yoga teachers. The one’s we’ve mentored like Larry and Laura have gone on to develop a busy teaching schedule beyond SoleRunners. Yes, yoga teachers are in demand.

So if you’ve been doing yoga for a while and would like to take things up to the next level, or would like to become a teacher so that you can impact the lives of many people in a positive way, then seriously seriously think about enrolling in Yoga Teacher Training.

And if that’s the case, I can think of no better teacher to study under than Rosie Good. Both Steve and I have taken many a yoga class from many a yoga teacher and Rosie is as good if not better than many of the “big” names in Los Angeles. And you get the convenience of a local yoga studio in a small class.

Her teacher training starts on May 1st and goes to October 4th. It is INTENSIVE (that’s why I loved it). You meet on Fri’s 7-9, then Sat/Sun 12-5. So if you are marathon training, you can still make the class.

The cost is $1400 which is an AWESOME price. Especially for all those in class hours and personal treatment from Rosie. Just look around on the internet for other programs…you’ll see.

So if you’re interested contact Rosie soon. Her number is 310-521-9555.

You can also visit her and talk to her about the training at her studio…http://www.yoga-bindu.com/.

Namaste and God Bless,

Coach Gary

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