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Aran Van Dinteren

will running stimulate my overall movement?

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Aran Van Dinteren

Dear gymnasts, 

I want to know the effect of running on the human (male) body. Anyone experience?
I mean not sprints but also not marathon slow. Just regular running. 

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Alessandro Mainente

it's like to say "what type of benefits could have bodyweigth training?" , too much superficial and too much parameters involved. change a little parameter could shift the benefits to another type of body adaptation.

If you want to know if running is useful for gymnasts?

yes, 5-10' of cardio in warmup for activation and specific 45-50 mt sprints for vault work.

 

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Coach Sommer

Depending upon the level of athlete you are it can be very helpful.  For example, the Chinese National Team runs 3-5 miles 2 to 3 times per week.  They find this long duration work quite therapeutic.  As does the Russian Team.  As does the German Team.

The Chinese also focus on 400m sprints as that particular distance takes approximately as long as a floor routine.

That being said, for beginners/intermediates Alex's recommendations above are quite satisfactory.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Jon Douglas

I'm also doing more regular runs at around that 3-5 mile distance  1-3x a week currently. Not sure if its the new factor making a difference as I've made a lot of tweaks since seminars last year, but it seems to work well for me. At least its a easierand more fun than it used to be :)

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Ryan Bailey

Ever since Coach's webinar, and other posts regarding running, I have wanted to begin running (again). However, as a beginner, I  took > 1 year to develop the GB course schedule I wanted as this was enough cardio. Now with more energy, I Run ( well, jog). I have slowly ramped up to ~3-5 miles, 4-5x/week for the last 3 weeks. As this is getting easier, like Jon pointed out, I might maintain with just a couple light runs a week.

Aran- you asked about the effect of running: originally, I found it crushed my endurance during a Foundation workout, now, it adds to it :)

Ok Jon, the cat is out of the bag! What other "tweeks" have you made since the seminar?  You probably won't share:P

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Douglas Wadle

Running is about as natural a human movement as you can get. I think it is part of what defines our ability to be human. If you can't run you are not fully human. that is just philosophy, as far as actual training, the above advice is good.  I enjoy running in the mountains very much. Running on uneven ground over rocks and roots, down scree slopes, up steep trails, is what makes me feel alive. I run 60+ miles a week, often > 20 miles at a time to backcountry peaks and lakes here in Montana. I race 50k-50 mile mountain runs.  However, I would caution that this degree of endurance work will slow your power and strength training considerably. The body only has so much capacity to deal with stress, so it is important to smartly use it towards whatever your end goals are, and not squander it on some activity that has no relation to your goals. That being said, the human body is incredibly adept at adapting to stressors. That is what allows you to do a flag after months of training, or allows you to run 10 miles when 1 was hard previously. So for me, running 20 miles is not any harder than a 2 hour GB workout.  Both are somewhat taxing, but I am recovered within a couple days. Another caveat, running will make you tight, and it will be a full time job to keep limber enough to make progress on your manna progressions.  So if strength is your end game, keep the running to the shorter stuff as warm ups and sprint intervals.  

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Everett Carroll

I've had success with the GB curriculum while doing 1 Fartlek run   and 1 steady 3-5 mile run per week. I first built work capacity by slowly increasing distance and doing no speed work, only adding speed work after I'd mastered the knee series. Leo Trinidad has had success with fartleks as well and we both always do a stretch course afterwards to stay limber for GST.     Run+front split stretch course=pain 

 

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Ryan Bailey
22 hours ago, Douglas Wadle said:

I enjoy running in the mountains very much. Running on uneven ground over rocks and roots, down scree slopes, up steep trails, is what makes me feel alive. I run 60+ miles a week, often > 20 miles at a time to backcountry peaks and lakes here in Montana. I race 50k-50 mile mountain runs

Holy crap this was motivating to read! I gotta go on a run + foraging adventure with this stud if I'm ever in Montana... well, maybe not that long of a run :)

Everett- thanks for sharing the running progression, very instructional and I like the inclusion criteria of knee series and stretch as it relates to speed prerequisites.

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Mats Trane

Saturdays is my "underneath the shoulders,day". I do most of the execises from Sls , jog for 20-25 come back and do a bunch of core exercises from foundation. I end everything stretching. I like this as this gives my shoulders, arm and wrists an extra off day.

I like the running as it gives the whole body a great blood flow.

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Jon Douglas

 

11 hours ago, Ryan Bailey said:

 

Ok Jon, the cat is out of the bag! What other "tweeks" have you made since the seminar?  You probably won't share:P

Sorry, this isn't really the place for it :D its culminated in a cold reboot of all my GST. Thoroughly enjoying the experience of testing back up having outright fixed hip and shoulder issues that bugged me for years (I'm crediting martial arts and heavy/high volume kettle belling ). More than a bit humbling breaking new ROMs and discovering there's no strength in them. I considered keeping a little mini blog about it but decided it would be borin. I call it going hunting for easy gains. 

I've worked a lot harder on the big mobility exercises. Surprise, the body responds :) Add thrive and sleep, it all responds faster.

Augmenting that major change is 2 days  x 2 sessions per day x 2 weekends x 4-5 hours = 40ish hours over two weekends being demo'd on by Coach, shutting my mouth and listening to everything. Good Lord that man knows a lot. I got a ton of minor drills and fixes to address my weakest areas, and on training adults that are already strong, fit and somewhat too breakable.

To be honest I've got my head down and working hard right now, but getting the results I hear healthy talented people get from day one. More on this soon, right now too busy enjoying progress every session :)

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Ryan Bailey
2 hours ago, Jon Douglas said:

I considered keeping a little mini blog

I would really like to read more about this Jon, whenever you have the time to share in the right place.

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William Marler

Me too!

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Ryan Bailey

Running Form:

Just finished a morning run, lots of energy. Since we are on the topic, what do you guys think about, regarding form, while running?

1) Pelvic PPT, lengthening somewhat hip flexor, hollowish, ribs down?

2) Heel strike or not?

3) Shoes, barefoot? Or,

4) Thinkin about nothing, jaw open, tonge hanging out, staring off to the horizon like a sidebent zombie.

 

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Si Hoang

Lol Ryan! I can imagine number 4 would terrify quite a few bystanders.

Personally I use minimalist shoes like Vibrams or Vivobarefoot for running and wearing throughout the day and have been doing so for past 5 years. It has made a marked improvement over time in the strength of my feet though I still do specific drills as I have a slight problem with overpronation in one of my feet.

I have always ran midfoot since forever so can't say much about heel strike but I remember an old post of Coach's where he basically shut down proponents of the heel strike. I think it was something along the lines of taking off your shoes, going outside and sprinting 100m down the street while heel striking only. Then come back inside and quit being a doofus.

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Douglas Wadle

In response to running form I have a few comments. I prefer low drop shoes, meaning no heel rise. I do not like vibrant 5 fingers. They are ugly and do not hold up well in the mountains.  My favorites are Inov-8 and salomon's (like the sense pro and speed cross). These are for trail running and have good grip/traction and hold up well to the rocks and scree. Wish I could say barefoot was possible here. I suppose one could train themselves, but a lot of the scree is sharp as knives, and even the native Americans weren't foolish enough to go barefoot in these environments. Around town or on relatively smooth trails, sure. Go barefoot. It's really good for your running form to do some periodically. I walk barefoot around the house and yard as much as possible. It's good for the plantar fascia and toughening of the feet and developing cold tolerance (yes I am dumb enough to shovel snow on the wall barefooted and in t-shirt).  

I believe most people should not heel strike in the usual sense. A lot of people apply a braking motion and a lot of pressure when they heel strike which is not good. However, case is not closed.  New research suggests that in GOOD Runner's, the pressure forces are the same whether you heel, mid, or forefoot strike as long as you have good form.  The moral is that the foot should be striking the ground below you and not out in front.  

