Training Day: 73
Miles: 4.1 (intervals, treadmill)
Time: 50 min
Shoes: Xero HFS
Activity: Strength – Strength Capacity
How It Felt: The felt sooooo good! I managed to do a whole mile at a 9:30 min/mi pace! The strength training was practically a cardio workout as well! I was beat afterwards!
Commentary: After every run I go into Garmin Connect to look at my run data while I stretch. Every time my vertical ratio is supposedly shit and my vertical oscillation is pretty good. How do I know if they’re good or shit? Garmin color codes it for dummies like me! Red is bad, purple is good.
Vertical ratio is vertical oscillation divided by stride length. Garmin says, “Since stride length provides the benefit of running (horizontal movement) and vertical oscillation is energy cost (vertical movement), a lower vertical ratio indicates a small cost for a large benefit.” My stride length is super short, so that’s probably why my vertical ratio sucks.
I finally decided to Google how to improve vertical ratio. Nothing came up about vertical ratio, but I did find stuff on making your running stride more efficient. Here’s what Runner’s World reported from a published journal article:
- Stride parameters:
- Lower duty factor – ratio of ground contact time to stride time (ground contact time plus swing time)
- Shorter ground contact time (GCT)
- Shorter stride length
- Lower limb angles to minimize braking, vertical oscillation and transverse rotation:
- More vertical shank and plantarflexed food at touchdown
- Smaller range of motion of the knee and hip during stance
Duty factor? Yeah, I tried looking up more about that, and I ended up more confused, so I’m ignoring that first one. For me, GCT goes down the faster I run, so I feel like I just need to get faster. My stride is super short, so I don’t think I want it any shorter. As far as the lower limb angle stuff, I think I’d have to record a video of me running to determine if I suck at that stuff or not.
A lot of that stuff seemed way above my level. But in my perusing I found a couple of articles from Geeks On Feet about improving your stride that seemed to be geared towards mere mortals such as myself:
- Power your running with big stride – I enjoyed learning more about running mechanics in this article
- How to Improve Running Stride – Running and mobility drills and strength training to improve running stride
The second article was an eye opener. Not in the fact that it told me a bunch of stuff I didn’t know, but in the fact that I know a lot of the shit and haven’t been doing it. Thankfully, my Volt training incorporates a lot of the strength training discussed in the article. The running coach I fired prescribed the same running drills the article talked about, but I haven’t done them on my own.
In all that extra time I have on my hands (ha!), I would like to incorporate the drills from the article. Like all the running drills once a week. I was doing the couch stretch everyday, and I would like to get back to that. If I’m feeling super froggy, maybe I’ll even through in some of the strength training exercises Volt doesn’t have me do, like single-leg squats.
Endlessly seeking adventure.