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Running Tips – Foot Strike

One of the big talking points the last few years in running is regarding where runners should be landing on their feet. Should I heel strike, heel toe roll, midfoot strike, forefoot strike, land on my toes? We can debate this all day long and everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter. Before modern running shoes with cushiony, elevated heels were invented, very few runners would over-stride. Today, the vast majority of runners over-stride, causing more forces to impact their joints.

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9 Tips for Running Through Pregnancy

In the not-so-distant past, women were told that exercising during pregnancy was dangerous to mother and baby. Thankfully, medical professionals, as well as the general public have come to their senses, and not only is exercising during pregnancy accepted, but is highly recommended. However, even with the doctors giving women the go-ahead, many expectant mothers continue to have the fear that exercise—particularly running during pregnancy—may harm her and/or her baby.

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8 Tips for Running in the Dark

On June 21 of this year, you were most likely basking in the sun and enjoying the first official day of summer, also known as the Summer Solstice. On this day, the sun is at its highest point, making for the longest day of the year. The next day, however — while you may not have noticed it — there was less sunshine than the previous day. That trend would then continue until Dec.

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5 Tips to Running Safely at Night

November marks the season of change – changing weather, changing light conditions, and ever-changing training schedules. As a runner, it’s as important as ever to make sure that you are safe and visible out on the pavement and trail. So in honor of November being Run Safety Month, here’s a list of five essential winter run tips that will help keep you running smart and safe all season. Be Bright and Visible It’s winter.

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Night Running in the Mountains

The National Park Service states on their Appalachian National Scenic Trail page, “Use extra caution if hiking alone. When you hike alone, you are more vulnerable. Hiking with a partner may add a measure of safety but should not lead to complacency and a false sense of security. Being prepared and alert at all times is essential.” The dangers of venturing alone into the mountains is drilled into our heads from an early age.

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Tips for a Better Marathon this Season

With marathon and race season now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to brush up on how to best improve your race speed, efficiency, and endurance. Doing so could make all the difference— even shaving off precious minutes and seconds from your race time. Learn how ultra athletes hone their skills (and how you can too) to reach that next PR. Warming Up for a Marathon Before any intense running, it’s well worth it to warm up the muscles with dynamic stretches (based on movement, rather than statically holding a pose) and jogging.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Next Marathon

Now that we are in the thick of fall marathon season, we hope you look forward to race day…or maybe you were a little hung over when you clicked submit and you are not so sure about that upcoming race. Either way Whether it is a marathon you are racing this fall or you first ever half marathon or 10k we want it to be the best experience that you have ever had!

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Learn to Run: Low Impact Landing

Today, as part of our 4 part quick course on learning to run, let’s talk_ _low impact landing. ‹ Land softly underneath a bent knee ‹ Avoid overstriding and excessive heel striking A proper, low impact foot strike is the result of having proud posture, compact arms, and quick steps. Thinking about foot strike can cause lower leg fatigue, cramps, or other problems, and should be avoided. Each runner has their own unique foot strike which is impacted by genetics, surface, and speed of running.

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Learn To Run: Proud Posture

There are 4 key steps to great running form, founder Golden Harper gives his tips for what it means to run with proud posture: •‹ Stand tall, gaze forward •‹ Keep chest forward and shoulders back and relaxed •‹ Don’t bend at the waist Run tall, run proud! Straighten your back and push your chest and hips forward—this will cause gravity to help ease you in to your next step. Make sure to keep the shoulders back but relaxed and never bend at the waist.

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Learn To Run: Compact Arms

What does it mean to run with nice, compact arms? ‹ Short, compact, relaxed arm movement ‹ Pump back and recover forward, don’t sway side to side ‹ Elbows should not extend in front of the waist unless sprinting Most runners use far too much arm movement. In contrast, elite runners and efficient runners move their arms as little as is necessary. They pop their elbow back actively and then let them passively recover forward while the other elbow is popping back.

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Learn to Run: High Cadence

To wrap up our focus on the learning to run, let’s discuss high cadence. What does it mean to have a high cadence? Here’s what you should shoot for- ‹ Maintain approximately 170-180 steps per minute ‹ Count 30 steps per leg in 20 seconds for a 180 cadence ‹ Light, soft & quick foot placement A high cadence—or quick steps—is proven to reduce impact and improve foot strike and running efficiency.

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Natural Foot Positioning: The Perfect Balance

True Zero Drop (exact same amount of cushioning under heel and toe / feet perfectly parallel with the ground) is the only offset that promotes a truly natural foot strike. Research by Brooks researchers has shown that even a 4mm drop causes an unnatural, more impactful landing. If you are trying to fix shin splints, knee issues, or back pain, then true Zero Drop is your best solution. What Altra does with weight balancing the shoe perfectly from front to back is also important in making sure the foot doesn’t impact the ground early.

