Insights from Supershoe Scientist Dr. Geoff Burns

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“Super shoes” have been credited with the continuous decline in world record timings seen in the past several years. Now that you know these shoes are here to stay, let’s talk about how you can maximize their potential for practice and competition.
The most reliable way to improve as a runner is to put in the mundane, daily work of training. Still, it’s human nature to hunt for a simple solution that would instantly improve performance.

World records continue to fall at many different distances, a testament to the incredible development of running shoe technology over the past several years. If you want to know whether or not these shoes will improve your performance, you need to learn how and when to utilize them during training.

During today’s episode, Geoff Burns talks about the best sneakers ever. As the running shoe business grapples with how to deal with the performance impact of these “super sneakers,” he’s enlightening us on the latest regulatory shifts. His unique insight into the technology, from both a personal and professional one, is invaluable.

Geoff is a top-tier ultrarunner who won the 2016 US national championship in the 100-kilometer distance with a time of 6:30. (a championship record). He ran collegiately for the University of Michigan, and then went on to represent the United States in both the 50- and 100-kilometer distances, where he placed fifth in the 2016 and 2018 IAU World Championships.

In addition to being a top-tier elite runner, Geoff holds a PhD in kinesiology and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. Geoff’s scientific interests include running, physiology, biomechanics, and athletic performance, and he has written extensively on these areas.

This week’s episode explores the science behind super shoes, explaining why and how they’ve become popular among runners at all skill levels. There is nothing else like this episode since all the questions that Geoff answers come from Jason’s Twitter followers.

Running in Super Shoes: Advice from Geoff Burns

New technology in running shoes is just one more option to incorporate beneficial modifications into your training regimen, along with varying your speed, changing up your terrain, and trying out other pieces of equipment. Although some people can immediately incorporate them into their normal routine of running and working out, others may need to ease into it.

Runners should take their time while transitioning to new shoes, just as they would with any other training modification. It may take some time to adjust to the different sensation, since they change the way your body (particularly your feet and ankles) engage with the ground while you run.

In this audio, Geoff Burns explains how you may put the technology behind “super sneakers” to use in your training and competition. Geoff responds in depth to some of the best questions asked by his Twitter followers, which include

  • Who are the ideal runners for these sneakers?
  • How far do you need to go before super sneakers start paying off?
  • Do carbon-plate shoes still require (or even permit) the use of an insert?
  • Is there an increased risk of harm if you wear shoes with carbon plates?
  • How do you recommend wearing these sneakers? A daily basis? Just for the races? Or is there a middle ground?
  • Do you know how long these shoes last?
  • To what extent will this innovation be used in the years to come? Exactly what improvements can be made to make these already-awesome shoes even better?

You won’t want to miss this conversation if you’re interested in rotating in some high-tech footwear.

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