How to Run Naturally
I thought a good one to talk about would be just the first one. And that is neutral feet. Which is a real simple one. And I'm sure a lot of runners. This would be my first reaction five years ago. I'm like, come on, just standing there with neutral feet, like practicing that. What possible effect is that gonna have on my running?
I don't know if you saw earlier. I was sitting like this, and I was like, these guys are about to throw me under the bus. I need to put my shit back together here. (laughing)
There's a lot of discussion on what, why we've become this culture of heel strikers. And one of the podiatrists that we've talked to, and we mention in the book, is actually one of the rare running podiatrists who doesn't prescribe orthotics first thing. He actually -- We've got photographs in the book where this woman who had motion control issues, orthotics. She was a runner, but her arches were collapsed.
How many of you guys have collapsed arches? Anyone in here have collapsed a...
Say flat feet.
Flat feet. Oh, they've been flat my whole life, they're flat. Can't do anything about it. Do you think you were born with flat feet? No. Rarely rarely rarely do we see foot deforming. So what happened?
And so this woman finally finds this particular podiatrist who's an altar runner himself. And like rather than just going to a running shoe store and buying minimal shoes and assuming that you're born to run, you're gonna be corrected by that within a matter of weeks. He worked with her for a long period of time, and there was before and after photographs. He slowly took away the orthotics. You don't do this overnight. Kelly talks about that as well. It has to be a patient process, but you can see in the after photographs that all of a sudden she has these wonderful alive feet with full arches. She's running in flat shoes. And it's these simple things like the neutral foot. Now, and she also went from heel striking to mid-foot for forefoot striking. Now, I mentioned that race I did in 2011, and there was a photograph of me, and I remember thinking, man, I'm still this fast runner guy that runs on his toes and all that. But there was a picture of me with this horrible heel strike. My foot's out in front of my body, and as Kelly describes, you're essentially hitting the brakes every step you take, and your soft tissues in your knee are taking a good jolt of that.
Is that why I'm -- I mean, I'm not necessarily a heel striker. I photograph for running companies all over the world, and I learn as these shoes are coming out, it's very much about the shoes, of course, but there has been this movement towards being what do you call it, mid-foot or running toe striker.
Just call it natural running. The way that humans run. And there's gonna be some variation in that, but running is running. So if you take off your shoes for me. Can you do that, sir? That's why you were nice socks and underwear, in case you get hit by a car, on TV. (laughing) Right, it happens. And ahead and stand up for us. Take both off for me. 'Cause this neutral feet standing is really easy for people. So just relax. Let your feet just relax and go where they really wanna go.
I'm pretty relaxed.
Right, and what you'll see is that this is what we call is a navicular. I want this thing collapsed. It really wants to collapse. There we go. And you can see, if you got this camera here, is that his bone, this is one of his bones. It's kind of sticking out his feet. In fact, his foot is sort of collapsing on the inside. You can see that he's kind of got a pitch here, and it's like he's softening up. And what ends up happening is that now his ankle's not working as an ankle. And it's starting to collapse all the time. He's putting a huge load to the plantar fascia, and this is a dynamic stable system that no longer is sort of acting like the amazing shock absorber. If you were in the ballet company with this foot, would you get crushed? Yes, you would get crushed. So when you stand, and he's not standing with his feet straight. So stand with your feet straight for me. Now watch this. It's still not straight. Still not straight. And now, your feet are straight. And you can see, he's naturally got some winding, some patterning that when he stands with his feet straight, it automatically supports the tissues of his leg, and the tissues of his back. You're designed to stand with your feet straight, 'cause it automatically captures some of the mechanics that support your body. So your foot is still not straight. Right now it's straight. Okay now, if you just slightly screw your feet into the ground, like they're on dinner plates. And what ends up happening is he does that, he starts to create an arch. And what's happened, by creating that little torque, and then yoga that's called Tadasana. And humans, we call that standing. (laughing) Is that now his ankle un-impinged, his arch is working like an arch, and now his foot is actually supporting itself. And one of the problems that we've kind of gone with for a long time. So heres the deal. If you see him in the hallway and he's not like that, you can just cock punch him. (laughing) Just right for it, okay?
There you have it, alright.
There it is.
It's gonna be a great day.
