Improve your running economy
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Back when I ran track in college, I had a decent amount of raw genetic talent to run faster. But as I graduated to endurance running, my inefficient overstriding led to some serious knee injuries. Imagine how fast I could have been if I actually worked on my form.
In the 80s it was mostly thought good running form was a natural talent and not a skill to be worked at and acquired.
If you compare my run form from now to 20 years ago it’s a world of difference.
Learn the 7 best tips to run your fastest and avoid injuries.
The 7 Main Tips for Good Running Form
- Posture: Stand up straight, look straight ahead, lean slightly forwards and gravity should start you running.
- Foot plant : your feet should land almost under your body with a soft touch. ( a common mistake is to over-stride)
- Stride length comes from leg extension and push off at the back, and not from over extending at the front.
- Arm swing :keep the elbows at about 90degrees and naturally swing your arms back and forth, try not to swing side to side.
- Cadence: about 180 steps a minute, use your arm swing to help you keep your cadence high.
- Core: work on building a strong core, it is essential to hold a good posture .
- Perfection. Finally, we may not all become world champions, but we should never stop aiming for perfection, NO matter how old or slow we are.
Episode Highlights and Timestamps
[03:00] What’s going on in training this week
[06:50] Mike’s advice for runners that feel they’re going nowhere
[07:55] Mentality and getting race-fi
[09:38] Good running from vs. good running economy
[13:44] Foot plan
[18:37] Stride length
[22:55] Arm swing
[27:51] How to improve your cadence
[32:00] Summing up
[33:48] The cooldown segment: Who has better running form? Mo Farah or Eliud Kipchoge?
- Make sure your foot land behind the knee. If not it’s a hip operation waiting to happen
- If your form works you don’t need to change it. If you’re getting injured or want to run efficient, then look at getting better form
- Hitting the ground isn’t what we want – We want to be up in the air for as much as possible
- Anyone that overstrides and lands with the foot in front of the knee, is braking and accelerating and this is a very inefficient way of running.
- Quote – Make sure your foot land behind the knee. If not it’s a hip operation waiting to happen
- Don’t overstride: Put more force/power into each step to go further which means faster
Question Of The Episode
Who has the best run form Mo Farah or Kipchogee?
- Use Running Form Drills & Plyometrics to become an injury free monster – https://dlakecreates.com/run-form-drills-plyometrics-injury-free-monster/
- 4 Ways to master your running form – https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20864133/4-ways-to-master-your-running-form/
- What is perfect running form (Global Triathlon Network) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brFHyOtTwH4
- Instagram Post on Run Form – https://www.instagram.com/p/CQc8P9vjsR9/
- Podcast Concept, Production and Marketing BY POD PASTE
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This episode is brought to you by NRG – Coaching which is Mike Trees’ coaching service. Mike coaches beginners to pros and all levels in between.
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Full Transcript Below (or download pdf here)
Daren: What is up? Welcome to trees and D Lake a podcast series by Mike trees, and you’re truly Daren DLake creates.
In this series. Our goal is to educate and entertain smart and committed runners. A bit more on that from my trees
Mike: and the aim of this podcast is to give in a lighthearted, amusing and entertaining way, hints and tips to help you all run better and enjoy your sporting life more.
So let’s see how [00:01:00] can go with that.
Daren: Mike’s being pretty modest. He has over 50 years of running and doing triathlons under his belt. And if you’re wondering about me, I’ve been in the endurance sport game for about 25 years now, done a sub three hour marathon and completed an Ironman triathlon in 10 hours.
We appreciate all the help and support that we can get. So if you can please share out this episode to someone that you know, that would like this.
Oh, quick language warning, in some rare instances, we might use some bad words. So apologies in advance for that
This year I turned 40 years old. And despite my many injuries along the way, I’ve had to work hard on the basics of running for the last four years.
Partly because my injuries necessitate that I’m efficient to stay injury free, but more recently because the light flowing form, I now have makes running a relaxing, enjoyable and stress-free experience as we don’t like to tease anything on this podcast. Whenever we have a list type format, we’ll just give you the seven things and not hold them from you, but make sure to listen on to the rest of the episode, to find out more details about [00:02:00] each one.
The seven tips for good running form, one posture, two foot plant, three stride length, four arm swing, five cadence, six core and seven perfection. And that doesn’t mean running perfectly. That means striving for perfection. So here’s what to expect, in this episode, we’ll start off with a quick, warm up to see where we’re at in our current training.
