Progressive Running

Running Form Correction

One PB a year, keeps the doctor away

City2Surf 2017 was on Sunday 13 August with Harry Summers and Celia Sullohern winning men’s and women’s top spot on the podium. Congratulations to both. Harry Summers won the race last year too and came second in the one before that. He was injured this year and only had 6 weeks to prepare, and there you go, he made it!

Although this race is my favourite I took it easy this year because I had planned for improving my PB in half marathon earlier in May (and it went well) so I decided not to push for another one in the same year to avoid any chance of injuries. That is why I came up with the title of this blog post. Well, if I had Harry Summers’ super genes I might think differently! Anyway, I think I did ok at the race as I did not even expect to go sub 60min but I just made it in a few seconds better: http://live.tiktok.biz/results/view/city2surf/2017/00658

Back in 2012 when I was pushing hard to make good time at any race I ended up in growing a bone-spur right in the back of my right heel bone that still annoys me every time I run. Worst thing this bone-spur did back then was tears in the [right] Achilles tendon. It stopped me from running for 6 months which was depressing however there was an enlightenment for me from this injury. I used to run – and still do a lot – in extreme minimalist shoes like vibram five fingers. Back in time I was on this notion that running like a caveman must be injury free due to being completely natural. There is a misunderstanding in this approach and that is “not everyone knows how to run correctly efficiently”.

Please do not think I am going to say running in Vibram Five Fingers causes injury (from my last conversation with Harry Summers on this in June 2016, he did not agree with me). I still run in them and cannot recommend anything better for training. My point is something else. At running in cushioned and supportive shoes what is protected by shoes is your feet “locally”. What you may not see through is the magnitude of improper landing on the higher parts of your legs. Moreover, design of most of running shoes is based on the [true] statistics that most people “push off” the ground so that running shoes try to make it more comfortable and effective (monetizing the current trend). The alternative to this approach, and in fact the opposite view, is that pushing off the ground is not really right/efficient. The chance of injuries is higher when the runner pushes off the ground due to “unnecessary usage of muscles”. If you could do less to get the same result, would not you think it would be more efficient and less prone to injury?

The opposite approach, which is fully explained in Pose method of running, is to use gravitational torque as the only source of propulsion. What is left to manage would be to learn how to redirect forces to properly run within this framework. That is why running correctly efficiently is a skill.

One immediate noticeable difference you would experience once start running in Pose is you hardly get sore from your running workouts. Calf and quad soreness is usually caused with pushing off the ground. Not getting sore is a great benefit because otherwise you would have to slow down or postpone training for the soreness to go (safe approach). The other great benefit is the lower chance of injury (nothing can beat over-training though). It is more likely to get injured at training rather than the race day, comparing the amount of time spent and the distance taken at training with those of the actual race. That is how running in pose can keep you on the safe side during your training period, and besides it helps you save energy up to 20%.

A Critic on Guy Leech’s Advice on Running Techniques

The running enthusiasts at Sydney Northern Beaches should probably know that Pub2Pub is on 27 August and the serious training for it should start in around two weeks from this post (10 weeks training program would do).

Today I received an email from Pub2Pub organisers with some interesting content by Ironman legend Guy Leech. Mr Leech has prepared a series of very useful videos on Youtube to guide runners to prepare for a running race. While appreciating his great work and encouraging everyone to watch the videos, I would like to write this post on the first video which is on techniques, my favourite topic of discussion and the reason I created this small business, Progressive Running for improving public awareness and knowledge on the importance of this matter.

Here is the video:

I have to admire that he starts with technique in this series since technique comes prior to training. On this topic he raises the following main points in the video:

  • Selection of correct running shoes to avoid injury
  • Tips on good posture
  • Slight knee lift, quick turn over, and concentrate on cadence. Aim for shortest contact with the ground as possible

Here I am going to write my opinion on these points. My core opinion is constituted based on Pose Method of running and some other science-based sources as the reference for commenting on other techniques and approaches to efficient running. Up to this moment my take on Pose is that it is science and I faithfully follow what science states as true.

Selection of correct running shoes to avoid injury

Blaming shoes as the first cause of injury is not what I find a correct approach however it is very common and my personal experience tells me public opinion is with this notion. To my research the first culprit is the way we run and the pattern of training.

