Those who know me well know that I can never shut up about Newton Running. If I could work at Newton, eat Newton-shaped pancakes for breakfast, and sleep on a Newton Running pillow (minus the lugs) I probably would. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Newtons make running feel good. I was never a person who loved to run prior to 2013. Running felt jostle-y, hard, and discombobulated. I could feel my feet slamming into the ground and my quads and knees earthquaking as a response to every heavy step. My brain scrambled. My shoulders ached, because I didn't really know how tall the stand, how much to bend. I'm not sure how I got there, because (1) I'm human and as soon as we take our first steps we start naturally running straight toward any sharp edges and steep ledges we can find and (2) I have fairly strong legs and good posture. One day, I found myself on a field trip to Runner's Depot, and the good shoe-sages there told me a few things about Natural Running (explained below, in a minute.)
It took a few short runs to get used to the Newtons. You can only run about 1/4 to 1/2 mile at a time in these shoes at first. Why? Because you're using new muscles. Natural running mainly engages your calve muscles. A natural stride distributes your weight evenly below you, so that you're putting less "slam" onto your joints with each strike.
2. Once you've carefully eased/earned your way into wearing Newtons for three to four weeks, you will go for a run one day and you will FREAK OUT.
Suddenly something will click beneath you. You will say, "Oh my," or if you're me you'll blurt out, "Holy F*#&ing Mother " nearby a crowd of children. You will think that you've stopped running on pavement and entered some sort of magical field made of angel food cake. Your feet spring beneath you and your calves will rebound like DNA-coils. Running will suddenly feel GOOD: like I-want-to-do-this-everyday-good. When this happens, you will start wearing your Newton Running "Ask Me About My Freak" t-shirt to sleep at night because you will love the warm feeling it elicits in the mirror in the morning while brushing your teeth. You won't want to wear the shirt anywhere in public unless your bodyguard is with you. (Sorry Newton. "Ask me about my freak" is just too ambiguous to wear in public in South Florida. I could wind up pregnant or calling 911. I would have to have on my Newtons so I could run away from all the gentlemen callers.)
3. Natural running makes sense. Natural running is running the way nature and physiology intended, prior to the 20th century when shoe companies began cushioning the 'f' out of everything, raising the heels shoes with foam and padding so that we could run in a marshmallow-bliss. That sounds good, except that it causes a huge imbalance in our lower bodies. It doesn't allow us to stretch our achilles tendon naturally by walking and running on a flatter sole, and it makes us dependent on cushioning and comfort in order to avoid injury.
Do you remember the movie Wall-E? Do you remember the moving chairs with all the technology that helped humans obtain everything they needed without moving a single unnecessary muscle? That's sort of what happened with running shoes in the 21st century.
So then, companies like Newton and Vibram and a whole slew of others came along and said, "What if we build shoes that re-train the hu-man to run the way the hu-man was naturally intended to run, and by doing so keep the hu-man from dependency on unnatural cushioning and susceptibility to injury due to physiological imbalance.
The point is, you can create your own marshmallow running bliss without depending on a Wall-E-chair shoe. These ideas are far more scientific than I'm describing, and you can read all about the technology of Newtons HERE and all about natural running HERE HERE and HERE.
As a new runner, I dove head-first into half-marathons and marathons the same way I dive head-first into most things I love. It's my nature, and I'm lucky to have great friends who rein me in when I take things too far. Thanks to Newton Running, I haven't had anything amputated yet from running two marathons in my first 8 months as a consistent runner. For anyone interested in trying them, I started in Newton Energy's and I'm slowly breaking into the Newton Distance Elite. If you'd like to try them, head to a specialty running store and talk to a guru about which Newton is right for you. They have models for stability, for distance, and for different types of arch. Don't let the price-tag turn you away. Natural running will save you trips to the chiropractor. I wouldn't buy cheap tires for my jeep, so I definitely don't mind treating my feet to a high-end running shoe.
What shoes do you run in? Have you tried natural running? What are your thoughts, and how is your day?
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