And then we move into the core of the episode, the seven tips to good running form and we’ll end it with our episode. who has the best running form Mo Farrah or Eliud Kipchogee. Enough for me. Let’s get into the conversation.
all right. It’s another episode. And that means that I want to know how you’re doing Mike. What’s a what’s going on in the world of Mike trees, run dot energy training.
Mike: Ooh, always lots going on. [00:03:00] Lots of coaching with athletes. So the Tommy and my coaching is super taking off. It’s, we just can’t cope anymore.
So that’s great. So maybe I’m working a little bit too hard on Instagram and getting the message out. But apart from. I’m training really hard. So it’s full on days at the moment. I literally, I get up four in the morning, I’m out training and some days I’m doing 20, 20 hours plus a week. Some days I’m out there five hour days training, then I get back.
I’ve got to look after my daughter a little bit. Mustn’t forget. I’ve got a family. I sometimes forget that when I’m out Cheney and the, oh shit, I’ve got to get home. My daughter’s locked out. Then I’ve got to get the training stuff, done, the rehab, the food, so important to eat. But yeah, I love it.
It’s a full time job just doing what I do. But it doesn’t feel like a job. What if I wasn’t getting paid for doing. I’d be doing it [00:04:00] anyway, Darren, what are you doing recently?
Daren: This week has been interesting. I’m not coaching in one at the moment. I’m actually going to start coaching a cyclist to his best.
He’s going to do a 300 watt FTP test, which we won’t go into details of if you’re not a cyclist, but I’m really like the cycling side of things. But I had an epiphany. I think last night lit literally I was trying to do a whole bunch of work and it’s all related around and during sports and podcast stuff and I’m doing what I really liked doing on what I love doing at times.
And I’m looking at my data and I’m looking at what is it? Garmin, show them a VO, two max Strava shows my stress training score and all that. And I’m looking at it all. And the last six weeks it has dropped significantly. I think. Whew, I’m going on 18% in both of them. And I’m also noticing that my pace and some of my fastest speed work is not where it should be if I want to get my best time in 5k, [00:05:00] as I was saying in the lab in a previous episode and I just went, all right, my priorities are all over the map right now.
You know what? I’m just going to run, my best 5k is not gonna be my fastest, so I’m not going to extend now another 10 weeks, like I was saying, I think I’m going on a 24 week period. It’s just getting too much. It’s also I’m going to get into the warmer months soon. So I don’t want to be trying to do a 5k in December here, which is Sydney, australia is the winter. It was the summer, the middle of. It’s just I can’t, there’s just too much crap happening. You know what? I’m going to take my fitness, running 5k, get it under my belt, which is cool because it’s the consistency and it’s the year on year. Yeah. You don’t have to P PR PBS. They say here year on year, but I think getting the training in getting some resemblance of.
Different cycles and different type of training. And I’m going to get some speed work in over the next few weeks. I like to do an annual half marathon, which is more of a DIY virtual as they call it. And again, it’s going to get too hot for that. So I’m just basically slamming all my races in the span of the next three weeks [00:06:00] and just enjoy it and just go, alright.
I’m most likely not gonna be my best time, but get out of my. Reset. I like to do a four week de-load at the end of, at the end of calendar years. So I D train and then get back into it in about late November and do a really long. Aerobic base block and then see what happens when I turned 40 at my 5k.
So that that was the epiphany I had last night. And I’m sticking to it. I woke up this morning and I said, yup, I like that. That feels good.
Mike: So my advice that a lot, I’ve done well with a lot of runners that feel they’re going no way. It’s just how four week. And just run a 5k every week.
You probably find your fastest on the third week. Don’t change your train and just make sure that you can do it in the Saturday, Thursday, Friday, super easy days like a 30 minute jog on Friday maybe up to 45 minutes of jogging on Thursday. A little bit of session on Wednesday and then each Saturday they just go in no expectations, same course, same place.
And the first one’s crap. Second, one’s a bit quicker. The third one. Wow. That’s [00:07:00] pretty good. The fourth one, they think they’re going to smash it out the park and it gets slower again. I always give them four, so they think, yeah, the third one is where I’m at and it is what it is you then say it’s not as good as I wanted I’ve done four, four cracks at it and that’s where I’m at.
But you might not have the time, but it’s just a bit of advice for anyone out there listening. That’s in the same boat, this thinking her. Yeah. I recognize what Dan’s going through. Yeah. I just then say four weeks, five gauge week is not going to do any damage. And the third one is probably going to be your fastest.
Daren: I, you know what, I’ll take that on board. And I truly believe in you have to get better at racing so you can get fit. You can’t get fit to get race fit. You need to get race fit. And that’s mentally because racing is a whole other thing. And getting used to coping with that, like that lactate and that pain and that suffering like you can be the same fitness and it’s take a test.
