I must admit I had another post written and ready for today, but then I realized how amazing speed training was last night. And that, folks, is worth bragging about.
When I walked out of the office, clad in my Nike running shorts and short sleeve tech tee, I was shocked at how cool it was outside. I knew it was going to be much easier to run in compared with last weeks 92° weather. Arriving at the track, I talked with coach and she mentioned that the dew point was 54° which meant that it was perfect running weather. And it meant that we’d be running 400m sprints. For some individuals 400m sprints (1/4 mile) are chump change. Not for this girl. I was very nervous to do so many.
After the first, bent over and out of breath, I declared that I wouldn’t be able to maintain that speed for five more repetitions. Of course the other folks (all much faster) told me to stop being a naysayer and to give it a shot. So I did. And it hurt. The next 400m I thought I had slowed down immensely. As I neared the finish line I heard coach screaming out the time. Wait, I’m going faster? That didn’t seem logical. Yet somehow I finished four seconds faster on the second lap.
The rest followed the same pattern. All seven sprints were faster than I had expected to run and the last six were all seconds faster than the first. I have no idea how I pulled out the strength to do it, but man it felt good! (After I caught my breath…) I’m still on a runners high!
Also, I’ve decided to register for Karen and Richard’s Really Big Free Marathon. I just heard about it, but any excuse to go to Vegas for the weekend is a good one. And, better yet, the race is free! So who is with me? I know plenty of you can conquer a half marathon, come join me! Melissa, I’m looking at you. You may not know it yet, but you may get dragged into doing this with me. :)
Tell me about your recent accomplishments this week. When have you pushed your body farther than you thought it could go?
Today I woke up at seven and reluctantly got out of bed. For the last year I’ve been attending group runs at the local running store, but the past four weeks I’ve been away. I decided I needed to return to my routine and get in a few miles this morning. Sadly I was the only slow runner this morning, there was no one to accompany as I ran four miles (and I forgot my iPod, grr). At first I tried to keep up with the faster ladies. Then, after half a mile, I realized that going out of the gate that fast is killer. I slowed quite a bit and tried to focus on how I was running rather than my pace.
At speed training this past Wednesday, Coach Brenda photographed each runner as we were sprinting around the track. Since she is a pro, she analyzed each photo to help give feedback. I was informed that I am not overstriding, which is a good thing, but it seems my arms are too high. I need to lower my elbows and keep my hands lower than my waist. If I can learn to do this, I will waste less energy (and maybe go faster?).
I’m not horribly proud of how I am running in the second photo. As you can easily see, I’m blatantly heel striking. I’d like to blame the fact that I was tired. It was 92° and horribly humid, we ran 3×200, 400, 3×200, 400, 3×200. But who knows when that photo was taken, it could have been my first lap around. So what does this mean for me? I need to focus, to really consider how I’m holding my upper body and change how I land. I thought about that this morning, trying to lower my elbows and relax my shoulders. It didn’t work as naturally as I’d like, but practice will (hopefully) make perfect. Right?
Help me: Do you have any suggestions on how to improve your form? What techniques do you use to keep proper form while running?
Have you entered my Coach’s Oats giveaway? You should! Do it for a chance to win a week’s worth of oat deliciousness.