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LDRSHIP's avatar

Do you believe people naturally know how to run?

Asked by LDRSHIP (1795points) August 22nd, 2013

I was just thinking about it and it occured to me least the way I think of it, it is no different then learning to crawl or walk, is it?

I mean of course you can just go for a run , but is it that simple in terms of being efficent?


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24 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

After learning how to walk, running would come easily.

LDRSHIP's avatar

@YARNLADY So why is there such emphasis on showing people how to run? Or if people simply know how to run because it is so simple do they get injuries?

I am trying to leave my question a bit open ended on purpose although not sure if it will get it going in the direction I think it will,or if it will lead to more insight.

YARNLADY's avatar

The are efficient ways and inefficient ways of doing just about every physical activity.

LDRSHIP's avatar

@YARNLADY Agreed. But when it comes to running least to me anyways it is hardly ever talked about. Most people just think “Hey I am going to start running” and go buy a pair of running shoes whatever they may buy, and go at it. Without much thought to if this is the best way to do it.

funkdaddy's avatar

Running as an activity is natural. If you look at kids on the playground chasing each other, that’s natural running.

Running as a sport, pushing yourself to get better, or running faster or farther than you would naturally is something different. So when people say they’re “taking up running” they’re not just going out and using their body like they would when they walk, they’re doing something different with different goals. They look nothing like kids on the playground.

A parallel might be that kids can run and kick a ball, but they have to learn how to play soccer. Or on the other side if you decided to crawl faster or longer than was comfortable, you’d probably change how you did it, try different techniques, and come up with something new.

Competitive crawling sounds like torture. ~

LDRSHIP's avatar

@funkdaddy You bring up some interesting points. Some I agree and disagree in a way. Although the problem I also have is how do you define natural running?

Why wouldn’t they look like the kids on playground? In that sense it would make you think the people who decide to run, are in a way doing it wrong. What if by trying to become a better runner I actually compromise something that was already working just fine. Not saying either is correct/wrong just bringing up a point.

I find that to be elusive term too. “Runner” Since speeds and pace and distance can vary so much. For example said person trying to run say a 7 or 6 min pace fro couple miles versus the guy just trailing along to the point where I could likely speedwalk past him makes think about how running is defined in that sense as well. Perhaps it would require a whole new form in itselfs. If that makes sense.

Again I am just playing devils advocate to promote more thoughts, not to say one is necessarily the way to do it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There are an awful lot of people making money selling magazines and writing books telling others how to do it. A 5 second search found: Runner’s World, Running Times, Women’’ Running, etc.
I figured it out by myself and do not know what the magazines say. .

elbanditoroso's avatar

Bruce Springsteen famously wrote that some people are “Born to Run”

JamesHarrison's avatar

Did you think that running is toughest task?
I don’t think so, no one ever learnt about running because its a normal & natural process which we have learn after walk.

dabbler's avatar

Running is very natural for human beings. It’s said we evolved to run great distances to hunt down food critters.
Modern humans do a LOT of things that are unnatural, like wear shoes – especially high-heeled shoes, and sit at desks for long periods of time. Many of us have to recover our natural abilities to run by unlearning some of the bad posture/gait that we impose on ourselves to be modern.

LostInParadise's avatar

I read somewhere that we naturally change our movement as we speed up in order to move in the most efficient way. Walking, jogging and running have different types of motion. What I read is that the energy expended per distance traveled is about the same in each case. As far as injuries are concerned, there are those who think that running barefoot is most natural and least prone to injury.

filmfann's avatar

Anyone with a child 18 months old knows that they run, and the parents have to run after them.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, you just know how to run, but the best form? No.

Neodarwinian's avatar

I do not believe anything.

The evidence shows that humans, especial males, ( though this is not an overall male physical advantage ) were adapted to run long distances to a greater or lesser efficiency. It goes with the bipedal territory as a anatomical byproduct. Articles all over the web.

A starter article.

Pandora's avatar

I think some people may need to learn to run efficiently and there are those who simply know how. It was generally a survival skill that is passed down through genetics. I remember as a kid once riding my bike and crashing it into a chain. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, I flung myself over the chain into a patch of soft grass and somehow managed to land on my feet. I simply meant to not crash into the chain. Instinct took over and my body reacted faster than I could think.
I think running is the same way. Some people know how and what works for them and some have to be taught to do it properly.
Only it is a talent that I think really relies on body structure and agility, endurance and skill. Some are lucky to naturally have it all. Not everyone can be a runner. You either have the ability or not.

gailcalled's avatar

The minute the first saber-toothed tiger or neighboring tribesman with the spear showed up, man learned how to run. Soon the trainers followed. Then man was able to hop, skip, jump, leap tall buildings with a single bound, somersault, swing from vines and stand on his head. Those who didn’t or couldn’t? Well, they were history.

funkdaddy's avatar

@LDRSHIP – my point wasn’t that one group was doing it right and the other wrong, it was that they are basically two different activities that share some basics.

An extreme example might be ice skating. Going to a local rink and skating around doesn’t look anything like modern figure skating. It doesn’t mean one group is doing it right and the other wrong, it’s just two different activities. Figure skating has been optimized into something different. In the same way, people run for sport differently than they run “naturally”. Natural isn’t synonymous with “best” here.

To me, natural running (meaning it comes naturally to us) would generally be for an obvious purpose, include resting when you need to, and generally involve sprinting rather than slogging. It can make people smile. Kids on the playground run because it’s fun, or to chase someone, or to get somewhere quickly. They don’t run at a pace, try to better yesterday’s time, or to burn the calories in their dessert.

Most adults run for exercise and that’s not really any more natural than “I’m going to lift these heavy metal plates repeatedly”. The smiles are in the accomplishment, the exhaustion, or the fact that it’s over.

flo's avatar

I wonder how newborn babies just know how suckle as well.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, of course, but dependent on physical build and stamina there would be variations in speed and endurance obviously.
I love walking but never have liked running.
The ONLY reason we were built to run was when we had to run from predators.
Of course, living in Mountain Lion territory running is NOT what one should do when faced with a cat that can leap 18–20 feet in a single bound. lol

Sunny2's avatar

Kids who are knock-kneed or bow-legged may not run easily. They run, but not with the same fluency as kids without slightly irregular hip structures. To do any serious moving in specialized way, such as dancing and sports, may require training. Even those with natural fluidity in their movements can benefit from training.

LostInParadise's avatar

Something that surprised me when I learned it is that humans are among the best long distance runners That does not help much in getting away from predators, but it does help in tracking down prey. The article says that in some ways we are specifically evolved for running (like using our butt muscles).

cazzie's avatar

According to my father in law, who is part Sami, there is a right way to walk as well and that people should learn it if they want to walk long distances. Of course there are motions we make that can probably waste energy, harm our ankles, knees, hips and back. There is an entire branch of medicine dedicated to this.

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