15 Jun It’s one foot in front of the other… Right?
Today… 4 key things to think about when you are running. But firstly a quick quote:
“Running was so simple before I met you… ”
Is what I got told just two days ago!
I could take that as an insult – but I’m not going to. 😉
Mostly because the person I’m referring to came to me wanting to break the elusive 20 minute barrier for 5k (and was a 21+ minute runner when I first met them) but is now “running sub 20 for fun”
Their words at the end and not mine.
What sparked the change? We’ll in our first meeting we sat down and completed a full video analysis, looking at where their strengths and weaknesses were.
This gave us both some clear areas to work on.
The big “AH” moment for them wasn’t just seeing it on screen – we can all look at a picture and see what we think is going wrong.
Anyone can just say “you need to pick your feet up more”
The biggest effect was feeling what it should feel like.
People often wonder what the point in drills are.
Usually they just make us feel a bit silly – especially when we don’t know what we are doing them for.
But they help us get a feel for what we should be experiencing when we run. That extension through the hip should make us feel like our backside is working – but many of us just don’t know what this sensation should feel like.
If we don’t know what it feels like… Then how do we know when we have achieved it?
My aim is to educate and pass on sensations like these, things that when you are running and the going gets tough that you can refer back to – work out whats not going right.
I have a mini checklist at the back of my mind and I thought I’d share it with you… We cover tips like these in huge detail during our Running Assessments.
1. Breathing… How am I breathing at the moment? Is it rapid, shallow. Can I slow it down and breathe deeper? Can I change the rate (breathing every two steps to maybe every three).
2. Cadence… How frequent is my footstep (I use a watch to monitor mine but counting is fine!). Generally towards the end of a run our cadence (step rate) will slow, the better we can manage this, the more consistent our pacing will be.
3. Posture… Am I standing tall, starting to slouch? If I slouch, my centre of gravity is pushed back which will slow me down.
4. Stride Length… Am I pushing backwards with each stride? Can I feel my glutes working to propel me forward? Am I making the most I can with every footstep? Many of us are inhibited by poor flexibility on this point, but the more we can be aware of it the more we can do about it.
This will work for many runners as a starting point, have this at the back of your mind and refer to it during your run.
For me it keeps me focused during the run – stops me switching off and getting distracted and thinking about other things!
So give it a little try and see if the prompts help you out too.
Apologies if it makes running more complicated – but in short – it is more complicated than we first think. 😉
Like every other sport/activity, there is a skill in it and the more we can become aware of this the better our results will be.
If you want to take your running to the next step…
Itinerary for the weekend is below…!
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!