Pronation is frequently misunderstood and blamed for a variety of running related injuries. Understanding the importance and intricacy of this movement will help you see pronation with much greater clarity.
In the not too distant past, many running shoes were designed to “control” the motion of your foot, firmly planting the idea that too much movement wasn’t beneficial and could lead to injury. While the shoe industry has largely moved away from this type of design, most of us still hang onto the idea that too much movement – whether pronation or supination – is a bad thing.
While the general concepts of pronation and supination are not difficult – their Latin roots mean turning downward (pronation) and turning upward (supination) – the finer details of how your feet move is much more complex. But the transition between these two movements is where the magic is – creating a spring like effect to produce energy and benefit your running.
Keith Mueller on Running and Pronation
My guest on the podcast this week is a coach who takes a holistic view of endurance training and considers himself a problem solver for endurance athletes. Keith Mueller is the founder of Higher Ground Athletics in Boulder, Colorado. His understanding of the details of movement patterns – including pronation and supination – will help you get a better grasp of this essential running mechanism.
Keith and I met a few months ago on a group run, and we soon found ourselves deep in discussion about performance and training theory. He has worked with an array of athletes, ranging from weekend warriors to state champion cross-country teams. Keith’s view of training is comprehensive, exposing athletes to the gamut of trainable qualities to make them better prepared for all the demands that running places on the body.
Our conversation today will help you think differently (and likely in greater depth) than ever before on pronation and supination. We discuss:
- The relationship between pronation and supination
- Why flat feet and high arches matter less than you might think
- The important role of rotation in pronation
- Your range of motion: use it or lose it
- Whether barefoot running helps retrain your movement patterns
- How variety gives your body the ability to improve
- The importance of moving away from idea of “good” or “bad” movement patterns
Keith’s ability to communicate complicated concepts make this a podcast that all runners will enjoy and benefit from!
Links & Resources from the Show:
- Learn more about Keith and Higher Ground Athletics
- Follow Higher Ground Athletics on Instagram
- Watch more from Higher Ground Athletics on YouTube
- Need help with injury prevention?
Thank you Lagoon!
Our newest sponsor is Lagoon, maker of the most comfortable pillow I’ve ever used. And that’s no hyperbole. I’m pleasantly surprised every night I lie down because this pillow is just perfect for me. Since I know that sleep is the #1 recovery tool at my disposal, I’m taking it a lot more seriously.
I took their sleep quiz to find the right pillow for my body size and sleeping position at. It only takes 2 minutes and you’ll find the type of pillow that will work best for you. I’m using the Fox and absolutely loving it. A big reason why is because it’s adjustable.
Since you can add or remove fill to get your alignment right, it’s a great way to optimize the most important way you can become a better runner that isn’t training: sleep. We all know how important sleep is. It’s the best recovery tool that you have at your disposal – better than compression, ice, heat, massage, or anything else you can think of. Sleep is when the magic happens and your sleep quality matters.
Take your rest and recovery to the next level with Lagoon and get 15% off your purchase with code strengthrunning here.
Thank you DrinkLMNT!
A big thanks to DrinkLMNT for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. They are offering a free gift with your purchase at DrinkLMNT. And this does NOT have to be your first purchase. You’ll get a sample pack with every flavor so you can try them all before deciding what you like best.
DrinkLMNT’s products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.
My favorite flavor is watermelon salt, but citrus salt is also a banger. I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.
There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense. So check out DrinkLMNT to try their new flavor or get a free sampler pack.
Thank You Previnex!
After resisting most supplements for the better part of my life, I’m cautiously changing my tune. I’m less than a year from being a Masters runner and in my personal life, I’m optimizing for longevity. I want to be my healthiest self for as long as possible and I’m excited to partner with Previnex to make that happen.
Previnex uses the most bioavailable, clinically tested ingredients, the optimal form and dose of each ingredient, pharmaceutical grade manufacturing, testing of raw ingredients and finished products. For every purchase you make, they also donate vitamins to kids in need.
I’ve been taking their Immune Support and multivitamin over the last month and I feel great. I have more energy and clarity, not to mention peace of mind that I’m giving my body what it needs. I believe Previnex works and I hope you experience the same benefits as I do. Use code jason15 for 15% off your order at Previnex!