Running Demons Week of 2022-05-09

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    John Zombro

    Greetings Gremlins (or awesome locomotors)!

    This week we should give some brief consideration to hills. Ahh yes the ups and downs of life! Some or many of your runs probably include a hill, or perhaps many. Let’s think about a few things.

    Uphill: More cardiovascular demand. Good for form enhancement. Helps with push-off. Can increase workload with less pounding. Puts a lot of demand on the achilles tendons.

    Downhill: Less cardio demand. More shock/ground reaction force. Requires us to stay flexed and not overstride. Try not to heel strike. Lean into the grade (or stay perpendicular to the surface). Can be hard on the knees so dose it gradually.

    Those are just a few tidbits about hills. We’ll look at advanced techniques and workouts soon.

    Stay Devilish!


    Hi fellow Demons, hope everyone is having a good week. Let me know how everyone’s training is progressing? Is anyone training for any events or races?

    I Logged two runs at the beginning of the week, a 42 min and a 43 min run at 70% effort. During one of my runs, a runner passed me going twice my speed. As I was watching their stride, it seemed like their tempo was about the same as mine and their stride length wasn’t much different than mine either yet they were running almost twice as fast as me. It did seem like their foot strike had very short ground time though which is one thing I observed that was different. Perhaps I still need to work on less ground time or maybe some of my force is being wasted going in a backward motion instead of forwards. John, could leaving my foot on the ground too long make this much difference in speed? Your thoughts?
    My 3rd run this week was a 27 min hike up the M trail. I jogged 5 40 yard intervals during my hike. Next time I will do my intervals based on time though. John, do you have any recommendation about jogging intervals when hiking the M? Should I be training for 70% effort during intervals or should I be training for Power?
    Have a great weekend!

    John Zombro

    Oh Wow Bill! You are such a beast and those are excellent questions! Since you are a Running Demon, you could be in a movie and your character would be Beelzebub, played by Billybob Thornton!

    You are spot-on. Ground contact time is one of the keys of better locomotion. Foot and ankle strength, and actually transient stiffness, is what we need to hit the ground by snapping down, quickly have a force exchange, and then pop off back up into the air. This is effected partly by thought and focus, but also enhanced by all the hopping, jumping, and footwork we do in the Tribe. We also want to be aware that maximalist, or marshmallow shoes tend to slow down GCT in most runners. Training barefoot on grass counteracts this.

    Also a good delineation on aerobic base or recovery training versus power intervals. Most of your runs should just be easy and slow, building that 70%-ish base of fitness. Then, in the power intervals, like you described, mixing walking uphill with charges, just go ham. 90% or more effort especially if it’s under a minute. A gasser! Just be sure to recover adequately between reps so you get the proper power training stimulus.

    You are the man. Thanks for your Q’s!


    Thanks John, appreciate the explanation and workout recommendations!

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