Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
5:28:52 Mike Hartman
Anthem Reverse Triathlon
Congratulations to our youth TriKids team who excelled at Anthem. Sarah Plant was 1st overall in the youth division and Connor Berntgen and Evan Barrick won their divisions in the adult race.
23:54 Sarah Plant (1st Overall)
26:54 Emily Plant (2nd Overall Female)
26:55 Colorado Stanley
28:34 Jayda Price
28:42 Sophia Kosednar
1:15:48 Connor Berntgen (1st AG M10-14)
1:20:45 Evan Barrick (1st AG F10-14)
This Saturday will be a ride to the town of Sunflower from Fountain Hills. This is a 60ish mile out and back with a good amount of elevation change for those who like to get high. There is a wide shoulder for most of the route. Bring an extra tube and CO2 for puncture repair. There are no services on this route so I will be providing Support And Gear. It is recommended that you bring three bottles of fluid for this route. If your plan call for more or less than 60 miles then you may turn around early for a shorter ride or ride longer after you get back to Fountain Hills. Meet At Peaks Athletic Club to start riding a 5:30AM. Peaks is located at 12545 N Saguaro Blvd.
Gravity is a natural law and runners can use gravity to their advantage not only with downhill running but with running on the flats. With a slight lean from the hips (center of mass) one can use gravity to assist them in their forward propulsion. The lean must be from toe to head as if the runner is falling forward towards the ground. The runner should not lean from the shoulders and counter balance the fall with the legs. The runner should always feel as if he/she is falling to the ground. Keep the body erect and use the body’s center of mass for the forward lean. For inexperienced runners this can be an out of control feeling. As one practices they will get more comfortable with the lean and allowing gravity to increase his or her speed.
So much of the inefficiency with running comes from bouncing or vertical movement. While it is impossible to eliminate all vertical movement a person can minimize it with a good forward lean. Less vertical movement and more horizontal power translates to faster speeds. Using gravity by leaning forward gives the runner “free speed” because gravity is always there to pull the runner to the ground.
Practicing downhill running will help with the forward falling feeling. The hill must be steep enough to pull the runner down but not so steep that is forces the runner to slap his/her feet. Doing downhill repeats also allows the legs to move fast without too much exertion. Runners often express that they need to do more speed work at the track to get faster. Track workouts are a great way to develop speed but at the expense of increased intensity. If a runner wants to work on speed without the exertion of the track then downhill repeats are the key. It is good to choose routes that are hilly so that the undulation helps work different muscle groups and gives the runner an opportunity to work on speed without much exertion.
If after a downhill workout the runner’s quadriceps muscles (front of legs) are tight and sore then the runner was over striding or reaching out too far to prevent the out of control feeling. In simple terms overstriding creates impact forces on the quadriceps muscle group and slows the runner down. It is the body’s natural reaction to over stride on the down hill to maintain balance but if this happens the runner is putting on the brakes and fighting gravity. Be aware of this and consciously focus on keeping the feet underneath the body’s center of mass. Do not fight gravity. Think “free speed.” Heel striking is usually the result of over striding but one can over stride without striking the heels. Sore quads are a good indication that over striding occurred and the runner needs to emphasize taking quicker steps, especially on downhill sections.
Quick feet and short strides are essential to good downhill running. Knees should be high, which will require strong and efficient hip flexors. High knees allow more force to drive the feet into the ground. A quick step reduces impact time and time to next stride.
Practice these skills while downhill running to be a more efficient runner overall.