All you need to start free running is a pair of shoes, a place to run and some creativity.
Free Running - What Is It?
Free running, also known as parkour, is a combination of jogging and gymnastics. Free runners view a city as one big playground. Every day city objects like stairs, rails and walls are used in a series of vaults, leaps and climbs. A free runner might leap on to a park bench, backflip over a newspaper box, then walk across a stair rail, before climbing over a wall. The idea behind free running is to link moves over and around obstacles into one fluid run - kind of like the way skateboarders move through a street course. The sport requires great strength, flexibility, creativity and discipline.
Free Running - Getting Started
- Becoming a free runner or traceur, as they're sometimes called, is pretty easy. All you need is a pair of shoes and a place to run.
- City parks and playgrounds are great locations for free running, or anywhere else where you can make use of a city's obstacles.
- There are several basic moves in free running that you should learn including how to land, how to roll, and how to properly balance yourself on obstacles. For a look at some basic free running moves, click here.
- To check out pics and videos of free running, click here.
Free Running - Safety
- Free running is a fun, cheap and healthy sport - but it's important you practice free running safely. Know your limits and don't try any jumps or moves until you've checked the landing and have learned how to land properly.
- Start off my trying basic moves over small obstacles before moving on to more challenging jumps and leaps.
- Always free run with a friend. It's more fun, friends can offer suggestions on how to best move around an obstacle and they can help you off the ground if you have a nasty wipeout.
Free Running - Did You Know?
- Parkour was started in France and comes from the French word, parcour, which means obstacle course.
- A video game based on parkour, called Free Running, for the PSP will be coming out in Fall 2005.
- Nike and Adidas now make special running shoes for free running.