The top 6 reasons we like hills for training ankle rocker and hip extension

image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caer_Caradoc_hill.jpg

image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caer_Caradoc_hill.jpg

1. Hills do not cost money and are almost always readily available : )

2. Being outside is good for your health

3. Hills do not pull the hip into extension and place a stretch (pull) on the anterior hip musculature including the rectus femoris, iliopsoas and iliacus. This causes a slow stretch of the muscle, activating the muscle spindles (Ia afferents) and causing a muscle contraction via the stretch reflex. This will inhibit the posterior compartment of hip extensors (especially the glute max) through reciprocal inhibition, making it difficult to fire them.

4. A hill does not force your knee into extension, eliciting a stretch reflex in the hamstrings like a treadmill does

5. A hill naturally puts the ankle into dorsiflexion, and, along with active pulling up of the toes, helps you to get more into your anterior compartment and eliminates the tendency of the ankle being pulled into dorsiflexion (like with a treadmill) which would initiate a stretch reflex in the gastroc/soleus and long flexors.

6. The increased hip flexor requirement of going uphill gives you more opportunity to engage the abs before the psoas and rectus femoris/TFL and on the stance phase leg, you can get an increased stretch of those muscles

Tips for picking the right hill and using it to your advantage

  • When just starting out, try and pick an incline that does not exceed the ankle dorsiflexion available to the patient/client

  • It’s OK if it’s uncomfortable, but not if its painful

  • Concentrate on pulling up the toes and dorsiflexing the ankle

  • Squeeze your glute at heel strike and toe off

  • leave your stance phase heel on the ground as long as possible

  • Place your hands on your abs and concentrate on activating them PRIOR to flexing your hip

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#walkinghills #traininganklerocker #thegaitguys # increasinghipextension



Music to my ears. Movement to my steps...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music

"The applicable contribution of these novel findings is that music tempo could serve as an unprompted means to impact running cadence. As increases in step rate may prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of common running-related injuries, this finding could be especially relevant for treatment purposes, such as exercise prescription and gait retraining."

Van Dyck E, Moens B, Buhmann J, Demey M, Coorevits E, Dalla Bella S, Leman M. Spontaneous Entrainment of Running Cadence to Music Tempo. Sports Med Open. 2015;1(1):15. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

link to free full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4526248/

image credit: http://pressplay.pbworks.com/w/page/82954552/Loebner%20Keith%20HW%203

Perhaps we need to change how we are are rehabbing X (insert your favorite weight bearing joint)

image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StrongBoard_balance

image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StrongBoard_balance

We have recently run across some research that has changed the way we look at some of the rehab we do, especially proprioceptive rehab. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

Traditionally, we present increasing balance requirements to the weight bearing structure by changing one or more of the three parameters that keep us upright in the gravitational plane: vision, the proprioceptive system (which include the muscles, joints and ligaments) and the vestibular system (the utricle, saccule and semicircular canals). We have discussed them extensively in multiple articles here on the blog. We generally would make the rehab task more difficult by removing a stimulus (closing your eyes, having someone stand on foam) or challenging (standing on one leg, putting someone on a wobble board, BOSU, extending the head, etc) the to make it more durable and "educated". More difficult task + better balance = more stable joint and better outcomes. 

The importaat thing is to think about how much of each system is apportioned; we often (wrongly) assume it is pretty equally divided between the three. It turns out, that it really depends on the surface you are standing on and the circumstances.

On flat planar surfaces, the division of labor looks something like this:

  • proprioceptive system 70%
  • vestibular system 20%
  • visual system 10 %

On uneven or unstable surfaces (like a BOSU, dynadisc, foam, Swiss ball, etc), it looks like this:

  • vestibular system 70%
  • visual system 20%
  • proprioceptive system 10%

So, if we are rehabbing an ankle, it would make the most sense to do most of the rehab (and additional challenges) on a flat planar surface, perhaps incorporating things like forward, backward and side lean, toe and heel work and closed chain strengthening. WE could also close the eyes to make them more dependent on the proprio system, or extend the head 60 degrees to dampen the influence the lateral semicircular canals. We can put them on a BOSU or unstable surface but we need to remember that in that case, we will be rehabbing the vestibular system AND PERHAPS teaching THAT SYSTEM to compensate more, than the "broken" system. Yes, they get better BUT we are not fixing the system that is injured. 

