Get "Ready to Run"
I wanna turn out attention now to your next big thing. If I'm not mistaken, you've got a book. It's called Ready To Run, and I'd like to take a second and introduce your co-author. He is a man who we were... Hold your applause here for a second. The former Editor-in-Chief of Triathlete Magazine, former Editor-in-Chief of Competitor Magazine. He's a writer, he's a crazy runner himself.
Yeah, ton of ultras, marathoner... And like he is in the running world he one of the most prolific writers about running and triathlons. He's amazing.
There ya go. Big warm, CreativeLive welcome for Mister TJ Murphy. (audience clapping)
You guys, so I know we don't like to sit around here, can we just sit--
Just for a second. 'Cuz I know I heard--
Rumor that you guys have a video you'd like-- (audience laughing)
It's gonna be fly, it's gonna fill (mumbles) (laughing) Woo, okay, bump bump shh. I heard a ru...
mor we have a video, but first of all, I would like to hear a little bit more about you in your own words. We were just giving you some props there. I mean a shout-out but if I'm not mistaken, you were once broken like I, and like a lot of people who are in the in-studio audience, and folks at home needed to figure out how to maintain your body, and get yourself back to health. So give us your short backstory, if you will.
Wait, wait, wait, superbroken.
Yeah it was about 2011, and I was Editor-in-Chief of Triathlete Magazine at the time. And, my running resume included a 2:38 marathon, five Ironmans, it had been a big part of my life for 15 years. And there I was, Editor-in-Chief of Triathlete Magazine, the largest triathlon magazine in the world. A beacon of athleticism, endurance athleticism.
And a creative writer.
That's right, yeah, I like, a lot of your viewers I was at a desk, I was an editor. So I'm looking at word documents, in design documents all day. Never paying attention to the way I sat, or how I use my feet. But I used to, my back would go out, or my knee would go out and I would, around the office, my co-workers would see me use the cubicles like a guard rail to walk around, 'cuz my back was so bad. Here I am, supposed to be kind of a leader in this entire world, and. About that time I was doing a half marathon, I was training for it. And as Kelly knows, we talk about this task completion thing. I would have, my knee would go out, but I'd go to the drugstore. I would buy Ace bandages, I'd get all the ibuprofen I could handle, and I'd still get through my next workout, and finally it was after that half marathon, it was October of 2011, I sat on a curb afterwards, and my knees just felt like they were on fire. And I was pretty sure I was about five weeks from my first knee replacement. And around that time I was doing some reporting, and came across Brian MacKenzie from CrossFit Endurance, who said you gotta go see Kelly Starrett. And so I flew up to San Francisco, and took a cab, I was in San Diego at the time, and I took a cab to San Francisco CrossFit. And I had to, they're in back of a sports basement, so I walk around the sports basement, this limp that I'd had for about five or six weeks. Just like most runners, like 75% of runners in the country, 30 million or so have a knee problem, or some sort of injury once per year. And I walked in there, and so Doctor Kelly Starrett, I'm just waiting for him to go ask me that sequence of questions like, so where's the pain and whatever. None of that he just (laughing) he made go over and do a squat. And then I'm like okay, this guy's a character. I gotta get my notepad out. This is gonna be a good story. But after about an hour of just talking with him, about the things he was talking with you guys about, my limp was gone, and I haven't limped since. And I'm running again, and I'm actually more of a, an athlete than I had been for probably 25 years.
This is an awkward moment, let's feel relaxed man. (laughing and clapping)
Yeah, that's my story.
