Friday, 24 June 2011

FITZGERALD ON RUNNING FORM

I was interested to read Matt Fitzgeralds latest articles on running form.
It seem he's saying everything he wrote on running form in the book Brain Training For Runners is incorrect!
I have to say I didn't find the section on running form in his old book very helpful and infact later found out that some of what he was saying was to be honest pure rubbish!
Have you read his latest articles and what do you think?

Good Running Form Is A Matter Of Not Being Lazy


Incredible Running Technique Breakthroughs

Anyway I was reading his latest books preview on google books and read a really good article on the great Geb, I recommend you read it and check out page 3

RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel
READ HERE



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18 comments:

Ewen said...

Thanks Rick. All interesting links. Even though I use the HRM to record data, I'm a big fan of running by feel. Also of improving running form. If swimmers can improve form (stroke), why not runners?

RICK'S RUNNING said...

I agree Ewen.

RICK'S RUNNING said...

I think where Fitz has gone wrong is looking at scientific testing where they only compare form change and economy on the day!
Its normal for muscles that are used to working in a certain way will be less economical working in a different range of motion at FIRST!
In time the muscles will adapt and what is really needed is retesting the runners after 2-3 weeks and even 3-6 months latter to see real results in running economy improvement.

RICK'S RUNNING said...

You only have to look at runners in a local race, many of them still look like there still sitting down when they run, butt pushed back and bent at the waist.
I think the key to good running starts with good posture- standing nice and tall with the hips and chest pushed slightly forward.
The rest of the running action happens through nature stretch reflex actions and does not really need to be thought about as long as the posture is good.
Well thats my findings after trying many different running methods- Pose-Chirunning B-K method etc etc that these forced running actions they recommend don't really work.
So I guess Fitz is right in most respects of what he is saying know, BUT posture is VERY IMPORTANT which he fails to talk about.
Rick

Ewen said...

Yes, totally agree about posture (which can be helped by having a strong core and awareness of pelvis position) - take a look at the form of Molly Huddle at the end of this race - (5000m link) http://www.usatf.org/events/2011/USAOutdoorTFChampionships/video.asp - beautiful to watch.

Also agree about tests for 'running economy' - any form change needs to be 'hard wired' into the nervous system before improvements to running economy can be measured.

RICK'S RUNNING said...

Thanks Ewen good video.
I think the BIGGEST MISTAKE most runners make is they let there bodies collapse into the ground, wasting elastic return energy and well as having to lift themselves up again.
Lydiard told his runners to 'Run Tall' but I like to use Dr Steve's 'intention to push away-recycling gravity' method to get good posture. http://youtu.be/gfwT9tiXWfM

RICK'S RUNNING said...

P.S. Yes any form change will take time to adapt to , so unless you retest over at least 3 months if not more the scientific study is pretty pointless!
I think Mr Fitz is very good at writing books and regularly changing his ideas, which helps him write even more books!
Arthur Lydiard stuff pretty much to one idea which meant he pretty much simply kept re-publishing the same book.
Fitz is more than happy to jump on the next band wagon, before rejecting those ideas and moving on again a bit like Madonna kept re-inventing her image to keep herself in the lime-light!
I like Fitz but he can also be quite annoying in a nerdish way!

RICK'S RUNNING said...

Typo error
Arthur Lydiard pretty well 'STUFF' opps should have read STUCK!

BarefootJosh said...

I liked the bits about brain training in the book though. I wonder how much of his dismissal of barefootery is influenced by the fact that he called BS on the shoe industry way before Born To Run, yet McDougall gets all the credit (/blame). Don't mean to be catty, but there it is.

To date, the book I've found to be the most instructive is The Zen of Running. It doesn't really tell you anything, which I find refreshing.

RICK'S RUNNING said...

Thanks Josh, I remember that section where fitz talked about going more minimal.
The Zen of running, I'll check that out.
Often the most important things are the stuff that fits into place without you realizing it at the time!

BarefootJosh said...

And how many of those things fit into place and we never realize it, then credit something else? Chaos!

You can get a free download of the Zen of Running here:
http://www.naturalhealthyellowpages.com/health_ebooks/the_zen_of_running/index.html

BarefootJosh said...

I know nothing about the website that provides the download, by the way. From the little I've seen, looks a little sham-ish. The download is fine, though.

RICK'S RUNNING said...

Josh, after reading Mind training I contacted Fitz because I felt it would be impossible to do some of the training he recommended, ie 5 miles at 10k pace.
He told me it would be no problem because you were missing out the hardest part-the last 1.2 miles of the 10k!
At that moment I felt Fitz didm't fully understand Tim Noakes theory on the Central Governor.
Put it this way, this year in training I have only just bettered sub 6 min mile pace over a 5k time trail yet in my P.B. at the Liverpool half this year was able to run faster for 13.1 miles!
Thing is you can go faster in a race than training yet Fitz didn't fully understand this!
Makes you think RIGHT?

RICK'S RUNNING said...

Cheers Josh I'll check out that download.

RICK'S RUNNING said...

I like this book a lot The Zen of running, but not this bit:
feel your feet --
heel, toes, heel, toes,
the heel cushioning your return to earth,
the toes vaulting you off again .

BarefootJosh said...

Oh, there's a lot not to like. What I do like is how he basically says "or, whatever," at the end of any advice.

And that font is awful.

Yet, I find it charming and enjoy it all the same.

RICK'S RUNNING said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RICK'S RUNNING said...

Very true Josh