Ultimate Natural Running Startup Guide Webinar Notes

Below are my notes from tonight’s webinar – these are simply notes, that I want to keep track of, so there are errors in grammar, possible spelling mistakes, missing words, etc.

Webinar: Ultimate Natural Running Startup Guide

Facilitator: Patton Gleason, President Natural Running Store

Goals for the Seminar:

  • What is Natural running – not the best definition
  • Debunk some dogma – Running is fraught with things not backup with science
  • Become empowered about what your running experience looks like
  • What can we do to empower ourselves and engage to make positive strides in your running.
  • Catalyst is something that can expedite change and part of the foundation to move forward

Tonight is about running form.

Discussed one runner’s return to running

  • Triathlete’s Training Bible
  • Pose Method
  • Barefoot Running

New way of thinking – went against what “everyone” was saying in the running industry

What is Natural Running

Moving how your body is designed to move and fully developing the capabilities that you have.

Style – just because you run barefoot, doesn’t mean that you will have great form. It is important to know what this style looks like to be able to do it correctly.

It is more of a running style.


  • Health – gets to be a lot better, foot health be stronger and more capable, even prevention better form, posture, can prevent issues that athletes. (body designed to not be hurt when running)
  • Injury prevention – changes to how you run can make you less injury prone
  • Enhanced performance – if can be more consistent (train more and be more efficient) you will become a better runner
  • Independence – We are born capable and now there isn’t a strong message in the running community that runners can figure things out for themselves
  • Accountability – When we have runs are not great, we have to take responsibility for the run, it takes the shoe out of the picture
  • Fun – There is something really fun about just running. Be able to run and do things in a running that are just fun. – In races or trainings we do things that are not that fun, but watch kids run uninhibited and we can make running fun again.

Disclaimer – Changing to a more natural running style or form is low risk, but high reward and is one components of optimal health – strength training, nutrition, sleep, mental aspects

Natural running is not the best fit for everybody – is a different mindset to have this level of personal accountability or to develop this skill set

Rare circumstances, not an option – genetic reasons, environmental concerns, body is very resilient and do more than we think, but there are instances where natural running is not right for someone..

The elements of Natural Running – F.L.O.W. Method


  • Posture – All starts with your posture – strong and straight – be aware of where your head is to be right on top of your shoulders (positioning is key)
  • Arms Up
  • Proud


  • Bent knees
  • World best suspension system – there is no shoe that will cushion better than good bent knees (suspension vs cushioning)
  • When knees bend, creates the suspension should have for better running and is a main component of natural running
  • Pay attention to Height Above Ground (HAG Line) Stay below the HAG line (hips) Center of mass is closer to the ground, hamstrings more engaged. No straight leg running.
  • Misinformation about knee injury – heel landing or lack of knee flexion
  • Squat test – hips or ankles may be tight. Great way to warm up
  • Arm carry


  • Implies a controlled action that you can do over and over – we do not use the term striking the ground. Optimal scenario the foot lands under your center of mass. Difficulty occurs when landing ahead of the center of mass.
  • Run with the shorter strides to pull feet off the ground.
  • Lean forward, the further out in front of you the more your foot acts like a brake. Minimize the braking.
  • Pose Method and Chi Running teach this very well. The lean is not the end all be all, but if body position makes it easier for the feet to get off the ground. You still push-off the ground, but use gravity more and less push.
  • Trying to run on the forefoot has resulted in injury, if you are landing way out in front will result in injury.


  • Never above the Hagline, keeping the hips closer to the ground is a goal
  • Stride length inches make a big difference
  • Stride rate – 10 min mile pace as base. 180 cadence is the goal, strides are quicker and foot gets under the center more naturally, think of the hot potato and the more contact time on the ground is a greater transference of energy.


  • Consistent – Be consistent with the changes you are making to your running style.
  • You stink at change, but…however we are great at adapting, it will take time for it to feel natural.

Debunking myths and running industry tricks (marketing campaigns

  • Pronating – is something that body does naturally, people tend to walk and run very differently
  • Blow out your knees – If you run with bad technique that gait cycle will be the reason, but not if run appropriately
  • Hard surfaces – running on concrete, etc., there is no data that supports that. Body will auto compensate for the different surfaces.
  • Truth about shoes – shoes are a tool, no big secret except to working hard

Best shoes

  • Level
  • Light
  • Wide toe box
  • Flexible
  • Thin stack-height with regards to foam (height above ground)

Next steps

Get naked (not nude) Naked Runners Australia – Ted X Video. Kick off your shoes for 10 minutes and experiment (be an experiment of one). Re-awaken the body sensing of your ground – being comfortable in your own skin. Much easier to practice when you are going slow and be in control.

Stand more – sitting is more of an issue than we give it credit for. Using standing desk. Practice standing on one foot and the different leans. Practice posture with low risk and high reward.

Next run

  • Warm up with barefoot
  • Dynamic drills, bounding, skipping
  • Squat test – easier barefoot

5 minute rule

Check in when running

  • Posture
  • make sure you are below HAG line
  • cadence
  • stride length
  • Landing

Auto-correct opportunities

Relaxing is a skill, you have to practice and make a skill set, harder to do with headphones (leave them at home) focus on the task at hand and can make adjustment or micro adjustments.

Breath – glide

Be in the moment and focus

Slowly get the non-essentials out of your shoes – as you get more efficient get shoes closer to the ground.

Other strategies

  • 100 ups – see video on site
  • Jump rope – mimic jump rope motion
  • Kettlebell
  • Metronome – help to set cadence,
  • More time barefoot

Big picture: Fluid movement patterns make for fluid motions!

These are my notes of this Webinar, they are not all-inclusive, they are not exact notes and there may be errors of omission or inadvertent errors that mis-state the intent of the facilitator.

I want to thank Patton Gleason of the Natural Running Store for putting on this Webinar and giving runners more information on adapting to a more natural running form.  I will put the link to the Webinar below when it becomes available.

3 thoughts on “Ultimate Natural Running Startup Guide Webinar Notes

  1. I’ve spent a long time working on my form (and still keep working!) and I concur with so much of this. I think just about everyone can benefit from adopting some of these suggestions. My body feels entirely different with my new form–so much fresher. Highly worth it!

    1. I agree with your sentiments, but changing your form is not a quick fix or something most of us can do overnight, it takes a lot of hard work, persistence and patience. It is like Patton said low risk, high reward if you take it slow. I have lost a lot of my speed in the transition, but I am running farther and more consistently now than I have in a long time, the speed will come back eventually, but at this point in my running career, speed is over rated. I just want to be able to run when I want to run. 🙂

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