Dr. Mark Cucuzzella Drops the Knowledge Bomb on the Nation

featured image January 31, 2012

You may never lace up a pair of shoes the same after you listen to this podcast. Disclaimer: This podcast may be hazardous to the health of your traditional running shoe, orthotics and even your socks. Runners proceed with extreme caution.



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  • Tim Smith

    Big points to Dr. Cucuzzella for the Ctrl+Alt+Delete analogy! Awesome.

  • Shelly L

    One of the best interviews I’ve ever heard. I’ve listened to Dr. Cucuzzella before, but you guys really hit the nail on the head this time. Great job and PLEASE bring him back for another round!!

    • Don Freeman

      Shelly L I learned so much from talking with Dr. Cucuzella. The naturalrunningcenter.com web site is amazing too.

      • Shelly L

        I spent hours browsing the site and downloading the studies he has linked there. For a change, my internet time was not a waste! Great information and resource center. I’d love to attend one of his weekly seminars at the store.

  • Kristina

    I’m pretty sure this was the best running podcast I’ve ever heard. It answered so many of my questions..including some I didn’t know I had..and provided explanations for many of my experiences with injuries and shoes. The doctor’s explanation of the reason behind the 180 cadence was particularly helpful. Thanks.

    • Scott Warr

      Have you tried the 180 cadence yet????? WOW, I found it very difficult to keep up. What were your experiences?

  • David Rowe

    Ditto to all the comments above….. an hour VERY well spent…………



  • Steve Goldman

    Loved the podcast. In it, you mentioned a video in which Mark was featured, along with 2 others, possibly from a marathon. I believe you said it was slowed way down to see their different forms. I can’t seem to find it on http://naturalrunningcenter.com. Can you point me to it?

    • Scott Warr

      Thanks for the nice comment, Steve. Here is the link to the video: http://vimeo.com/14844544

      • Steve Goldman

        Awesome, thanks for the links Scott!

  • Scott Warr

    Another Mark Cucuzzella web site that has a bunch of cool videos is: http://www.trtreads.org/Videos_TLPH.html.

  • Ian B

    LOVE my trail gloves. This whole podcast just reaffirmed everything I’ve been doing. 🙂

  • JasonM

    Does anyone know where the video is that Dr. Mark referenced regarding Achilles tendinitis?

  • JasonM
  • Rand

    I want Dr. Mark’s and everyone else’s take on how to run downhill in minimalist shoes or even barefoot. it’s soooo much easier to heal strike while going downhill that I have chosen shoes that will allow me to do it on the downhills. Any Ideas???

    • Dr. Gangemi

      Rand, yeah it’s “easier” but not efficient – by heel striking you’re slowing yourself down and will be in a leaning-back position. The steeper the hill it may be hard not to heel strike somewhat at first, but start with a gradual slope. I run barefoot on some pretty steep hills on the roads and don’t have any problems; though it takes time your body quickly adjusts.

    • Rand, forefoot striking downhill seems to give me more stability as well. Since I have a tendency to roll my ankle, this greatly reduces my risk of rolling, even though I am going a bit faster than if I were heel striking.

      My $.02

  • Andrew

    I’m not a fast running, more like a just keep on going type. Tried the 180 cadence to see and holy cripes. Fast, very fast. But I could not hold it for very long, only a mile or so. I suppose keep on training it and see. It did feel great, but I seemed to get winded after a mile of the pace. Legs felt good though.

  • Common Sense

    Someone should ask Dr. Cucuzella why we don’t walk in the manner he suggests we run? We were designed to heel strike, the heel and kinetic chain were meant to absorb these forces. Changing form only changes loading on different tissues. Some people will be able to adapt to midfoot form and many others will not. Shoes didn’t cause this and neither shoes nor the lack of cause injuries, loading causes injuries. Minimalist and barefoot training can be added to healthy people’s routines and I’m sure it will enhance their training but the Dr. suggesting this as a treatment for the injured cannot be taken seriously.

    • Rene Borg

      Try jumping onto your heels from a high step onto a hard surface and then report back on how well adapted your heels are to that. PS. I take no responsibility for any injury incurred as the effects should be obvious.

      Shape and loading depends on forces – the essence of biomechanics is making the correct shapes to match the forces. This system rests on proprioception, among others things, the less proprioception the less time to make the appropriate shapes for the force involved. Loading the heels at 1x body-weight is fine but once you go much over that on most surfaces, it’ll be obvious through self-experimentation that injury will occur. The fact we added a big heel as extra padding does not change the biomechanics.

  • Eric

    This podcast is only 8 minutes long. Am I the only one having this problem?? I downloaded it through iTunes and I tried listening here on this page, but it’s always cut way short. Help!!

    • Eric

      It’s working again. Thanks for fixing. What a great interview!

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  • Adelle

    Where can I find the video referred to in this podcast about the achilles tendon, I cannot seem to find it on the natural running center website