Note: this is not about training for a marathon or a 10k this is about developing skills. If you want to get better at Marathoning here are some things that will help you though.
Too many people assume jogging whenever someone says running and that is far from the truth. The deathly slow plodding along pavements that you see in every suburb of every city of every country is not running. That is a super limited view of running and possibly the most limited view of running one can have in terms of the idea of training to build skills and being more capable.
Running is so much more. It is sprinting, reacting, changing direction, changing speed. It is a method of locomotion. IT IS A SKILL. A skill that most people don’t execute well.
Most people don’t have the necessary mobility, stability and strength to run well. They assume that they can just put shoes on and go for a jog and be on their way to better body composition, fitness and health. The reality is most people are destroying themselves with their jogging. Most of us have become too weak or immobile than is healthy. Previous generations most probably could just go for a run, but you can’t. Not without consequences.
Having bad running mechanics leads to injuries. Think of it. How many strides do you take on a run? On average it is around 12500 steps in a 10km run. That is 12500 repetitions of a bad pattern, 12500 times of putting force through a joint in a less than optimal way. The body is a wonderful thing. It is an adaptation engine, it will do what it needs to, to allow you to get the job done. You might not experience pain immediately but after a while the niggles show up. These are just indicators that the system is not working optimally.
Where is the skill?
How does jogging benefit you? When do you have to jog in life? Most people have more of a need to sprint than they do jogging. You are more likely to sprint to try and make it to a boarding gate for a flight, sprint to catch a bus or shuttle or to run away from a threat like a mugger. That is the unfortunate reality of the world we live in. When last did you have to run 10+ km to do something? I would venture to say never.
A more practical outlook on running
We need to have a more practical outlook on what running is and how to do it effectively.
Here is a breakdown of areas we need to focus on to develop a more complete and effective running practice for the everyday athlete.
1. Mobility and Stability
3. Reaction and agility
5. Change of speed
How do we have a more complete running training program?
Mobility and Stability
Most joggers don’t move well. Most have mobility restrictions in their hips and ankles and they lack stability in their hips, midline and feet. This is the foundation, the foundation that most don’t have. Nobody is going to stop running to first fix the foundation so we need to do things that will improve the foundation of our running
You need to develop stable feet, mobile ankles, stable and mobile hips. Mobile Thoracic spine and active glutes.
This is a mobility and stability routine I use as a warm up before running sessions. It opens up the hips ankles and the Thoracic spine.
Awesomizer: 10 – 15 reps each leg
Elevate the front foot, standing in a split stance keep the feet in line, pointing forward. Drop into the lunge. Stretching the hip and calf. As you move back out of it you can mobilise the hamsting as well.
Walk Stance Twist: 10-15 reps per side
Stand in a split stance with legs slightly bent. Rotate your torso, reaching you hand to the opposite foot. Keep your feet parallel to each other and pointing forward.
Windmill: 10-15 reps each side
Stand with a wide stance rotate your one foot out, slide the same side arm on the inside of the leg that is rotated out hinging at the hips, driving your but back. Try to open your chest by driving the top shoulder back.
Hip hikes: 10-15 reps per side
Stand one one leg, engage your core, keep your ribs down. Drop you hip down on the side of the leg that is off the ground then use the hip of your plant leg to hike that hip up.
SL RDL: 10-15 reps per leg
Stand on one leg. Foot pointing straight ahead, keeping your arch strong not collapsed. Keep the knee soft. Focus on hinging at the hip keeping your core engaged and your back straight. Focus on feeling the load in your hamstring and glute. On the last few reps you can start driving more explosively out of the hip.
This is just a starting point, most people need more work than this. Additional things you can do include:
· Mobility and myofascial release(rolling) of the calves, hamstings, quads, glutes and Thoracic spine
· Glute activation work
· Core stability work (learning to brace)
Something is better than nothing and consistently doing this before your running sessions will help you move better.
Check back soon for part two, where we will go further into the other parts of this running as a skill puzzle.