a blog about running fast with style
Goals: or something like them…
Well hello there goals, it’s been a while.
I haven’t really set any goals since I joined Tom’s group and chased a marathon PR and even then I didn’t set a specific goal, I just wanted to run faster.
I’m not quite ready to set any time goals. Sure there are numbers bouncing around the back of my mind like sub 19, 40, 90 and 3 but me and numbers have never been besties (so why start now?).
Blame it on all my years of chasing time around the track, but the more focused I am on a time the more it becomes a road block. So I’ll keep those numbers just where they are and I’m going to focus on doing a few other things this summer to help my speed.
And here they are (and a little disclaimer… somehow this post got away from me… so it’s a long one… please be sure to hydrate before reading… thanks.)
1. Lose the marathon shuffle
We’ve all seen it, you have race pictures that document it. You know the pics with both feet on the ground and you’re running as fast as your little legs will carry you? Or maybe you’re more familiar with the squatty picture where it looks like you’re about to just park it on the race course?
I’ve got pictures of both but I’ll pass on showing you my squatty pictures… here’s the shuffle in full effect.
My shuffle is most apparent on my easy runs. I know they should be slow but mine are slower because of this dang shuffle, it’s just not my normal running form. I can sometimes get the shuffle to go faster (like on Wednesday nights or when I run with others) but a shuffle by any other name is still just that, a shuffle.
I’ve made a few efforts to improve it: I biked (thinking it would increase my turnover), I lifted (thinking it would improve my form), I did strides (running fast has to improve one’s form right?) and I did core work (again thinking it would help my form).
But pictures of my most recent races would prove that my best efforts have failed me.
Change of plan.
In a former life I was a sprinter.
I ran fast.
I even coached people to run fast (yes I was a high school track coach for several years).
I must know how to get fast again. Right? Then one night at the track I heard my coach talking to some of the other runners about form and getting your knees out in front of you. And then I flashed back to my 4 years of sprint mechanics in college and my 3 years teaching them to high school kids.
Could it be that simple? A few running drills? Could I run fast again? Would both feet actually leave the ground at the same time? Would I actually see my knees again while running?
My hopeful answer is yes. I mean YES! (Let’s have a little enthusiasm here people). How?
Yep, I’m working on my running form (thank you Mark Stream). My plan right now is to do the warm-up drills from my sprinting days twice a week. They only take about fifteen minutes to do (they are warm-up drills) and based on this past week’s workout and my latest runs they are working.
Hello knees I’ve missed seeing ya around…
2. Get stronger
I’ve been lifting weights on and off for years (more off really over the past 10 year).
My lifting career started in high school when I lifted with my dad. We had one of those universal gyms in our house. I eventually started lifting with him at the Downtown Athletic Club. I always loved lifting weights, not that I’m particularly strong, but I enjoyed the challenge.
Lifting is a lot like intervals, you go hard for a short period of time and then you rest.
In college my lifting changed again as I was introduced the world of Olympic lifts. I was SO lost at first but eventually picked it up. By the end of college though I was burnt out from all the heavy lifting and I sort of just drifted away from it picking it up from time to time but never sticking with it.
As I’m getting older I realize maintaining muscle mass is important… I guess you start losing it when you get older or something.
Anyways, this past spring cycle and the one before (when I was injured) I picked it up again. Nothing major, found the workout in a marathoning book but I noticed the difference in my running.
I was feeling like I wanted more of a challenge so I changed plans. I have two session a week with slightly different moves (think squats one day and one-legged squats the next). The workout also runs on a 5 week cycle increasing weight each week while decreasing the reps. The 5th week is rest week.
Though I’m sore I can already feel the difference in my hips and upper body.
3. Stay flexible
I know, I’m not really fooling anyone, I’m really not that flexible but when I am practicing yoga I am much more flexible than my normal non-yogi self.
I’d like to tackle this goal more this summer, but I’m a realist. Right now my goal is to continue on with my once weekly hour-long yoga class with Jassyoga.
I’d like to declare my undying love and commitment to flexibility by promising to stretch after every run, or every workout and adding another hour-long yoga session to my week, but who am I kidding? That’s not going to happened.
So right now it’s one class a week and I promise, cross my heart, to add stretching into my day. Either after a run, before bed, in the AM (okay let’s just cut that one now) and after weights (most likely since my last exercises are already on the mat).
Okay so not the most life changing goal but it’s a start.
4. Build mileage
So I’m still dreaming of a fall marathon but I’m not signed-up for one. I was eyeing a few in early October but still on the fence. The plan right now is to build mileage as if that were my goal date (at least this gives me a starting off point).
First week in October would be the earliest marathon, still eying CIM since I’m practically in love with the course and the event.
Either way (marathon or no marathon) I’d like to get my mileage back up to mid 50’s maybe pushing 60. My goal this past spring was to get my mileage back up in the high 40s and low 50s and I succeeded, so I’d like to continue to build. In the past I’ve flowed Pfizinger’s plan for mileage and will most likely adopt this again (clearly this goal needs a little more work).
Racing goals you ask?
Clearly need some work. I like to run shorter faster races while training for a bigger race (say a fall marathon).
Right now I have two races on my calendar:
Hood to Coast August 24th & 25th
BEST RACE EVER!!! If I was stranded on a desert island and could only pick one race to run this would be it! I’m even more excited to run on a new team this year and met a ton of new people (by ton I mean 3 full relay teams a bunch of Nuun peeps).
In case you missed it I’m running on one of the Nuun Htc teams. Much, much more to come on this as we get closer (smiley face, smiley face, smile face- you get the idea right?)
Nike Women’s Half Marathon October 21st
Not sure if I’m going to race this one or run it for fun. It will depend on what I decide to do about the marathon. Either way it will be a blast, I’m excited to hang out with this girl in SFO.
Much, much more to come on this as well (I mean it’s only June).
I know, I know… goals are supposed to be measurable… blah blah blah. But at least I’m trying here instead of aimlessly running through the summer… there is some method to this craziness…
Of course I plan to reach all these goals in style… checkout my style page for all the things I couldn’t possibly live with out (okay, okay so I’m exaggerating just a tad…)
Until I get more focused…
run pretty run fast