Have a read here for more information on this: http://www.drnicksrunningblog.com/runners-create-injuries-not-shoes/

The reason public opinion – and that of successful athletes like Guy Leech – is set towards blaming shoes as a very likely cause of injury lies in this simple fact that overwhelming majority of recreational runners push off the ground at running.  When there is a push-off involved, selection of shoes matters because the way shoes transfer forces around could apply pressure on some parts of legs more than the others and those parts might wear out quicker than expected, meaning an injury might happen in those areas. The alternative to push-off is to use gravitational torque for propulsion. Doing so shifts the pressure to bigger muscles in leg and also results in bringing all so-called metrics into the right range: Shortening ground contact time, having cadence as high as 180 strides per minute, and forefoot landing, etc.

Tips on good posture

These are the last things I usually mention to my clients. They are trivial and some of them are automatically sorted when the main concepts of Pose running are materialised into one’s running gait. For instance, arms are only for balance at Pose running whereas some coaches, if not many, emphasise on moving or pumping them back and forth along the body. The reason is, moving arms back and forth helps with “pushing off the ground”. When the standing foot is pushed down to the ground to propel the runner, that leg will trail behind the runner. For a better trailing, it is helpful to balance out the trailing leg’s weight with a forward-reaching arm.

Slight knee lift, quick turn over, and concentrate on cadence. Aim for shortest contact with the ground as possible

Back in 90’s, at analysing fast sprinters’ running techniques, the running coaches came to think that knee drive is what helps the sprinters run fast. Later on it was revealed, as per what Nicholas Romanov the founder of Pose Method says in one of his books, the sought after effective component was the unfolding of knees and the swing from it, not the knee drive.

One of the apparent factor by which pose runners are well known is their knees staying low. Driving or lifting knees is an up-tiring and unnecessary technique (usage of hip flexors). One can achieve the same time and pace at running without doing so.

Raising the point about cadence goes with my/Pose opinion on running, and cannot thank Mr Guy Leech enough for mentioning that. Cadence is like checking temperature of a patient to tell how good his or her health is. If cadence is below 180 strides per minute,  there is a push to spot when analysing the video of somebody’s running. What could not fit in Mr Leech’s short video is how to achieve a right cadence. Mr Leech also says that ground contact time should decrease. That is true. This is aligned with the point on cadence too. In fact they are the same thing in Pose method; however the question is how to achieve it? I wrote about it in more detail at this post.

Decreasing ground contact time while pushing off the ground contradict each other. Simply because for a proper push one needs to hold and press a foot down long enough to propel as fast as needed. How such runner can still move forward as fast if the push part is going to shorten?

Last word on this matter, not the least

Running is a natural sport and everyone knows how to run but running ‘efficiently’ is a skill. Application of efficient running is not limited to the race day, it comes more useful at training period because majority of those runners who experience injuries, happen to be injured during their training period as opposed to the race day.

Public opinion on running technique is not based on science and mostly established based on athletes’ anecdotes which are not necessarily scientific. On the other hand, knowing the target does not certainly help achieving it if not provided the right approach too. For instance, Mr Leech’s point on ground contact time is correct, but how to achieve it takes a full lecture.

There are experts and successful athletes like Guy Leech that sport enthusiast try to copy their training routine, their diet, and their techniques, etc, but beware that some of their doings may not be ‘universal’. They surely have superior genes that help them recover faster than an average healthy person so if they do something wrong or inefficient that trades health for speed, their body’s skill at repairing the tears is much better than most of us. If we do the same thing we might end up in hospital :) That is why I believe in finding and teaching things that work for everyone, or in other words: are Universal.

It is not all about training

Cannot believe one year passed since I wrote this on SMH half marathon 2016: Getting subconscious mind under control talking about mind challenges I went through last year. I had it better under controlled, while observing what I was missing to get better at running the race next time.

As the followers of my facebook page should know I was aiming to improve my PB at this half marathon race to be sub 90 min and here you go I just made it:

Official site 1:29:17

and my own tracking with Garmin 910xt

I was stuck at 94min time at this race for the past two years that I picked it up and to name what made the change since last year to this one I would say:

  • Better application of Pose running on uphills and downhills (technique)
  • Better plan/program to follow that did not wear me out prior to the race

These days my post-race favourite conversation is that my lower legs are not sore at all. The only sore parts are quads which either inevitably get sore or that is the room to improve for next year. Soreness is caused by intensive eccentric contractions. Absorbing shock with knees at landing time can cause this, mainly at downhills. My anecdote on soreness is if an eccentric contraction is immediately followed by a concentric one the soreness is likely to be severe. For instance if you toe-push off the ground after landing, your calf muscles get too sore. If you do not push off, they may not even get sore. The reason my quads are sore is vertical push – adjusting height – happens automatically and quads have an important role in doing so. Besides, running up hills take certainly needs gaining heights and this race course is known for being hilly.

