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Running Fundamentals by Travis Conley and Doug Katona - CrossFit Journal

Running Fundamentals

By Travis Conley and Doug Katona

Video Article

To keep it simple, Doug Katona starts this CrossFit Endurance Trainer Course with the three running fundamentals: Pose/position, fall, pull. Katona emphasizes it’s not posture but position at CrossFit Walnut in California.

“So when you run, if you’re not afraid to fall, you’ll be OK,” Katona says.

Fast runners, he adds, have less fear of falling.

The ultimate goal, Katona explains, is to reclaim the correct position as fast as possible.

“I have a saying that, ‘You can’t get hurt when you’re in the air.’ So if you spend a lot of time on the ground when you run, you’re asking for trouble,” he adds. “The more time you spend in the air when you run, the better of you’re going to be. Every time your foot hits the ground, get it off the ground.”

11min 23sec

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SD mov file size: 64 MB

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Additional reading: A Theoretical Template for CrossFit Endurance Programming by John McBrien, published Sept. 15, 2010.

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5 Comments on “Running Fundamentals”


wrote …

I wonder if Doug can explain this concept that one cannot get hurt while in the air. There is some logic to it, but it also seems that the longer one is the air, the more impact when one strikes the ground, no? We know faster sprinters transmit more force through the ground than slower sprinters, and we know that world class sprinters spend the most time off the ground (that's why they are fastest, right), yet are constantly fighting injury. So, I'm not sure I get the concept.

Additionally, I don't understand the notion that hip flexors are not to be engaged. In watching Usain Bolt, whom Dr. Romanov suggests runs with perfect form, it is pretty clear he is driving his knees forward (engaging his hip flexors). Doesn't the foot stay close to the hip, not to engage the hamstrings, but to reduce swingweight of the leg, allowing for faster turnover with less effort?

Interesting stuff, thank you for posting this video!


wrote …

I think Usain Bolt knees come up so high because of the speed that he is running not because he’s doing it actively.


wrote …

You want the foot under the hip when you are in pose so you can fall forward.


wrote …

more please


replied to comment from Thomas Davenport

Thomas, being in the air does not equate to being high and landing hard. When you're on the ground, there is more time for Ground Reaction Force (GRF) to affect the body. More time on the ground also = more friction between your foot and the ground. Friction slows things down.

When you change support and pull your foot from the ground and use a higher cadence (90+) you are spending less time on the ground and more time in the air. Add to that, landing under Centre on Mass instead of in front and it all adds up to less GRF.

Regarding using the hip flexor - it may appear that way and yes, the knee comes forward. But that is more a result of the pull of the foot towards the butt with the hamstring than the use of the hip flexors. The hammy is the working muscle, the knee just goes where it needs to go because of the action.

Hope that makes sense and provides some clarification.


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