Natural running is more than a current trend. It’s become a big part of many elite runners’ training regimes. So what are the benefits and how do you effectively make it a part of your training?
Natural running means using specially designed shoes that give you a more direct ground feeling. The shoes cut away only the essentials and let your feet move naturally. It’s a different style of running that feels unrestricted, flexible and smooth.
Why Natural Running?
Thousands of road runners feel the benefit of natural running, and use natural running shoes as a frequent alternative to their “first” running shoes.
- Develop a more efficient gait with a shoe that encourages a smooth, natural running motion
- Land on your mid-foot to evenly distribute your weight and use your body’s own natural cushioning
- Strengthen your lower leg with technologies designed to train your foot muscles
- Prevent injuries with stronger foot muscles developed over time using the shoes
Starting to Run Naturally
Natural running is a more demanding style of running. Along with its obvious rewards, it requires more of you as a runner. Here are some tips to get you started:
Start off gently
- Your first few natural runs will test your calf muscles and Achilles Tendons more than usual. So start off slowly and run about 3-4 kilometres per week in your new natural running shoes.
Get the right shoe
- There are different types of natural running shoes – each one has been stripped back to varying levels. Finding the right one can make your running safer and more enjoyable.
Mix up your running
- Natural running should be one part of your overall training regime. It’s recommended to run 1-2 times a week in natural running shoes. The benefits of this variation are fewer injuries and a more efficient gait.
Be careful if you’re an overpronator
- Flat-footed runners need to be particularly careful. Running in natural running shoes might overload your joints, so listen to your body and adjust the frequency of your natural running.
- Check out running shoes designed especially for overpronation.
Strengthen key muscles
- Since it’s a more demanding style of running, exercises that work out important muscle groups can really help your performance.