NEWTON’S LAW OF RUNNING
An Apple A Day, Keeps The Physicist At Bay
The brilliant scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, fortuitously discovered The Law of Gravity when he was sitting under an apple tree and an apple fell on his head. From that simple act of nature, he was able to scientifically explain how gravity works and from his key breakthrough, we can explain how our environment and lives are deeply shaped and altered by the Earth’s gravitational-pull.
What Goes Up, Must Come Down:
Okay, Newton’s Law applies to practically everything, except for the prices of goods & services, but that is a topic for a different forum.
You may be asking, what has the earth’s gravitational-pull got to do with running? I am no scientist, but since I am currently conducting my own research on how to best tackle steep elevations when running, I am not discounting anything right now until I can prove it otherwise. Didn’t the great inventor, Graham Bell said, “I did not fail 1,000 times. It’s just that I have found 1,000 ways how NOT to do it!”.
Why Are Running Hills So Tough?
Here is where we need both physics and biology to explain things. I believe that in order for runners to tackle uphill and downhill runs better, we need to understand the physics surrounding such task. Only then, can we know how our bodies should act in the most optimum level to complete such task.
The Physics Factor: Thanks to gravity, we require much effort to run. No thanks to gravity, we require Herculean effort to run UPHILL. When we are running uphill, gravity acts like a rope pulling us back down and it slows down our pace. When we are running downhill, gravity also acts like a rope pulling us faster down to the bottom. It just does not feel natural to me to be running uphill or downhill. In fact, it feels more like an extra burden to do so.
The Biology Factor: Yes, I believe the school which taught that humans are naturally born to run. It does make sense that we were originally designed to run in order to run-away from danger or to travel long distances to hunt-down our next meal. However, I cannot say that our bodies are built to properly deal with the huge impact and physical strain associated with running up and down hill because such actions place tremendous stress on our cardiovascular system, as well as, on our knee joints.
But We Love Running Too Much: Unless we all live in Holland, it is very difficult to avoid hills or some elevation altogether when we run. The next best thing to do is to train smart and prepare well for running encounters with hills and slopes. Yes, unless we are super humans, we must face the hard fact that hill work will always be challenging. On the other hand, there are still so many things that we can do to make hill work less strenuous and more satisfying. Not to leave you on a lurch, my next posting will give you My Top 7 Tips To Overcome Hills. Be sure, to check it out!
About The Author: Gus Ghani is a qualified Senior High-Intensity Interval Training Coach. His ambition is to promote an active & healthy lifestyle in order to help people live life to the fullest. In his spare time, he likes to participate in endurance sports and play with his pet cats.
You can follow Gus daily on his Facebook Page aptly called, Happy Runner