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On Your Marks, Get Set, and Run Smarter Than Ever With The L Trainer

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Exercise Tips, Newsworthy Wellness

An Educated Team of Professionals Means Stronger, Healthier Runners

The L Trainer takes pride in our strong background in education and staying on top of the latest health and fitness research to best serve our clients. Last week, we jumped at the chance to hear what fellow fitness expert and top physical therapist Christopher Johnson (Zeren PT, Seattle) had to say about treadmill analysis. Chris (a fellow runner and triathlete coach) has treated several runners and triathletes both here in NYC and in his current home-base, Seattle.

We deal with several clients who run–after all, New York City is host to one of the largest and most popular marathons in the world–and getting the latest scoop was a must for our team of master trainers.  Not only did we become experts in treadmill analysis using the techniques described by Chris, but he additionally gave us his insight on some of hot topics thrown around in the running community (such as foot strike and barefoot trends, to name a few), and how the research/science supports (or in some cases, doesn’t support) some of catchphrases that are so commonly used. The best part about taking time out for education? We get to share our knowledge with you and our clients! Here’s our team’s top, take home points to share with our runner friends out there:

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It was nice to see Chris and so many of our other fellow fitness friends!

Top Takeaways For Runners:

Run Like Your Barefoot

Key word being “like”.  While being barefoot can sometimes change the mechanics of your running for the better, it is not necessary to run barefoot all the time (nor is it the smartest or most sanitary idea, even in places that are not New York City, as Chris pointed out). You just never know what is on the ground.

But running like you’re barefoot can be a useful (and much safer) training tool and the place to practice doing that is on a treadmill where you know you aren’t going to be stepping onto a needle, piece of glass, etc. Your barefoot treadmill run does not have to be very long–just enough to get a sense of how it feels. Embed that feeling into your brain and toes and then stick your shoes back on. Practice.

Heel Strike  or Toe Strike? All Good

Getting hung up on where your foot strikes the ground is not going to do anyone much good. We looked at the foot strike of elite, world class runners, and all of them varied, as did where they were striking at different points in the race (we really nerded out over running–it was the best night of my life). In short, trying to change your foot strike is not the best use of your time. So what is? See below!

 

Strength Train

Runners, if you are not pumping some iron, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. At The L Trainer, we incorporate resistance training into all of our runners’ programs, but runners, you need to be doing it on your own at least 2-3 times a week. Squats, step-ups, side step-ups, lunges–and don’t forget the upper body, as well (check out a few of our must-do moves for runners).

 

Run to the Beat

Of a metronome that is, and take shorter strides. Yes, shorter strides, not longer strides, will make you a more efficient runner and reduce your risk of running related injuries, and what better time to practice this skill than during the colder weather? Shorter strides and 5%-10% faster feet turnover will make a difference, and we do this by step rate.  To figure out what your current step rate per minute is, simply set your timer for 30 seconds and count how many times your left (or right) foot hits the ground. Then multiply by 4 and you have your step rate. Calculate the step rate that is 5% faster than your normal rate, set a metronome, and get moving.

 

Runners–we’ve got your back and the expertise to make you into a better runner from our newfound wisdom; contact The L Trainer today to get your treadmill analysis!

 

by Angie Knudson, Staff Writer for The L Trainer and word ninja