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How to Dress for Running in Cold or Warm Weather

Posted on October 13, 2015 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (35)

As Temperatures get colder this winter, here's a guide of how to dress to make sure you're comfortable on your outdoor run!


I was inspired by a recent article on the subject and I wanted to share with you what Kat Pummill wrote a few years back about proper weather layering for cold weather running.



A couple notes I want to add - since hers is written mostly for women, I'm aiming for the men here - but still the ladies can benefit from my additions.

I believe in the 20 degree rule: of course everyone is different and some people carry a colder or warmer body temperature (in terms of feeling) in comparison to the rest of us.


It works like this: whatever the temperature is outside - add 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) and dress for that type of weather, as if you were about to go for a walk in it.


Below 0 degrees - I would recommend running indoors if it must be done, or take the day off as a sign from above.  Temperatures too low can be permanently damaging to your lungs, skin, and eyes.  Take my advice, stay healthy and make the smart move to run inside or not at all.


0 degrees? - dress like its 20 - lower half is thermal tights and a pair of wind proof pants over - upper half is a long sleeve wicking base layer, half zip pullover, a running synthetic down vest or coat, or a vest and wind proof coat. - a wicking balaclava or face shield, running stocking cap, and thermal gloves, mittens, or even two layers of gloves is pretty much required for comfort.


10 degrees? - dress like its 30 - lower half is running pants or tights, maybe an extra pair of shorts for your booty - upper half is a base layer (wicking long sleeve), a half-zip pullover, and maybe a light weight jacket - a running stocking hat and wicking gloves are highly recommended


20 degrees? - dress like its 40 - lower half - lose the extra pair of shorts, just the pants - upper half is a wicking long sleeve base layer and a half zip pullover (lose the jacket) - a running hat and wicking gloves are highly recommended


30 degrees? - dress like its 50 - lower half is some thermal calf sleeves and a pair of longer shorts (shorts back, lose the pants but keep the lower legs covered) - upper half is a short sleeve base layer and the half zip - a running hat and wicking gloves are recommended, but make sure you have some pockets to store the gloves and hat if it gets too warm, and be ready to tie the half zip around your waist


40 degrees? - dress like its 60 - lower half is thinner knee high socks or compression calf sleeves and shorts, shorts can be a little bit less length this time if you want - upper half is a base layer short or long sleeve is up to you, but no need for a half zip - running gloves might be appreciated if you're speed is a little slower on that really long run day


50 degrees? - dress like its 70 - lower half is shorts and compression sleeves only if you need the extra compression - upper half is short sleeve shirt only


60 degrees? - dress like its 80 - you should wear the bare minimum from this point up. Shorts are always required unless you're on a nude beach - upper half is tank top or shirtless depending on your comfort level (ladies - this is good sports bra weather) - leave the hat and gloves in the winter weather box under your bed.


70 degrees? - dress like its 90 - there's really only so much clothing we can take off before we are indecent in public - be fair to the eyes of those around you. - a light running ball cap might be helpful to keep sweat out of your eyes

80 degrees and 90 degrees are the same as 70, but be aware that the warmer it is outside, the slower you should run, and consider walking - heat stroke is a very serious issue if taken lightly.  Above 100 is again a sign from above that maybe it's a good day to take a break or just run inside.  If you choose to run outside, you are risking heat stroke and dehydration - Come prepared with electrolytes to keep you conscious if you start to get dizzy.  Try to run in a place where people can see you so that if you do happen to pass out, you can get medical attention more quickly.


Rain, snow, wind - take those into account also.

Rain tends to cool us down, but I don't think a rain coat is necessary. You will get wet anyways, and surely overheat.

Snow is no big deal until it's accumulates to more than a foot - waterproof shoes might help, gators, or shoes with significant tread.

Ice can be a problem - just be careful not to fall - there are products out there to help with running on ice and giving you traction. Check out your local running specialty store for some goodies to help with that.

Wind is the big issue when deciding what to wear. There are some super light weight running jackets to help with wind - these are clutch and can be worn in anything below 50 as a layering option.  Something each person must experiment with.

The Bare Essentials list:

 - Wicking Base Layers - Tanks, Tees, Sports Bras (if you need them), Long Sleeve Tees - And if you're exercising a lot it's good to have lots of these so as to avoid having to do the laundry EVERY time you run.