When I finished the race I joined the stand of the charity organisation that I support at this race: Running for Premature Babies. They have been extremely successful at attracting runners to join their charity (this year they had 500 runners) and managed to raise more than $300,000. At the stand I met a runner whose PB was 83min made in 2016 however although he had done the same amount of training he ended up in 86min this year. He wondered why and the only thing I had to say was, well, sometimes it is not all about training.

Again talking about the usual missing part of most recreational runners’ training program: techniques. Public understanding of running is not efficient for serious running. Here is where a particular way of running as a skill works much better than the second nature everyone knows about.

One funny thing happened after the race, I also wear a Garmin wearable, vivo smart, for heart rate and other activity tracking. I wore that during the race but when I got into the car to go back home it vibrated telling me “Move!”. Funny, but not a good news for the manufacturer, huh?!

Insights to Share

Taking a look at my own tracking reveals an interesting insight that am going to share with you here.

Very high heart rate at the beginning

Some people run the first half of the race faster than the second one. I am one of them. Not saying this is the best way of running a race. Maybe I have to revise this strategy going forward, I do not know and I have not made my mind about it. I fell off almost one KM in the second half of the race but maybe I had saved a lot of seconds by running fast in the first part so I could rest a bit in the hardest part? Anyway, let’s leave that for now. I should write something about it later once I have done my homework.

Running the first split of the course faster resulted in my heart rate to go higher than what I expected. It was surprising to see it reached 204 whereas my record of every Max heart rate test I had done before the race, or any hard speed training I had pushed myself in to my max effort, was that my Max HR is around 185 bpm. Going up by 19bpm only means I burned a lot of carbs during that part of the race which makes sense because I started feeling low energy from kilometer 10 where I started taking gels. That feeling low is due to low blood sugar that feeds the brain. Go find videos on Youtube of people who get dizzy from pushing too hard. Apparently it is a terrible thing because some say they really feel they were going to die!

Room for Improvement for 2018

Looking at my splits (per km) I fell off my goal pace at 7 splits, meaning if I can improve my hill running to maintain the same goal pace I should be able to shave another 2min off my PB.

I ran in zone 4 most of the time

If my Max HR is 204, given my resting HR is 55, my HR zones are:

Zone 1: 129-144 (50%-60% Max HR)

Zone 2: 144-159 (60%-70% Max HR)

Zone 3: 159-174 (70%-80% Max HR)

Zone 4: 174-189 (80%-90% Max HR)

Zone 5: 189-204 (90%-100% Max HR)

It is recommended to run races mostly in Zone 3. You can see at the end of the race that I am depleted of carbs my HR goes to highs of zone 3 and before that it is at the lows and highs of zone 4. Relying too much on burning carbs meaning I cannot do it  again without taking gels. Good or bad, I do not know. It is subjective.

Please note that I had a sugary toast in the morning and that is where the required carbs were sourced in the first half of the race, as well as the reserve of carbs in the muscles; the one that is fueled with the so-called carb loading before the race.

Hope you find this post useful. Please feel free to contact me on facebook or on my email: rez@progressiverunning.com for any question or discussion.

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Barefoot Running, good or bad?

Recently happened to read this article on barefoot running here: https://www.jenreviews.com/barefoot-running-shoes . From its few first lines everyone can tell it is pro barefoot running. You might even also think I am so excited and am going to highlight every bits and pieces in it, but you are not quite correct this time.

Yes I advocate minimalist running as I think maximalism is unnecessary, if not hurtful. There are great benefits in going light however do not think mother nature will take care of you if you go barefoot.

Here am going to list the main headers from the article and comment on them.

1. Barefoot Running Promotes Recovery

Regular shoes may cause you to land on your heel, which is unnatural, may impair balance, and makes you at risk of getting ankle strains, among other leg and foot injuries

Striking rear foot is NOT unnatural. It is a valid technique for running. The problem is when heel-striking is used for long distance running. That is where it comes inefficient first, then it causes trouble due to those so-called over-striding and landing ahead of body issues.

2. Running Economy is Improved with Regular Use of Barefoot Running Shoes

Agree with this from this point of view that it has been proven by studies that running in barefoot/minimalist shoes strengthen lower legs and that can result in better running economy.

