Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stability, Strength, and Speed by Jay Dicharry is more of a workable program than a book to read.
Jay is a physical therapist, teacher, biomechanics researcher, in Oregon, USA. His REP Lab is a national destination for elite athletes because he diagnoses and rebuilds injured endurance athletes.
Along with Running Rewired, he has also written Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention, which I’ll be reading and of course reviewing in the near future.
Speaking of Running Rewired, the book not only includes a series of self-evaluations to identify own movement patterns and limitations while running but it also has a variety of exercises and drills designed to improve strength and mobility.
The book starts with the idea that majority of the runners feel that running day in and day out is the way to be a better runner. Jay, however, feels that inculcating efficient running technique is super important with hard work. So, in this book, he came up with huge volume of information, that could distil into:
- 11 self-tests for joint mobility, upright and balanced position, rotation, and alignment (both static and dynamic) – requires partner, cannot be done solo
- 83 exercises to fix blocks, move with precision, build strength, and improve power
- 15 rewire workouts to amplify any training plan from 5K to ultramarathon. I will be working on these first, to fully understand the potential.
Postures while running plays an important role. In fact, with improved mobility running becomes easy.
“Some people think running posture is just a detail. But posture is not a detail —it’s one of the most important aspects of running form. It keeps your body healthy and helps you beat the clock.” (p 59.)
As per Jay, efficient running is the result of three things:
- proper technique,
- body awareness, and
- muscle activation.
Consistent practice of these skills leads to refine movement patterns that is necessary for optimal performance.
By making movement awareness reflexive, runners can execute their movements without having to consciously think about them. This allows them to focus on other aspects of their race strategy.
I have been running from quite some time now and I feel I have organically improved my running style. As there is an improved level of stamina with very less or no injury.
I resonate with the idea that for efficient running, one must adopt right techniques. And all the drills and exercises given in the later part of the book is super-efficient. I haven’t really inculcated them yet but I’m sure I will add a few in my work-out and strength training regime.
Overall, the book’s emphasis is to build strong foundation of movement patterns that can be then applied to running-specific movements aiming towards becoming an endurance athlete. Since I am a work in progress athlete, I’m gonna come back again and read the book for further reference. If you want to get into running or are already into it, Running Rewired is a good book to delve into.