Lastly, the question of PPT. I don't think there are any studies on efficiency or power, but I think ppt takes power out of your glutes. I find myself in ppt when flying downhill as it gives me more core stability and control. However, climbing a big hill I'm in almost APT recruiting the glutes and hams as much as possible for more power. On the flats, neutral pelvis. Again, no science here that I'm aware of. 

Finally, yes, let the tongue hang and wag as needed!

Most importantly, make any changes slowly. PT's got overwhelmed with Achilles injuries after "Born to Run" was published (excellent book, by the way) because people who had run in regular shoes their whole lives suddenly switched and expected their body to handle it. Small progressions, just like in GST. 

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Everett Carroll
4 hours ago, Ryan Bailey said:

Running Form:

Just finished a morning run, lots of energy. Since we are on the topic, what do you guys think about, regarding form, while running?

1) Pelvic PPT, lengthening somewhat hip flexor, hollowish, ribs down?

2) Heel strike or not?

3) Shoes, barefoot? Or,

4) Thinkin about nothing, jaw open, tonge hanging out, staring off to the horizon like a sidebent zombie.

Without question, you want a forefoot strike. To promote this, I do one barefoot run a week. Proceed with caution as I have been hiking barefoot my whole life and running barefoot for 7 years. Slow and steady. Inov8s are bomb. I'll give number 4 a try today and report back.

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Leonhard Krahé
20 hours ago, Douglas Wadle said:

In response to running form I have a few comments. I prefer low drop shoes, meaning no heel rise. I do not like vibrant 5 fingers. They are ugly and do not hold up well in the mountains.  My favorites are Inov-8 and salomon's (like the sense pro and speed cross). These are for trail running and have good grip/traction and hold up well to the rocks and scree. Wish I could say barefoot was possible here. I suppose one could train themselves, but a lot of the scree is sharp as knives, and even the native Americans weren't foolish enough to go barefoot in these environments. Around town or on relatively smooth trails, sure. Go barefoot. It's really good for your running form to do some periodically. I walk barefoot around the house and yard as much as possible. It's good for the plantar fascia and toughening of the feet and developing cold tolerance (yes I am dumb enough to shovel snow on the wall barefooted and in t-shirt).  

I believe most people should not heel strike in the usual sense. A lot of people apply a braking motion and a lot of pressure when they heel strike which is not good. However, case is not closed.  New research suggests that in GOOD Runner's, the pressure forces are the same whether you heel, mid, or forefoot strike as long as you have good form.  The moral is that the foot should be striking the ground below you and not out in front.  

Lastly, the question of PPT. I don't think there are any studies on efficiency or power, but I think ppt takes power out of your glutes. I find myself in ppt when flying downhill as it gives me more core stability and control. However, climbing a big hill I'm in almost APT recruiting the glutes and hams as much as possible for more power. On the flats, neutral pelvis. Again, no science here that I'm aware of. 

Finally, yes, let the tongue hang and wag as needed!

Most importantly, make any changes slowly. PT's got overwhelmed with Achilles injuries after "Born to Run" was published (excellent book, by the way) because people who had run in regular shoes their whole lives suddenly switched and expected their body to handle it. Small progressions, just like in GST. 

Great post, thanks!
In regards to PPT, I tried to run with a pronounced PPT some time back and I actually had the impression that it gave my running a lot of power (I felt kind of "spring-loaded" if that makes any sense) and other than for maintaining the PPT, I needed less energy. I need to say though that my form/technique probably isn't anything to write home about even though I think I'm not wobbling along as much as many other people I see running.

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Douglas Wadle

Hi all, I've been out of town for a week backpacking in the Utah canyons.  great time, but sorry in my delay responding to above questions.  Leonhard:  A lot of people, especially if they are new to running, tend to have their hips too far back, so PPT brings them forward and fixes that issue, it can help make you feel stronger because your form is better.  However, you can bring your hip forward and not be in PPT.  Next run, experiment with bringing your hips forward, and then in that position, see how it feels in APT, neutral, and PPT.  My guess is you'll feel better in all 3.  