And we put that community on there. We put a bounty on this position. And the idea, of course I'm kidding around, don't do that. (laughing) Is that he starts to self correct and correlate that, and starts to build that pattern, that becomes his default, and what you'll see is that we'll get tired, but now we know what our feet should look like when we look down. We should have beautiful arches. And the problem is that we've thought about the arch only as a boney system. And the arch isn't a boney system. It's a boney system, and by the way, the arch is an all weight baring surface. True fact. How many bridge supports have you ever seen that have something holding up the bridge? The arch is an all weight baring surface. So what do you think we think about arch supports? Does that makes sense? No, if his foot is designed to absorb force, and be a spring, if I suddenly block that spring, that energy goes somewhere else, right? Yes, I don't collapse my arch, but I end up seeing these other problems. And so what's happened now is he's now starting to work on rebuilding and restructuring his feet, and what that does is it allows us to leverage the three systems of the arch, and that's the boney system, right? The actual kind of bones that create the arch. The connected tissue like the plantar fascia. And the connective tissue around the foot. And also musculature of the foot. And what ends up happening is when we tend to stand with our feet out, you're going to collapse in because if you stand, turn your feet out like a duck like 30 degrees, we see most people stand like this 'cause we just unwind and it's easy and we're short in the hip from sitting. But notice that you can't weight your feet evenly, can you? Where does your weight go? To the inside, right inside your ankle, you just collapse in, squish. And so that's why actually in ballet, it's very difficult to maintain a turnout and actually hold that position, and maintain the integrity of your arch in that turnout. It's an aesthetic issue. But when you're standing straight, and you start to screw your feet into the ground, and pick your arches up into that neutral, what's too far? Well there's not -- My ankle isn't in the middle of my foot. If I look down, my ankle should be in the middle of my foot. My big toe should be on the ground. And suddenly, we have a system that's alive. We know that in children it takes about three or four years to develop the strength and intrinsics of the foot. Well your feet are stiff and weak, and this is one of the base ways where you can be practicing running and cultivating ready to run feet, and that's just by standing.
I'm looking for a system. Like I want your book to tell me. I don't know if it does or not, so I might be messing up the whole show here, but I need someone to tell me like, here's just a handful of fundamentals. Because just full disclosure, I've broke both my ankles twice. I've not even exaggerating, probably had 25 ankle sprains. And like an ortho grabs my foot and they're just like, ooh. So I'm super busted up here, and I do want to run. I wanna run and not get broken. And again, I think I'm like a lot of the folks out there in the in-studio audience and out on the internet.
Everyone has a history. We get it.
We've all had our own thing. So give me a framework. The first thing is, so as soon as I leave here, I'm gonna go in the kitchen and have a cup of coffee, and I'm gonna stand like this.
But if you are obsessed the way we're obsessed, you'll remember. And pretty soon, you bring that awareness back in. And now you've practiced this position because if I spend most of my day like this, how does my brain start to map important movement? It starts to map it as this. And so as soon as I take a strike, how is my foot gonna hit the ground? It's gonna hit the ground in what we call this open position instead of a position that lands and generates force. Can you jump as high as you can in this shape? No. You can jump pretty high. But if I ask you to dunk a basketball, you know where your feet are gonna go? Straight and ready to go, right? I don't say turn your feet out like you're having a cup of coffee, and dunk that basketball. It doesn't happen.
I would just say that awareness is a big thing. Having gone through this process, from the other side to this side I'm on now. And that awareness is not just with myself, but go for a run in Golden Gate Park, and now when I see the runners who have the duck feet thing and I can see what Kelly told me is, a valgus knee problem. You can see the knees each step, they're collapsing in a little bit, and now I can actually feel the soft tissue pain that I know they're experiencing. And you can get away with it for a while. That's the thing. You can get away with it for a while, but part of the Ready to Run idea is, why don't we stop this problem before it becomes a real problem?
And what we try to do in these steps is hey, cultivate this position. Because now you're stopping a whole host of upstream problems automatically. You don't even need to know sort of the whole story, but if you collapse the foot. Go ahead and let your arch collapse. Where did your knee go?
Yeah, they were in.
So suddenly now in the NFL, we know that a lot of people won't draft someone if their navicular bone is on the ground because the navicular drop is pathognomonic for what kind of tear in the ACL, oh the ACL tear. So what ends up happening is the arch collapses. The foot turns out a little bit. Arch collapses, ankle collapses. Suddenly the knee is exposed to a lot more force of twisting.
It even looks nasty. People in the front row are going ooh.
Yeah it does. You're not supported. And so suddenly now we have a patellar tracking problem, we start to see that you'll get tightness, 'cause your body's trying to compensate. So it's like, let's make that tighter and tighter and tighter. Pull it back, right? And all we need to do is start to cultivate this awareness. And that starts with the most important part of running, which is where the foot hits the ground. So we'll gather all those things in. All you need to do is start by saying hey, I'm gonna make a commitment if I'm a runner to try to have my feet straight. Juliette and I, we have one daughter who grew really fast, and her muscles didn't grow really fast, so one of her feet started to turn out a little bit, and we hammered her. Hey, we know how humans walk. We walk with our feet straight. And it makes such a big difference. And it's okay to tell your kids. Feet straight, feet straight. We gotta practice that. We teach the kids to brush our teeth and do anything else. Have your friends. Hey, next time you see me stand like a duck, I'll buy you a beer. And boy, it gets expensive fast, and I don't care how you do it, you've gotta start cultivating this position.