You can get better at testing and not actually know more knowledge. You just get better at how the test is structured. Also in schooling. It’s also did you actually learn this? The [00:08:00] matter, the subject matter, if you just got better at actually testing, but it’s a thing you need to get better at racing.
And I’m big on doing one mile time trials, three K time trials getting ready for the 5k. I’ve never done. Three, four weeks worth of 5k is one week after another. So I’m going to try it. I’m going to try it. Yeah. Good
Mike: old school. Old school coaches, we used to say, you’ve got to race fit. You got to get raised fit.
And we use races to get fit and attuning races. And just, we go in with crack them out just as hard as they were serious. It’s not racing any less, but it just takes a little bit of time for the body to get used to it. And by the third one, I think you’ll be surprised how fast you go warm up.
Daren: All right. I just blabbered on about me and my wounds on running and all that. A big thing though, that I love and I’m, I’ve gotten borderline obsessed with is running form. And as you heard at the top of this episode, at the beginning of episode, This episode is all about running form, and we’re going to give you seven tips, Micah [00:09:00] seven.
There’s probably hundreds of them, but since Mike trees is the best coach in the world, the seven are the best seven in the world. Mike let’s jump into it. What is the difference between good running form and good running economy?
Mike: Ah It’s a, that’s probably a podcast in itself, but I would say that running economy and efficiency, so running like Darren runs you are the most efficient person in the world running how you run.
So if I look at your form and video it and copy it, I can copy it. Cause I’m pretty good at copying people’s running style and running exactly how you run, but I won’t be as efficient as. So I’ll have the same running form, but because I’m not used to any of that, my muscles won’t be firing as efficiently.
They’re not used to working that way. So I won’t be working as effective as Leo said, although I’ve got the same running form, I’m not running as efficiently because my body’s not working as efficiently as yours is. So you’ve got used to running the way you run. So [00:10:00] that’s different. Yeah. What happens is if we change your running form, you become less efficient in the short term, because you’re not used to that new form.
So you’ll probably get slower. So we have to decide if we’re going to change someone’s form, whether it’s a useful change or not useful change. So you goes back to the old adage. If it’s not broken, don’t change it. But there are a few biomechanical sort of no-nos that. We need to look at to make sure you’re not going to get injured and you’re not doing something really bad that could harm you in the future.
An analogy you’re not putting your head in a hot oven because it’s going to burn you. You’re not doing something that we shouldn’t be doing, but in general, I don’t like to touch people’s running for. If they’re happy with the way they’re running and they’re not getting injured, then there’s no reason to change.
I look at running form cause people come to me and say, no, I want to change my form. I want to change a little bit to four foot running and I’ll say why or I’m getting injured a lot. Can you see, is there any, anything that [00:11:00] might be causing the injuries when I’m running and that we’ll have a look and see if I can see anything in that way.
And that’s why I like to look at the form and make it a little bit more efficient. So I learned really about running. From swimming. I started to me at 27. I’d never thought about forms of running. I just drowned as a kid and through my twenties, I just ran. But when I learned to swim, everyone was talking about swim drills, this, that, and the other, I was thinking hang on.
Why do we do all these in swimming, but not in running? Why do we look at the way we swim so much, but we don’t look at the way we run. And then it became more of a science and I’ve studied over the years, 24. So I’ve got. Seven tips. There are lots of other tips, but I think these seven tips are quite big ones to look at.
So we might as well just jump into the may.
Daren: Great. Yeah, let’s jump into it. So number one is posture. Tell me more about that.
Mike: So you need to stand up. And I hate seeing slouched runners looking down, say you show is a slouch forward. Your [00:12:00] head’s down. You’re looking at the ground. You’re going to run into the ground.
You, you can’t get the chest open debris. I like good stand up straight, standing up almost like. Christmas decoration. Imagine you’ve got a hook on your head and it’s not hanging you so much, but he’s pulling you up. So you just standing up straight and tall, shoulders back a little bit, head looking straight ahead.
And then you relax. So before you start running I naturally this, when I talk, I actually started doing these things myself, but before you run, you should stand and get your posture. Correct. Stan. With the weight, probably on the balls of the feet, the knees slightly bent the shoulders back the head, looking straight ahead and make sure that the shoulders are level and your body is leveling straight.
Yeah. And then you just gradually just lean forward a little bit till gravity takes over and boom, you’re running and that’s it, nothing more technical in than that. And so posture is a good way to [00:13:00] start get the posture right before you run because it’s too late. Once you start running and you’re slouched and bending down, you’re already off to a bad foot.