3. Oxygen Consumption, or VO2 max, is Heightened due to the Specific Motions that Simulated Barefoot Running Requires

That is not a bad News however what I know is VO2 max is less important than in the past to rank runners. Someone with lower VO2 max might still run better than the others at higher one. There are factors that more accurately can rank runners by very high accuracy. VO2 max although has a high correlation with performance, it is not that much accurate to tell, for instance, who runs faster.

4. Barefoot Running Shoes Strengthens Muscles, Tendons, and Ligaments of the Foot

Totally valid based on the study I shared previously in this post.

5. By Running with Barefoot Running Shoes, You Can Develop a More Natural Pace or Gait

I do not think there can be an exact definition for “natural pace or gait”. What does ‘natural’ really mean? how can it be defined accurately? You might find this term in my earlier blog posts but these days I use it more carefully. There are only two natural features in our legs that if used properly I can call that way of running “supportive of our nature!” but still not “natural running form” because the terms is a bit vague:

  1. Our tendons are elastic
  2. There is a great shock absorption mechanism in our legs

6. Running with Barefoot Shoes Can Improve Your Balance and Proprioception

This is true. Most of our nerves end at the soles of our feet. Wearing shoes do not help them get better. Going barefoot improves the sensation and along with strengthening ankles and other lower leg parts we should be able to manage better balance. Moreover the  better sensation of where the ground is and how we are landing can help the proprioception.

7. You Feel More Encouraged to Run Outside, which is Better for Your Health then Running Inside

Objection, subjective!

8. Barefoot Running Shoes Allow You to be Connected with Yourself and the Earth or Natural Surfaces, which Can Improve Sleep

That matches what I know of that Chinese medicine on the relation of parts of soles and body parts. If that is true, this one is true too.

9. Running in Barefoot Shoes Can Improve Short-term or Working Memory

I skip this one :)

10. Barefoot running shoes help prevent Plantar Pain or Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis happens for several reasons, two of them I know of are:

  • Going frocibly against the gravity
  • Running too fast, too soon, too much

Going against the gravity is in the technique and is when the runner [toe] pushes off the ground. You should allow your feet to peel off the ground with your momentum and let falling forward generate the propulsive force. Pushing off the ground causes too much stress to Achilles tendon and plantar fascia and if this stress is too much such soft tissues may get inflamed and cause trouble.

It goes on the same track as the three too’s: too fast, too soon, too much. Any time you rush into training after a relatively long period of rest and going lazy (!) you may fall into a benign to severe plantar fasciitis.

11. Using Barefoot Running Shoes Can Boost Blood Circulation

I find it plausible. Simply put your feet are not restricted by shoes so they can spread as much as needed. Those shoes claiming to be natural running shoes have wide toe pocket to allow feet move naturally. The meaning of natural here is letting feet move freely while observing how they go at landing.

12. Earthing, or Running on Natural Surfaces, has a Positive Effect on the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)

Maybe it is a new sensation different from what we do most of the time at this modern life. Most of the time we sense our in-soles :) then the synthetic surfaces at home or at work if you work at a relax office as I do. Anyway, from my experience sensing the ground was great plus it massaged my feet, although beware of blisters. You have to gradually increase distance as your feet develop strength and skin thickness to handle it.

13. Exercising in Barefoot Running Shoes Can Improve Overall Health

No special comment on this.

14. Transitioning to Barefoot Running Shoes Can Reintroduce You to a More Natural State and Can Increase Your Chances of Survival

I know this one looks has gone a bit overboard but my comment on that is going barefoot develops a different type of agility that can come handy some time somewhere. At the end of the day those with better nervous system do better and going barefoot is aligned with this notion.

15. Using Barefoot Running Shoes More Often Gives You the Sense of Freedom, Healing, and Other Positive Emotions

Cannot disagree with the sense of freedom. It feels great, so true. The idea of not being dependent on shoe wear strikes me.

 

 

How Mel managed running pain free

Running season is already started in the southern hemisphere and as I go out running for my own training almost every day per week I see more people outside running. That is the spirit I like to see in where I live. On the flip side, I rarely bump into someone with a correct cadence – number of strides per minute – which is to my understanding is the best way to tell if a runner is running efficiently or not. Referring to my previous post about cadence of 180 strides per minute , based on a research done in 1960’s the best way of incorporating elasticity of tendons into running starts with a cadence from around 180 strides per minute. If you are slower than that you might want to talk to me.

At this post am going to talk about a dear client of mine, Mel, who signed up for training with me in Sep 2016 and has been at various training sessions with me since then. Am going to explain what issues she had in the past and how I could help her.

