Sunday, March 1, 2015

Holistic Focus on Mitigating Athletic Injuries

Based on recent advances in Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Bioenergetics, as well as Biomedical Engineering, much knowledge, experience, maturity and wisdom has been gained in better understanding and appreciation of holistic focus on mitigating athletic injuries. As shown below, as each and every athlete is an “individual” and there are “absolutely no shortcuts to success”, there must be both simultaneous and independent importance given to each of the critical elements in order to reduce risks and mitigate athletic injuries. 

As part of Advanced Training, during the last two (2) decades, based on the extensive work done by world-renowned experts such as; Coach Vern Gambetta, Coach Gary Winckler and Dr. Peter G Weyand, increased importance must be given to:

·         Developing and building strength of various joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and various soft tissues.
·         Effectively mitigate acute / chronic fatigue (Metabollic, Neuro-Muscular, Central Nervous System).
·         Incorporating plyometrics, resistance / weights, cross-training (bike / swim), dynamic / static stretching, skills / drills etc. as part of fitness, pre-season / season training and pre-competition.
·         Optimize Stride Frequency, Amplitude and Length in order to maximize positive forward Momentum and Linear Velocity, since;

Linear Velocity  =  Stride (Frequency + Amplitude)  x  Stride Length

·         Depending on specific competitive event and each individual athlete; maximum emphasis on commensurate Force (F) development, production, application wherein;

F reaction   is   Minimized
F impact  is   Optimal
F impulse   is   Maximized

Based on the above, a holistic focus can be developed over a period of time, subject to iterative analysis, to address vital problems / issues in reducing risks and mitigating athletic injuries. This may include, but not limited to, following:

·         Identifying the nature of injury
·         Understanding the source of injury
·         Developing course of corrective action for injury (may avoid / prevent surgery; last resort)
·         Assessing impact and resources (time, energy, effort, costs etc.) required for corrective action
·         Implementing corrective action for injury
·         Next steps and path to full-competition

Finally, focus on prevention rather than just cure may help, in big way, reduce risks and mitigate athletic injuries.

The purpose of any and all mentoring, focusing on holistic wellness, health, sports, fitness, nutrition, yoga, ayurveda and related is to promote healthy lifestyles and balance between Spirit-Mind-Body. This includes any and all associated proven processes, methods, techniques, therapies which may also include educational purposes with the goal of creating awareness and disseminating information. All information on the Website in no way precludes the mandatory need for seeking definitive prior advice, diagnosis and/or treatment from a qualified medical physician and/or specialist related to Spirit-Mind-Body fitness and/or training program(s). Prior to starting any Spirit-Mind-Body fitness and/or training program(s), it is mandatory to get a thorough examination by a qualified medical physician and/or specialist. In addition, a medical physician and/or specialist’s approval must be obtained prior to undertaking any Spirit-Mind-Body fitness and/or training program and as well as continual examination(s) by a medical physician and/or specialist during the entire duration and course of undertaking any Spirit-Mind-Body fitness and/or training program(s).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jim Ryun; A Living Legend

During the past few months, I had a chance to meet David Epstein (author of Sports Gene) and some of the renowned coaches in track & field (Dr. Joe VigilVern GambettaPeter Thompson etc.) as well as some of today’s world-class middle-distance and long-distance athletes (including Nick SymmondsJenny Simpson, and Meb Keflezighi). It was a great opportunity to meet Mr. Epstein and the legendary Coaches Vigil, Gambetta and Thompson. Also, the inspiring athletes, Nick, Jenny and Meb as they prepare to compete in the 2015 World Track & Field Championships and 2016 Rio Olympics. I had a chance to listen, understand and appreciate each one’s own personal story, journey, various inspirations and aspirations. It was also really amazing to hear the name of “Jim Ryun” mentioned during some of the many conversations as a living legend who has inspired and still continues to do so for many generations of athletes worldwide.

Source: www.sporting-heroes.netathletics-
Last year happened to mark the 60th anniversary of the breaking of the “four-minute mile” barrier by Roger Bannister in England and also marked the 50th anniversary of the breaking of the “four-minute mile” barrier by the first high school athlete; Jim Ryun in Kansas. Today, there seems to be a rekindling and keener interest in competing in the “mile” as a popular track & field and road racing event; such as the very eventful New York Road Runners (NYRR) "5th Avenue Mile".

