Friday, 4 June 2010

Bigger quads

Quads are the big leg muscles that help you run up hills. I have noticed that most of the better fell runners than me have bigger quads than I do.

It seems there are many schools of thought on how to get bigger quads. One of my training books tells me I should do plyometric exercises, or 'bounding'. The main drawback of this (apart from the injury risk) is that you look like an idiot when you're doing them. So on Wednesday night I went for a run on one of my normal routes and tried to find quiet bits where no-one would see me.

Basically, you have to bound and far and as high as you can after landing each stride. I usually describe it as running like Penelope Pitstop used to do when running from the Hooded Claw. Unfortunately, I can't find any images of this, so for those who didn't watch the same cartoons as me, here's Jonathan Edwards showing how it should be done. I don't think I'm quite there yet.

I have also noticed that people who cycle a lot tend to have big quads. So on Thursday night, I went to Manchester Velodrome for a 2-hour taster track session organised by a mate (who also has big quads).
This is one of those banked tracks so you can go quickly round the corners. The angle is 42 degrees at its steepest, but it seems a bit steeper when you're on it the first time, and you don't really want to cycle round the top.

We did individual pursuit, team riding and a timed lap and it was great fun. I'm not sure how this will relate to me improving at fell running. The test will be at Wincle Trout race on Saturday.

I've taken a picture of my quads and I think they might be improving. What do you think?


  1. Quadtastic !

    For the second year in a row I've forgotten to apply for Winkle early enough. DOH

  2. That's a shame - it's just too popular these days. It alway seems to be a lovely day for Wincle Fete too.