other training wrote:
I have done some mega workouts with free weights that even you would be impressed with Speed Kills. But they were half squats, I can't do full squats even with even weights.
My best distance is half marathon. I do a lot of short sprints, and I know the benefit of this work, but my basic leg strength is lacking when my legs are around the 90 degree angle, which they always are during the knee raise phase of our racing stride. Having greate strength during this 90 degree phase will lead to a longer faster stride I am sure.
I bet Bekele can do one legged squats.
What exactly are you talking about? First lets define some terms: when you say "1/2 squats", I assume you mean what Speed Kills defined them as: parallel squats, ie, quads parallel to the ground, right? If so, that would create the "90 degree" angle you refer to (the angle at the knee joint, the angle between shin bone and thigh bone, right?
Ok, then you say:
"....my basic leg strength is lacking when my legs are around the 90 degree angle, which they always are during the knee raise phase of our racing stride. Having greate strength during this 90 degree phase will lead to a longer faster stride I am sure."
OK, that's where you lose me, because
A) you already said you do 1/2 squats with impressive weights, so your legs would NOT be weak at the "90 degree angle." And....
B) One's knee joint may be at the 90 degree angle during the "knee raise phase of our racing stride," but how will squats help you there??? It's a complete different motion. How does the knee get to that point? It starts behind the body, the hamstring curls up to your butt, you bring you knee in front of you with hip flexion and start to kick your foot out in front in you. In NO way does the squat motion mimic this movement. One is using HIP flexion to pull the knee in front of the body and upwards a bit, but not quad concentric power, which is what squats are mostly about (yes, squats works one's hams and glutes too, but not that related to the movements in bringing one's leg forward).
Squats mostly mimic, or can be related to the landing phase of running, when one's foot touches the ground your quad and kneed tendons are used to absorb the impact eccentrically (along with foot and ankle muscles/tendons), and then concentrically contract to push the body uwards and forwards. But the knee joint at this point is nowhere near 90 degrees. More like 130 or so.
Squats definitely can help one's power, durability and explosiveness, especially as relates the landing/push off phases of the stride, but I don't think they help much for knee lift (or if the do, it is more incidental, and other exercise would help more).
Last comment, though 1/2 or full squats would help for max power, since the angle (as I pointed out) of the knee when the foot is on the ground is nowhere near 90 degrees, one leg squats at around 100-120 (slightly lower than running angle) would better mimic the running stride. So I would think they would be an excellent exericse for specific leg strengthening for running (and the full/1/2 squats would be used for early season general conditioning, strength base). From one leg squats one could move to plyo's, and then finally to pure sprints (of course each of these elements would not have to be completely seperated, ie, not an absolute periodization would be needed, but the general focus would move in the direction I mentioned).