PAN AM Triathlon Footwork

pan am triathlon          Triathletes are overcomers!  Of the three sports – swimming, biking and running – most triathletes are stronger in two. Bikers and runners, for example, may have poor ankle flexibility and find it difficult to do the straight-footed swimming kick. With one finish line, the clock is a tyrant for triathletes. Training becomes a lifestyle. Many do interval workouts based on the comparative energy required in each sport. Using the rule of thumb that 100 yards of swimming = ¼ mile of running = 1 mile of biking, they build up training blocks to beat the clock. (1)

The big time wasters are the transitions from swimming to biking and from biking to running.  Triathletes move from wet to dry, from no shoes to shoes, from horizontal to semi-vertical to vertical, from using one set of muscles to another, to another. Frustration can plague transitions: getting a foot stuck in a wet suit, lacing up shoes quickly, and managing blistered, swollen feet. Their woes compel wise preparation for every ‘next race’.  Triathletes are organized!  They enter transitions with physical and mental preparedness.

Swim –Balanced Footwork

The triathlete runs into shallow water before she begins to ‘dolphin’ – a shallow dive or leap forward. First, gliding under water, she stands up and leaps further into the water until it is deep enough to swim. She minimizes her freestyle swim kicks to stay balanced and to conserve energy.  Toes pointed, of course. Near the end, she ‘changes gear’, increasing her swim kick to get her blood flowing in preparation for moving on land.

Transition 1

On terra firma, she sprints to the bike racks.  Carrying her bike upright, she heads to the mount line. Alternatively, her bike is ready with shoes attached by rubber bands to the pedals; she hops on and coasts with her feet on top. As she starts to cruise, she puts her feet into her shoes.

Bike – Rhythmic Footwork

Eyes on the road and not her feet, the triathlete concentrates on her pedaling stroke. Initially, she works at a rhythm to let her heart rate calm down and to get ‘her legs back’.  Soon enough, she increases her tempo, pushing straight down on the pedal at the three o’clock position. With several minutes remaining she starts thinking “RUN”. She changes into a slightly bigger gear and pedals standing up. While still on the bike, she stretches her running muscles (hamstrings and calves). She dismounts ‘on the fly’.

Transition 2

T2 is fast but tough.

Run – Paced Footwork

The run begins on legs that feel wobbly and heavy. The athlete’s body must redirect blood to her running muscles. Her brain needs time to override the “pedal in circles” message. She pushes through until she finds her pace. Soon enough, her cadence of 90 rpms on the bike, matches her previous stride rate of 90/min.  In various segments of the race, she may pace herself differently. Ideally, it is a continuous build. She focuses on good leg turnover.  Her lower limbs feel ‘normal’ again.  She sprints for a good distance to the finish line.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/triathlon

https://docs.google.com/folderview?pli=1&docId=0Bya1shSQAxUDU0p2VVRUWDZyZjA&id=0Bya1shSQAxUDMGgtdFFUUDN6c28  (1)

http://www.trinewbies.com/tno_swim/tno_swimarticle_04.asp

http://www.camelbackcoaching.com/olympic-distance-race-strategy-and-pacing/

http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/10-tips-for-faster-triathlon-transitions

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2011/01/18/pedal-efficiently-cyclist

http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Learn-to-Master-the-Bike-to-Run-Transition.htm

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

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PAN AM Rugby Sevens Footwork

pan am rugby sevens         Seven to each team, rugby players pass the ball backwards or kick the ball forwards towards their opponents’ goal area. Rugby is a multi-directional, full-contact sport. Footwork is aggressive, evasive and varied as they – for example – lift the jumper in a line out, hook the ball with their feet during a scrum, and free the ball with their feet during a ruck. The players hone their skills of acceleration – to move into open spaces when they have ball possession, agility – to move laterally, backwards or forwards to follow the ball, and balance – to withstand a tackle.

Agile Footwork – Swerving and Side Stepping

A ball carrier will swerve to avoid being tackled. He moves right up to the defender, both hands holding the ball in front.  He swerves to the right (or left, with opposite scenario) using the outside of his left boot and the inside of his right boot.  Moving the ball to his right hand away from the defender, he sprints into available space.