You could make the argument, that your athletes/clients run/walk/exercise on uneven surfaces and use their vestibular system more.Maybe so, but is the actual injury to the vestibular system or to the musculoskeletal one?

Armed with this information, try and think of the system that is compromised and focus your efforts on that system, rather than the other two. Yes, people have vestibular dysfunction and refractive errors and need therapy, exercises and/or corrective lenses, but many of us are not vestibular or opticokinetic therapists (kudos to those of you who are!)

 

 

 

Peterka RJ, Statler KD, Wrisley DM, Horak FB. Postural Compensation for Unilateral Vestibular Loss. Frontiers in Neurology. 2011;2:57. doi:10.3389/fneur.2011.00057.

Horak FB. Postural Compensation for Vestibular Loss. Restorative neurology and neuroscience. 2010;28(1):57-68. doi:10.3233/RNN-2010-0515.

So, you do weighted carries?

METHODS:

Participants were instructed to ascend and descend a three-step staircase at preferred pace using a right leg lead and a left leg lead for each load condition: no load, 20% body weight (BW) bilateral load, and 20% BW unilateral load. L5/S1 contralateral bending, hip abduction, external knee varus, and ankle inversion moments were calculated using inverse dynamics.

 

Nothing earthshaking here (1) , but a few takeaways:

  • Asymmetric loading of L5-S1 will most likely become more significant if the individual has a L5-S1 facet tropism, where one (or both) of the facets is (are) facing saggitally, as loading will be be even greater.  This has been associated with disc derangement (2) and degeneration (3).

 

  • The body does seem to adjust for the load, but it takes at least to the second step. We need to make sure the proprioceptive feedback loops (joint and muscle mechanoreceptors and their associated pathways) are functioning well. Manipulate, mobilize, facilitate, inhibit as appropriate.

 

  • The increased varus moment and hip abduction on the unweighted side are most likely to move the center of gravity more to the midline, which makes sense. This may become problematic with folks with increased internal tibial torsion, especially with femoral retroversion/torsion as they already have limited internal rotation available to them at the hip

 

 

 

 

 

 
1. Wang J, Gillette JC. Carrying asymmetric loads during stair negotiation: Loaded limb stance vs. unloaded limb stance. Gait Posture. 2018 Jun 19;64:213-219. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.06.113. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Chadha M, Sharma G, Arora SS, Kochar V. Association of facet tropism with lumbar disc herniation. European Spine Journal. 2013;22(5):1045-1052. doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2612-5.
3. Berlemann U, Jeszenszky DJ, Buhler DW, Harms J (1998) Facet joint remodeling in degenerative spondylolisthesis: an investigation of joint orientation and tropism. Eur Spine J 7: 376-380.

 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Individuals often carry items in one hand instead of both hands during activities of daily living. Research Question The purpose of this study was to investigate low back and lower extremity frontal plane moments for loaded limb stance and unloaded limb stance when carrying symmetric and asymmetric loads during stair negotiation.

METHODS:

Participants were instructed to ascend and descend a three-step staircase at preferred pace using a right leg lead and a left leg lead for each load condition: no load, 20% body weight (BW) bilateral load, and 20% BW unilateral load. L5/S1 contralateral bending, hip abduction, external knee varus, and ankle inversion moments were calculated using inverse dynamics.

RESULTS:

Peak L5/S1 contralateral bending moments were significantly higher when carrying a 20% BW unilateral load as compared to a 20% BW bilateral load for both stair ascent and stair descent. In addition, peak L5/S1 contralateral bending moments were significantly higher during step one than for step two. Peak external knee varus and hip abduction moments were significantly higher in unloaded limb stance as compared to loaded limb stance when carrying a 20% BW unilateral load.

SIGNIFICANCE:

General load carriage recommendations include carrying less than 20% BW loads and splitting loads bilaterally when feasible. Assessment recommendations include analyzing the first stair step and analyzing both the loaded and unloaded limbs.

The Power of Facilitation: How to supercharge your run.

While running intervalsone morning, something dawned on me. My left knee was hurting from some patellar tracking issues, but only on initial contact and toe off. I generally run with a midfoot strike. I began concentrating on my feet, lifted and spread my toes and voila! my knee pain instantly improved. Very cool, and that is why I am writing this today. 

