Author Topic: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]  (Read 4611 times)

Offline Gregg HIPK

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2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« on: November 26, 2009, 01:23:25 PM »
Disclaimer: I used to run distance. We used to sneer at the sprinters, because they would complain if they had to run anything over 1/2 mile. I hate running on a track. I don't especially like intervals, either.

  In MN, running was the most important of the exercises. The tests were 100m, 500m, and 1500m which are all fairly short distance.

  CrossFit seeks to develop people who are "equal parts gymnast, Olympic weightlifter, and multi-modal sprinter or "sprintathlete"." Most of their running work is 100m or 400m, some 800m, occasional 5km and very infrequent 10km runs. They note that athletes who train mostly aerobic lose muscle mass, strength, speed and power. Aerobic activity also tends to decrease anaerobic capacity.

Mark Sisson started off as an elite distance runner. He found that high level aerobic activity wasn't healthy. "It requires huge amounts carbohydrate (sugar) to sustain, it promotes hyperinsulinemia (overproduction of insulin), increases oxidative damage (the production of free radicals) by a factor of 10 or 20 times normal, and generates high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in many people, leaving them susceptible to infection, injury, loss of bone density and depletion of lean muscle tissue – while encouraging their bodies to deposit fat."
  He now advocates mixing low level aerobic work [easy walking, hiking, cycling, swimming] a few days a week, and sprinting all out one or two days a week.
  His "sprints" are running, cycling, etc. at maximum effort for 20-40 seconds. "Start with maybe three or four the first time, resting two minutes in between and, after a few weeks of doing this, work your way up to a workout that includes six or eight all-out sprints after a brief warm-up."

Offline Gregg HIPK

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 02:15:35 PM » = original article. Since I don't know enough about sprint training to separate the good from the bad at this point I'm going to find stuff that seems helpful, and then try to figure out the inconsistencies. Here's my summary:

Sprint Training for the Developing Athlete by Steve Bennett B.Sc. (Physiology)  ATFCA Level II

First improve balance, posture and stability of the trunk. Then improve leg or arm strength.
Develop overall fitness through dance, skipping,... a variety. NOT JOGGING.

Goal = High speed with little effort. Relax when running. The ability to run fast and have it look easy is of the highest importance. Very fast steps is the first thing that needs to be developed.

Don't run on your toes or pump your arms high.
-It is better to develop a foot that is moving backward before impact and a foot carriage that is as close as possible to the shin (Dorsiflexion).
-Arms should be held with relaxed fingers. The main focus of effort should be a backward stroke. They should also not move very far forward from the body.

Maximum speed is the most important quality to develop. Sprint short distances. eg Flying start 20-30m runs or standing start runs 30-60m. Run at maximum relaxed speed in sets of 3. Rest between sprints 3-5min - stay active. Between sets do balance or trunk activities for 10-15min.
  The athlete should never do more once they are getting slower within the session [eg. 60m times = 8.30, 8.20, 8.25, 8.30, 8.60, 8.80, 9.00.] They should have stopped after the first obviously slower run in the session [the 8.60]. Initially runners may be slowing after even the first run, but with training they may be able to 9 runs at the same speed.

Endurance to finish a 100m or 200m race is best developed in races. Training at slower speeds has little positive effect. Endurance is best developed while running at race speed. If the athlete is really lacking in Speed Endurance at the end of these races they could do sessions like below:
- 2x 3 x Flying start 60m runs at high speed with rests of only 90s
- 4 x Flying 100m very fast rests 3min.

The 400m event needs special training at the slower 400m race speed. The ability to relax and use little energy is important at race pace.
Some sessions to improve performance in the 400m are:
- 10 x Flying 100m at 400m race pace rests 3min
- 4 x 200m at 400m pace rests 5min
- 2 x 300 at 400m race pace rest 15min
- 400m athletes should also do more endurance training and can get by with more jogging especially in the off season. Maximum speed training is also of high importance.

It is important to have good foot function and for this reason it is useful for athletes to spend as much time as possible barefoot. Walking on sand is very good. Training should be conducted in very light simple shoes. Racing flats from the Runners Shop are much better than joggers for training in.

