How to run faster
It is common wisdom to overload a muscle to get it stronger. How then do you safely and functionally overload running? A popular way is to use stretchy or resistance bands. If you do an internet search for resistance running bands with some sort of attachment point ( aka harnesses), you find things for sale that are pictured below: Harnesses, with sleds or parachutes attached, or a partner slowing you down, or you are resisting a fixed surface like a wall or pole.
What most all of these harnesses have in common is that they don’t actually target or tax the hip flexor muscles specifically. Instead, they attach at the waist, shoulders, ankles, or even elbows to slow the whole person down. Certainly there is some value in that, but then you have to concentrate like mad to make sure you’re using your hip flexors.
However, one caught my eye. See if you can find it in this collage.
Here it is! Notice it has a waist strap, but the legs also have separate bands across the middle of the quads. That means that when the knee is raised, the band slows the knee down, and provides as much resistance as the runner can generate while running.
Ah, now we are getting somewhere!
Here is another version:
I wanted to find out what you might pay for such a device, and the $66.95 isn’t bad until you find out the manufacturer really considers it an accessory to use in conjunction with their $3000ish machine.
Could you use it without the $3000ish machine? Well, sure, but how about we try a simpler version.
Here is a video of Annika slipping a thick stretchy band around her knees and me slowing her down. She finds it much harder to run than she anticipated, and the audio is horrible, but at the end I ask her if she could run if she wanted to.
“No!” she says, laughing.
We used a simple 1.75 inch superband for a lower cost of $27.95 like the one on the performbetter.com website
Just be sure to stay low as the partner holding the band and providing the resistance so you don’t give your runner a wedgie!
Let me know in the comments below how these ideas are impacting your running!