The Catholic University of America

Ian Hankins, head men's cross country coach, was quoted in a Washington Post story on running. See below.

Why balance can make or break a runner

From: Washington Post
Date: March 24, 2016
Author: Carolee Belkin Walker

... “When you run, you never have both feet on the ground at the same time,” said Ian Hankins, head men’s cross-country and track and field coach at the Catholic University of America. “Everything needs to line up at the center of your body so you don’t fall over. When your core and posterior chain are aligned and you’re not tipping forward or leaning back, as a runner, you are more efficient and use less energy.”

Hankins, who joined the Cardinals in January, is a three-time NCAA regional qualifier in cross country. He’s also a sport performance consultant for H2K Sports, where he designs and implements training plans for distance runners and critiques running technique through video analysis.

Hankins said his collegiate athletes run seven days a week. Mid-distance runners cover about 40 to 50 miles per week, while long-distance runners do 60 to 80 miles per week. Both sprinters and distance runners do interval training on the track two to four times per week.

In addition to coaching his athletes through such running warm-ups as A-skips and carioca, or grapevine — drills that teach the body how to run in the correct way — Hankins incorporates Olympic lifts to strengthen core muscles.

“Most distance runners don’t think about the importance of weight training to strengthen the core and upper body for the purpose of running more efficiently,” Hankins said. “You need to have strong upper-body muscles to balance and hold the body in the proper position over a long period of time and during high intensity.” ...

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