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How To Increase Your Mobility To Improve Your Running

by RunnersConnect: Coaching Community, Running Experts, Inspiring Runners, No Fluff Blog
March 29th 2023

Have you thought about what the long game looks like for your running? You know, like what you can do right now in order to log enjoyable miles and even race well into your 70s, 80s, and dare I say... More

Everyone. I'm Kelly and I'm Juliet. And you are listening to the run to the top podcast. Hello, fellow runners. I'm your host, Finn Melanson. And this is the run to the top podcast, the podcast dedicated to making you a better runner with each and every episode. We are created and produced by the expert team of coaches at runners connect dot net where you can find the best running information on the internet as well as training plans to fit every runner in every budget. Have you ever thought about what the long game looks like for your running? You know, like what you can do right now to still be logging enjoyable miles and even racing well into your seventies, eighties and dare. I say nineties, if not, this episode is for you, Kelly and Juliet STT join the run to the top podcast to discuss their new book. It's called Built To Move. And we talk about easy mobilization practices that you can do to increase range of motion and avoid injury, intuitive ways to integrate more movement into your daily life and escape sedentary habits beyond the run.

No fuss guidelines for improving nutrition and sleep, basic breathing practices, to manage stress and pain and quick and simple assessments to gauge progress and to see what needs improvement. If mobility is something you're interested in learning more about and incorporating alongside your daily and weekly running practice. This episode is for you, countless research studies have shown that pillow selection can have a dramatic impact on sleep quality. Lagoon specializes in making pillows designed specifically for runners and athletes to help them optimize their sleep and recovery. We'll talk more about the specific benefits later in this episode, but you can learn more at lagoon sleep dot com back slash T O P to get a 15% discount. I'd also like to introduce you to a new sponsor of the show. Timeline. Nutrition Timeline has developed a groundbreaking product called Mito Pure that actually revitalizes your mitochondria which create energy in nearly every cell in your body. Later in the episode, I'll explain the science and how you can get a sweet discount.

Juliet and Kelly STT. It is a pleasure to have you both on the run to the top podcast and thank you so much for having us. I am super excited to do a deep dive conversation on this book you just published. It's called Built To Move. I was telling you before we started recording. I'm a big fan of you both dating back to the Supple Leopard that came out many years ago and also say 10 years ago. And in the spirit of this book built to move, I have decided to uh practice a little bit of movement health and stand for this conversation. I normally sit, but this is worthwhile to stand for. Juliet is standing. I am also standing. It's my preferred way to podcast, but I'm perching. So I'm, it's ok to lean up against a stool. So I've got my feet on the ground, I'm leaning against a stool. Otherwise, if I stand, we're not in the same height. So Juliet scoring all the extra credit, but it's really not about sitting standing, it's about moving or not moving and perching counts as moving. But kudos to you and I'm curious to see at the end, maybe you can report to us how you feel um or whether you enjoyed it or strongly, do you have a place to put your foot? That really is one of the crucial things.

You have to have a place to put your foot like you're at the pub. I'm sitting on one of the, I'm standing on one of those balance boards or even better. Um Well, anyways, I think it's always good, especially when we dive into topics that um exist, I don't wanna say on the periphery of running, but they're sort of ancillary to what we often talk about in this podcast. I think it's good to provide some context on why we're in this historical moment where movement health is in jeopardy. So what, what inspired you to write this book? What is the, why? Now for this book, I think it's a few things. But, um, and I'm sure Kelly will have something to add as well, but I'll start to sort of specifically answer your question. And that is that, you know, Kelly and I have been part of the health and fitness industry for over 20 years now. And prior to that, we were both professional athletes and I was a rower in college. So we've been a athletes or part of this industry for, you know, basically our entire adult lives and, and we owned a commercial gym for many years as well. And what we started seeing though over the last, you know, 5 to 7 years and then exacerbated in the pandemic is that, you know, I would give the health and fitness industry like AC minus or ad right now, you know, there is more information than ever.

It's a fire hose of information and, and in many cases getting more and more complicated and there's more and more ways to optimize our health except for if you look at literally every metric that anyone cares about when it comes to our health. Nationwide, obesity, diabetes, depression ac L tears in youth and athletes generally, you name it substance abuse. If you look at literally any metric of like, are we doing a good job? We're not doing a good job. Those metrics are all trending downhill. And so, you know, a lot of our dinner table conversations would be like, ok, we're, we're over here in our little corner trillion dollars. We're trying to chip away at this. But, but what we felt like we done and been a part of is that if you think of, you know, the health and fitness industry and health and fitness enthusiasts as like a little vertical, we're like 1% of people and what we've done is made ourselves stronger, faster, healthier, more optimized. We're taking the right supplements and following the right diets and we literally have left everybody else behind and they're confused and they don't know where to begin.

And we've also really, even those of us that are in this business, we've really lost the forest through the trees. I mean, we see so many weekend warriors and athletes in including a lot of the professional athletes we work with, who are doing a great job with all of these high level technical optimizing strategies and have totally missed the basics. So, um that's, that's one of the reasons why, what do you have, what do you get look for the last 15 years particularly, we spent a lot of time in these high performance environments, working with English national soccer team, Olympians, track and field athletes. I mean, literally, we get so much dirty laundry we're invited in to these organizations to help them sort through and make sense of these complex human behaviors and complex humans in these really complex environments. It's one thing to run like a monk where you can control everything. And then all of a sudden go ahead and travel and compete and how dare you have a family or a partner or a job. Right. And uh you can't eat what you want to eat.

And, well, I'm a vegan, I'm lactose. And you know, so all of a sudden what we realized that we had had when we started coming in and looking at performance was we had a living laboratory where we can really make sense of inputs and outputs under some of the most austere conditions where people's livelihoods and even their lives are on the line. And we've always believed that if we were going to fulfill the promise of professional sports and elite performance, then what we needed to do is be able to transcribe transmute those lessons and try to take them back to the rest of us, those of us who you know, are middle aged and moms and dads. And how do we transform our society? If E O Wilson says the highest calling of science was to transform humanity, then we think the highest calling of sport is to transform community. And what we see here are best practices winnow down that seemingly very simple. But these practices actually make the very basis of elite performance.

