Learning to Walk Before You Can Run

Have you ever stopped to think about all of the things you do on a daily basis and what our bodies have to do to make them happen? We often don’t think about bending over to pull weeds out of a garden or carrying the laundry basket full of clothing down the stairs, but all of those daily tasks require our bodies to move. How do you move? Are daily activities painful? Are you able to do the things you want to do and have fun doing them?

When deciding to get in shape or work toward fitness goals, thoughts of exercise often involve the dreaded gym or a beat-down workout. People frequently mention a need to ‘get into shape’ before seeing us. Running is perceived as one of the easiest ways to do this…because what could be simpler than a sport that only requires a pair of shoes (and according to some books, not even that!). Now don’t get me wrong, we love a good run, but we would argue that running is one of the most advanced workouts you can do.

Indulge my inner nerd as we explore this: The average stride length for women in the 1984 Olympics was almost 5 feet in the marathon and about 6.5 feet in the 800 (source). Stride length is widely variable based on hip mobility, height, distance run, and rate of turnover, so let’s round up to 80 inches average assuming men would likely have a longer stride. Considering this, a runner takes almost 800 strides in a mile. Let’s go a step further and cut that number in half, since you’d only land on one foot for half of that time. If I told you to jump on one foot 400 times, would you consider that a beginner workout? Then why do we consider a mile run a good way to “get into shape”?

Is running bad? Absolutely not. Running is an advanced movement that we take for granted. In a society that tells us that everything should be done in the most exciting, advanced way possible, sticking to the basics seems counterintuitive to meeting our potential. We would argue, however, that the elite are the elite because they do the basics better.

So what are the basics? Let’s get REALLY basic about this and consider how babies learn to move. As we developed as babies we didn’t skip from breathing to running. We gained strength and mastered our bodies one step at a time. We got strong enough to pick those big baby heads off the ground and then carry them around. We got strong enough to roll over. We got strong enough to push ourselves up from our bellies with our arms to a crawling position. We learned how to squat and pick stuff up, heavy stuff (ever notice how much a baby can lift in comparison to their weight?!) off the ground, well before we came close to running. We REQUIRED a base level of strength to progress through each developmental stage. It’s no wonder that when we start running without that needed strength we end up with so many injuries.

So if running is advanced, where should we start? How about with the very first thing we do at birth…breathe (and maybe cry, but we’ll forgo that one). At Catalyst we really do start with the basics…with every client and in every class. Each workout begins with breathing, rolling, nodding, rocking and crawling/walking variations before we get to the heavy (and fast) stuff. We’ve all heard the phrase walk before you run. We’ll teach you to breathe before you run, and we’re betting you’ll run much, much better. Don’t believe us?

Join us to learn how to the master the basics in a fun, sweaty, FREE

Community Workout

from 8-9am

at Randall Park in Solon

June 11 & 25

author: Catalyst Strength


Leave a reply