Beginners and Beyond

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Anatomy for Runners (Read 105 times)

    Interesting book.

     

    From a physical quality standpoint, the paper is good quality, but the printing (or editing) has been cheaped on. Sometimes words are missing, or a word is doubled.

     

    The author's attempt at humor is often lost on me. But it is not annoying.

     

    The author is qualified to write this book and does a good job at covering all aspects in a structured manner. The subject is arid at times, but I just read on even if I was missing some parts at times. I still got the idea and it was enough to understand what he was saying afterwards.

     

    At the beginning of the book he makes an analogy with old Nintendo racing games in which you started with a cheap car. As you were winning races, you'd earn money that you could spend on upgrading parts of your car. If you spent all your money on the engine, you'd soon relize that your car was going too fast for its ability to brake, to take curves, etc. The idea was to upgrade the chassis of the car proportionnally to the engine. He then says that all runners training program focus on the engine: the heart, the VO2Max, the ability of getting oxygen to the muscles. We keep improving that, but as we get faster, sometimes our chassis (our body: legs, calves, hamstrings, hips, etc) is too weak to handle the additionnal speed, distance or time running that our improved cardiovascular system permits us to do. Then happens a breakdown, an injury.

     

    The whole book is focused on improving our chassis, as there are many books already on improving our engine (Daniels, Hansons, Pfitz, etc)

     

    Do I recommand the book? Hmmm, at times it's not easy reading. He doesn't provide miracle recipes either. On the contrary, he advocates that each runner is different, and that you have to know yourself. I sure liked it. I sure am going to apply some of the principles taught in the book. I've already started on some simple exercices to work on weaknesses I have. So yes, I'd recommand it, but I'm pretty sure not everyone will like it.

    happylily


      I bet you were good at giving book reports when you were a little boy.:-) I'm glad to hear that the paper is of good quality.  But you forgot to comment on the graphic design. I refuse to buy a book if the graphics are poor. (j/k..)

       

      The analogy is interesting. One thing I have noticed is that it seems that a whole bunch of us who started running 4 or 5 years ago have been going through injuries recently. And we all seem to have come to the conclusion that we need some reinforcing of the chassis to prevent future injuries, as our mileage continues increasing. So the author must be on to something. Are the exercises interesting? How much time per day do you plan on devoting to them?

       

      Thanks for the review!

      PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

              Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

      4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     

      LRB


      Dreamer

        At the beginning of the book he makes an analogy with old Nintendo racing games in which you started with a cheap car. As you were winning races, you'd earn money that you could spend on upgrading parts of your car. If you spent all your money on the engine, you'd soon realize that your car was going too fast for its ability to brake, to take curves, etc. The idea was to upgrade the chassis of the car proportionally to the engine. He then says that all runners training program focus on the engine: the heart, the VO2Max, the ability of getting oxygen to the muscles. We keep improving that, but as we get faster, sometimes our chassis (our body: legs, calves, hamstrings, hips, etc) is too weak to handle the additional speed, distance or time running that our improved cardiovascular system permits us to do. Then happens a breakdown, an injury.

         

        So they used me as an example, huh?  lol

         

        I have learned these lessons the hard way, but in my quest to get core strong I have also learned that not all core work is created equal.

         

        What I found after a year of using resistance bands and Myrtle exercises was that they my core was so damn weak and unstable that there were not doing Jack for my chassis.

         

        This post from Professor O in the dailies regarding core work pretty much blasts the nail on the head in one full stroke:

         

        Having your feet hanging on a non-solid surface definitely makes it more challenging.  You can do the same in a TRX.

         

        In the basic plank movement, there are three ways to make it more difficult - reduce the number of points on the ground (lift a leg off the floor, lift an arm, etc), add movement (move your legs like your are running aka mountain climbers), and decrease stability of the ground (put your feet in straps, use a bosu ball, a wobble board, etc).

         

        Reducing the number of points on the ground is what has taken my core strength to the next level.  I am finally starting to see the strength in my hips and core that I was working so hard to get to no avail.