In Cold weather athletes must warm-up carefully and keep warm. Tights are great for training in as they maintain warmth during the frequent recoveries.

Training to improve muscle elasticity is very useful in all athletes eg. Games like Fly, Hop-Scotch, Skipping short distances, Leap frog and playful hopping and bouncing around are all great stimulation to the elastic qualities of muscle. Combining sensible amounts of these activities with balance challenging activities and relaxed movement practise would be ideal especially for very young athletes.

Any strength training should be restricted to the trunk until the athlete has optimal development of their posture and good levels of stability. Strength training is much more effective after this is developed anyway.

Young athletes lose flexibility as they grow and their bodies will naturally try to cheat to find ways to move to make up for the deficiency. Small amounts of perfect practise are better at decreasing the development of bad habits. Large amounts of high effort training during stages of decreased flexibility and poor posture will result in the athlete learning a bad running style that will be more difficult to correct. Athletes need to have a smart stretching program designed personally for them during periods after faster growth. They need to be taught good posture and given feedback on what is good and bad posture when sitting, standing, walking and running. Most of our society have posture far below ideal.

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 03:23:34 PM »
Complete Speed Training Basically a sales pitch, but here are some ideas:

if you keep doing the same things you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting the same results. Because bad habits have become automatic few will break free of these patterns to take full advantage of the potential currently locked inside their bodies.

Before every practice or competition, athletes must get the blood flowing to all of their muscles. When they don’t learn it right, not only will they be slow and heavy on their feet, but they’ll start getting hurt.

The solution does not lie in ‘sucking it up’. You must incorporate a dynamic warm up each day where your athletes are actively and progressively increasing the intensity of their movements. Jogging followed by a group static stretch is an inferior, out dated means of starting a practice or getting ready for a competition. ‘A’ Level programs do not use static stretching as their warm up.

Accelleration video - run relaxed, accelerate at 45 deg angle
Pre-competition video - Dynamic and active stretches
Agility video - Drills with cones, ladders, etc. Fun?
Core video - Importance of core conditioning for speed.
Weights and plyo - Concentrate on explosive hips, quads, hams

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2009, 03:41:48 PM »
Many of these nasty exercises I first saw in the Vertical Jump Bible. This is from sprinter Tom Green in ... Make sure to WARM UP before doing these.

The Program

The following is the list of nine exercises. I will explain each one in short detail with pictures of myself performing them from start to finish. Remember, each exercise is meant to be very ballistic so challenge you to be as quick and powerful as possible.

   1. Tuck Jumps. (2x6)
   2. Rocket Jumps. (2x6)
   3. Lunge Jumps. (2x6)
   4. Line Hops. (2x8)
   5. Skips For Height. (3x30 meters)
   6. Skips For Distance. (3x30 meters)
   7. Straight Leg Bounds. (3x30 meters)
   8. Forward Weight Throws. (5)
   9. Overhead Weight Throws. (5)

The Exercises

1. Tuck Jumps

Tuck jumps are done by squatting down then exploding off the ground as high as possible. While in the air, the goal is to "tuck" your legs into your chest as high as possible before landing again. Immediately upon landing, quickly squat down and explode off again. There should be a constant and smooth transition throughout all the jumps.

2. Rocket Jumps

Rocket jumps are performed exactly like tuck jumps in the initial exploding phase. Except this time, the point is to get a full stretch from the tips of your fingers to your toes. While in air, your body will look like a straight line. Immediately upon landing, quickly squat down and explode off again.

3. Lunge Jumps

Lunge jumps are done by beginning in the "lunge" position then exploding off the ground. While in air, your legs will cycle so that the front leg is now behind you and the leg that was behind you is in front. The goal is to get as high as possible and to land in the lunge position with the legs that were switched in air. Then, explode off again.

4. Line Hops

Line hops are the quickest moving exercise out of the nine. Draw an imaginary line and stand on one side of it with your feet close together. The idea is to bounce back and forth across this "line" as quickly as possible while your feet stay close together. To keep a good balance, extend your arms out to the side.

