This week on the A to Z Running Podcast we are discussing functional movement for runners. Functional movement enhances your life by strengthening & activating muscles you use. Functional movement for runners has the same benefits!
Main Topic: Functional Movement for Runners
What is functional movement?
According to Mayo Clinic, “Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to help you do everyday activities safely and efficiently.” Functional exercises tend to use multiple joints and numerous muscles.
Why does Phil Wharton suggest that there are basics before functional movement?
- Because if we have a muscle that isn’t firing, a weakness, tightness, then we may do our functional movement exercises improperly.
- So start with posture and structural aspects.
Functional Movement Resources
- Jay Dicharry’s Running Rewired
- Functional Movement Assessment (chapter 17 from Musculoskeletal Interventions: Techniques for Therapeutic Exercise)
What Runners Need to Know
- Comparison to ball sports – technique, fundamentals (think: Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers)
- Remember deliberate practice
- “running form follows body function.” (Dicharry, p. ix)
Good movement needs to be automatic
- Three stages of building muscle memory (Dicharry, pp. 14-15)
- Cognitive (have to think about it, not smooth or natural)
- Associative (still thinking about it, but can make it happen)
- Autonomous (the movement is natural and normal)
- “In sports, muscles don’t act in isolation the way they do on the leg extension machine–you need to train movements, no muscles.” (Dicharry, p. 16)
- Coordination, control, and precision
- High volume, little resistance
- Practice couple times/week
What Runners Need to Do
Identify areas of need
- Start with posture/structure things
- Take a look at this Functional Movement Assessment chapter for more reading
- Implement a routine that targets specific needs, and if none that still addresses the essentials for every runner (think: running movement)
Neuromuscular training as a regular asset
- To accomplish the system intelligence
- Needs to be frequent/often
- Needs to follow postural/structural corrections (fix that stuff first)
Seek functional movement, not isolated muscle work
- Avoid machines
- Avoid big heavy lifts on isolated muscle groups
The exception: specific muscle weakness or recruitment issues
- There is sometimes cause for isolated muscle work
- This probably needs to be determined by an expert
Some examples to get you started
- Leg strength circuit (we have two variations: plyometric version and stationary version – both developed in conjunction with Adam Homolka of Endurance Rehabilitation and Athletics in Ada, MI)
- Lunge matrix we’ve referred to often on the show (video coming soon)
- Jay Dicharry’s Hip Circuit (from the book)
- Jay Dicharry’s Performance Prep Circuit (from the book)
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World of Running
Congrats to A to Z Runners who ran this weekend. Lots of great performances! It was also great to connect with some of you personally at the Lake Michigan Credit Union Bridge Run.
Also, shout out to
- Laura for a 14k PR (during which she ran well under her official 10k PR)
- Bill for a half marathon PR,
- Zach, Jacob, and Kait for 10 mile PRs, and
- Chelsea for a 10k PR
- Cathy completed her debut marathon!
#1. The second Young brother to break HS records… (DyeStat)
- Click here for a link to the article.
- Junior Leo Young just broke the HS 3mi record, running 13:38 (something like 14:10 pace for 5k)
- Who previously held that record? Leo’s older brother Nico from two years before.
- Oh and by the way, Leo’s twin brother Lex only ran 6 seconds slower
- Their team, Newberry Park, is currently touted as the best HS cross country team ever (confirming this by breaking the 5-person team time record by nearly 2 minutes)
- The top 4 finishers on their team were all within 8 second of the previous record, as well
#2. No, Don’t “Attack the Hill.” Here’s How to Run Smarter in Hilly Races. (Podium Runner)
Click here for a link to the article (published by Richard Lovett)
- Lovett refers to a Salazar experiment: running 400m repeats uphill, then 400m repeats of the same effort on track
- Used HR monitor to measure effort
- Ran exact HR on both locations
- What was the result? Less difference across efforts when running on hill vs. on falt
#3. A few other things…
- Cole Hocker signs with Nike
- Hocker has had a phenomenal season, winning the U.S. Olympic Trials as a 20-year-old and placing sixth in the 1,500m at the Tokyo Olympics, where he ran a personal best time of 3:31.40. He is also a three-time NCAA champion on the track in one season, winning the mile and 3,000m indoors, and the 1,500m outdoors.
- It has not been announced which club Hocker will be training with or if he will continue training with the University of Oregon team.
- XC World Championships
- The event, which had been due to take place in 2021, has been rescheduled to February 18 2023 by World Athletics and local organisers.
- It had been pushed back to this year because of strict travel measures in Australia, whose borders are closed to international visitors.
- World Athletics said the 14-day quarantine requirements in Australia “are not practical for a one-day event”, adding that the “health and safety of the entire running community and the host region is at the forefront of this postponement”.
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