 - Half-Zip Pullover - Good to have multiple of these depending on where you reside.  Northerners will need more than Southerners.

 - Light Weight Jacket - This is a MUST HAVE for wind, rain, and cold.  It works great in the 40s, or on rainy/windy days, and in some cases you can skip the half-zip pullover

 - Running Gloves - They come in handy in anything below 40, wind, or rain, it's nice to have the ones that have fingers and an additional 4 finger wind breaker cover that you can tuck away when it's not needed.  A thermal pair might be necessary for the coldest of days.

 - Running Stocking Cap - Another Must Have for anything below 40, and good to have multiple for those really cold areas of the country.

 - Lower Base Layers - Multiple pairs of shorts in different lengths are good to have.  If it's really hot, a shorter pair.  If it's colder: longer shorts.  And thermal tights are key when it gets colder than 30 - I personally like to wear my longer shorts atop my tights.

 - Thermal Socks and Calf Sleeves - Great for when you have a day in the 30s but don't feel like wearing pants - It allows knees to move freely and will even ice them while you run to help aid in pain relief.

 - Pants - Really only needed for running if it's below 20 degrees, but if you're getting down to temps that cold, you will want to start layering up with 2,3, or even 4 layers.

 - Shoes - A required piece of apparel, but consider the breathability of the shoes as the weather gets warmer, and the water resistance when it's wet or cold.

 - For the Ladies, Capris work well when running in temps between 30-70 - depending on compression of the legging when it starts to get warmer before you switch to shorts.  It's good to have multiple ones again for the laundry issue.


Lastly, something to consider is your pace. The faster you're going relative to your abilities, the less clothing you will need as it will help you feel warmer, so for tempo runs or on race day, consider bringing less on course or have options for clothes you don't mind parting with forever to help you stay warm in the starting corrals - then ditching once the race starts. Some races will sweep the course and have a spot like gear check to come get what you dropped, but most races will donate the clothing to charity.  For some this is a good way to get a tax write-off.  Any questions on this matter, let me know!


Have a great run! Go faster and keep smiling!

#RealTriathlon -



Wetsuit Knowledge and Experience

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Wetsuits are expensive and fall apart really easily if you don't take care of them properly. With that said, they're not going to just fall into pieces as soon as you pick them up, but you just need to handle with care. A couple things to note with them:


1- most importantly, don't let your fingernails get too close to them when you're putting them on. They will scratch holes in the suit.

2- don't let it hang out outside to dry too long as the sun is harsh on them. (Hang to dry in your shower instead)

3- don't let cleaning chemicals or soaps that are not wetsuit approved come in contact with the suit as they have a tendency to break down the rubber. If it stinks- rinse it really well in the shower and hang dry. You can clean it with a wetsuit shampoo that any Multisport triathlon or scuba store will have.


Ok, now that that's out of the way, you have a decision to make: rent or purchase? Is triathlon or open water swimming something you want to get into permanently? If so it's worth purchasing an inexpensive suit now and upgrading in a few years once you have proper care and practice putting the suit on and taking off down to a science. If you're not certain then just rent: you will thank yourself later because now you don't have to take care of the suit, you can beat up on it as much as you want without ruining your chance of getting your deposit back, and you don't have to store it or sell it. The only real down side to renting is that you know someone else has used it before and has probably also peed in the suit. Just try to remember that urine is sanitary. Renting usually costs around $15 per day and $20-25 for a weekend. At least that's how much it is at the shop I work at part time: MOX Multisport in Chicago. The cost of a new suit? Anywhere from $200 for a decent one to $650 for a really nice one.


Sleeveless or full sleeve? Full sleeve, hands down. You are losing out on some powerful advantages by losing the sleeve, mainly drag in the water being reduced, the extra pull from your forearm region (that bumpy area), and the suits ability to help regulate your body temperature. When the suits were first used for swimming in triathlon they were made of a less flexible rubber that would restrict your arms from freely moving into a streamline position. Now-a-days this problem has been fixed. The only time you would want a sleeveless wetsuit is when the race itself restricts full suits... And in this case just rent one for the day of the race.