When she approached me for the first time, she had been advised by her physio to stop running due to an injury felt in the knee. She found it a good time to check her running technique wondering what in it could have caused the issue. That was a wise move because correcting running technique is best to be done at either off-season, downtime like this injury that only prevents hard workout, or when there is no big goal in the horizon. Here are some snapshots from that day when I took a video for the form analysis. I go through one by one and explain how I analysed each.

At this shot you can see “toe-push off” a very common technique by most of recreational runners. Runners push the ground backwards using lower legs aiming for propulsion from the ground reaction force. What they end up in is a horizontal component which is expected, plus an extra vertical component which does not work in their favour somehow. It throws the runner upwards so that the runner spends longer time airborne for an extended time to increase the stride length to cover more ground. All sounds useful on paper but causes trouble in practice. First one is creation of this vertical component is waste of energy because it is not in the forward direction of running. Roughly calculating the negative impact of it, at running over a course of a full marathon (42km) this results in an extra vertical oscillation that is equal to climbing up a couple of kilometers. The two lines highlight vertical oscillation in the following image.

The second downfall is that runners usually over-stride and also land ahead of the centre of their body mass when they push off the ground. It is reflected in the following snapshot. The yellow line almost crosses the centre of body mass and the white one does the landing point. The further the landing point is ahead of the body the more pressure on knees.

Pushing off the ground usually increases the average stride length (same distance would be done in less number of strides). That means the runner’s cadence would drop below 180 strides per minute so that the elasticity of tendons would not be used at maximum capacity. Mel’s cadence was below 180 by 10-20 strides per minute before she switched to running in Pose. She was aware of it and wondered how to fix it.

One more issue that usually comes with over-striding is rear foot landing. Landing on heels although is natural and legit in some style of running, is not an efficient technique for running long distances.

Main reason for it not being efficient is it does not utilise elasticity of tendons in the ankle joint for a proper bounce off the ground. In front foot landing ankle joint is engaged so that not only Achilles tendon participates in absorbing the shock it can also preserve some energy to release later (bouncing off Achilles tendon). There are experts that might argue this, perhaps warning likelihood of Achilles tendinopathy. My counter argument is that the reason some runners get injured from doing this is they “push off” the ground (using calf muscle that is linked to Achilles tendon) right after “absorbing shock” (again using calf muscle and Achilles tendon). Two jobs performed in a row at every single stride. That is too much. If they allow their Achilles tendon to rest after landing, their risk of injury decreases massively. They will see it more tangibly when they feel less sore in their calf muscles from running in Pose that engulfs all these correct practices.

After a few sessions of training and Mel’s running in her own time gradually building up while practicing this technique, I took a video at one of our sessions a few months later and here am sharing the result. It was early morning hence lack of light affected the quality of the images however the points can still be seen in the blurry snapshots.

One major improvement in Mel’s running form is she now lands under her hips. In pose running the runner is meant to relax his or her landing foot, letting it land on its own as opposed to active landing. Active landing means that the runner aims for or enforces a particular way of landing, either front foot or rear foot.

The other improvement was she pretty much rectified her late pull. Late pull as fully explained in a previous post of mine is the case in which the foot on the standing leg is not removed off the ground in time after the moment the moving foot passes the standing knee. If too confusing, in simple words it means when frame by frame reviewing a sample video of somebody’s running, in the frame after the one in which the moving foot is next to the standing knee the back foot is expected to be completely lifted off the ground. In Mel’s case it is pretty close to perfection at the following snapshot.

Last improvement was her cadence reached 180 spm. One immediate outcome of increasing cadence that is tangible to runners is how short the strides become. Agility and the skill to be agile play important role in adjusting cadence into the right range.

By making these subtle changes Mel managed to run pain free while increasing her max distance and her pace too. Her words:

“By seeing you I have definitely learnt about running methodology and why it’s important and whilst I am currently injured, I did manage to go a long time without any injuries since starting with you and was able to considerably increase the distances I could run pain free (managed to get up to 22kms). I was also able to increase my running speed doing a PB of 24:19 over 5km.”

Pose method of running is what everyone should learn before jumping into training straight away. Techniques at running although are not too complicated compared to those of the other sports like tennis or soccer, they still play an important role and should not be neglected. Running is totally a repetitive activity so that one small improvement scales up to a massive advantage. Running a full marathon race in 4 hours takes more than 38000 strides for an average runner at that level, not mentioning the total distance/strides run at the training for the race. Now one can picture better how much a small form correction cascades and blossoms to benefit the runner.

