Holistic approaches in physical therapy, sports medicine, and coaching are the new norm. And modern advances in these fields have rightfully overtaken conventional stretching, strengthening and technique advice. But now we’re being barraged by a mind-boggling array of hyper-specialized mobility/stability tests, corrective exercises, frame-by-frame video analytics, and wearable technology to track our every move.
In order to separate and clarify the elements of breakthrough marathon performance, we need to acknowledge some of the most widespread problems.
The date: Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. The place: the Placer High track in Auburn, California, the finish line of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. It was early evening, and the race course was buzzing with anticipation that the 100-mile record was about to be demolished. When Jim Walmsley rounded the top of the track, a loving crowd roared their appreciation for his marvelous achievement.
One thing I love about the Bolder Boulder Citizen’s Race is that the frequent bends and turns in the course offer a perfect opportunity to employ a fun racing tactic I learned from the great Frank Shorter:"In any kind of distance race there is an invisible thread that stretches about 10 meters. If a fellow competitor is running 10 meters or less in front of you, you’ll find that you can usually pull even or spurt past them anytime you choose."
Approached confidently, varying the terrain on which you train actually helps you become more efficient and reduces your chances of injury by breaking up the repetition of the same motions. The more precise coordination required to accelerate down a hill or to sustain a steady rhythm up to the top of a mountain pass when combined with the corresponding changes in cadence and habitual stride patterns serve to alleviate the repetitive-stress (and aches and pains) of running the same pace mile after mile on the flats.