Monday, January 28, 2013



Coming from the world of power lifting and bodybuilding as my chosen sports, it’s odd to me that people could derive pleasure out of running. Especially long distance running, not to mention marathons. And judging by the looks on many people’s faces I see running along the beach here in South Florida I suspect most don’t. I believe the reason for this is that most people who choose running as an activity are not doing so as efficiently as possible and therefore feeling as though it’s something they have do as a means to an end.  In other words, many runners are doing it to lose weight or build up there cardiovascular system without realizing that running is a skill and that in order to run efficiently and effectively you must have synchronization of the 3 B’s.

The big toe, the butt and the belly! Yes, you read that properly! When the big toe, the butt and the belly are getting along during the run the whole body is in synch and the run becomes much more efficient and effective. Now what in the world do these 3 structures have to do with running? Well allow me to explain: The big toe is important during the mid stance (when one foot is on the ground) and as the ground, mass of our body and momentum moves over that foot in to flight phase. During this time our hip extends (hopefully), our knee starts extending, our ankle starts dorsiflexing (toes toward shins), our heal starts inverting, our subtalor joint starts going through inversion and our mid tarsel joint locks up positioning our foot for good propulsion off the big toe. And when the big toe propels well, it turns on the butt (and all the associated hip muscles) which in turn turns on the belly (and all the associated trunk muscles). Fortunately for us this all happens through grace, gravity and the ground. However, when this chain reaction is not happening problems are caused throughout the body and the running experience leads to a progressive breaking down of the body, exactly opposite of why we do it in the first place.

One interesting thing about running is the impact the body goes through (called the loading phase in functional terms) as the body in flight turns into a body on the ground with one leg. It has been said that the forces that go through the body during the landing phase are equal to at least 10 times your bodyweight. And all the motions we described earlier have to happen in a slit second before the body goes through the exploding phase, a transfer to the other side and back to the loading phase on the opposite side. It’s no wonder those people I see running don’t look very happy! There’s a lot going on.

guy running

Exercises specific to running preparation

The goal of any sport specific training program is to ultimately make the sport easier to do. In other words, your exercise program should complement, not confuse, the nervous system patterns being challenged during the sport activity. A running preparation program is no exception. We already spoke about the 3 B’s we need to “turn on” during our training. The following is some sample exercises to help us do just that. The videos that accompany this article will describe each of these.

Phase One – Flexibility/Mobility

Tri Stretch Calf Mobility

Long stride Toed in 3 dimensional Hip flexor stretches

Walking Tri Plane Mobility Stretch

Phase Two – Strengthening

Clubbell Long Stride Core Strength Exercise Series

Phase Three – Dynamic Strength and Balance


Leg and Arm Drivers in all 3 planes

Resisted Hip drives

More of Koach John McDermott can be found here

Energy Foods by Koach Marlo Mittler

With 2013 underway there is a lot to be done! This not only requires time management and a organized game plan, but enough energy to keep you going.  That’s right, by fueling your body with the right foods, you will be able to meet the tight deadlines and gear up for a productive year ahead.

 Take a look at some of the foods that act like fuel for your body!  Great for everyone from kids to adult! We know how long some of those days can be so take a look below:

 energy foodRaw Nuts This healthy snack is high in magnesium, a mineral known to help convert sugar into energy.  When you snack on these raw nuts you will keep you energized for longer periods of time, avoiding the sugar crash.  The best nuts for your body are cashews, almonds and hazelnuts.

Lean Meats Choose from lean chicken, turkey or beef as a great source of protein.  These foods contain tyrosine, which is an amino acid that assists in brain activity and can also enhance your mood. These foods are also known as a good source of B12, which also help to energize and can even fight insomnia and depression.
Eggs – These are yet another protein food that also enhances energy levels.  This is due to being a great source of minerals like zinc, phosphorous and chromium.  Not only are these a great breakfast item but would be a perfect accompaniment to a salad or as a snack.

Dark Chocolate – A few squares of dark chocolate can increase energy and mood. This affect is a result of both caffeine and theobromine. Yes, finally a sweet treat that is actually good for you!

Leafy Greens – These vegetables all contain a large amount of folate, which has been linked to decreasing depression. In fact these greens help to boost your energy and your mind.  So keep these front and center in your salad or at your dinner table.

Fruits – Choosing fruits, mainly bananas, apricots and kiwi, are a great way to naturally boost your energy.  These are high in potassium which maintains normal nerve and muscle function, as well as fructose for ready to use sugars and antioxidants.

Oats – Old fashioned oats not only make a warm and satisfying breakfast, but with their complex carbohydrates and b vitamins, they are a rich source of energy.  So serve up a batch to get your day started or a great pick me up at work!

Salmon – This fish boosts loads of protein, as well as energy boosting B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. No wonder this food not only satisfies taste, but energizes you for a long time. Feed your body well with this delicious food.

So start this year ahead off great with foods that will help you to optimize your energy!