In the current era of our culture, the pressure to become more fit and healthy leads to all new speculations regaurding health and our early ancestors. From eating like a “cave man” with the paleo diet to running with the trendy barefoot style running shoes, it seems like, now more than ever people are trying to mirror early Homo sapiens. Media and ads are pushing our culture to become more natural to the point that new evidence may suggest it may not be as beneficial in terms of avoiding injury for long distance runners, as discovered by Kevin Hatala, Heather Dingwall, Roshna Wundelich and Brian Richmond.
Researchers from George Washington University in Washington D.C decided to investigate the earliest human runners. Through researching early Kenyans, studies have found that early hominines did not wear any type of foot wear, which provides a direct link showing that individuals were walking barefoot through the heart of Africa. Fossil footprints found in Ilerert, Kenya, also showed evidence of this. This group of researchers was trying to connect ancient runners to those of African runners, hoping to solidify the idea of running barefoot. These individuals tend to run shorter distances at high speeds and strike the ground with either the back of their heels or the full foot.
Through the entire article there is evidence to does not support the hypothesis that says a forefoot striking pattern is 'typical' running gait of those who are customarily barefoot people. The largest amount of those who were being observed in this study instead used the rear food strike in long endurance running when compared to those who ran a shorter distance. During this study, the article shows that the percentage of Kalenjin of Kenya who have a...
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...elps us to relate back to our early hominid ancestors with the way in which they possibly may have ran. To me this article was interesting on the different types of running pattern but was hard to relate to those early ancestors that had lived in Africa millions of years ago. So much evolution has changed not only the human species but the environment and what we may be running to or from. Not all barefoot individuals run with a certain strike pattern. As a runner I took away interesting facts about how different foot striking patterns impact the legs differently. It would be interesting to see how different types of striking patterns affect and favor different groups of humans differently.
Hatala KG, Dingwall HL, Wunderlich RE, et al. 2013. Variation in Foot Strike Patterns during Running among Habitually Barefoot Populations. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52548.
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