Evolution Running: Run Faster with Fewer Injuries
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Evolution Running DVD. Run Faster with Fewer Injuries. Athletes in every sport devote enormous attention to perfecting even minute details of the movements they will be required to produce in competition. Running should be no exception.
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I set out to change my running form and unfortunately I went to books first instead of videos. Mistake. I wish I had found this DVD *first*. I have been investigating barefoot running, chi, and POSE, and much of it confused me, as authors tend to describe the same thing 20 different ways. And I'm sorry, a series of 50 still-frames printed in black-and-white across two pages of a book is NOT THE SAME as a VIDEO! There is simply no substitute for video when trying to learn a dynamic motion.
While this is not hollywood-quality production, it is more than good enough, and it has the information where it counts, mainly the ability to "see" what people with correct form are doing, compared to the inefficient stride that most amateurs are using. In this case a $25 DVD and 45 minutes of your time is worth weeks and weeks spent with a stack of books.
This DVD leaves little out -- it talks about "barefoot" running but avoids falling into the "cult of barefoot weirdos". It simply says barefoot runners are efficient, and that you can apply the same efficiency techniques while wearing shoes. Perfectly logical to me.
The DVD also covers using a metronome for cadence (way helpful!), and is very insightful about the theory of running uphill and downhill which most books say NOTHING about ... namely that very little should change in your form whether running flats, up, or downhill. Also a refreshingly logical perspective.
It also shows SIMPLE drills to help you feel the right way to spring off your feet. Which also makes complete sense because deep down running is simple. I shouldn't need a gym full of rubber bands and fitballs and 5 coaches to teach me how to put one foot in front of the other. The simple drills and images in this video helped me instantly "get it" instead of reading complex descriptions like "the foot should land and rotate at such-and-such position toward the medial axis of blah" ... or "think about running on ice" or "think about running on water" ... well, which is it, water, ice, what? Video is worth 1,000 wasted descriptions.
I might recommend that newcomers get this DVD in conjunction with *reading* about running technique of whatever method. Deep down they are all more similar than different -- there is only one way to run and land on the forefoot, after all.
If I came at this DVD out of the blue, I might not think much of it. But after reading through 10 books and websites about running theory and using myself as a guinea-pig, I now recognize that this DVD hits on ALL the main points of efficient running that I have been reading about everywhere else. They did a superb job at being concise and effective. The DVD is deceptively brief, there is A LOT here.
Even more importantly (bad for me though!) is there is a brief TROUBLESHOOTING section on the DVD. It lists about 5 or so major mistakes that people make when trying to change their form. Unfortunately I made them all, thanks to the books I read.
Like the title of my review says, I wish I would've found this DVD first. It makes total sense.
As far as negatives go, this DVD spends a bit too much time explaining the mechanics of why heel-striking is bad. I already knew that, so I had the "preaching to the choir" type of experience. I think most people who buy this DVD are already looking for an alternative to injury-creating running form, so they didn't have to harp on it so much. It's a small criticism though.
Another negative is that they didn't really explore the performance gains, and how to apply the new techniques to running FAST. I know that the coach is training champion triathletes, and their testimonials are in the videos, but the specifics on how much improvement a person can get from changing their technique would have made the video even that much more compelling. One person says she went from being a local elite to #3 in the world (impressive!) but there's no specifics on race times or data. They do say that you can be 4% or 5% more efficient, and that equates to a couple of minutes per hour off your PR times... and maybe that's as specific as they can get legally, or whatever, but it would have been nice to have more detail about real-world training and performance.
Then came Evolution Running. I never thought that one must learn to run. But you do and, as with everything in life, repetition with good form/habits is the key to progressive success.
So for those of you who can't imagine running 5 miles, but dream of finishing 100, do this: (1) buy the video, (2) ditch those wedge-heeled shoes that the big manufacturers historically pushed, (3) slow down, (4) and gradually go longer, (5) while putting the foot strike and postural recommendations made in (1) to practice. See you on the trails!/K
I am so grateful to this DVD for the information it contains. I now understand how to land with a midfoot strike - it happens gently, and without really trying - when you use proper, efficient form. Running at 180 strides per minute is very hard for me right now - I have lost a lot of conditioning due to the PF. I bought a digital metronome, Amazon has a good one for about $20 that clips to your running shorts. I can see how incredibly fast a runner can be when they run the way this DVD describes, and how much easier it is on the body than traditional heel-strike running.
The DVD also discusses uphill and downhill running - no more jarring downhills, and has a section of drills to practice. I found the drills very helpful in learning to use the method correctly. The first part of this DVD talked about things I had read about in my research - foot strike, stuff like that. My favorite part of this DVD is the second half, where IMO it really gets into the key parts of correct form. I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone who loves running and wants to reduce injury and/or increase their speed.