So I owe you a few blog posts esp a marathon re-cap which I have started but have yet to finish… Therefore I will start this blog post with an apology of my laziness. Phew, glad that is out of the way.
A week before my marathon I met with a running coach, Mike from No Finish Line Running. I discovered them through one of my friend’s girlfriends and thought that if I ever want to BQ or even run another marathon and PR I would need professional help and support.
Since a week post marathon I have been following a training plan provided by Mike and his team. He has a daughter a couple years younger than me who lives in my town and is one of my running coaches. I am also hoping I will soon have a new running BFFL. She is unaware of this so please no one tell her this creepy proclamation.
Last night after 4 or 5 buffalo wings and a blueberry beer, I headed over to their center to discuss how my training was going and to do a gait analysis. I complained about how hot it has been to run and how slow and out of shape I feel (will discuss in a separate blog post, assuming that I become less lazy about blogging. Just in case I don’t Mike wrote an awesome blog on the subject here.)
Then it came time for the gait analysis, which I was truly nervous about. The gait analysis entails me running on a treadmill as they film me, then we watch the video back and essentially judge it. To make matters worse, Mike requested that I tuck in my shirt . Sweet, now I can see every stomach roll all the better.
I ended up running about a mile on the treadmill as they filmed me from every angle. I am pretty sure they could tell I had consumed garbage food and beer before coming from the stench of my sweat.
Watching myself on the video brought up a lot of insecurities for me. I wish this was not true, but it did. I had a hard time listening to Mike’s analysis at first as I was too busy being grossed out by the jiggle of my stomach and the side boob that just will not be contained even by the fanciest most expensive sports bra I own.
Eventually I was able to clue in and listen. Mike explained that when running we want to be leaning forward, you know in the direction that we are moving. I run pretty upright, but the heaviness of my chest does cause me to lean a bit forward which made my stance look almost not terrible. He explained that this lean should stem from our ankles and not our hips.
Next we discussed my foot strike and power. He said my form and cadence really was not that bad, and I probably run about 150 strides per minute which is actually pretty good. But, the power should be coming from the knees. This floored me as I always thought we needed to protect our knees and really try to propel myself by my feet. Mike explained we protect the knee by keeping it bent, and bringing them up higher. By doing this and trying to take shorter, quicker strides we protect the knee. We also want to try and bring our feet back to our butts which in turn is having us work our glutes and hamstrings.
Got all that? Keep your core tight, be slightly at an angle, bend your knees, bring them up high, kick your butt and take short quick strides. SO SIMPLE! Or not…
I did a couple exercises to practice all of this at the center and then hopped back on the treadmill and put it into practice. And guess what? I looked like a runner! I felt like Phoebe in Friends, but I actually looked like someone who runs.
Now it is time to put it into practice. And in 3 months, assuming I work at it when I go back to the center and we re-film myself, my gait will be better.