This update is going to be a montage of different topics:
1. Montage - definition (maybe this isn't technically a montage)
2. Strong Bad Montage - sbemail
3. Bente Skari - this montage gives me chills
4. The last post about running shoes has for sure been our most controversial to date, generating significant discussion both for and against. Let me add more fuel to the fire:
- A midfoot strike is the most efficient and fastest way to run. The heel strike = applying the brakes (making you slow) and creating impact (making you injured) with every stride. Being slow and injured with make you sad.
- Running on your toes is probably not a good plan either (unless you're a sprinter). Using only propulsive muscles means that you are not using the body’s natural cushioning system. This puts too much vertical movement into every stride, and that leads to inefficiency and considerably more impact, muscle and tendon stress on the body. Specifically, if you’re too far forward in a sprint position, you’re overusing your calf and hamstring muscles and putting a lot of strain on your Achilles tendon. This will also make you sad.
- A midfoot strike is the most natural way to run. To prove this point, all you need to do is run a few hundred metres barefoot. You'll immediately discover that when running barefoot you're not landing on your heels = you're landing on your forefoot. Before the advent of running shoes that changed our biomechanics, I would contend that the frequency of heel striking runners would approximate nil.
- I am not suggesting making a cold-turkey transition from your Grid Stabils to lightweight trainers. If you are a traditional heavy heel-strike runner, you have a technique change to make; this change is going to take some time. Frequently, runners get excited about their new shoes and make the transition too quickly. To adapt to your new running technique you need to start with short, slow runs (say 1 - 3Km) twice per week. Focus on good technique and increase your time and distance as the body adapts. Too much too fast = you will get injured. This will make you sad.
- Last week, Jack ran 50Km barefoot on the treadmill (Jack's post). It took him three years of work to build up to this effort. Take your time.
5. If you are going to build a homemade heatbox (see Marty Hall. "Hot Boxes: Do's and Don'ts." SkiTrax Feb/Mar 2009: 46.), be very careful. Your skis are not tough = temperatures as low as 50C can cause the bases to move. The wax doesn't need to be totally melted to make its way into your bases. That being said, Marty is correct: the heatbox is an incredible tool and if used properly will help produce some very fast skis.
6. This weekend is the Mount Shark Alberta Cup, which is always a good time. For an added dose of awesome, I'll be working with Mike Mappin of Solda Canada. He is one of the best in the business and it's a fantastic opportunity. Expect updates throughout the weekend.
7. If you think that the new Nordic Hole Ski from Fischer (website) is just a gimmick, early indications are that you are dead wrong. This new ski appears to absolutely be the goods. I'll be doing testing in April, more to follow.
8. One of my favourite hobbies is plotting world domination with respect to skiing. I had a great telephone session of that today and am ridiculously amped for next season. PS... next season starts in April. Game on.