Running is really a beautiful thing when you break it down to its core elements. It’s a circuital process made of up of three distinct phases. The ride, the punch and the float. The more these contrast at their peaks but blend at their transitions, the more efficient the stride. Energy storage, a brief moment of violent impulse, and then relaxation.
First, the body must ride with external forces. It cannot fight gravity, it must succumb to the ride it is taking you on. The more it tries to resist the more this inertial slingshot works against you.
Give in. Let yourself fall.
The more rushed we are to get through the ride, the less the load is shared. An increase in the loading rate drives a greater shock to our system. It drives a choppy impact pack, a quick slam on the brakes. Potential energy converted to misdirected kinetic energy. Don’t rush the punch, let the orchestra arrive on the same note. However, if delayed too long the chance is missed, the wave crashes before you can hop on. If missed you must work harder to overcome the loss of free energy with the punch.
The punch is where the accrued energy of the external forces are cashed in. Where patience and timed action are rewarded. When the rubber band is pulled back the work is all but done. All we must do is simply release. The punch is subtle but firm. Blink and you’ll miss it. The stored energy from the environment charges the internal structures. They expand – only to recoil with a domino-esque temporal rhythm. The wave builds and crashes with an effortless and eloquent violence. This is the moment of maximum propulsion, the active peak. Maximum compression of the system leading to the highest force applied to the ground and maximum internal forces applied to other internal tissues.
The punch is followed by the float. An immediate recoil. Retreat and reload. Relax and expand. As fast as your internal forces acted on the external world they must now relax again and be passive. By relaxing you cash in your hard work and reach max velocity. It’s an earned vacation. Short lived though it may be, it is an effortless flight where any added effort will only subdue the earned result.
The characteristics of these three phases must match the signature of the individual. This orchestra must meet the demand of the task. The tempo must be fitting for the song being played. The style must also meet the abilities of the orchestra. Too fast for an unequipped drummer and the piece will be unsustainable. Too long of a note held and the gifts of the external world are wasted. It’s playing to your strengths while finding ways to mitigate any weaknesses. Its identifying weak points and finding subtle changes. It’s about learning to submit to the forces acting upon. To use it as fuel right up until the wick reaches the fuse.
Work with, not against.
ride, punch, float
ride, punch, float