Monday, April 26, 2010

Learning to fly (over the ground)

Note from Missy: The impromptu fundraiser was a total bust.  Only a couple people donated to Livestrong, so the "gun show" is cancelled.  Thank you so much to those who did decide to give!  The Lance Armstrong Foundation is a great organization doing wonderful things for people suffering from cancer and for their loved ones.  Cancer affects us all.  Thanks for joining in the fight.

I had an appointment at the track with my trainer, Chris, on Saturday to take a look at my running form.  Though it was grey and rainy all weekend, the weather dried up just long enough for a great workout.

Like my swimming, I was happy to learn that my running form isn't too bad.  There are a few small issues to improve - mostly a slight swing to the side in my right foot, which I already knew - but nothing catastrophic.

It was fascinating, though, to learn about the pose method of running.  It's basically a running form with a quick cadence in which your feet fall below your center of mass on the mid- to back foot and in which you allow your hamstrings to lift your feet producing an efficient, wheel-like motion.  The method employs gravity as a force instead of just muscle movement and eliminates braking effects caused by your feel falling too far forward.  My natural gate isn't too far from this method, so I am feeling pretty confident.  This is quite different from what I always heard in track and cross country.  "Longer stride!" they always said.  Well, maybe that's not the best idea after all!

After running a 10:30 warm up (about 5 laps), I ran 2 miles keeping a steady, comfortably hard pace of about 7:48 miles (15:36 total), followed by a mile cool down.  Chris showed me how to do some strides properly, and we finished with a few drills to help me get my feet moving forward in line instead of swinging to the side.

I was really happy with that 7:48 mile pace.  It was way too fast for a 5 mile run, but it shows that I'm getting stronger.

We also talked a little bit about the various gels on the market.  I mentioned that I've been trying different kinds, and Chris jumped right in with his knowledge of which gels are thin, medium and thick, when each type is appropriate, when caffein and protein are helpful or not, etc.  I think for a short race, I'm going to want to use a thin gel like Hammer Gel or PowerBar Gel, and just one during the race will probably be sufficient.

Finally, we talked about the benefits of doing some hill work and identified some local neighborhoods that would be good places to run hills.

Chris is a gabber, so it's always a ton of fun for me to just chat away about common interests and experiences when we meet.  It's also pretty cool that he just did his 25th marathon.  Quite a feat!

Friday, April 23, 2010
Endurance swim - 1000 yards total
100 warm up, 8x25 sprints, 600 endurance pace (12:56, which would be an 18:58 half mile), 100 cool down

Saturday, April 24, 2010
Tempo Run - 4.5 total at track with trainer
1.25 warmup, 2 miles at tempo (15:36), 1 mile cool down, 4x100 strides, drills

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Skipped endurance bike due to rain

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