Walter (W.G.) George and Learning to Run with the 100-Up

This past weekend was the NYC Marathon. And unless you've been sleeping under a pair of Nikes rock, you likely caught Born to Run author Christopher McDougall's latest piece in the NYTimes, The Once and Future Way to Run. If you haven't read it, check it out as it speaks to the importance of proper running form above all else (including footwear). It's well worth the read.

And if you were paying attention to McDougall's write-up, you also probably noticed a heavy mention of a century old training technique developed by W.G. George called the Hundred-Up — a drill basically consisting of alternately lifting your legs while standing in place. It seems that George, the fastest "miler" of the 19th century having set a record of 4:12.75 back in 1886, cited practicing the 100-Up exercise (something he had to do out of necessity lacking free time to train) as responsible for his running success.

Interesting, eh?

And what you might have missed (I did on first pass) in the online version of the article is Chris McDougall and actor/director Peter Sarsgaard demonstrating the "major" and "minor" versions of the hundred-up. Watch the video:

Could a drill you could practice virtually anywhere be the key to better, even possibly best, running form? And if W.G. George's 100-Up could make you a better runner — teach you how to run fast and injury free — wouldn't you want to learn it? The possibility of mastering the 100-Up so fascinated me that I dedicated a chunk of my weekend to creating a challenge around the exercise but I need your help.

I built a site: - re-learning how to run. - re-learning how to run.

And I created a challenge. I want to see if this thing works.

What's the challenge?

Well, you need to hop over to and find out (or if you just want to read more about the Hundred Up drill, I've cobbled together some of the original writings from W.G. George on the 100-Up).

Big H/T to Ted_S for your research efforts and of course Chris McDougall for bringing this to my attention!

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