Without getting bogged down in the mire of quad/hamstring facilitation patterns, lets look at what happened.

I contracted the long extensors of the toes: the extensor digitorum longus and the extensor hallicus longus; the short extensors of my toes: the extensor digitorum brevis, the extensor hallucis brevis: as well as the dorsal interossei.the peroneus longus, brevis and tertius were probably involved as well.

Do you note a central theme here? They are all extensors. So what, you say. Hmmm… 

Lets think about this from a neurological perspective:

In the nervous system, we have 2 principles called convergence and divergence. Convergence is when many neurons synapse on one (or a group of fewer) neuron(s). It takes information and “simplifies” it, making information processing easier or more streamlined. Divergence is the opposite, where one(or a few) neurons synapse on a larger group. It takes information and makes it more complicated, or offers it more options.

In the spinal cord, motor neurons are arranged in sections or “pools” as we like to call them in the gray matter of the cord. These pools receive afferent information  and perform segmental processing (all the info coming in at that spinal cord segment) before the information travels up to higher centers (like the cerebellum and cortex). One of these pools fires the extensor muscles and another fires the flexor muscles.. 

If someone in the movie theater keeps kicking the back of our seat, after a while, you will say (or do) something to try and get them to stop. You have reached the threshold of your patience. Neurons also have a threshold for firing.  If they don’t reach threshold, they don’t fire; to them it is black and white. Stimuli applied to the neuron either takes them closer to or farther from threshold.  When a stimulus takes them closer to firing, we say they are “facilitating” the neuron. If it affects a “pool” of neurons, then that neuronal pool is facilitated. If that pool of neurons happens to fire extensor muscles, then that “extensor pool” is facilitated.

When I consciously fired my extensor muscles, two things happened: 1. Through divergence, I sent information from my brain (fewer neurons in the cortico spinal pathway) to the motor neuron pools of my extensor muscles (larger groups of motor neurons) facilitating them and bringing them closer to threshold for firing and 2. When my extensor muscles fired, they sent that information (via muscle spindles, golgi tendon organs, joint mechnoreceptors, etc) back to my cerebellum, brain stem and cortex (convergence) to monitor and modulate the response.

When I fired my extensor muscles, I facilitated ALL the neuronal pools of ALL the extensors of the foot and lower kinetic chain. This was enough to create balance between my flexors and extensors and normalize my knee mechanics.

If you have followed us for any amount of time, you know that it is often “all about the extensors” and this post exemplifies that fact.

 Next time you are running, have a consciousness of your extensors. Think about lifting and spreading our toes, or consciously not clenching them. Attempt to dorsiflex your ankles and engage your glutes. It just may make your knees feel better!

Another way to alter loading rates and potentially reduce injuries?

How about providing something a simple as visual and auditory cues?

In his particular study they cued people to either
1. Forefoot strike
2. Decrease average vertical loading by 15% or
3.Decrease step length by 7-1/2 per cent (ie increase step frequency)

All 3 decreased eccentric knee joint work; but increased ankle joint work. Forefoot strike as well as cues to decrease average vertical loading (which would cause you to forefoot strike) increased ankle joint work. I guess that if you steal from Peter you need to pay Paul! Decreasing step length had no adverse effects.

What are you trying to accomplish? If it is decreased knee joint loading, such as in patients with patellofemoral problems, then this could be a very good thing. If you have a patient with a raging achilles tendinitis, then perhaps not.

Having someone decrease their step length (effectively increasing their cadence) can be one of the safest ways to decrease vertical loading rates.

Baggaley M, Willy RW, Meardon S. Primary and secondary effects of real-time feedback to reduce vertical loading rate during running Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 Mar 19. doi: 10.1111/sms.12670. [Epub ahead of print].

Do quarter squats transfer best to sprinting?   We have always said that exercises are specific as to the type of exercise (isometric, isotonic, isokinetic) as well as the speed of exercise. And this backs that up, with a surprise:    Unexpectedly, QUARTER produced superior gains in both vertical jump height and 40-yard sprint running times, compared with both HALF and FULL. give it a read, especially the vertical jump section..       https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/promotions/quarter-squats-transfer-sprinting/

Do quarter squats transfer best to sprinting?