Regarding the statement by Everett "Without question, you want a forefoot strike", I would disagree.  In general, yes, but there are people, probably 25%, who do better with a heel strike, as long as it is not a "braking" heel strike.  So it depends on the person and I would not like to take a generalization and make it a rule.  As I stated above, there's now some debate as to whether forefoot striking is more efficient.  A couple recent studies have actually contradicted this. Evolutionarily, the calcaneus evolved for this purpose, and the least force production on foot strike landing is when there is a gentle heel strike, under the body, with a gradual roll through the arch to the forefoot.  This allows the arch and windlass effect to improve running economy.  Even in Lieberman's studies on this, he noted that a percentage of traditionally barefoot runners heel striked and they had less force plate values.  The problem is that elevated heels and running shoes make people "really" heel strike in a braking fashion way out in front of them, and this creates high force loads and lots of inefficiencies.  Notice below, for example, the difference.  Meb is a heel striker, but excellent runner, one of the best in the world.  Notice when he lands on his heel his tibia angle is close to perpendicular to the ground. He will have a very gentle roll of force through his heel, mid foot and forefoot.  On the left is an example of bad heel strike, which is what most people who heel strike do.  foot is out in front, heel is absorbing a lot of force, which will go through the ankle, knee and especially hip.  Another thing to note is how far forward Meb's hips are.  He is very upright, but is not in PPT (is neutral, I would say).  On flat ground, this is probably the most efficient posture. 

26eee8719d5c9b5682f45e42db39dd4b.jpg  bad heel strike                           meb-keflezighis-running-form-in-slow-mot  good heel strike

 

 

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Coach Sommer

I agree with Douglas on a lot of things, but I completely disagree on the heel strike.  This is something that only works with the heavily padded shoes as shown in the photos above.

As briefly mentioned previously, this is easily confirmed.  Take off your shoes.  Now go outside and sprint down the sidewalk as fast as you can, heel striking all the way.  Now limp back inside and share your experience with the rest of us.

Perhaps a nice analogy is the response of slamming a hand in a door.  Now I could create a special glove with lots of padding and armour to protect me from the pain and damage of my hand being slammed in the door.  Or I could stop slamming my hand in the door.  

Heels are for walking.  

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Douglas Wadle

Thanks for the thoughts on this, coach. I may have given the impression I think heel strike is good for people. What I intended to show was that not for everybody is it bad.  I myself am a mid foot striker. Barefoot or not, it feels the same.  I can run long distances barefoot and sprint effectively in the same way. Studies would suggest that a small proportion, 10-25%, of habitually barefoot runners heel strike without a problem. That still suggests for MOST people that mid or forefoot striking is best. I just didn't want people to make a generalization that wasn't true for everybody.  I would still suggest aiming for forefoot running for most people. But in those who insist that heel striking is best for them, they need to make sure their heel strike is a good heel strike, or else they are wrong.  Hope that makes sense.  

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Coach Sommer

Understood, Douglas and thank you for speaking so clearly.

However I continue to disagree that heel striking is good for anyone.  Now personally I could care less where you strike (midfoot, forefoot etc), as long as it is not directly onto the heel.

The arch of the foot in concert with the achilles tendon is designed to act as a powerful spring that absorps and repulses.  Heel striking cuts both the arch and the achilles out of the equation, which basically leaves the knees, hips and lower back to absorb forces directly in isolation that they were not designed to.  

Again this is easily verified as running is essentially low level plyometrics.  Find a wall or ledge to climb up onto.  You decide how high, but make sure you are at a challenging height.  Now jump and land on your heels.  Be sure to pull those toes up and press down strongly with the heels to absorb that impact.  Now hopefully you are imaginative enough that your stomach has churned and clenched at just the thought of such a foolish endeavor.  However if not, there is nothing like personal experience to quickly convince even the most ardent of heel strikers.

In my experience, people who are unable to run without striking on their heels tend to be weak, tight or both.  The solution is not to accept their current limitations, but to correct them.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Mikkel Ravn
1 hour ago, Coach Sommer said:

Understood, Douglas and thank you for speaking so clearly.

