- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (June 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781616083748
- ISBN-13: 978-1616083748
- ASIN: 1616083743
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paperback – June 1, 2012
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Peter Larson has looked quite hard at the genuine scientific research that has been done across a range of disciplines, to see which claims can be substantiated and which cannot. There are some surprises: not only is there no reliable scientific support for the classic categorization of runners into over-pronators, neutral runners and supinators (with corresponding shoe recommendations) but in some studies people did better (ie got fewer injuries) when running in the 'wrong' shoes.
Larson also considers the contribution anthropology makes to understanding how humans evolved as runners, concluding that for persistance hunting a gait rather like Jeff Galloway's 'run/walk' was probably natural. But he also notes the significant differences between modern man and our ancestors---not least in the way that our feet have been altered by the time we reach adulthood simply by wearing modern shoes.
This is by far the most objective look at the whole are I have seen, but that doesn't make it dry. Larson also uses anecdotal evidence from the great runners and coaches of the least hundred years to explore his topics, and his tone is consistently light and easy to read.
Most telling of all, he avoids doctrinaire conclusions, accepting that there probably is no single 'right' way to run, no single shoe that's 'right' for every runner. His book offers information, guidance and suggestions, including a final chapter with somne specific ideas on everything from footstrike to nutrition; but in the end he concludes simply that just as people vary, so will their running styles, and they key is to use all the information to help you find what works best for you.
"buy these shoes" or "run this way," then keep looking. What you will understand is that even though man ran distance for millions of years, our current environment of shoes and cities has had an effect on how our bodies have developed. Sure, the genetic code is still there and all of the biomechanics are still present, they have not gotten the right development and use. You can still get there and this book gives many insights into how you can find the ancient runner inside you. It also gives you the confidence to experiment and understand what your body is saying and how to listen. For me, it has articulated what I was beginning to think and given me many new paths to read and understand more. Running for fun and pleasure is the payback.