Science on the Run: Bad Posture = Bad Runner

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

As a fidgety-runner-type-who-hates-sitting-at-her-desk and worries about maintaining good posture, I’ve been incorporating stretching a few times a day, in addition to multiple walks to fill up my cup at the water station and my mid-day run (with all these breaks, you probably wonder how I ever get any work done!) Personally, I’m more productive this way as it allows me to work in concentrated time slots with a clear mind.

How To Increase Your Weekly Mileage

Dr. Jack Daniels’ principles on increasing weekly mileage:

  • Increase weekly mileage by as many miles as the number of runs you do each week
    • Increase by 5 miles per week if running 5x per week
    • Never increase more than 10 miles
  • Stay with one amount of running for at least 4 weeks
    • Do not follow 10% weekly mileage increase rule
    • Let your body adjust to a certain amount of stress before increasing volume

More videos from Jack on YouTube.

Part 3, Race Kick: Tips And Workouts For Shifting Gears

By Malindi Elmore

[Parts 1 and 2 of “It’s All About The Kick” can be found here and here.]

Not all races are run at even paces, which is frustrating for people who are focused on running fast! However, slow starts, surges, bumps, jostles, elbows, trips, and dramatic sprint finishes are part of what makes races exciting and unpredictable. This is the part of the race that makes it a sport and not simply “who can run fast?” Embrace the unpredictable and go with the flow as much as possible (easier said than done at times!) – and always keep your focus on a strong finish!

Dr. Jack Daniels’ Sample Treadmill Hill Workout

Hills are a great way to improve your speed/running economy. They serve the same purpose as 200m or 400m Reps but with added resistance. One downside of doing hill repeats outside is all the impact/stress from running easy back down the hill. A great way to avoid this and mix up your training is to try it on a treadmill.

Below is a sample treadmill hill repeat workout that Dr. Daniels loves prescribing for his athletes. Pictured above, you can see Ryan Hall in the middle of a similar workout from Jack!

Part 2, Race Kick: Strength Or Speed?

By Malindi Elmore

[Part 1 of “It’s All About The Kick” can be found here.]

Many track runners think they must possess raw speed to win with a kick. This is simply not true. Kicking is often a relative term, and can almost be explained better as who slows down the least. The faster the pace, the more likely this is true. Pedestrian or championship “sit and kick” races are their own category and stranger things have been known to happen, so for the sake of this argument, let’s assume that the majority of the race is at a pace appropriate for the quality of the field assembled. (In Part 3  of this series I’ll discuss “Shifting Gears” for championship race kicks).

Get Your Temperature Adjustment

It’s hot out! As runners we dread the heat and humidity, especially when it hinders our performance. Fortunately, Dr. Jack Daniels’ formulas for temperature adjustment can now be utilized in our VDOT O2 Running Calculator app. No longer should runners be overtraining in the heat or be frustrated by not hitting their goal splits!

Here’s how it works and we’ve embedded the calculator below so you can try it out. [If you’d like to embed the calculator on your site grab the code here]

Science on the Run: Drills, What Are They Good For?

Linking current research to running

By Nikki Reiter

It’s likely you’ve heard that running drills will improve your technique to make you a more efficient runner. Some coaches claim that running drills are effective by way of simulating individual running phases, seeking to correct technique. However, research has shown that the method of performing those classic ‘As, Bs and Cs’ do not mimic the same muscular activation patterns as in running.

Personally, I see a lot of value in performing drills that gets the athlete practicing quick feet, explosiveness and maintaining good posture. They’re also a great way to warm up for a speed workout after a light jog – along with strides they prepare the body for quick movement and increase dynamic range of motion that would not be achievable through static stretching.

It’s All About The Kick

By Malindi Elmore

This is one of my favorite videos of a race I won with a kick – a skill that I practiced through training, visualizing, and race strategy.

Let’s be honest, races are meant for winning! Yes, there are all sorts of other tangible goals a runner can have such as running personal bests, setting records, advancing through rounds, etc, but if you win every race the rest will fall into place. Unfortunately, I think many young runners sell themselves short of winning the race, and try to make their goals too complicated and too reliant on a very specific and narrow time goal.

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What Is The Purpose Of Training At 5k Race Pace?

“I’m not against it, but I have a hard time justifying the physiological benefits of running at 5k or 10k race pace. Now for an excellent runner 5k race pace is right around Interval pace.” – Coach Daniels

For instance, if you’re a 23-minute 5k runner your race pace is 7:24 and your Interval or VO2max training pace is 7:13 per mile. To learn more about how each training pace compares to your 5k and 10k race paces and the physiological purpose of Intervals use the VDOT Calculator.

For more training advice join Dr. Daniels at the next VDOT O2 Coaching Clinic at GU Energy Labs in Berkeley, CA on August 8th.