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Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:12 pm

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I've always been a student of running, and even at 51, there are things I'm still learning. A guy I train with has been trying various ways to improve his turnover, and I began to wonder what magic formula is there for improving it.

I also watch a number of high school meets, since I help coach at a local high school.

One recent observation I've made is in leg returns - what determines how quickly you can get your leg back in front for the next stride. By and large, I think this has to do with how tucked in you heel is: that is to say - if it's close to your butt as you swing it forward, it'll come forward more quickly than if you sort of drag it forward without much bend in the knee.

At first I thought this took more effort, but I realized that there's less rotational inertia in this and it should improve efficiency of stride and improve turnover.

Can anyone comment on this? It must be "out there" in some training advice, but I can't seem to find it.

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Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:28 pm

 
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Here is a link:
Hitting your running stride - For Dummies

One trick I have used in the past was to sprint the football field hash marks.

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Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:47 pm

 
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I started reading the link about running stride but stopped as soon as it said hitting on the heel is ideal. Definitely not for sprinting. NSHS - your idea about keeping the leg tucked seems correct to me. Also, focus on keeping the foot dorsi-flexed (toe-up, not pointed down) and land on the 'ball' of the foot.

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Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:53 pm

 
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From what I remember from my college physics course, I agree as well. It must be one of the factors involved in determining the rate of turnover.

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:13 pm

 
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Leg return may be putting the cart before the horse.

We should focus, instead, on leg strength, flexibility and whatnot.

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Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:49 pm

 
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Yes Ken, these factors you mention are more important but there are many variables/components to running and I think that this is one to consider. I will admit that this one is less modifiable than, say, increasing strength through weightlifting. However, we should never cease to understand, and subsequently master, the specifics of running and, more importantly, running faster!

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:16 am

 
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Ken Stone wrote:
Leg return may be putting the cart before the horse.

We should focus, instead, on leg strength, flexibility and whatnot.


I don't know about "instead" - leg strength and flexibility are obviously of primary importance, but if one is already focusing on that, looking at running form certainly cannot hurt.

What occasioned this was looking at masters runners at Landover, and seeing that many of the most successful had good leg returns. Now, I'm sure that's supported by strength and flexibility, but once you have those, it doesn't automatically follow that you cannot gain speed by paying attention to your form.

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:45 am

 
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There are drills for stride frequency:

The Stick Drill

Running Drills

Speed Play

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