5. Skips For Height

Skips for height are one of my favorites! They're simple. Using the basic skipping motion, spring up as high as possible with each skip. Really pump your arms when you explode for each skip. I do these for 30 meters, walk back, and then repeat the drill.

6. Skips For Distance

Skips for distance are also great ones. Again using the basic skipping motion, the goal is to spring forward as far as possible. They're similar to bounding but not quite as strenuous on the body, so you won't get as beat up. Like the skips for height, be sure to pump the arms and really use all of your leg, calf, and ankle muscles. I also use 30 meters for these.

7. Straight Leg Bounds

Straight leg bounds are great for targeting the hamstrings and glutes. They're performed by keeping your legs as straight as possible throughout the whole exercise. To cover ground, emphasize snapping your leg down and exploding forward instead of trying to reach. Thirty meters is a good distance for these also.

8. Forward Weight Throws

Forward weight throws are a great overall strength and power exercise. The throw is performed by holding a shot put between your legs, squatting down, and then exploding up and out while your arms rip forward to release the weight. Use a challenging weight without sacrificing technique or possible injury. The goal is to throw the weight as far as possible.

9. Overhead Weight Throws

Overhead weight throws are also great for your overall power output. Although the weight is thrown behind you, the execution is very similar to the forward weight throws. Stand with your back facing wherever you're throwing, hold the weight between your legs, squat down, then explode up and back releasing the weight over your head. This is definitely my favorite throwing exercise! It's a good idea to keep a record of your throws and monitor your progress throughout the season.


As far as sets and reps, it is ultimately up to you and/or your coach. Throughout my season, things change so I will do either less or more depending on the circumstances. Again, these exercises are meant to be very powerful and are taxing on your CNS. So as a basic guideline, less is probably better. Quality over quantity! Good luck with your training.

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 11:01:47 AM »
Sprinting FAQ from [and]

1. Are the arms important in sprinting? Arms dictate the rhythm while you are running. The body is a well-coordinated machine, arms and legs working in unison. When one is out of sync' so is the other. Your arms should be rhythmic,and constant. Be aware that if you swing your arms too fast, you will tire out your legs. The legs are longer, and bigger than the arms, which means two things; you can manipulate your arms easier, and the arms have to swing in a way that compensates for the legs. The angle of your arms should remain at 90 degrees, at the elbow. The only time this angle should change is when they "hit" back behind you, opening up no more than 120 degrees. The opening up of the angle allows your legs to complete the cycle of movement. Your arms should swing like a pendulum, providing a source of power, and carrying the rhythm of your sprinting.

2. How do I improve my speed? Sprinting has as much to do with biomechanics and technique as it has to do with natural speed. Many times a change in an angle, or an applied force can be the difference in a tenth of a second. Make it your business to be the best technician in the race. At certain points in your sprinting career, talent becomes relative-in other words, the sprinter that is the best with his or her technique will win more often than not.

3. How should my foot hit the ground? The point of contact with the ground is referred to as your "footstrike." There are a number of things you should be aware of concerning this part of sprinting; I will give you two basic points.The first, is the relationship of your foot with the ground at "footstrike," it should always be the "ball" of your foot. That is the pad just below your big toe. Many refer to it as being "on your toes,"this is not to be taken literally. If you are too high on your foot you will lose power, and expose your calves to fatigue. Running flat gives away too much time on the ground. You can refer to the optimal point as the "sweet spot." The second, is the movement of the foot at the point of contact. Since, the only way to produce horizontal force is to push off something, it begs the question "how do you propel yourself down the track?" We can produce the vertical force, but how do we use that force to get to the finish line? You have to have negative foot speed, this means your foot should be moving backwards at the point of contact, almost a clawing-like action. Most think it is a push off the back, but this can be dangerous because it opens your hamstrings up, and exposes them to injury.

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2009, 11:58:10 AM »
Speed Training: Arm Action Source:
By Patrick Beith [my summary]

The arms stabilize the torso so power can be efficiently transferred through the hips. The arms both directly and indirectly influence the ability to run fast.

