About Tina Dubois
I started running in 2000 in an effort to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle during my university years (where I completed a BSc in Genetics and an MSc in Neuroscience). What developed from my extracurricular exercise regime was a passion for finding the most efficient and pain-free form of running, which lead to the creation of Natural Running Coaching.
I have competed in numerous races including the Canadian Death Race, the Easter Seals 24-hour Relay, Melissa’s 10K Road Race, as well as some sprint triathlons and numerous 5 Peaks Trail Running Series. In the first few years of running, I suffered many of the typical runners’ injuries including plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, IT band strain, as well as hip and low back pain. For every injury, I would go to physiotherapy, be prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises, rest, recover, and eventually start running again. None of my health care practitioners ever suggested I improve my running form to keep from getting injured.
After suffering with running-related injuries for eight years, I thought that there had to be a better way to stay injury-free. I applied my research skills and amongst my reading discovered You Walk Wrong by Adam Sternbergh in the New York Times in May of 2008. Reading that article dramatically changed my life. It suggested that the pain I had been suffering might have been due to the conventional shoes I had been wearing with arch supports, hard soles, constrictive fit, and a raised heel, which had lead to weak feet and poor posture. That month, I bought my first pair of minimalist shoes.
Since reading that fateful article, I’ve become an advocate of healthy products for our feet as well as regaining strong feet and developing good posture. In 2009, I started writing my own blog, then writing minimalist shoe reviews for Living Barefoot, which developed into co-hosting the Living Barefoot Show podcast with Al Gauthier. I researched barefoot and minimalist running, joined forums and discussions, and learned all I could about natural movement.
In 2010, I attended the All-Star Barefoot Running Clinic sponsored by Vibram FiveFingers in Boston, U.S.A., with presenters and coaches Corrado Giambalvo (an Italian track coach who advocates the benefits of barefoot and minimalist training), Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run, the inspirational tale of the Tarahumara, the Copper Canyon Marathon, and arguably the impetus of the current ‘barefoot revolution’), and Dr. Daniel Lieberman (Harvard University evolutionary biologist whose influential Nature paper on running foot-strike patterns changed the world of running). This inspired me to learn more about natural running form and how to share it with others.
In 2011, I attended the first VIVOBAREFOOT Coaching Program, instructed by the world renowned biomechanist and barefoot running coach Lee Saxby, and endorsed by Dr. Daniel Lieberman. The coaching program gave me the skills to achieve and coach the most biomechanically efficient form of running, the proper techniques to diagnose and correct running form, and underwent extensive training in biomechanics to comprehend the physical and mental components of running. Upon completion of the course, I became the first Canadian VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coach.
The biggest lessons I learned from the Coaching Program were that proprioception is key to learning proper biomechanics, running is a skill made up of micro-skills and motor skill milestones, and that once you learn the skills of running it doesn’t matter what you wear on your feet—it’s ALL about FORM.
I’m excited to share my natural running knowledge and enthusiasm with my clients as well as endeavour to continue learning about coaching and achieving the best biomechanically correct form of running that we can achieve.
Winter is a runner’s reality with its slippery surfaces and colder temperatures. Rather than lament the chilly time of year and long for spring to arrive, I choose to embrace the snowy and icy terrain and use it to work on improving my running form. There are so many aspects of good running form that winter can help us with; I’ll expand on a few of them here.
Flint has posted his third and final article on FlintLand‘s Natural Running Series called Natural Running Technique: Analysis. In this article, he shares his thoughts on the basic principles of Natural Running and the coaching he participated in at In-Sport Fashions, Inc. in Montreal. I love his ‘simple rule’ for running: “Run like a five-year-old. Smile. Breathe. Enjoy.”
Flint has posted his second article on FlintLand‘s Natural Running Series called The Natural Running Technique. In this article, he covers the basic principles behind Natural Running as well as shares his Before and After coaching videos and exercises we covered during the session. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section and Flint and I will reply to them as they come in.