So you guys came together to create a book. It's called Ready To Run. And I'd love to learn a little bit more about it. And again, I'm gonna try and be the folks in the in-studio audience. And speaking of, if you're just tuning in, I'm Chase, I'm with TJ and Kelly here, and we're talking about their next book, Ready To Run. Kelly has a class on CreativeLive called maintaining your body. And you can ask questions from wherever you are in the world. In the in-studio audience, don't hesitate to put your hand up. My arbitrator, my man here, Chris, is gonna take care of us, make sure we get through all these questions. And if you're, as I often say Nebraska or Nairobi, anywhere in the world, you can interact with us live. Go up to the little questions tab upper right hand corner, click that, type in your question, and you have to be logged-in to do that, just takes a few seconds and then you can vote up the questions that you wanna see Chris ask here on the air. But before then, questions are ready, go ahead and fire them off. But before then, I'm gonna try and pretend that I am like these people, 'cuz I feel like there's a lot of similarities in pop culture these days. I'm busy, I travel a lot, I have a desire to do better. I don't wanna get out of shape, and so one of the things I do is I run. I run with, I get outta the plane, I walk out of the plane, like oh gosh, I drop my stuff in my hotel room and I just go out for a run.
Heck, ya, that's fantastic.
But I find myself, the work that I'm doing to try and get healthy ends up, I roll an ankle, I got super tight hammies now, because I just ran and I wasn't ready. So I think I'm like a lotta people out there, that we wanna do well, we wanna do good. And running is so easy, it doesn't require a bunch of tools or a gym. I think that might be about what you guys are talking about. And give us a short intro on that, I think you got a video, is that right?
Some of you have probably read the book Born To Run, and I think when Kelly and I first started talking about this, that was kind of a trigger.
Because Born to Run came out around 2010 I think. It's still a best-seller. And it makes the case that we are born to run. They talk about some evolutionary anthropology that proves that we are born to run. And that's also in Kelly's book, we talked about that. But so many people read the book, and they went to their running shoe store, because, hey wait, so how many broken runners out there, and what's the first thing you think of. Wow, my knee went down so I need a new running shoe. And that's the way it's been for 30 years. That we go to the technology.
The running shoe business is a four billion dollar industry. This is like the running industrial complex.
Let's just be clear. This is serious, like the technology about shoes... You know, I cut you off, in 91, American Academy of Pediatrics comes out with a position paper and says, best shoe is no shoe. Best foot development happens with barefoot. And so what we were looking at is, you know, what the heck. And kids come out of the womb with shoes on, high heel running shoes. (laughing) You know, you're like oh we gotta support that arch, day one, ya know. And what we've seen is it's an absolute error. So Ready To Run changed our lives. But it lead to this gigantic problem.
Right, and I think, so people went and bought their minimalist shoes, but they were still broken, they still landed on their heels and things like that. And I just talked with a young man, now Tyler, you're 27 now. When he was 22 years old he was doing the Silverman Half-Ironman. And he was just telling me about how broken he was. I'm like, he's 22 years old, (laughing) And his psoas is too tight, he couldn't train anymore, and I'm like okay, there's a missing bridge here. And so I was really fired up just being, having so many, my world has been running and triathlon for so long, and like you, Chase, a lot of people running is their... It's kind of a self medicating way to be fit.
It's a go-to.
Right. It's how you deal with stress and everything. And all of a sudden you can't do it anymore, and--
No, you can do it, you just have to get one of those orbiter treadmills, (laughing) so you're slowed and you aqua jog,
in the shame in the pool.
I've done those, both of those.
You've got the four inch cushy shoes, and the Forrest Gump braces. And like you'll have some of the--
So, the issue is, you know, it's not, you know people went from these high heel shoes, to these flat shoes, and some really bright physical therapists in the American Physical Therapy Association, even said, hey look, it may be safer to heel strike. Because the severity of the injuries that we're seeing, are the far, sort of more severe than what's happening when people heel striking, and yet, we know unequivocally that if you heel strike, or run, you're gonna get injured in a year. So, what we found, is this woman heel striking?