Sizing is probably the most difficult part about a wetsuit. Some of them will ask you your height, weight, and body build and spit out a size. Well you honestly could go in a suit one size larger or with that size. Larger is more comfortable and easier to put on, and smaller is very difficult to put on, but will stretch out once in the water and will be a lot faster in the water, and also a lot warmer because water won't be as likely to be sloshing throughout your suit.


There is a product called suit juice that you can spray the inside of the suit near the bottom of the legs and your feet an ankles with. This will help tremendously to make it easier for the suit to go on. Pull the suit up to your ankles first and always try to pull from the inside of the suit by folding the suit down and then pulling up. Again I stress not to use your fingernails on the outside of the suit. Get the suit to your knees first, then extremely tight up into your crotch. I stress extremely tight because it's hugely important to make sure it's up in there or else it won't fit over your shoulders or neck properly. Once it's around your waist then spray the suit on the inside of the arm ends and your wrists with suit juice, and insert your hands all the way to your wrists. Then work to get any wrinkles out of the suit through your legs and arms. Lift your arms straight into the air and squeeze your shoulder blades together to help zip it up. Depending on the suit it might zip up or down, and when in doubt at any point during the process of putting it on, it's ok to ask a friend or stranger for help. Once it's on then make sure that it's not too tight on your neck, that the material at the back of your neck is flush to your skin, and that it's not too tight on your chest. You should feel a little bit of discomfort in your chest , but not a lot - Not restricting breathing. Then bend over at the waist and make sure it's not wrinkling near your lower abdomen too much. If it is, grab the wrinkle and pull up your stomach. Then again at your upper stomach and all the way up till it's looser in your neck and shoulder region.

Instead of Suit Juice you can try a plastic grocery bag.  This works great in a pinch by wrapping it around your foot or hand and then pushing through the suit arms/legs.  I like to tear off the handles so they don't get stuck inside the suit.


If the suit is wrinkling in a lot of places, namely the shoulders, hips, or thighs it's too big and you need to size down until that problem is eliminated. If it's so tight that it's hard to breathe, feels like it's strangling you at the neck, or you can't reach a streamline position with your arms, then it's too small and you need to size up, but I doubt this will happen because you just won't be able to fit it on. Remember it's supposed to be difficult to put it on, so make sure you're experiencing a little bit of frustration with the suit or else your salesperson is probably not knowledgeable about the product and you just need to tell him/her what's up. The customer is almost always right.


Now you're ready to swim! The advantage of having a suit is so great that it may as well be cheating. You're a lot smoother in the water and a lot more bouyant. Some companies will even put extra rubber thickness near your hips to help hold them higher in the water, this helping to eliminate the "barge effect" that you get when your hips drop too far below the surface of the water.


Taking off the suit you will notice is much easier than putting it on. When you get the suit I would recommend practicing taking it off because that time will count in a race. Literally run out of the water and start unzipping your suit right away. While running to your transition spot use one hand to hold the suit at the point where the suit is fully zipped and the other to pull the zipper in the opposite direction. Doing this will help keep the suit from tearing. Pull the suit off your shoulders and arms and down to your waist. Then take off your cap and goggles and continue to run to your transition spot. Once there take the wetsuit off. I literally will grab the suit by the waist and while pulling it down I will sit on the ground and take it off my ankles. It's easiest to take off the ankles if you insert one or two fingers into the suit at the ankle and use that to pull over your heels.


You are now out of your suit so stand up and hang your wetsuit over the top of the bar holding up your bike. Or if it's a wooden rack on the ground then just let the suit lay down there so it won't get lost while you're out on the bike.


At ironman branded races they will literally have multiple volunteers called a strippers to help take your wetsuit off and place it in your transition bag for you to collect after the race. Other races may also offer this service, just try not to be appalled when you see that the race is looking for volunteers to be strippers. They aren't the ones taking their clothes off. They're taking yours off, and no this isn't amateur hour. Though you might feel like it is when your tri shorts accidentally come off with the suit. Worse things could happen.


