Running with the Whole Body: A 30-Day Program to Running Faster with Less Effort (英語) ペーパーバック – 1996/11/19
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In Running with the Whole Body, Heggie proposes a thirty-day exercise program that will not only prevent you from injuring yourself in a new way, but enable you to become a smoother, and more powerful runner. The exercises presented isolate the workings of the various parts of the body to show how each part of the body balances and works in concert with the others. The result is a body whose torso, hips, pelvis and shoulders all move freely in the act of running. You will discover how to unleash the power of the large, strong muscles of the hips, spine and shoulders to power your running.
Jack Heggie earned a degree in physics and worked as a digital computer design engineer, programmer, and field engineer for ten years before becoming a Feldenkrais Practitioner. He studied with Dr. Feldenkrais in Israel and the US, and has trained with Ruthy Alon, Mia Segal, and Shlomo Efrat, all senior Feldenkrais trainers. Heggie has written about the Feldenkrais approach of learning through awareness for Skiing, NorthWest Skier, Boston SportScape, Snow Country, The Instrmentalist, Direction, and Somatics magazines. He maintains a private practice in Boulder, Colorado and Dallas, Texas.
After reading this book and focusing on my technique running became no longer a monotonous chore to burn calories but actually enjoyable and fun. Instead of 'trudging along' I began to feel like I was gliding through the air with fluidity and grace.
I ran almost every day for several years until unfortunately, due to work pressures and other things I let myself sink into complacency and fall out of shape. When I started running again a few weeks ago, it had been just over 2 years since the last time I ran (or did any kind of exercise really). Fortunately, I retained all the technique that I learned from this book.. so much so that even after not running for 2 years and being in pitiful shape I was able to run 5k in less time than I would have been able to before reading this book when I was in good shape but had poor technique. Of course, after doing that I was intensely sore for several days, which is primarily what prompted me to write this review.
My current situation has really opened my eyes to just how many parts of my body are utilized when I run. The past 2 weeks I have run 5k and yesterday I ran almost 10k.. Lets just put it this way, even my upper biceps and triceps are somewhat sore right now (along with practically every other muscle group on my torso and legs). With the techniques presented here, it really is possible to get a full body workout just from running!
Previously purchased and read "Chirunning", "The Art of Running" (an Alexander Technique approach), and reviewed what was available on the Pose Method website and the Evolution Running website, all prior to purchasing this book.
Book was purchased after reviewing the first 1 or 2 chapters available free on Google books, which I would recommend doing.
The resources above take two very different approaches. Painting in broad strokes, Chi Running, Pose, and Evolution Running (hereafter called Group 1) approach running as a series of drills that should be done until automatic, with an emphasis on footstrike directly in line with the axis of the body and a forward lean for propulsion. The Alexander Technique and the current book, which uses the Feldenkrais method (hereafter, Group 2), both focus on sensing how your body moves in space, and using this newfound awareness to help your technique. Further, "Running with the Whole Body" emphasizes a connection between shoulder rotation and hip rotation that is profoundly different that the overall techniques in Group 1. The technique espoused in this book would be referred to as "power running" by the authors in Group 1.
I had 10-12 months experience with Group 1 methods prior to reading this book. The advantage of this book (and the difference between this and the Alexander book) is the focus on sensing how your body moves in space. The Alexander book did mention this, but I felt that they gave a very simplistic overview and then said: "you can't really learn until you come to us and get a personal, one-on-one lesson." That is, pay $$$ and we'll help. This book is the series of lessons you would get if you went to a Feldenkrais-certified teacher.
It begins by having you go through a series of exercises designed to raise your awareness of where your body is in space, and your ability to control your own motions. This is referred to as "Body Sensing" in the ChiRunning book. I felt this was critical, as now I can easily tell the difference between correct motion/technique, and poor motion/technique. These exercises are quite easy to physically perform, but initially somewhat taxing in terms of concentration. However, the book leads you naturally through a process of self-discovery, and repeatedly asks you to go "feel how these changes affect your running." The exercises are successively summed until the final few chapters have you integrate all into a seamless running experience.
The argument of the Group 2 approach is that the upper body drives the lower body. Think of a baseball pitcher--to throw fast, he must move his hand fast, but the hand is the last thing that moves. First the leg comes up, then down, driving the rotation of the hips, then the rotation of the back, shoulder, and arm until the hand/baseball rocket forward like the end of a whip. In this book, the shoulder rotation leads the movement, which then drive the hips to rotate, then the knees, then the feet. The point of this book is to learn this motion.
The final lesson of the book recommends that the runner try to run by leading the motion with the 1) feet, then 2) knees, then 3) hips, then 4) shoulders. I was able to determine that leading with the knees is the closest mimic of the Group 1 techniques discussed in this book. I therefore ran a 1/3 mile loop 6 times, with relatively even effort, leading with knees, then hips, then shoulders, then adding the forward lean as recommended in Group 1 books. My times were: Knees alone: 3:30, knees & lean, 2:30; Hips alone, 2:50, hips & lean, 1:52; Shoulders alone, 2:30, Shoulders and lean, 1:34.
I suspect that optimal technique may change as absolute speed increases, and may actually be a mix of Group 1 and Group 2 techniques. Further experimentation will tell.
Another fortunate effect of increased proprioception is decreased running injury. It's very easy for me to tell now what I am doing wrong that leads to any aches and pains I may have.
I highly recommend this book. It's easy, and provides a great insight into your own perception of your body. It adds greatly to your toolkit as a runner.