We have always said that exercises are specific as to the type of exercise (isometric, isotonic, isokinetic) as well as the speed of exercise. And this backs that up, with a surprise:

Unexpectedly, QUARTER produced superior gains in both vertical jump height and 40-yard sprint running times, compared with both HALF and FULL. give it a read, especially the vertical jump section..


https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/promotions/quarter-squats-transfer-sprinting/

Training out a crossover gait?

This gal came to see us with right-sided hamstring insertional pain. During gait analysis we noted that she has a crossover gait as seen in the first two sections of this video. In addition to making other changes both biomechanically (manipulation, gluteus medius exercises) and in her running style (“Rounding out her gait” and making her gait more “circular”, running with less impact on foot strike, extending her toes slightly in her shoes) she was told to run with her arms at her sides rather than across her body. You can see the results and the third part of this.

Because of her bilateral gluteus medius weakness that is seen with the dipping and lateral shift of the pelvis on the footstrike side, she moves her arms across her body to move her center of gravity over her feet.

Yes, there is much more work that needs to be done. This is one simple step in the entire process.

Did you know using a sauna can (in some areas) produce better results than exercise?   I didn’t believe it either. What are we listening to this week? For 1, one of Dr Ivo’s new favs: Dr Rhonda Patrick    This is an absolutely great, referenced short on some of the benefits of hyperthermic conditioning (ie sauna use). One of the most surprising effects was benefits which exceeded exercising!       Here is one small excerpt:  Being heat acclimated enhances endurance by the following mechanisms:    It increases plasma volume and blood flow to the heart (stroke volume).  This results in reduced cardiovascular strain and lowers the heart rate for the same given workload.  These cardiovascular improvements have been shown to enhance endurance in highly trained as well as untrained athletes.     It increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles, keeping them fueled with glucose, esterified fatty acids, and oxygen. The increased delivery of nutrients to muscles reduces their dependence on glycogen stores. Endurance athletes often hit a “wall” when they have depleted their muscle glycogen stores. Hyperthermic conditioning has been shown to reduce muscle glycogen use by 40%-50% compared to before heat acclimation. This is presumably due to the increased blood flow to the muscles. In addition, lactate accumulation in blood and muscle during exercise is reduced after heat acclimation.     It improves thermoregulatory control, which operates by activating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing the blood flow to the skin and, thus the sweat rate. This dissipates some of the core body heat. After acclimation, sweating occurs at a lower core temperature and the sweat rate is maintained for a longer period.     waaaayyyyy more in her video. Check it out  here . I had to listen to it several times to catch all the details.

Did you know using a sauna can (in some areas) produce better results than exercise? 

I didn’t believe it either. What are we listening to this week? For 1, one of Dr Ivo’s new favs: Dr Rhonda Patrick

This is an absolutely great, referenced short on some of the benefits of hyperthermic conditioning (ie sauna use). One of the most surprising effects was benefits which exceeded exercising!

Here is one small excerpt:
Being heat acclimated enhances endurance by the following mechanisms:

It increases plasma volume and blood flow to the heart (stroke volume).  This results in reduced cardiovascular strain and lowers the heart rate for the same given workload.  These cardiovascular improvements have been shown to enhance endurance in highly trained as well as untrained athletes.

It increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles, keeping them fueled with glucose, esterified fatty acids, and oxygen. The increased delivery of nutrients to muscles reduces their dependence on glycogen stores. Endurance athletes often hit a “wall” when they have depleted their muscle glycogen stores. Hyperthermic conditioning has been shown to reduce muscle glycogen use by 40%-50% compared to before heat acclimation. This is presumably due to the increased blood flow to the muscles. In addition, lactate accumulation in blood and muscle during exercise is reduced after heat acclimation.

It improves thermoregulatory control, which operates by activating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing the blood flow to the skin and, thus the sweat rate. This dissipates some of the core body heat. After acclimation, sweating occurs at a lower core temperature and the sweat rate is maintained for a longer period.

waaaayyyyy more in her video. Check it out here. I had to listen to it several times to catch all the details.

Usain… Again!!! How good are your powers of observation?

Take a look at this video again. Yes, we have shown it many times before. It is from a 2001 race in Monaco.

These are all incredible athletes. What can we note about the fastest of the fast?

