Thursday, July 22, 2010


I didn't ask if I could use his name, so I better not and just say R. And I 'heart' him. Here is why.

Brooke and Diane gave me a running session with R for my birthday. R is a seasoned triathlete, and now a tri coach - including running. He is the coach of a few of my friends, pretty active in the club, and was the instructor for the Sunday 3-hour spin classes I took over the winter. After meeting with my foot doctor, R and I held off on the running session until my podiatrist said it was okay. My foot finally seems to be in a place where I can go 3 miles without wanting to cut it off (huge improvement) so we thought now was the time to learn proper technique, and adjust the inserts again (if needed) once I had correct form. And this morning was the morning to start the learning. And the reason I heart R.

We started off on the treadmill and the good news was my run wasn't too horrible. But, there were a lot of small things I could correct to become more efficient. R put things into terms that made sense and I could easily adjust. At one point, I felt instantly stronger and freer, while going 0.3 mph faster!!

After the treadmill, we headed to the indoor track for more drills. After trying a few, we determined the best on for me to really focus on what needed to be changed. It felt tremendously better. I was sweating like a, well, a lot - but I could really feel the difference. And also, my quads were burning! And in that "I haven't used this muscles properly and it feels so bad it's good" way. Seriously, I would be surprised if I racked up 2 miles, but my legs feel like the just ran 10.
Things I need to work on (and if I write it down, I am more likely to remember it. And now I have a nice post with notes to refer to for myself)

  1. Proper lean. First, R held me up as I leaned forward, lifting one leg. "If I let go, what would you do?" It made so much sense that my other leg would come down. TaDa! Running! R then tied a rope around my waist to help with the proper feel of the lean. And it worked.
  2. Cadence. My goal is about 22 strikes, on one foot, every 15 seconds. I was around 16 or 17. But increasing my cadence does not mean increasing my speed!
  3. Light touch. Don't pound on the treadmill, track, ground, etc.
  4. Use my arms. Pump the arms, and the legs will follow. Charles used to yell this at me when we were going up hills around Capitol Hill. I just to remember to do it.
  5. Long stride - ish. It's more of a bent knee up and pushing back thing than reaching forward. R demonstrated on the treadmill and I could see exactly what he was talking about.
  6. Mountain pose. When I was doing a few laps, R yelled mountain pose and I immediately straightened up, used my core, and had a better lean. That was the cue I needed and will hopefully remember.
  7. Run with open palms. I hunch my shoulders up. Running with open palms forced me to relax - and not more hunched shoulders. That was just wasted energy.
So, those are notes to me, which all 7 of you get the pleasure of reading. I am going to work on these for a few weeks and go back to R for a follow up and see if they worked. Keep the mileage low, listen to my body, and don't work on all of these things at once. R also put the drills into terms I can understand - swimming. I wouldn't do catch up, 3 beat kick, and a sighting drill all at once - so I can't expect to do these drills all at once. And I also know if my form starts to slip in swimming, my shoulder hurts. Same with running. That's how you can tell a great coach, they can put any concept into terms you are comfortable with and can understand. And this is why I HEART R.

Thank you R!
And thank you Brooke and Diane!!

AND, I got Blain back last night with some new tires. Here is to no more flats!! (Knock on wood)

No comments: