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Article by Infofit

100-Up for Better Running

Marching can improve your running.

Improve Your Performance

Who knew that the practice of marching in a stationary position for a few minutes was all it took to improve your running?

World renown running author Christopher McDougall, experimented with just that.  He researched some out of date techniques mentioned in W.G. George’s 100-up running exercise essays; which were  published at the turn of the century. The legend claimed that this method could turn a young person with no experience into a leading racer.

This Running Warm-up Method is Essentially Divided Into Two Parts:

Minor involves standing, positioning your feet 20 cm apart and in a running position, arms cocked, similar to marching stationery, raising one knee up to hip height, and gently bringing it back down to its original position repeating 100 times.

Major has a similar movement, but faster using the commonly practiced method known as high knees. It is recommended that the balance is on the ball of the foot, the heels being clear from the ground and the body and head slightly tilted forward, springing off the fore foot toe, driving the knee to the hip level repeat changing legs.

According to fitness professional, certified personal trainer, clinical exercise specialist, Andre Noel Povtin, “This exercise is a simple way to strengthen the hip flexor and quads. Practicing the 100-up, together with other drills, can make you a far better runner.” This exaggerated marching and running form, performed in a 100 repetitions will help develop muscle memory compared to a similar state of fatigue that an athlete might experience at the end of high intensity interval training or from a competition.

Focus on The Athletes Form

Fitness professionals must focus on the importance of the athletes running form, not only concentrating on returning each foot step by step to its starting point, but being aware of the arm swing, core stability and landing on the balls of their feet close to their center of gravity. Beginners should start with 20 repetitions in perfect form leading to the long term goal of 100 reps. Results are not immediate.

The method of running on your toes is typically considered more efficient because of the lighter impact on joints and that you’re spending less time on the ground. By incorporating the 100-Up drills for field sports or running warm-ups into your fitness routine periodically, focusing on running form 5 minutes a few times a week will take you a long way by improving and running injury free.