Wednesday, February 8, 2012

D - Ran 6 miles - 57 minutes

One of the casualties of running with a plan is that it can, at times, supercede just about everything else in your life. This is part of why I like running in the morning. You get up, run, go to work, and then are free for the rest of the day. Of course, a faulty alarm clock, staying up too late, weather and all sorts of other things (including old fashioned laziness) can really mess up a morning run. Then you put it off till the evening. Once you've run in the evening during the week, it can be really difficult to switch back to a morning run 10 hours after you finish your evening run. So, you can either blow off your social plans, be sweaty in a bar, or suck it up and get running.

I went with the last option today, after seriously considering the others. It felt a bit like the last half of a 12 mile run. I quickly found it was mostly just due to stiffness (I do need to start stretching after runs).  With some extra mental effort, I got my form under control, and as my body warmed up a bit I started to feel pretty good.
Taken from
A while back, C loaned me a book on running form - Chi Running. Its a bit hokey, and I don't agree with everything in it, but despite that I found myself paying closer attention to how I was running and making some much needed minor adjustments to my form. Now, whenever I'm tired, feeling like I'm dragging, I do a quick mental check to make sure I'm in good form. Usually I'm not, I make a few changes and get back up to pace.

My mental check list - thanks to Chi of Running. I'm not a physiologist, so take this list with a grain of salt, and most importantly - listen to your body.
  • Feet aren't striking in front of you: If they are, you're heel striking and all that force is going right to your knees.
  • I listen to the sound of my feet hitting the ground: If it sounds like I'm slapping the pavement, I focus on striking either flat foot or mid foot.
  • I check my posture: Its tempting to lean at the waste, especially when going up hills. Instead, focus on leaning from the ankles.
  • I check to make sure my arms aren't crossing in front of me and aren't too loose or too tight.
  • Then, I speed up and see how its all holding together.
  • Lastly, I check my mile pace as I pass my mile markers. Often times, I'm feeling good - but going slower than I think, or am feeling like I'm dragging, but actually making really good time. Time your splits, they REALLY help with pacing. (Also, if you're using a nike plus or a Garmin, you can make sure they're as accurate as you think- hint, they're great tools, and I plan to get one when we move up to marathosn, but with limitations)


  1. Thanks for the GPS article. To add my own experience, I have been pretty happy with my Garmin 301 (I think that is the model). Central Park, where I usually run, is accurately measured for races and the number I get from the watch is pretty close.
    Also, at NYRR races I consistently measure about 1% extra, which I think is expected, since I don't run the tangents.
    It really improved my training.

  2. Thanks Ismail! All the positive posts (and your comment) I keep reading about Garmins are starting to change my mind about running without one. I still think I'll hold off until I'm dedicating myself to a marathon, just so I can add more versatility to my runs without as much pre-planning.
    One would have been great on our run in new Canaan though...
    (d of LRD)