And as we come in and are helping people run faster, run longer or surf more or win another world championship. This is the, these are the pieces that we start with to make sure that we're not making a foundational error because we see quickly that people love to layer on complexity on top of complexity. You know, the problem is you're obviously your Secret Squirrel program isn't working well enough. So let's make it more. Secret Squirrel increase your volume, increase the, the complexity of it. But we're not looking at how well you're adapting to the stresses in your life. Where can we create a more general robustness and how do you take care of that? So suddenly, if we can take that those lessons and say here you really want to go along and go far. This is the road map, but it turns out those same pieces, whether you're not into diet and exercise, we can hand those over to the members of our families who aren't interested in this. The members of our community of our household who may not identify with the way we identify the nutrition through the, the activity.

And we can say here's what you can do in your life, day to day to make yourself feel better and kind of be a functional person until you're 100. And I would just add one other thing that I imagine your listeners experience just like we do. We're sort of like the Kelly and I like to use the word node in our community. But we're the go to people in our community for health and fitness advice. Even if it's way outside our of expertise, people see us as like the health and fitness people. I imagine many of your listeners as athletes themselves experience this in their own communities. Right? He's thinking about doing Keto and they want to know what diet to follow and what running program and what should they strength train and if they should, how much and where and you know, should they go to Orange theory and wait, should I take this like super secret scroll supplement? And definitely should I cold plunge an ice bath? Right? I imagine a lot of your listeners are in the same position as us where people are, are, are, we're like the local experts. And what we realized is that those people in our communities who are turning to us for advice are totally confused and totally overwhelmed by the the amount of health and fitness advice out there.

This is a running podcast, but there's a story in the book that I wanna repeat here because I think it sets up the rest of the conversation. Well, there's a section where you uh recount this commercial where this older guy, this older gentleman is, um, he, he takes a kettle bell and day after day, he just practices range of motion with that kettle bell and gets stronger and stronger and stronger. And as the viewer, you're like, where is he going with this whole practice? And what is he doing? And then it uh pivots to this scene where he's at Christmas with his family and he's lifting his daughter up to or one of his grandchildren up to put an ornament at the top of the tree. And that was what he was building towards just this, this experience, this intimate experience with his family. And um and then you go on to say like, we never really hear about these reasons for movement, health and for exercise. And it's to develop these capabilities well into adulthood. Well into old age. Why have we missed the point here with that? Why is it all about like what we can do now versus what we can do in the long term?

Like what Peter Attia calls the Centenary Olympics, I think? Well, first of all, I'll let Kelly start with that. But um you should link to this video in your show notes of the podcast because I'll tell you every time I watch it, it's like I, I definitely shed a tear and it's a very impactful video. So, so to your listeners find this thing and, and watch it. But go ahead. I was just gonna say that, you know, I think it's our human nature, especially when you're in your twenties and thirties, you're pretty invincible and pretty bulletproof and you can get away with murder. Julia is a three time world champion we met at the world championships. Um, you know, we know that our bodies were, when we were in our young 20's could handle a lot of stress and a lot of silliness, like a lot of drinking and staying up late and raging and then showing up the next day and still being excellent. And I think it's, you know, simultaneously we have this incredible body that's designed to move and last, frankly last a lifetime. And I think sometimes we can confuse the bounty and the miraculous that is this thing with, I can treat it this way forever and, and some of us get religion or early, some, some of us realize that because of your friends or that you found a coach and did a little strength training, you got faster, you know, and, or you a certain way, you maybe had an injury and, and then, you know, found religion and started working on your range of motion religiously, you know, to avoid getting injured again.

But it was always about, if you discovered these things early, it was about you were in a, a culture or a community where you were valued and they were part of what it meant to run fast or to run long or to be successful. One of the things that we tell, um, you know, we work with uh a local division, one collegiate women's team. And one of the things we say to those women and these are some of the best, best athletes in the country is, do you really think you're outwork the number one team? Do you think? So? Do you think you're working harder than anyone else? That ship has sailed where you could just work out, work people? Instead? What we say now is the real game is who can handle this much volume and this much intensity, genetics plus behaviors. Right. And then show up fresher the next day to handle more volume and intensity. And what are those behaviors? And if you can do that repeatedly, you can actually go faster. So how the game for us right now is what we call adaptation. So if we don't focus on and show people that these short behavior, short term behaviors really allow us to go faster, we'll do whatever we need to do.

It turns out though the same short game is actually the long game and I, I have never seen it work where someone quit smoking because in 30 years, they may get cancer that never works. So think about how hard it is for you to change your own behaviors. And so that through that lens, what we want to do is say, let's work backwards from what we think are some of the biggest problems, loss of balance, you know, tissue quality range of motion. These are the things that end up costing you potentially the things that you love to do in your environment when we work backwards, just like we were planning for retirement or our entrepreneurship and trying to set goals. We could actually say, hey, I'm gonna try to peek for this race and then today's this day and I have 10 weeks and I can divide up the amount of work that I need to get done. Well, we can do the same thing with all of the behaviors around being a durable old person who really wants to have mental acuity and physicality. And it turns out that, you know, lift up their grandchild Christmas tournament on the tree.

So I think sometimes the reason we told people to do these things was because maybe there is some payoff in the long haul and look everyone who's listening to this, they don't have a motivation problem. They are really good at delayed gratification like we run and we train because we know that there's gonna be a payoff and that payoff may be an event or maybe a race or maybe I get to run in exotic places. And that's why I'm training. So no one here has that problem, but we can start to ask what are the best practices through these sort of the, the dissemination of large data sets, right? That induction of large amounts of information is where we start to see patterns emerge. And if you're following chat GP T it's all patterns, pattern recognition is the game. And so this book really is decades of pattern recognition around humans engaged in complex moon behaviors. And we think this is now resulting in essential behaviors. I agree with you completely. This is a, this is a very active audience and I think that where the trap might be for listeners is the hyper specialization piece.

