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Sure, your body has trained hard to be a running machine, but what else do you do to improve your bodies ability to hurtle itself forward?  If you were to take conventional wisdom, you might believe that one of the following would help:

  • Crosstraining
  • Yoga
  • Working out
  • More running
The nemesis to the blue man group, the running man group!

What happens if you eat too many skittles.

All of the above can certainly help to improve the bodies ability to run, but do they specifically improve the bodies ability to run?  Even more specifically, do they improve the bodies ability to absorb impact?  This is key to consider, since we can improve our bodies ability to accelerate through each stride, but what about how the body reacts and responds when it hits the ground?

So lets go through your options for what conventional methods would have you do.



  • Depending on activity, probably one of the best options
  • improves general strength
  • Focus on different muscle patterns not already overloaded by running


  • Fails to address potential weaknesses that may already exist in the body

It was then that Janet realized that she had discovered the 'reverse charlies angel' pose


  • Improve flexibility
  • gain inner peace


  • Are you stretching muscles that are already loose, increasing muscle imbalances?

Working out:


  • Chance to work upper body
  • Improve power, speed and strength


If done incorrectly, can:

  • tighten up the body
  • shorten stride length for running
  • increase chance of injury

More running:


  • You already know how to do this very well

More practice on technique


  • Joints do not get rest
  • Muscles do not get rest
  • Strong muscles get stronger, weak muscles stay weak
  • Traditional workouts have you working out in a completely different way to which you run

Confused?  Don’t be – make the best, more informed decision based on your schedule and do what works for you.  Remember that every body is different and that your training should be different for you.

Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

  • bob May 5, 2009 Reply

    So how does yoga and cross training slow down your running speed?

    • jamieatlas May 6, 2009 Reply

      Bob! what a dum dum I am! I apologize 100% I got a bit too excited talking about too many things.. Yoga can slow down your running speed if the wrong muscles are too long and the wrong muscles are too tight – imagine a finely tuned instrument (your body). If that instrument has a few strings out of tune then it is easy to make noise, but not necessarily to make beautiful music 🙂 Same goes for cross-training – neither has focus on improving running and neither involve you moving your feet & arms dynamically from a standing position. Does that help? Thanks for asking for clarification – I sometimes get a bit carried away in my own physiological nerd-world 🙂

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