Squats necessary for military fitness of deads + KBs enough?

psmith

Double-Digit Post Count
Have you ever truly worked on your running technique?
I've paid some attention to the low-hanging fruit--counting footfalls and keeping cadence up (still quite a bit below 180 spm at MAF pace, but I can hold 171-180 spm for at least an hour at with comfortable nose breathing at >MAF), quiet footfalls, standing up straight, shoes with little or no drop, varied surfaces. But nothing super in-depth yet.

I got in touch with a local PT through the Natural Running Center guys recently and scheduled an appointment, so I'm hoping that that can yield some useful insights. We'll see.
 

Snowman

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I don't think there's any one weird trick, unfortunately.
I politely disagree. Unless you have some substantial lower extremity malformation, running correctly will only cause pain if you do too much too soon. There are a variety of "running techniques" out there, but there are common threads among them, and there are also common practices among nearly all high level runners.
Almost all of them:
-Have a high running cadence, around 180 steps per minute
-Have a mid-foot/fore-foot strike that allows them to use the elastic capability of their arch and (mostly) Achilles tendon
-Have light steps; the heels just "kiss" the ground
-Maintain a "tall" posture that allows for adequate breathing
-Have is very little up-and-down movement of the head while running
-Place each step pretty close to their center of gravity, as opposed to reaching out in front of their body
-Initiate forward motion by a forward lean of the entire body, as opposed to pulling themselves along with their feet

Not only do these things optimize running efficiency, but if you don't do them, it's very difficult to sustain enough injury-free running volume to get to an elite level. Hence why the majority of elite runners essentially run the same way, regardless of their nation of origin, footwear, etc.

You shouldn't have to focus on each point individually. For instance, it's very difficult for you feet to land out in front of you when you have a cadence of 180. If your feet are landing directly underneath your center of mass, it's almost impossible to heel-strike.

I found that focusing on cadence first helped the others fall into place, but your results may vary. I would do a lot of self assessment/video recording/in-person-coaching before you say that you can't run without injury. As someone who ran injured for the first four or five years of their running "career"due to poor technique (and is maybe just a little bitter about it o_O), I'm telling you that, if you hurt when you run, it's either because you run poorly or you're doing too much too soon.
 
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Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
I politely disagree. Unless you have some substantial lower extremity malformation, running correctly will only cause pain if you do too much too soon. There are a variety of "running techniques" out there, but there are common threads among them, and there are also common practices among nearly all high level runners.
Almost all of them:
-Have a high running cadence, around 180 steps per minute
-Have a mid-foot/fore-foot strike that allows them to use the elastic capability of their arch and (mostly) Achilles tendon
-Have light steps; the heels just "kiss" the ground
-Maintain a "tall" posture that allows for adequate breathing
-Have is very little up-and-down movement of the head while running
-Place each step pretty close to their center of gravity, as opposed to reaching out in front of their body
-Initiate forward motion by a forward lean of the entire body, as opposed to pulling themselves along with their feet

Not only do these things optimize running efficiency, but if you don't do them, it's very difficult to sustain enough injury-free running volume to get to an elite level. Hence why the majority of elite runners essentially run the same way, regardless of their nation of origin, footwear, etc.

You shouldn't have to focus on each point individually. For instance, it's very difficult for you feet to land out in front of you when you have a cadence of 180. If your feet are landing directly underneath your center of mass, it's almost impossible to heel-strike.

I found that focusing on cadence first helped the others fall into place, but your results may vary. I would do a lot of self assessment/video recording/in-person-coaching before you say that you can't run without injury. As someone who ran injured for the first four or five years of their running "career"due to poor technique (and is maybe just a little bitter about it o_O), I'm telling you that, if you hurt when you run, it's either because you run poorly or you're doing too much too soon.
Well said, Matt. And where I was going.
 

psmith

Double-Digit Post Count
There are a variety of "running techniques" out there, but there are common threads among them, and there are also common practices among nearly all high level runners.
Almost all of them:
-Have a high running cadence, around 180 steps per minute
-Have a mid-foot/fore-foot strike that allows them to use the elastic capability of their arch and (mostly) Achilles tendon
-Have light steps; the heels just "kiss" the ground
-Maintain a "tall" posture that allows for adequate breathing
-Have is very little up-and-down movement of the head while running
-Place each step pretty close to their center of gravity, as opposed to reaching out in front of their body
-Initiate forward motion by a forward lean of the entire body, as opposed to pulling themselves along with their feet
That's not one weird trick, that's, like, a dozen different weird tricks!

