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  #1  
Old 01-28-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Default TI Approach Spins Off Well Into Other Activities

I have touched on this before (I think I mentioned in another thread that good posture I learned from swim coaching links in this forum has been transferable to my running posture) but it really hit home again today while running (we are having a winter heat wave in Calgary -- 7 degrees suddenly, and it would have been a real shame to have wasted the chance to go and run in shorts in the sun).

Swimming is a difficult skill for me to learn well, and I really need the intense focus on minutia to get me past roadblocks. I still find it hard going.

But this intense focus on details that others maybe would find over the top is hard to switch off. This is not necessarily a bad thing! I am a very comfortable runner, and I have augmented my sheer miles and years of experience with a somewhat technical approach that I feel has really helped me improve further. But while running today, I was thinking of the precision of finding balance that TI seeks, and I suddenly realised that this intent of seeking precision in balance can be applied just as easily to running.

I then focussed on constructing each stride in a way that minimised any extraneous movement, such as trunk over-rotation, forward or backward lean, too hard foot-strike or too lingering a landing. I tried to make each stride and forward projection of my legs, arms and trunk as perfectly balanced and finessed with respect to running economy as I could. I would not recommend this for a beginner because it might make things too complicated. But I am experienced enough a runner that I quite quickly adjusted to this process without tensing up, and on the contrary, I introduced appropriate relaxation as a desirable parameter as well. The end result was a very well modulated run from a technical viewpoint, and very satisfying. It was intense from a mental concentration viewpoint too, and in this way it reminded me of my swimming sessions. My plan today was to run within a very modest heart-rate zone. I stuck to the planned low heart-rate zone, but the efficiency and relaxation of my focus to day actually got me a significantly faster pace than has been typical for that heart rate. Oh, and I also dialled in an appropriate amount of joyfulness into the run too!

Don't want to get bogged down into too much detail, but I am also a novice cyclist; the TI Kaizen approach has been very helpful to me in learning and improving technical aspects of my cycling, for instance in getting a very relaxed even circular pedalling stroke cycle. The constant focussing on imperfections in my pedal stroke, and working away at angles and blending of various muscle actions to minimise antagonistic movements is very familiar from my TI swimming experience.

TI really is a case of one approach fits all!

Last edited by sclim : 01-28-2016 at 07:44 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2016
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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I suggested this to Terry a few years ago. That the genius was in the mindfulness of the approach and that swimming happened to be something Terry was particularly interested in. but it would equally work with

Total immersion - car repairs
Total immersion - clarinet playing
Total immersion - house refurbishing

It's how approach my hobbies or new skills at least.

:)
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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This reminds me of another educational series that has been exploited to its fullest in many contexts, including
concert piano for idiots
particle physics for idiots
and that all time favorite
analytic number theory for idiots

:o)

On a more serious level, I have to agree with sclim. One personal example involves my arthritis in the lower back and hips. It has made it necessary for me to learn how to sit, stand and walk using good posture, which apparently I never learned as a young person, but with the mindfulness I learned from TI, I have made real progress. Other carry-overs come to mind, such as "inside-out walking". Everyone talks about these movements as being programmed into our nervous system, in contrast to swimming, but when the old way of doing them starts to hurt, it can be a difficult and non-intuitive process teaching yourself how to break bad habits. Yoga is, of course, another example where, with practice, you can become consciously aware of how you use muscles that you never even thought about before.

Last edited by Danny : 01-30-2016 at 02:15 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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Not everyone resonates with this approach to learning things, but in your case sclim I suspect that TI was like a black hole lurking out there waiting to swallow you up! I expect that the best is yet to come... Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Not everyone resonates with this approach to learning things, but in your case sclim I suspect that TI was like a black hole lurking out there waiting to swallow you up! I expect that the best is yet to come... Good luck!
Hahaha! -- Right on the money, Danny; well put!

And Andy

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Total immersion - car repairs
Total immersion - clarinet playing
Total immersion - house refurbishing


It's how approach my hobbies or new skills at least.
:)
Hilarious, but true -- I see new vistas opening before me!

Yesterday I went on another 8 mile run. Again, with the right TI mindset, the run became a treasure-trove of possibilities for insight.

It had been sunny the past 2 days, and in contrast to the prior run (uniformly good traction on packed snow), the snow had melted, and although there were now a lot of dry spots with excellent traction, there were spots of uneven snow and ice, and other spots of even ice.

I should mention that although I don't particularly like falling, after years of martial arts practice, I am a very competent faller/roller, and am not fearful of injury. So I adjusted the speed where necessary, but only to just below the threshold for slipping.

