Running Workshop – What I Learned Will Help Your Marathon

What a great weekend.

I spent two 10 hour days with Dr Mark Cucuzzella, Jay Dicharry, Ian Adamson, Dr Sean Martin along with a bunch of PTs and a few running coaches. The information was fantastic. Just the info I needed to take me to the next level in my own training and really help all the runners I work with.

I spend a lot of time studying running, learning more about technique, exercises, drills, shoes and the list goes on. The presenters have incredible labs, research, patients, athletes, clients, running stores and lots of personal experience.

So what did I learn? Well the weekend was really more about drilling down on information I already knew and how to apply it correctly.

Lesson 1 – Form matters in everything. Nothing new here but a great reminder. As a Senior ChiRunning® Instructor I teach form. I feel like I am aware of posture and focus on good alignment. So we were doing the “Clamshell exercise” see the video below, and all these PTs and coaches were doing the exercise while Jay walked around the room noticing problems in our alignment. Just correcting a minor issue made a big difference. To me, it was just being lazy at the end of a long two days but isn’t that the same as the last 6 miles of a marathon or half marathon?

“How you do anything is how you do everything” -Coach Steve Ilg

Lesson 2 – Core and Feet. The two biggest influences on your running. Thank God for ChiRunning®. I have been working on this for the last 8 years. I have also worked with Lenny Parracino who taught me about mobility and stability. That means spending time doing drills. I just want to run but I have to do the drills. It’s ore than just body looseners and my four dynamic exercises. And the drills can be done anytime, not just before a run. Time to re-evaluate my training. It is not just about a strong core but also a mobile body. Are we able to use the best muscles for the job and is our body mobile enough to allow it? These two together help create power. As we get older how do we keep at our current level or improve in these areas? I learned a lot here.

Lesson 3 – Shoes – We were at the the Newton Running Lab in Boulder, Colorado. Even though the event was put on by Newton we talked about shoes without it being a sales pitch for Netwon. I was invited because I am a certified Newton Natural Running Coach and I do wear their shoes but I wear a lot of different shoes so I can review them. I like a lot of different brands.

Here’s the one thing I would recommend try a “Transitional” shoe (6 – 4 mm heel drop). With that being said, throw out the old paradigm that running stores use, arch type, stature and pronation to determine if you need a motion control, stability or neutral shoe. The research doesn’t prove it. I am going to talk to the stores I send people to and remember, what feels the best is probably the best for you.

Lesson 4 – More focus on training intensity. I’m pretty good with this. I wear a heart rate monitor most of the time. I understand developing an aerobic base and anaerobic training. Now I have to get my athletes to spend more time focusing on this.

Lesson 5 – Gait Analysis. We were taught and given gait analysis protocols and how to incorporate this into people’s training. Now I have to practice. It is a lot more than foot placement and which part of the foot hits the ground. The best way would to have Jay’s elaborate pressure plate treadmill but there are still great ways to help runners without it.

I could keep going but I now is the time to start putting it all to good use. I am going to develop some new training protocols for my athletes using this great information. And, I’ll be sharing a lot this information on my web sites. Keep coming back.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs


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