And the fallout from that, there's a couple of terms though that are frequently recurring in the book and we've mentioned them a bit here. Mobility, movement, health range of motion. You have this term that I love called the rewilding of the body are any of these important to define before we move on in the conversation, like what's your definition of mobility? For example? Because I think runners might have one conception, but there was definitely some insight that I got read in the book that I think could be important to cover here first. Well, I'm going to take a crack at this as the nontechnical person because I do think that um you know, if you go into any gym or hang out with any athletic population, you could come up with like 27 different um definitions of mobility, no mobility is like the word core, it's no. So you know, when Kelly set out to write supple leopard, you know, to him, mobility meant do you have the range of motion and the motor control to move your body through space? Right? Do you have native range? Do you have no normal native range of emotion and, and the, you know, the goal there was to help people lift more, run faster, you know, be more awesome at sport.

Um But, you know, we've really taken a second to redefine what we think it means. And, and that is that mobility is your ability to move freely throughout your environment without pain and be able to do the things you want to do with your body. Now, And at any age, and we think that that's really an important distinction. Now, now we do obviously prescribe a lot of mobilizations and that's a different word. Those are tools that we've created to help people restore their range of motion and be able to retain their mobility. But I think the key part of that for me and, and also as someone who's an athlete and I'm turning 50 this year is, you know, that be able to do what I want to do. Part of it is the most important piece because I think, you know, chances are most people who've been, you know, are who are runners listening to this probably also do other sports and use their body hard and you know, may have faced some kind of injury. And you know, our joint worst nightmare is to be told by a doctor like stop doing the thing you love to do, right?

That's our joint worst nightmare. Um And, and so there are some things that people need to keep an eye on now, you know, at 25, 30, 35 50 to be able to continue to do the things they want to do when they're older. You know, Kelly and I have set the goal that we want to be able to ski and ride our mountain bikes still when we're 80. Now, is that gonna look the same as it looks today? Will we be on, will we be on an E bike? Most likely? But those are the things we want to do. But for a lot of people that is just sitting on the ground playing with their grandchild, helping their grandchild, put an ornament on the Christmas tree. I mean, it's very vast what it is. People want to be able to do with their body but to a t to athletes and non athletes alike, they wanna be able to do the things they want to be able to do that. Why just smash a five K at like age 100? What was that? She just said, I know the 100 m was smashed, but I think it was a five K record too, wasn't it? And you know, in the ultra marathon world there was a race called Jackpot about a month ago and there were 5 80 plus year old finishers, which I think was a record. So that's so awesome.

So everyone, we just can put our cards on the table here, you should be able to run your whole life, period. Running is one of the things that makes human beings human. And if you have played a game, a short game that has worked really well for you for a while and all of a sudden you can't run because you've played a certain way, you ran in a certain way, you engage in certain behaviors that's really confusing and confounding to us. You may not run as fast, you may not run as far, but theoretically running should be something we do until we die and it's gonna look a little different, but your range of motion doesn't have to change. And one of the ways things that you described a little bit, I think is useful in terms of this rewilding or range of motion. So we can, and you talked about hyper specialization, it's OK to obsess about a sport. Let's give everyone a pass here where like it was not OK to just be like, I'm a runner identify as runners. I had a t-shirt when we first got married and said runners. Yeah, we're different, you know, and I know I'm the biggest runner and that was definitely outweighed everyone by about 100 kg when I ran my first ultra and last ultra.

And last, what I'll say is, um, we can a useful term that helps people understand what we're talking about in, in groups who are obsessed is we call it session cost and session cost is a really nice phrase because it says, hey, if I did a big volume piece today and I show up, I can basically the next day find out how brutal that session was. What did it cost me in terms of wattage my time, my splits, my volume, my capacity pain, potentially. And so, so everyone can really wrap their head around session costs. So one of the things we can start to say is, well, hey, I want to minimize the session cost and keep training volume high. Well, that's why I eat after I run and that's why I might roll out or take a sauna or get a massage or, you know, make sure I get eight hours of sleep. All those things people understand intuitively helps us to adapt and reduce that session cost because you and I can both go hard in the paint today. But depending on our genetics and our behaviors, it's not gonna be the same outcome tomorrow.

I'm gonna be crippled and you'll be like, let's do it again. So one of the things we can start to say then is, well, let's expand the definition of session costs in sort of its application. So if all of a sudden you are engaged in an activity and it starts to truncate or change your ability to access specific positions in your body, or it starts to sort of change the, the tissue stiffness of your body. We know that runners have you know, classically, very stiff quadri steps because you're landing in a quarter squat at 2 to 6 times your body weight for what, 460 steps every 400 m, four, every 400 m. I mean, it is an insane amount of loadings, 200 single leg hops going on in a 400 m. So one of the things we can start to say is ok. Well, it's endemic that athletes who do a lot of running end up getting stiffer in the quads. That's a feature, not a bug. But if all of a sudden that quadriceps stiffness is impacting your ability to take your hip into extension at the end of the stride.

Then that's a cost of that. And if you want to go faster and we start to see that that stiff quad into your line starts suddenly to inhibit your glute function, then your hamstrings are now having to simultaneously extend your hip and extend your, your, your leg. And what we see is decreased function, increased, hamstring stiffness, et cetera, et cetera. So the issue for us always has been that we wait around until something hurts and even then we don't pay attention because it usually goes away, like especially among athletes who are used to managing pain and pain is part of the great. So it's just part of the game. So athletes are gonna be the last ones. So if we can get people to start to ask, should I just wait around until I'm on fire? Like the dumpster is on fire now, I pay attention or could we have a set of indicators that tell us about the session costs? Well, guess what heart rate variability is a, is a, a nice vital sign. We start to see, you know, heart rate being a vital sign. We start to have these own, our own personal metrics and one of the things we're trying to do in this book and in our work is to go ahead and expand that idea of vital signs or minimums into your movement.

