Tag Archive | distance running

Running Biomechanics: Stop the Stomping

If you can hear your feet stomping the ground, there is a problem. A big loud problem.

It can be due to many things, weak lower limbs, weak hips, overstriding, breaking, etc., but it is never good.

Focusing on being softer on the ground, lighter on your feet can be hard, because your body might not be currently developed to activate the hamstrings, etc; but drills will get you out of that habit. Do drills.

Just make sure you (turn the music off and) pay attention once in a while to the noises around you. And if it’s your buddy that’s stomping, it might be time for a noise intervention. In a very nice and caring way.

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Running Biomechanics: Lightweight / Minimalist / Barefoot shoes are NOT the same thing

all right, let’s be clear so we all know what we are talking about:

Lightweight shoes, just like racing flats can be anything. High arch, high heeled, narrow fit, drops of 4mm or more, etc. It can be anything from 4 ounces to 10 ounces, anything, depending your needs (and size), and they usually have some degree of cushioning. They are just lighter.

Minimalist shoes are always lightweight but also they are always zero drop, that is, no height difference between the front and the back of the shoe (most shoes, even lightweight ones, have a heel). Minimalist shoes need to be very flexible but also have a very thin and dense sole, 4 or 3 mm or under. They need a wide toebox to allow the foot to splay out when collapsing on contact and they need to feel like you’re almost barefoot when you need some protection.

Barefoot shoes: there is no such thing. What part of bare feet are we not clear about?
(no, not even running sandals are barefoot anything!)

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Running Biomechanics: Do you sit all day?

Practice does not makes perfect. Perfect Practice makes Perfect!!

Check how you’re sitting, right now. Is your posture not so perfect? Are you also hunching down?

Your body gets used to this form and this becomes your normal position/posture. Your core gets week, your glutes disappear, etc. There are many studies that conclude that sitting is one of the worst things you can do for your health.

If you work in an office, get a standing desk if you can. Or schedule a 5 minute walk and stretch every hour.

I like to lower my desktop (I place it on a stool) and squat a few times a day for a bit. Or just get up and walk often, sit back, and make sure you do a few drills to straighten up before your run, or your all-day-slouchy-form will catch up with you, literally.

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This is the road

The road doesn’t care
if I trimmed my ends, 
if I got a promotion,
if I cleaned my apartment
if I bought a plant
if I did my nails 
if have the latest outfit and gear
if I finally emptied my Inbox or the trash
The doesn’t even care 
if I just had a horrible meal
if I don’t have the gear for rain or wind ready
if I didn’t sleep enough in the last 3 days
if I am jetlagged from a trip
if I just got bad news and can’t handle any more pain
It will still always do whatever it wants with me. 
The only predictable thing about the road is its unpredictability. And I love it. I crave it.
In exchange for my attention and dedication, some days it will get me a fabulously fun, endorphin-fueled, fast and easy as if I was flying adventure laced with runners high. Those are the lucky times; and I never know they are around the corner.
Other days, it will throw a slow, heavy-legs, can’t breathe, painful want-to-cut-this-one-short run my way; also for no reason and with no heads-up.
And as much as I like to plan everything about my life, I love that I never know what is going to happen on any of my runs. I have no control.

This is the road

To be or not to be: A Kenyan

I am not a Kenyan, in case my race times had you confused… Just wanted to clear that out up-front! 😉 I finished reading Toby Tanser’s More Fire, and I learned a lot of stuff that is, hum, what is the word…. ground breaking!

Their Running is pretty much the OPPOSITE of all we do around here. You’ll have to read it and figure out why and what works for you but some shattering concepts I was stuck with include:

– Their Easy pace is ridiculously slow. Anyone could walk faster! 

I am on it. I like super slow runs!

– Block training: they start slow, build up, train hard, race, and pig out for a month or two after a race. They seriously stop running for weeks at a time.

I will try to stop running after my marathon, or after the ultra two weeks after the marathon, or.. oh, this might be impossible.

– Use softer surfaces, no pavement unless it is a race.


– Healthy and Minimalist approach to eating.

Can’t even dream of trying.

– Everything is done in group-mode (running, travelling, living, racing).

Hmmm, I am more into “twosome-running”, mostly to chat away! They don’t chat on runs.

– Clothes, while training: more is more; just to make sure everything is warmed up and loose.

I am the opposite, I just hate doing laundry…

– No GPS watch and no mileage tracking.

What? I have like 50 spreadsheets, with tabs, charts, formulas…

– Injury Prevention…

Can’t tell you that one, do you want Toby to strangle me?

Ok, so some stuff might not translate but the more I read the more I seemed to start making adjustments.

It really does make sense, you’ll have to check it out. I learned a lot about how to approach the sport to make it render the best results (meals type and quantity, training programs, how to pick one, attitude, shoes, crosstraining, etc.) Their mental approach is what’s most different though. This is, after all, a job for them, a way to make a career for themselves.

It is very inspiring, I would like to go there someday. I’d probably have to run all by myself though.