Daren: Number two. Footprint explain that.
Mike: So I’ve changed a little bit here. I used to say land forefoot, and this is the way to go in the most efficient way. And we then went back to studies of. I won’t say the example of the cavemen with the dinosaurs. Cause you hit me too hard last time, but I do caving with dinosaur, this sort of quite cute.
Anyway, we go back to caveman who had no shoes. He ran their foot and science suggests that he ran four foot and I would tend to agree with. If it landed on his heels, the shock would have gone through to his knees, his hips and joints, and he wouldn’t be running very much. So you take your shoes and socks off and run.
And I’ll just tell this to anyone. If you haven’t tried this, take your shoes and socks off and go for a run. How would you run our guarantee? You will land four foot because if you land on the heel, the [00:14:00] shock is so much, it just fibrates right through your body. It hurts. So the body knows it’s going to hurt.
It stops it, doing it. When we put shoes. The brain is pretty clever. It realizes that shoes can absorb the shock. And so it lets you land on the heel, knowing that it won’t be that painful because the shoe is absorbing the shock. So I used to say four foot running was the way to land, but I’m guiding what I mean, my, I hate to say, yeah, I hate to say to the hero.
So thing, but a guy I really respect in the scientific world is. Dr. Dan Lieberman. A lot of people might’ve heard of him. If you’ve done a bit of research, he’s Harvard university human movement studies and he changing his use a little bit from four foot running to a midfoot running or flatfoot running.
And what we’re saying now is really it’s the chicken and the egg it’s you want to land with a slightly bent knee and the foot behind the. How your foot lands on the ground is secondary to that. So [00:15:00] long as your foot is coming down behind the knee, when you land the knees slightly bent, it means you absorb the shock through the muscular system.
When you absorb the shock through the muscular system, it’s less damage and less stress on the body. If you land with the foot in front of the knee, It’s locked and the shock gets absorbed through the skeletal system. So the shock goes through the ankle, the knee, the hips, the lower back and IRAs flippantly say when I see people running like that, oh, there’s a hip operation waiting to happen.
So it’s just a matter of time. People say you can’t run that long. You were out. I’ve always run efficiently with my feet behind my knee landing recently, mostly for foot absorbing the muscle. They they shocked through the muscles. If I pull a muscle, it’s living tissue, it’ll repair I’ll back in running again.
But if I damage the knee or the hip, I said, it’s a long time injury. I would say that the key thing is foot plant, make sure your foot [00:16:00] lands behind the knee. And another reason for that is not just the injury point, but if you put your foot in front of your knee, it’s ahead of your center of gravity.
So the foot becomes a braking force. You then have to get your center of gravity. Over the foot back in front of the foot before you can accelerate. So anyone who overstride and land with their foot in front of the knee is braking, accelerating, braking, accelerating. So it’s a very inefficient way to run.
And then that brings me finally to on this subject, a lot of use our, we see lots of fast runners, heel striking. Yes, you do see faster on his heel striking. This is why I don’t say you should heal. Or midfoot strike as opposed to having, sorry. See why? I don’t say heel striking is bad and forefoot running is good.
You see some people heel striking, but what the fast runners all have in common is they land behind their knees so that they’re constantly accelerating. They’re not having this braking force. So yes, you do see. [00:17:00] Landing on the heels and I’m not going to say that heel striking specifically bad. I now think my view is that flatfoot running is possibly the most efficient way of running for longer distances.
But that’s up for argument, but I now say land with the. Behind the knee. I understood it
Daren: before, but it took me many videos to understand it. But you explain it in the audio format. Cause most people that consume this hopefully there’ll be a video also, and it’s hard to really visualize a lot of these things.
So we’re probably a bit ambitious on talking about running form on a podcast, but you know what it’s great. Cause hopefully you’re running or cycling
Mike: and listening to this. It makes people study it a little bit more and Google it and look at some YouTube videos.
It’s done. It’s perfect. It’s got people thinking
Daren: you did touch on. Overstriding so that leads us to number three, which is stride length. D if you want to talk the, talk a bit more about that. I know you talked
Mike: about that. No, this is perfect leads into this. So I get a lot of people say[00:18:00]
Daren: this episode is brought to you by energy coaching, which is Mike tree’s, coaching service, Mike and his team of coaches work with beginners to pros and all levels in between. No one is too fast and no one is too slow. They just want to desire to learn and improve. They focus on 1500 meter races to marathon running and triathlon training energy coaching is constantly overbooked.