And no one does that. No one thinks that well, I can go run and I can continue to run even though my ankles are stiff. I have no hip extension. I have no rotation. I don't know why that's affecting my foot. My foot is hitting the ground in a weird way. I must get a different shoe has nothing to do with me. And that is what we've taught people and we've conditioned people and that can change. You've heard us talk on the podcast about the pillows designed specifically for runners by Lagoon. And the research on how selecting the right pillow for your sleep position, firmness and one that can keep you cool can have a dramatic impact on your sleep quality. And while research is awesome, nothing beats real world data being the data nerds. We are at runners connect, we wanted to test lagoon pillows for ourselves using my old pillow. My Apple watch data showed that I woke up an average of six times each night and spent two hours in deep sleep when I switched to the lagoon pillow matched for me. My average number of times waking dropped to two per night and my deep sleep increased by 45 minutes. I've noticed a huge difference in how I feel in the morning, often waking up 30 to 45 minutes before my alarm and not feeling tired.

And my data is not an outlier using her whoop device us Olympic trials marathon qualifier. Caitlyn Ken saw her deep restorative sleep increase by 52 minutes when she switched to a lagoon pillow. So if you want to see the dramatic effect of pillow designed just for you can be head to lagoon sleep dot com back slash T O P, then take their awesome two minute sleep quiz that matches you with a lagoon pillow. That's perfect for you. Plus if you use the code T O P at checkout, you'll also save 15% off your purchase. Again. That's lagoon sleep dot com backslash T O P. Proving your mitochondria is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your performance and make your body work better. My friends at Timeline Nutrition have introduced a product called Mitu. That is the ultimate tune up for mitochondria. Timeline. Nutrition's mito pu is backed by over a decade. Of research and is clinically proven to revitalize mitochondria. As we know, mitochondria are the energy generators at the heart of nearly every cell in our body. But new science is shedding light on just how critical mitochondria are to our health and performance.

For example, researchers have found that mitochondria sound the alarm when cells are exposed to stress or chemicals that could damage DNA plus as we age, eat too much and sit at our desks too much. Our mitochondria deteriorate and our bodies suffer myopia restores mitochondria function. So every cell in your body has the energy to do its job and keep you healthy and functioning. Right? In fact, clinical studies have shown that 500 mg of urolith, one of the main ingredients in mit ure can significantly increase muscle strength and endurance with no other change in lifestyle myopia comes in powder form to mix into your favorite smoothie protein powder. If you're looking for a great 12 punch of muscle support or soft gels, improving your mitochondria is one of the best things you can do for your health. And with mito pure from timeline nutrition, it's never been easier. So go to timeline nutrition dot com and use promo code or runners connect for 10% off the plan of your choice. One of the most surprising insights that I picked up from the book was that even someone like myself and I and I run almost every single day.

I there's a chance that I could be classified as a sedentary person because I basically get my workout in and then I'm either horizontal the rest of the day or I'm sitting in my chair the rest of the day and I'm coming nowhere close to this daily recommended step count. I'm not moving in a bunch of different unique ranges of motion day to day. Can you talk about why this is such an issue and why it's not sufficient to uh sort of check the box of the workout and then go about the rest of your day. Well, well, I'll start with a couple of data points, but the first is that there's actually research out there to show that if you work out for one hour a day and then sit for the remainder of the day in many ways, you've sort of canceled out the benefits of that workout. So, you know, if that's not horrifying enough for athletes to hear, because it's, it's, you know, it takes a massive motivation to limiting adaptation response. Right. That's the game we're running, running makes us slower. We want to adapt so we can become faster. That's the game. But, you know, I think also because this is a running audience, you know, moving around outside of your workout is the best way to clear out your lymphatic system and actually recover from the workout.

And again, back to the adaptation thing, be able to reduce the total session cost. And you know, the lymphatic system is kind of an obscure thing that nobody really talks about. But what we like to say is, hey, has anyone actually taken a flight and sat there for eight hours on a flight and then gotten off the flight and had k, well, that's a build up of length in your ankles from literally not moving enough from sitting in a sedentary position on a flight for however many of these athletes know that, like, do you jump on an airplane after a marathon? We tell people, oh, maybe, don't do it right away. Why? Because we're worried about DVD V T S D A Thrombosis. It's a function of not moving your muscles to clear the lymphatic system. That's exactly right. Yeah. And, and, you know, the reality is, is, you know, human beings need to be continuously moving throughout the day. And, you know, Harvard defines being sedentary as sitting, um, sitting more than six hours a day. And I, I think that would come as a real shock to a lot, lot of people because, and to especially athletes, you know, we first discovered this when we had a crossfit gym and, you know, a lot of crossfit athletes, you know, it's, they feel that they've done a heroic thing by coming and, you know, doing these insane workouts and then to be told after their heroism that they're actually sedentary people because they've sat for six hours a day is a bit of a shock to the system.

And so the goal is to, you know, get as much movement throughout our day in small ways though, in, in the form of non exercise activity and, and the, the phrase for that is neat, nonn exercise, activity, thermogenesis. And that just means all the sort of micro movement you're doing out throughout the day. That is not formal exercise. So that could be cooking, emptying the dishwasher, standing at a standing desk walking, you know, so some people classify walking as exercise versus non exercise. But in our house, it's really more of a non exercise activity. So, you know, the goal is to get as much total movement in the day as possible. You know, given people's schedule limitations and, you know, but we also appreciate, you know, even though we are in the health and fitness business, contrary to what people think we aren't working out for four hours a day and spending the rest of our day meal prepping. We're also like you in front of a computer most of the day and given the option are, are sitting a lot of the time. And so, so, you know, one of the things we are obsessed with and talk about this book is trying to help people create a movement rich environment because again, the people who are listening to this podcast, like they're really, they're, they're already checking the box of getting a lot of exercise on board and probably because they have families and kids and time crunch lives don't have time to add on another hour of something.

