Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hill Training and "The Bounce"

Every Wednesday rolls around and I'm so happy to go to this Lansing Marthon running clinic hosted by Owen (Anderson). Probably part of it is I get to run by him some of the things I've picked up along the way about running and have them challenged by someone who is so respectful. Every teacher and coach says things "as if they were truth" when in reality they can actually be things that are wrong or not as correct as they could be. One thing that I learned about running in a cross country camp from my high school days was the idea of "running tall". Basically the concept is one of running economy. Should you lean a bit or be straight up and down right above your legs. The whole "Good Form Running" plus all the other various incarnations of this movement seem to indicate that there should be a lean. I was taught and consequently teach that people should run tall keeping their bodies squarely over their power plant...their legs. Also that they should run evenly    and not waste energy moving up and down too much. In contrast, Owen talks about taking advantage of elastic energy when running and he says to bounce a bit in your stride. I was resisting the bounce. However he went on to explain that it takes advantage of energy that involves your muscles contracting and expanding naturally during running as opposed to willing your muscles to do the same thing which would interfere with economy. In the end, accepting that the bounce was a good thing versus a suspect thing was one item I came away with from tonight and I feel blessed to have such a kind coach. 

1 comment:

  1. These ideas go right along with my thesis on using plometrics with CC runners. Plyo training may improve your running economy by enhancing elastic energy return.

    Mark, ER runner