Thursday, September 20, 2012

Anyone Can Run But Can You Run Fast

The Difference In Types Of Training And Their Transfer Over To Different Activities


Gavril L. just asked "was speaking with a running coach at run club last night, he stated "running distance has many benefits but it will not make you faster, if you want to improve your times you must do sprint/burst training..do you agree?"
Yes. Speed is training your body to fire its muscle fibers, especially at a certain tissue length, and at a certain rate of force production. These are all trained into the reflexes of your muscles. When your muscles are fast, you can easily make it slow down. If you have slow muscles, you can't make it fire quickly.

A person who learns a slow martial arts such as Tai Chi has a hard time with quicker martial arts, that is not how they trained their muscles. But a martial artist who trained fast martial arts can easily transition to a slow art later in life when they feel the need to slow things down. The transfer works only one way.

What About Yoga For Sports?

It's the same with other things. People often do yoga thinking it will better their balance for sports but yoga demands static balance, and static flexibility. Sports demands dynamic flexibility and dynamic balance. Dynamic meaning being able to stretch out to catch a ball in mid stride while hopping on one foot. This is much different than the demands of trying to hold a yoga tree pose. So an athlete would find a much easier time holding a tree pose, than an avid yogi would trying to catch a football in mid-stride. So when doing activity you also have to take into account transfer, meaning usually harder things trickle down to easier things, unlimited easy things do not transfer uphill the same way.

So a sprinter can run long distances. But a long distance runner may not be able to sprint at respectable speeds. Your body will always adapt to imposed demands. If you do not impose speed demands on it, it will not make the necessary adaptations to be able to run quickly. But if you were slow, and learned to be fast, you can be fast and slow, you can pick your gear.

What About Running For Weight Loss?

So you can find heavier set people who can run very long distances. You will rarely find a heavy set person running quickly. You can find a leaner athletic person be able to do both. Often times performance goals will create a better body than just goals for trying to get a better body. Remember your body looks to adapt to what's most efficient. Is it easier to make your body smaller from running? Yes. Is it also easier just to make your heart bigger to run with a bigger body? Yes. Running and jogging is at its apex in popularity while obesity is also at its apex.

And stride for stride, running on your heels is like putting on the breaks every time you run. So a lot of people who were able to get away with heel striking when they jogged cannot do so when they run fast. Whereas midfoot striking allows one to run fast or slow without the same impact to your skeletal system as well as connective tissue.
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