As a fitness coach I get this question all the time! My quick answer is always “yes,” which often leaves people feeling a bit perplexed. So Should I or Should I not?

Let me break this down into two questions:

Should I run? Yes, I think running is great. Running is a natural and instinctual movement. If you have read Born to Run, then you know all about how important running is to the health and survival of our genetics. If you haven’t, then simply put: running can be a very efficient form of movement and something that makes humans unique. However I’m also not recommending you just jump off that couch and start running.

Which brings me to …

Should I not run? Yes, you might not be ready to run yet. Running on a poor foundation will just lead to achy knees, a sore lower back and a general disdain for the activity. As Pavel, the founder of StrongFirst, puts it “trying to manage high loads/forces on a poor foundation is like trying to fire a cannon off a shoddy rowboat. Moving with abandon toward the foundational abilities of your body never bodes well for that elusive yet sought after outcome of sustainable health.” While running is a great activity for our health, running is a complex movement just like a clean and jerk or a muscle up and should be worked into. Just like how you shouldn’t do a clean and jerk until you are proficient at deadlifts you shouldn’t run until you are proficient at other modes of locomotion: rolling, crawling, walking.

The prevalence of running on a poor foundation is why there are so many fitness articles about why running is bad and will destroy your knees and feet. So, if you have a poor foundation – don’t run yet, it will lead to more dysfunction and injury. If you have a good foundation, and are wanting to add to your practice then try some running it might be great. And if you are an avid runner make sure you are practicing other forms of movement as well and not getting stuck in just the pattern of running, as this can also create issues.

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