And you do that. You do that so, you beat up on your friends all the time. Like hey dude, you look like --
It's not my fault, it's your fault. (laughing)
Alright, again, I'm Chase. This is TJ and Kelly. Their book Ready to Run, and I'd love to turn to the in-studio audience, and if you guys got any questions, now is a good time. And then Chris, if you wanna prepare a few questions from the folks out there on the internet. That's you. Over there, you got a mic?
No, I don't.
Let's get him a mic. Microphone check, one two, one two.
Thank you. I've heard it talked about a good way to kind of hone in on being mindful of this is looking at the feet as like a tripod. Like the toe, the pinky toe, and then the heel. Big toe, pinky toe, and the heel. What are your thoughts on that? Is that a good way to kind of look at it?
Sure. One of the things is you can just think about as I'm standing, should I have my weight, should my weight should be kind of evenly balanced between the one side of the foot, the other side of the foot, and the heel. And that's what I try to kind of end up is balancing in that shape. And it's okay to be aware of your feet and your consciousness. It's a lot of to bring when your feet are asleep and dead. One of the things that we'll talk about is the rolling of your feet, because they're so stiff, is one of the ways to sort of awaken the foot musculature and up-regulate the system, but it brings awareness to that position. The foot sole is really really complex. It's so complex it becomes simple again. And when you know, it's okay to heel strike when you walk, you don't heel strike very much, but you end up on the outside of your foot correctly, that's where you translate. In ballet, they call that the heel foot. And then as you translate through, you translate to the big toe, which is the toe foot. And so your weight baring part of your foot is through more of the outside of your foot through your heel, but I have my big toe on the ground which makes that tripod. So I mean, that's a very technical explanation, but I should be weight baring. And what you'll see is that people who are overextended, weight in their heels all the time. And so you'll see that people will do crazy things as they stand. They'll do this when they stand, right? Does that look familiar to anyone?
What you're doing is you're automatically creating a fake arch for yourself, and forcing yourself into extra rotation instead of actively doing this, you're like, I don't need to do it anymore. (laughing) I am the man. And that gives me the problems as soon as I try to do anything awesome. So I think that's what we're seeing is that we often see that people are what we call tension hunting. Instead of cultivating good positioning, they're looking for a handout, you know. And that's so much of what we're seeing. We see people squatting, lift their toes up off the ground. And you've gotta have your big toe on the ground. Works you into the Earth. Fires up the musculature of your foot, and the mechanics. And that makes a big difference.
Awareness, I love that it's like, it's just it's own --
Oh it's so simple. You know, if you're home, be barefoot. Get your feet strong. We'll talk about that standard. But take a look at your feet. And you know, when you're making coffee, just look down every so often and be like, oh man, I suck at this. Pretty soon, you won't suck at it. It just becomes automatic. And one day you'll be like, I have arches. You know, it's pretty miraculous.
Yeah, awesome. More questions for the in-studio, yes? Tell us who you are, and what's your question?
My name's Tyler. And thanks for taking my question. I know a lot of runners are short on time, especially AM runners. Let's say you guys have five, 10 minutes to prepare for your run. How do you use that time wisely?
Well, we're gonna get to that as one of our -- Is that --
Oh you can jump to it, yeah.
If you wanna, you get the clicker here. Is there something you need me to show?
No, I don't, no. So, one of the things is, you know --
This is a standard, in the book.
This is a standard. Are you warming up, and are you cooling down? Yes or no? You know, one of the easiest things to do is to make sure that you're up and moving a little bit. If that's possible. And that can even mean starting with a five minute walk. Walk briskly. Walk a little bit more briskly. Do a little jump roping. Get yourself hot and sweaty.
You talk a lot about the lymphatic system in the book, and just the circulation. And how this is like a -- Let's say you're a Formula One driver. You don't just like blaze on to the starting line.
No, they spend a lot of time warming up. You warm up your horse.
I mean, Michael Phelps swims like twice as many -- He swims like a thousand yards as part of his warmup for a 50 meter race, and then jumps in the pool and swims another 800 to cool down. I mean, it's amazing. But we don't have that luxury, right? So one of the issues is, how do we get prepared for that, and one of the ways we can do that is integrating any move that we like. Running drills is part of it.