One last note on rules when you can and can't wear a suit in a race. CURRENTLY USAT Rules: are that 78 degrees is the cutoff - 78 and below is wetsuit legal as long as you are not a pro or elite athlete. 78.1 and above is no longer wetsuit legal. However, if you still want to wear a wetsuit above 78 degrees, you can all the way up to 84 degrees, but you will be removed from the rankings for age group and awards in the race. 84.1 and above it is mandatory that you do not wear a wetsuit. I was not able to find a rule for a point where wetsuits are REQUIRED because the water temperature is too low, but personally speaking anything below 68 degrees is super cold and not too fun to swim in without a wetsuit. Remember how I said that wearing a wetsuit may as well be cheating? If you CAN wear a wetsuit... WEAR IT! You would be dumb not to, unless your body overheats so much that having it on is too rough for you. You will get warm in the water, but it makes a HUGE difference to have the wetsuit on. If you can wear it... WEAR IT. 78 is your best friend... 78.1 is your worst enemy. If it were me I would wear a wetsuit in any race distance except for a super sprint. 200meters is so short that it's not worth dealing with having a wetsuit on. It will take more time to take it off than it will save you in the race. A sprint distance (400-800 meters) and longer is worth it. I have been to MANY races that have stated how the water temperature is super high and that the chance that they will have wetsuits will be slim, and you get there and suddenly the water is below 78 degrees and wetsuits are allowed for the race. Better safe than sorry. Bring your wetsuit to the race. Don't leave it in your hotel, don't leave it at home, keep it in your transition bag and have it available in case you can us the suit last minute... you never know.

Some race directors may require you to wear a wetsuit.  Be sure you know the rules before you show up on race day.

One other quick note, any suit where the thickness of the suit is greater than 5mm at any point on the suit is illegal by USAT rules as of January 1st, 2013. So don't buy one that is more than that.

Any questions or comments, please post.  And if anyone finds that lower limit on the water temperature, please share.


Go Faster and Keep Smiling!


Coach Larsen

Contacting the Coach

Posted on February 9, 2014 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

It seems that the contact form on my website has not been working properly at all.  If you have tried to contact me at all and I have not gotten back to you, I am very sorry, and I hope that I hear from you soon.  That said: everything should be up and running now.  Please feel free to contact me, and if for some reason I'm not getting back to you within 2 days time, then please write me a direct email at [email protected]

Hope everyone's training is going well.  Can't wait for the weather to get warmer!

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

The Fourth P of Running Form: Pitter-Patter

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (109)

Pitter-Patter simply refers to Cadence: the number of steps per minute. Those that are avid cyclists will hear the word cadence and think the number of revolutions per minute. The optimal number is 90 revolutions per minute on each leg. 90 rights and 90 lefts give 180 total revolutions. This is the same on cycling as it is on running. The closer you are to 180, the better your efficiency. Cadence has no bearing on speed. You could run a 5 min mile or a 15 min mile and both of them should be done with a 180 cadence. However, if you are running a 15 min mile with proper form and proper cadence, your transition to running faster will be much easier and more streamline. All you will have to do is lean forward more from the ankles. SUPER MAN. (watch the video)


With proper Posture, Athletic Position, and Placement: Pitter-Patter simply brings everything full-circle. It's a short one, but it really makes all the difference in the world.


Cadence helps to reduce vertical oscillation and keep you focused on forward momentum. For example: two runners that are equal in weight and height are running a six minute mile. One of them is practicing perfect natural running with a pitter-patter rate of 180 steps per minute. The other runner has a low turnover: let's say 140 steps per minute. In order to go at the same speed, the lower turnover runner must make longer strides, in turn increasing the amount of time the runner has between each step. Since they are both equal in height and weight, the lower turnover runner must come down with much more force each step. That runner also will have a higher vertical oscillation, meaning that the whole body of the runner goes up and down with much higher peaks than the runner with perfect natural running form. If you reduce your vertical oscillation and reduce the force that you impact the ground with, then your body is going to last longer and stay free from injury longer than the lower cadence runner. Oh, one more thing about the lower turnover runner: most heel strikers have a cadence between 135 steps per minute and 155 steps per minute, usually depending on how tall they are.


Cadence will most likely be one of the hardest things to grasp for anyone making a complete change in their form. At some points you may feel like you are shuffling your feet. And in some cases, that will be true. To avoid the shuffle syndrome, try to remember to lift your foot off the ground on each step by focusing on how high you lift your knee.