         

        But the resistance bands and Myrtle exercises still have a place in my core workout regiment.  As does stretching and flexibility work, which was something else I had to learn the hard way.  

        "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."

          Big grin

           

          I figured that my humour would  lost on some (quality of the paper). It is of nice quality though Wink

           

          The idea is to have balance, strength, running effectiveness and enough flexibility so you don't alter your gait/form

           

          Right now I'm going to focus on four things:

           

          - Run from the glutes. That won't take any more of my time. Tried it this morning. I *think* it was making me faster without working any harder. But my saturday runs always feel easy because friday is my full day off. I'll see tomorrow in my long run. The idea is to use as many muscles as possible when running. Not just the calves and quads like many runners do (myself included). Be more effective.

           

          - Stand on one leg, with my eyes closed. I won't go explaining why the closed eyes, but the idea is to improve my balance. It is a multi-step exercise. 2 days ago I was working on just standing one one leg with my eyes open and that was challenging. I kinda got the hang of it (in two days) and it's pretty easy now, especially for my left leg. I have a harder time with my right leg. So I started spending maybe 10-15 minutes a day on that. I do 30 seconds reps whenever I have time. Work on balance

           

          - I made a test this morning and my calves are particularily tight. That restricts my ankle motion.  I'll do some stretching for the calves. 5 minutes a day. This probably restricts me from pushing off from further behind, thus altering my optimal form/gait.

           

          - Isolate my big toe from the rest of my toes. That's just a fun exercise to do while watching TV or something. No strength involved or flexibility, so that should be fast. In about a week, I should be able to lift only my big toe, ar all toes but the big toe. Improve neural control over the toes.

           

          I'll progress with these points, and after that, I'll work on my worse weaknesses at that time.

           

          For example, eventually I'll do one-legged squats. But until I can stand perfectly still one one leg while doing other things (not concentrating on standing still), if I try to do a one-legged squat (I have tried it) it's going to be very ugly. I'll probably have to improve core strength to stabilize (again, balance) me during the squat. So he says not to move one to the next step until you 'master' the one before. Makes plenty of sense to me.

             

            So they used me as an example, huh?  lol

             

            I have learned these lessons the hard way, but in my quest to get core strong I have also learned that not all core work is created equal.

             

            What I found after a year of using resistance bands and Myrtle exercises was that they my core was so damn weak and unstable that there were not doing Jack for my chassis.

             

            This post from Professor O in the dailies regarding core work pretty much blasts the nail on the head in one full stroke:

             

             

            Reducing the number of points on the ground is what has taken my core strength to the next level.  I am finally starting to see the strength in my hips and core that I was working so hard to get to no avail.

             

            But the resistance bands and Myrtle exercises still have a place in my core workout regiment.  As does stretching and flexibility work, which was something else I had to learn the hard way.  

             

            He does say that isolated core exercises may not do much good. All is in balance. So the core exercises I'll eventually do will be while holding balance, like you do with your red band. I was thinking about you in some parts reading the book, how red band core strenghtening 'fits' with what's in this book.

             

            What I like about the book is that he has tests to assess your overall strengths and weaknesses, so I can focus on my worse weaknesses at first. I think it's the next best thing to doing total workouts like you are doing (Red Cord and others that work on strength and balance at the same time).


            Girl Parts

              Good write up!  I agree - it can be a dull topic, but I did like the book a lot.

               

              I will say that pretty much everything he covers is something that I've heard from my physical therapists at one point or another, so I do think it's pretty solid in terms of advice.   (Either that, or everyone is wrong. lol)  He puts it all together nicely.

               

              I totally have what he calls "The Toilet Bowl of Doom".  Don't google that. lol   I basically means you have too much curve in your lower back, quad dominant (most runners are) and your hip flexors are too tight, pulling your pelvis forward.   We're working on that a lot after my hip surgery because it made my hip flexors even MORE tight and getting the strength balanced in the hips and glutes vs. the quads.