So Instagram and this new podcast, venture trees. It gives Mike and the rest of his energy coaching team, a way to reach out to more people and help them contact Mike and his firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the link in the show notes.
Back to the show.
Mike: No, this is perfect leads into this. So I get a lot of people say, oh if I can’t put my foot in front of my knee, how’s that lengthen my stride. They’re getting it wrong. You don’t lengthen your stride by sticking your leg out in front of [00:19:00] you because that’s a break. You lengthen your stride by.
Putting more force into the push-off behind you. So it’s how much force you can apply to push off. So for us over time is giving us the Watts, the power. And so if we can just put more force into each step as we push off, we’ll go a little bit further. So if I push off a little bit harder, I might get an extra two centimeters to my stride lens.
You look at all these top runners, they all come down with that. There, there needs bend and it’s landing short in front of them and they’re pushing off behind everything comes from behind them that acceleration that drive. And it’s not an overly extended leg stride in front. This is what people get wrong and begin as you see them and run his world was shocking for this in the nineties that you had the picture, a pretty girl on the cover with her foot right out in front.
Just about to land on the heel, big arms forward and back. And smiling and massively overstriding and doing [00:20:00] every possible mistake in the book. But the stride length comes from the power, generated the force of the push-off. So to get along the sidelines, I would argue you need to be doing plyometric training.
You need to be strength and conditioning training on naturally, you need to be running Hills and just pushing off harder behind you and not extending in front. So stride length comes from behind, not from in front, from the. Funny
Daren: enough. When I first got into, when I first started running track I had a lot of natural, 200, 400 speed.
So we would, I remember we did this 200 workout. It was 16, 200. We ran a 400 all out and then we did 12, 12, 2 hundreds. And Five minutes. Rest is one of my favorite workout. So we raced, it was all the mid distance guys raced. We did a 400 race and then five minutes later full recovery ATP, Virginia weight regenerates, and then it’s it was 200.
12 by 200. And I remember towards the end, my coach was saying, stop overstriding at the end of the set, [00:21:00] the session. He’s like start thinking of smaller steps. And I was like, that makes no sense. And then he’s try it. And within two by it was towards the end. And as I fatigued and I, he goes smaller steps and push find and go forward.
Think about going forward. Don’t think about stretching. And I was like, holy. Like I, and that, that blew my mind after that. And I, that was very early on in my, and during sport days. And I started running more and doing sports and I got into a higher cadences. I remember hearing all about that, that the shorter stride length actually does help you in the the higher cadence does help you.
So experiencing that before I read anything and going and he’s you will run faster, you’ll run faster. I promise you. And I, so not even I didn’t care about injury. I was young enough. I wasn’t running enough kilometers to injure myself. I just actually went faster as I got tired and more fatigued.
So yeah, more power to you on that. You got that. All right. Number four. Arm swing. A lot of [00:22:00] people, a lot of people don’t believe in the arms they’re like, oh my arms won’t help me go go fast. I need the strong and the big
Mike: legs. Okay. So with the RMC, I quite an interesting one, go out for a run and move your arms really slowly and try and move your legs really quickly.
You can’t do it. Move your arms. And you’ll find that the legs go really fast as well. So the legs have led by the arms. So if you do a short, fast arm swing, it’ll help you to get a short, fast cadence. So if someone wants to pick the cadence up, just shorten the arm swing and make it faster, and the legs will go faster.
If you want a longest dried, do a longer arm swing and let the side lentil increase. So the arms are super important for balancing the legs and for helping us run. They lead the legs, the arms, the leading legs. And I like to say, you want to have your elbow is at about 90 degrees. So you do see different examples, but if you keep the elbows at 90 degrees, even a little bit [00:23:00] more hundred, 110, it’s a shorter, easier movement.
That’s much easier. You see a lot of Kenyans running like this because you can move the legs higher and get a higher cadence. If you drop an open the arms. So it’s a much more open and. Brush your hips as you’re running, then you’re going to have a bigger, longer slowest dried land. So the album’s important.
And the other thing with the arms, I’d say that’s important. Try not to cross the center line. You do see some elites crossing the center line, but generally when you see beginners who have a weak core and swinging around, and when I say the center line, if you imagine your two eyes, you got the nose, the middle of the.
The middle of your chest, the belly button, that’s the center line of your body. And if you cross that, so your right arm comes across to your left shoulder. Basically what happens is the right arm swings over the left shoulder. Then your opposite leg comes over to the right to balance. So if something goes to.
