The first piece identified The Problem: a significant lack of awareness of gait mechanics. The second piece identified The Solution and offered some basic strategies toward addressing mechanics.
#1 - No One Teaches Us How to Run. We just "do it" and assume we're doing it correctly and "non-pathologically" -- doing it without HURTING OURSELVES. This is UNTRUE. I see "pathological strides" every day. They're all around us.
#2 - Fast Kids Become Sprinters, Slow Kids Are Distance Runners. THIS ARTICLE, among many, has identified that good sprint mechanics are good distance mechanics, too!
#3 - The Complete Disregard for the Dynamic Nature of Running Strides. A terrific stride today may be a terrible one tomorrow (or next year). Athletic skills are dynamic and changing -- just ask any golfer that "picks up a slice" or a baseball player in a hitting slump. Strides change -- based on workouts, training load, age, job/daily activity change. Any change in stride can affect performance and health.
#4 - The Over-Emphasis on Physiological Distance Training versus Biomechanics. With poor mechanics, it doesn't matter one bit what training you do -- you're doomed to run slow and experience pain.
Optimizing Mechanics -- Where The Rubber Hits The Road
What an athlete will get from me -- first and foremost, and more important than anything else -- is not only an analysis of gait, but fast, effective and sustainable changes to mechanics. Using motor control theory and techniques, I can teach a person to FEEL that new stride -- and techniques to ensure those changes are consistent and sustainable.
Moreover, we examine not only KINEMATICS -- or how your stride looks and moves -- but more importantly: KINETICS -- or the energies, muscle actions, and feel of your body as you adjust your stride. This is the KEY to:
Mechanical Excellence -- "The Easy Way"
The easiest way to get faster is to run with Mechanical Excellence: to have as perfect form as possible. Mechanical Excellence means
- Maximum Speed
- Minimal Energy Required
- Minimal Tissue Stress
The more mechanically sound you can run, the faster you go with less energy. Most importantly: with the LEAST amount of wasteful, painful and damaging tissue stress. The more energy you can use to propel forward -- instead of smashing into the ground and back into your joints -- results in:
- Decreased Tissue Irritation/Damage
- Faster Recovery
- Greater Ability to Train Faster and Longer
It's that simple. You run "excellent" and you can do more. And longer. That, by definition, is the goal of distance running.
*****If you're interested in hearing more, or have questions on what I can offer, go here and shoot me a message. Happy (and healthy) running!