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Efficient Running Form January 26, 2009

Posted by multisport man in Running, Triathlon.
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[The following is a guest article from Dr Gabe Mirkin about proper running form and efficiency. Since running is the last event in a triathlon, keeping good form when already fatigued is important.]

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Most experienced runners can tell when other runners are in shape just by watching them run. They look for efficiency, a measure of how much energy is lost by wasteful movements during running. You run with your legs and all of your other movements are used just to balance your body. The main reason you don’t fall when you are walking or running is that your brain constructs a “center of gravity”, a point around which all movements on one side are balanced by equal movements on the other side. For example, when your right leg goes forward, your left arm goes forward and your right arm goes backward. You do this without thinking and your movements are automatically calculated in your brain.

A study from The Hospital of Laval in France shows that even the best runners lose their efficiency when they become fatigued (Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, June 2006). Experienced runners have consistent stride length and form. This study shows that with fatigue, their stride length decreases and, more importantly, they start to lose form by adding a significant amount of side-to-side movement that wastes energy and does not drive them forward.

Running slowly does not teach your brain how to balance your body when you run fast. Good form comes from practicing running very fast in training. People who run slowly all the time usually have poor running form. They waste movements that do not help them move forward. For example, their feet often move to the side after they raise their feet from the ground. Their arms do not move loosely and comfortably to balance their bodies. They may run with toes pointed outward, which is a sign of weak shin muscles. If you want to improve your running form, run faster a few times every week.

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Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports — and the FREE Good Food Book — at http://www.DrMirkin.com

[Editor’s Note: A very good article from Dr Mirkin. This reminds me of the Chi Running technique I’ve heard about.]


Carrying energy gels – without pockets! October 22, 2008

Posted by multisport man in Racing, Running.
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I do this too – I pin energy gels onto my clothes instead of sticking them in my pockets.

Great idea for running a marathon. Fuel belts can be annoying, and you don’t have any neat pockets on your running gear. (Wearing a tri tank during a marathon seems to be a fashion faux pau.)

This is not so great for a triathlon though. It’s not needed either, since your tank top should have a pocket in the back. And you can stash plenty of gels on your bike bag.

p.s. energy gel is so cool!

Adrenaline-Boosting Workouts You Can Do At Home September 7, 2008

Posted by multisport man in Exercise, fitness, Running, Training, workout.
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You never know what you’ll find in a mainstream publication. It is usually a cheesy workout or some rehashed stuff we’ve seen a million times.

The latest article at MSN Health was decent – 7 Adrenaline-Boosting Workouts.

Some of the exercises are simple, and some are cheesy (i.e. using your bicycle as a barbell and doing military presses with it) but there are a couple I like.

My favorite was “2. Hoops Fat Blaster” to do on the basketball court. I’ve done basically the same exercises and they’re awesome for improving stabilizer muscles and strength.

One of the exercises was doing pushups but with one hand on a basketball. That gets you working hard! Then you repeat with the other hand on the ball. Good stuff.

If I was to add to that, I’d say do some squats with one foot on the ball! That would probably be even harder than doing a single leg squat!

Interview with Danny Dreyer (of ChiRunning.com) June 18, 2008

Posted by multisport man in Running, Training, Tri, Triathlon.
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Theirs a somewhat informative interview with Danny Dreyer over at this running site. I found out about Danny after seeing this “chi running” program that improves your running (also reviewed at this site.)

As a triathlete i’m always looking for ways to improve my running, because by the time I swim and bike, i am worn out!! So if I can run efficiently, it helps me finish a race.

So this interview was neat. It was mainly about eating right with a few mentions of good running form. About as long as a book, holy cow it took a while to read.

But useful enough I thought I’d pass it along.

ChiRunning… Run effortlessly without injury? Maybe. June 13, 2008

Posted by multisport man in Exercise, Running, Training.
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I get shin splints when I run. Running hurts. Do I run for fun? Obviously not, if it hurts. But I want to stay fit and active.

Well possibly I can run easier if I try this running idea called ChiRunning. ChiRunning sounds like a good idea, so I might try it. Coach Levi seems to like the DVD.

I’lll think it over. I mean, avoiding injuries is worth whatever they charge. Heck, it’s gotta be cheaper than doing permanent damage to my knees!

Feeling like crap June 21, 2007

Posted by multisport man in Running.
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I was reading a new running blog where the author talks about feeling like crap and not being able to run.

It reminds me of many a day in my life. And it means you need rest!!

Sometimes you get into a groove and just go out and train like crazy. After a while, the stress just builds up and finally knocks you down hard!

So if you feel like crap, that’s probably the first signal you need rest.

Boston Marathon 2007 April 22, 2007

Posted by multisport man in Running.
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Sure was a rough one this year.

A bit cool and rainy but the worst part was a headwind the whole way into Boston.

Running 26 miles is hard enough as it is – I’m glad I wasn’t out there this year! I stayed in and caught up on some good TV shows!

Finding the right shoe December 3, 2006

Posted by multisport man in Exercise, Racing, Running, Training, Triathlon.
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Is now easier for runners!

If you can’t get to a good running store, now you can shop online thanks to the shoe selection guide.

Other Topics December 1, 2006

Posted by multisport man in Bicycling, Bike Maintenance, Bike Repair, Cycling, Cyclo-Core, Diet, Exercise, Mountain Biking, Nutrition, Racing, Running, Sports Nutrition, Supplements, Swimming, Training, Tri, Triathlon, Weight Loss.

There will be a lot of cycling topics on here, as well as some running stuff. Nutrition will be pretty common too.

But we will also talk about bike repair and maintenance, certain exercises like Cyclo-Core, training, racing, triathlons, swimming, supplements, and dieting.

Running December 1, 2006

Posted by multisport man in Exercise, Racing, Running, Training.
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Running is a great lifestyle sport. People of all ages take part in running and jogging. I’ve even seen many 70 year olds running marathons!

It’s pretty simple to get started, you just need a good pair of running shoes. Get these at a local running store. (Be sure to get ones that are right for your feet.)

Then you can start training and maybe even race!

(Although, depending on your situation, you may want to check with your doctor first.)