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A Different Take On Recent Barefoot Running Article

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 7, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM UTC
Canadian Running senior editor Alex Hutchinson isn't buying a lot of Christopher McDougall's claims in his recent New York Times Magazine article.

The editor of Canadian Running raises some doubts.

Canadian Running senior editor Alex Hutchinson isn't buying a lot of Christopher McDougall's claims in his recent New York Times Magazine article.

Born to Run author Christopher McDougall’s recent article in the New York Times Magazine about barefoot running and minimalism has generated a lot of discussion on the various running-related bulletin boards. One contrarian response appeared on Alex Hutchinson’s Sweat Science Web site. In the article, Hutchinson, who is the senior editor of Canadian Running magazine, lists out three problems he has with it.

The first question he raises has to do with the purported science in McDougall’s article.  ”I can’t really critique it, because there isn’t any science there — it’s all anecdote,” Hutchinson writes. He goes on to link to evolutionary biologist Pete Larson’s response to the article. Larson is quoted in the opening scene of McDougall’s piece.

“Larson’s cautious middle ground is probably not what you’d expect if you’d just read McDougall’s article without knowing anything else about Larson,” Hutchinson contends.

The second issue Hutchinson raises is W. G. George’s 100-up exercise, a century-old drill that McDougall suggests may be the “one true way” to develop perfect running form.

For More: Sweat Science

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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