Natural running and the road to becoming a more confident athlete
One year. It took me one whole year, just thinking about natural running, before I had the confidence to make the switch. I had been running for years in a heavy stability shoe. That was the conventional wisdom at the time…go to the running store, get fit, go run. I have flat feet. Of course I needed motion-control! The experts at the store and the shoe companies knew best. I had to listen. I ran fairly happily in my stability shoes for years, albeit with the occasional injury here and there. I knew where to get them cheap on-line (usually last year’s version), because at 350 miles they were “dead.” I trained and raced, even scoring my first BQ. But there was always a little voice in the back of my head asking “can we do better?” I never found an answer until I heard about natural running (from a Newton runner). It all seemed so perfect and magical…run with good form the way your body was meant to, go faster , recover better, less injuries. But how could I, with my big, flat feet, run like that? The shoe companies made big shoes to protect people like me. I had it in my mind that I was different…not special…not a born runner. If I wanted to continue I needed special, supportive shoes. I had it completely wrong.
After a year of thinking, wondering, contemplating, and “what-if-ing,” I bought my first pair of Newtons. I read the package directions, looked on-line about form, listened to podcasts on the subject. I had all the information….it was time to take the plunge. I ran one mile. One glorious, life-changing mile. I knew right away I was onto something with natural running form. I wondered, how come I am just hearing about this NOW? I made sense, when I thought about it logically. Good form is key in all sports. Why wouldn’t running be one of them?
I still had it in my head that I was not special. How dare I kick aside my stability shoes? But as the weeks passed and my mileage increased, so did my confidence. Six months later I ran a marathon in my Newtons and PR’d by 10 minutes, feeling great the entire time. Never had I felt so good and so strong. In a world full of doubts and a head full of “you can’ts,” natural running says “you can.”You can run free and strong. Whether you choose Newtons, Altras, or something else, good form is the road that will take you there. You can accept new challenges into your life and rise to the occasion. You can try new things, make new goals, strive to change and grow. You are special. There is magic in running and triathlon. Open yourself to the possibility of “can.” Cast aside doubts and negative thoughts. These things are wasted energy. Envision yourself running farther, taking the first few laps in the pool, getting on the bike with confidence. Find the joy in the little steps along the way. Little steps lead to great things. Go forward with confidence in your heart. Train, race, and live well!