Running Efficiency Training Part #3

So do you find yourself staring at people running along the side of the road yet? It is so interesting to see the many variations in our running styles that have developed based on the genetic code we were given and then the stimulus we supplied to our muscular system. Other factors go into this as well such as injuries we suffer during our life and how that can have impact on us.

Let me ask you this, at what point of your life were you the most efficient at running? The answer is when you were very young. Somewhere around the ages of 5 to 7 we are typically pretty efficient runners. The reason for this is that our bodies are in the final phases of our natural strength development. Refer back to the philosophy posts for a more in depth version of this example but in case you have not read it I am referring to the natural development of our muscular system. 

Depending on what your beliefs are this could be God’s strength design or if you prefer, Natures Strength design. Consider the development of an infant. It starts off on its back, then is able to roll over to its stomach, from there is is able to get up on its knees and crawl, then eventually walk, run, skip, jump and any other physical feat we may ask of it. The way this works is through our bodies unconscious recognition of a need for stimulus to the muscular system. 

During the physical development of my 3 beautiful children they each were able to make a significant jump in their physical abilities when we started taking them to Gymboree. If you have not heard of Gymboree is is simply an organized, instructor led fitness class for young kids. What I love about it is the ability for kids to start to really challenge themselves physically without the risk of getting all beat up like they would at a typical playground. Almost everything they climb on at Gymboree is padded. What I also like is that they are able to do all of this barefoot so they can really develop the muscles in the feet as well.

These are terrible pictures to show you what Gymboree looks like but I hope you can see some of the equipment.

In the background you can see some of the size appropriate ladders and climbing structures. Here is the point I am getting at. As I watched kids climbing around on all these things I realized that what they were doing is forcing strength throughout the entire motion of their hips. They had to to be able to get up, over, and on all the obstacles in the room. I also loved how little encouragement they needed to do it. They were choosing to work out extremely hard. It was quite refreshing. 

Then I started to think about how often we take our hips through their full range of motion. When I was training at ADAPT Training this was a staple of everything we did. I was working there at the same time my son was going through his early development stages and the parallels were astounding. 

I, like Pete Egoscue and Brian Cassidy before me realized that to create an efficient stride we need to force our hips to be put through as many different angles as possible. Running is so much easier for us as kids since we are consistently putting our hips through their natural range of motion and also strengthening them through this motion. This then aligns the femur as it comes out of the pelvis bones. Then from there it also allows the Tibia and Fibula to be in proper alignment. This ensures there will not be unnecessary pressure in the knee since the bones that compose the knee are in alignment. 

This is also how you are able to help prevent injuries in the foot that are typical of runners. I am trying to say it as many times as possible, alignment is the key to being the most successful runner you can. Alignment is dependent on you consistently giving the necessary stimulus to your muscular system for it to maintain its primary job, movement and alignment of the skeletal system.

Next up I will show you how you can do this on your own with a few examples. Also soon we will have a full running efficiency workout regimen available to you.

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