Energy saving idea

Posted: September 19, 2007 in marathon training

One of the most effective ways to improve your running ability is to reduce the amount of energy you waste with each stride by correcting particular stride errors. I have just read an article on www.active.com that says, the most common energy-wasting stride errors is failure to properly activate the deep abdominal muscles that are responsible for maintaining pelvic stability during running. According to Michael Fredericson, Ph.D., a running biomechanics expert at Stanford University, 90 percent of runners exhibit this flaw.

If you are an amateur like me you probably are not aware where this abdominal muscles are located. And you might not have been aware of the error when doing your marathon runs. Keep reading!

The article is too technical to understand but they have given a small analogy ” Imagine you’re trying to push a heavy trunk forward on a tile floor. The trouble is that you’re standing on a small rug that starts to slide backward every time you try to push the trunk forward. Removing the rug allows your feet to get a more stable grip on the floor, so that more of your muscle energy is transferred to the trunk.”

In this analogy, the slipping rug is like deep abdominal muscles that are not properly activated. Removing the rug is like tightening your deep abdominal muscles so that your pelvis is stable, allowing more of your muscle work to translate into forward movement.

Run mindfully.

To activate the deep abdominal muscles you are adviced. “A moment before you start your next run, pull your navel gently towards your spine and roll your pelvis slightly backward. As you start running, concentrate hard on maintaining this posture.” Its important to learn to concentrate on feeling your body and not let your mind wander aimlessly. When I do my marathon runs I have found myself thinking of all sorts of things, money, family, goals and even sex.  For a clearer understanding read the whole article. Happy trails.

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