Jumping rope is another part of it. Sometimes I recommend you take a hot hot shower before you go. One of the problems that we've seen is that it actually takes about five to seven minutes for your physiology to shift on into aerobic mode. Which means that when you're static, all the blood is pooled and your legs, your veins swell up, and they hang out, 'cause you don't need that blood. When it's circulating, it takes a while for your nervous system to kind of, oh, oh, we need the blood. And your veins get a little bit smaller, and you start to dump that blood back into your heart and into your system. Well the same thing happens with, oh there's all this blood in my stomach. I need to push that back into the rest of my system. It takes that long to just get the system online. Of course you can run away from the bear, yes. But that's not the best way to run away from the bear. If you have the choice for running from the bear, you're gonna do some squats, and get ready. (laughing) You know, here we go. But of course you can do it. And I think we confuse the fact that you can do it with what's the optimal. So giving yourself -- One of the things that we did when we were racing slalom, we said no hard strokes for 10 minutes. When we were crushed for time, we said five minutes. If you start sweating, you break into a little sweat, that's a good indicator that you're probably ready to start going.
That's actually a great measurement.
Is that why you sort of get in the groove after five, seven minutes?
You're warmed up.
Yeah, people are like, I got a second wind. I'm like, you did the first warmup, that's amazing. (laughing)
Literally, I for some reason, I don't know, I am an AM runner. I like to run out and just get something really quick. I don't, I do not wanna do five, 10 miles. I like to do two and a half because it's what I can do. It's like, 15 minutes. If I can do two miles, I feel like a totally different person. But I know about part way through I'm like, oh god, finally, I start to feel, that's what's going on. So if I took five minutes and walk first, and then would that make for a better experience?
Oh 100%. And your tissues will start to be perfused. You know, I sometimes describe --
I don't know what that means, but it sounds cool.
Perfusion. So imagine that all the tissues in your body are like a really hard packed Earth, and running and exercise is like a fire hose of water. And that fire hose bounces off of the, right. It takes a while for the water to soak into the ground, and that's what we need to do. We need to sort of set the system up to be ready. Your body isn't always in this constant ready state. We'd never be able to function very well. And we gotta shift blood into connective tissues. We've gotta warm your body up, waken your system up, any way you can do that. And Bela Karolyi, a great gymnast, used to let his gymnasts play indoor soccer. That's how his men like to warm up. 'Cause they were hot and sweaty and ready to go, and he was like, well hot and sweaty and ready to go. Sounds good to me. You know what I mean?
And that's what I'm trying to get to.
So that was a great question from Tyler. That was a little bit about warmup. But since it's a key principal in the book, what about cool down? 'Cause that's the other half of that. What do you guys predict?
Well, going back to that original image that sparked the book. Tyler has to get to work. He's got 45 minutes. He wants to use as much of that as he can for running. And he does, and he hits the shower, and he gets to the office as fast as he can. And then he sits down. And I used to think that that sitting was resting. Like that was my excuse for being pretty sloppy. Well, you know, working at the computer for eight, nine hours. But then Kelly kinda pointed out things like what happens to your lymphatic system when you sit down.
So when you're generating a lot of force, or moving, the way you decongest your tissues is through your lymphatic system. And the lymphatic system is a mechanical pumping system that works with muscle contraction. So when you sit down, all the musculature in your leg turns off. And you know what drives that lymphatic system back and returns all that fluid out? Nothing. And that's why you get kankles when you fly, and that's why you sit all day long and your feet swell if you don't move. If you just stand and don't move. So one of the things that we've said is, hey, if you can walk the last five minutes, walk five minutes. Just bring the temperature down a little bit. Then, also, there's a couple of other big hacks. One is wearing some compression socks. Use some ergogenic --
This is another standard, by the way. Using compression.
But just being able to throw on a pair of compression socks. It doesn't have to be 100 dollar pair of pants. It can be a 20 dollar pair of socks, and that will keep --
What if your pants are so tight that they're like compression socks? (laughing)
If you're creative, then that's not a problem. You know, skinny jeans, I feel you, I feel you.
That's why I wore shorts today, so I could bend over.
Well you just have to have some stretchiness. But what we're seeing is that, if you can throw on a pair of compression socks, that will keep those tissues from being stagnant, and that makes a big difference. You know what else makes a big difference? Don't sit down at work. Don't turn the engine off. Keep it idling. If you can stand at work, then you can be moving, and addressing the stiffness. Certainly your body is robust enough to be able to handle a shower, jump in a car, and get on a commute. But then don't shut it off. It's much easier to keep the engine idling than to do a cold start.
