Monday, January 7, 2008

Building A Better Runner - Review

Building From The Ground Up

Coach Jay Johnson from the University of Colorado and Coach Mike Smith from Kansas State University have developed a DVD that helps runners build strength from the feet up. The rationale is that by strengthening from the feet up, the feet get stronger, which leads to fewer injuries, which means a runner can train harder, therefore run faster.

The DVD explains how to build strength from three perspectives.
1) Posture - things that are supportive in nature/to be more stable.
2) Work Capacity - Things that are building your ability to do more/to apply more force.
3) Force Application - Power/increase your capacity to do more work.

There are over 100 preventive and strength exercises on the DVD that are explained through example and easy to follow. The preventive exercises focus on the feet and legs and are designed to help give runners a better chance of running injury free. The strength exercises focus on the entire body with a great philosophy on the core. Many runners focus on building strength in their abs by doing crunches. While building strength in the abs is a good thing for a runner, the rest of the core is ignored. Within the DVD, the abs are explained as three dimensional, 360 degrees. With this is mind, exercises are given to develop all aspects of the core which builds a well balanced, strong center.

BUILDING A BETTER RUNNER is a great tool for any runner to have. There are several exercises that one can pick out of the DVD and follow. Coaches can use the DVD to follow the routines explained or to develop their own. The best part about the exercises is that they can be done almost anywhere, you don't need a high school or university setting to set up a routine.

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