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Old 06-21-2015, 22:51   #16
PSM
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Originally Posted by GratefulCitizen View Post
Chatted with him this evening and mentioned the post.
He really wanted to stress the benefits of avoiding running on hard surfaces.

Dirt trails, grass, dirt/cinder tracks, or even gravel roads are best for the majority of training mileage.
Never on concrete, and limit asphalt when possible.

All-weather tracks are good for the occasional faster stuff, but slight surface irregularities are good for the lower leg when doing base work.

HTH
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Clear out some of your PMs, please.) Incoming.

Pat
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Old 06-21-2015, 23:57   #17
GratefulCitizen
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(GC,

Clear out some of your PMs, please.) Incoming.

Pat
Runway clear.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:52   #18
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Great advice, I find it funny that despite great advice like this, the military as a whole and especially combat arms choses to just run men into the ground. Suck it up, drive on, don't worry about those knees blowing out at 35. Hopefully common sense prevails, someday. Until then everyone will continue destroying their bodies.
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Old 07-04-2015, 13:44   #19
GratefulCitizen
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Great advice, I find it funny that despite great advice like this, the military as a whole and especially combat arms choses to just run men into the ground. Suck it up, drive on, don't worry about those knees blowing out at 35. Hopefully common sense prevails, someday. Until then everyone will continue destroying their bodies.
Have some thoughts concerning knee issues.
Much of this is collected anecdotally, but I've seen consistent good results when heeded, and consistent bad results when ignored.

Knee stability is affected by interactions among the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
Particular imbalances in strength and flexibility have a huge effect.

General principals:
Strong quads + weak/flexible hamstrings + inflexible calves = knee problems.

If you have knee issues:
Do not work on hamstring flexibility, do work on calf flexibility.
Do not work on quadriceps strength, do work on hamstring strength.

NEVER do machine leg-extensions. EVER.
Machine leg-curls are OK, but stiff-legged dead lifts are far superior.

Barbell squats are a complex issue, they can be beneficial or harmful depending on a number of circumstances.
Leg presses/hip sled are generally an inferior choice.

Keep body weight as low as possible.
Avoid thick-heeled shoes when possible.

HTH.
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"Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." -Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NIV)

Last edited by GratefulCitizen; 07-04-2015 at 14:03.
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Old 07-25-2015, 18:13   #20
GratefulCitizen
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Chatted with the old man some more.
He decided to race some shorter stuff in the outdoor track championships (he generally runs the road/cross country stuff, and has won everything from the 8k to the half-marathon that have so far occurred this season).

He entered and won the 800m and 1500m.
The 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the 800m were actually faster in sheer speed, but he won by pressuring them and relying on superior conditioning.

Sometimes it isn't your strengths that matter.
It's your lack of weaknesses.

On the final straight, he was able to maintain function while his competitors broke down.
According to him, this is not just a matter of metabolic conditioning, it is a matter of neuromuscular conditioning.

When he trains with high volume and limited intensity, he not only gains metabolic conditioning, his body gets a great deal of "practice" running correctly.
Practice makes permanent, perfect practice makes perfect.

It's an issue of repetition.
When people train too hard, they are pressing their body to do things incorrectly, and their body remembers to do the "incorrect" thing.

This can lead to poor performance.
It also leads to injury.

Any movement involves force production by muscles.
The force of the movement is affected by intermuscular coordination, intramuscular coordination, recruitment levels in the muscles, and rate coding.

"Intermuscular coordination" is coordination as most of us understand.
It is a learned skill.

"Intramuscular coordination" is the degree to which muscle fibers within a given muscle fire synchronously or asynchronously.
This affects force production, how smooth or explosive the contraction is, and it is a learned skill.

"Recruitment levels" refer how many motor units (a group of muscle fibers activated by a particular motor neuron) within the muscle are called up to produce force.
They are recruited in an orderly fashion, from weakest to strongest, and while not exactly a learned skill, the threshold for recruiting the last, strongest ones can be lowered through training.

"Rate coding" refers to the firing frequency of motor units, the greater the frequency, the greater the force production.
This is the method the body uses to produce more force after most of the fibers have been recruited.

(There is also "rate of force production" which is very important but it is kind of a function of the things listed).

So, what the hell does this have to do with running and other conditioning?

Most of western training tends to focus on metabolic training: the ability of the body to produce energy and use various energy systems.
While this does matter, it sometimes comes at the expense of proper neuromuscular training.

Every movement is a skill.
As soon as the weakest muscle involved in the practice of a skill is no longer able to generate sufficient force, the movement degrades.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Every muscle functions somewhat differently, but they must work together to move the body.
For example, large muscle groups tend to use higher levels of recruitment up to about 80% of maximum voluntary force, and rely on rate coding after that, whereas smaller muscle groups use recruitment up to about 50% of maximum voluntary force, and start relying on rate coding after that.

Sufficient repetition and proper skill in a movement matter.
They should not be sacrificed for the sake of proving "mental toughness".

Testing is not training.

Here's the 800m championships for the 70-74 age range.
In the final stretch on the second lap, you can see how form broke down for the 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

http://www.usatf.tv/gprofile.php?mgr...ideo_id=152538

Those guys run pretty hard for men in their 70s!
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Waiting for the perfect moment is a fruitless endeavor.
Make a decision, and then make it the right one through your actions.
"Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." -Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NIV)
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