There are many ways to get used to running with a cadence of 180. The most crude way is to simply count how many steps per minute you have. But since that is really difficult, sometimes I will count how many steps my right (or left) leg takes in a minute or 30 seconds and multiply that by the proper multiple (2 or 4). There are metronomes you can buy that beep at a rate of 180. This idea is good, but who really wants to listen to something beep three times per second when you're trying to enjoy a peaceful run. One less annoying way is to download an app that selects songs from your computer (Apple or Android both have them as far as I know) that have a 180 cadence and makes a playlist of those songs. I think the best way though is to check yourself every few minutes, work on your internal clock and count one two three, one two three, one two three, steps every second for about 10-15 seconds. Three steps per second is 180 steps per minute. The only thing here is that you need to be right on in order for it to be accurate enough. So pick your poison and practice practice practice.


LIke I said, this is going to be one of the hardest things to grasp for most runners. And as soon as we start focusing 100% on cadence, the form starts to fall apart a little. So re-read the previous posts and don't be afraid to look back for a refresher. Even if you just watch the videos, that can be enough, and a little more entertaining than endless amounts of text.


The biggest piece of advice I can give you if you are working on your form... slow down. If you are a beginner runner, you may think, well I am hardly running at this point, shouldn't I just focus on being able to run first? NO... focus on form running now while you are learning so as to break any bad habits before they even start. The earlier you start the better. But if you're running a 9 min mile average and you try to keep running 9 min miles while learning how to do your form correctly, you are only going to set yourself back and make it harder for yourself to really get the understanding of natural running down to a T. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Unfortunately, if you practice something wrong for 10,000 hours, you are an expert at how not to do it.


Here are a few videos from our friends at Newton with some demonstrations of cadence and proper form. (~30 sec) - Brief Demo (~2:30) - More explaination (~2:00) - Excellent Drills (~3:00) - Super Man Drill (revisited video)


Why Superman? It helps you establish your optimal forward lean for the most amount of speed!


That's all. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

[email protected]

You can also watch the Newton Videos. Go to and type in Running Form Friday in the Search bar and it will bring up tons of stuff to help you out with form. Good luck!


Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

The Third P of Running Form: Placement (Part 2)

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Here we go with our second article for Placement

Placement is dependant on how your whole body reacts to the force of impact from running.  Since this depends on your whole body, we want to make sure when we run that all 4 Ps are employed, our first two are Posture and Position.

I've showed you what the other types of gaits are: walking, jogging and sprinting.  The last one to talk about is the running gait.  This is what we are going to cover today: proper way to land, lever, load and lift your foot to and from the ground; proper arm swing; and maintaining proper alignment of your body.

Before I go into the details, let's do one more demonstration of what a proper landing on your foot should feel like for your whole body.  If you were to jump straight into the air, how would you land?  You would come down with a relaxed foot, and upon impact you would bend at your hips and your knees which would allow you to land softly in preparation for the next jump, just like a spring.  When you run with a heel striking gait you land in a completely different way: it would be the same as if you were to jump straight in the air and come down landing on your heels.  You would land with a straight knee and straight hip.  Doing this is extremely uncomfortable; you can feel the shock all the way up your body to your head.  This is an extreme example of what happens when you heel strike.

So we know what a midfoot strike should feel like.  We transfer this two legged jump to a 1 leg march or running in place.  While running in place you should feel your foot relax and land on the midfoot, settling your foot into the heel, and lifting from the knee to pull the foot off the ground, doing this again on the other side.  You want to maintain proper posture and position.  As you run in place, remember to swing your arms.  A proper arm swing consists of swinging your arms in a relaxed-as wide as you can sort of way and then relaxing your arms around a 90 degree bend and continuing to swing in the relaxed-as wide as you can sort of way.

To move from a running in place to running straight forward you simply lean forward from the ankles.  Your lean will decide which direction you run in.  Continue to run in place and try it.  Lean forward to go forward, no lean to stop and run in place, and lean backward to run backward.   The more you lean forward or backward, the faster you go in that direction.

The 3 L's of placement are Landing, Levering (loading) and lifting.

-Land on your midfoot with a bent knee and bent hip.   You will land slightly in front of your center of gravity on your midfoot and continue to your stride to a mid-stance.  Do not land your foot by plantar flexing your foot (pointing your toes) or by dorsiflexing your foot (flexing the foot upward).  Instead, land your foot in a relaxed way.

