One thing I do know, you're as ignorant about natural running as I am about climate change. If you knew how the human body's supposed to work with running, you wouldn't be saying these things.
Captain Slow wrote: Euan wrote: Captain Slow wrote:
Euan wrote:A common misconception. I'm not saying you can jump in to running on concrete straight away, of course not. Modern living has atrophied the necessary muscles etc in our feet to allow for that. But to say there are no hard surfaces in nature akin to concrete is absolute bollocks. We are more than capable of running on such surfaces without injury; moreover there actually kinder by being regular in nature; no bumps and so on to challenge our balance....
I don't think I'm suffering from any misconceptions. Can you name these "hard surfaces in nature akin to concrete"? I can't think of any. Sure there is lots of rocky ground, but its not continuously smooth and perfectly hard for miles and miles at a time like a footpath or bike path.
Just what sort of shock absorption properties do you think normal ground has? Bugger all, especially in the dry or when freezing. Anyone who's played rugby in sub zero temperatures knows that. Shock absorption comes from the body, not from the surface that you're walking on. We've been conditioned to believe that we need cushioning from walking surfaces, we don't. All we need is a little protection for the skin in certain terrains. Shock absorption is the body's job.
Yes, I've played rugby on packed, dry, hard clay, but I wouldn't even try to do that on concrete. Concrete does not have any give at all. But it's not so much that, but that fact that a lot of people choose a path of running that may consist of nothing but concrete for 10 or miles. As for the permafrost, you're grasping at straws there. Homo-sapiens first evolved in East Africa, not a lot of frozen ground to influence the selection process.I really don't see how you can talk about "natural running" without considering how natural the ground is
. There is nothing natural about concrete.
EDIT: Found a freely available study, albeit with a very limited sample size. In the discussion the following is said:
Hypothesis 7a, that a more dampened (cushioned) substrate should attenuate the impact forces and reduce tibial accelerations was not supported. In reverse strike(RS) runners, the Rate of Loading(ROL) was unchanged but the magnitude of the impact force actually increased. In Heel strike(HS) runners,
- 80 -
the magnitude of impact force was unaffected, but the rate of loading was decreased. It was predicted that the effect of cushioning might be moderated by compensatory increases in lower limb compliance when running on less cushioned surfaces. This seems to be the case.
A further question to consider is why RS runners do not run with the same degree of compliance on more cushioned surfaces and further attenuate impact forces. The answer to this question may relate to energetics. If it is energetically expensive to increase compliance (McMahon et al., 1987) and if impact forces are a source of injury and increased compliance leads to attenuated impact forces, then runners would be expected to adjust compliance in a way that balances energetic costs and risk of injury. It may also be the case that runners stay below some threshold magnitude of impact force that keeps the risk of injury relatively low. If RS runners adjust compliance in order to maintain impact forces that are below this threshold, then they might decrease compliance when running on more cushioned surfaces in order to reduce energetic costs while maintaining a safe magnitude of impact force acting on the body.
Reverse strike runners are habitually barefoot / minimal footwear runners; therefore this study supports that harder surfaces are better for barefoot running, not worse. My personal experience supports this
.http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~skel ... is2007.pdf
A wise person once said "better to let the world think you are a fool then open your mouth and let them know"
I think you are rude Euan. Generally your posts are knowledgeable and give pause for thought in this case I think you have missed the point.
To me Capt Slow is correct. In a man made environment if you so choose you could go for a 20km run on smooth flat concrete. In a "nature" if you can find a surface as "hard" as concrete in would not be continuous for 20km there would be variations in the surface that I suspect would give your feet a rest and let them work in a slightly different manner to stabilize your body while running. Maybe you do want to challenge your balance while running.
Maybe he means running on a flat hard surface is better than running on beach sand or some other surface that moves underfoot.
But Euan has spoken. Running on barefoot on concrete is good better for you than a surface found in nature.
The paper is from a honors degree and is not peer reviewed so is not really worth much.
Excuse me while I go and bang my head against a wall.