  • Most of them have excellent hip extension (ok, the gent immediately to Usain’s right does not appear to be optimal)
  • the fastest of the pack have a upright head posture with the neck neutral or in slight extension (gents in lanes 1, 3 and 6; notice the head forward posture of the others)
  • minimal heel rebound (see our last post on this here)
  • minimal torso motion (note the increased torso motion  with arm swing of the gents in lanes 1, 3, 4 and 5)
  • symmetrical hip flexion, with the thigh parallel or nearly parallel to the ground in float phase
  • what else?

Watch it a few more times. It took us a while too…

Really, go watch it again…

Did you see it?

Watch the vertical oscillation of the runners. At this level (or any level for that matter), outside of improving biomechanics and neuromechanics, there are really only a few things you can do to run faster. One is to have a faster cadence and another is to have a longer stride length. You can control both, but if not done concurrently, one gets better at the expense of the other.

If your cadence is slower and you try and increase stride length, you increase your vertical oscillation (ie: how much you bounce up and down). Note the handrail at the far side of the track. It makes a convenient marker for vertical oscillation. Watch this bar and watch the video again. Usain and the gent in lane 6 (Nesta Carter) have little vertical oscillation compared to the rest of the pack. Note also the close finish. difficult to say if Usain’s knee or Carters foot crossed 1st. Usiain’s time was 9.88 and Nesta’s 9.90.

Decreased cadence = Increased vertical oscillation = Less horizontal motion = Slower speeds

How about watching this video a few more times and telling us what else is up?

The Gait Guys. We are trying to help you improve your powers of observation while stretching your mind. Are we succeeding? We hope so!

Ivo and Shawn

On the topic of endurance training.....

On the topic of endurance training (which we discussed on this weeks PODcast, forthcoming in the next day or so; we have both been extraordinarily busy in our clinics); if you are a well trained athlete (ie endurance junkie), how might this effect your running gait?

So, you run 103 miles with an elevation change of over 31,000 feet, how do you think you would fare? These folks were tested pre and 3 hours post race on a 22 foot long pressure walkway at about 7.5 miles per hour. Here’s how this group of 18 folks did:

  1. increased step frequency
  2. decreased “aerial” time
  3. no change in contact time
  4. decrease in downward displacement of the center of mass
  5. decrease in peak vertical ground reactive force
  6. increased vertical oscillation
  7. leg stiffness remained unchanged

So what does this tell us?

  • wow, that is a lot of vertical
  • holy smokes, that is really far
  • don’t know how I would do with a race like that
  • they are fatigued (1, 2, 6)
  • they are trying to attenuate impact forces (2, 3, 4, 5, 7)

The system is trying to adapt the best it can. If you were to do a standard hip screen test (like we spoke about here)  you would probably see increased horizontal drift due to proprioceptive fatigue. Remember that proprioception (our bodies ability to sense its position in space) makes the world go round. Proprioception is dependent on an intact visual system (see our post yesterday) , an intact vestibular system and muscle and joint mechanoreceptors functioning appropriately). We would add here that central nervous system fatigue (ie central processing both at the cord and in the cortex) would probably play a role as well.

The take home message? The human machine is a neuro mechanical marvel and much more complex than having the right shoe or the right running technique. Training often makes us more competent and efficient, but everything has it limits.

The Gait Guys. Making it real with each and every post.

all material copyright 2013 The Gait Guys/ The Homunculus Group

J Biomech. 2011 Apr 7;44(6):1104-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.01.028. Epub 2011 Feb 20.

Changes in running mechanics and spring-mass behavior induced by a mountain ultra-marathon race.

Source

Université de Lyon, F-42023 Saint-Etienne, France. jean.benoit.morin@univ-st-etienne.fr

Abstract

Changes in running mechanics and spring-mass behavior due to fatigue induced by a mountain ultra-marathon race (MUM, 166km, total positive and negative elevation of 9500m) were studied in 18 ultra-marathon runners. Mechanical measurements were undertaken pre- and 3h post-MUM at 12km h(-1) on a 7m long pressure walkway: contact (t©), aerial (t(a)) times, step frequency (f), and running velocity (v) were sampled and averaged over 5-8 steps. From these variables, spring-mass parameters of peak vertical ground reaction force (F(max)), vertical downward displacement of the center of mass (Δz), leg length change (ΔL), vertical (k(vert)) and leg (k(leg)) stiffness were computed. After the MUM, there was a significant increase in f (5.9±5.5%; P<0.001) associated with reduced t(a) (-18.5±17.4%; P<0.001) with no change in t©, and a significant decrease in both Δz and F(max) (-11.6±10.5 and -6.3±7.3%, respectively; P<0.001). k(vert) increased by 5.6±11.7% (P=0.053), and k(leg) remained unchanged. These results show that 3h post-MUM, subjects ran with a reduced vertical oscillation of their spring-mass system. This is consistent with (i) previous studies concerning muscular structure/function impairment in running and (ii) the hypothesis that these changes in the running pattern could be associated with lower overall impact (especially during the braking phase) supported by the locomotor system at each step, potentially leading to reduced pain during running.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21342691

