In a way that supports your body rather than battering it to pieces.
Since there has been so much interest in natural/minimalist/barefoot running I thought I should point everyone toward some resources.
There are, to my knowledge three major and a few lesser known running methods that will allow a person to run as nature intended.
Today I will give you a brief description of the three major methods and some links that will allow you to get more information.
Each of the three schools will get you to the same place through slightly different methods and teaching styles. The three mentioned here seem to be an example of "convergent evolution" in that they don't seem to have drawn much, if anything from each other.
What you get from this sort of study is this.
As you see here, this woman is having no trouble running on asphalt barefoot (though she could do the same thing in the right shoes) She has a good forefoot strike, she's using her feet and legs as shock absorbers, and adjusting her stride to the the speed she wants. I believe she studies Pose, but she could have developed her technique form any of the schools of running I mention here.
In no particular order we have;
This method was created by a fellow named Danny Dreyer out in the San Francisco Bay area. He draws his principles from Tai Chi and applies them to running quit successfully.
Chi Running is, as one might expect from where it was created, laid back, progressive, go-with-the-flow, training. Some people say it is a bit "new agey", but if so, the people who are involved are new agers who can run all day long. (rather than the more common sort that barely know they have a body).
Dreyer is very generous with his information and has a YouTube channel with all manner of useful tips. It's well worth checking out.
Chi Running YouTube channel
The Pose Method (tm) of running was developed by a Russian sports physiologist named Dr.Nicholas Romanov, and it does have that Russian flavor. It is very precise, incremental, and has drills and exercises to progressively develop each aspect of your running stride. While some might find Pose a little Anal, you can't argue with the results.
Coach Ken Mierke developed Evolution Running from studying runners from Kenya who, as it happens learned to run barefoot long before any of them ever put on a running shoe.
His method is the most "jock-like" of the three in my experience. He gives the experience of working with a "steak and potatoes" all American coach who just happens to be a genius at understanding movement.
Pose and Evolution running are just a bit more geared toward competition I think, but you can run a marathon with any of the three.
There are a few things that I would have liked to have seen addressed in the available material from each of these three schools that are not, but any of them will put you on the right track (no pun intended) for learning to run efficiently and effectively.
In a later post I will tell y'all about some of the things I do to work on areas of running that I find important that are somewhat peripheral to learning proper technique (such as play, exploration and practical skills)
And of course, to run well it helps to have a proper soundtrack.