Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lengthening The Stride Creates An Unplanned Tempo Run

Yesterday began a 10-mile run to relax the legs. I ran a 21-22 mile run on Sunday so I just wanted to take it easy and give the legs an light workout.

I wore the old Asics DXs and by the time I actually started, my mindset had shifted.

First, I wanted to stretch out my stride. I’ve been running on time and not distance since before the Cleveland Marathon and recently I’ve noticed that my stride has shortened. I’ve been spending my mileage shuffling instead of running.

So when I started this run, I told myself, “let’s start by lengthening my stride and actually pushing off my power leg with some follow through instead of holding my legs stiffly and swinging them in a circular motion”.

Then, after about a mile of this, I said, “Hey, I need to use my arms more to maintain balance and keep my timing”.

Then I said, “What if I stopped leading off with a heel strike and running on the outside of my feet? Instead, what if I started striking on the ball of my feet? How long can I keep going with this modification?”

From there, the stride just felt good—less pain in the hip and less tightening in the hamstring.

Even the temperature cooperated.

So after the halfway point when I started feeling a little winded, I pushed through it and kept the pace and stride right out to the end of the run.

Oh, and changed things up by including a warm up mile and a cool down mile with the run.

Total exposure was about 2 hours.

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