The New York Times ran an article this week about how beginning runners are not well served by the massive amounts of advice being offered on running form and running shoes. What do the doctors say?
When it comes to running form, Dr. Bredeweg said, “we don’t know what is the right thing to do.” For example, he noted, forefoot strikers place less stress on their knees but more on their calves and Achilles tendons.
“We tell people we don’t know a thing about the best technique,” he said. He tells runners to use the form they naturally adopt.
The problem of excessive advice is pervasive in the world of fitness. Everyone is trying to sell an exercise routine that they claim is the best. Whether it’s weight training, Crossfit, yoga, pilates, or running, people are evangelists of what they do, and professionals are even worse.
For people who aren’t exercising regularly, the most important thing is to start doing something. It doesn’t even matter what it is. If you don’t like what you’re doing, try something else, but keep exercising. The idea that there’s one master program is completely false. If some exercise doesn’t feel good, find something else.
Eventually, once you’ve been exercising for awhile, you may set goals that your exercise routine isn’t helping you meet, and you’ll need to find a coach, do more research, or just up your intensity, but it’s not worth worrying about before you reach that point.
The truth is that Nike has always provided the best advice when it comes to working out — just do it. If you can consistently challenge yourself over a long period of time, almost everything else will take care of itself.