-Lever your foot in mid-stance and load your body weight in this position, allowing your heel to settle in.  Your knee will be bent slightly (about as much as it is in a ready position) and the same with your hips.  Still maintain proper posture and armswing.

-Lift your foot off the ground by bending your knee and flexing your hip flexor until your knee is lifted at 90 degrees in front of you.  This is not a forceful pushing off of the toe like in a sprinting gait, this is simply lifting your foot off the ground.

Here are some videos for proper running form.

- - In this video the runner comes to a full extension of the leg.  You can see the muscle of the leg shake and the initial force on the leg in the force meter.

- - Here is a proper strike.  You can see the load of weight on the ground is a nice even bell curve.  

- - This video shows some more differences between a heel strike v. midfoot striking gait.  It also shows some professional runners and shows their running gaits to be a midfoot striking gait.

- - Danny Abshire with proper foot placement

- - Land lever lift with Danny Abshire

If you have any questions up to this point, don't hesitate to ask!


Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

The Third P of Running Form: Placement (Part 1)

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This is the most complicated of all of the "P's", so I am going to do this post in 2 separate articles.  

Placement can refer to how your foot hits the ground, how your body reacts to the shock of the full load of your body at midstance (when the peak of weight is placed on your foot and all the way up your body), and the placement of your body when your foot leaves the ground to the time that your next foot lands.

There are 4 kinds of gaits in terms of your feet:

1. A Walking Gait - the gait where you will always have at least 1 foot on the ground at all times, you walk in a heel impact, midstance, and toe-off (unless of course you are tip-toeing, but this is very unnatural and you won't be likely to do it unless you are hiding or sneaking up on someone).

2. A Jogging Gait - This is also referred to as the western running gait, and we have obtained this gait from running in heavy-high platform heel cushioned shoes. In this gait you have basically added some speed and a little jump to the walking gait.  You still have your first point of impact with the ground be the heel; loading with the weight of your body occurs at two points, upon initial impact with the heel and at midstance/peak loading; and a pushing-toe-off through the next stride.  A couple of problems with this gait:

a. in order to strike the ground first with your heel you must overstride and fully extend your knee and dorsiflex your foot.  If you land like this, you have no point of flexion in your joints, thus hyperextending your plantar facia tendion, compressing the cartilege in your knee, and creating a huge spike of impact in your hip in order to stop the shock of the ground from traveling up your body.

b. you also are breaking with each step because the initial impact of your body is ahead of your center of gravity.  In order to maintain speed through your jogging gait after you have just hit the breaks your body needs to re-accelerate and the hamstring must do most of the work in this situation.  This is also a huge waste of energy which will increase the heart rate over the long haul.

c. common injuries occuring from a heel striking gait are plantar facitis, shin splints, IT band syndrome, runners knee, tearing of the maniscus, hamstring overuse injuries, and inflamation of the piriformis muscle (this can lead to problems with the sciatic nerve).  References should go to Ian Adamson and Danny Abshire of Newton Running Co. for much of this information on the problems of a heel striking gait.

Here are 2 videos to show a Jogging (heel striking) Gait both with shoes and without:

In the videos you can see the two points of impact, full extention of the knee and overstriding, and you can even see the shock of weight all the way up the leg to the hip.  Just wish they were longer.  If after seeing this you think you should be a heel striker, please comment on reasons why.  I would love to discuss.

3. A Running Gait - This is the most natural form of running gait and will be discussed as the way that we should run in the next blog post. (more to come)

4. A Sprinting Gait - This gait is achieved by running at a Zone 4 Heart Rate as fast as one can run.  The gait can be maintained for 20 seconds to a minute depending on the athlete's VO2 Max Threshold Capability.  Generally the gait will consist of a Toe/forefoot impact, load on the forefoot to midfoot (not touching whith the heel), and having a forceful pushoff with the toes.  Since the gait cannot be maintained for more than a minute in most cases, in no way is this a long-distance running gait and meant for races not exceeding 400 meters (quarter mile).

This video shows a walking gait, a sprinting gait, and a running gait.  I will get more into the running gait in the next blog post.

That superman thing that Danny does really works, try it sometime. It helps get you into a forward lean and gets you running faster with hardly any more effort if any. He also brushes on cadence here. More to come on that as well.