Newton’s third law. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So your right arm goes off to the left [00:24:00] side of the body. Your left leg will probably swing over to the right side of the body. So instead of running in a straight line, you’re running from side to side and become more efficient. So when you swing the arms, try not to cross the center line.
As you’re running, this helps you keep your legs going in a straight angle.
Daren: All right. Number five. Cadence, we spoke on that a bit with the stride link. Give me more more in depth on the cadence.
Mike: Okay. So I’ve been tax sounds a bit harsh, but a lot of tall people coming into, oh, I can’t get a cadence of 180.
I can’t get this. What, 180 came from again, it came from Dan Lieberman and Harvard. That he thinks he did a lot of research and found that there’s something called elastic recoil and it’s the natural spring in the legs and the muscles. And it’s like an elastic band. So when you hit the ground, you load up this spring in your lower leg muscles, the tendons and ligaments and boom.
When you release the 40th Springs off and this natural recoil, he [00:25:00] was suggesting tends to be most efficient at about three, six. Per second. Three steps per second, naturally translates to 180 steps per minute. And then, so we had this magical number of 180, and then you find out that people like keep joking around, I think 185, even 190 for the marathon.
Mo Pharaoh is running around about 190 steps per second. And then you look at the Japanese marathon runners and they’re running over 200. Per second, per minute. So their canes is way higher, but that’s obviously because they’re very short. So we find that yeah, the shorter you are your silence is going to be shorter.
So the quicker your cadence needs to be, but it does seem to be that a cadence around about 170 to 180 is the optimal cadence to be the aiming for, and obviously taller. It’s harder to get it up there, but if the canes is too slow in your you’re working less efficiently. So I used to say aim for 180 steps per second.
Now I’m being a bit more [00:26:00] lenient in saying don’t get hooked up on the number, but always aim to keep it high. Try not to get slow because the slower it gets, the more contact time you have with the ground. And if your foot is on the ground. You’re not going forward. The only time you’re going forward is when your foot’s in the air.
So we’re trying to limit our contact time with the ground. So if the ground spring off, hit the ground, come off because if you hit the ground, boom. Come off, but that’s slowing you down the longer you are. The foot is an anchor when it’s on the ground. So you want to get the foot spring enough and around about 170 to 180 is a good target.
So let’s not get too wound up about the exact figure, but always aim for a little bit higher cadence and somewhere between 170 and 180 is a good cadence doing. Note on cadence, if you struggle with maintaining a higher cadence is slowly go increase the cadence. If you naturally run it 160 and you’re trying to get to, let’s say 180 is what you want to do.
Daren: I would say to slowly maybe [00:27:00] go to 1 63, 1 64 for one week and the best way to do that there you, you could find a DJ mix. That’s the right BPM. That’s probably not. It’s not the easiest thing to do for tech, not people that are not tech savvy, but there are a lot of websites that tell you what the BPMs of songs are.
So you can make a Spotify list of that. And there also are just metronome apps and it’s quite boring you’re listening to something. Okay. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut, cut. And then you could speed that up and start playing around and Yep. Hopefully slowly getting up the cadence. You don’t want to drastically change it too quickly cause you might get injured.
What are you gonna say?
Mike: Yeah. So the key thing with this, and again, people just, they ask questions about thinking rationally in my view or logically. So if you keep your stride lens the same and you increase your case. You’re running faster. Now, if you’re running faster, the heart has to work harder. If the heart works harder, you’re going to get tired.
So everyone says, oh, I increased my cadence. I just get tired too [00:28:00] quickly. Yeah, that’s common sense because you haven’t shortened your stride. So think rationally, if you increase your cadence to keep the balance the same, you must shorten this dry land. Otherwise you’ll be working harder and going quicker and that’s not the point.
The point is to be more efficient. Let’s shorten the stride lens to increase the cadence. And then how can we do that? We can swing the arms quickly. And you will, your legs will go quicker. You just got to keep shopping at short at the front and not pushing off as hard at the back. It’s a matter of trial and error.
You’ve got to get out there and play around with it, but if you increase your cadence, you must shorten the stride to keep it all in.
Daren: Speaking of arms another part of the system the body the skeleton, the skeletal system, not the whole body system is core. And that leads us to number six.
So how important is the core and running
Mike: form? I like to, I like my analogies and my stories and imagine a. Seesaw and it’s pivoting [00:29:00] on that piece of wood and you go either side. So the one end of the Seesaw is the upper body and the upper arms, the lower, the other side of the Seesaw is the legs.