Not only do these things optimize running efficiency
This appears to be untrue at least for footstrike, though running economy may trade off against injury resistance in some variables. See here for a review citing multiple original studies: sci-hub.tw/10.1016/j.jshs.2017.02.004
More personally, I'll note that deliberately switching to a rearfoot strike resulted in substantially less foot pain for me.

Unless you have some substantial lower extremity malformation, running correctly will only cause pain if you do too much too soon
I want to push back on this a little bit. "If it hurts, you did too much too soon." Well, yeah. If it didn't hurt (and wasn't cutting into your other obligations and goals) it wouldn't be too much, it would just be a lot. But it's not very helpful advice if "too much too soon" turns out to be the same as "any ever". Of course, "just don't run" is a perfectly reasonable strategy in many cases, but it's not going to work if you need to run for, e.g., the military. Run/walk programs are great and to the extent that I ever improved my running as an adult that's how I did it, but I have to autoregulate by pain the next day or pain the next week rather than by perceived effort at the time, which is tricky.

Likewise, nobody's lower extremities are PT-school perfect, particularly nobody who grew up wearing shoes. "You have flat arches, you shouldn't run." "You have high arches, you shouldn't run." "You have Morton's toe, you shouldn't run." "You have limited hallux dorsiflexion, you shouldn't run." "Women in general have too high a Q-angle and shouldn't run"--I think Mike Boyle or someone like that actually said this, though that may have been part clickbait. A sufficiently educated observer can always find something wrong, you know? But we don't let the relevant equivalents stop us from, for example, lifting weights or riding a bike or rowing--at least, I never did, and while I haven't accomplished anything of note in any of those areas I haven't spontaneously combusted or had my training limited by mysterious chronic pains, either.

(I, in my turn, am slightly bitter about having heard a lot of this stuff from medical professionals.).
 

Snowman

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
This appears to be untrue at least for footstrike, though running economy may trade off against injury resistance in some variables. See here for a review citing multiple original studies: sci-hub.tw/10.1016/j.jshs.2017.02.004
More personally, I'll note that deliberately switching to a rearfoot strike resulted in substantially less foot pain for me.
That paper brings up a lot of good points; it looks like I might have to re-evaluate some of my assumptions regarding foot strike.

I'm certainly biased by my experiences. As they pointed out:
"Kulmala and colleagues found that forefoot runners had less patello-femoral stress than rearfoot runners but that rearfoot runners had lower plantar flexor muscle and Achilles tendon loading than forefoot runners. Similarly, Rooney and Derrick found that a forefoot strike resulted in greater axial ankle joint contact force compared with a rearfoot strike"
I ran with a prominent heel strike and always got runner's knee when I increased my mileage to anything respectable. For years. Obviously, my knees were not set up to run that way. When I changed the way I ran, I definitely had issues with my Achiles tendon and feet, but with one significant difference: with appropriate, gradual, training, the issues resolved. After which, I was able to run faster with less effort.
I would also like to see this data relative to people's running cadence. I would bet a heel-striker with a higher cadence is still going to have fewer injuries and greater efficiency that one with a low cadence (which was also an issue of mine). I should probably point out that I do understand the 180 is more of a mid-range target than an actual goal.
Perhaps I am mis-attributing how much of my personal benefits were because of changing cadence and how much were because of changing foot strike. Or something else altogether.

Well, yeah. If it didn't hurt (and wasn't cutting into your other obligations and goals) it wouldn't be too much, it would just be a lot. But it's not very helpful advice if "too much too soon" turns out to be the same as "any ever"
Good point, but if I can pick it apart to an even more basic (though maybe less helpful) truth, let's look at our assumptions. I think we can assume that nearly all anatomically normal humans can run in a way that is beneficial and does not cause pain. Even if we throw out specific suggestions altogether. For me, a low cadence, rearfoot strike caused injury for a very long time. A high cadence, forefoot strike caused injury for a short period of time, then caused dramatic improvement. Conceivably, every time someone changes their running technique, it's going to require new types of tissue adaptation, and the "weak links" will almost certainly end up in some state (mild, moderate, or severe) of injury. The question is not "does this new way of running hurt right now," but "will this new way of running allow me to safely accumulate volume long term?" The only way to find that out is to try something gradually enough that it doesn't cause a training-limiting injury, and for long enough that you have a chance to see what happens after the tissues adapt.

