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  • Greg Hodel

The complexity of running is an opportunity rather than a barrier.

It can be overwhelming to think about learning running mechanics. But if you think about what contributes to running faster, three main components can be identified: mental strength, physical strength, and technique.

Out of these three, improving technique may be the easiest and quickest. Technique is usually learned with simple movements repeated at increasing levels of speed and complexity. If you put in your time, you learn the technique, and you run faster and more efficiently. With the many components involved in running mechanics, you can also work on improving several components in the same session - more opportunities to run faster.

Gaining strength and endurance is more painful, and a minimum duration is required to see the results - it requires weeks or months of practice. This seems to be the focus in many sports and for many coaches. Even more challenging than increasing strength is improving your mental state while competing. Mental strength may require months, or years to perfect due to bad mental habits that can be difficult to identify and correct.

All three components are necessary to perform at your highest level, but we should be happy that running is complex because this provides many easy ways to improve!

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Orange County, California

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