Want to be faster? Adults and kids alike want to increase their speed. Speed is a skill and there are many myths that are holding people back from improving their running and becoming faster. Steve Leo, a Master Trainer for the Parisi Speed School Franchise is who I have been spending my week with in Morristown, New Jersey. He is my Professor of Speed during my week long training to become a Speed Coach. While discussing the numerous incorrect tips we have been told since kids about running - he and I decided to share 3 myths to help everyone run better, faster and safer. Keep in mind, we all want to be fast, but incorrect form and technique can easily lead to injuries.
Leo, owns a couple Parisi Speed Schools in Morristown and Sparta, New Jersey and has 20 years experience coaching young athletes. He has worked with NFL Players from the New York Giants and Jets, as well as Tobin Health a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup silver medalist. The Parisi Speed School program has produced 190 NFL draft picks and 600,000 young people in American have trained in Parisi’s signature speed program. Here are Leo’s 3 top myths about running, he also offers tips on how to correct your running form and increase your speed.
Myth #1 About running fast - “Run on your toes.”
Running on your toes will actually break the force you are trying to produce. It will cause the foot to collapse and your will not be able to maintain the correct foot position throughout your stride.
Correct Tip: “ Run on the balls-of-your-feet.”
As your foot strikes the ground, it is the ball-of the-foot that makes contact with the ground. The foot should connect below the hips (or slightly in front). The foot then progresses into pulling the leg back, which moves the body forward.
Myth #2 About running fast - “ Open up your stride.”
Correct Tip: “Learn to recover the leg in your stride. You do not want to reach your stride out in front of you ."
Over-striding will create a disproportionate action between your arms and legs. In fact, the stride length is irrelevant if the arms are not able to match the stride. The faster the arms move, the faster the feet move. "When trying to “open up your stride” you are more likely to suffer hamstring injuries."
Leo continues to explain that, "How much force you apply into the ground determines how big the stride will be. To improve this portion of your running technique you should incorporate strength training of the posterior chain and practice leg recovery."
Myth #3 About running fast - “ High knees, high knees.”
Correct Tip: “ Drive your thigh forward.”
By driving your knee forward you will improve your acceleration and speed. Your knee height will not determine how fast you run. If you keep pulling your knees high when you run the angle of your shin will be perpendicular to the ground instead of 45 degrees. It will also cause more vertical displacement meaning higher off the ground like a jump.
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