Golden Harper & Born to Run 2: New Running Form & Natural Footwear Training Tools Coming Soon

With the recent release of Born to Run 2 and the mentions of some of my story in the book, I thought it would be a good time to update people on a couple of things I’m working on:

While I can’t reveal much at this point, I’ve got a couple of new training tools coming out in the next couple of months that I’m very excited about offering to the world!

First off is the FloatRun Harness:

After studying and constantly teaching running technique for 20+ years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that teaching isn’t enough. Efficient, low impact running form needs to “hard wired” in via muscle memory…i.e. practiced the right way constantly for 6 weeks or so until it becomes hard wired in. This takes me back to Dr. Tom Miller (Author of Programmed to Run—highly recommended) teaching me good running form at age 8 and giving me a modified rubber band to keep my elbows back/arms in the right place/posture where it should be, etc. The FloatRun Harness is my updated take on this contraption, and I firmly believe it is the quickest and most effective way to permanently learn fun, efficient, soft running technique! The FloatRun Harness will be available for $4.99 in the next 6-8 weeks. Fill out my contact form to get a discount and be notified when they come available.

Next are Bridge Soles, which in addition to being a great tool for many common foot problems like Forefoot/Neuroma pain, Plantar Fasciosis, and Achilles issues—are also amazing for being the most effective tool to transition from traditional shoes to more natural shoes.

My research when I was developing Altra led us to understand that most people transitioned easily from traditional shoes with raised heels to Zero Drop shoes IF they maintained a similar level of cushion and support that they were used to (There were and are still a small percentage of people that don’t transition well for various reasons). The problem with this is that many people end up changing both their platform (amount of drop/toe box shape, etc.) AND going with less cushioning and support than they are used to.

Contrary to popular belief, lower leg soreness is rarely caused by less drop or heel lift alone (we all experience negative 50+ mm drop regularly when walking up hills, etc.), but is more affected by the total amount of support underfoot and the body bracing for impact (something called “landing response” This is the reason some struggle with transitioning to running in more natural footwear at first, but have no problem walking around in them. This is also why track distance runners still get sore calves and feet when wearing spikes for the first time in a season, despite most distance track spikes traditionally featuring a similar amount of heel elevation as traditional running shoes.

The BridgeSoles have a deep heel cup, super soft longitudinal arch, and full metatarsal pad to allow the foot and lower leg to RELAX upon landing and pull pressure off the calves, achilles, and foot musculature. They weigh just over 1/2 and ounce, and 3/4 length, designed to go underneath your shoes existing insoles. They are to be used for a few weeks to a few months, until your body has fully adapted to more natural footwear—and then slowly phased out and kept in storage until needed for a foot or lower leg issue, etc.

Why spend a ton of money to buy a 4-8mm drop “transition shoe” when you can get a pair of removable insoles that is more effective at getting the job done?

Bridge Soles will be available for under $20 and will be available in the next couple of months. Fill out my contact form to get a discount and be notified when they come available.

2014: My Journey Back to Running After a Life Altering Accident

Those who know me know that I have spent a lifetime either running, studying running, talking running or working on something to do with running.  I was running races at age two and finished my first marathon in 3:08:05 as a ten year old.   Aside from a two year break from competition to serve a mission for my church, I’ve been running competitively since before I have memories.  That all changed in January of 2012 when I had a terrible snowboarding accident.  I hit a pipe while doing a flip going 30 miles per hour—this threw me upside down and I landed on my shoulder and my helmet with a crack.  As I hit, I was folded in half like an accordion with my backside coming around to the ground and the weight of my board and my feet hitting above my head.  If you know me, you know I am anything but flexible and this was a position I can’t get within three feet of in normal circumstances.  Imagine lying on your back and pulling your straightened legs towards your head and then having someone jump on them to get them to hit the ground behind your head.  Needless to say, it was painful and I knew right away it was serious.

I ended up stretching/straining/tearing everything between my hamstrings and my glutes.  I also suffered a badly separated shoulder which is still obviously visible to this day.  The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t really walk at first and I certainly could not run.  To not be able to run fast for the first time in my life was life altering to say the least.  I went to physical therapy and tried to do what I could to recover and within a few months I was able to hike, and my girlfriend at the time—now my wife—kicked my butt up many a mountain that spring.  By the summer, I was able to run slowly, very slowly, so I decided that since I could only go really slow, I might as well go long.  We tackled quite a few mountains in the Wasatch that year, with my glutes & hamstrings screaming the whole time. Every time I tried to push, my legs held me back.