However I continue to disagree that heel striking is good for anyone.  Now personally I could care less where you strike (midfoot, forefoot etc), as long as it is not directly onto the heel.

The arch of the foot in concert with the achilles tendon is designed to act as a powerful spring that absorps and repulses.  Heel striking cuts both the arch and the achilles out of the equation, which basically leaves the knees, hips and lower back to absorb forces directly in isolation that they were not designed to.  

Again this is easily verified as running is essentially low level plyometrics.  Find a wall or ledge to climb up onto.  You decide how high, but make sure you are at a challenging height.  Now jump and land on your heels.  Be sure to pull those toes up and press down strongly with the heels to absorb that impact.  Now hopefully you are imaginative enough that your stomach has churned and clenched at just the thought of such a foolish endeavor.  However if not, there is nothing like personal experience to quickly convince even the most ardent of heel strikers.

In my experience, people who are unable to run without striking on their heels tend to be weak, tight or both.  The solution is not to accept their current limitations, but to correct them.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

 

1 hour ago, Coach Sommer said:

Understood, Douglas and thank you for speaking so clearly.

However I continue to disagree that heel striking is good for anyone.  Now personally I could care less where you strike (midfoot, forefoot etc), as long as it is not directly onto the heel.

The arch of the foot in concert with the achilles tendon is designed to act as a powerful spring that absorps and repulses.  Heel striking cuts both the arch and the achilles out of the equation, which basically leaves the knees, hips and lower back to absorb forces directly in isolation that they were not designed to.  

Again this is easily verified as running is essentially low level plyometrics.  Find a wall or ledge to climb up onto.  You decide how high, but make sure you are at a challenging height.  Now jump and land on your heels.  Be sure to pull those toes up and press down strongly with the heels to absorb that impact.  Now hopefully you are imaginative enough that your stomach has churned and clenched at just the thought of such a foolish endeavor.  However if not, there is nothing like personal experience to quickly convince even the most ardent of heel strikers.

In my experience, people who are unable to run without striking on their heels tend to be weak, tight or both.  The solution is not to accept their current limitations, but to correct them.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

That post made me chuckle and gave me the willies at the same time. Well done! :)

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Leonhard Krahé
On 3.4.2016 at 8:19 PM, Douglas Wadle said:

Hi all, I've been out of town for a week backpacking in the Utah canyons.  great time, but sorry in my delay responding to above questions.  Leonhard:  A lot of people, especially if they are new to running, tend to have their hips too far back, so PPT brings them forward and fixes that issue, it can help make you feel stronger because your form is better.  However, you can bring your hip forward and not be in PPT.  Next run, experiment with bringing your hips forward, and then in that position, see how it feels in APT, neutral, and PPT.  My guess is you'll feel better in all 3. 

Thanks for clearing that up, very good to know!

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Ronnicky Roy

I learned my lesson when I was 16. Ran in basketball shoes both distance and sprinting for over a year. Got a wild hair and took off running barefoot one day. Hammered my heels into the asphalt. Very quickly shifted to midfoot during the run and noticed the difference in muscle activation during the stride. My legs were actually moving faster than usual. I later timed myself, I actually was moving faster than I usually did. 

Played around with this alot myself and noticed the fastest runners are midfoot strikers and if they do land heels first, it's at a perfect angle where you roll without losing any energy which springs you forward. Far easier to just stick to midfoot and forgive yourself if a heel lands first as you get tired. But don't aim for heel first. My experience.

 

If you want to heel strike, get court shoes with shocks. They cater to jumping and making heel striking more springy. Most standard running shoes reinforce the toe, with the assumption you'll have a mid to forefoot strike.

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Paul Gray

Guys any tips for building up running capacity?  I'm used to working hard foundation wise and limiting rest to just mobility, but the idea of running non-stop for 20mins or more is a little daunting - 3 mins warmup is enough to get me puffing but that's at a fairly fast pace ;)

I have seen a couple of plans that advocate building up with 2:1 ratio of - 2 being running, 1 walking.  So 2mins run, 1 min walk....and build up from there.  Any suggestions?

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