There’s always more to learn and improve on with running

This morning was a cold run in Austin, depending on your car the temperature read between 26 to 29 when we finished around 7:00 am. I ran around 10 miles with Ken, Bruce and Mike. It’s been relatively cold this week and I’m starting to run out of outer layers, well that don’t smell. Guess I’ll be doing laundry tonight.

I’ve ended up going to Steve’s office hours after work both days this week, Monday at Progress and Tuesday at the Draft House. It’s a relatively laid back environment, people drinking beers, I had my hard liquor (coke can yesterday, orange soda on Monday). Each person that’s there kind of gets their, what’s up with you and what do you want to discuss moment with Steve on these days. There are times I learn more about running from the questions others ask as well as Steve’s response than my own questions that I think I need answered. That reminds me, these sessions are helping me be a “better listener” in addition to learning about running.

Part of last nights discussion touched on running form, Brenda, Katie and I had a few things brought up about our form. Brenda is super efficient, Katie rotates her shoulders during her arm swing and at slower paces I have a flat foot strike and don’t tuck my hip in. So what about fixing all these things, I’ve never heard anybody say this is an easy thing to do and it may not be the right thing for every person. I did train with Carmen and Ricardo for a year and a half and it did change my form at faster speeds, with my goal being to get more power and push off. Given that my form now is different at slower versus faster paces I guess the 5k and 10k training did have an impact. Steve made a good point that for most of us we haven’t maximized our “engines” and can get a lot of gains by focusing on that right now with the mileage we’re putting in and get into running form type things later on.

During the run today I did try and do a little bit of the running at varying paces Steve recommended but was also trying to pay attention to how different parts of my body felt at different paces. A few observations:

  • I make more noise with my foot strike at slower paces (8:00 per mile)
  • At really fast paces I make a lot of noise with my feet since I seem to be forcing my leg down instead of rolling forward
  • At slow paces my hip is not tucked in as Steve indicated, makes my butt kind of stick out. If I tuck it in it seems to naturally increase my pace. I need to keep hitting the gym.
  • The effort I perceive when I run at a 7:30 min/mile pace or an 8:00 min/mile pace doesn’t really seem to be any different. Maybe has to do with efficiency and form.

So Far This Week
Sun – 10
Mon – 10
Tue – 15 & Gym
Wed – 10

Current Wins: Nutrition, Hydration

Current Losses: Gym work,

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3 comments

  1. I think you were way more pc than Sisson and you didn’t even mention what he lost at the tender age of 16…no we aren’t talkin’ about his virginity;-)

    I tried to focus on my arm swing today. Wow, am I weak…argh! Pilates tonight.

  2. I find if I focus on engaging the glute part of my core that my form is more of what karen wants. That pulls my hips in and forward instead of down and back. It is really hard and I have to focus on it continually or I slip back to my old ways. It is surprising that my pace picks up 15-30 sec/mile with no extra effort just by doing that.

  3. I agree – even though I didn’t have any questions (I just wanted a beer after a long day), I always learn something from office hours. I’m trying to lower my arms/hands so they hit at waist level – I’m noticing that since I have “upped the ante” on my running, my arms tends to ride higher and after a while, they’re starting to get pretty tired. Back to the weight room I go starting next week…..

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