Posted by: Steve Aune | June 29, 2011

Pose Technique- Running Uphill & Downhill

Pose Technique– Running Uphill & Downhill

After getting lazy on keeping my calves loose and working them daily I strained my unruly calf muscle in the first mile of a run a couple of weeks ago.  This nagging injury is really irking me.  I am happy that rehab went very quickly due to the calf work I do and with the help of Dr. Aaron Jones at The Clinic who Graston techniqued my calves into painful heaven.

After taking a week off from running, I was back at it again only this time I am consciously working my calves daily.  It is amazing to me how long it takes for muscles to work themselves out after such a deep bruise.  It is my fault for not addressing it back to 100% when it happened tho.  Then to consider that the bruise would lead to me walking and running differently and bringing more foot pain, hamstring issues into the equation absolutely amazes me.

Last Sunday I knocked of 7.5 miles and really worked on my form while fatigued.  I am still mentally exhausted after running trying to remember to do everything that I supposed to do or not do for that matter.  It feels really good when I am in Pose Form tho.  Monday I ran one mile warm up before my workout and a one mile cool down after, so that is promising when I can run two days in a row, especially after what is a longer run for me.

So today I needed to step it up a notch and start my hill training which I should have started a month ago or more.  I am way behind on my training plan due to my calf injury.  I rolled down to the parking ramps in downtown Fargo to get my uphill and downhill workout in since there are no hills in Fargo to run.

This was my first experience running the ramps.  My psycho fit wife, Jenny, runs them all of the time, and ran a ton during her Boston Training.  She was coaching me on running them.  She said do 9 rounds, so I did 12.  Nice huh?  At 9 was tired but feeling it, so I said what the heck I am going to run 3 more.  It was awesome.  I kept thinking of Coach Troy from Spinervals, or a friend of mine, Chad, who would say that you have to run the last ones as fast as you run the first ones.  I did not disappoint.

Pose Tech running uphill was far easier than downhill for me.  Running up hill concentrating on letting my foot land and then immediately pulling up with my hamstrings felt really good, however when I got tired I could feel my legs extending and trying to pull up and that was harder to do than to just land and pull immediately and let the lean take over.  Toward the top of the ramp when my heart rate was over 175, I could feel my arms getting more involved, so I had to stop that and focus on pulling my heels up under my body not extending & letting my foot fall freely not planting my foot or lifting with my quads or hip flexors  and not using my arms so much.  You can see why it is mentally exhausting when you are focusing your mind on so many variables.

Going downhill was…let’s say interesting…I have a lot of practicing to do here.  Letting your foot fall and picking up with your heels under your body is an easy thing to do, and it is also an easy thing to NOT do.  I was all over the place in my form going downhill.  The Pose Tech form felt super fast at first, mostly because I was exhausted from the uphill push and I am not in hill shape.  Cycling really helps my cadence for the downhills in that I can turn my feet pretty quickly and what I am learning is that going downhill I need to focus on bringing my heel up higher and let the free fall take over and then just adjust my lean to control the speed while keeping my legs bent.  It is critical to not over extend your legs and heel plant with a straight leg.  I believe that causes tremendous strain on your achilles, knees, hips, and low back.  Keep your knees bent and focus on pulling up your heels under your body with your hamstrings and then let the foot fall and repeat really fast!

I must also say the I have been running in my Altra Instincts since my last calf blowout and I really like them.  The Vibrams are still my favorite to this point, however until I am fully recovered, I am going to shelf those and use them for cross training and plyo workouts.

Imogene Pass here we come!

Steve Aune

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