Tag Archives: Dr. Mark Cucuzzella

  • Natural Running as Positive Deviance?

    Over 150 people turned out (and another 50 or so were turned away due to lack of space) for last week's speaker panel  discussion about natural running in Sheperdstown, West Virginia.

    Event attendee and blogger Pete Larson (www.runblogger.com) was struck by the turnout in a small town in West Virginia, which has a reputation as one of America's most obese states. "I couldn't believe it!" Larson wrote on his blog. "Here we were in a state renowned for it's inactivity, and I had to weave my way through a crowd of people who were squeezing into a room like sardines."

    Dr. Mark Cucuzella, organizer of the event, titled The Re-Evolution of Running: Discover Pain Free Movement for Life, attributes to tremendous response to a phenomenon called positive deviance. "That's when large change happens as a result of observing and following what is happening in a small sector, and then applying it widely," he says.

    Cucuzella is also a family doctor and owner of Two Rivers Treads Center for Natural Running and Walking store in Sheperdstown, West Virginia.

    Blogger Miss Zippy shares in this recent post what she learned from the panel of experts that included Danny Dreyer, founder of ChiRunning, Jerry Lee, CEO of Newton Running, Dr. Jay Dicharry, PT and Director of the SPEED Clinic at the University of Virginia, Dr. Peter Larson, Blaise Dubois, running injury authority, among others.

    Natural running symposia are held across the country and overseas. For a complete listing of upcoming events, visit the Newton Running website at http://www.newtonrunning.com/community/natural-running-symposium-form-clinic.

  • Special Presentation on Pain-free Movement January 28

    Running-injury prevention leaders from around the globe are gathering in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, for a three-day conference to discuss best evidence and best practices to prevent and treat running injuries. As part of the gathering, the group will meet the local community and share stories, experience and knowledge.

    “The Re-Evolution of Running: Discover Pain Free Movement for Life” will be hosted by Two Rivers Treads Center for Natural Running and Walking, the Bavarian Inn, and the Running Clinic Canada on Friday night January 28, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bavarian Inn.

    Guest panelists include leading clinicians, researchers, teachers, writers, athletes and footwear experts from around the globe:

    Danny Dreyer

    • Founder: Chi Running and Chi Walking
    • Asheville, NC; Internationally-acclaimed injury-prevention coach, ultramarathoner and best-selling author

    Dr. Craig Richards

    • Newcastle, Australia; General Practice, Sports Medicine, Runner
    • One of world's lead researchers on running injuries and footwear

    Jay Dicharry, PT

    • Director SPEED Clinic University of Virginia
    • International Authority on Gait Analysis and Running Injury

    Dr. Peter Larson

    • Professor of Biology St. Anshelm College New Hampshire, Marathon runner
    • Author/host of world's most widely read site on running innovation- www.runblogger.com

    Blaise Dubois PT/Sean Cannon, PT

    • Quebec City, Canada; International Leaders in running injuries
    • Authors and Instructors of over 40 international conferences

    Jerry Lee

    • Boulder, Colorado; Co-Founder and CEO Newton Running
    • Innovator in first shoe company with primary mission of injury prevention.  Ironman competitor

    Ian Adamson, MS Sports Med/BS Biomechanical Engineering

    • Boulder, Colorado; Director of Research & Education-Newton
    • Ultramarathoner and 7-time world champ Adventure Racer

    Dr. Daniel Kulund, USAF

    • Chief Health Promotions Pentagon
    • Physician, Innovator of Running Medicine. Opened first true “Runners Clinic” in the 1970’s.

    Dr. Mark Cucuzzella,

    • West Virginia University, Coach USAF Running Team, National Level Masters Runner
    • National speaker/teacher of healthier running; sub 2:35 marathons in 4 decades

    Jeff Horowitz

    • Arlington, Virginia; Editor at Competitor Magazine

    Speakers will share their most important discoveries and then allow questions and conversation with the audience.

    “This is an amazing privilege to have all of these leaders in one room together willing to share and converse with the public," says Mark Cucuzzella, MD. Over 60 percent of runners are injured every year. If the CDC were to evaluate this data they would shut down running events. Insurance companies now are reevaluating the advice to get fit if it involves running and the subsequent injuries and costs of expensive imaging studies and treatments. We need to develop entirely new approaches to running injuries and staying healthy for life”

    The event is free to the public and geared toward walkers and runners of all abilities.

