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Cumulative Expenditures

The origin of cumulative comes from the Latin cumulatus for "to heap." If something is cumulative, it is heaped together so it can be counted up to get a total number. Take a small glass of water, holding that glass of water for a minute, the weight may seem irrelevant. Hold it for an hour, you'll have an ache in your arm, if you hold it for a day, your arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer you hold it, the heavier it becomes. That is what you call a cumulative effect. 

This 'cumulative' effect can be demonstrated when running, think about the clothes or items you may carry when you're running whether being rucksack, jacket or water bottle. Any tiring symptoms would generally go unoticed for a 1 mile run in the park, even a 5 or a 10k maybe,  but any unnessesary weight carried for 26.2 miles... muscle fatigue is far more likely to occur. Running shoes are a great item to consider this theory. Running shoes with more cushioning, support, technology or material are likely to cause specific running 'muscle groups' to tire quicker than other kit you choose to carry, only because shoes are attached to the end of your feet! 
(specific running muscle groups being muscles that oppose gravity including hip flexors, hamstrings and anterior tibialis  / front of shins. A rucksack would test your gravitational muscles such as the quads, ever given someone a piggy back?) 

For example..

Brooks Adrenline

Take the Brooks Adrenline, a superb pair of support footwear that have been a runners favourite for years. This shoe, popular for its superior cushioning and support and shock absorption qualities, come in at an average weight of 320 grams (just under a can of beans!) 
Considering that the average runner takes approximately 1700 steps a mile, the accumilative weight that you've carried wearing these shoes over just 1 mile would be approximately 565 kg. If considering running a marathon, the accumilative weight of that 320 gram running shoe would be 14.25 tons.
(320 x 1700 x 26.2) 

Our weight accumulation chart

Quick reality check time...

Innov8 Lite 240

Please don't think that you can hide from carrying the accumulative equivilant of a couple of London Buses, However, weight reduction can be achieved! The forever popular Innov 8 Lite 240 running shoe weighs only a modest... 240 grams producing 10.2 tons to your entire 26.2 journey. Although still high, you've just dropped the weight of a fully matured African Elephant!   

In all this excitement, you may well be thinking that this would be the perfect endorcement to ditch the shoes and run 'naturelle!' Although, a viable option to rid yourself of this accumulative weight expentiture, the likeliness of other injuries occuring as a result of such a sudden technology drop would be far too high. It's important to appreciate that shoes have cushioning and support for a reason to protect us not only from downforce but also the surface of the ground pushing up!  

Go insoles!

Footdisc insole

Certain performance insoles can work just as well as the engineering found in a structured shoe, but weighing considerably less at only 40 grams (1.4oz) for the Footdisc Currex sole. This what some athletes choose to do to get themselves as light as possible. This also opens you up to a far greater choice of running shoes rather than being limited to a support shoe...
Presuming you need support.

Get your running analysed!

Best thing I would advise before putting anything majorly different of your feet would be to get your running technique analysed. It's important to investigate what sort of shoe could suit you by professionals rather than what a magazine or friend recommends. Just going lighter without consideration could produce signifcant problems quite quickly.  Half a decent running analysis place wouldn't recommend a big overenginereed shoe because you heel strike based on your current shoe performance, likeliness being your current running shoe is probably causing this contact in the first place! Be cautious of shops with little experience, certainly don't fall victim to buying a running shoe based on the shop assistants running experience, chances being he is 20 years younger than you and can run a 30 minute 10k! 

In summary...

On a final is the answer to running performance lying solely in the running shoe? no. 
Would a change in footware help reduce energy loss and improve performance? highly likely!
Are there other things further up my body that i could be working on to improve my running? naturally!   

Heel Striking
Forefoot running
Minimalist running
Walking lunges
Pelvic instability
Hamstring strengthening
Why stretch
Runners knee ITB
Single leg squats
Glutes, are you standing comfortably?
Squat test
Migrating to a minimalist shoe
Richard Whitehead Paralympic 200m
Medial Shin Splints
The cumulative effect
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