July 25, 2012

Runnin'

[2Pac]

==Event 3: Run==

I didn't plan to feature the run event on the anniversary of my 1st marathon. But, so happens today is that day. I took a moment this morning to read through this post. What a solid reminder as to why I blog. There were moments that were special that had slipped from my mind. Example, Scratch holding a thumb's up out the window. That was such a sweet moment. It melts my heart. Wow. I am emotional right now. My family came through that day. Thanks again Krick for doing that with me. I can't imagine anything I do will ever surpass the amazing feelings of that day. I love reading that post and reliving those moments. Feels good.

[Sigh]
                                                                                                                                               
This is a going to be a difficult post. I am not a novice here. I am not an expert. But the stats prove I am above average. I've studied and practiced running for 10 years now. My brain is 50% running, 50% other crap. It's my passion in life. So where do I even start? I am always learning more and more about running, but the quantity of newly learned material is less and less the more I participate in the sport. Still, I did learn a couple things this time around.

The first learned item was not necessarily about running per say. But, I saw a huge change in my running because of this.

Nutrition

I wrote a post about this back in April. Read it. Read it again. This information has decreased my pace time, changed the number on the scale, transformed my body, helped me feel stronger, and I just look at food differently now. All in all, I'll never stray from the way I fuel now.


Speed Work

I've been playing around with speedwork for the past couple years. But, I've never given it as much dedication as I have this year. I've pounded out PR after PR thanks to the time spent grunting out 400s, hill repeats, etc. And the pace calculator has only helped take this to another level. One I like to do is listed here (and I'll list some resources for others at the end of the post).


Form


You know that friends where Phoebe and Rachel go for a run in the park? I hope so. If not, buy friends. Watch it. Anyway...My cousin passed Krick and I in her car once while we running. She described us as Phoebe. Flailing arms, out of control steps...etc. That can't be pretty. And based on the repeat BAD race photos I take, I believe her. So I continue to work on my form. I like to think it's because I think it aggravates a knot in my right shoulder, but really it's that I am hoping for a race photo that displays the athlete I feel like I am.



Here's the few things I learned about form:

(1) Hip to Nip


This is what I was told about arm placement.

Reach your hands above your head, then let them drop down to a 90 degree angle at your sides.

Pull them in close to your body.

Then as you run you want your hand to follow the line of your ribs from the hip to the nip. They shouldn't go further back that your hip or higher than your nip. Gotta love the terminology here.

And when I run like this, it really does help prevent that knot from flaring up.


(2) Strike below the head

The best form for efficiency and preventing injury would entail that your foot strike hits the ground right under head. Because of my long legs I want to hit the ground out in front of me. Not good. This has been a challenge but I am getting better. And I swear it's keeping my shoe cushion soft for longer. Maybe, it's in my head...maybe not.


(3) Cadence of 80

80 is the magic number in running. [Cadence is your foot turnover. So you want to take 40 steps with each foot, per minute.] I already knew this, but I've actually been working on it. My stride is long. Which I originally thought was a good thing, but it's actually hindering me. I haven't hit 80 yet, but I am getting closer which means my form is improving and I am becoming more efficient.

Unfortunately none of these directly help the biggest challenge I have in the triathlon run event...post bike running. Still trying to figure this one out. It's an odd sensation. And exhausting to boot. But, I figure being a stronger runner in general has to help.


Gear

I've pretty much got running gear down pat. But something new I am using for the triathlon is tieless shoelaces. It makes me feel like I am in 1st grade, but instead of velcro straps I've got bungee cords on my shoes. Hey, if it helps shave off seconds in the transition time, I'll take it. Because, believe me...I'll need it.


Resources

Sweat Science Blog
Runner's World
Active.com
MapMyRun
Reddit
Jeff Galloway

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