Saturday, July 23, 2005


Nordic Running - Feeling Energetic ?

Whilst Nordic Walking gets most of the publicity, did you realise that you can also run, jump, bound and skip with your poles too ? Nordic Blading is also popular, where you travel along on a pair of 'inline skates'.

In my last posting I promised some Nordic Running tips, so here goes.

* Because you tend to move along faster when you run, you do not have so much time to co-ordinate the arm leg action. So to get used to running with your poles, keep to a slow running speed to start with and take longer strides.

* Until you get used to the running technique do not be surprised if you fatigue quicker than expected, so alternate between Nordic Running and Nordic Walking.

* As you increase your speed do not expect to be able to complete the same range of arm movement.

For Nordic Walking I teach planting the pole with the arm reaching forward in the handskake position with the elbow only slightly flexed (not 45 degrees). Then you push through taking the arm back behind the hip. At the point where you open the hand to release the pole handle the arm is straight.

The speed you are running will dictate to some extent the range of arm movement. The faster you are running the more the elbow will be bent as you 'plant' the pole and the less extension behind the hip you will achieve.

* One little technique that you can try is to reduce your running speed and give yourself more upward lift on each step, like a little bounce in effect. That extra moment of time in the air will allow you to work your arm through a larger range.

Note: I do not recommend sacrificing technique for speed, so keep to a sensible running speed. The extra benefits you will experience running with poles will more than make up for sacrificing a little speed.

Whenever possible take the opportunity to work a joint through a large range of movement. Ultimately working a joint through a small range of movement is likely to limit the range of movement in that joint and thereby restrict your movement ability in the long term.

I'm a great believer in that you either "use it or you lose it" but remember to use it through a large range of movement whenever possible.

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