Keep your hands relaxed. Think about holding a potato chip in each hand. No matter how hard you run, no matter how tired you get, you can't clench your hands so that the potato chip breaks. Once you tighten up and lose range of motion in your arms, it reduces stride length, which is difficult to get back without burning a lot of energy.

It is important to get a full range of motion with the arms. Speed is a product of stride length and stride frequency. They are partially determined by the arm motion. If you are lazy or passive with your arm action, you are limiting your potential for speed.

Your front arm elbow angle should be between 60-90 degrees and your back arm elbow angle should be between 90-120 degrees. If your arm angles fall outside of this range, you'll run slower and get tired faster. When running, arm swing should be initiated at and through the shoulders. You should think of your elbow as being locked in place.

Elbow angle should only change slightly, as a result of elastic response. Range of motion: the hand clears the hip in the back and comes up to about cheek height in front. Much more than that, in either direction, will result in over striding which causes breaking and can lead to strains, pulls and tears in the muscle.

Focus on driving the elbows down and back. When runners fire their arms straight back, without first driving them down, it often leads to bunched up shoulders, which causes tightness and limits range of motion. It is important to focus on driving the arms back as they are recovered elastically by the stretch of muscles in the shoulder. So, don't drive your arms up and forward because stretch reflex is going to bring them forward anyway.

When your arms are brought in front of you, they should never cross the midline of your body. Your right arm should stay on the right half of your body and your left arm should stay on the left side. When you move your arms laterally, across the midline of your body, you rotate your hips which burns energy, makes you run slower and get tired faster, all for no reason other than laziness and lack of concentration.

Remember, you compete like you practice, so if you don't correct technical issues in practice, you can't expect them to be fixed in competition.

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2009, 01:50:59 PM »
POSE RUNNING - The basic principle is simple. Right?

The athlete lands on the midfoot, with the supporting joints flexed at impact, and then uses the hamstring muscles to withdraw the foot from the ground, relying on gravity to propel the runner forward.

Pose running technique principles in summary

   1. Raise your ankle straight up under your hip, using the hamstrings
   2. Keep your support time short
   3. Your support is always on the balls of your feet
   4. Do not touch the ground with your heels
   5. Avoid shifting weight over your toes: raise your ankle when the weight is on the ball of your foot
   6. Keep your ankle fixed at the same angle
   7. Keep knees bent at all times
   8. Feet remain behind the vertical line going through your knees
   9. Keep stride length short
  10. Keep knees and thighs down, close together, and relaxed
  11. Always focus on pulling the foot from the ground, not on landing
  12. Do not point or land on the toes (see Fig 3: Toe running)
  13. Gravity, not muscle action, controls the landing of the legs
  14. Keep shoulder, hip and ankle in vertical alignment
  15. Arm movement is for balance, not for force production

How to do it: pose drills

If you are embarking on a serious transition to pose, you should practise the drills (building up the level of difficulty) once or twice daily, three sets of 10 to 15 reps per drill. Drills should be practised for at least a week before attempting to run in pose, and should be performed before a run.

All drills should be performed barefoot for added awareness of the movements, on a forgiving surface such as grass or a running track. The drills fall into three sections:

   1. Basic drills to reinforce the pose position, the use of the hamstring in pulling the foot from the ground and the feeling of falling forward under the effect of gravity (drills 1-7);
   2. Intermediate drills to reinforce these feelings (drills 8 and 9);
   3. Advanced drills to aid speed, balance, strength and reflexiveness none shown here).

Drill 1 (Fig 4 below):
Pose stance

This to be practised as a static pose, held for up to 30 seconds. It requires good postural control; no support is allowed. The idea is to challenge the mechanoreceptors in the joints and soft tissues to provide feedback to the brain regarding joint position and muscle tone.

    * It is the basic position to hold and to practise balance
    * The use of a mirror is recommended
    * Shoulder, hip and ankle should always be vertically aligned
    * Point of contact with the ground is always the midfoot
    * Hip is always held over the support point, which is the midfoot.

