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Makau Sets World Marathon Record...In Shoes!!

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kevin Kirby, Sep 25, 2011.

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    September 25, 2011: Patrick Makau, from Kenya, breaks the world marathon record in Berlin in 2:03:38.



    Of course he was wearing shoes! Every single international marathon champion for the past 50 years has won their marathon events while wearing shoes. Where were all the barefoot racers? If there were any, they got dusted by the shod runners somewhere very far back in the pack.

    I just wanted to state the obvious and give a little equal time to how shoes may contribute to world records. The reason is that, if Makau had been barefoot, all the barefoot running enthusiasts and the popular media would have been all over the fact that a barefoot runner that had won an international marathon barefoot and would have been claiming that this provides evidence that barefoot running is faster and better. However, when these elite athletes win time after time in shoes, there is no mention of this obvious fact and no suggestion that it could possibly have been the advanced shoe technologies of today that are possibly allowing these new world records to be set.

    Good job Patrick!
  2. Kevin, the cynical side of me says that you are blowing on the embers of a flame which has never really been alight here in the UK anyway. If there ever was a summer of love for barefoot running, it's pretty much over and winter is coming. There will be the die-hards standing alone in their blankets at the end of Woodstock, but it's time to learn from the experience and move on, man. Peace y'all.
  3. Simon:

    Yeah....just got done with that barefoot running debate with Irene....guess I'm still feeling the effects.....
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  5. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    He looks to be heel striking to me:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  6. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  7. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    ..a lovely phrase.......is that Mr Bono?
  8. mr2pod

    mr2pod Active Member

    Simon, it is well and truly alight in Australia from my point of view at least. A lot of personal trainers are "training" their clients to run this way, the shoe stores are full of "minimal" shoes etc. etc It's probably cos we here in Oz follow the trends of America more than the UK, but whatever the reason its something I am dealing with on a constant basis.
  9. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    As it is a working day in the Middle East, I had to content myself with following the race via http://www.sportsscientists.com/
    They made the following comment...
    I would love to have seen that footage!
    These guys have done a great review on the whole barefoot/running form debate...
  10. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Good for business!
  11. Nope it's a Spooner original.
  12. blinda

    blinda MVP

  13. Beat me to it


    I do sometimes miss the post apocalyptic morning after a really good 3 day outdoor music festival - I digress ;)
  14. Yeah, that and Danny the drug dealers proclamation that "they're selling hippy wigs in Woolworths, man" were the inspiration.

    "They're selling minimalist running shoes in TK Maxx, man"
  15. Jonathan

    Jonathan Active Member

    Won't be long -

    I was at the British Champs - Off Road Triatholon at the weekend at Hawley Lake. I thought off road triatholon would be perfect for barefooters. Swim barefoot, Run barefoot, it was offroad after all. Think of the time you could save during transition. Only worry was going barefoot on the MTB, could you go barefoot screwing some astro turf to the pedals etc.

    Swim, grab bike, rack bike then run - that's two mins saving for most

    But alas the all opted for running shoes instead -
  16. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    Triathletes don't get a choice. The international rules state that you must run in shoes, also can't use an iPod during a race....
  17. Jonathan

    Jonathan Active Member

    Okay explains alot, but i also think the flint stone in Hampshire might also prevented anyone trying if they could.

    My wife 'bless' ran in a pair of finely tuned Brooks Clycerin and won the wms
  18. Jonathan

    Jonathan Active Member

    I can understand the barefoot ban, but why would anyone want to access facebook, twitter, music, video or even make a phone call during a race :eek:
  19. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Well, it should be fairly obvious to wear footwear over a hard/rough bitumen surface for 42.2km... well, for at least most intelligent people whose prime objective is to get the best performance from themselves over the distance. Then there are those in the western world who have an agenda &/or want to make some type of vanity/ego type statement by wearing no shoes in a city marathon... but these runners usually finish at the fat end of the field (i.e. like Lieberman's 4hr plus marathon). I state the western world as I'm sure there are runners who may not have much choice or finances to run in running shoes in less developed countries - however, these countries may also be a bit more conducive to barefoot running anyway.

