What is Natural Running?
So many of the terms that define what we do are still in the process of earning their own definitions. Because there is no Websters to establish universal definitions for running terminology, and because the landscape of the running community is changing so rapidly, we as runners need to draw our own conclusions based on our own experiences and the most present use of the terms from legitimate sources. Sounds simple but it is so subjective. Here is my definition of Natural Running:
Natural Running is just as it sounds: It is running as nature intended. Running as a human being might have run tens of thousands of years ago when running was a necessity and an integral part of life. Running without the encumbrances of modern society, such as heavy and thick footwear, sedentary professional lives, and social stresses that wear on our posture.
About The Owner
Natural Strides is the first retail location in the Southeast dedicated to Natural Running and Walking. The store is built on the owners’ beliefs that running is the most natural form of movement, and that to harness its power is the key to wellness: physically, mentally, and spiritually. Products and instruction will be centered around the concepts of balance and minimalism.
Owner Greg Scott has been using the ChiRunning & ChiWalking methods for several years. At 6’1″ and 210 pounds and a former Division 1 college baseball player (catcher), Greg struggled for many years with knee pain as he ran. He completed the Chicago Marathon in 3:29, but continued to struggle with knee and ITB pain. He happened upon a free ChiRunning clinic in 2007 and has not been the same since. Running with less effort, more efficiency, and reduced pain, Greg is now placing and winning his age group in local races and conquering running feats he would not previously have thought possible. Greg recently captained a team for the 200 mile Southern Blue Relay, where he posted the fastest time on the course for the most difficult leg- 11 miles on a dirt trail featuring 6 miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain
Also, for the past four years Greg has been a Teacher of Special Education and has twice been nominated for Teacher of the Year at his schools. Also a Certified Personal Trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine, Greg has been helping individuals on the road to wellness for many years. Greg is a believer in the Exercise is Medicine campaign and a big fan of Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, both of which embody his philosophy on movement and wellness. Greg now finds every run to be a relaxing and rewarding experience and now runs in reduced/zero drop footwear or barefoot. His own great experience with ChiRunning spurred him on to become a Certified ChiRunning and ChiWalking Instructor so that he may now pass along the positive benefits to others.
When Greg learned about natural movement and sought improve his connection to the earth, his search for reduced footwear led to numerous dead-ends and the frequent hassle of ordering running shoes from online shoe stores only to send them back due to poor fit and design. This grew old fast. Greg felt that it was time for a running and walking store that could cater to people like himself – a place where runners and walkers could go to find products that would encourage proper form and improve their running experience. Natural Strides was born.
About the Staff
Erin’s accomplished competitive running career began when she was a junior in high school. After just two years of competitive running, Erin received a full athletic scholarship to run for Kennesaw State University’s extremely competitive Division I NCAA running squads. Erin ran cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track for KSU, and earned a total of 15 All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors, routinely finishing amongst the top tier of competitors.
As she advanced her athletic career and achieved great physical accomplishments, Erin also discovered a love for Biology. She knew that she wanted to help others to learn the joys of running and Biology, and set out to become a coach and an educator. She earned a degree in Biology from KSU in 2010 and immediately proceeded to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching, also in Biology. The coaches at KSU recognized Erin’s gifts and hired her on as an assistant coach for both their cross country and distance track athletes. Erin routinely paces their best athletes and her competitive experience and teaching skills lead runners to top performances.
Erin’s competitive drive has helped her running career continue to blossom. She finished as the 28th Woman and 10th American woman in a field of 8000 runners at the 2010 Peachtree Road Race with a time of 36:09. Later that year at the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half-Marathon, Erin left every other woman in the race behind on her way to victory, finishing 1st in the Women’s division with a time of 1:21:26. In 2011 Erin led a team of runners in the Ragnar Relay to a 3rd place finish out of 105 teams with some blazing times. She finished out the year by recording another first place finish at the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half-Marathon, her second in a row!
Erin’s recent studies in Natural Running have improved her already excellent running abilities. She now runs in zero-drop, minimal running shoes that have her running with tremendous efficiency. She is also practicing ChiRunning and has learned to run with improved alignment and relaxation, helping her to run faster with less effort. She is a Certified ChiRunning & ChiWalking Instructor-in-Training, looking forward to sharing her positive experience with other runners. Erin is registered as an “elite athlete” in several upcoming road races, and the sky is the limit for her as a competitive runner.