“You run like you sit in chair” said the elderly gentleman with a thick Russian accent. “Have you ever had videotape of you running?” For a split second, I had no idea how to answer that question. Knowing his point before he finished making it made it difficult to answer. Yes, I had but at the same time I knew he was telling me I looked like shit. I was on the track running 200m repeats. I only got through 6 and the medial glute again clamped down on me.
Come to find out his name is Remi Korchemny and he has worked with such athletes such as Christi Gaines and Dwaine Chambers (former 100m WR holder.) In my book, any older man with a heavy Russian accent is automatically legit. His card said, “Honorable Coach of Ukraine” as if I needed anymore proof. We plan on meeting next Thursday.
I videotape a lot of athletes running and it’s amazing to see their progress from beginning to end. Unfortunately as a coach/athlete, I don’t get the chance to get analyzed myself which is an obvious huge gap in my training. I also know my main weakness is hip flexibility. While hip function and overall power has improved with CrossFit (squats, kb swings, deadlifts, etc.) all the running continues to cause over extension of the lower back.
One of the biggest problems I find with all runners is not just lack of hip mobility, it’s also the extreme curve of the thoracic cavity (Figure B above). Running for long periods of time pulls the upper body forward and down, causing the lower lumbar curve to have to compensate in return, thus pulling the hips out of alignment (ie over extension). This will in turn cause a host of faults in the running athlete from breaking at the hips to heel striking. This is also one of the reasons why having a strong core to support the runner for long periods of time is crucial to spine stability. Having a strong core is more than just situps. Knee’s to elbows, toe’s to bars, kipping pullups, OH squats, clean and jerk and hollow rocks are just some of the ways to establish excellent “core connectivity”. Core connectivity is just another way of saying you are able to apply that core strength to your extremities.
However, all the core strength in the world won’t help if you’re wound up like one of those balsa wood airplanes with the rubber band motor. High hip torque situations, such as top end running or snatching, are too great to overcome. You’ll see a great example of over extension at track meets in the last 100m of almost any race. Every athlete is digging down deep to give their final burst of speed to the finish. The proverbial bear has jumped on their back and form has more or less gone to hell.
Unfortunately for me, it looks like my indoor season is going to be bagged. I’m going to get in the pool until I can get this thing sorted out while trying to relax and not rush. In the mean time, lots of stretching, Yoga and deep tissue massage with Erica are on the agenda!
Never Let It Rest,