…whisper words of Wisdom…

whisper words

Just to recap on this series of posts.

Three different paces, three different sets of cadence and stride lengths (naturally occuring) and a comparison of Ground Contact time summaried in content here Let it be… and here …let it be…

The thing which has eluded discussion so far is the effect on Landing Forces these changes have. I’m not going to attempt the maths on this but basically we’re talking about the force generated by my body weight in term of foot contact, grms / sq cm / second.

I have a gut feeling that as a result of Ground Contact time decreasing with a parallel decrease in surface area of foot (moving further forward on the mid foot) the actual grms/sq cm/sec will actually be a constant, or pretty close to a constant  factor.

Why?

Because these cadences and stride lengths are a natural reaction to the paces that I am running at. I am not forcing any particular cadence or stride pattern, they are my body tuning into what it needs to do in order to balance my body weight on my feet for a particular period of time while it deals with landing forces and propulsive energy.

So. The words of wisdom. In all of this you have to tune into what your body wants to do naturally, first. Once you are aware of how your body is reacting to the running patterns then you can comfortably address stride and cadence , if necessary.

There is no point in attempting to force change on your body. You will get injured. Instead easy gradual changes will work with your body. But the starting point is knowing where your body is first.

A great tool for tuning into your body is to incorporate some minimalist work into your training routine. It doesn’t have to be barefoot (and I would be slow to recommend barefoot unless you are disciplined in how you manage the transition) but it can be.

Ideally, a low, lightly cushioned shoe that you can wear which allows you to get a sense of what your feet are doing. Take this to a treadmill where you can relax and ‘tune’ into where your landing forces are focussed, how your feet, legs, knees, hips are reacting and working in unison, how your upper body is positioned; relaxed hands, arms tucked in, straight back but relaxed shoulders.

Do small sessions like this, warmups and cooldowns for example. As your body learns and adjusts to the form and the muscles remember the patterns you can easily take these subtle changes in form to the road, track or trail, whenever and wherever you run and a natural tweaking of cadence and stride length will occur as you body adapts slowly to the changes.

Hopefully this makes sense?

 

Like it or leave it, please let me know what your views are.

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