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Interval training requires greater muscle strength and power for speedier, more explosive propulsion as we run faster, says Pure Director Kate Senini.
The absence of adequate pelvic and lower limb muscle strength and joint stability often leads to over use of the calf muscles during push off. Increasing our running speed also means we run more on the balls of our feet, which increases the load through the calf muscles.
A stable pelvis and hip joints form the foundation from which our lower limbs operate during running, and our deep abdominal and gluteal muscles must be engaged to stabilise the pelvis and maintain normal hip alignment. The larger surface gluteal muscles can then provide greater power in this stable position to generate greater speed.
When it comes to running on the balls of our feet, ankle stability is increasingly important, along with hamstring strength for push off. Without the strength or stability described, the calf muscle becomes the sole driver of propulsion – becoming fatigued, tight, and susceptible to tears.
A thorough biomechanical running assessment can determine specific areas of poor stability and muscle weakness, and specific strength training of all lower limb muscles is an important component of a running program to create the foundations required for speed-based sessions.