I apologize for holding out on you this time, but it's necessary to show all the types of running gaits to create a complete understanding of Natural Running.  More to come next week!

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

The Second P of Running Form: Position

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Position simply refers to the change of position your body makes from a standing pose with proper posture to an athletic ready position.  Anyone who was in sports when they were learning fundamentals during their youth was taught the ready or athletic position.  Think about a defender on a baskeball court, a defensive or offensive back on a football field, a volley ball player, a short stop or second baseman in baseball or softball, or a soccer player.  These are just to name a few, but the ready position is the stance a player takes right before action.  It is the positon to be in for the quickest, explosive reaction to any stimuli so that the player may jump up, right, left, forward, back, or begin a hard run or sprint when necessary.

The form for an athletic position is as follows.  Start with good posture: the first P.  Then bend the ankles, knees and waist keeping good posture and good alignment within the body.  The bend should be about 30 degrees from straight.  You should be able to feel it in your body where the optimal positon should be based on how much power you will obtain if you need to spring into action.  If you bend everything too far, it's too much work for your body to spring.  If you don't bend far enough then you may as well have not bent at all in the first place.

Remembering everything from the first P to remain true, Position is one of the most important P's in terms of gaining speed, efficiency, and injury prevention.  If you remember to push through your stride with your glutes in proper position, then you will have more power and more speed.  Keeping a ready position and good posture throughout a run will help maintain and prevent injury.  If you remember to keep a low center of gravity during a run this will make you more efficient because you won't have as much wind resistance since you will be a little shorter and you won't have as much vertical oscillation, or springing upward instead of forward.

The way that you will be able to feel it the most when you are running is from your hips, so it makes sense to focus on your hips as you run so that you keep them low and in a ready position.  Think about sticking your butt out a little, but not too far (we're not trying to flaunt anything).  Remember to have a slight backward bend in your back to maintain proper positiion and posture.  Hope this will help with your running form.  Tune in next week for the 3rd P.  Below is a video from Newton Running Co.'s Own Ian Adamson.  Have a great remainder to your week!  Remember to always Go Faster and Keep Smiling! (30 seconds)

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

The First P of Running Form: Posture

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello Everyone!

Hope that last video had you inspired to start to learn some running form skills.  This week we will start with the First P of Running Form: Posture.

Most everyone is familiar with what is referred to as Good Posture.  Posture can be described as proper alignment of the body so as to reduce unnecessary muscle or joint strain while laying down, sitting down, standing, walking, running, or performing any sort of movement.  Posture is key.  If you have bad posture, you are only setting yourself up for an injury at one point or another.  As runners, bad posture can lead to injuring the shoulders, back (especially the lower back), piriformis, sciatica, and hips: just to name the most common possibilities.

So how do you achieve proper Posture while running?  Simple: think about what proper posture is like while you are STANDING, and relay this to running.  Stand up straight, feet hip width apart with equal weight on both legs, hips level (not sticking your butt out too much), lower back with a slight curve (but not too much), Shoulders in a relaxed/pulled backward position with the chest lifted forward, chin and eyes level to the horizon, arms by your side and relaxed with palms facing inward and open.

A Key tip that I tell most of my runners is that when you are running and your form (especially your posture) is starting to fall apart toward the end of a long run, you can raise both of your arms into the air directly above your head with elbows straight (I call it reaching for the stars), this will automatically throw your body back into straight alignment and proper posture.  This is easy to do and it doesn't look awkward at all because it simply looks like you are stretching your arms.  Try it sometime when you're feeling tired during a run.

Here is a short video from Ian Adamson of Newton Running Co. on good posture: (~30 seconds)

That is all I have this week.  Look for the next P next week.  Have a great weekend and keep working on that Posture!

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

Running Form

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Being a Newton Running Coach, I think it is important for every runner to be conscious of how to run properly.  Over the next few blog posts, I will give tips and show some videos that are good in knowing what to do to have natural running form.  

I will make my way through all of the 4 P's of running form, and the 3L's of a foot strike.  First off, here is a short 5 min video to get you all thinking about your form.

That's all I have for today.  Thanks for watching.

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

New Schedule is Posted

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Check out the Contact section to view the new schedule.  More availability = more time to train!

Let's get out there and shed those Holiday lbs.