We did talk about that earlier segment for the particular deal. And that refers to your class here on CreativeLive called Maintaining Your Body. It's available on CreativeLive.com/Kelly. The idea that just by standing while you work. I have a standing desk here at CreativeLive. I end up sitting in some meetings.
Yeah, of course.
It sucks. But you said something earlier about burning 100,000 calories a year, something like that?
Yeah, for Juliette, who's a small woman. Sorry baby, that's you. So skinny. 50, that's the ultimate slam on our family. Hey, you're looking skinny. What? (laughing) Thanks, thanks for that. We know that standing will burn an extra 50 to 100,000 calories a year.
33 marathons, I didn't know that.
Right, nice little fun fact.
And you know if you get a tan on top of that, you are set. So I think what the issue is, if we can continuously move, and standing alone for an hour is difficult, isn't it? I want you to fidget. I want you to have your foot up. I want you to move. I want you to lean up against the stool. Place your foot. But the idea is that your best position is your next position. Sitting is a skill. How's your doing, are you sitting up tall?
Yeah, nice work here.
Did you see how this is what we call the position of the three spines? He's created three spines for himself. Three spines engage. Internal rotate to shoulders. I don't have to do any work here. And so it's very difficult to maintain the skill positions. We treat sitting like a skill. We talked about it in the book, et cetera, et cetera. Comma, understand that if you're just moving, that's gonna work. And then you don't see the error that happens when we aren't able to cool down effectively.
So if you're Tyler. He goes, he runs, he gets back. And instead of going to the office and sitting down, you want him going back to work as whatever his job is, just trying to keep standing, if possible.
And let's keep moving through the day. So what the research has said is that.
I'm gonna fidget.
Unfortunately, yeah, perfect. Unfortunately, if you exercise or train, like an Olympian for one hour a day, but you sit the rest of the day, you still have a sedentary lifestyle, and it doesn't count. It's the equivalent of jogging and smoking. So what we've gotta do is if we're gonna start to cultivate this, one of the things that is key is you've gotta be building tolerance and control and strength in the systems. Research just came out that showed that young kids were weaker than they were 20 years ago. Just from the core. Like their bellies we weak, and they didn't have a -- And it's because they're doing more sitting. So it's an easy way if you can't warm, cool down effectively, just give yourself some mover block. What we like to do a lot of our soft tissue work when we're done training. But if that doesn't work, you're gonna do the soft tissue work afterwards. They don't have to be conjoined. But try to keep moving through the day. That'll make a huge difference in terms of dealing with your stiffness. 'Cause we're talking about this run. We're talking about the next 10 runs.
Got it. One more question for the in-studio audience, and then we'll go to the internet's. But we need to get a mic for you. Tell us who you are, and fire your question to these handsome men.
My name is Nathalia, and I wanna talk about shin splints. 'Cause I think about running, and it's like I can almost feel them starting. I've had 'em since I was in fifth grade. I was a basketball player, and had to quit because I just couldn't run.
You quit in the fifth grade? Your dream. Some coach stifled your basketball dream. Alright, so when we see the shin splint, really we're talking about, there's a couple of shin splints that happen. One in the front, and one around the back. And what really is done is we pull the injured, the interface between the tissue and the bone. That's typically how we describe it. So it's sort of an apothe-citis, which is the interface of that tissue. What ends up happening is it swells, and then there's little tiny spaces. That swelling is murderous. And all you have to do is have shin splints one time, and you're like, oh I'm not doing that again. And the problem with that is twofold. Every time we see someone with shin splints, this is what we see. The tissues of the shin themselves are stiff. And so we have a system that's designed to withstand force and to culminate what's happening in the foot. But because it's so stiff, it doesn't work very well, and we end up instead of transmitting energy evenly through that, we end up ripping it. Does that make sense? This is why we take a ball, a lacrosse ball or a spongy ball or a foam ball, and we do spend a bunch of time working on the front of our legs. We roll out our shins a ton. So that's number one. Number two is we always see that people who have shin splints don't have full range of motion in their ankles. What does full range of motion in your ankles look like? Put your feet together for me, Chase. Together.
Right, and notice. Now just squat all the way down. Keep your heels on the ground. This is what we call full range of motion in the ankle. And it's a bright line, it's one of our standards. Is that this is --
Can I get up now?
Yeah, it should be easy to be down there, right?
Yeah, it is.
