WEEK 14 HALF MARATHON + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ STARTS
Finally, on the last day of this week you can prove you have what it takes to run 13 miles!
If you have an opportunity to watch TV coverage of the Boston Marathon on Monday, take note of the leaders’ running forms. Their heads will be up, chests out, torsos tall and erect, shoulders loose and down, and elbows pulling back. Count the number of steps taken per 15 seconds (multiply by 4 to get steps/minute) to calculate cadence. Honestly compare what you observe in the elite runners’ forms with your own.
When advised to do this by a trainer to correct my form, I scoffed at the idea. I wasn’t an elite, was my thinking, so why run like one? I am a plodder, with a pace about 2.5 times greater than the best in the world. It would be pretentious!
But I followed the advice and started to check out running form on all images, including magazine covers, ads, and online articles. All the pros displayed similar form. Athletes who dedicate their efforts 24/7 to being the best runners in the world and building professional running careers that span decades don’t adopt a certain form to look pretty in pictures; they do it to be fast and prevent sidelining injuries. Hey, I realized wanted to be fast and avoid injuries too! So now I model my form on that of the elites, just like coach said I should.
There are other components to good form running. See the chart from New Balance on the RESOURCES page to refresh your memory. The secret to maintaining it throughout a long run is to build core, upper body, hip, leg and strength in training. I find that the greatest source of fatigue at the end of 13.1 miles comes from having a tired back, core, and arms. Which means I must work harder to become stronger in these areas. An additional benefit is that this work will translate into a more athletic posture.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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