The side step, on the other hand, is an instantaneous change of direction by a ball carrier on the run from a defender.  Keeping the ball in both hands, he chooses a new direction, shortens his stride, steps wide with his outside leg, shifting his weight there. Looking like he is going to take off from that angle, he quickly shifts his weight to his other leg, pushing off with his outside leg.  While the defender is off balance, the ball carrier accelerates out of reach.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/rugby-sevens

http://www.irbpassport.com/?page=beginners&p=21

http://www.rugby.com.au/Portals/18/Files/Coaching/Level3Papers/S.Hedger_-_Fast_Feet_Lvl_3.pdf

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_league/skills/4217044.stm

http://www.teachpe.com/rugby/techniques/sidestep.php

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Racquetball Footwork

pan am racquetball         The walled-confines of the racquetball court help players line up their feet.  Their optimal ready stance is ‘closed’; this refers to the position of their feet relative to the walls. Both feet square up to the side walls with the front foot slightly ahead.  Once the ball is in play with a serve against the front wall, all the court’s surfaces are strategically alive.  Players are speedy but not reckless, they move into their closed stance before they hit the ball. This footwork (to and into ready position) sets up offensive and defensive shots.   On offence, a good player tries to hit the ball at her opponent’s feet, forcing her to hit ‘wrong-footed’ in an ‘open stance’. A forced error in footwork.

Agility is on display on racquetball courts:  hitting the ball behind the back or between the legs, diving to reach a far-off shot or taking it on the fly.  From serves to returns and the rallies in between, racquetball players’ footwork is a blur of fast feet.

Rallying Footwork

The ball never comes to the player; she must move to it. After every shot she hits, she pushes off her front foot and hustles back to centre court. Ball placement is unpredictable and she can’t dawdle near a wall for a second. When her opponent begins to swing, she might hop into a crouch with her feet shoulder-width or more apart. As the ball is struck, she moves to it however she can – pivoting, walking, running or shuffling… forwards, backwards and sideways – to hit her next shot from a closed stance. When the ball is at or below her knee, she takes a last step with her front foot and swings. She must keep the ball in play. If it touches the floor twice, the rally is over.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources:

http://www.toronto2015.org/racquetball

http://cemood.people.wm.edu/racquetball/footwork.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racquetball

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Modern Pentathlon Footwork

pan am modern pentathlon          The pentathlon has always had an intentional military story-line.  The ancient Olympic combination of five sports mirrored their current-day battlefield experiences and techniques. The athletes were soldiers who trained in discus, javelin, long jump, running–in-armour and wrestling. Each sport, with its unique footwork, prepared them in strength and agility for the wars they fought on the ground.  Long ago, the pentathlon winner was celebrated as “the winner of all the games.”

The modern pentathlon – with its five new sports – also has a military tale to tell. A liaison officer was once sent by Napoleon into enemy territory to deliver a message.  This military courier’s horse was shot down; he needed to defend himself with his sword and his pistol. He swam across a raging river and finally – heroically – arrived at his destination by foot.  The disciplines of horsemanship, fencing, shooting, swimming and running reflect this reconstructed battle. Rife with symbolism, the pentathlon embodies pursuit and escape, facing and defying danger.  The significance of ‘feet crossing the finish line to deliver the message’ does just that.

Footnote:  The requirements of war continue to change; the cavalry now rides in tanks. Sport no longer plays a key role in training. Nor do battle experiences inspire combinations of sports for competition.  And yet, the pentathlon models and inspires the modern-day military.  Idealism in soldiering has been revived. The pentathlon’s inherent demands of courage, co-ordination, physical fitness, self-discipline and flexibility in ever-changing circumstances frame a mindset for military leadership training on contemporary battlefields. (1)

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/modern-pentathlon

http://www.northyorkshiresport.co.uk/get-into-sport/sports/equestrian

http://www.champs21.com/pentathlon:-the-olympic-event-of-five-sports-1127

http://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/lde/DCL/dcl_Second_Place_Essay_2006_2007.pdf (1)

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA468972

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope

charity Terry Fox

Terry was an 18-year-old first year Kinesiology student at Simon Fraser University and a member of the SFU junior varsity basketball team in 1977 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer that resulted in the amputation of his right leg six inches above the knee. After undergoing chemotherapy and seeing other people, particularly children, suffering with cancer, Terry decided that he wanted to make a difference in the world. He wanted to do something to help cure this dreadful disease.

