Posts Tagged ‘Stride’

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Here’s my write-up for Milo R2 APEX Running School’s Fb page about Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training:


This week, we will focus on Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training (SAQ Training), which would allow the runners to improve their ability to accelerate and decelerate while dynamically stabilizing the whole body during fast-paced movements in all planes of motion. SAQ Training also can help the nervous system to respond more efficiently and enhance muscular recruitment (be able to use more/smaller muscle fibers) and coordination when done with correct mechanics.

*SPEED is basically any movement in one intended distance covered divided by time (ie, forward speed).

*AGILITY refers to quick changing of movement direction or speed.

*QUICKNESS is the ability to react to a stimulus and properly change the motion of the body.

Here are some quick intro points on what to expect with the workouts:

    *SPEED is a product of stride rate (number of strides over time or distance) and stride length (distance covered in one stride). We’ll be doing exercises to improve your stride rate and stride length by working not just on muscular strength and flexibility, but most importantly on neuromuscular efficiency. Some aspects of speed may be dependent on genetic factors (like long legs, etc), but keep in mind that Speed is a skill that can be learned through proper drills and mechanics.
    *Improving AGILITY involves the mindfulness of the runner to maintain his/her center of gravity over the base of support while changing directions at various speed. Training for agility enhances neuromuscular coordination, dynamic (or “moving“) flexibility, dynamic postural control, functional core strength, and proprioception. This helps prevent injury as the body learns to control the sudden forces it encounters while running, and it improves the structural integrity of connective tissues.
    *QUICKNESS, or simply “Reaction Time” is the ability to respond and switch the position of the body while moving with power, in all planes of motion and from all body positions. It is also important to be able to assess visual, auditory, or kinesthetic stimuli and provide the appropriate physical response as fast as possible (ie, avoiding a car while running).
    *Precise technique is important for SAQ training so really be mindful of your body and how it moves while executing the drills. Feel which muscles work to stabilize your body and how you keep your center of gravity.

Maximize each drill/exercise by doing the drill at a slow pace first to get your body accustomed to the movement. Gradually inrease your pace for every set. When you feel that you are able to maintain your center of gravity and your limbs (especially your legs) move naturally with the movement, try to do the drill at the fastest pace that you can. SAQ Training will surely improve your running economy so give each drill all that you’ve got and recover well with Milo R2!

Enjoy the workout!



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Running 101.1

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Running
Tags: , , , ,

My sister have just started running jogging with her friend a couple of months ago, and last week, she asked me to “coach” them on how to run properly. They always go for a jog on Saturday mornings since she goes to work very early. I usually run in the afternoon, before I teach my Pilates class at 7:30pm, but thank God I was able to get up early last Saturday to teach them.

They are targeting to run a straight 3km without stopping or walking too much. They said they usually run for a total of 15minutes or less, then just walk the rest of the hour.

Last month, I also taught my wife how she can jog for a longer period of time. She was a former sprinter back in high school and she’s used to short bouts of running. She asked me to teach her how she can jog and run longer. I am not a professional runner myself but I’m sharing what I learned and experienced as a conditioning coach at a running clinic.

First, I started by teaching them the proper running form and posture – most of these principles about posture are also from what I learned in Pilates! For the trunk: keep your head over your shoulders, your shoulders down and against your rib cage (you can observe some people running with shrugged and/or slouched shoulders), tuck your belly in (draw-in maneuver). Elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle, and swing your arms as you run without moving your hand backward past your waist. Relax your hands and try to point your fingers (or just your hand) to the direction where you’re going. Some people run with their arms and hands all over the place – these unnecessary movements waste energy.

It’s hard to learn all those things and do them just in one session, so I proceed teaching the running mechanics: when you run, your hip is slightly at an angle to tilt your trunk towards the direction where you’re going, which should always be forward! So you should keep your abdominals engaged (draw-in maneuver) because moving your legs without engaging your core would cause your hip to tilt sideways or rotate. As you run, push yourself from your toes and extend your legs as far to the back and up as you can. Try to land on the middle part of your foot and not your heel. Imagine you’re “cycling” your legs on the road and keep your feet from “braking.” Run lightly, or as some put it, imagine you’re running over egg shells and you don’t want to crack them.

Side-stitching after about 2km.

There are lots of videos about running that you can find on the internet (what can’t you find on the internet?), but here’s one youtube video which gives a very good yet simple and brief instruction on mid-foot running:

I made my sister and her friend do the drill sequence in addition to their warm-up before we headed off to run. True enough, they realized how running efficiently with the proper form and technique conserves energy and kept them running a little longer. I gave them a simple yet challenging target for the program of the day, and they we’re able to reach their goal.

Working out your endurance is another thing, but proper mechanics and form greatly affects any physical performance. Apart from that, it helps minimize injury and keeps you from overloading your joints (think foot pain, knee pain, hip and back pain).

It’s not too late to run. What’s stopping you?




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