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Old January 22nd, 2007, 07:59 PM
CoachMike CoachMike is offline
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Exclamation Why (Most) Women Shouldn't Run

I see this at the club all the time . .people trying to be/ do things not suited to their bodytype.

Few Yogi gurus possess my frame, and when I try to mimic them in activity ( although some movments may benefit me), many wrist supports/ balances, etc. are just plain contraindicated for me to even attempt.
I see the same on the treadmills, where only some are suited to truly RUNNING, while others, to paraphrase Alwyn are repeatedly impacting pre-exisitng orthopedic conditions . .making themself worse.

I came across this piece by Mike Boyle about female runners . .and as abrasive as it may sound at first, theres a very caring Coach's message in there.

Good health all
Mike

Why (Most) Women Shouldn't Run
Saturday, 13 January 2007
Courtesy of "Core Performance"

The answer is a word that starts with P and ends with S and is not "plastics."
By Michael Boyle
I really like Diane Lee's quote, "You can't run to get fit, you need to be fit to run."
In fact, I've used it in numerous presentations and articles. It really resonates with me. Simple, to the point.

I'm going to take the idea one step further. I'm not sure most women should run. When I say this in seminars, it really pisses off the female runners.
Sorry, I'm not worried about you; I'm worried about all the other women. If you are a runner and healthy, read on, but realize that you are the exception, not the rule.

I'm going to go from bad to worse. Here's a riddle for you.

Q- What do most female runners look like?

A- Male runners.

Ever ask yourself why? I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Women who run successfully for long periods of time were made to run.
They look just like men runners. Good female runners generally do not look like plus-size models.
It's not a question of cause and effect; it's a question of natural selection.
You can't run to get that cute little runner's body. It's actually reversed. You have to have that cute little runner's body to survive running.

Why do I say this? Two simple reasons.
Anatomy and physics. My favorite two sciences.
No matter how hard you try or how well you eat, you can't change your skeleton.

The problem with most women and running comes down to something they call Q angle in sportsmedicine. I won't bore you with the details, but it boils down to this.
Wider hips make for narrow knees. This angle of hip to knee creates problems.
Problems are magnified based on the number of steps.
The average person gets about 1500 foot strikes per mile.
Do the math on your 5-mile run. Running produces forces in the area of two to five times bodyweight per foot contact.
Do we need more math?

Let's go back to our elite female runner. Look at her body. You will generally see two things.
She has narrow hips and she has small breasts.
I know, there may be exceptions, but at the elite level, I doubt it.

One thought process would say, Great, my hips and breasts will decrease in size if I run. The other thought process is more logical.

Women with larger breasts and wider hips don't make good runners. It is the same logic as why there are no large gymnasts or figure skaters. Physics. Big people rotate slower. Natural selection rules it out.

So what happens when a "normal" woman begins to run?
She becomes a statistic. She becomes a physical-therapy client as she tries to shovel you-know-what against the tide.
Her wider knees cause her to develop foot problems or most likely knee problems.
Her greater body weight causes greater ground reaction forces.
Greater ground reaction forces stress muscle tissue and breast tissue. Get my drift yet? The end result is likely to be hurt and saggy instead of the cute and little.

The bottom line: Running is not good for most females.
If you want higher-intensity exercise, ride a stationary bike. Take a spin class, use a stairclimber, and don't run.

PS- The best stuff is the hard stuff. Use the AirDyne Bike or the StepMill. Don't take the easy way out.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:36 AM
JJC JJC is offline
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Very interesting topic, considering 95% of the people who use the treadmills or run on the track above our basketball courts are girls.

But then again, about 60-75% of them are in decent looking shape.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 04:16 AM
CoachMike CoachMike is offline
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I did a workshop a while back with Dr. Ken Kinakin . .similar to this, he stated, "There are no contraindicated exercises . .just contraindicated people".
There's a few exercises I shouldn't do given my structural limitations . .even if they did give Mr. Universe his quad separation
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:50 AM
Anthony B Anthony B is offline
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I'm not a huge fan of running - that's no secret. If someone is still chasing me after 200m, we'll fight.

But I'm also not about to assume or imply that all "running" is 5+ miles done 3-5 times a week ala marathon/triathlon style.

I'm also not about to assume that all running is done to get skinny and fit.

I'm also not about to assume (getting tired of that yet) that most people (let alone one gender) know how to run properly. Running is a skill just like anything else.

So sure, maaaaaaaybe women need to be more cautious, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 09:07 AM
Stuntchick Stuntchick is offline
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Interesting.... as a woman I would love to get up in arms (just out of principle!) - but to be honest... I (a woman of healthy hips!) and the majority of woman I train, runners and not, fit into this model. Not that I don't prescribe sprint training for myself and others, but the long distance running I leave to the gorgeous, lean, narrow hipped waifs... and yes, I am a bit jealous!

Thanks, intersting food for thought CM, I think about it while I'm on the treadmill this morning!
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:57 PM
CoachMike CoachMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony B
I'm not a huge fan of running - that's no secret. If someone is still chasing me after 200m, we'll fight.

