What if practicing a simple movement could dramatically improve your ability to run? What if a drill of alternately lifting your legs to hip-level, taking special caution to perform each lift correctly and with care for getting the motion right (And not just getting it over with), could eliminate any chance of injury while running?
What if it could make you faster?
HundredUp.com is an effort to answer these questions through self-experimentation. I’m a novice runner: I can run a couple miles without problem and my running form is already “barefoot style” (As evidenced by the slow-motion video taken by Pete Larson here). I’m in good health, too. But I sense my running form could be better — much better.
I also don’t mind tinkering with my own health. This has resulted in various forays into self-experimentation through fitness and nutrition (e.g. adventures in intermittent fasting/paleo/low-carb and most recently Martin Berkhan’s LeanGains). Anyway, the notion of a century old drill that was invented by a once-world-record-holding miler (W.G. George) that could be performed almost anywhere, at any time, not only educating proper running form, but attacks the problem with a distinct flare of neuroplasticity and mastery (learning by doing) … well … I just had to get this going and see what would happen.
So allow me to be so bold as to create the 100-Up Running Challenge.
What is the 100-Up Running Challenge
It’s simple, really. No matter where you are in your running abilities and no matter what your current training protocol is, the 100-Up Challenge requires you commit to the following:
- Establish a benchmark for your current running abilities — write down your last run’s time. Write down how you felt running it. Get it all onto paper in as much detail as you can manage. Did anything ache? How did your stride feel? Any problems you encountered? Commit that run to paper!
- Learn about W.G. George’s 100-Up drill and start practicing! — mind that you might not be able to do the preliminary version of the 100-Up perfect the first time, or maybe even the fifteenth time, but attempt the drill as often as you can, so long as each attempt strives for perfect practice (And not just getting it over with). Feel free to continue on running your normal mileage if you like, or take a break and focus on the drill. Do the drill! That’s the whole point of the challenge, and being able to determine if the 100-Up works or not completely depends on following George’s instructions as best you can and practice, practice, practice (perfectly!)!
- Run that same distance as in step 1. above 30 days later — now you get to see how you did. How’d it feel? Faster? Slower? Less aches and pains? What happened, if anything?
- Now report back on the whole experiment.
What’s the point? Well, the point is to see if the 100-Up actually makes you a better runner or not. And if it doesn’t make you a better runner, well at least you’ll have learned a new exercise and perhaps attained a bit of practice in the art of meditation.
Are you up for the challenge? If so, drop me an email at justinowings at birthdayshoes dot com and tell me about No. 1; that is, if you’d like to share your experiment publicly (though your true identity can always be obscured if you prefer!). I’ll be doing the experiment myself, so you won’t be alone.
Who is in?
Disclaimer: As with any physical activity (or lack thereof for most), you are ultimately responsible for any impact be it positive or negative such activity (or inactivity) may have on your health. This site disclaims all such responsibility! Proceed however you will at your own risk.