The carbon plate has become the star of the Olympic Trial build up and all of the rage in shoes these days. For good reason as it increases propulsion and energy return.
The idea behind the plate AND the new innovative mid sole foam is to create more STIFFNESS that creates more energy return. Just like our muscles, tendons, and ligaments are meant to coil energy and then release it - elastic energy!
Stiffness, tightness, force production, all of this is necessary to improve run performance AND for heathly, strong longevity in the sport.
Here is my "DON'T DO THIS, DO THIS" list to help train this way:
-> DON'T underestimate how crucial it is to train the feet. They are your foundation of stability, force production, power, and energy return.
DO train your feet as YOUR MAIN focus of strength. You are only as strong as your feet. For those of you who have my book, The Cool Impossible, you know how potent my foot strength program is.
Using the FREO Slant Board trains the feet to engage the big toe and arch, which in turn activates the calves for superior muscle elasticity - or your body's own CARBON PLATE. HOW we train the feet, dictates how we fire our muscles and create stability at our knee and glutes/hips. And this is the holy grail for running performance and health.
-> DON'T rely on gravity or leaning when running.
DO focus on providing force into the ground to propel yourself forward.
-> DON'T continue to rely on stretching and group classes that focus on hyper mobility that deflates elastic energy, stability and strength.
DO focus on power metric drills to create more force, elastic return, and stiffness to improve health and speed.
-> DON'T focus on developing strength in the gym thru heavy and slow lifting or high rep, low weight.
DO focus on developing proper run strength by doing power metric drills, short, fast sprints, eccentric and isometric training.
-> DON'T stop focusing on foot strike and resist that their is a proper way to run.
DO be patient when transitioning to a forefoot to heel strike technique. How we use our feet and strike the ground dictates everything.
-> DON'T consistently rely on tempo and long easy runs for ongoing improvement. This is no different than relying on the above gym strength.