After one year, it was apparent that my injuries were serious and competition wasn’t going to happen any time soon, if ever again.  There didn’t seem to be a whole lot more the physical & massage therapists could do.  I spent 2013 running with girlfriend.  I had a blast running somewhere not at the front of the pack, mixing it up with people I never would have met had I been running fast.  I gained even more respect and appreciation for those not taking home winners trophies.  I remembered what I had always known, running is wonderful and fun, even when you’re not taking home hardware.  I ran to the top of a lot of mountains in 2013, becoming the first person to run to the top of all of the 11,000 foot peaks in the Wasatch Range.  And I remembered that running just for the sake of running is a beautiful blessing.

Running on top of Mt. Raymond

Running on top of Mt. Raymond

2014 started off much like 2013, and I spent the first few months running with my now wife and enjoying it.  But the itch to be able to really push again kept nagging at me.  Although my legs were damaged, my lungs and the rest of me wanted to be pushed.  There is something to be said for pushing yourself, whether you are fast or not.  Somewhere along the way, I pushed my legs close to the breaking point.  Only now something different happened…they didn’t ache and get worse.  In fact, they seemed to get a bit better.  Soon I figured out that the only way to get my legs better was to push them hard, but not over the edge.  Each time I did this, I gained a little more range of motion and a little more speed than I previously had.

Brit and I on July 4th

Brit and I on July 4th

So my wife eventually convinced me to race a 5k, not knowing what she was getting in to.  At this point, I could run fast for only a couple of miles before my legs killed me, so a 5k was really my only option anyway.  The 5k is a blast and is under appreciated in the distance running world.  I raced 5k’s most of the year because that’s all my legs would let me do.  I ran to the top of a few mountains along the way, but going long and hard/fast wasn’t an option. By the end of the year I was able to race a 10k without much in the way of complications.    My legs still aren’t 100% and neither am I, but I had a great year pushing myself.  I was lucky enough to win nine races, three of which my wife won overall as well, which will be something I will always cherish.  Although I am not at the national-class level I once was, and may never be again, it feels great to be out there pushing myself within the limits that my body currently allows.  I am grateful for that, and still feel that running just for the sake of running is still a beautiful blessing.

2014 Race Roundup

In my first year attempting to race since my big accident, I managed to pull off 9 Overall Wins, 4 Second Place Overall finishes, 4 Age Division Wins, and had some great experiences on road & trail.  Met a ton of wonderful people along the way and had the pleasure of my wife and I both winning 3 races together!

4/5/14 Run 4 Kids – 2nd Overall

4/26/14 Cookie Chaser 5k Herriman 17:18 – 2nd Overall

5/10/14 Vigor Big Cottonwood 5k 15:49 – OVERALL WIN

5/17/14 RWE Relay – Team was 3rd Overall – Had a 4:46 mile

5/21/14 Wasatch Trail Corner Canyon Short Course 3.5 mile Race: OVERALL WIN

6/7/14 Vigor Solitude Trail Series 3 Mile – OVERALL WIN

6/21/14 Butterfield Brawl Trail 10k – OVERALL WIN

6/28/14 Run Through the Lavender 5k – 2nd Overall

7/4/11 Riverton Country Mile 5k – 2nd Overall

7/11/14 Salem, MA Miles Over the Moon 23:06 – 6th Overall

8/23/14 Bryce Canyon Rim Run (Trail Race) – OVERALL WIN

9/13/14 Dirty Dash 10k – Passed over 1,000 people!

9/20/14 Grizzly Tracks 5k – OVERALL WIN 16:35

10/18/14 Runner’s World 5k Emmaus PA – 1st Division

11/1/14 Snow Canyon 5k – OVERALL WIN

11/8/14 Thanksgiving Crazy Course Race – OVERALL WIN

11/22/14 Hillcrest DECA 5k – OVERALL WIN

11/27/14 Mesa Turkey Trot 10k AZ 34:29 – 4th Overall/Division Win

12/4/14 TRE Indie 5k – 16:59




4x Age Division WINS

1 Honeymoon Cruise Ship Rock Climbing Competition Medal!

Running Tet Paul Trail in St. Lucia with one of the Pitons in the background

Running Tet Paul Trail in St. Lucia with one of the Pitons in the background