But I'm also not about to assume or imply that all "running" is 5+ miles done 3-5 times a week ala marathon/triathlon style.
But that's what this article is about . .high volume impact on a contraindicated frame . .and as for distance/ frequency- if it's not for your frame ( and we ain't changing your skeleton), you can hurt yourself a little or a lot, frequently or infrequently . .point is - deal with it . .it's not for you

I'm also not about to assume that all running is done to get skinny and fit.
Whether heart health or cosmetic change, point of the article is that some individuals ( typically women w/ hips) have an angle to the femur such that jogging is a bad choice . . a springy treadmill and squishy shoes coupled with ART, anti-inflamatories, etc. may allow them to try this longer . . .but why not step to the machine to the left and achieve the same, pain and risk free on a cycle ?
The biggest fallacy is that train like a runner and you'll look like one . .you'll get injured trying to be something you're not


I'm also not about to assume (getting tired of that yet) that most people (let alone one gender) know how to run properly. Running is a skill just like anything else.
And as we learn what it takes to fit this skill . .the intelligent individual or astutely observant coach will say "No to this one" . .it almost rings of Check's famous article "Pattern Overload" where damage happens when people try to fit in an exercise machine that does not line up with their levers . .
We can take a guy of NBA proportions . .and he can want to bench hoping to be another Dave Tate . .but with the long arms relative to narrower shoulder and flat ribcage . .reality's going to set in . .


So sure, maaaaaaaybe women need to be more cautious, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Or realize we can have a clean body with a shower as well as bath water . .

My two cents as usual . .
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:00 PM
CoachMike CoachMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuntchick
Interesting.... as a woman I would love to get up in arms (just out of principle!) - but to be honest... I (a woman of healthy hips!) and the majority of woman I train, runners and not, fit into this model. Not that I don't prescribe sprint training for myself and others, but the long distance running I leave to the gorgeous, lean, narrow hipped waifs... and yes, I am a bit jealous!

Thanks, intersting food for thought CM, I think about it while I'm on the treadmill this morning!
Ironically if you were to sprint up stairs, the unilateral articulation at the hip would likely be safer AND burn more calories AND create greater heart health . . .
So move on over to the stepmill and celebrate the gift of womanly hips
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:39 PM
47n_122w 47n_122w is offline
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"I believe strongly that adjusting technique can reduce the frequency and severity of injuries dramatically. By minimizing impact stress, maximizing shock absorption, and distributing the remaining stress optimally, injuries can become rarities. By minimizing vertical displacement and landing with your foot correctly oriented and in the right position relative to your center-of-mass, impact stress can be drastically reduced. A runner moving his center-of-mass up and down during running not only wastes energy, but also causes injuries. The higher the center-of-mass travels during the flight phase, the more velocity it will gain during descent and the greater the impact stress will be.

Our bodies are designed with built-in shock absorbers. The muscles and connective tissues of the feet and calves are extremely elastic. Most runners bypass this shock absorption by allowing their heels to touch the ground. The heel has almost no shock absorbing capacity. The heel is made of bone, which is not elastic. Bone transfers shock very well, and injuries to the ankle, shin, knees, hips, and lower back result. None of these tissues is designed to absorb impact stress, and the resulting trauma eventually creates an injury."

"When was the last time you heard a runner say he was heading to practice? Never, because runners don’t practice, they work out. All of the emphasis is on building strength and endurance and no resources are directed to improving efficiency. Runners who truly want to perform to their potential need to make optimizing technique a high priority in their training. Improving technique will enable any runner to maximize economy and minimize injuries, two major keys to maximizing performance."

The comments above were quoted from Ken Mierke @ evolution running.
Here's more of his comments about running technique:
http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cm...?articleid=510

Do you think a change in technique like Mierke suggests would mitigate some of the problems that happen to women without runners builds? Or is a structural difference a bigger issue that can't be overcome by a change in technique? I would guess a change in technique that reduces impact stress, could nearly eliminate the potential for injury, but the structural differences would set a limit on performance.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:41 PM
CoachMike CoachMike is offline
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I guess 47, it comes down what the final goals is.
To run as you wish to win at runnning- place in a marathon, etc. . .absolutely, your advice provided is concrete.
But if it's being pursued to develop "a runer's body" [cosmetic] or a healthy heart and metabolism . .if you were typical o fmany women with a strong q angle (hips), I'd find alternate means to achieve the same without all the effort needed as above.
Yeah ?
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:47 PM
JJC JJC is offline
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Not to hijack the thread or anything (and if you feel it is, then delete it!), but 47's quote from Ken Mierke was pretty interesting.
Quote:
Our bodies are designed with built-in shock absorbers. The muscles and connective tissues of the feet and calves are extremely elastic. Most runners bypass this shock absorption by allowing their heels to touch the ground. The heel has almost no shock absorbing capacity.
Is it realistic to run for 30 minutes (low-intensity cardio) without the heels ever touching the ground? I agree with the shock absorption aspect, but I tried this (jogging w/o allowing the heels to touch the ground) when I ran cross country, and it definitely does not bode well with the calves and the balls of your feet (which feel like they're burning after a while).

Any thoughts?
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