Previously unreleased Video Available for download  
       
   &ldquo;Performance Theories: Dialogues on Training Concepts&rdquo;   
 How about some one on one with Shawn and Ivo? Hear our thoughts on: 


 • What is the definition of the core and what does it entail ? 

 • Physiologic overflow of muscles with respect to joint motion 

 • Isotonic Exercise concepts 

 • Physiologic characteristics of muscle types 

 • Strength Training: Neural Adaptation 

 • Motor Pattern Muscle Compensation Concepts 

 • Exercise Prescription Concepts 

 • Hip Extension Motor Pattern: A discussion on compensations 

 • Neurologic Reciprocal Inhibition: Principles of joint movement and stability 

 • The Concept of Tight and Short Muscles: They are different 

 • Stretching: Good or Bad? 

 We tackle the tough questions and provide real world answers.  An hour packed with hours worth of information! Download your copy  here  from Payloadz. 



  all material copyright 2009 The Homunculus Group/ The Gait Guys. All rights reserved.

Previously unreleased Video Available for download


“Performance Theories: Dialogues on Training Concepts”

How about some one on one with Shawn and Ivo? Hear our thoughts on:

• What is the definition of the core and what does it entail ?

• Physiologic overflow of muscles with respect to joint motion

• Isotonic Exercise concepts

• Physiologic characteristics of muscle types

• Strength Training: Neural Adaptation

• Motor Pattern Muscle Compensation Concepts

• Exercise Prescription Concepts

• Hip Extension Motor Pattern: A discussion on compensations

• Neurologic Reciprocal Inhibition: Principles of joint movement and stability

• The Concept of Tight and Short Muscles: They are different

• Stretching: Good or Bad?

We tackle the tough questions and provide real world answers.  An hour packed with hours worth of information! Download your copy here from Payloadz.

all material copyright 2009 The Homunculus Group/ The Gait Guys. All rights reserved.

Podcast #13: Caffeine, Nicotine & Lance

here is the link for podcast 13

http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/webpage

______________________________

1- Malcolm gladwells piece on drug doping (PEDs) in sports:

“Gladwell argued that we should think about cycling the same way we think about auto racing — where teams should be rewarded for using science and bending the rules to their breaking point to succeed.
"When you look at what Lance is alleged to have done. Basically he was better than everyone else at using PEDs,” Gladwell said. “He was the guy who sat down and was rigorous and focused and thoughtful and intelligent and cutting edge in how to use them, and apply them and make himself better. Like, I don’t know, so is that a bad thing?”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/malcolm-gladwell-lance-armstrong-2012-10#ixzz29QBKJpAJ

2- Caffeine: A PED ?
Mens health online magazine, also found in our Sunday edition Oct 14th, 2012 newspaper:

http://news.menshealth.com/chew-gum-before-races/2012/04/12/

Chew on this: Caffeinated gum can improve your athletic performance—if you start chewing it at the right moment, finds a new study from Kent State University.

NICOTINE: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/50_hits_of_nicotine
Nicotine has been used in energy drinks in Japan for years.
stimulates the release of acetylcholine, providing a sense of increased energy. Arnold used to do commercials for them.
Nicotine can improve reaction time.
Nicotine can be addictive, much like caffeine. But addiction to nicotine gum, lozenges, or patches is rare, if not unheard of.
MAYO clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2009/apr-24b.html

3- DISCLAIMER:We are not your doctors so anything you hear here should not be taken as medical advice. For that you need to visit YOUR doctors and ask them the questions. We have not examined you, we do not know you, we know very little about your medical status. So, do not hold us responsible for taking our advice when we have just told you not to !  Again, we are NOT your doctors !