So, so instead we've tried to create ways and open, help open people's minds to the ways they can actually get all this extra movement in their day. So they can better adapt to their training so they can sleep better at the end of the day because they've accumulated enough movement to actually go to sleep at night and do that all sort of in the context of what they're already doing in their day. I love how you mentioned the movement rich environment. There. One of my favorite sections in the book is where you cite the example of that company where I think the CEO turns off the internet at the last five minutes of every single hour and forces everybody to get up and walk around and socialize and uh yeah, just stretch out. Um I guess my question, what, what, what are the components of a movement rich environment? Well, think about it this way. It's really a, a way of framing some of our basic behaviors. How do I work? So, I think many people, you know, ended up working at home and maybe continued to work at home and your home really wasn't set up for it.

You sat at a weird table and you had a hard plastic chair and you're on a tiny you know, portable computer and it just wasn't conducive. I mean, you couldn't take a breath in that position. You couldn't rotate, you got up, you felt stiff when we say moving rich environment. It's not about, hey, I should be at a standing station at all. It's about how do I create movement choice. That's one more thing that's running in the background, like a script that I don't have to pay attention to. And I think that's really where if you, you know, when I was a young physio student, I remember watching the occupational therapists working with people who had just had strokes and vascular accents. And if they had the left side, which was the more affected side, right, the side, they were training, what they would actually do is tape an oven mitt to the other side. So they would take their left side to the less affected side and they would make that left hand or the the more affected side do all the work and it's called constraint. So they constrain the easy side and they make the hard side work.

And we, I remember coming home and this is over 20 years ago now and being like, dude, I think I just figured it out. All I have to do is constrain the environment and then I don't have to make a choice. I just force myself into doing the right thing. So we're talking to you, for example, at our podcast table and it's set up for us to stand. It's set up for me to perch against a stool, set up for Juliette to put her foot up on something and fidget around. And if we need to sit down, we can sit down because we're tired because I smoke myself doing one minute and on women off high wattage grindy intervals this morning and it feels good to sit. But what happens is I don't, I didn't automatically constrain my environment to. This is my only choice I gave myself choice. So suddenly I got earlier, I was sitting on the floor working on uh working on a document. And suddenly when you see that you have a lot more movement choice that you can put in then sitting on the ground means that I've worked my hips and my hip range of emotion. And I've loaded some of my tissues in a way that was a greater range than if I was just sitting in a chair that Juliette is pointing out, you know, and we can, you know, she, Juliette said, hey, it's already an advantage to you as an as an aerobic athlete to keep moving and circulating.

Let's keep bring the groceries in and take the garbage out all day long. But one of the things we notice, you know, a lot of people run for Callie Control. They love it because it gives them a lot more flexibility in their lives. They, they run people run for a lot of reasons. But we noticed in Juliette when we wrote our, our book, um, desk bound Juliette found a little calculator and she's just switched sitting to fidgeting perching dynamic kind of environmental working. She burned an additional 100,000 calories a year. 100,000, I weighed Juliet by £100. Roughly. So I'm just gonna add 70,000 calories. So I burn 100 and 70,000 calories more. That's so much more ice cream. And what ends up happening running 20 marathons or something like it's some, some insane amount of marathons. So suddenly there's so many insulate benefits to thinking about that. So let me give you another example of why we're such fans of trying to get you out of a chair and moving. Forget the fact that you're not gonna have to fight your physiology, right? You're not gonna have to turn back on this, this machinery, but you will be warmed up and your warm ups.

If you go from sitting, working to a lunchtime run, which a lot of people do. They sneak in their runs in the middle of the day, you're gonna feel 10 X better if you've been moving around sitting perching at your bar stool, you know, putting your foot up like you're at a bar sitting on the ground versus I sat in front of my computer for four hours. The alarm went off. I got up and I was like, Oh my God. I can't squeeze my butt and I can't put my arms over my head and it took me 40 minutes of that run to start feeling good. Again. I want you to feel good, you know, and better afterwards. So there isn't a good example of what we're doing. And really, again, we're trying to get people to look at total sedentary time because it really does aggregate and it ends up costing us. So if you sit for long periods of time, we can measure that session cost by how effectively you can extend your hip or rotate or take a big breath or put your arms over your head. I mean, there's a reason why you see you can pick out runners in every yoga class. That's, that should not be the case. Ryan Hall is the example. And Sarah Hall is someone who can destroy and go very fast.

I am on hour two of standing right now. And at the conclusion of this recording, I'll probably go up for a run. You mentioned in the book that readers should examine, test the difference between sitting in a chair for three hours and then going for a run versus standing for three hours and then going for a run. What are the differences there and, and what should listeners expect and why? Well, well, I would just like to, um I say that it's possible that you've done the worst thing and, and may never stand again. So we actually try to tell people that if you are, if you're standing curious that you actually need to think about it, like you're training for a marathon and, you know, you wouldn't just decide you're running a marathon today and then go run a marathon. Right. You would do a training program that was progressive and you would add more miles with each passing week. Right. So we do recommend anyone who's standing desk curious and, and wants to sort of constrain their environment by way of a standing desk to actually start with like 20 or 30 minute increments, um, as opposed to hours and hours because, you know, it, it actually, you do have to kind of train for it. Right. I've been stand, I've been using a standing desk for seven or eight years now.