Yeah it is. And that's because it's not a problem. That's enough range of motion to be able to run. But if my ankle is stiff, and I don't have full range of motion, imagine what happens when I start to run. And couple it with the fact that hey, running is a skill. And if I heel strike, I put in every 400 meters that I run, which isn't very far, that's about 420 contacts with the ground. That's 220 loads for me, or 210 loads. Three times body weight where I'm decelerating 230 pounds with my foot. What do you think the chances of this winning against this? It's not gonna happen. (laughing) It's not gonna happen. I mean, I have some jacked shins, but they're not that jacked. And I think the problem is we're not looking at that what it is. You have shin splints? Maybe you're not running correctly. You have shin splints? Those tissues are stiff. You have shin splints? Do you have full range of motion in the ankle, yes or no? And when we start to get to that, there's no reason why you can't run today. And we, you know, it's miraculous how we've been able to take that stuff off.
Awesome, let's go to the internet, Chris. I know there's a lot of folks at home. I'm getting, hi signs. You gotta take questions, the internet's exploding. So if the internet's exploding because these two guys are on stage, let's do some work with those folks.
Yeah, the internet is exploding. We have lot of questions coming in. And just so you guys know, we have people all from the US and Canada, and lots of international viewers. I've been hearing in the chat room from people from Hong Kong, from Scotland. So thank you all for tuning in. But this question actually is a little bit closer to home. This comes from JC Roberts, and they say, I've been in California pretty much my entire life, and I wear flip flops on a daily basis. (speakers groaning) What do you guys think about flip flops? (laughing) So let's hear your thoughts on flip flops.
So here's just an out of one. They do, slippers look good, right? Raise your hand if you got married in flip flops? (laughing) Okay, so I'm down -- You did, too? Nice. Rainbows, were they rainbows? (laughing) Of course. Okay here's the problem. Flip flops are cool and they're cheap and ubiquitous, right? But as soon as you put flip flops on, or slippers, as they say in Hawaii, what ends up happening is you automatically start to wreck how your body works. And in order to keep the slipper on, you have to clench your toe, and create stiffness in the foot. And what that means is you can't extend through your big toe. Keeping the toe down is what makes the flop. Right, that's what makes the slap noise. And so as I naturally walk, my big toe has a mechanism called the windlass mechanism, and as I extend over my foot, the plantar fascia suddenly becomes stiff. And that's one of the ways that I can create stability in the foot. If I suddenly have a toe that doesn't work, and my ankle doesn't flex, what happens to the foot? I start to turn it out. And because I'm walking with really stiff ankles all the time, I start making really strange habits. I can't extend my foot very far. I way overstride. And the fact that as I extend, I'm able to release some of the neural dynamic problems, how the nerves race through the tissue. I'm designed to be able to have this triple extension. In fact, we look at triple extension as one of the mechanisms of athletic development, right? Anything. Jumping, right? But all of the sudden I'm like, jump with your flip flops on. You're like, oh, they're gonna fly off. I'm like, no no, jump with them on. You're gonna be like, and create this really strange jump. We just got an email yesterday saying, okay, I live in Hawaii. I took the 30 day flip flop challenge. My knee pain cleared up. My feet weren't stiff. I had my arches back. In Hawaii, they actually call it island feet. Kids who grow up wearing slippers have collapsed arches and island feet. Their feet are destroyed. Kids who grow up on the island barefoot have beautiful arches. In fact, we were just in Africa, and we looked at a bunch of kids' feet, and your toes should touch. And so if you're always coaching your toe, this ends up creating so many stiffness problems. Remember, 10,000 steps a day. If you're walking around. 5,000 low, it's a 70,000 steps a week. Do the math. In four months, you're at a million steps. Plus all the running you're doing. Do you really wanna be mucking up the beautiful beautiful feet system? No. So our rule in the gym is athletes don't wear slippers. Sanuks, OluKai, Beck. There's so many good shoes that have a back. As long as it has a back, it's fair game. But please please please. If you're worried about getting athlete's foot in the shower, wear slippers. Wearing 'em for five minutes is not gonna mess anything up. But notice that you will start to feel terrible. Take the 30 day flip flop challenge. Ditch your slippers for 30 days. If they don't feel better, TJ will buy you a new pair of slippers. (laughing)
And additional to that, for those of us who have wrecked feet, another section of the book, our specific mobility drills. They can help us kind of put some life back into our feet. For example, I think it was an Australian physio, the toe sort of move --
Yeah, which we're just -- Like, the big toe, as I found out in all the reporting on this, is so critical to being ready to run, and being able to use the hundred million years of evolution that made us the runners that we were born to be, go. And maybe you could talk about that a little bit.
Well, you know, the big toe is crucial. But here's what's the problem with standing like this. Is that as soon as I stand and run like this, as soon as I translate over, take a step, I'm in error. So I could stand like this just fine, as long as I walk with my feet straight. But does that happen? Hey, how's it going? And now I start going. That never happens, right? I jump and land playing basketball, then I run. No no, it's not gonna happen. Who I am is who I am all the time. And if I turn my foot out, the second I take a step, look what happens to my big toe. Do you see the twist that happens in the foot?
