Training, Technique & Skill Development Programs
Lao Tzu, the father of Confucianism is quoted as saying “a journey of a thousand miles beings with a single step”. Runners have taken this quote literally, believing that to begin logging thousands of miles, to start training as a runner begins literally with a step and then another step, and another. Runners misunderstand that the quote is not to be taken literally as a guide to training as a runner: what the initial step is and how that initial step is taken is more important than simply taking the step to start. You have to take the right single step into order to start on the right journey; the wrong step can only lead to the wrong journey.
To run like a world class champion you need to start from the same place a world class champion starts their training: posture, form, and flexibility. To start training as a runner without these three attributes is the equivalent of planning to fail. To begin your journey of thousands and thousands of miles, start with the right step: a step training posture, form, and flexibility and when you have gained these basics, then progress to actual running steps.
Running – Novice Level
To run easily, efficiently, lightly over the ground instead of plodding or trudging, the core has to be able to support both the weight and the movement of the body, while simultaneously providing for breathing to remain diaphragmatic. In addition, the core has to also be able to remain dynamic while the lower body takes stride after stride propelling the body forward. It may seem like a simple task, but to execute is anything but simple.
Running does not start with a pair of shoes, a road race, or miles and miles of running. Training starts in the gym by gaining the flexibility and the mobility in the ankles, hip joints and the spine so that movement is free, light, easy and efficient. Training then adds core strength and endurance exercises to develop power from where power must arise to remain injury free: the core. You do not run with your legs, you run from your core.
Before you start to run, you need to prep your joints, your ligaments, your tendons, your muscles… you need to prep your body to handle the loads associated with running. If not, then injuries are a virtual certainty. Changing from standing on two legs to standing on one leg results in weight bearing forces that are 3x as much. Changing to running results in load forces that are 6x as much as when standing on two legs. If your bones, your joints, your ligaments, your tendons, your muscles… if your body is not prepared to handle the repeated large loads that come with running, then aches, pains and injuries from running should be no surprise.
We spend so much time sitting these days (e.g. commuting, desk jockey, meetings after meetings, on the couch) that our body parts are simply not ready to start any sort of running training program. The proper starting point is Fundamental Dryland Training to strengthen the core, perform posture and form training, to develop balance and coordination. Then, the progression is to running drills where basic run technique is trained. An aerobic (i.e. cardio-respiratory) base can be developed alongside so that when you do progress to running… its light, its free, its enjoyable, its ache and pain free, and most importantly injury free.
Achieving your potential as a runner either in running as a standalone sport or as a component of triathlons requires athletes to start right, and progress right. When athletes start right, then they do not encounter setbacks down the road. Progress may seem slow at first, but in the long term runners who start right and progress right don’t end up with nagging problems that physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists seem unable to solve (because the root is improper training, not a simple biomechanical issue that just needs to be taped, ‘racked & cracked’ to be ‘put back in place’, rubbed down to be “fixed”).
Click on Dryland in the Main Menu for program info & registration options.
Running – Sport & Performance Levels
With a core that allows freedom in movement and has the strength and endurance to support the body in movement… the next step is to train the ABCs of running: the agility, balance, and coordination needed for stride symmetry, for stride length, and for proper cadence. The way to train all of these is through running drills.
With a core, an aerobic base, and running drills as all routines of the training program, the athlete can progress to running. Developing a training program that will continue the athlete to see consistent progress and results requires one on one coaching. As a result, TOETT partners with The Athletes Cloud for all advanced level coaching in running. Click on the banner below to link to the TAC (The Athletes Cloud) website to learn more.