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23362 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2013 1:11 PM by shipo Go to original post 1 2 Previous Next
  • Kelly1066 Pro 133 posts since
    Jul 12, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Nov 13, 2013 3:33 PM (in response to runforyourlife)
    Wrong body type for running?

    I think running is great - and if you go to any race and watch the people coming through the finish chute, you'll notice that there are all different body types arriving!  I was amazed to see how many people finished before people who looked like they might be faster, and vice versa.  Go to a local race and watch the finish sometime for motivation - maybe even strike up a conversation with someone similar to yourself! 

     

    I agree that starting with Couch to 5k is a great move - I did it a year and a half ago, and have since run two half marathons and am in love with running.

     

    Start slow, stick with it, and you'll be amazed!





    I write a running blog geared towards other new runners at http://www.iamrunningthis.com!

    Couch to 5K graduate, September 2012

    First 10K, June 2nd, 2013

    First Half Marathon, September 2013

    Twitter: @iamrunningthis

  • EvanEramian Rookie 1 posts since
    Nov 12, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Nov 13, 2013 4:39 PM (in response to runforyourlife)
    Wrong body type for running?

    If you keep at it, you'll eventually cross that line where everything falls into place while you're running. It make take some serious time and effort - but its so worth it. Focus on the close target and work your way past it.

  • Mama23Luvs2ski Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 21, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Nov 13, 2013 5:21 PM (in response to runforyourlife)
    Wrong body type for running?

    Keep at it! I too am am on the short and sturdy side but I chip away at running.  Focus on your personal best.  Don't compare yourself to others! The best thing about running is its limitless possibilities for personal growth.  Every time you go out and run, it's a good thing!  Keep up the good work :)

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,167 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Nov 15, 2013 1:00 PM (in response to Rossphile)
    Wrong body type for running?

    Rossphile,

     

    I agree with most of what you wrote, but striding from the hip, and stride length in general, are controversial subjects these days. While it is true that limitations in muscle contraction speed will favor a longer stride when sprinting, this mechanical advantage disappears in the long-distance runner, the way Newtonian physics gets gobbled up by the black hole of quantum mechanics.

     

    Usain Bolt, it can be argued, gets his superior performance mainly from the length of his well-trained legs, barring any other non-mechanical advantages he may have. Obviously, this increases his potential stride length, because maximum contraction force and cadence are comparative constants (also noted in the article is the tremendous increase in g-force applied to each footstrike, which does not conform to any idea of longer strides being easier on the joints).

     

    Where I agree with you is that restriction in the hip does force some counterproductive adaptations, but the shortening of one's stride is not necessarily one of them. Adaptation, sure, but counterproductive? I would consult Galloway about that one. He has often remarked that an important step toward limiting distance-training injuries is to shorten one's stride. He would get no argument from Damien Howell. One of the most experienced and well-trained (and athletics savvy) Physical Therapists to ever comment here, Damien consistently cautions that too long a stride leads to more injuries in runners. These two men base their conclusions on in-depth professional experience with many thousands of runners.

     

    The reason why I emphasize this point is that this is a "newbie" forum, and any tenderfoot trying to improve performance by extending stride is likely to pay dearly for heeding such advice.

     

    One confusing aspect of what we call "stride length" is the distance between footstrikes in an elite vs average runner. Yet, when we see world-class athletes running sub-5 miles in the marathon, it doesn't appear that they are straining at all, at least nothing like what we see in sprinters. In fact, they make it look easy, more effortless than the average four-hour weekend warrior. Look at still photos of these often similar types of legs, and you note one huge difference: The elite runners seem to be hovering off the ground.

     

    What appears to be greater stride length is in fact much greater time spent in the air. The feet cover more distance, not because the legs are swung much further, but because the considerable loft of each stride adds flight time to each foot strike.

     

    Unfortunately, flight adds impact force as well. The main "impact enemy" most runners in this forum are likely to be facing is not short strides, but excess weight, which tends to minimize loft. Once those muscles and joints become conditioned, and the pounds begin to melt off, the effective stride-length will naturally increase due to added air-time, with the weight-loss compensating for increased bound. No adjustment in actual stride length is necessary - or wise - to decrease this force, other to shorten it to comfort level while the aerobics work their magic.

     

    In summary, I would reconsider item #3 on your list. As for swinging of the knee and heel-striking, a longer stride by itself would require more flexing of the knee to prevent heel-strike (vs. a straight-leg foot plant), and most gifted runners would say that greater heel loft at the end of the gait cycle increases propulsive force. The answer for heel-striking would be to contact the ground a bit later in the gait cycle, which depends again on loft. There will be no short-cut to that for the overweight runner, other than to develop fabulous calves, as the other solid-built runners here can attest.

     

    I've viewed many race photos of winners approaching and crossing the line, and found it remarkable that in the absence of the need for a final sprint, they often lope across with nearly vertical legs and both sets of toes several inches off the ground. They do not stride, but bound their way to success. Does this mean that bounding will make me a better runner? Not necessarily in that order.

     

    Another point to consider, is that too much flexibility at the hip can hinder as well as help. Otherwise, limber ballerinas might make the very best runners, but they do not. Too much flexibility does remove restriction, but not enough restriction requires more active muscle contraction to achieve stability, and increases likelihood of injury. Legs with some passive "spring" to them  require less energy, and should be delivered by consistent, conservative training, less athletic heroics and potentially injurious stretching.

  • shipo Legend 499 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Nov 15, 2013 1:11 PM (in response to JamesJohnsonLMT)
    Wrong body type for running?

    JamesJohnsonLMT wrote:

     

    In summary, I would reconsider item #3 on your list. As for swinging of the knee and heel-striking, a longer stride by itself would require more flexing of the knee to prevent heel-strike (vs. a straight-leg foot plant), and most gifted runners would say that greater heel loft at the end of the gait cycle increases propulsive force. The answer for heel-striking would be to contact the ground a bit later in the gait cycle, which depends again on loft. There will be no short-cut to that for the overweight runner, other than to develop fabulous calves, as the other solid-built runners here can attest.

     

     


    The whole fabulous calve thing pretty much describes this overweight runner.  My fleet footed son describes my legs as "diesel legs", all torque, no speed.  Curious about your comment I just whipped out my handy-dandy tape measure and was kind of surprised that even though I've been sitting here at my desk for several hours and am nice and relaxed, my calves each measured over 18" in circumference.  Hell, my 78 year old MIL is still sporting a 26" waist!





    Fat old man PRs:

    • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
    • 2-mile: 13:49
    • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
    • 5-Mile: 37:24
    • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
    • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
    • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
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