GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
Recognition for Those Who Have Given Me Great Running Tips
It was in the mid-eighties when I was hired by the Forestry Department to train women firefighters in physical fitness. Sarg was the woman who trained me for the position. She was being promoted and trained me to take her place.
We began each morning with a three hour hike wearing our heavy steel-toed boots. We began at 8 am and finished between 11 and 11:30 am. Once in a while the newbies would get sick when they first began training. Many times the women would just be getting into our power walking hikes and they’d start puking their guts out.
One particular woman named Hernandez (there were three women with the surname Hernandez and I’m not saying which one) could never keep up. She took little short steps as if she had on high heels. She would complain that we were going too fast for her. She probably took ten steps to every five of our steps. She caused herself more work, took more steps, tired quickly, and complained constantly.
One day I began telling her to widen her stride. If she would open her legs wider (for lack of a better way to say it), she could go faster and wouldn’t tire so quickly.
Sarg heard the conversation and came over to where we stood to tell Hernandez that “It’s all in the hips.” Sarg grabbed her hips and began moving them back and forth showing her how to move her hips to enable her to take wider strides.
That day I learned a valuable lesson. Although this true story is about power-walking and hiking, I applied it to my running. I now take my own advice as well as the advice of Sarg (I can’t remember her real name).
- Widen Your Stride
- It’s all in the hips
Now I work for OSU at the Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine. I am surrounded by many intelligent men who love all sorts of sports and don’t hesitate to tell me how to improve my running performance. I have learned a lot from Matt Weaver who was a swimmer/runner in high school.
Matt used to be a medic in the Marines. He says if I want to increase my speed, I should include fartleks in my training, build up my Vo2 max oxygen capacity, and include swimming in my cross-training.
Fartleks are oscillating between aerobic walking and anerobic sprints. Matt says to pick a point and give it all you’ve got. Then either jog or walk for recovery and then do the same thing all over again.
Aerobic activity usually includes walking, hiking, jogging, swimming, and cycling and require a continual supply of oxygen. Anaerobic activities include sprinting and weightlifting and are generally sudden bursts of energy or stop and go type exercises.
VO2 max is the volume of oxygen consumed during intense exercise. In other words, VO2 max is the maximum amount of air your body can utilize while exercizing at a level that raises your heart rate to 65-85% of your maximum heart rate according to Kenneth Cooper. When your body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen by increasing your aerobic capacity, then your muscles can maintain a higher level of performance.
Cross-training helps to prevent injury and balance the body’s workout, and Matt’s recommendation is swimming–running for lower body and swimming for upper body, buttocks, abdominals, and the lower back. Swimming is also an excellent way to build up the aerobic capacity.
So the valuable training tips I received from Matt includes:
- Increase aerobic capacity
- Swimming for cross-training
So far, we have covered tips from Sarg, “It’s all in the hips,” and Matt’s fartleks, aerobic capacity, and swimming for cross-training. I have one more person to give recognition and include his advice, but I’ll tell of his training routine info in another post. This one is getting long winded.
Hopefully, the advice I have received for myself will also help others with their own personal training routine.