Why we land in front of our center of gravity

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Pete Larson, once again, had an excellent blog post on foot strike and center of gravity (COG) (click here to read it). The notion that all runners should land underneath their COG (or hips, they’re often used interchangeably) has been repeated so many times by so many experts that it’s essentially become dogma. However, as Pete so aptly demonstrated, it doesn’t actually occur. None of the elites Pete had video of landed underneath their COG, and when I went and looked at high speed video of myself and several other good runners, none of them did it either.

The question becomes, why do we have to land in front of the COG and not directly underneath it like Pose or Chi running advice?

Strength Endurance Presentation

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I've been doing a lot of research and writing lately as I've got a series of articles I'm working on for Running Times online, so I thought I'd take a break from the heavy science based articles and running form and give you visual learners something slightly different. I've covered the topic of the importance of strength endurance training and non-specific lactate training in depth before (here and here among other places).  To help summarize the process of developing strength endurance, I'd like to share a powerpoint presentation I've given in the past.  It goes through why we need to develop strength endurance and then a 5 step process in how to accomplish that goal.  Hopefully you find it useful.

How to Run-Part 2: Cues, Pictures, Videos, and Hip Extension

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Given the response to my last post on How to Run, I figured I needed to explain and expand on some of the concepts covered.  To complement the reading heavy last post, this time around I've included a video and several pictures to help demonstrate some of the concepts discussed.  I've also tried to address the problem of conceptualizing hip extension.

Before getting to the visual aids, I'd like to first give some practical cues for changing your running form.  In what is becoming a reoccuring theme of this blog (and was mentioned in the comments by some astute readers), often what we see and what actually is happening are two different things.  To help alleviate this confusion, I've listed some of the visual "problems" that are often seen in running, and then given their actual causes.  While knowing the actual cause is great and all, it's useless without a way to fix it.  To help you out, I've listed a number of possible "cues" to use to help correct the problems.  Hopefully you find this information useful.

How to Run: Running with proper biomechanics

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The simple question of how do you run is largely unanswered in the running community. You have a bunch of pseudo-guru styles like Pose or Chi, but the key to running correctly to maximize performance is a topic that is largely left to elite coaches or biomechanics experts. As Pete Larson pointed out in his blog, elite coaches like Alberto Salazar extol the benefits of working on running form, but no one has told the masses how. In the following article, it's my goal to unmask the "secrets" and provide the answers. The bulk of this article comes from information gleaned mostly from working with world class track coaches like Tom Tellez and a great High School coach in Gerald Stewert. Throw in some biomechanics classes in undergrad and graduate school and the picture is a little more complete.

The following is an early rough draft excerpt from a potential book I'm trying to get done...if I can figure out how to publish it :). Enjoy.

Running with proper biomechanics:
Distance runners and coaches seem to hate the topic of running form. Most subscribe to the idea that a runner will naturally find his best stride and that stride should not be changed. However, just like throwing a baseball or shooting a basketball, running is a skill that must be learned. The problem with learning how to run is that there are so many wrong ideas out there. This is partly due to the complexity of the process and partly due to a lack of understanding of biomechanics. It’s my belief that the wide range of “correct” ways to run has led to this apathetic attitude towards running form changes by most athletes and coaches.
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