Likewise, nobody's lower extremities are PT-school perfect, particularly nobody who grew up wearing shoes. "You have flat arches, you shouldn't run." "You have high arches, you shouldn't run." "You have Morton's toe, you shouldn't run." "You have limited hallux dorsiflexion, you shouldn't run." "Women in general have too high a Q-angle and shouldn't run"--I think Mike Boyle or someone like that actually said this, though that may have been part clickbait. A sufficiently educated observer can always find something wrong, you know? But we don't let the relevant equivalents stop us from, for example, lifting weights or riding a bike or rowing--at least, I never did, and while I haven't accomplished anything of note in any of those areas I haven't spontaneously combusted or had my training limited by mysterious chronic pains, either.
Agreed. And I guess this is my point. There's certainly a way for most people to do most movements without pain, and with a certain degree of proficiency. That might look different for different people, but the fundamental capability is there.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
That's not one weird trick, that's, like, a dozen different weird tricks!


This appears to be untrue at least for footstrike, though running economy may trade off against injury resistance in some variables. See here for a review citing multiple original studies: sci-hub.tw/10.1016/j.jshs.2017.02.004
More personally, I'll note that deliberately switching to a rearfoot strike resulted in substantially less foot pain for me.


I want to push back on this a little bit. "If it hurts, you did too much too soon." Well, yeah. If it didn't hurt (and wasn't cutting into your other obligations and goals) it wouldn't be too much, it would just be a lot. But it's not very helpful advice if "too much too soon" turns out to be the same as "any ever". Of course, "just don't run" is a perfectly reasonable strategy in many cases, but it's not going to work if you need to run for, e.g., the military. Run/walk programs are great and to the extent that I ever improved my running as an adult that's how I did it, but I have to autoregulate by pain the next day or pain the next week rather than by perceived effort at the time, which is tricky.

Likewise, nobody's lower extremities are PT-school perfect, particularly nobody who grew up wearing shoes. "You have flat arches, you shouldn't run." "You have high arches, you shouldn't run." "You have Morton's toe, you shouldn't run." "You have limited hallux dorsiflexion, you shouldn't run." "Women in general have too high a Q-angle and shouldn't run"--I think Mike Boyle or someone like that actually said this, though that may have been part clickbait. A sufficiently educated observer can always find something wrong, you know? But we don't let the relevant equivalents stop us from, for example, lifting weights or riding a bike or rowing--at least, I never did, and while I haven't accomplished anything of note in any of those areas I haven't spontaneously combusted or had my training limited by mysterious chronic pains, either.

(I, in my turn, am slightly bitter about having heard a lot of this stuff from medical professionals.).
Agree with a lot of this. It’s a process, sometimes very slow and dependent on your start point. Center mass is: if you’re not working on easing the collision of your foot with the earth, not much else matters. Aircraft nose up on landing, while most humans just plod, complain, and then quickly decide, “not for me”.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Good point, but if I can pick it apart to an even more basic (though maybe less helpful) truth, let's look at our assumptions. I think we can assume that nearly all anatomically normal humans can run in a way that is beneficial and does not cause pain.
I think we also have to recognize that even with perfect form any physical activity has the potential to lead to "overuse" injuries. Anatomical differences and technique may account for some of this, but I'd guess more folk will experience issues than not at some point in their running career if they put up serious numbers consistently. Maybe not enough to sideline them, but enough to change how they run.

When I ran more consistently I alternated between heel and forefoot strides (mostly forefoot tho) just like I make small changes to my paddling technique when doing a long canoe. I suspect running forefoot leading and doing a lot of jumprope without enough after action stretching of the calves contributed to my heel spurs.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Terrain is another variable to consider in the equation. Running on concrete or asphalt (which is almost always cambered) is quite a bit different from running on trails. Rough uneven surfaces pose their own challenges, but I think in some respect it can be more benign.
(46 years of running....)
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
A slight change of subject because it's about walking, not running, but if you can find an empty parking lot, try walking with your eyes closed. We have a funeral home a couple of blocks from our house and because it's between us and the part of town we shop in, we go through it all the time. And since, if you'll forgive the pun, people don't seem to be dying to park there, it's empty or nearly empty often.

My wife and I both have had the same experience - when you close your eyes, the things that happen could be summarized as all those kinds of things that are being discussed in this thread. In particular, we notice our head and neck retract, our stride shortens to the front and, just in general, we're more balanced in the center as opposed to reaching out in front of us.

I find this extremely instructive and do it all the time. I will open my eyes, very briefly, to check on my position as needed, but have been able to walk 50 steps or so with my eyes closed.

And, of course, you can do this with a training partner - one walks with eyes closed while the other minds your path, incoming vehicles, etc. - safer that way.

-S-
 
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