Drill 2: Change of support without moving

    * Shift centre of gravity sideways from one leg to the other, maintaining support on the midfoot
    * You must feel the weight shift from one leg to the other before pulling up
    * It is important to feel the weight shift and then the acceleration of this movement by the pulling-up of the hamstring
    * Pull the ankle up vertically under the hip using the hamstring only, not hip flexors or quadriceps
    * Allow the leg to drop to the ground – do not drive it down
    * Mental focus is on the pulling-up action, not the leg drop.

Drill 3 (Fig 5 below): Pony

    * This practises changing support using minimum effort and minimal range of movement
    * Simultaneously lift the ankle of the support leg while allowing your body weight to shift to the other leg
    * Use only the hamstring.

Keep in mind your support point on the midfoot (toes will also be in contact).
Drill 4 (Fig 6 below): Forward change of support

    * This puts the pony into action; practise slowly at first
    * Lean slightly forward and simultaneously pull the ankle up under the hip using the hamstring and allow the non-support leg to drop to the ground under the force of gravity
    * Make sure the weight transfer is effortless and that the foot is allowed to fall.

Drill 5 (Fig 7 below): Foot tapping

    * Single-leg drill, 10-15 taps per set
    * This emphasises the vertical leg action and use of hamstrings rather than driving the knees up and forward using your hip flexors and quads
    * It prevents your foot from being too far out in front of the body, which would cause you to land on your heel and create a braking action
    * Aim for rapid firing of the hamstring, lifting the foot from the ground as soon as it touches down
    * You must feel the muscles fire and then relax. Avoid a forceful pull all the way up. If you are doing it correctly the lower leg will decelerate after the initial firing and accelerate as gravity returns it to the ground.

Drill 6 (Fig 8 below): Hopping

This movement progresses the tapping drill. The momentum for the hopping support leg should come from the hamstring action on the non-hopping leg. Take care: this is an advanced movement which will place unhealthy stress on structures such as the Achilles/calf muscles if not performed correctly.

    * Start by pulling up the nonhopping leg with your hamstring and use the reaction force of the ground to aid this recoil effect
    * Do not push with the calf but just lift the ankle with the hamstring and make sure the ankle is relaxed between hops.

Drill 7: Front lunge

    * Single-leg drill which increases the range of movement of the hopping drill
    * This truly forces you to isolate the hamstring muscles
    * Practise initially on the spot until you are stable enough to allow forward movement
    * Keep weight on front leg; the back leg drags behind
    * Pull ankle vertically up under the hip, using the hamstring
    * Keep contact time with the ground as short as possible
    * Allow rear leg to follow loosely
    * Remember to land on the ball of your foot
    * Forward movement is created not by pushing off but by leaning forward from the hips. You drag the rear leg behind you for balance.

Drill 8 (Fig 9 below): Switch

    * Both ankles are being picked up
    * This time you are picking the rear leg up as well with the hamstring
    * Transfer weight from one leg to the other as you alternate support
    * Keep contact time with the ground to a minimum, only as necessary to change support
    * Keep heels off the ground and land on the balls of your feet
    * Always think of the pose stance: good vertical alignment of shoulder, hip and foot.

Drill 9: Running lunge

    * This is pose running, but with a deliberate emphasis on the speed of the hamstring pull-up
    * The aim is to teach the working leg to react as quickly as possible, minimising support time on the ground
    * The runner pulls the heel up vertically from the ground but allows it to fall easily to the ground.

And stuff from the official site:
Start guide

Offline Gregg HIPK

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Re: 2. RUNNING [MN Updated]
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2009, 02:12:11 PM »

- POSE -

To learn the Running Pose (Pose Stance) start with it in the static position , keeping your balance on one leg, bent at the knee, with the body weight located on the ball of the foot. (Drill 1. Pose Stance)

Keep the Pose for 4-5 seconds then change the support from one foot to the other. (Drill 4. Hop in Place) Repeat. Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps of each drill to let your body "memorize" the pose.

Then incorporate it in a few short (30-50 meters) runs at any comfortable for you speed.

Important! Keep your hips above the ball of your foot.

The most difficult thing to learn is to get a proper perception of holding the body weight on the ball of the foot.

You can use some additional support such as a wall, a fence, or your partner to get this right. You can do it in flat racing shoes or barefoot to get even more precise perception of being on the ball of the foot.