ABOUT US

At The Natural Runner our team of fellow runners have been assisting beginners, pros, runners, walkers, roadies and trail freaks to get the most out of their running, since 2014. Our team is equipped with exceptional product knowledge, and being runners themselves can talk from experience.

Our goal is to help educate runners to make better informed decisions when it comes to specialist running shoes, in doing so we hope to contribute to less running related injuries and more runners performing at their personal best.
Our runner’s lifestyle is important to us, so we understand how important it is to you and we enjoy supporting you in your effort.

We offer a range of innovative running footwear, apparel and accessories that we keep updated in keeping with trends and new product development.  That being said our advice is always based on the fundamentals of running that remain tried and trusted.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING THE PROPER RUNNING SHOE

SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW WHEN BUYING A NEW PAIR OF RUNNING SHOES – CREDIT HUFF POST, David McQuade –

1. Your current fitness level — and your future aspirations.
Ask yourself: “Am I training for something?” and “What’s the distance that I’m training for?”
Even if the answer to both of these is “nothing,” it’s important to understand how you’ve used your shoes in the past and what you intend to use them for in the future.
For example, with a new runner — somebody who’s just done their first 5K or they’re ramping up to do their first half-marathon — sometimes we want to go with something that’s a little more protective just because they’re still figuring out their form and we want to minimize the risk of injury.
People who are running 15 to 32km a week are considered low-mileage runners, those in the 32 to 64km training for half-marathons and the like are considered medium-mileage runners, and those who are running more than 64km a week are considered high-mileage runners. The amount of cushioning, stability and performance durability they recommend fluctuates depending on the category in which you fall.
 
2. What injuries you’ve had and how they affect your current running experience.
Two more important questions: “Are you currently injured?” and “Do you have a history of injuries?”
The type of injury you have may help determine if the running shoes you’re currently wearing are related to the issue and how new shoes can fix that. If you’re still in recovery, an expert may recommend something more supportive.
If you have a former injury, you do want to err on the side of caution, it’s always better to go with a shoe that has a bit more structure and a bit more cushion to it, and slowly work your way into lighter, more flexible styles of shoes.
 
3. Your gait as you run
Understanding your gait and running style is the most important thing that you can do when buying new running shoes.
Running starts with your feet, so if you’re already off alignment in your lower body, each step is another opportunity for you to get injured. Having the right kind of shoe that’s properly aligning your foot really sets you off in the right direction for healthy training.
Gaits typically fall into three standard types: neutral, overpronated or underpronated. A neutral gait means a person’s hips knees and ankles are all in alignment and their arch only flexes a little. An overpronated foot rolls too far inwards and would benefit from a stabilizing shoe. An underpronated foot rolls out and requires more cushioning.
 
4. How much space you need
It may seem strange, but you actually want to make sure you have a full thumbnail’s worth of empty space in the front of the shoe when you first try it on.
Almost 90 percent of the people who come in to get fitted for a shoe with me are wearing them too small. When you run, your feet swell and expand, and you want to be able to accommodate that in a shoe.
 
5. An adjustment gameplan
To avoid unnecessary foot pain, it’s important to work your new shoes slowly into your current running routine. Anyone who’s ever run a 10K in a brand new pair knows first-hand that shocking the feet into a new support system can lead to a whole host of blisters and other complaints.
Keep your older pair of shoes in rotation, if possible. Start off by wearing your new shoes for only 20-30 percent of your weekly mileage, and gradually increase that number as you phase out your old pair.
 
6. What’s ‘under the hood’ of that snazzy design
It may not be the flashiest part, but the most important component of a running shoe is the midsole because it’s where the primary form of cushioning and support is located.  A lot of people tend to pay attention to the upper portion of fabric, but that’s really just keeping your foot on the shoe. Yes, it’s the fun and colourful part, but you really want to focus in on the bottom of the shoe.
 
7. How your new shoes feel
The best shoe is the shoe that is specifically tailored to your foot, support- and cushioning-wise. There’s not one shoe that’s the best shoe. There’s the one shoe that’s best for each person.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF RUN

So in order to run faster, run longer, avoid injuries and reduce impact on your body – not only do you need the best possible running shoe for your specific needs, you also need to improve your technique. We are firm believers that running technique is the element that can make or break any athlete or runner, just think about the number of professional athletes that get side-lined by knee, hamstring or ankle injuries.
The popular natural running trend changed the way think about running and prompted many questions such as have we been running the wrong way? And, have we been running in the wrong kind of shoe? What is the safest type of foot strike?
It’s important to understand the various running techniques, which one is the best fit for you and how to safely and efficiently transition to and master a safer and more biomechanically efficient way of running that is guaranteed to improve performance and minimum wear and tear on your body.
At The Natural Runner we are firm believers in the following running forms:
1. Pose running
Pose running is based on the Pose Method®, where the key poses of each sport is determined. In running there is only one pose, which is called the Running Pose (S-stance.)  The Running Pose is a whole body pose that vertically aligns shoulders, hips and ankles with the support leg, while standing on the ball of the foot. This creates an S0-like shape of the body. The runner then changes the pose from one leg to the other by falling forward and allowing gravity to do the work. The support foot in pulled from the found to allow the body to fall forward, while the other foot drops down freely, in a change of support. This creates forward movement, with the least cost (energy use), and the least effort. The end result is faster race times, freer running and less injuries.  This simple sequence of movements: the fall and the pull, while staying in the pose, is the essence of Pose Running technique – credit  Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run 
 
 
 
 
2. ChiRunning
Chi Running has helped thousands of runners improve their running form – reducing and preventing injuries, while decreasing recovery time. Runners of all ages and levels have improved their efficiency and performance, and now find their running to be pain-free, easier and more enjoyable.
ChiRunning takes its guidance from the inner design of T’ai Chi which asks us to move the body in a natural order, where the big muscles do the heavy lifting, the smaller muscles do less and the tiniest muscles do very little.
This runs counter to how most people run which is using the small muscles of their legs for propulsion, neglecting the abundance of power in their core.
 
 
 
 
3. Aerobic Exercise
Also called endurance exercise includes activities that increase your breathing and heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming and biking. Endurance activity keeps your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy and improves your overall fitness.
What is aerobic endurance in sport? By definition cardiovascular endurance, aerobic fitness, or stamina, is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods without tiring.
Some benefits of aerobic endurance training include;
– Enhances transportation of oxygen to working muscles.
– Increased enzyme availability for muscle endurance
– Liberate free fatty acids for fuel (regulates body fat distribution)
– Speeds recovery between high-intensity training sessions
– Improves cardiovascular health and function