Right. Is that you know, the thing that makes us human, the skill that makes us human is running. And you may not think of yourself, or self identify as a runner, not, I play soccer. Right, right, you're a runner. You know, and if you play Frisbee, you probably ran after the disk and sprinted. Or you throw the football with your kids, or. You know like running is a course skill. And we found that people were making some basic errors. One it that they simply just weren't prepared for running correctly. You know, and that just didn't have the tissues, they didn't have the range of motion. And that was really sort of the reaction to this was that... And you know, by the way, Vibram was sued for making comments about it's shoes. It didn't lose the lawsuit, it settled the lawsuit. So nothing was ever proven. Right, but two and a half million dollar writing the bill, because people went out and got flat shoes, the finger shoes, and they got injured. And you know really people, there's this backlash now. We're seeing Mega Shoe, heel striking is safe again. It's just a disaster. In fact, if you guys run, you sprint, imagine you know, you sprint and whenever you sprint, people run one-way. They run beautifully. Because you can only sprint on the ball of your foot, run correctly. But if you ran, if you jog, and you heel strike, it's like having two different solutions to the same problem. Wouldn't it be more efficient that we had one solution, that I go fast and slow on? Well when I'm driving my car slow, I close one eye. And when I drive it fast, I switch hands, and drive... You know, that's what we're basically doing. Doesn't make any sense. We have one motor pattern that we're trying to reproduce. Like we said in the last segment, we got interested in this because I couldn't run. Because I had terrible knee pain because I was a heel striker. And I had high heel shoes, and orthotics. I learned to run, but I had the tissues that support it, and I ran an Ultra. And so the story is--
Ultra down to the grocery store? (laughing)
The Ultra Ultras in like 50K.
My friends called me the Cape Buffalo of Running. (laughing) Right, and so the truth, I may be the biggest runner in the history of the world, but I'm not slow or fast. I'm not--
Did you use like five ounce--
I used the five ounce shoe, I used the flat five ounce shoe. So what we found though was that, when we started having this conversation, and really seeing the state of the world, that people, there's this reaction to it. We were just, we were just baffled. Because what, people got the shoe, got injured. And they were like oh my gosh. And the problem is that running is free and ubiquitous. And do you see your kindergartner, you know, not sprint for the playground. They sprint for the playground and they all run beautifully. And then somewhere around the first grade something happens, we don't know what it is. Rhymes with sitting, and bad shoes, right, so (laughing)
Alright and one of the things we do know, so that runner, that gets injured, they go to the running shoe store. And there's this paradigm of well, we're gonna look at your foot shape, and maybe they'll look at you are--
But you are a special flower. I mean your foot's different than everyone else's foot. (laughing)
And, but the U.S. Army, who has a lot invested in how their recruits respond to walking, marching, running. They conducted huge studies about four, five years ago, with Marine recruits, Air Force recruits, Army recruits. And they wanted to test this whole idea, well if we use the model that the running shoe companies are talking about, that we are either, we have the natural mechanics that we should either be in a motion control shoe, a stability shoe, or a neutral shoe. And they tested it and they found absolutely that it didn't work at all. Like there was no relationship that supported, no science that supported that--
Think it through as a mind experiment. You get out of the car. You go into your running shoe store, right. You've just flown, you're stiff, and then you put on a shoe and someone watches you run, and they're like, you know what, a little less foam there, a little more foam, as they watch you run a little bit. And like, that shoe changes over time. You change over time as you... I mean it's oh you're collapsing like a... It's so precise, and yet such imprecision that we call it misplaced precision actually. And it's so ludicrous that a shoe is so tailored, when you should be able to run in clogs. You should be able to run in combat boots. It doesn't matter what's on your foot. You ether run correctly, or you don't. And the reason you're getting injured is that you're not running correctly, but there are great skills. Or you just don't have the tissues that allow you to handle it.
Right, and the book, I'm just helping Kelly communicate it. But he wanted this one zero sort of situation, like so there's 12 standards in the book. Some are fairly simple, like the hydration, lifestyle sort of things. But others are sort of related to our mechanics and the positions that we can get into. So there's 12 clear things, yes or no, can you do this.
And then when you're working towards those things, the more you're working towards them and progressing them, the more you are actually ready to run. And ready to be in a minimalist shoe. Ready to enjoy your running everyday, kind of thing.
I find myself not able to do that. (laughing)
But and it's so common.
Ah, you know I tried it today, it didn't go... Back to the elliptical machine. You know we were just on a trip, and Juliet, we jumped on this elliptical at the hotel, 'cuz it's hilarious, it's like a $40,000 piece of equipment.
