Essential Reading: Running Fast and Injury Free

gordonpirieRunning Fast and Injury Free is the book penned by British distance running legend Gordon Pirie before his death in 1991. The book advocates Pirie’s landing on the front of the foot style of running versus the common heel strike running style of his era. Pirie’s running style made him a three-time Olympian (1952, 1956, 1960) and enabled him to brake five world records during his running career.

The book is essential reading for any competitive runner. It gives insight into the views of various aspects of running such as mental preparedness, shoes, training, weight training, and diet from a champion. I have only have had a chance to brush through the book and what I have read so far I have liked.

The book is available for free at Scribd.

1 – Running with correct technique (even in prepared bare feet), on any surface, is injury free.
2 – Running equals springing through the air, landing elastically on the forefoot with a flexed knee (thus producing quiet feet). On landing, the foot should be directly below the body. (Walking is landing on the heels with a straight leg).
3 – Any and all additions to the body damage running skill.
4 – Quality beats quantity; the speed at which you practice the most will be your best speed.
5 – Walking damages running.
6 – The correct running tempo for human beings is between three and five steps per second.
7 – Arm power is directly proportional to leg power.
8 – Good posture is critical to running. (Don’t lean forwards!).
9 – Speed kills endurance; endurance kills speed.
10 – Each individual can only execute one “Program” at any one time; an individual can be identified by his or her idiosyncrasies (i.e. “Program”). An individual can change his or her “Program” only by a determined, educational effort; each individual’s “Program” degenerates unless it is controlled constantly.
11 – Static stretching exercises cause injuries!
12 – Running equals being out of breath, so breathing through the mouth is obligatory (hence the nickname “Puff Puff Pirie”).

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