4: Maryland Guy Running a marathon in flip flops:

“Some of the rules: It can’t be a heal strap. There can’t be any other means to hold the flip flop on your shoe besides just the normal thing between your toes,” Levasseur said. “I don’t know what happens if I get a blowout.”

Read more: http://www.wbaltv.com/news/sports/Man-to-run-Baltimore-marathon-in-flip-flops/-/9379464/16917220/-/remeou/-/index.html#ixzz29QDIyW4d

5-Managing Ankle Sprains:
http://www.running-physio.com/anklesprain/

6- HIIT
 http://www.the15minutes.info/2012/10/12/what-is-hiit-and-what-can-it-do-for-you/

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyandphysiology/a/Deconditioning.htm
Studies have shown that you can maintain your fitness level even if you need to change or cut back on you exercise for several months. In order to do so, you need to exercise at about 70 percent of your VO2 max at least once per week.

7- EMAIL FROM A Blog follower:

middleagedathlete asked you:
I searched the site and didn’t see anything on bow-leggedness (if that’s a word) and it’s impact on gait. I have mild to moderate bow legs and never even knew it until I started running and it was pointed out to me by a PT I was seeing for knee pain. Is there an optimal (or at a minimum least bad) strategy for running with bow legs? I am 6'0" tall and have a gap of about 2" between my knees when standing with my ankles together and my legs straight. I am curious to hear your thoughts.

8- from the newspaper:
from Barefoot Running University.com
Article: Running up Hill

 http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2012/10/12/uphill-running-technique/
9- Blog post we liked recently: October 5th, Gait Running and Sound. Are you listening to your body ?
 
 
10- Random topic: Wednesday october 10th Peter larson who runs Runblogger did a review of the following article:

Minimalist Running Results in Fewer Injuries?: Survey Suggests that Traditionally Shod Runners are 3.41 Times More Likely to Get Hurt

we have not gotten through the research article yet but we will, and we will try to address out thoughts on it and pete’s in the next 1-2 podcasts.  We want to make sure our thoughts are heard as well.  We bet Pete did a phenomenal job but we like to see things for ourselves, just like pete does. He is a stickler to details like we are, which is why we like alot of his work.  So, stay tuned !

11- Our dvd’s and efile downloads
Are all on payloadz. Link is in the show notes.
Link: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.asp?m=80204


Run and Bike Training using Music and Cadence.

Using music in your training is smart. We have been saying this for over a year in some of our blog articles regarding music and dance and incorporating some of the advantages of brain development and music. Today we have more research to prove our point.

 In The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (link) British researchers concluded that “exercise is more efficient when performed synchronously with music than when musical tempo is slightly slower than the rate of cyclical movement.” Scott Douglas summarized the study nicely:

    The study had cyclists pedal at 65 revolutions per minute (i.e., 130 pedal strokes per minute) while working at 70% of their aerobic max, which in running terms would be between recovery pace and half marathon pace. The cyclists listened to music at three tempi:

  • faster than their pedal rate (137 beats per minute),
  • synced with their pedal rate (130 beats per minute)
  • and slower than their pedal rate (123 beats per minute).
Although the cyclists rated their perceived effort the same in the three conditions, their oxygen cost was greater when they pedaled along to music that was slower than they were riding. Their heart rates were also slightly higher when listening to the slowest of the three music speeds.

Anyone who has frequently run with music knows how a peppy tune can jump start things. This study suggests you’re asking to work a little harder if your playlist includes songs slower than your turnover, which for running purposes ideally means around 170 or more beats per minute.

In one of our favorite Gait Guys blog posts on June 7th, (here is the link)
we mentioned some other great benefits of strategically using music to further your training:

Music provides timing. Music taps into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat. And when you are learning a task, timing can access part of the brain to either make it easier, easier to remember, or engrain the learned behavior deeper. When you add music to anything you are exercising other parts of your brain with that task. It is nothing new in the world of music and brain research when it comes to proving that music expands areas of learning and development in the brain. As Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University states “It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”

Several weeks ago we asked you as an athlete, and this pertains to runners and even those walking, to add music to your training. If you are walking, vary the songs in your ipod to express variations in tempo. Use those tempo changes to change your cadence. If you are a runner, once in awhile add ipod training to your workouts and do the same. Your next fartlek (a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are varied to enhance conditioning) might be a new experience. Perhaps an enjoyable one. Trust us, we have done it. Here at The Gait Guys, with our backgrounds in neurology and biomechanics amongst other things, we are always looking for new ways to learn and to incorporate other areas of brain challenge to our clients. To build a better athlete you have to use training ideas that are often outside the box.

