How much do tight hip flexors reduce run times?

Wondering if this could be reason for dreadful times

8 messages
21/02/2013 at 22:59

I have a weak right hip flexor but also a pretty weak core and hamstrings despite running and weight training. I've just started going to pilates which is where I've been discovering how bad I am. Looking online, I see that there's a link to poor hips/hams/glutes/core and speed. Is there a measured percentage of improvement that can be gained by improving these? I've looked online and have only found mention of improvement with no quantification of by how much improvement could be achieved e.g. 6%

After umpteen races over the past 9 years, following structured training plans for every race my pb remains at a ropey 27:33 for 5k, 61:18 10k and 2.15 for a half. ( I'm a 32 year old female).               I'm digging for encouragement...

22/02/2013 at 13:13

It's true that improving core strength, etc., should help your times, but I wouldn't say there is a set amount which they will improve by.  I'd be surprised if tight hip flexors have significantly impacted on your race times; the biggest factor of all is your training.

22/02/2013 at 13:23

You've got loads more experience than me (9 years more!), so feel free to tell me to bog off, but have you considered that your username (assuming you do think too much) and "structured training plans" are the problem?

Have you taken time to enjoy yourself running? Are you overtraining and not letting your self recover? It's difficult to see without knowing more about your lifestyle and what training you're doing why your PBs might not be improving.

22/02/2013 at 17:16

Got to say that I had the same thought as Rob.

There is no right or wrong way of doing things, but there is a right and wrong way for you.  Maybe you are following the wrong type of plan for your lifestyle at the moment.

I've never noticed a significant change in my times when I've been tight or loose in any particular muscle group, but maybe it has made a few seconds difference and I'm a similar speed to you.

23/02/2013 at 07:39
Hi, I noticed a big improvement in my times with regular Pilates- I always recommend it to people; it's got to be a class that challenges you- I put down my improved times to much better core strength and conditioning generally. It happened over months, though- but I felt a lot stronger. Hope you're encouraged- make sure your Pilates class isn't too easy. We do lots of press ups, planks etc . Enjoy!
cougie    pirate
23/02/2013 at 08:32
My hip flexors and hamstrings are always tight but I don't think it affects speed much. Training is the key for me.

What is your typical week ?
cougie    pirate
23/02/2013 at 08:34
You must be under training as your times seem to get slower as you go longer.
If you aren't comfortable running 13 miles then it will show.
23/02/2013 at 14:42
Need to work on the endurance like Cougie says. Long runs longer , and more than likely slower, much slower than you are doing them now.

How much improvement have you had in those 9 years...Say at 10k and half times?

Also what do you mean by weight training?
Weak glutes will affect running, but everyone is different and with a different running technique. Not something you can measure. Our gym the instructors easily spot people with poor squat ability and also tight backs from desk bound jobs. Flexibility is important.

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