How did those old guys do it?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Hicow, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Hicow

    Hicow Guest

    Through the years I have painfully learned which shoes work for me. There's so many choices and I
    assume there's a solution for just about everyone's shoe needs. What did runners do before the
    modern running shoe was developed. Did runners only train on grass, suffer through the pain caused
    by bad shoes or did only unique physical specimens run long distances?
     
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  2. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    >What did runners do before the modern running shoe was developed. Did runners
    only train on grass, suffer through the pain caused
    >by bad shoes or did only unique physical specimens run long distances?

    They were tougher than we are. We're just a bunch of mollycoddled wimps. Seriously.

    Of course, they were a little bit slower for their pain, too. We can now train more and train better
    in part due to equipment improvements. But if they'd had the advantages of modern equipment, they'd
    surely embarrass us.

    Gordon Pirie talks about his early (plain leather) shoes in "Running Fast and Injury Free," and the
    subject is an eye-opener for those of us running in our ultra-cushy running shoes that we trade in
    every 500 miles. Even spikes were not so easy back then, because they would wear and become short
    from the abrasion, and they could not just be replaced with another screw-in spike. Pirie talks
    about losing some races because his spikes had grown short.
     
  3. Lyndon

    Lyndon Guest

    >Through the years I have painfully learned which shoes work for me. There's so many choices and I
    >assume there's a solution for just about everyone's shoe needs. What did runners do before the
    >modern running shoe was developed. Did runners only train on grass, suffer through the pain caused
    >by bad shoes or did only unique physical specimens run long distances?
    >
    You are making a dangerous assumption: that modern running shoes are good for you. There is a
    certain amount of evidence that many (but not all) running injuries are in fact caused by said
    modern running shoes. The highly "cushioned" shoes with high heel lifts cause you to run unnaturally
    and cause part of the musculature in your feet to weaken, which makes you both slower and more prone
    to injury. Many "old school" guys like Joe Henderson know this and avoid the modern wonders like the
    plague. Some of us who regularly post here feel the same.

    If you have frequent injuries or pain, you might consider doing some barefoot running (on soft
    surfaces like beach sand or grass) or running in minimalist trainers/flats, and learn how to run
    (i.e., NOT on your heels). This can often do more for injury-plagued runners than every running
    engineering contraption in existence...but the shoe companies obviously go to great lengths to keep
    people from figuring this out.

    Something you might want to contemplate (Abebe Bikila running the entire 1960 Olympic Marathon
    BAREFOOT):

    http://www.ethiopians.com/Abikila.jpg

    Lyndon

    Lyndon "Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!" --US Olympic Track Coach Brooks Johnson
     
  4. > Of course, they were a little bit slower for their pain, too. We can now
    train
    > more and train better in part due to equipment improvements. But if
    they'd had
    > the advantages of modern equipment, they'd surely embarrass us.
    >

    They embarrass us anyway. They ran far more miles and they achieved far better times. Check out past
    race results to see how many more people ran fast times at, say, Boston, a couple of decades ago
    than do so nowadays. Jonathan
     
  5. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    Lyndon wrote:

    > You are making a dangerous assumption: that modern running shoes are good for you. There is a
    > certain amount of evidence that many (but not all) running injuries are in fact caused by said
    > modern running shoes. The highly "cushioned" shoes with high heel lifts cause you to run
    > unnaturally and cause part of the musculature in your feet to weaken, which makes you both slower
    > and more prone to injury. Many "old school" guys like Joe Henderson know this and avoid the modern
    > wonders like the plague. Some of us who regularly post here feel the same.