Something in my plantar fascia is getting torqued. This is the mechanism for bunions. This is why you get a bunion. You push your big toe out of the way, and basically twist your knee off as you walk. And then as I strike through, you can see the forces coming through this. It's a disaster. And this is actually one of the mechanisms for why we see that women are tearing their ACLs at nearly five times the rate of men. Five times. The rate of kid childhood ACL injury is through the roof. It's like an epidemic. UCSF has a operating theater. They could book 24 hours a day doing kid ACL injuries. And so one of the ways that we know is safer is make sure your kids' feet are straight. That they walk and run and jump and land with their feet straight. So cultivating this as a family is huge. My children do not wear flip flops, they're not allowed.
When I try to put my feet straight, I tend to like, my knees feel like they're moving inward. So it makes it uncomfortable. Is that just because I've been standing the wrong way, and I've done that? 'Cause they told me I'm just born that way, and I can't --
You're so different than every other person ever born. So if I stand like this, and then all of a sudden bring my feet straight, did I change my knees at all? No, I need to change my hip and back function. And that's really the problem with just going after the feet. The feet block us. So I can be working towards that, and I work on the rest of the system. Remember that thing we said yesterday? You should have a moving practice. Where we have the first segment.
That's why we're also doing, just running alone isn't enough. Gotta have a moving practice. But also treating. If I'm overextended, this is my pattern, I certainly walk with more neutral spine, then those knees start to self correct. That extra rotation starts to fix itself. So you have one piece of the puzzle. We've given you the rest of the pieces.
Yeah, and it's available on CreativeLive. CreativeLive.com/Kelly will get you to his maintaining your body, talk about that whole system, not just the feet. That to me, I'd like to go back to the internet for, but you have been standing like this the whole time. Are you just posing for us because you're selling a running book right now, or like what's the --
He always stands like that.
Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice.
It does become easier. We made a commercial for our friends at Reebok where I was standing at a urinal next to another guy, and he was standing with his feet out, and I was like, hey, feet straight. And I wanna say that I'm not obsessed like that, but I'm obsessed like that. And especially when we know how many problems it causes downstream. It causes so many issues. And remember, now we're looking at billions and billions of dollars. And we're looking at a ton of ended careers as a kid. No one told you to stand with your feet straight, or be in flat shoes. There's so many pieces that we can just stop today, and really start to self correct this. And it becomes habit. I mean, if you guys knew me a long time ago, one of our ballet dancer friends was like, man, you were so stiff 10 years ago. And I was like, no, I could move pretty well, but cultivating this awareness and being in better positions. Unfortunately what happens is that when you work in bad positions, you get stiffer. When you work in a good position, you become less stiff. And I wish it was the other way around, but bad mechanics begets stiffness, which makes worse mechanics.
Yeah, that's the story of me physically, like living for 15 years like this.
We didn't know, but now you know. And so once you know, you have the right to change it. And that's really, you know, these are -- We've done and talked about nearly every one of these things on our website for free. We've aggregated all those things into a very simple one or zero standard that allows us to come back to it. Because we know it's a moving target. We know you're gonna change, and you're gonna run a marathon. You're gonna get stiff. And you know, things are gonna happen. You're gonna have a kid, or injure yourself somehow. This allows us to have a weigh point to say, where am I today?
What is that website, that the folks at home can go to?
It's called MobilityWOD, W-O-D, dot com. There's a workout of the day. The idea is this is a daily practice to take care of this extraordinary machine. We just saw an article in the New York Times that said when we basically make people a lot safer, we're gonna live longer. When you deal with pathology and disease, that's why we're gonna live a little bit longer, but now we're being crushed by environmental factors, and some of the other issues. You're gonna be 110. It's up to you how you wanna be when you're 110. I wanna look like you.
That's awesome. I wanna look like you. So we got a little thing going. And let's hear from the internets please, Chris.
Yeah, so we do have lots of people out online who come from different backgrounds and different ages. Now this question comes from InTheSwim, and they say, what advice would you give for someone who's overweight, moderately active, but 70 years old? Is there hope at my age? The audience looks young and fit, and it sounds like this class would be good for them, but what advice do you have for somebody who's 70 years old and trying to get out there?
