Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Good news managed the session today 8 x 6 mins at 1/2 marathon pace with 2 mins active recoveries between each effort at about 6.48 pace.
I don't know about you but the weather over here is really crap right now, with near gale force winds and blustery showers!
I headed for the Kings Gardens and as much shelter as I could get, but it was still tough going with the worst of the wind and showers for my last two efforts, someone really doesn't like me !
Here are my 6 min effort paces;
1/ 5.58 pace 2/ 5.54 pace 3/ 5.54 pace 4/ 5.57 5/ 5.58 6/ 5.56 7/ 6.08 8/ 6.02
Average pace of session inc rec 6.18, 9.97 miles in 1.02.50
Total time inc warm up-down = 1.27
Felt pretty strong until the 7th effort when I was hit by a blustery shower and even stronger winds, lost my concentration for a bit, i recovered and tried hard on the last one!
Tough session, glad I made it through.
Sciatic nerve a bit sore by the end but going for treatment tomorrow!
Posture Tips to self; keep hips pushed forward and run tall
They say if it don't kill you, it will make you stronger!
Mmmm, But that's just crazy talk,

Are you flexible enough to run ?

By Bob Prichard

Somax Performance Institute

Hamstring Range

Hamstring flexibility is critical to running. If your hamstrings are tight, they will restrict your Stride Angle, the maximum opening between your front and trailing leg. The bigger the Stride Angle, the faster you can run. For each degree you increase your Stride Angle, you add 2% to your stride length. With just a 10º in Stride Angle, you will cover an additional, effortless 20% more ground with each stride. Runners get tight hamstrings from crossing their legs over toward the midline as they run.

How to Measure

To measure your hamstring range, lie on your back and, keeping your knee locked straight, raise your leg as high as you can. Do this with the other leg. On the photos of your ranges, measure your range by drawing a line from the center of your thigh through the center of your ankle. Measure this line in relation to horizontal, as you see here.

You need a minimum range of 135º in order to run without your hamstrings holding you back. The biggest hamstring range we have ever measured in a runner was 180º.

Hip Flexion Range

Hip Flexion is critical to running speed. You need a lot of flexibility in this range in order to keep your knees high while you run. If your hips are tight, you will drop your knees and reduce your Stride Angle. For every degree you drop your knee, you reduce your stride length by 2%. Just a 10º drop and you will reduce your stride length by 20%. This happens often to runners with low Hip Flexion range. Because the hips are tight, the muscles that lift the knees tire quickly and the knees drop. Runners tend to make up for this knee drop by overstriding—which leads to injury. This is why runners get injured when they are tired.

How to measure

Lie on your back and pull your knee up toward your chest without bending your other knee. Do not use your hands to pull up your knee, as you don’t do this while you run. Have someone take a picture. Now do the other knee.

Draw a line through the center of your upper leg, and a vertical line through your hip, as you see here. Measure the angle between the lines. Do both legs. You need a minimum of 90º of Hip Flexion, or your hips will interfere with your running.

Hip Extension

Runners need lots of Hip Extension in order to achieve a good Stride Angle (110º or more) while they run. Poor hip extension is the primary reason runners bounce up and down so much when they run. A runner with a 3” bounce (typical for elite runners) runs up 1.24 vertical miles during a marathon, and drops down another 1.24 vertical miles, adding an additional 2.48 grueling miles to the marathon.

How to Measure

Lie on your stomach. Be sure to keep the hip bone at the front of your hip on the floor or table. This is difficult for most runners to do, as their hips are so tight that as soon as they lift their leg, they lift their hip. Make sure whoever is taking your photo confirms that your hip is on the table as you lift your leg as high as you can, without lifting your hip.

Do not be surprised if you have less than 60° of hip extension. This is usually the tightest range in runners. Tightness in this range is also the cause of many back problems in runners.

Once you have good photos (with no hip lift) draw a line through the center of your upper leg and measure that in relation to a horizontal line, as you see here. Do both legs.

Measuring Hip Extension

If you are not sure about how to measure your ranges, just email us your photos, and we will measure for you. Our email address is

If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-227-6629.

Somax Performance Institute

OK, I'm going to get some photo's of my flexiblity or lack of it and post it soon.
Tell me how you do, is your flexibity good ?


barefootjosh said...

Glad you're feeling better!

I have no hamstring flexibility. They're not really hamstrings, but hamrods. I tried to get more stretch from them from the age of 11 to 23, no luck. So I stopped stretching.


Bob told me stretching is not the answer, he reckons using his machine is, and he seems to get very good results.
downside is the cost and the fact he has no clinics in the UK :[

Scott Brown said...

In reference to the video. He said "the days of the lonely long distance runner are dead", but I believe that is the part that attracts a lot of us to running.

The "lone wolf" running in rain or shine oblivious to everything bar their own thoughts and demons.

I run alone a lot because I like to run alone and no bastard can stand being with me for too long ;)


Scott, I think your getting to darn fast for most people to keep up with you!
By the way does Earl Fee go into much detail about the streching he does in his book and does he do dynamic stretching???

Ewen said...

Yeah, I agree with Rick Scott. Not many blokes (and no sheilas) can keep up with you!

Good luck with the stretching Rick. I'd be happy if I had half Earl Free's stride length ;)

Scott Brown said...

Yes, Rick he has about 20 pages inone chapter on "Stretching" and about the same on "Running in the pool"

But his main focus in his book is on "Mental Training." which I like best!

Ewen, and I be happy if I had half of your length! From head to toes, that is ;)

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