Terry began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. When he was forced by a recurrence of cancer to stop his cross-Canada run at Thunder Bay, Ontario, on September 1, 1980, he had completed a total of 5,373 km over 143 days, the equivalent of a marathon every day. After a courageous battle with cancer, he passed away in June 1981.

Few people are aware of the physical enormity of what Terry did in his Marathon of Hope run across Canada. He ran 26 miles per day, 7 days per week. Imagine how sore your legs would be if you walked 26 miles, day after day, on pavement. Smiles, day after day. Few people could stand up to such punishment. Then try to imagine how incredibly difficult and painful it would be to run 26 miles per day with an artificial limb. It is almost beyond comprehension.

It was a journey that Canadians will never forget. His courage, determination, humanitarianism, and selflessness have been an inspiration to millions of people.

Quoting: http://www.sfu.ca/terryfox/about.html

See also: http://www.terryfox.org/TerryFox/Facts.html

Photo Source: https://www.google.ca/search?q=terry+fox&biw=1366&bih=624&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=UOOAVOuuH46tyAT-9IHoAg&sqi=2&ved=0CCkQsAQ#imgdii=_

Pioneer Researcher of Gait and Biomechanics

Gait Dr. Perry motions

Dr. Jacquelin Perry was a physician and researcher who shed light on the complexities of walking.  She was a leader in treating polio victims in the 1950s and again in the ’80s when the symptoms of some returned,  Dr. Perry died at age 94 on March 11, 2013 in Downey, California. Her death was announced by the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, where she worked for more than 60 years.

Dr. Perry earned wide attention for her work in analyzing the human gait, which she broke down into eight motion patterns governed by 28 major muscles in each leg. Her 1992 book, “Gait Analysis: Normal and Pathological Function,” became a standard text for orthopedists, physical therapists and other rehabilitation professionals.

Her clinical observations and descriptions of “loading response” were clear and had implications for many biomechanists. To break walking, running, stair-climbing and other human ambulations into discrete components, illustrated with precise photographs, Dr. Perry used ultrasound studies, motion analysis and electromyography, which traces the nerve pathways through muscle using electric charges.

Dr. Perry was an active surgeon until a brain artery blockage forced her to stop operating. She then devoted much of her time to studying the biomechanics of walking. As part of her research, she investigated how muscles and joints behave when spinal-cord injury patients propel themselves in wheelchairs, and how below-the-knee amputees are able to walk with prosthetic feet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/health/dr-jacquelin-perry-who-aided-polio-victims-dies-at-94.html?_r=0

http://www.drpribut.com/wordpress/2013/03/24/jacquelin-perry-md-1918-2013-pioneer-of-gait-biomechanics-and-the-treatment-of-neurological-disorders/

The Biomechanics of Your Walking Gait

Gait Stance Phase Feet on Ground

Whether you are conscious of it or not, your feet move your body forward to where you want to go at the pace you want to take. They use the least amount of energy by moving in as straight a line as possible, and adjust their movement to avoid pain if you have a painful foot condition.  They act as shock absorbers for your body. And unless you are hopping, your feet alternate on the ground as you go forward with the lower one propelling the one in mid-air forward.

The alternating of your feet as you walk happens in two phases:

  • The ‘Stance phase’ is when the foot is on the ground. It comprises about 60% of the walking cycle. For part of the stance phase both feet will be on the ground for a period of time.
  • The ‘Swing phase’ occurs when one foot is on the ground and one in the air.

Even during the ‘Stance phase’ a single foot goes through five sub-stages:

  • Heel strike
  • Early flatfoot
  • Late flatfoot
  • Heel rise
  • Toe off.

The defining difference between walking and running is that during running there is a period of time when both feet are off the ground (the ‘Float’ phase).  Also, as running is associated with greater speeds, the forces that go through the foot when it lands can be substantially greater than during walking; it is often 4-5 times body-weight during running and even up to 6-7times body-weight during sprinting.

http://www.footeducation.com/biomechanics-of-walking-gait