    Although even here, shoes are worn... Haile Gebreselassie Endurance movie...

    5min.18 – marathon start.

    It would be wise for runners to carefully choose the most appropriate marathon shoe for themselves based on their running history, biomechanics & body weight (hence role of Podiatrist). A more economical (lighter weight) minimalist/racing flat to aid protection & mild cushioning will be suitable for some but not so for these increasingly prominent larger/fatter biomechanically inept entrants who may require a more supportive/cushioning shoe (albeit with lower heel-toe pitch – i.e. zero drop). Last Sunday I was training in Centennial Park which was part of the course for the Sydney Marathon & I was surprised at some of the sizes I saw running through the 22km point. The early days of marathons did not have these large shapes jogging/walking their way to a 5-6hr plus marathon... there should be a criteria of sorts for marathon entrants (but that's another very controversial issue in itself). Speaking of which...

    True, probably more so in Sydney. We even have Lieberman coming to Sydney next month to conduct & speak at a running workshop... brought out by a company called barefoot inc. (Dr Dan Workshop and Talk/Q&A) . Why? :confused: His pseudoscientific evolutionary arguments are pointless & scientifically erroneous when explaining the theory side of things... & I'm sure he has nothing to further add to the more worthy practical application when it comes to the drills & exercises conducive for better running efficiency. Like I've said before, some in the barefoot movement may be enthusiastically ambitious, however, may also appear to be more fascinated with fame & fortune than with serious science & performance.

    I also came across a blog entry today discussing one runners experience during a technique/form training session with a "technique coach" (who is also a barefoot/forefoot strike exponent). Now this "technique coach" is a good runner (4 x M55 World Champion and holds all 5 M55 World Records from 1500m to 10,000m) & I'm sure he is sincere in helping runners. However, there are dangers that the general public (& even coaches) may not be aware of... session blog here...

    An unfortunate likely Achilles rupture which could well end this runner’s career. I'm sure the principles could have been sound but the application just wasn't appropriate for this individual's state of conditioning. I'm all for drills & exercises as well running barefoot as a training tool but obviously a more in depth assessment was needed before hand for this individual... as well as better feedback from both parties.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  20. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I just came across an interesting spin on this. They weren't really heel striking, its was actually a proprioceptive heel strike and that is OK....GOK what a proprioceptive heel strike is!!

    For anyone who has read Stephen Laws book, Believing Bull****, will recognize the semantic moving of the goalposts as a defense when your bull**** does not fit with an observation. I also suppose that barefoot runners who heel strike, are also 'proprioceptive heel striking'.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  21. Craig:

    I think it is Blaise DuBois who coined the term "proprioceptive heel strike".


    Now it seems the "experts" have determined that if you can "proprioceptive heel strike" then heel striking is OK. However, if you have a "non-proprioceptive heel strike" then that is bad and will cause injury?!

    It is amazing how these self-proclaimed "experts" come up with these qualifications for all the BS they have been spreading for the past few years in order to explain their obvious errors and misrepresentations of what constitutes normal running biomechanics! I find it all rather sad but funny...all at the same time. :boxing::craig::eek:
  22. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I have had some dialogue with Blaise over this and I can accept that if the heel does contact the ground that this may initiate some impact moderating behavior... BUT, that is NOT proprioceptive ..... this has be be mediated via exteroceptive pathways and not the proprioceptive pathways.
  23. There is not enough time between the initiation of heel contact and heel impact peak (i.e. passive peak) for the central nervous system to react to this signal. Benno Nigg has been saying this for about two decades now. Therefore, heel strike can't be proprioceptevie or exteroceptive. The decision to heel strike or not heel strike must be "decided" well before heel impact by the CNS since once heel impact has occured, the CNS can't react quick enough to modify it.

  24. Which is why leg stiffness is adjusted after the 1st contact and before the 2nd. Not during the 1st, always wonder why leg stiffness research stated that point. now I know

    Thanks Kevin.

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