Thursday, September 30, 2010

Form evaluation: running better and faster

I've worked on my running form for some time now with the goal of improving my running economy, and speed, and I've been working on building up my mileage, so I can maintain better form over long runs and perform better in distance races. The video below shows my running form, and I've added in some freeze frames and captioning to highlight some key aspects of my form that I have focused my efforts on.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crossroads 5K (and Half Marathon) Report & Review

The 9th Annual Crossroads 5K, the stepchild of the Crossroads Half Marathon, formerly known as the Easy Street Half Marathon, was held on September 19, 2010 to benefit the Crossroads Safehouse, a battered women's shelter in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The psychology of foot strike

Day 8

After a previous post on the subject of heel-toe drop in running shoes (Why do running shoes have high heels?), a dailymile user (Irv E.) who runs in the kind of "high-heeled" running shoes I was talking about, but does so with a midfoot strike made some interesting observations, and we had quite a good conversation about the heel-toe drop and achieving a midfoot or forefoot strike when running both in comments and in private messages afterward. Heel-toe drop is basically the difference in sole thickness between the heel and forefoot of a shoe.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Runner jargon can be misunderstood with humorous effect

splitsRunners use a lot of jargon that is not universal recognized. Here are some examples:

Splits - these are something different to a runner than, for example, to a gymnast or a cheerleader. Asking a gymnast to do negative splits would likely just confuse them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Training advice: one size does not fit all

One of my recent blog posts sparked an interesting conversation on dailymile that got me to thinking about how "listening to your body" can, and probably should, result in different decisions by runners accustomed to different training volumes and running experiences. The body does, after all, adapt to greater training loads over time if consistently pushed and injuries don't get too much in the way.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stick to the plan? Pshaw!

Bay to Breakers
I don't mean to imply that training plans should be thrown out. On the contrary, training plans are the runner's best guide in preparing for a race, particularly for those with a performance goal, but flexibility in their use is important.

Unlike some folks, I don't insist on religious adherence to training plans. If forced to deviate, some people feel so guilty they will go through a lot of trouble to squeeze in a make-up workout to make sure they hit their weekly mileage or get that speed work or tempo run in. Personally, I think that can be a mistake. I once read that Arthur Lydiard, one of the great running coaches of the 20th Century, recommended not making up missed workouts. He was also a fan of running a little more if you felt good, and running a little less if you were having real difficulties during workouts.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why do running shoes have high heels?

Running with High Heels

So many running shoes look like high heels to me. I've always thought that, but still I've worn a few pairs over the years. I assume what caused manufacturer's to build up the heels in shoes designed for running was the erroneous idea that we do or should run heel-to-toe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rehabilitation, flagging confidence, and the monkey brain

Confidence is a fickle friend. Sometimes we have it. Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we have an overabundances of it and drive ourselves to injury. Sometimes we don't have enough and later regret quitting early or holding back during some challenging activity, like a long hilly run or a tough race. Sometimes, we don't have much of it, and still feel obligated to push too hard. That's what happened to me at the GTIS Half Marathon, when the injury to my knee really became apparent.

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