So the upper body in a helps drive the legs, the arms swinging, dive the legs. Now imagine. A bit in the middle of the wood, there, it is really weak. The Seesaw is not really going to see. So it’s going to go, it’s going to flop honey this side, and you got a lot of runners that don’t have a strong core.
So they, they can’t stand up straight, their upper body can’t drive and pivot around their Midwest, because it’s just not strong enough. So you see them slouching. Walking and running from side to side, we need to see that spine, this it’s okay to have this rotation or side to side movement, the spine.
So that helps give you leg extension, but we don’t want you wobbling left to and and side to side it’s left or right. As opposed to a straight line, rotating is good, but. Pretty much wobbly a uniform, a wobble as I call [00:30:00] it. And scientifically it is not going to power you forward. So a strong core is really important to getting the form.
Good. It doesn’t take much five. Three times a week and you’ll get a pretty strong core. If you do strength, conditioning and leg weights you’ll develop the core better than actually doing plank work. So you kill two stones with one bird. So people that think weights are not useful.
They are you can get your core pretty strong from doing strength, work and gym work, as opposed to actually having. The core plank itself. Yeah. You use
Daren: the core in a lot of things. And if you can activate your core doing squats and lunges and deadlifts and all those types of things, pull ups, pushups you then can, you’re activating the core, you’re strengthening the core and other ways you don’t have to do the front planks and the side planks while they are good.
But that leads us to number seven, which is a beautiful sum-up. And I’ll let you sum it up in your own words of a. Of perfection and champions. So
Mike: yeah, so we’re all not going to become world champions. That’s pretty [00:31:00] fair to say, but you can still be a little bit better than you are now.
So if you’re happy with the way you run and what you’re doing and don’t want to change anything well, don’t change because you’re happy that the point is that most people listening are listening because they want change. They want to run a little bit faster. Less effort and enjoy the running a little bit more.
Yeah. So I say those people, yeah. Let’s just keep working on the efficiencies, how we’re landing, checking, getting the form, aiming for perfection. We might not get there, but if you aim for a hundred percent, you might hit 80%. But if you’re happy with 70%, you probably only going to hit 60 or 50%. And so always keep aiming for something a little bit higher, but the last.
Don’t get stressed out about it. Remember, it’s a hobby hobbies are to be enjoyed. So enjoy the process and accept you might not ever get to perfection, but just as long as you’re learning little things and learning about yourself and enjoying the journey, that’s the most important thing. So my last tip really is just keep aiming for [00:32:00] perfection, but have fun aim to enjoy what you’re doing at the same time.
Daren: I love it. Love it. We’ll sum it up so that we can dumb it down for anyone that’s zoned out over the last 30 minutes or so. We’ve got the seven tips. Number one is posture and I’m a two foot plant. Number three is stride length. Number four is arm swing. Number five is cadence. Number six is core.
And number seven is aim for perfection get 90 a hundred percent. And you’ll land at about 80% and have fun. Right on. Have fun and have fun,
Mike: main set. Finished. Let’s move
Daren: into the cool. So we always end it with the really fun cool-down segments. We’re doing our static stretches.
We’re doing our Striders right now. And this is a question, and this is a question for everyone to keep it two ways. So please add us message us. It’s at run dot NRG. The letter. Mike tree’s on Instagram and I am at DLA creates on Instagram. So message us the answer to this question. And it’s an open-ended question.
There’s no right or wrong [00:33:00] answer. This is a really fun one and it’s all based around run form. So here it is drum roll
Mike: who has the vendor form Mo Farrow or Kip Joe.
Daren: All right. That’s Elliot they see the world record
Mike: holder. Yeah, that could hold. And the first step two hour marathon runner and a Mo Farah has the one hour world record and a four Olympic gold.
Daren: Yes. And the reason why I picked them. So a bit of a back is they’re probably the two most well-known marathoners right now.
You have runners right now and Mo Farah because he ran the 5k all the way up to he did very well in the 5k, 10 K and he also he’s done pretty well in the marathon. And obviously crypto gay is now a household name over the last few years. There are great, beautiful runners over the past hundred years.
I’m not discounting them. You might be an amazing runner. You might know someone that’s amazing runner in your town, but I’m sure. The majority of our listeners don’t actually know who they are. So this is not discounting. Anyone else. Who would you pick as [00:34:00] the best running form?
Mike: I I’m going to sit on the fence because.
I touched on this actually in the podcast. So they are both the most efficient runners at running the way they run. So all one is have a few idiosyncrasies and Paula Radcliffe nodded her head. When she ran, she was the fake. Marathon runner had the world record for a long time. And people said she would run faster without doing that, but she come so efficient.