    Date: January 28 2011, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
    Location: Bavarian Inn, Shepherdstown, WV  25443, www.bavarianinnwv.com

    Free to the public.  Coffee and dessert will be provided. Cash bar.

    For those wishing to dine prior to the event, call the Bavarian Inn at 304-876-2551 to make a reservation.

    For more information, contact  Two Rivers Treads Center for Natural Running and Walking or  phone 304-876-1100.

  • New Trends in Running Injury Conference

    We just got the following update from Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, who is working on the most in-depth course on running injury prevention ever put on in the US. If you are a PT, MD, Exercise Physiologist, Athletic Trainer, or Retailer this event will be invaluable to your continuing education.

    Run Conf Flyer 10.21Over 60% of runners are injured every year. Insurance companies now are re-evaluating the advice to get fit if it involves running and the subsequent injuries and costs of expensive imaging studies and treatments.

    “We need to develop entirely new approaches to running injuries and stop just treating the symptoms. We need to look at what factors are causing the injuries and design easy to evaluate and specific corrections to the causes,” says Mark Cucuzzella MD, an elite Master’s runner, physician, and teacher of healthier running.

    Following the huge success of the course entitled “New Trends in the Prevention and Running Injuries” in Canada and Europe, the course will come to America on January 28-30 in Shepherdstown, WV. This course designed for all health professionals, coaches, and fitness teachers working with active patients has changed the practice of hundreds of health professionals worldwide.

    Accompanied by high quality audio-visual material, this course can help you integrate a number of advanced concepts on running. From diagnosis to treatment, from the planning of training sessions, to biomechanical analyses, and analysis of the running shoe- the three-day course is structured to enable you to efficiently treat all your patients whether they are runners, occasional joggers, or active in other sports.

    Participants will leave with clinical tools such as a DVD (running mechanics, demo exercises, and warm-up sequenes), a CD with a PDF document (evaluation sheets, exercise programs, tips, running programs, etc.) and a paper document that includes all the academic content of the course.

    Physical Therapy Running gurus Blaise Dubois and Sean Cannon from Canada and Jay Dicharry of University of Virginia, and physician Mark Cucuzzella will lead the hands on sessions. The high-tech presentation and materials are supported by experienced, entertaining, and dynamic presenters who simplify complex theoretical concepts and make them applicable to your everyday practice.

    Gifts, snacks, networking, and free monthly updated literature are some of the many extras you will receive by attending the 24-hour training course. Register now….course limited to 30 participants.

    Dates: JANUARY 28-30, 2011 

    Program:  8a.m.-5p.m

    Location: National Conservation Training Center, 698 Conservation Way Shepherdstown, WV 25443

    Cost: Special US introductory price $495 Course and material fee. (Course is $695 in Canada and Europe) $128/night including 3 gourmet meals

  • A Homegrown Event with National Impact...and lots of Newtons.

    The following event recap was written by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Newton runner and Freedom's Run co-founder.

    The Newton-sponsored Freedom’s Run was a huge success in only its second year. Three out of five events sold out and it is now the largest running event in the state of West Virginia by a large margin. The highlight of the day was seeing 400 children line up for the free one mile kids' fun run.


    The race headquarters is the newly opened Two Rivers Treads Center for Natural Running and Walking, the first store in the country to abandon traditional elevated heel shoes. Flat shoes were not the exception, but the norm in this event. The staff at Two Rivers Treads, Tom Shantz and James Munnis, were the logistics leads for the event.

    The event drew runners from 42 states and wound its way through four National Parks. It is being looked on as a National model for engaging the National Parks in health and fitness - as seen at the five-minute mark this brief video of “Park Prescriptions" - part of the larger initiative called America’s Great Outdoors.

    Newton Tech Rep Jacob Edwards commented after the race, “This is an event I hope we continue to partner with. Shepherdstown is a community that has supported the Newton brand like nothing I have seen. You can not run down the C&O Towpath, walk around a street corner, or sit in a coffee shop without seeing the Newton shoe. The community is a perfect example that if you bring passion and knowledge with the brand, there is no limitations for our company.”


