Driving into GrooveRyde on Saturday I still had no definitive plan as to what I would teach. I was scheduled to teach a Runner’s Strength Class, simple strength protocols for runners. I knew it needed to be simple, effective, and relate-able to running. And I only had an hour, not a lot of time to and talk of proprioception, kinesthetic awareness, body alignment, and irradiatent energy.
What I did know is that Strength training will help you as a runner and that I want runners to get, REALLY GET this concept.
So, how did I grab a room full of runners attention? I told them to take their shoes and socks off. In our Western culture removing our shoes and socks immediately puts us in a state of vulnerability, which allows us to listen once we realize it’s going to be okay.
After everyone was shoeless, toes open to harassment by the inanimate kettlebells placed about the room I had them look at their feet. And then I explained how their feet were as complicated a piece of engineering as their hands, and capable of serious dexterity & strength. Yet we wrap them in overly built shoes day after day, forcing them to be lazy, to atrophy, to become weak.
Then I told them the wonders of just walking around barefoot, and some simple techniques to start implementing so their feet, their foundation starts to get rock solid.
Next, I (quickly) explained human movement, in 6 short quips, and how we are biomechanically designed for certain movement patterns.
- Rotate / Anti Rotate
- Monostructural – loaded and unloaded
Then we squatted. They learned about the 10min squat and how chair-less cultures all over the world have surprisingly low rates of knee, hip, and lower back problems as they age. And we squatted some more while I explained that full flexion of our hips and knees lubricates the joints, allowing them to retain a full range of motion, keeping them healthy and pain-free.
After squatting we learned how to hinge. I had everyone swinging a Kettlebell heavier then they had previous experience with and explained why building bulletproof glutes and hamstring was essential to running. Not a hard sell there.
Last we touched on the Windmill. I would have preferred the Get-Up but time was a factor, and realistically – If you cant do a proper Windmill you shouldn’t be worrying about your TGU game.
The Windmill taught my runners how important bracing your “core” is along with shoulder mobility and strength. Why a breakdown in the upper girdle will cause movement faults throughout the entire body. Making the task, running, much more energy intensive then it needs to be.
At the end of the hour, I felt as if I had only touched the surface. That’s because I had, Only-Touched-The-Surface. I could have spent the entire hour on just the Kettlebell Swing, or squatting, or Windmills, or any number of movements.
What was reinforced in that hour is how much I want to show people how to move, and how to move really well. Moving really well entails conscious practice of your movements, it requires participating in all of our Archetypical Movement Patterns, it requires looking at running in a whole new light.
I love shining that light on another path. I love showing runner’s that there is another way. I love proving that movement is medicine, its magic. That movement is sacred.