Zero Footprint Running and New Mobility Freebie!

August 29, 2008 – 4:41 am

Why do you run? What’s your goal for running? Most people would say for general fitness, fat-loss and enjoyment.

Okay, let me try another… if that’s your goal, then what is the measuring stick for improving in running? Even for ultra-distance marathoners, the measuring stick is “time” - which translates to speed in running. How does time and speed translate to the goals of general fitness, fat-loss and personal gratification?. How few people have questioned this as the primary goal of running! has an injury rate of 8.1%, the second highest injury rate out of 25 sports and recreational activities. To put that into contexts, American (tackle) football scored a 5.4%, martial arts a 3% and ice hockey a 2.1%. Furthermore, more than “half of all running injuries (52%) were of the gradual/overuse variety — not sudden/traumatic incidents.” (1)

If half of running injuries (4.05% - still higher than martial arts and hockey injuries!) are gradual overuse, then it’s not because of poor technique; they’re injuries from the recommended technique!

Perhaps if we reconsidered the functional goal of running, that injury rate would not be so abysmally high! From these statistics, the conventional approach to running is helping you win the only race you want to lose: the race from cradle to grave.

When I trained in Russia with their Special Operations Units trainers, I learned an alternative method of running. Beginning on my first Wintry day in Saint Petersburg military sports training compound, we were required to run a 30K before training would begin. I would run 4-5 miles a few times a week for Sambo, but certainly not before an additional 6 hours of very rigorous conditioning! This was unreal!

But over the years of practicing, I developed injury-free stamina, an enjoyment for the process, and a perspective of running as a meditation-like yoga.

This running method had as its goal:

  • Shock Absorption: a running gait which could be sustained for many miles without injury. Personally, I stopped after a 42 mile ultra-distance marathon, because after that long without injury or pain, I had been convinced and sold on the approach.
  • Dynamic Relaxation: a running gait which could use the very act of stride to create a “vibration effect” causing the muscles to relax through the unique contact with Earth. For me, I now run because I like to be outside in the forest, with its sodden aroma, rich colors and cool air.
  • Grounding Balance: a running gait which would connect one more surely to the Earth while in movement, rather than light on one’s feet. For mobile security and martial arts, one needs a grounded connection with the Earth.
  • Active Recovery: a running gait which accelerates how fast you recover from activity by increasing circulation and joint mobility. Try allowing all unnecessary tension to slough off with each step.
  • Breath Coordination: a running gait concentrating upon the integration of breathing, with structure in motion. Breathing techniques tend to focus upon the absence of movement (such as seated exercises), but for a three-dimensional world, we need breath training in the dynamic sphere of movement.
  • Zero Footprint: a running gait which could not be heard and would minimize the impact with the Earth, leaving no trace of one’s passing. Though there are obvious practical benefits in my background in combative martial arts, I truly appreciate that my recreational activity can go relatively unnoticed, showing my respect and gratitude for my host, the Earth.

So, instead of trying to go faster the next time that you run, try and alternative:

  1. How softly can you impact the ground with each stride? Try absorbing softening the knees and hips with each step.
  2. How well can you coordinate your exhale with each stride? Try exhaling as deeply as you absorb with each step.
  3. How surely can you touch the ground so that you’re even more connected with the ground on each step? Try landing and propelling yourself from mid-foot.
  4. How quietly can you engage the ground with each stride? Try and make absolutely no noise even when on gravel or trails.

RMAX-Powered Running[If you want more information, teaching, techniques or coaching on this method, check out RMAX Powered Running. It’s NOT what you would expect from a running DVD! ]

Now, Get Out There and Make My Zero Footprint Running YOURS!

Now, as I promised I will be giving you free Intu-Flow Mobility video courses almost daily.

Here’s your latest webisode!

Flow Thyself™,

  1. 3 Responses to “Zero Footprint Running and New Mobility Freebie!”

  2. Coach,
    I just posted on the forum to Coach Wilson about how much your program both Intuflow and Rmax Powered Running has helped me run injury free. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!Looking forward to you upcoming book on joint mobility.

    Your humble student

    By Stanford on Aug 29, 2008

  3. Would this technique be useful for training the very overweight, so that they can safely include more running in their weight loss workouts?

    By AF1 on Aug 29, 2008

  4. Stan, thank you for putting it to value!

    AF1, yes, absolutely.


    By Scott Sonnon on Aug 29, 2008

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