And that was part of her running. That what happens is over the years, we pick up a running form and we become very efficient at that way of running. And so they both have very good running forms, a high cadence, this mid foot, four foot landing technique, basically adhering to all the principles.
Describe in this podcast they stand up. Their posture is good. Their foot plant is good. They don’t overstride that giant is generated from the past, from the push off. Their cadence is fast. That arms swing is good. Yeah. They’re relaxed. [00:35:00] There’s no tension. It’s a relaxed running form where you’re running.
So they both have excellent form. But when you look at them side by side, it’s a different, slightly different kind of form. And they both become very efficient at the way they run that, that form. Although technically when you analyze it, it sounds the same. When you look at them, it looks very different.
So if Kim Jogi tried to run like Mo Farrow, he goes. Because he’s not as efficient at that way. I’ve got to sit the form and say yet, neither has got a better form than the other, but they both become very efficient at the way they run. And that’s the key thing, and they’ve done it for many years, and they’ve got a super big engine, which is probably the biggest factor, their genetics.
They’ve got to thank their parents more than anything for the fact that they will record breakers and the hard work that they put in and a consistency of a. The other big thing that they’ve got that, but sorry, I’m sitting on the fence on this one. All right.
Daren: It wasn’t meant to be a trick question. I know we’ve done a couple of these in the past, and I thought it [00:36:00] was a clear-cut either or, but Mike brought up a great point.
You you put a good point out there. And as a coach, that’s what you would say. I’m going to approach it more of a it’s my opinion and Elliot I’m not no slight to Mo Farah. He definitely shines in the 5k. 10 K. I know the marathon was new for him over the past few years and kept Joe Gay.
He started out. At the 5k as a lot of these
Mike: elite masters for 1,515,
Daren: sorry, 1500. Yeah. There’s a lot of the elite. They don’t start off as marathoners and a lot of them don’t at 15 years old, they, and funny enough, and you probably know more about this than me. They actually, they don’t a lot of their coaches won’t allow them to run the marathon until they, they like late twenties for a lot of reasons.
So I still find it. I find it funny and ironic. Someone just started running six months into running. They want to jump into the marathon. Whereas a lot of these pros they’ll spend 15 years running 5k. They’ll still do their long [00:37:00] runs. They’re not only running five K’s, but they don’t race the marathon.
They don’t focus on the marathon race, but I’ve got guys from 50 years,
Mike: 50 50 is. And I don’t need just to at the marathon now it’s taken me 50 years to get to
Daren: it. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I’m going to run I’ve ran a couple marathons, they’ve been horrendous bouts, but I’ll be focusing on the marathon if all goes well and I stay healthy at 45 years old, so that’s five years from now.
And that will give me 30 years into running and I’m going to focus on the marathon, but I’m back to, so yeah, I’d say keep choking. I think he looks the most fluid. He has the prettiest form, but to what you were saying, Just because it looks good with running doesn’t mean it’s the best for that person. This kind of wraps up everything we’ve said, you might see people, you might see the pros, you might see someone and a friend, someone at the 5k and they look good trying to mimic them.
Isn’t the best thing you could do, or trying to drastically change your form and make it look pretty and fluid. That might not be the best thing you can do. Obviously you can do. Trying to make it better and more [00:38:00] efficient. And if that does mean looking good, that’s fine. But the looking good part, that’s just that’s aesthetic.
That’s superficial. I’d say usually it’s better because when someone has bad form, it does not look great. If they have bad form, that’s usually hurting them, usually doesn’t look great. But there are really there are people that look really good that keep injuring themselves. And that means that they’ve got something happening issues.
Yeah, exactly. Biomechanical. All these random things that need to get addressed and the change might not actually change their form and how it looks, but just because they run good doesn’t mean that that they’re running as fast as they could be or staying as injury prone. It’s somehow turned into a trick question, which it didn’t mean to be, but we’d love to hear what you have to say.
Any parting words.
Mike: So that now I pretty much okay with that, that yeah, form again if it works and you’re happy with it and you’re not injured, you don’t need to change it. But if you’re getting injured a lot, are you another quick as you think you could be, you think that’s an improvement?
Yeah. Look at the form and efficiencies to go forward. [00:39:00] You do get some shocking looking, running actions that are very fast. It, it’s not all about looking at. Which a lot of people think it is. It’s about running efficiently as it. And if you have certain biomechanical issues as well, one leg shorter than the other, or certain little problems, you might have to alter your running action to take account of the different biomechanical issues you have.
So you’ve got to become most efficient that the best form that suits your body type.
(End Theme Song)
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