I just got around to reading the Runner’s World article “Is Less More?” which discusses minimalist running. For the most part, I thought it was a balanced and thoughtful article. However, I’m troubled by the timing. Until now, Runner’s World had been largely silent on the subject of barefoot and minimalist running, and I think it’s fair to say that barefoot and minimalist running has been popular topics in running circles for a couple of years now. So, I have to wonder why they waited so long to before they got around to discussing this trend.
I suspect now that the running shoe companies are starting to deliver minimalist shoe, Runner’s World can finally talk about this subject without the risk of alienating their biggest source of advertising revenue. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of talk about how Runner’s World had compromised their integrity to insure that the advertising dollars would continue to flow. I don’t know how much of what I’ve heard is rumor and how much is fact, but it is not hard to imagine that a niche publication about running could be dependent on the advertising dollars of the running shoe companies.
My motivation for writing this post is not bash Runner’s World, but to get people thinking about the sources of their information and how the quality of that information might be compromised intentionally or not. Even scientific publications should be looked at critically. There are a lot of poorly designed studies that get published all the time.
For further reading on this subject - A Critique of One Study of Pose Running Technique