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#LTRchat Wrap Up: Cadence

Question 1: Should you focus on cadence? Why? @ultracraig: Yes because it helps control your pace and stride length. @Jeremy1st: I have found improving my cadence helps me to be more efficient and take less stress to run farther. @runbanshee: To a degree. It lessens impact on joints. It’s not the biggest factor though @KK_Skora: If working on form, I think cadence is a good focus. @runbanshee: I run with a metronome once a week for cadence.

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Running Tip: Cadence

Improve Cadence Gradually to Reduce Injury & Improve Efficiency Gradually increasing the steps you run in a minute—known as cadence—may be the single most effective way to reduce high impact over-striding and improve running efficiency. Consciously monitoring and improving your cadence can improve your run times and reduce nagging knee pain. Is changing to a 180 Cadence always correct? Runner’s World recently published an article on cadence citing research from the 1984 Olympic Marathon.

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Running Tips: Cleaning Your Shoes

Are your shoes dirty? Maybe a little rank? Do they need to be cleared of any foot fungus or just nasty odor? Here are a few tips to get them smelling like roses (or at least cleaner than they are). We want your feet to feel fresh and clean and that means having clean shoes as well. Many have asked about the proper method to clean their Altra Zero Drop shoes!

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Running Tips: Technique Affects Performance

Many people say that running is easy. You just go out and do it, right? Unfortunately, much of what the vast majority of distance runners know about running technique is wrong. Paying attention to your running form is important, and a major factor in how effective a runner is, regardless of skill level. Improving your running form will increase your efficiency and reduce your chance of injury. Distance running with proper technique requires a concerted effort and involves the entire body.

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Running Tips: Trail Vision

A lot of people are scared to take up trail running because they fear the rocks and potential to fall and get hurt. That is an understandable fear because it will eventually happen to every trail runner no matter how many precautions they take. There are a few simple tips to help you be successful and reduce the risk of injury, however. One of those is something I call ‘trail vision’ – knowing where to look at the trail depending on the speed and incline in which you are traveling.

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Running Tip: Consistency

Rhythm… That repetitive action that causes us to bob our heads or tap our toes. It is the instinctual nature to continue moving forward that resonates into our life of running. I am often asked how I was able to push through the tough times of running, back when it wasn’t ‘fun’. For so many people, the monotony and boredom is so overwhelming that they can’t stick with it. I often find myself telling people the key to running enjoyment and improved performance is Consistency.

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Pioneering Zero Drop

A few years back we worked to provide runners with a better running experience. We found that many were limited in their training due to some type of running injury. This was a big hurdle in them achieving their elite level at races and doing what they wanted to do. We found that there were two types of runners at the time that were among the least injured; Ultramarathoners and Barefoot Runners.

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The Running Debate Grows

A lively debate has ensued throughout many blogs and forums over the past 6 months to a year about the benefits of Zero Drop footwear and Barefoot Running. Many forums have been created following the publishing of the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. There has also been a great following of Barefoot Running enthusiasts through Twitter, Facebook, Barefoot Runner’s Society, and many more avenues. This has continued to spread a wildfire of the Natural or Minimalist running gospel throughout the online cloud.

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Altra Takes Part In The Re-Evolution of Running

Altra is pleased to announce that we have the opportunity to take in part in the Re-Evolution of Running community event in West Virginia this week. Golden will be there presenting and here is the event details below. Contact Person: Mark Cucuzzella MD Phone: (304) 268-8813 mark@freedomsrun.org{.mailto}   “Re-Evolution of Running Returns” Free Community Event Brings International Leaders to Shepherdstown   Shepherdstown, WV.  Running injury prevention leaders from around the globe are gathering in Shepherdstown for a 3 day conference to discuss best evidence and best practices to prevent and treat running injury.

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The Perfect Storm – A Running Revolution

You can’t open a running magazine these days without something about form, technique, minimalism, or barefoot running being discussed. Every month Runner’s World, Running Times, Trail Runner, Triathlete Magazine, and other noted publications are publishing something about the topic. NOW is the “Perfect Storm” for Zero Drop™ to be rising to the market. As we look at the events over the past few years we see every leading issue coming to this.

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Benefits of Running

Humans really are obligatorily required to do aerobic exercise in order to stay healthy, and I think that has deep roots in our evolutionary history, If there’s any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run. – Dr. Daniel Lieberman Everyone that runs has a reason that they get off the couch, leave the office, wake up before the birds, or push 80lbs worth of child flesh in a wheeled mechanism.

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The Best Shoe Lacing Technique Ever

Here’s our personal favorite lacing technique for nearly every foot type—those with wider feet especially love it. Back when we managed running specialty stores, about 80% of customers preferred & used this lacing. This unique lacing system allows the forefoot complete room to expand and breathe while securing the heel and preventing “lace creep”. Simply skip straight under from the first set of lace holes to the second without crossing, and then skip straight over to the third set without crossing.

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The Detriment of Heels

You have to land on your heel to overpronate, and you can only land on your heel if it’s cushioned. -Born To Run For years running shoes have been sold with an elevated heel. The reasoning behind this is to lengthen the stride, supposedly reduce impact, as well as to provide additional cushion. More so they have done this out of pure tradition. Many have gone to rebuttle this theory as of late.

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