So I actually feel more comfortable standing than I do sitting and it's not as big of a cost on my body because I'm so accustomed to it at this point. So I can stand for many hours in a row without having my back hurt or my feet hurt. But the vast majority of people who've been sitting in, including athletes, you know, will often feel foot pain or low back pain and like turn their standing desk back down to sitting and never stand again. So, so, I mean, I would just like to, you know, tell people if they're curious, like put yourself on a shaping gradient and take your time. Here's what it's easy to do when you're, when you're standing. Or remember when we say standing, we mean not sitting at 90°. It's like perching is legit. If I have a bar stool and my feet are on the ground, that's perching. It doesn't, I'm not using the back. You can sit on a ball, you could mobilize your feet, you could put your foot up on the stool and work on your hip extension. You could work on your hip flexion. You can use the stool and suddenly do a little standing pigeon pose. So you can start to sneak in a whole lot of behaviors that you're saving for some magical time in your day that is gonna present itself where you're like, sorry, Children.

I don't want to hang out with you. I need to do my run recovery. That's never gonna happen. So it throws out the door. So again, one of the things that we're trying to get people to think about is hey, we want to do the minimalist amount of work and necessary for our bodies to get and to use our bodies in any way that we want. That's really the goal. And we are like you, we probably have a little exercise ad D we love, I mean, we self soothe with exercise. That's why neither of us are addicted to drugs currently because we just covered exercise as kids as a self soothing device. We are maniacs for this. And one of the things that happens then is asking where are we going to fit all these behaviors in and, and creating a movement rich environment on the, on the surface for a lot of people means, hey, I'm gonna get a lot more activity and like Juliette said, might help me fall asleep. We also see it as a perfect time for you to do some of the, the care and maintenance that really does make you feel better. Self soothes. You feel a little sore hamstrings, a little sore. Well, it's easy to work on those things if I have more movement, choice.

But part of that richness in the evening is, hey, let's sit on the ground while we're watching TV. And what you'll find is that if you're sitting on the ground watching TV, for a half hour, because you might as well you're already watching TV. And we know you are, then look over to your right and there's your roller and you're like, oh, there's my roller. And suddenly I've started to stack behaviors where I'm sitting on the ground, which is great for my hips. It's great for my long sitting. It's great for my tissues. It recovers a ton of positions. And then all of a sudden, I'm like, well, I've been queued and I might as well sit on the ground and, and roll this thing out or talk to, you know, address what feels restricted or what felt tight or felt tired from the workout. And all of a sudden I start to aggregate lots and lots of soft tissue input. And we know that people who do that 10 minutes before they go to bed, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. And now we've said, hey, let's save your credits for like I have to do another interval. Ok. That's gonna take some willpower right this morning. You know, I do. This is a classic bike workout. I do based on, you know, one of our strength coaches from the all blacks, I'm on the watt bike.

I dial it up to 10, the magnets at 10. I grind as many watts as I can for a minute and I recover and I do that and I try to get 20 episodes of that and I'm cooked after that, right? So the, the idea here is how can I then be putting in this, this stimulus to make myself feel better throughout the day? I forgot what the, the narrative was there, but I'll come back one of the elephants in the room. I'm sure for some listeners is hitting stretching versus these mobilizations. And in the book, you clearly fall into the camp of mobilizations over stretching. Why is that? The case? Stretching is non harmful but oftentimes doesn't lead to meaningful changes in range of motion. Feels good. But why are we stretching? What is it? What's it for everyone thinks they should stretch. Yeah, they should stretch. Do you stretch? And for what means? And what are you trying to change? And what range of motion? So you see that we throw this term out because there's lots of variations in stretching. If I say you should, we train, what does that mean to you?

It means I have some rubber bands. Is that what you mean? So all of a sudden when we say mobili mobilization, what we're really trying to say is there are positions you should have access to. What tools do you have available to restore those positions and can use the same sets of tools if something hurts, oftentimes just pulling on something passively doesn't get us the results we want. Again, if you're sitting at the airport, getting your middle splits, go hang out there for a while, go sit on the ground in a long position. Long static stretching is not harmful. It just turns out to be a kind of a poor way to get ready for a fight. And it's nonspecific in its ability necessarily to restore your range of motion. There are 10 vital signs in this book. Um But I think you ask the question, you ask the rhetorical question if, if you were to give one mobilization for someone to do, it's this Hip extension mobilization. I know this is probably a self-serving question because I've dealt with deep pip rotator issues for the last 10 years of my running life. Why does it come down to this one as probably the the mobilization with the most leverage Google Couch stretch everybody?

Yeah, I mean, I, I just have to tell a side story that um earlier you s a question and I was like, Kelly is going to use this question as a way to talk about hip extension. He's gonna not really answer the question because Kelly literally is obsessed with hip extension. And I've said this on a few other podcast. If Kelly, if Kelly had a subtitle that was always connected to his name, it would be Kelly Star Hip Extension. He is literally obsessed with it. And, and I will also tell you one other story is, you know, if people who are listening to this happen to see Kelly out in the world and approach him and say, hey, Kelly, what is the one mobilization I should do to be an awesome human. What you'll see is that, you know, his face starts to get a little red and he twitches a little bit to the side because of course, his point of view is that there's not just one because you know, the human body is the most complex organism in the known universe. However, it's possible it is hip extension. I if he was really forced to say something and let me define that just for you for a second. If you are in a squat and you stand up, you're extending your hip, but your knee behind your butt, like you're in a lunge, that's hip extension.

And if the un sprinting universally, one of the reasons that sprinting is dangerous for middle aged people is they do not access or have access to hip extension. And if you're gonna sprint, you suddenly need hip extension. Running up a hill is so much easier because it takes away the need to actually have massive amounts of hip extension. And so that's one of the reasons we love hill repeats. So I can add this intensity but sort of modulate your total range of motion in terms of your knee coming behind your hip. Can I just add something because we just came off this conversation about sitting versus standing? I'm sure everybody can make the connection with the fact that hip extension being very mission critical for runners. The opposite of hip extension is hip collection, which is what people are doing for often 15 hours a day sitting at work or in front of your seat is to extend your hip one at a time faster than your neighbors and partners. But your sport is to extend your hip, but you spend 15 hours of your day practicing hip flexion and just microseconds.

