Friday 22 August 2014

Coaching in Millhouses

I met Dave Taylor in Millhouses park for another coaching session. I'd asked to focus on overstriding, or more accurately how to avoid doing it. We did a variety of drills including "ankling" which is shown here:

This is supposed to encourage a heel-to-toe action as placing the foot is as important as lifting it. A key issue was running with a forward lean so that the hips are above the leading foot by the time it touches down.

The second drill was lifting heel to bum whilst making an effort to keep the foot facing downwards. This is an exaggerated recovery phase movement intended to encourage movement of the leg around the knee axis rather than hip. This should be more efficient as it's a shorter lever to swing on every step.

Finally there is the "pawing" drill to link the stages. This should be done slowly with little pressure at first before developing speed and power.

In the session I did a set or so of the drill and then did a run, with the intention of using muscles recruited in the drill. Photographs from video filming showed that at least some of the time I had a good lean and that I was doing a good forefoot strike.

After practicing these techniques I ran a few hundred metres in socks. The intention was to see how different it felt to running with shoes on. I was pleasantly surprised by the sensation but was then surprised when photographs showed that I was lifting my toes on landing thus very much relying on a ball or mid foot strike. That's OK but it's unwise to the lifting toes as that reduces stability and is stretching the plantar fascia unnecessarily.

At a final run I felt that my gait was improved and importantly my legs felt fine at the end despite the opportunity for                                                                                                                                  

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