    The half marathon through the hilly Antietam National Battlefield was won by Newton Athlete David Hyrvniak (pictured). Lots of great stories and blogs on the Freedom's Run homepage.

  • Ruff Fitness' Natural Running Clinic

    Many of you who do not live in the cities we have visited have been curious about what exactly goes on in our Natural Running clinics. This clinic shown in this video was not put on by us, but it is taught by Dr. Mark who makes frequent appearances at our events and will give you a pretty good idea about how to get started changing to a more natural form. It took place in Hagerstown, MD at Ruff Fitness.

  • Newton Retail Summit Recap

    If you happened to be around Pearl Street in Boulder at the beginning of this week, you probably noticed lots of neon green Newton bags on people's shoulders. (A couple of people tweeted asking what was going on) Or perhaps you saw colorful armies of runners all wearing our new green or aqua trail shoes taking over the Boulder Creek bike path.

    Screen shot 2010-08-13 at 12.15.27 PM

    Good looking group of runners!

    At the start of this week around a hundred of Newton's retailers descended on Boulder for three event-packed days. Amidst breakout sessions, form clinics, runs, and lunchtime discussions, the highlight of the week was definitely the Natural Running Industry Panel.

    Screen shot 2010-08-13 at 12.14.17 PM

    The Panel included Irene Davis, Mark Cucuzzella, Danny Abshire, Zola Budd, Danny Dreyer, and Jay Dicharry and was moderated by Brian Metzler.

    Screen shot 2010-08-13 at 12.14.01 PM

    Zola recounted her childhood where it was normal to walk barefoot to school, the mall, etc. She suggests keeping your kids out of shoes as long as possible so that their feet have time to develop correctly.

    Screen shot 2010-08-13 at 12.15.03 PM

    The clinics involved plenty of barefoot drills on the track.


    Thanks to all who attended this weeks events, it was even more of a success than we had hoped for!


  • The World is Flat if You're a Foot


    Screen shot 2010-08-04 at 3.13.05 PMDr. Mark Cucuzzella just passed us along a document outlining foot anatomy and biomechanics, barefoot motion, the effects of heel lift, shoe design flaws and myths, and proper toe alignment.

    It makes for an interesting read—especially for any science nerds out there. Click the link to download the full document. The most interesting part is that it lays out the facts about how a foot works and is not Newton marketing material, but comes to the same conclusions that we believe in when it comes to proper footwear.


    The World is Flat….if You Are a Foot

  • Two River Treads Opens to Fanfare

    drmark2riverstreadsDr. Mark Cucuzzella's store, Two Rivers Treads opened last week in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As described in last week's post, the store is unique because it is teaching better running form and fitting runners and walkers in more natural shoes.

    Here's a quick recap from Dr. Mark:

    "The day started with the 5k Cougar Challenge. Brandon Doughy, a 4:12 miler and West Virginia state mile and XC champ, won the race in 16:10, taking 30 seconds off  my old course record on a brutally hot day. I hung on for third in a field full of young running talent. Eric Graf out-kicked me by three seconds to come in at 17:07. Not wanting to be beat by a 43-year old guy, Eric dug deep and commented after the run, “that was the hardest race I’ve ever run." For me, the fun of being able to mix it up with runners almost 30 years my junior is as good as it gets."

    Mark raced in his favorite Newton Distance shoes that have over 1,000 miles (and just a little shoe goo) on them.

    After the race, the store hosted its grand opening where new and experienced runners alike learned about Newton and our philosophy from sales rep extraordinaire,Tom Curran, as well as the experienced Two Rivers Treads staff. At the end of the day, 35 new pairs of Newton shoes left the store and the staff was left with nothing but positive feedback on the shoes, teaching and service. Read more about the opening here.

  • Two Rivers Treads Follows a Path Less Traveled


    Dr. Mark Cucuzzella (center) outside his storefront with business partners Tom Shantz and James Munnis

    Loyal readers of this blog recognize the name Dr. Mark Cucuzzella. He's a family physician who has completed over 60 marathons and ultras, and continues to compete as a National level Masters runner. His marathon best is 2:24 and he has run under 2:35 for a marathon 22 of the last 24 years including a 2:34 in the 2010 Boston Marathon at age 43. He's also an expert on running biomechanics and a big fan of Newton (but not on our payroll). We're excited to share the news that Dr. Mark's new store, Two Rivers Treads in Shepherdstown, WV is having its grand opening event this Saturday, June 26. If you live in the area you should definitely check it out.