Is that a faux pas, in like, 'cuz you've talked trash about the elliptical like five times now. So is that something we should stay away from? (laughing)
I'm not gonna say that you can go to the Olympics, or be awesome on the elliptical. You can certainly work hard. And I think that's the problem is that we've confused working hard with working correctly or being smart. Well I took 17 gigs of photos, I'm sure there's something good in there, right? Isn't that right?
Right, like more is better. And so the key here is that we saw that when Juliet jumped on the elliptical, her hip actually never came behind her body. The elliptical allows us to stay flexed and bent over, and sort of hides the error, and moves the impact, but it changes and hides the mechanics, so I can still work in this little confined window. And the problem with running is that, you know it's a skill that is so universal, and yet it's not taught anywhere. It's not embraced as a skill. How much time do we learn how to... Swimming is very difficult, everyone takes swim lessons. Did you take run lessons? No, you're like either figure it out or you don't. Good luck with that kid, you know. (laughing) It's like a Ponzi scheme. Like we just like ooh all the kids are gonna be broken. I wanna have a house in Tahoe one day. You know, and I think our ideas, if we kind of clean up some of the basic errors, your body will start to self correct, and you will have enough tolerance for you to then learn the skill. Go learn how to run. At least be ready to have that conversation. And it's amazing what happens when you do.
Is there a chance for us to see the video, I know you guys made a little trailer.
It could be cool to see that, I know it's somewhere in there, let's see. Nice. (dramatic motivating music)
Everyone says that you should run. And no one tells you how to get ready to run. Running is the single skill that links all human beings. It's a skill that makes us human. Whether I'm playing Frisbee, or sprinting after my kids. Running 5k's or Ultras, the skill set is the same. We wrote Ready to Run, because we know that there are about 30 million runners in America. And within any given year, nearly 80% of those runners will be injured. But what we're seeing is that runners are very, very sophisticated about their training and their nutrition. And very unsophisticated about preparing their bodies to be able to handle the rigors of running.
In our book, Ready To Run, Doctor Starrett is looking at this from a problem of how am I moving? What are the positions that I'm using? What are the motor control problems? What am I doing to comp these problems in tissue?
Ready to run give us a blueprint. A blueprint about how to take care of our tissues. About how to have basic range of motion, so that we can go out and experience the joy of running. And do it so that we maximize that running ability, and we also resolve our old injuries. (happy motivating music) You will indeed be ready to run.
Nice moves, I'll give that a clap. (audience clapping)
Ooh, yeah, I'm ready to go. (laughing)
It's nice piece of art, followed up by that. (laughing)
Thanks for that. (laughing) So now that I've lost all my credibility (laughing), I think, you know we sat down with large groups of athletes. And we regularly ask them, you know who likes to train? Who likes to feel good? Who likes to run? Everyone's like, oh I hate running. And how is it you hate running? What point did running not feel good to you? Do you use--
The beginning. (laughing)
Do you have, no didn't you think so?
I was a kid.
As a kid, we volunteered at our school, what happened, yeah yeah, I got the run cancer. And you know, my dad died of the run consumption and like you know, there's something that happened. And I think typically what happens is it stops feeling good. You know, and that is a function of the fact that we don't sort of value it for what it is. We don't make it a technique driven sport. And then we know, give it that demerit. And then also, we get stiff. Imagine, I mean, the shoe your in wearing right now, is a high heel shoe.
I didn't know I wore high heels. (laughing)
Yes you do. And look, that's a flat shoe, that's a flat shoe,
Do they make these for men, I mean I don't--
High heel shoes, high heel shoe. It's a five mil drop, right, but it's an exercise shoe. You know, you're training. That's a flat shoe, that's a high heel shoe. I see some high heel shoes and some flat shoes around here. I mean the real question is what's happening when we systematically shorten the heel cord, for example. So if I wear a heel all the time, and why? Because that's the shoe I've always worn. And I start to Chinese foot bind my children, because I buy them Nike's or some cute shoe, that has a centimeter differential. All of sudden I've tipped their center of mass forward. I've shortened their heel cord. And you know people don't walk around barefoot anymore. You know, and when they do walk barefoot, it causes foot pain, plantar fascia, until we shorten the heel cord again. Well know what happens if your hand is stuck bent for the next 20 years, and all of a sudden I'm like no, no, no, you've gotta straighten your elbow all the way out. You're gonna have some problems with that. And that's one of the easiest pieces. We want people to get back to being human. Can you do the things a human should be able to do. Yes, or no, it's a bright line.
