Tuesday, September 30, 2014

1864.8 to 1873.5 Miles: Walking on Pogo Sticks

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Virtual Hike

The animated street view didn't work for this leg, so the weather map will keep you oriented. The day's route follows route 12 in southeastern Washington.

The route did not pass through any towns today. 
As I was walking along the dark shoulder today with a streetlight behind me, I noticed my shadow was bouncing more than normal. I took a break yesterday, and I felt extra energetic this morning.

I began to wonder about the bounce in my step. What was causing it? Why was I bouncier today? Is bounce good? 

So, I started thinking about the structure of the legs.

I decided the knees behave like a scissor strut on the nose wheel of an airplane. The strut is like the knee and the shock absorber is like the muscles in the legs. The appearance is the different, but the purpose is the same.

The shock absorber has 2 functions: Absorb shock and in the case of the legs, return energy.

Ideally, the legs will act like pogo sticks and return almost all the energy to propel the walker forward.

How does it work? I don't know, but I formed an analogy. The cells act like little super balls in the legs. They compress with the impact and release returning most of the energy to the step. As a person walks more miles, the muscles naturally become more efficient at returning energy. I don't think this is something a person can consciously train for.

Lunar Training Cycle

Green - Easy       Yellow - Medium    Red - Hard

I took a day off yesterday. I was worried this week would be difficult because the last four days walking days ranged from medium to hard days. They were challenging.

This morning, I walked 5.6 miles seemingly without effort. I only have 4.2 miles to go today. I'll work on pacing myself in the early days this week so the last days aren't so difficult.

So far, it appears the training cycle is working.

Please comment: Your inputs help me learn what interests you.

See you down the road,

Road Walker

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