If I look at your total range of motion while you run, so we can look at that window. But if I actually look at the total extension that's going on in your hip and just count it up the time that you're there before you change direction. It's just fractions of seconds and it might end up being a few minutes only in an hour run where you actually have your hip. It might even be less than that. It may just be like 60 seconds. But what I can say is if it's really important for you as your job to have, have control and efficiency with your knee behind your body in a lunge running, sprinting shape. Why are you spending time there? And why aren't you competent there? And it turns out why are you practicing the opposite? We see a lot of knee pain that goes away when we restore people's hip extension. We see a lot of back pain that goes away when restore hip hip extension. One of the gnarliest things that can be beset any runner because remember we may I only run the hill in my neighborhood.

That's, that's what I do now. But um, we have a lot of friends who run and the gnarliest thing that can happen to you is that hamstring insertion problem, that glute hamstring problem. Every, every runner is like, oh, I hate that. I hope that's not me. One of the reasons those hamstrings get gross is again, if you can't extend your hip, we see that, that stiffness in that end to your line inhibits your glute function. Your hamstrings start doing double duty and then we overwork them. So one of the ways that we can make you faster, take away your knee pain, make your back feel better is to restore your native hip extension. And it's shocking. And if you, everyone I'm challenging everyone who's a runner on this, we do something called the couch stretch where you get on your hands and knees, facing away from the wall, you put your knee in the corner. so like left knees in the corner, shin goes up the wall and all you have to do is bring your other leg up into a lunch and be able to squeeze your butt and then bring your torso up and put your hands on your knees and squeeze your butt and then bring your back up to the wall and squeeze your butt. And I guarantee you that a lot of you cannot even get into a lung shape.

You will be restricted and so stiff and this isn't Simone Biles gymnastics range of motion. This is less than native range of motion. Couple more questions before we close up and we've covered a lot of great ground. This has been awesome guys. Um When you think about interventions and for more context, listeners to this show, they range from teenage years to 70s and 80s. How much can you recoup at any given age? Like, is it kind of like investing where if you, if you start doing this early, there's gonna be compound interest and outsized returns or can there be transformations that are significant? Even if you're like 50 or 60 one of uh my friends uh have mobility privilege. Remember I am six. We, we, we make fun of Kelly and say he has toddler joints because if you just envision like how a toddler can move through space, that's how Kelly can move. My friends have said, you know, I was bendy before I was big, but here's the deal. Muscles and tissues are like obedient dogs.

So if we, if we ask that question, is it, have you ever met someone who couldn't train the aerobic system? Have you ever met someone who couldn't get faster with training and, and repeated exposure? No, these systems are highly adaptable, highly training. And if I say muscles and tissues are like obedient dogs, we just know, look, if I'm 50 and I'm like, I wanna run a three hour marathon. You're like, well, have you ever run before? Ok. We have a big road to hoe. It's gonna be a long one here. But, you know, maybe it's possible what we want to do is recognize that at 50, my advances will be a little slower than if I was 20 or 22, but not impossible. I will still make progress. So progress slows and I maybe have to be more consistent and other things start to matter, sleep nutrition, hydration, stress, all of those things that are happening you know, as you get older, your movement language just gets a little bit smaller and smaller. I run and then I sit and I get in my car and I sit and I walk a little bit and I run and that's all I do.

And that may be insufficient for me to maintain my range. If you jumped into yoga early on, chances are you're nailing all of these positions and shapes because your movement practice isn't magical. It's not that yoga manages and restores and, and there is a complete practice. It's because yoga demands you to have access to these shapes in order to do yoga. And so it's like yoga says, hey, you know, I know we're not loaded here and we're not doing pull ups, but you're gonna put your arms over your head a lot. It's called downward dog. And we're gonna, where we think it's so important that you're gonna do so much downward dog and so much long sitting and downward dog folded in a, in a triangle there that your body is gonna maintain and value value those shapes. So your range of motion is very much a dynamic system. It's like a credit score. And just the way I would say for an older person, it may be harder but not impossible at all. I will also say that you can swing the other direction as a young athlete very quickly. And what we want to do is start to find our minimums. And what we've done in this book is create vital signs so not good or bad but red, yellow, green.

Hey, how are you doing with your hip flexion? How are you doing with your hip extension? Here's a marker, a benchmark where you can say, hey, I'm falling below that. My session costs, get a little high for my running. Let me come and work on that a little bit. Last question. When you think about putting all of these vital signs together, I think towards the end of the book, you have what's called a 24 hour duty cycle. Can you explain what that is? Sure we created that actually working with elite military teams and units and we found it to be so effective in our own time, crunch busy life as parents and you know, working people. And what we realize is that there are sort of these key moments in everybody's day where they have agency or control and they can actually make choices that will positively impact their health and, and in micro weights, not in formal ways just in microwaves. And, you know, one of those times is in the morning before we head off to work and, you know, we're raising kids and getting kids out the door. We don't have time to meditate and journal and take us on a, you know, we're getting kids ready for school and, you know, often the best thing we could do is get some protein and micronutrients on board and get our workout in, you know, before we head off to the office at nine o'clock.

And, you know, and, and then similarly, we, we find that people have a lot of agency and control in the evening, which is why we've really come to recommend that people spend time doing their soft tissue work, for example, and their mobilizations at night in front of the television because we know that people are again, like Kelly said, they are watching TV and they do have a moment there. And, you know, oftentimes, if you say, hey, you know, you need to spend 20 minutes mobilizing after your run, people don't have time to do that and they're just gonna cross that off their list. So, so we've tried to sort of set up, he help people change their mindset about what a 24 hour cycle looks like and realize that, you know, you can start making decisions much earlier in your day that are gonna sort of impact on the long haul and compound. Like one of the things we're always very conscious of and we're obsessed with is sleep and we actually start preparing for our sleep like in the morning. You know, one of the things we do is that I know that I really can't drink caffeine after one o'clock. And so I have to cut myself off of caffeine. Otherwise my sleep is impacted Kelly is more like three o'clock, but that's sort of a conscious decision we're making planning during the day to make sure we get the sleep we need at night.