    Two Rivers Treads should be of interest even to those of you who live far away because of its unique approach to the business of selling shoes. Dr. Mark and his team have carefully selected only shoes that work with the foot. Instead of carrying the entire product range of popular brands, they've choosen individual models that facilitate natural running and walking styles. If you visit the website, you'll see that they provide detailed information on each shoe, including the heel height and toe height in millimeters so that you can determine each shoe's ramp angle.

    Two Rivers Treads is the first shop of its kind - a shoe store that promotes spending as much time barefoot as possible and provides products and education that help people realize an efficient and injury-free style of running. It's an exciting experiment in the otherwise stale world of running retail and we're proud to be a part of it.. The store is also the headquarters for Freedom's Run, an event that Dr. Mark started in 2009 that winds through four separate national parks, and serves as a center of confluence for the outdoors, arts, and healthy-living local communities.

    In addition to the grand opening event this Saturday, Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot will be speaking Tuesday evening (June 29). The talk is titled "100,000 Miles and Going Strong: How to Run Smart and Healthy for Life." Check it out!

  • Beware of Barefoot Running Injuries

    by Danny Abshire, co-founder, Newton Running

    People have been experimenting with barefoot running for a long time, but in recent years the activity has gained mainstream notoriety and science-based credibility.

    Most coaches, elite athletes, physiologists and other medical experts agree that running barefoot in very small doses on soft surfaces can help improve your running mechanics and teach your body to land lightly at your midfoot, but they also agree that you should wear some kind of running shoes most of the time.

    "Throw your shoes away for good? Sure, if you have perfect mechanics and you've been living barefoot all of your life," says Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a West Virginia University professor and 2:25 marathoner who has studied barefoot and minimalist runners in relation to running injuries. "But that's not the majority of runners. Most runners absolutely need to wear shoes when they run."

    What Shoe Type is Best?

    If you're used to running in a traditional training shoe with a built-up heel, running barefoot can be a fascinating experience of freedom and can be the first step in developing natural running mechanics. Running unshod your foot naturally seeks out the ground by landing at the midfoot/forefoot, where it receives sensory interaction, or afferent feedback.

    This sensory input immediately tells the rest of the body how to move efficiently with light footsteps, a high leg cadence, a relaxed but consistent arm swing, an upright posture and a slight forward lean from the ankles. This same feedback can be gained while wearing some types of lightweight shoes, but traditional trainers with thick levels of foam dampen the sensory interaction and make it much harder to interpret the ground, especially with the heel-striking gait those shoes promote.

    How Run "Barefoot" in Shoes

    Landing lightly at your midfoot and picking up your foot quickly to start a new stride is the most effective way your body knows to propel and protect itself while running. Conversely, your body generally doesn't allow you to land on your heel if you're running barefoot (especially on a hard surface) because it isn't engineered to accommodate the blunt force trauma of repeated heel striking.

    True, the calcaneus (heel) bone is a large bone, but it was designed to take the lower impacts of a walking gait and help balance the body as it rolls forward, as well as to help support and balance the body in a standing position as the rear point of a tripod.

    Accepting large impacts on the heel bone from heel-strike running on the roads barefoot sends tremendous shockwaves (or impact transients) up your body. Those impact transients can have numerous negative affects upstream as your body tries to offset that force and remain balanced, including various forms of tendinitis, illiotibial band strains and adverse sheering in the pelvis and lower spine.

    "It's no different than somebody hitting you on the heel with a sledgehammer with 300 to 400 pounds of force," says Dr. Daniel Lieberman, the Harvard University evolutionary biologist who concluded in a study released in January 2010 that running with midfoot footstrikes, either barefoot or in shoes, is better and less impactful than heel-striking. "So if you're going to do that, it makes sense to wear shoes. A shoe makes that comfortable. A shoe essentially slows that rate of loading enormously — by about sevenfold in a typical shoe — and that's what makes it comfortable and that's why a lot of people can wear shoes and heel-strike."

    Continue reading

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