               


                I totally have what he calls "The Toilet Bowl of Doom".  Don't google that. lol   I basically means you have too much curve in your lower back, quad dominant (most runners are) and your hip flexors are too tight, pulling your pelvis forward.   We're working on that a lot after my hip surgery because it made my hip flexors even MORE tight and getting the strength balanced in the hips and glutes vs. the quads.

                 

                LOL. I'm happy that, from the tests I did this morning, I'm not in that category. I'm not so quad dominant, I have a tendency to be calf dominant, and my hip flexors' flexibility could be improved, but is not my weakest spot.

                 

                So that's at least two of us who liked it.

                LRB


                Dreamer

                  - Run from the glutes. That won't take any more of my time. Tried it this morning. I *think* it was making me faster without working any harder. But my saturday runs always feel easy because friday is my full day off. I'll see tomorrow in my long run. The idea is to use as many muscles as possible when running. Not just the calves and quads like many runners do (myself included). Be more effective.

                   

                  I tried that after reading an article in Running Times about it and again after the subject came up in the dailies and both times my ass simply did not respond.  lol

                   

                  I have since found however that a lot of my problem is that I have the strength, it's just my muscles are not firing properly.  So it might be a neuromuscular thing, pertaining to the muscles and associated nerves.

                   

                  I might have to revisit trying to get my ass muscles more involved now that I am further along.

                   

                  The other thing they talked about was running as if your pelvic region was a bowl of soup, and you were trying not to spill any.  I realized rather quickly that I already run that way on my own so I was 1 for 2 in those tasks.

                  "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."

                  LRB


                  Dreamer

                    I totally have what he calls "The Toilet Bowl of Doom".  Don't google that. lol

                     

                    Not in this case but it's weird how if you have safe search turned off how some of the most innocent terms can load your screen up with a billion pics of smut.  lol

                     

                    Sometimes it's just one word that does it!

                    "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."


                    Girl Parts

                       

                       

                       

                      This post from Professor O in the dailies regarding core work pretty much blasts the nail on the head in one full stroke:

                       

                       

                       

                      I can't take full credit for that.  It's mostly from this book:

                       

                      New Rules of Lifting for Abs


                      Which I HIGHLY recommend if you want to really get into core work, etc.

                       

                        Don't know if I'mdoing it correctly. I was trying to focus on getting the leg pulled down instead of pushing it down. I felt my butt was working a bit more than usual by doing that. But I was not sending a cristal clear brain to butt signal to do the running.

                         

                         

                        I tried that after reading an article in Running Times about it and again after the subject came up in the dailies and both times my ass simply did not respond.  lol

                         

                        happylily


                           

                          I can't take full credit for that.  It's mostly from this book:

                           

                          New Rules of Lifting for Abs


                          Which I HIGHLY recommend if you want to really get into core work, etc.

                           

                          Oski, the book looks interesting but three hours a week? That's about 21-24 miles of running right there!

                           

                          An expert fitness team shares its cutting-edge program for achieving phenomenal abs-in just three hours a week.

                          PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                                  Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                          4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     


                          Girl Parts

                             

                            Oski, the book looks interesting but three hours a week? That's about 21-24 miles of running right there!

                             

                            An expert fitness team shares its cutting-edge program for achieving phenomenal abs-in just three hours a week.

                             

                            I'm sure they won't mind if you don't do all of it.  lol

                             

                            It's a whole body program - so legs, upper body, etc, that all works the core.

                             

                            happylily


                               

                              I'm sure they won't mind if you don't do all of it.  lol

                               

                              It's a whole body program - so legs, upper body, etc, that all works the core.

                               

                              Ah, ok. I wish I were not so lazy and spent more time exercising and less time online.

                              PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                                      Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                              4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs     

                              LRB


                              Dreamer

                                Ah, ok. I wish I were not so lazy and spent more time exercising and less time online.

                                 

                                Word.

                                 

                                I have a passion for running and a passion for surfin' the 'net.  And I am trying to get better at both.  lol

                                "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."

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