Remember what Dr. Charles Limb said,

“It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”

It is nice to see more studies on music. All to often we use music for pleasure, but here we once again show that it can be a useful training tool if you are paying attention and thinking outside of the iPod. 

Shawn and Ivo, The Gait Guys ……… music lovers as well.

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As promised. The info you need to make an educated decision about your training.

What is lactate testing?

Lactate testing is a highly scientific, reliable and accurate way of looking inside the body during exercise to see exactly what’s going on physiologically. At its simplest, lactate (a salt) is a by-product of lactic acid, which is produced during exercise, especially at higher intensities. It’s not necessarily bad or good, but it is of key importance when you are looking to improve as an endurance athlete.

To better understand it, some key points are best made from the start because, all lactate testing is not the same and as a consumer you must be careful to learn the facts before you get tested:

Ø Unless you are getting blood lactate measured through blood samples taken during exercise, you are not getting a true lactate test and you cannot get accurate, valid & complete results.

Ø Lactate is a key player in endurance performance. It is far more important than VO2 max as it is directly related to your ability to perform at race pace.

How does blood lactate testing compare to other testing methods?

Lactate testing removes the guesswork and estimation that many other testing methods use and is based solely on the data that your body provides. Anaerobic threshold prediction tests, max heart-rate tests and heart-rate formulas are all based on guesswork and mathematics and as such don’t always give the most accurate results.

After being lactate tested and comparing the results with those from a heart-rate formula or anaerobic threshold prediction test, it’s not uncommon for some athletes to realize that they’ve been training as much as twenty beats per minute out of their optimal range! Suddenly the athlete can see why they were prone to over or under-training, underperformance and constant disappointment.

Almost always, the athlete improves dramatically following lactate testing as for many this is the first time that they get accurate data that allows their true athletic potential to be realized.

With lactate testing your training zones are based on the exact concentration of lactate at certain exercise intensities and the corresponding heart-rates, power outputs and speeds. These are different for everyone. There is no 85% or fat burning zone, just unique and personal results specific only to you based on sound science.

Regularly performing true lactate tests on athletes allows you to:

1. Monitor the balance of the aerobic and anaerobic systems

2. See how your body has adapted to training

3. Allow your body to tell you what training it needs

4 Develop accurate training parameters to bring about optimal progress for you

How can a lactate test help you?

Lactate testing is vital for the optimal development of an endurance athlete. At its best, it gives you precise heart-rates and training parameters like power output and speeds that are not available from any other method. Furthermore, you learn what training works for you and also learn what doesn’t work. It saves you from repeating mistakes and wasting time. For example, imagine getting 6 weeks in to a 12 week training program and doing a repeat lactate test. Imagine that the test tells you that your aerobic system has not improved sufficiently enough for the planned increase in volume that you had in mind. That’s information that you need to know. You can now change your training plan to reflect what you’ve learned, so that you continue to progress over the next 6 weeks and so that your racing experience is more successful.

What if you hadn’t done the test?

Chances are, you’d have ploughed through the increased mileage, overstressing an already weak and undeveloped aerobic system and ended up getting slower and slower, even over-trained. The race would pass miserably and you’d be left wondering what happened.

Is lactate testing only for elite athletes?

Lactate testing is just as important for the Novice athlete as it is for the Elite athlete. If you are genetically gifted, you can get to high level in endurance sports based on what you were born with. At the elite level, lactate testing helps refine training and improve already high standards. At the Novice or Age Grouper level, genetic talent is limited so you need to maximize what you have.

With blood lactate testing you optimize your training so that every second counts and you maximally develop your potential to its highest possible level.

Can you improve without lactate testing?

Of course you can, but how much guesswork are you willing to involve and how much time do you have to waste? Let’s face it - training is hard work. It’s not always fun so you want to guarantee that what you do works for you optimally. You want to make the most of the time that you have available. You can wander through the various books and pick up new ideas and try things but the reality is that the fastest way forward to peak performance, National team qualification, Hawaii ironman qualification and everything you want from your sport, is through rapid and continual development. That comes from good planning and monitoring the success of your training.

Sifting through the science, so you don’t have to. we are: The Gait Guys