STRIVE 20×400 Challenge

STRIVE 20×400 Challenge
20×400 Challenge Photo Credit: STRIVE

On Sunday March 7th, I participated in the STRIVE challenge, which consisted of running 20 400s in 80 seconds with about 70 seconds rest. While running these 400s I wore compression shorts designed by STRIVE which housed EMG sensors to track my muscle activation while running. It was kind of a rainy, gloomy day with a slight headwind, but overall I thought it was a descent day for a track workout. The only issue was the fact that I did not learn of the event unitl Friday March 5th via email from Clint Robbins, therefore, I already had a fairly high mileage week with a midweek back-to-back long run. Still it sounded way too interesting of an experiment to pass up, and even though I typically work on Sundays I was able carve out some time in the morning for the challenge.

It was a well organized event and the Strive team was very helpful, leading the warm up and also keeping track of all of my split times. A group of six of us took to the track and started with a 10 second buffer between us. Apryle joined me in the pre warm up warm up and Paul Young even jumped in during a few of my cool down jogs. Unfortunately the track was only about  360 meters, so it threw off my timing and I guess I also underestimated my fitness, because 80 seconds felt a little too easy, I actually think I could have held the 70 second laps. At any rate, the EMG sensors still provided me with some valuable information.

Below is the exact email that STRIVE sent to me following the event.

My Lap Splits

Lap

Time

Lap

Time

Lap

Time

Lap

Time

1

61 s

6

59 s

11

64 s

16

64 s

2

64 s

7

62 s

12

63 s

17

63 s

3

64 s

8

64 s

13

63 s

18

63 s

4

63 s

9

65 s

14

65 s

19

64 s

5

64 s

10

66 s

15

62 s

20

62 s

For all of our participants, one common takeaway was a generally higher activation rate during the first 3-5 repetitions. This highlights the importance of a good warmup.

Your STRIVE EMG muscle data is shown below:

WHAT THIS MEANS:

As far as imbalances go there are no discernable imbalances seen at the beginning of the workout session.

You were one of the most symmetrical participants that we had on the day -with the only discernible imbalance showing in the glutes. By the data that we collected, we would infer that either your larger muscle bodies were slowly deactivating and you were bringing in smaller muscle groups to help, or you could have handled another 5 to 10 repetitions!

One thing that you can notice from your results is that you have a very high glute activation ratio, ~39% for both right and left legs. We see high glute ratios in sprint training. It is very interesting to see how different runners handle these middle distances. Having a high glute ratio is neither a good nor bad thing as far as we know. However, collecting more data like yours will definitely help us draw further conclusions about the differences between sprint and distance patterns and the implications that they have on middle distance running!



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