Fitso introduced the runner report concept in running coaching to simplify coaching. We are implementing this concept for “Project Fitso 100 Runners” in which we picked 100 runners across Delhi-NCR with aim to completely transform their running style. Report concept servers as bridge between coach and runner as it explains complete data about one runner like Upper body analysis, Lower body analysis, running posture, Strength Analysis, Heart Rates for training zones, Body mass composition etc. Here are the technical terms explained in simple language so that every runner could understand it well:
- Chest up: Keeping the chest open, up and forwards, as if we had a string tied to your sternum, drawing you forwards. But don’t bend forwards from the waist.
- Eyes looking forward: Idea is to keep head level and relaxed.
- Spine Straight: It’s the most crucial element of running posture. Not keeping spine straight means incorrect posture as it is the main cause of back pain in most of the runner’s. It is impossible to hold incorrect posture for long like 3-5 hours or even more. It reduces your running efficiency.
- Shoulder: While running your shoulder must be relaxed just like other upper body part, then only you will be able to move your arms freely. You can not notice that but keeping shoulders tight can affect your performance significantly.
- Arm Movement: Your arm movement must not be restricted it should be free and moreover it should be straight not sideways. If you move your arms freely it supports your running momentum but if you move your arms in straight linear direction that is forwards and backwards. Moving arms sideways affect your linear momentum as it promotes horizontal momentum of body. Here is a video that suggests right action:
- Knee Drive: It is the movement of knee while running as the term defines knee drive. Actually knee movement comes from hip muscle. It is the movement of knee forward (ahead from body) to backward (Extending knee completely backward). This video will give you general idea.
- Hip to foot angle: Less is the hip to toe angle more will be the stride length assuming every other parameters are same while comparison. This is how better you lift your feet and bring it forward (while running) from height rather than bringing it forward from nearer to ground. Physically this has some relation with knee drive better is the Hip to Toe (HTT) angle better will be the knee drive. Ideal value is less than 750
- Foot strike: This is again most beneficial term that to be understood, this tells us how our foot hitting the ground. Aim for a mid-foot strike. Landing on the middle of your foot is the safestway to land for most runners. Avoid striking the ground with your heel or your forefoot first. Your foot should land below your hips – not out in front of you. Ideal foot strike is Mid foot strike. If you land on your heels, you are stopping your forward momentum and causing undue stress on your.
- Bounce: This is the vertical movement of body. Bouncing while runningis wasting energy. By lengthening your stride you are in result reducing your cadence and increasing time in the air. Shortening your stride will force your time between steps to be shorter and as a result give you less bounce. Ideal it is less than 5% of body height.
- Forward lean: By leaning forward from ankles, we can take advantage of gravity and then the momentum created allowing our bodies to fall forward in a controlled manor. In a sense, running is just that a controlled forward fall.
- Planks: Planks are especially great for runners because they really emphasize the dependant relationship between your core & your limbs. Planks will strengthen your abs, eretor spinae (the muscles that run up & down your spine), chest, shoulders, quads, and hamstrings. Ideally value of planks for man and woman are 3 and 2 minutes respectively.
- Sit-ups: Major benefit of sit ups is that it strengthens your core which is very essential part of your running. It helps in activating stabilizing muscles like the ones that protect your spine. Sit ups also helps to increase your flexibility and range of motion. These benefits can help a person have better posture and reduce the risk of getting a back strain or injury. So to judge core strength sit ups are best exercise.
- Pushups: Push-upshelp you focus on your arms, abs and your lower body, all at the same time. They train your muscles to work together and become stronger. Push-ups do double duty, In order to stabilize your body to achieve perfect form, the muscles of your core, including your abs, oblique’s and lower back are hard at work.
- Squats: In strength training and fitness, the squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quadriceps hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments. You can call this exercise as runner’s buddy.
- Stride length: This is basically distance between two steps. Measured between heal of two feet while running. This is one of the significant parameter that decides your performance. Having good stride length is important because with each step if you cover more distance then you are definitely reaching finishing line earlier than others. Ideal stride length varies according to few parameters like leg length, lower body strength, body height etc.
- Cadence: Ideal Cadence of long distance runners is 180 steps per minute (SPM). Unit of cadence SPM which gives clear idea what cadence is. Having good cadence is not only a necessary thing to have for runners but it is also a essential parameters to develop a ideal running body posture. Every professional runner have cadence 180 but not only professional runner if you want to be a good runner then you have to learn to maintain 180 SPM Cadence.
Other Parameter Analysis:
- Heart rate zones: Heart Rate zones are best described by the maximum heart rate and age of runner. There are main 4 types of training zones defined for our Fitso report that are universally used for training. Those 4 zones are Easy Running (52-64%), Long Run (64-76%), Tempo run (76-88%) and Interval training/Fartlek (88-95%). It is very crucial that we must train according to the training zones to get maximum result from our training.
- Running pace: In our Fitso report we included the running pace parameter because to know about the current fitness of the runner and also to know the 1 kilometer pace of runner so as to give him more specific workout. (E.g. if runner is doing 1k in 4:00 minutes then we can decide his interval, tempo, long, easy race pace)
- Body composition analysis: Reason why we did this analysis and included this in our report is that because it tells us about the body fat percentage of runner (the most useless part that we are carrying while running). Assume you are running carrying 1 kg extra weight in your pockets with each step you are carrying 1 kg extra weight and finishing one marathon (let runner has 1 meter stride length) you are carrying 42,195 KGs of weight which is defiantly a drawback to performance.
(This post has been written by Fitso Running Coach – Navneet Tung)