    This is always a fun discussion. The discussion is like cars kill people, Fluoride in the water
    causes dementia and possibly one's ovaries will fall out if you run. Are these true maybe yes, maybe
    no. Ok, the ovary crack is a little off the mark. ;)

    What we do know is out parents stuff our feet into shoes before we even take our first step. Unlike
    the Abebe Bikila's who grow up barefoot our parents never give us a chance to develop strong feet.
    In effect we are victims of honest intentions.
    >
    > If you have frequent injuries or pain, you might consider doing some barefoot running (on soft
    > surfaces like beach sand or grass) or running in minimalist trainers/flats, and learn how to run
    > (i.e., NOT on your heels). This can often do more for injury-plagued runners than every running
    > engineering contraption in existence...but the shoe companies obviously go to great lengths to
    > keep people from figuring this out.

    On the surface this sounds goods - strengthen weak muscles. I'm suggesting if you plan to do this do
    it very gradually over a long period of time. If your feet are used to being coddled you may do more
    harm than good. I would suggest some very specific foot strengthening exercises long before you run
    barefoot through the park.

    >
    > Something you might want to contemplate (Abebe Bikila running the entire 1960 Olympic Marathon
    > BAREFOOT):
    >
    > http://www.ethiopians.com/Abikila.jpg

    And the Sherpa's can climb without Oxygen and the Copper Canyon folks do ultras wearing old car tire
    swaths strapped to their feet.

    --
    Doug Freese "Caveat Lector" [email protected]
     
  6. Rick++

    Rick++ Guest

    I ran in canvas tennies the first few years, after reading Coopers book reprinted in Readers Digest
    (mid-1968?). There were cleated shoes that track kids used, but they were way above my means at the
    time. I didnt run year-round until the mid 1970s. By then, there was a mass market in running shoes.
    Also I didnt buy running clothes until then. It was either sweats or street clothes. People then
    considered special clothes "faggy" and expensive.

    > Through the years I have painfully learned which shoes work for me. There's so many choices and I
    > assume there's a solution for just about everyone's shoe needs. What did runners do before the
    > modern running shoe was developed. Did runners only train on grass, suffer through the pain caused
    > by bad shoes or did only unique physical specimens run long distances?
     
  7. Paulm1125

    Paulm1125 Guest

    > What did runners do before the modern running shoe was
    >> developed. Did runners only train on grass, suffer
    >> through the pain caused by bad shoes or did only unique
    >> physical specimens run long distances?

    Well, back in the early to mid-'60s, we were running in
    canvas trainers - basically flats with rubber soles and very
    little cushioning. We raced in spikes with next to no
    cushion. In XC, we trained on grass, some dirt trails up
    hills and alongside roads. However, during track season, we
    ran exclusively on a hard, crushed brick oval. My high
    arched, narrow feet never gave me trouble in XC, but broke
    down annually in track. Most of my teammates did fine. I
    wasn't fast, but the fast guys on my "60s teams would still
    be state contenders today.

    Paul
     
  8. [email protected] (PaulM1125) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > > What did runners do before the modern running shoe was
    > >> developed. Did runners only train on grass, suffer
    > >> through the pain caused by bad shoes or did only unique
    > >> physical specimens run long distances?
    >
    > Well, back in the early to mid-'60s, we were running in
    > canvas trainers - basically flats with rubber soles and
    > very little cushioning. We raced in spikes with next to no
    > cushion. In XC, we trained on grass, some dirt trails up
    > hills and alongside roads. However, during track season,
    > we ran exclusively on a hard, crushed brick oval. My high
    > arched, narrow feet never gave me trouble in XC, but broke
    > down annually in track. Most of my teammates did fine. I
    > wasn't fast, but the fast guys on my "60s teams would
    > still be state contenders today.
    >
    > Paul

    We lesser mortals can but doff our hats to you, Paul,
    and your ilk.

    Randall
     
  9. Jackhat1

    Jackhat1 Guest

    >> What did runners do before the modern running shoe was
    >>> developed. Did runners only train on grass, suffer
    >>> through the pain
    >caused
    >>> by bad shoes or did only unique physical specimens run
    >>> long distances?

    There is a theory that modern shoes with elevated heels and
    all that cushioning are worse for you than the old canvas
    shoes. I don't know if this is true or not.

    jack
     
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