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Moving With Powerful Intent | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: Running

Moving With Powerful Intent

by on Mar 2nd, 2009

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This morning I grabbed a book off of my shelf that I haven’t read for a while–Core Performance: Endurance. As I selected a random page, I was greeted with the title “Running with Purpose,” and what followed was an interesting discussion of taking a runner, who just goes through the motions, to an athlete who moves with powerful intent. I believe that it presents an excellent concept from which all runners can learn. Just like a basketball player driving through the defense to the basket, runners need to move with unconscious, powerful intent. While many will argue that running is natural, why would anyone want to simply go through the same “natural” motor patterns of collapsed posture, poor kinetic transfer, and misdirected movement? At the end of the day, that philosophy is only an injury waiting to happen.

How does one train to run with unconscious, powerful intent?

Well, to make a movement second nature (unconscious) it is first necessary to consciously control movement, which is why Darcy Norman’s protocol is a good concept. The premise is to break up your runs into five minute segments, where you spend the first 30s running tall, with a strong arm action and knee drive, followed by 4:30 of “normal running.” As you progress, the interval of purposeful running gets longer and longer until it is second nature.

I also feel like this can be adapted further to other parts of the session. One of my favorite sessions throughout the year is a race tempo session, where an athlete practices running smoothly at race pace with great posture and powerful intent. At first, the coach will need to spend a good deal of time cuing good movement patterns over short repetitions. Once strong movements at race speed are developed, the coach will simply ask the athlete to hold the same good motor patterns over a progressively longer distance. In effect, it’s a short to long progression of motor pattern development that takes movement from a conscious effort to one that their bodies will fall into naturally at speed.

Give it a try, and you’ll likely learn to stave off injury while improving performance. Runners are athletes like any basketballer, footballer, or soccer player. Why shouldn’t they make movement considerations a priority as well?

Best regards,

Carson Boddicker

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