Sunday, November 28, 2010

Runaway the right way like Kanye

OK first things first.  Go listen to the new Kanye West album.  Great stuff!!  Something about his music gets me pumped.  Watch the full length runaway video too.  It's pretty good.  He runs a bit in the video and it looks like he has some decent speed.  Go Kanye!!  That being said his form could use a lot of work.  Sitting at the switchboard has definitely left him with some tight hips and probably really tight hammies too.  You can tell just from watching him run...but I digress, let's keep it positive shall we? 
The pic above is from the Crossfit Endurance Certification I attended last weekend in Santa Cruz.  I am the guy in blue ( I didn't get the memo about wearing black apparently).  I learned so many great things about running technique and would like to share some things with you.  I have been running POSE method for a few months and have transitioned from a heel striker to a forefoot striker and feel great about it. My knees feel great about it too!  The main thing I took away from the Cert is this.  NO ONE TAUGHT ME HOW TO RUN.  Most assume running comes naturally and does not need to be taught but if you observe different people running you will notice a vast difference in their styles.  However if you look at different baseball players fielding a ground ball you will see they all do it almost identically.  Did the coach give them a glove and just let them play?  No way!  They did thousands of drills going over the proper mechanics of fielding a ground ball and setting up those neural pathways.  As runners we need to change the way we train.  The old paradigm of building Volume (more miles) then Intensity (intervals) then  Technique (form) is gone and has been flipped upside down.  We should be training  Technique first then  Intensity and Volume.  So let's get down to it.  How should you run?  First thing you probably should get new shoes.  Avoid a shoe with a large heel.  That large heel is just going to encourage you to heel strike and we want to be forefoot strikers.  Were you born with shoes on?  Those big heels are unnatural.  Get something with a low heel.  Landing on the forefoot allows you to use your arch to absorb a lot of the impact and distribute it rather than sending that shock up your leg like when you heel strike.  Many books have been written on how to run so I can't explain everything in detail here but here are the basics:

1.  Posture: Ears above shoulders above hips above ankles.  All in a straight line
2.  Lean:  Lean ever so slightly from your ankles.  We are using gravity here people
3.  Pull:  Think of pulling your foot off the ground rather than pushing off.  You should pull the foot up directly underneath your center of mass using your hamstrings.
4.  Land: Land on a softly bent knee and do not reach for the ground.  This is perhaps the hardest part of running injury free.  You must relax your ankle and wait for gravity to pull your foot towards the ground.  Your foot will strike just ahead of your center of mass on the ball of the foot with the heel just kissing the ground.  At the moment it hits the ground pull the foot up again and the process repeats itself.

It's a lot to think about but if you practice approaching running as a skill your body will thank you.  I highly recommend running barefoot occasionally to help as well.  Here is an absolutely great video I found on youtube that will help set those neural pathways. 

Run on friends!!


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  2. Wearing walking shoes that are comfortable and fit your feet can help prevent injuries such as blisters and calluses. A walking shoe should also be fairly ..

    Michael B. Bash