So we're hoping to sort of expand people's minds to think that, you know, all these practices actually stack upon one another that they actually can be fit into a 24 hour day of a busy time, crunch people, person raising no one more thing. And that all these little behaviors actually compound to really have this gigantic positive impact on our health in the long term. So, you know, we, we really tried to look at it through that lens and help people sort of expand their mind about what healthy behaviors mean. And those don't just mean, you know, going to a one hour class or going to a one hour run. There's so many things people can do in a 24 hour cycle that, that don't take a lot of motivation and willpower but can really have, you know, pull huge levers in terms of how people feel and are able to move through their environments. There's actually one final question that I have for you both and I'm not sure exactly how to phrase it because I'm just thinking of it right now. But you mentioned this term session cost earlier in the interview and, and a part of me wonders how much of my total weekly volume and what I'm capable of doing in a given day in a given week is limited due to mobility.

Like if I re if I uh if I became the best of myself from a mobility standpoint, how much more volume like top end volume would I be able to add back into my daily runs and my weekly runs? That it's so let's go find out. I think one of the things that we hung our hats on when we wrote, becoming a supple leopard 10 years ago was that when we improved and restored people's native ranges of motion and gave them control. There, they went faster. That was our test. We had two objective measures. One was range of motion, the range of motion, every physical therapist, every surgeon, every doctor things you should have, everyone agrees the hip does this like you're not that special, your arms go over your head, right. The test was, did you go faster? And we tested that hypothesis in his at track and field events at surfers for runners for world tour de France? Like we just went out and we were like, well, let's test our hypothesis and guess what? We won a lot of world championships. We help people win a lot of gold medals and go faster.

So one of the things we can say is if you are more effective and more efficient in your positions, we expect you to be less sore. We expect you to handle higher volumes. We expect you to be a runner, be faster. We expect you to handle higher volumes being faster. So what I'll, what I'll tell people is, yes, let's establish some benchmarks for you. And if you know your running volume is this and that Saturday, you're beat up and your heart rate is trashed and your HR V is out the door and your desire to move is tanked. You can have objective measures and subjective measures in there. And let's see if we can't improve that because our hypothesis is, and again, let me just beat this on a drum. You think you're working at your limits and you're not, you have hidden capacity that's latent laying around. And if you begin to think differently about the problem, you actually can work harder and be fresher because that really is the key, decades and decades of steady work where you take care of business means that you can outperform yourself and everyone else who's not doing those things.

And you know, we really are of the mind that anyone who actually does these movement and behavioral vital signs in this book religiously will have infinitely more capacity and not just athletic capacity, but we're talking about work capacity and relational capacity. And you know, anything people care about that, it actually, it's not just a list. I mean, me coming home smoking, I want to talk to you. I mean, it's, it's not just, you know, it's, yes, it's a list of things people need and should do. But ultimately, you know, if people can make a habit out of these behaviors, it will expand their ability to train harder and have better relationships and be more creative at work and work harder and feel better. One of the reasons why I was so excited to talk about this book and have you guys on the show is I feel like we're still relatively early days introducing movement health into the running community. And I'm curious, where have you seen across the sporting world? Where have you seen the most buy in for what you do? Oh, well, great question.

No 1's ever asked us that. Um What's amazing is we tend to see the most buy in on the people who have the most to lose. So if your gold medal is measured in tens or hundreds, we tend to see people really care when it is your, you know, you or we have your, your um you know, some of this is we're starting to see that is pretty standard. And in a, in a generation, we would love every high school athlete to be like. Of course, I do all of these things because I'm an athlete. We've expanded our definition of athletics, not who's the person who has the best genetics and didn't get their egg broken, right? Not that person, but the person who can really come to understand that and, and look the, the next wave is we want you to go get your genetics tested and there's a whole lot that we can understand about your personal genome here. But, you know, we met, we had this meeting with DARPA once when they came to town and we're like, ok, imagine all the technology, what is it you want?

Like nanobots in the blood? And I was like, I don't know, like, easier ways to eat collagen. And they were like, what? And I and I was like, can you make it so everyone can sleep eight hours? Like they were just like, that's not, that's not technology. And I was like, that's the problem is that we're looking for some super secret tracksuit as soon as we are in a community where people realize that their lives are on the line or their livelihood is on the line, they end up caring. Well, once again, the book is called Built To Move. It's excellent. I highly recommend it. I love what both of you are doing. Juliette Kelly. Thank you so much for being on the show. We'll make sure to link to this in the show notes as well as all other relevant social media. And do you have any final thoughts to this audience, this running audience about uh how they should approach training, how they should approach movement, stuff like that? I would just say that again, I just wanted to say how important running is and how vital it is. And for all those people who've lost the innate ability to enjoy what it feels like to run. What a bummer. Don't let that happen to you. You know, really think about that running is something you're supposed to do.

But you, you, you have to do some of these other things and if you do some of these other things, you'll be shocked at the fact that you are the last person running. Thanks for listening to the run to the top podcast. I'm your host, Finn Malan. And as always, our mission here is to help you become a better runner with every episode. Please consider connecting with me on Instagram at wasatch fin and the rest of our team at runners connect also consider supporting our show for free with a range on the Spotify and Apple podcast players. And lastly, if you love the show and want bonus content behind the scenes, experiences with our guests and premier access to contests and giveaways and subscribe to our newsletter by going to runners connect dot net back slash podcast. Until next time. Happy trading.

How To Increase Your Mobility To Improve Your Running
How To Increase Your Mobility To Improve Your Running
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