The hard uneven snow/ice was a real challenge for staying upright. But the extended patches of slightly slippy snow, provided an excellent opportunity of reviewing my running strategy. In this sense I had an eerie flashback to the pool session that morning when I was struggling with a similar problem -- how best to pull/push on the arm stroke within the demands of the tempo trainer to maximise progress (and minimise slippage). I suddenly saw that the problem was similar, and that in this case, running uphill I could maybe slightly speed up the recovery phase, so that I could spend more time on the contact portion, with a very gentle controlled "pull" (controlled even acceleration of body with foot stride force just below the slippage point). This required quite a bit of playing with body mechanics to get an evenly controlled landing force with enough leeway to control the traction forces and angles continuously during the foot contact phase.

Downhill running on slippy snow/ice required a different set of body movements to keep speed at a secure maximum. It provided a lot of opportunity for thought and concentration, and eventually more insight. I wonder if there will be feedback that I can bring back to the pool.

In the long portions of good foot traction I focussed on my new TI swimming informed good posture, which is remarkably applicable to upright stance and running -- stand tall (i.e TI = lengthen the vessel), and in contrast to my habitual rather slouchy posture, chest up, neck and head back, but with head alignment tilted slightly down so the eyes are directed naturally to a spot on the ground 20-30 m away. A visualisation I find useful is a bungee cord attached to my upper sternum being pulled by my helper up in the sky up an a 75 degree angle, so there is an upward and slightly forward lean. I'm still working on the abdominal/pelvis part. In contrast to the Richard Quick video which advocates a pelvis tilted up (viewed in the standing position), I think that only a moderate average upward tilt is appropriate in running, to allow for some leeway in oscillation of pelvis up and down in normal running gait, not to mention trunk and pelvis rotation, but Im not an expert here -- this is all done from what I perceive when I run.

And where the terrain and traction is that easy, all that extra available computing power can be put to use to fine tune plain old good running, TI style, how best to finesse each foot-strike to be feathered gently down, but with enough speed to have a short contact time, but with a smooth acceleration within that contact time, which of course requires a lot of back tuning of trunk mechanics to provide that precise foot action smoothly and efficiently. Oh, thank you TI!

All in all, it provided a very entertaining mental occupation during the run, which came in at what I thought was a remarkably good time (in relation to my familiarity with that course) considering the requirement of a lowish heart rate in Zone 2 and the challenging ground conditions.

Last edited by sclim : 01-30-2016 at 03:51 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I gradually started some running exercise since a few weeks again after 30 years , and even have bought a second hand GPS watch (garmin 610).
Watching other runners as critical as swimmers I see there are also a lot of people with funny walks, just like there are swimmers with funny strokes.
I guess about 50% of the people I saw today have a funny walk.
Lateral swinging legs, complete stiff upperbody, wiggling upperbody, head a foot forward relative to trunck etc etc etc.
I thought all talk about running technique was nonsense. Everybody can run right?
No, its easy to spot the people who sit behind a computer all day and take a weekly run for health reasons.
So, its not only the awkward water environment that is a movement challenge, even the most primitive act of running has become difficult for the modern non-moving man.
About 5% look good. Moving in forward backward plane, smooth swinging of the shoulders, and good posture.
Fingerprint walking styles, fingerprint swimstyles.
Cant be a very good exercise to do too much if you are not a lightweight runner type judging from signals from feet and shins.
But, first non-stop km done in 5 minutes. Goal:4 minutes.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 02-07-2016 at 05:02 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2016
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Cant be a very good exercise to do too much if you are not a lightweight runner type judging from signals from feet and shins.
But, first non-stop km done in 5 minutes. Goal:4 minutes.
After a couple of years of Tri training I've decided the healthiest way to run is to walk/hike over the hills with or without a dog.

Next time I get the running bug I'll probably train more like my swimming:- more faster paced short intervals 200-400m and then enjoy the occasional long plod in the nature.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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ZT, I had to stop running this last year because of arthritis in the hips and lower back. Now I just walk, but even walking was problematic for my arthritis. So watching people walk, not run, can also tell you a lot. Many of the same principles still hold. The two biggest issues for both walkers and runners are posture and balance. There is a position for the femur in the hip joint which is stable and comfortable, and that is my goal when I walk. This position can be found if your femur is close to vertical in the hip when you put weight on it. This can be done easiest if you are balanced on the other leg as you come down. Also, when you come down in this position, there is no impact, you just fall forward. But all of this requires posture and balance.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Overthinker Sclim might find this interesting
https://press.princeton.edu/class_us...rger/s9810.pdf
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2016
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Danny Dreyer 's books on running and walking, Chi Running and Chi Walking, are well worth reading. A couple of years ago I indulged in a 5k run/walk as part of an aquathlon. I walked more than I ran but it was fun anyway. Generally I feel that swimming and yoga are more suitable for those of fairly advanced age, although plenty of old geezers still manage to run very well. It depends on the condition of the joints, I suppose.
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