Mobility over flexibility, I’ve had that simple motto for a while now, meaning as runners we need to focus on our overall mobility in the running range of motion over general flexibility… but what is mobility?
Mobility – The ability to move freely and easily
Essentially mobility is everything to running. Your ability to move freely in the running plane of motion is incredibly important and this mobility can be hindered by:
Lack of local flexibility
General form issues (side to side movement)
Hip flexibility (ability to drive your knee upwards)
Flexibity, “your legs follow your arms”
Torsion of your torso (think twisting side to side)
So let me explain “mobility over flexibility”
Is flexibility important? Absolutely, but flexibility for the sake of flexibility isn’t optimizing your time. Static stretching will make you flexible but your dynamic flexibility hasn’t changed much. So working on flexibility using dynamic poses is far more successful, reaching down to touch your toes isn’t exactly a running specific motion right? Therefore, mobility is localized flexibility in relation to your running form, you need flexible hips and glutes because those muscle groups are directly responsible for knee lift and drive.
Chad and I have talked about this before but how you work on your mobility is extremely individualized. We all have our own tight muscle groups and past injury history. A good mobility plan will take that into effect and use it in reference to your running form.
Take a look at my video below where I take you through an initial running form consultation and show you what I look at when I look at mobility in general.
Here are the 3 methods of increasing your mobility, and then you will individualize within these methods:
Running Form Drills (as demonstrated in the video above)
Mobility exercises (these were popularized by Kelly Starrett and are hyper-focused on individual muscle groups)
Myo-fascial release (foam rolling and other methods to release muscle tension and allow the muscle to function properly)
I hope you could learn something from that but if you have questions go ahead and ask them in the comments of this article and I would love to answer them.
You can also reach out to me on Instagram and Twitter or maybe I answered your question on a recent episode of my podcast Running Through It.
So you’ve decided to take the next leap in training – you’ve been running for 2 years now and have seen a lot of improvement but you seem to have reached a plateau. You’ve been running 3-5 days a week but you are ready to up the ante and take on the challenge. You’ve decided to take the plunge but can you handle the mileage?
Continue reading “Can I Handle Running More Miles?”
I think it’s safe to say that confidence is a good thing, especially when you truly believe in your training plan… but what happens when you lose faith in your training or… you are too cocky about your fitness.
I’ve seen both situations – as well as runners who have failed from not realizing, or succeeded from checking their mentality.
Like anything in running there is a tendency to be hypercritical on every aspect of how you feel during a run. Running is more of a mental sport than we realize and those mentality shifts can happen without us realizing if we aren’t taking stock in our running or if we aren’t realizing that bad days happen. It’s the biggest thing I harp on with my athletes, how are you feeling? Is it mental or physical?
You can’t get too hung up on the minutia of a training plan… I mean you can but it really isn’t necessary until you’ve explored all other options..
What do I mean by minutia?
Think running 8:20 pace instead of running 8:50 pace – only when you’ve explored all other options should you be worried about easy pace and how it is making you feel. I’ve gone into easy pace and running by feel before so I’m not going to get into it here but my point is that your confidence shouldn’t come from easy run pace until you’ve explored all of the other variables. Minutia simply refers to being caught in the weeds… i.e. not seeing the bigger picture.
Confidence in your training is the greatest performance enhancer, go to any cross country meet in the nation and observe the runners on the line. I guarantee you that the top teams will have a certain swagger about them; they know they are ready and they are confidence that they will race well however they aren’t cocky to the point they aren’t ignoring the race plan.
You need that swagger! it isn’t saved for high school kids anymore. I give you permission to be wholly confident in your training, believe that what’s on paper will take you to the finish line! It’s ok to question things along the way but be sure that the right solution will be found and your body will react in the best way possible… It’s a confidence game after-all.
Road Racing is addictive – I get it, there is a reason why road races around the country made over $100,000,000 in total revenue last year.
We love racing but sometimes that comes without the proper buildup; maybe your friend talked you into it or you chose to run two marathons back to back… chances are you are not 100% prepared to run your best.
I’ve made that mistake at times – we used to think that the best way to train was to race yourself into shape but now we know that you have a finite number of hard efforts in a training cycle, be it mentally or physically… something has to give.
Success in road racing is about patience.
Sometimes racing too much can be detrimental to your confidence if you aren’t ready to roll – but racing can also be a good benchmark for your current training. Racing is a two way street and as a runner you must have perspective and you must have patience – there is a lot of experience that goes into knowing if it is a good time to race. That is where a good coach can be invaluable – knowing when you need a race to test fitness and knowing when it will kill your confidence or wear you down.
I tackled this very issue in one of my A Day In The Life videos:
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The Marathon Taper — or as I like to call it Taper Madness — is a tricky concept to understand.
Complicated by symptoms of: feeling antsy, restlessness, having an overall energy surplus, being fixated on your race, day dreams about heartbreak hill, and just a general anxiety about training — ok a few of those may just be me.
It is not made any easier by the fact that not everyone will respond the same way to a traditional taper. A traditional marathon taper being cut back on the mileage starting a few weeks out from the race and then a few short and quick workouts marathon pace workouts to keep your legs fresh and race ready.
This brings me to this weeks 5 Minute Barrier; I’ll give you a few tools to beat Taper Madness and recognize if a traditional taper is right for you.
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As the saying goes, “Marathon training is a cruel mistress”, why else does every marathoner feel the need to tell you about their training regardless if you have asked our not?
It’s a lot of time, effort and sweat equity put into one day, months away, where you will test your mettle on the road…
Which is why you need to be cautious with which marathon training plan you choose!
You need to choose a plan that will work best for you; a plan that will fit within your time constraints but also work with your body and how you as an individual respond to training. However, sometimes it’s hard to tell which plan will work best, especially if you are unsure what to look for!
Take the plan below for instance: Continue reading “Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1”