Here’s a demonstration of the 100-Up Technique that Chris McDougall writes about in his Times Mag piece.  It’s supposed to help develop good running form, using a light heel-strike. Gonna give it a try today.

9 Responses to “The 100-Up Technique (video)”

  1. Anivair says:

     That drill sure looks a whole lot like a POSE running drill to me. 

    • Graham says:

       Seeing as this drill was thought up in the 19th Century, I think it predates POSE by just a wee bit.  

      • Anivair says:

         I wasn’t so much implying that it was stolen as implying that good running form is good runing form no matter how you get there.  That said, I have a few people in a class I teach that are having a hard time with pose so I might try this exercise to see how they fare. 

    • sam says:

      Umm, they bring their knees up high during the drill and then when you see them on the street they barely bring their feet off the ground.  Seemingly contradictory to me.  They are merely jogging; I’ve never known anyone to get hurt "running" this way unless they step in a pot hole, et al.  People want super great fitness overnight (want to lose 50lbs in 1 day e.g. Immediate Gratification), run too fast too soon with bad form and injure themselves…but if you can make money from the marketing spin the more the better I suppose….

      • Anivair says:

         I think that street shot was weird, too, but think about how you’d film that at a higher speed.  With teh cameraman running backwards carrying a heavy and expensive camera while you run fast at him?  Odds are good that won’t work. 


        When film crews come out for stuff like this they don’t have a lot of equipment.  One guy with a shoulder mount camera is generally all you get. 

      • Nathan Matthews says:

        Check out this video if you want to see a barefoot runner picking up his knees.

        I try to emmulate this running style.  Not a bad guy to emmulate since he is older than me and runs marathons between 2:35 and 2:45 (hasn’t run a marathon barefoot yet – but does most of his training barefoot).

      • Anonymous says:

        Not contradictory at all.  From the article:

        "Cucuzzella didn’t like it as a teaching method — he loved it. “It makes so much physiological and anatomical sense,” he said. “The key to injury-free running is balance, elasticity, stability in midstance and cadence. You’ve got all four right there.”"

        The exercise is about developing those four things . . . and as such, it succeeds admirably.

        Running on pavement doesn’t require a high step.  Running uphill, or on technical terrain often does.  Running is about efficiency, and training is about being ready for contingencies.

        Fwiw, "jogging" was invented by Nike (Blue Ribbon Sports) shortly after the launch of cushioned shoes.  Heel-srtike form, untenable without them, flies in the face of our physiology.  Have you ever seen aboruiginals run barefoot in S America or Africa, or Australia, or anywhere else?

        Do you know any bareform runners?  Just wonderin’ . . .  the proof is in the pudding.

  2. Tom L says:


     From Lore of Running, 4th Ed., p. 365:
    "By modern standards, George trained very lightly, claiming that he traned on ‘beer and enjoyment.’ For the first six years of his running career, his only training involved doing ‘100-up’ exercises. This entailed little more than running on the spot flexing his knees alternately to hip level. The idea was to build up training until he was able to repeaat the exercise 100 times at maximum speed."
    When Brit-types say "running on the spot" they mean what we call running in place, just in case that wasn’t clear. Noakes’ references are "The 100-Up Exercise" by Walter George, published in 1908, and "Five Kings of Distance" by Peter Lovesey, published in 1968. The second of these two books isn’t too difficult to find using inter-library loan, but good luck getting your hands on the first.



    • Tom L says:

      Chris McDougall has reported on something that was written about by Dr. Tim Noakes in his weighty tome "Lore of Running", 4th Edition, published in 2003.  Only difference is McDougall is putting emphasis on the 100-Up technique as some long lost and forgotten way to perfect "the" way to run.  Even though he tries to make the case that this is "the" technique to learn "the" way to run, his article merely touches on the technique itself without any breakdown or detail needed to learn from it. Furthermore, the accompanying video could hardly be described as instructional.  Hopefully he will address this on his website or an article and video published elsewhere.


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