The world of “athletics” or track & field has seen and continues to this day with so many great men and women athletes in various events and competition which include but not limited to; Jim Thorpe, Paavo NurmiEric LiddellJesse OwensWilma RudolphFrank ShorterSebastian CoeCarl LewisMichael JohnsonAllyson FelixSanya Richards-RossShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Usain Bolt, and Mo Farah, to just name a few. Especially, in the middle distance events, covering the half-mile and one-mile or metric equivalents of 800 Meters and 1500 Meters, there have also been many great men and women athletes worldwide. Among the many, one name comes continually to mind in particular; Jim Ryun.

After three attempts at the Olympics in 1964, 1968 and 1972, Ryun could not win an Olympic gold medal, but, he set and held multiple world records during the course of an athletic career that made him a world-class runner. The athletic greatness of Ryun and his outstanding contributions to the world of sports is important to recall as well as being a testimony to the human spirit as well as individual amateur athletic prowess and achievements.

Source: www.kshs.orgkansapediajim-
To start with, as mentioned above, as early as 1964 while a junior at Wichita East High School in Wichita Kansas, Ryun was the only athlete to run a four-minute mile at that time. He also became the first high school runner to break the four-minute barrier with a time of 3:59.0 for the mile which was an outstanding achievement in itself. While in high school, he qualified for the U.S. Olympic team and competed with the world’s best in the 1500 Meters in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games where he made it to the semifinals.

Ryun set the high school and U.S. open mile record of 3:55.3 as a senior in 1965, a record which has stood for nearly 36 years until 2001 when broken by Alan Webb who ran a 3:53.43. It should be noted that during the setting of this record, Ryun defeated Peter Snell who was the reigning 1500 Meters champion from the Tokyo Olympics and a former world record holder.

While still in his senior year in high school, Ryun was voted the fourth best miler in the world by the experts at Track & Field News. No wonder has Jim Ryun rated as the No. 1 high school athlete of all-time, beating out other great athletes such as Tiger Woods in golf and LeBron James in basketball.

At the age of just nineteen (19), Ryun set world records in the half-mile (time of 1:44.9, October 6, 1966 in Terre Haute Indiana) and the mile (time of 3:51.3, July 17, 1966 in Berkley California) and became Sport Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year”, winning the James E. Sullivan award as the U.S. top amateur athlete, ABC’s Wide World of Sports “Athlete of the Year” and was voted Track & Field News “Athlete of the Year” as the world best track & field athlete. On a college athletic scholarship to University of Kansas, from 1967, Ryun set multiple world records ablaze:

·         Half-mile (indoors); Time of 1:48.3
·         Mile; Time of 3:51.1, June 23, 1967 in Bakersfield California
·         1500 Meters; Time of 3:33.1, July 8, 1967 in Los Angeles, California
·         Mile (indoors), Time of 3:56.4, February 19, 1971, San Diego, California

As a University of Kansas “Jayhawk”, Ryun was the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) champion in:

·         1967 Mile
·         1967, 1968, and 1969 Mile (indoors)
·         1968 Two-Mile (indoors)

Source: www.tedwatts.orgkansas.php
Ryun was truly a real team player and helped University of Kansas Jayhawks win the NCAA team championship in 1969 as well as sprint and distance medleys on multiple occasions. During the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Ryun completely recovered from mononucleosis, trained at high altitudes, and won a silver medal in the 1500 meters losing to the famous Kip Keino of Kenya. In the 1972 Munich Olympics, he was fouled, tripped and fell down during a qualifying heat for the 1500 meters and did not proceed any further with subsequent Olympic competition thereafter.

It is important to note that by breaking the world record for the mile at the age 19, Ryun spontaneously inspired generations worldwide and his impact was so widespread. It has been said that Ryun is one of the greatest middle-distance athletes and miler of all-time and is certainly one of the most prolific athletes.

Over the years, much has been said and written about Ryun in the form of magazine articles, books, TV and radio broadcasts and the sorts. In the age of high-speed internet, 24/7 media, cable news, multiple doping scandals, multimillion dollar advertisements and sponsorships, and highly paid pro-athletes, it is sometimes very hard to grasp and believe the various individual amateur athlete and team accomplishments of Jim Ryun; A Living Legend.


3.       Book “Jim Ryun: Master of The Mile”, by John Lake