Gait 101: Learning to Run More Naturally by Dr. Phil Maffetone

Dr. Phil Maffetone in a very good in-depth article over at Natural Running Center:

Many beginning runners remark about how much they enjoy the new experience. They care little about the nuances regarding form, technique, or proper gait. As long as they are moving, accumulating mileage over a sustained period of time, they feel content and satisfied. But at the advanced and elite level of running, the concept of gait takes on an entirely new dimension of complexity, constant questioning, and evaluation by a coach or oneself.

But what is exactly meant by the term “gait?”

Go read the article if you’re interested in proper gait… and you should be. Good stuff.

TrailMix Review – A step-synced music player iPhone app

TrailMix Review

TrailMix is a ”fully automatic step-synced music player”. What the heck is that, you ask? Good question. Let me see if I can explain it simpler terms.

TrailMix is an iPhone app for listening to music while walking or running that detects your pace using the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer, and rapidly adjusts the tempo of the song to match your stride. So, basically, it speeds up or slows down songs to always be in sync with your steps. Run faster and the track goes faster. Slow down and the track slows down. You get the idea.

It’s actually pretty clever. And while the music does sound a bit strange going faster or slower than what you’re used to, TrailMix doesn’t change the pitch, so you never get that effect of listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Daft Punk.

Remember a while ago when we went through a process of adding beats-per-minute (BPM) info to our iTunes library? We tried an automatic way and a manual way. Well, with TrailMix you don’t need that anymore. The developers figured out a way to “listen” to the songs and get the BPM as they play without the need for any fancy stuff. Not even an Internet connection.

From the developers:

The app will play and sync with any song in a user’s library, as well as playlists containing up to 20 songs, whether the listener is running, walking, sprinting, or strolling. TrailMix incorporates a pedometer, and health- and fitness-related rewards from Kiip, an online service that motivates users to exercise by giving away free items and coupons. A Pro version of TrailMix, available separately for $4.99, removes banner ads and includes enhanced features like Magic Shuffle, which chooses songs automatically to match your current tempo, and Cruise Control to lock in a song at a preset beat. The Pro app also provides enhanced stats and an intelligent stopwatch that starts and stops as the user moves to keep track of workout sessions automatically.

I only tried the Pro version, so no idea if the ads are annoying. But honestly, for $5 just get the full version. No ads is a beautiful thing, and that Cruise Control feature is awesome. You basically set a BPM before you start to run and TrailMix magically makes every song fit that tempo. Most of the playlists I’ve been sharing here are based on BPM. No need to spend hours finding the right songs anymore!

I wrote a separate review of TrailMix Pro in another of my sites if you’re interested in more. I liked it.

Running Shoes Infographic

Interesting information, although obviously biased towards “normal” running shoes made by the major brands. Nothing about the minimalist running shoes here.

Running Shoes Infographic: How to Choose the Best Running Shoes

The Natural Born Runner Magazine – First issue FREE

Natural Born Runner Magazine Issue 1

The Natural Born Runner magazine looks to be a great publication dedicated to barefoot and natural running. John Eddington, the publisher, explains it this way:

The motivation for this magazine was the lack of clear information on barefoot and natural running style, when I started to look into it. Contradiction and misinformation seemed to abound. Some running magazines have looked superficially at the topic, but I wanted to read in-depth articles, not 400-word snippets suggesting that there might be something in it, but who knows?

That’s enough to get me to check it out. I agree completely with that and have high hopes it’ll be awesome. Best of all, the first issue is FREE so you have no excuse not to read through it.

I’ve just downloaded my copy and will be reading through it tonight.


100 Workout Songs for Your iPod |

Lori Lange from shares her choice of 100 workout songs. She says:

You may or may not have my taste in music.  I like quite the variety.  I’m an 80?s band- freak so there’s a little of that in there.  I have a 10 year old, so there are a few current hits that I happen to enjoy.  And I’ve always loved The Offspring and the alternative, hard-core fast beat of most of their songs.

It is an eclectic mix of songs. Pretty cool.

Running in Silence | Static Made

Jeffrey Inscho of Static Made making a case for running in silence:

While the music, tech musings and automated metrics kept my mind from focussing on the discomfort my body was feeling, I also discovered that this constant connectivity (even while in the middle of the woods on a trail run) was keeping my mind from appreciating my surroundings in those moments, following an exploratory train-of-thought around professional ideas and concepts, or simply experiencing the silence and patterns in my breath.

As much as I love running with music, Jeffrey has a great point here. The times I’ve ran without music, my mind has been free to wander and contemplate. I’ve often had great ideas while running without music. These days I tend to do my weekly long run without music.