Great, TJ, give us sort of an overview of the book, 'cuz actually how do you get the thing, first of all? Amazon? Like I gotta, I gotta--
Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
Yeah, so it's in, it's coming and it's coming and it can't come too soon. Because if we look at the practice of most physical therapists, most physicians, we're talking about so many running related injuries. It's like an, it's an epidemic. It's so dangerous. As you said, almost 80% of runners injured in a year. That if I knew that an 80% chance that my child's gonna get injured in a sport, would you let your child do that sport? It's dangerous.
I get, I literally get injured at least once a year from running. And I've been a runner my whole life, so.
Yeah, of course you have.
There's clearly something, there's a disconnect there. And maybe you can give me an overview of the book, and then we can dive into some of the key principles. Again I'm looking and I think the folks at home are looking like I wanna make running a part of my life. I don't wanna put myself at risk, 'cuz it's something I can do anywhere, I love it. It's super accessible, but I don't wanna, I don't wanna do what Chase does, and get hurt all the time.
I'd say that the first part of the book is to introduce runners and again, we're thinking of all types of runners. Not just competitive runners, but people who run for fitness, people who run, CrossFitter who runs, soccer players. The number one sort of basic principle is that we have the right, or the responsibility to do maintenance on ourselves. In other words, we've been living in this, runners have been living in this world, and I was part of this world. I used to sell running shoes on Haight Street here in San Francisco, in the early 90's. Actually, taking people down, didn't even know it. Because I was part of this whole thing where, oh well, you're gonna need orthotics, or you're gonna need this Avia 2050, this super stable shoe. So I'm trying to make up for that.
The Avia. (laughing) That was from the nineties, wasn't it.
Yeah, yeah that was like the podiatrist's favorite shoe at the time. But, so it, rather than, like I am a runner, I get injured, I have to have somebody fix me. Which, there's gonna be surgeons that are happy, gonna be happy to--
Rack up some charges on your credit card. But you have this opportunity to kind of like do some of this work yourself. Or you should be doing some of this work yourself.
And this is important, because you know, We force our physicians under the bus. Imagine you bring your hot, pissed off foot to your doctor. The doc says well whatcha do? And you're like, run. I'm a runner. We're different. And your physician's like, hey, maybe you should stop that. And you're like what, hell you da worst doctor ever. She's like well, let's look at the math. You run like a fool, you're tight and tacked down, and dehydrated and don't sleep. And you got injured running. Hm, what thing is easy for me to change, in a 10 minute office visit. Stop doing that. Instead of having the next conversation, which is hey, you've gotta take some responsibility for this. You can't just break the car and be like the car broke. Ran out of oil, so stupid. Dumb car, right?
And so the working image in our first discussion about what this book might be, was Kelly said, we want the readers to know that we're on your side. We know that you wake up early, you get maybe six hours sleep, hopefully seven,
More likely five.
(laughing) You have to drop the kids off at daycare, and you gotta be at work at 8:30. And you've got that 45 minutes of precious time, that you, you jam your run into your life. And so you get in your running shoes. You get the run done. And immediately within minutes, you're in your office chair checking email. Things like that. So we were looking at that person, like what are the errors that they're making. And Kelly talks about warming up and cooling down. We have 12 standards, and one of that, that's one of the key standards. Are you warming up and cooling down. Even if you've only got a couple minutes before and after, maybe shorten the run. And so, he's, we're looking at that person that doesn't have much time, but how can you sort of build these things into your day that can help restore your tissues, and allow you to not just enjoy running for five years, but as you say, we're built, our bodies are built to go for what, 120 miles, or 110 miles of... 110 years I'm sorry, of running. And we can actually, we can do a lot of damage to that number. But we can also, if we do the right things every day, five, ten minutes, we can enjoy more of that.