Thursday, October 11, 2012

Natural Running class- Efficient running = POWER strides!

Good pacing makes sure I'll be passing all race!

I am back in school! Learning how to run more efficient. The class I'm taking is at Running Depot in Crystal Lake. The first class was an assessment of my gate, flexibility and functional strength.

My Teachers-

Cari Setzler, DVM
USATF level II Endurance Coach
RRCA Certified Coach
Running Depot/owner manager

Todd Wallace, DPT and OCS

The session started with me running on a treadmill at an easy pace. Cari video taped me from the side and the back while I ran for about 8 minutes. Then Cari, Todd and me looked at the tape. Cari pointed out what was good and bad. Overall I'm pretty efficient, I guess averaging 70+ miles a week will do that to you. I'm running at approximately 85% efficiency. I don't have wasted up and down motion. I run with a natural lean forward. Which means my center of gravity is correct. I look like the picture of the guy running on the right. I really think this is from wearing Inov-8 shoes. *The design of the shoe teaches us to land correctly.

The things that I need to work on is
Upper body- my core is strong but I'm not using it correctly. I sway to much and I hold my arms up a little to high. Need to relax and drop them down a touch.

Feet- I push off with my pinky toe on my right foot instead of my third toe. Consistently doing drills specific to this will teach me to correct this without me even having to think about it while running.

Lifting my legs-For a trail runner I surprisingly don't pick my feet up very high. That's why both my knees are scared up. Ha! This will be corrected by drills they are going to teach us this Sunday. I'll video tape that drill and post it this weekend.

Pausing- I can work on not letting my foot plant quite as long, quicker turn over.

Next Todd and an assistant did a strength and flexibility test on me. This was done by me doing things like touching my toes. Lying on a table while Todd had me do different stretches with my legs. I was very flexible. My abductor could use some work loosening up. And my right hamstring. Working on keeping my muscles loose will help with me getting quicker turn over on my stride.

 Then for the strength test I did sit ups, side planks, leg lifts with resistance, calf raises, etc... I was very happy to find out I'm strong as an Ox (That was Todd's words) I scored a 5 out of 5. Five being the best you could score. I shouldn't be that surprised because I have been doing strength training for a couple of years. This year I really pushed that part of my training up. I've been working with Bill Jenson 3 times a week. The work outs are really tough. He says I'm his only female client that will still do pull ups for him. Those are insane! I can't believe I'm even able to do them.

So basically I learned from Cari and Todd that you can be as strong as an Ox but if the machine is not mechanically moving correctly you are not going to be able to utilize that strength. They are going to make these changes to my gait by drills, flexibility and strength training. Learning to use my strength correctly. I do all this and my stride is going to naturally get more efficient.
I named this pic "me passing skinny chick" Ha!
It does show in the picture how I hold my arms up a little to high and sway my upper body. I think if you look closely you can even see I'm pushing off from my pinky toe. This picture looks like a heal strike but I believe I have improved on that.

Getting tired but still have more SC to pass Hehe!
This is getting near the finish. I'm tired and you can see my  form could improve.
I'm stronger now than I was here but I'm sure I'll see improvement here. It looks like my foot is
permanently planted in the ground. I need some quicker turnover.

* I wear a 3 arrow shoe, which is a slightly cushioned minimal Inov-8 shoe, after seeing my tape I believe I can start moving down to the 2 arrow shoe (That will mean less cushion and more power with my push). I'll post a later blog about that.

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