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Importance of Slow Long Runs

As some of you might know am preparing for a half marathon race in May this year (2017). My main training will start in a couple of weeks and am preparing for it. I like to try breaking my PB this year so am supposed to go for speed but in contrary am not pushing for speed at this stage and that is what am going to talk about here.

In every running program there are 3 main workouts: slow long run, speed training, and goal pace run. What am working on for preparation is to focus on slow long run because that is the bread and butter of running. The reasons are:

  • Improves capillary network. Burning fat requires Oxygen. The penetration of blood into muscles indicates how well oxygen can reach out to cells so that fat burning can be utilised better in activities. The less penetration the more we have to burn carbs instead that do not need oxygen to burn. The downside of consuming carbs is that it generates lactic acid which if not washed out in time from the working muscles, the muscles cramp and their performance drops (that is when we have to slow down due to the pain). Efficiency in fuel consumption, which simply comes down to burning fat rather than anything else, is another aspect of this capillary network development. The other great improvement is growing more mitochondria in our muscle cells. Mitochondrion is the engine of body cells for generating energy. The more we have the higher we produce power.
  • Strengthen legs. Think of slow run as working out legs for longer time. It looks like as if you are pounding steadily on your legs on the spot. It is a tough workout that creates resilience, strength and stability in legs.
  • Improves mental toughness. Such running simulates hard stages of a long running race where the so-called mental breakdown plays in. Slow running tires up legs due to making them deal with your full body weight for longer amount of time with not much rest in between strides. Although you are capable of running faster that comes with longer airborne time to let your legs unwind a bit, you refrain and it simulates the tough moments of pushing through fatigue in a real scenario.
  • Provides basis for form correction. Unlike speed training, you find a chance to focus on every step you make and spot issues you might sense. Are your legs straight? are your toes pointing straight forward? are you pushing off the ground or is it totally switched off? are your arms moving only for balance? are you shortening stride length on both uphills and downhills? and a lot of other form check-points.

I used my new wearable today, Garmin Vivosmart (not quite happy with it since switched phone to the Android base Redmi) and that is what I did:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1606061867

I did not push for speed at all and compared to my goal pace I was 30-50 second slower per km. Look at my heart rate, 143 avg. Given my max heart rate is 182 bpm and my rest heart rate is 55 bpm, this falls around the top range of the fat burning zone, which is still in the zone I should do this workout.

 

What is Late Pull at Running

taken from Fitmetrix.io

Running has three components: Fall, Pose and Pull. No matter how you run and what your running technique is, you go through these three at every stride of yours.

Each part has its own perfect form or way of being done correctly/efficiently. Regarding pull, there are a few issues in the recreational running community and one of them is late pull.

How to spot it in the video?

Simply, right after the moving foot passes the standing knee the back foot should be leaving the ground. If a video is taken from someone’s running, assuming each frame is around 30ms, in the next frame after the one in which the moving foot surpasses the standing knee the back foot should have left the ground, or the runner is making late-pull mistake.

Ok, got it but what problem does late pull cause?

First of all, note that even a simple tiny  mistake at running can harm you over time. Because it repeats so many times, it wears you off until it clinically becomes an injury. Regarding late pull, it meddles with the perfect timing you can have in your stride if you just let the front foot [passively] fall under your body. What happens is due to the change in the dynamics of running caused by late pull, the front foot lands ahead of the body adding unnecessary pressure to the landing knee.

Other issue is, in most cases, those who have late pull, push their back foot off the ground. Perhaps because they keep a portion of their body weight behind (the back leg of course), they need to exert an extra force to take their foot off the ground. This push would be unnecessary if they removed that back foot just in time (as aforementioned: after the moving foot passes the standing knee).

How to identify and fix it?

In the same way that high temperature (fever) shows infection, cadence at running indicates such mistakes. If your cadence is below 180 strides per minute you are pushing off the ground and most likely you have late pull too (otherwise why you keep that foot behind if you do not want an effective push forward?!).

The other more accurate way of identifying it is to have a video form analysis which I can do for free during special offer periods like now (Jan 2016). You can also ask someone to take a video of your running form and send it to me. That would be always free of charge. Best way is to flick me an email to get started: rez@progressiverunning.com .

To fix late pull, there is one way. You should gain your propulsive force from gravity. Falling forward must become the only source of generating force to move ahead. That is what I teach at Progressive Running.

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For the entire January 2017 am offering free video form analysis which is normally at $59.

Drop me an email on rez@ProgressiveRunning.com or go to Contact page to submit a request, if interested.

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