We have a great pediatric physical therapist instructor. She's like, look, muscles and tissues are like obedient dogs. At no point in your life do you ever stop healing, or do you ever lose the capacity to improve. Is it harder? Absolutely. The main thing is that what we've said is, are you starting, yes or no? Go for a walk. Go for a little longer walk. Go for a walk up a hill. Carry two five gallon jugs of water on your walk up the hill. Put on a weight vest. You know, it doesn't matter. At some point, it's really nice to have a coach. But we live in an age right now where so much good information is out there about beginning. We had one of our master coaches, Gregg Glassman, had a story where this woman said, you know, I can't even squat, though. She did one squat a day. And the next day it was two squats. And then the next day, all she could do was three squats. And literally like the little kid jumping over the beam, getting stronger and stronger. It's the caster, he lifted it up. In three months, she was doing 100 plus squats a day, and her back pain went away and she got stronger. The problem is it's all or nothing for us. And we just need to start and be consistent. Consistency, consistency, consistency, consistency.
And do you think the price of like, oh I don't have one minute, three minutes, five minutes, 15 minutes now, think about it in 50 years when you're gonna have to dedicate so much time to doing it. Why not start this system today? And even in 50 years.
Doing something is better than doing nothing.
And what you're gonna see is, some of these things just become part of your life, it's really simple. And you're like, I can't believe I ever lived in such squalor.
And that's the way the book is designed. The 12 standards, some are lifestyle standards, others are mobility standards. And knowing that the average readers can be very busy, or have other obstacles, it's basically adding some new quick habits to your day, and making some lifestyle changes. And if there are specific problems, going to the toolbox in the back of the book, and like you said earlier, rolling out that hot spot.
And you know, one of the things that TJ can attest to is that this is the same conversation I have with Olympians who are making the same errors. They are just able to deal with the crap a little bit better than you. They have that genetic ability to buffer, smoke a little bit more, eat a little more chocolate doughnut. But we still have, they still apply. These things are universal rules for the best of us and down to my kids. It's universal, absolutely.
And you used the phrase system of systems earlier. And in working on the book, I saw that. It's like you see how that first standard, the neutral feet standard ties in to the hydration standard, and then to a hip function standard. They all sort of help one another along. Is that kind of to your imagery?
Of course, of course. And I think the problem is that we're all so fractioned and so busy that we're like, okay I got this attention. Okay okay, this compression sock didn't cure my running sickness. It must not be the compression sock. You know, or I went and saw this practitioner. It didn't work. Or I got the shoe -- We have to take a little bit systems approach. The problem is there's so much noise. We've tried to winnow it down. In our understanding, there is not a book like this. It's not a technique book. It is a book about being ready. To have the mechanics and the tissues that will sustain a lifestyle of running. It's very very simple, and literally you've never seen anything like it.
If we've learned anything through the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of courses that have been on CreativeLive, it's like when we can prescribe systems for people, through a book like Ready to Run, or through your class, maintaining your body, prescriptive systems are the things that gets people's habits to change. And we hear that from thousands of CreativeLive viewers all over the world all the time. That anything that can be prescriptive, like what the two things that you guys are presenting today are, those are what changes habits and gets people back on the road to health.
So you should love running. You should be able to run, we run probably three times a week. That's probably why I'm one of the 30 million of you who runs three times a week. I love running. When I go travel, I run. If there's a beach, that's what my default, I love to run. We were just in Africa, and we did some running, but it was a little scarier. (laughing)
That's right, that's right. But you know, please, please understand that this is why you evolved to stand upright. And this is the thing that makes us so unique as animals on the planet. And every child runs. And at some point it went wrong for us, and you have the right to reclaim it, and even just short little bursts, and throwing Frisbee, I mean, it's the same. It's incredible.
And so many times I've had a conversation with like a 25 year old, and they find out that I'm a triathlete and a runner, and they ask about the marathon, and I say yeah, I've done some marathons. And they go wow, I could never do a marathon. And I'm thinking, wow, you're 25 years old. I know there was a guy named Dr. Paul Spangler, and he was 95 years old, and you could see him at track races. And he'll master his track meets. He'd be the only one in the 90 plus division. And he'd run. Do you know Spangler?
We've got a question.
He's awesome, 'cause he'd go to -- I'd run in like the 1,800 and the 1,500. Spangler would enter every race, and they just gave him the outside lane. (laughing) And he just kept on cracking up the mills the whole day. I go, that's the guy I wanna be.
And here's the last idea. If you're a creative, or you're a person who says, hey I'm not an athlete, the principles of the book apply to your life. This is a lifestyle book masquerading as a Ready to Run book. You are gonna go hiking or carry your kids around. Your feet are gonna hurt. Your mom has plantar fascia. The same prescription works. And if you're traveling, be hydrated. Warm around, warm up. Wear compression. I mean, it works across schemas. So even if you're just walking, that's just a slower version of running. This book is for you.