I have a few philosophies that I apply across my life. I’ve listed them below, with a brief explanation as to how they apply to running.
- Work smarter, not harder. There’s no use expending more energy than you need to to accomplish a task; when running, faster is better right? I’m a busy woman and I don’t want to spend more time necessary. This doesn’t mean slack off or half ass. I have allotted time to run, I’m going to make the most of it. For my running, I want to find the most efficient way to move. I’ve explored different ideas here: long, heel-stoking strides, pose, chi, yeah. I’ve come to the conclusion that a mid/forefoot strike, with my feet beneath me works best for me. My form is a mix between Budd Coates’ description from Running on Air, and The Science of Running by Steve Magness. I use the queues to ‘put my foot down now,’ to keep from overstriding. I use my GPS watch for recording my runs, but don’t have the heart rate monitor so I can tune into how I feel and associate that with a pace. Running by breath helps me prevent/overcome side stitches and know how hard I should be pushing in my workouts. Conclusion: work hard when its time to work, tune into your body, move efficiently to get there faster.
- Remember to breath. When I forget about breathing, I typically forget about form. Recipe for disaster. Your breath is the key to how fast and hard you should be going for your workout. Although I have decided the training plans aren’t for me, I highly recommend Running on Air. Running in odd breaths will help asymmetry from forming or injury. For most of my runs, I run 5 strides per breath- 3 strides for inhale, 2 for exhale. Fast intervals, I break it down to a two stride inhale, 1 stride exhale. In addition to helping prevent injury, this links your breath to your movement. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you know that there is a benefit to this. It turns your run into a moving meditation. Studies have shown that brining mindfulness to exercise result in more positive hormones, and better satisfaction performing exercise. Remember to breath. You can’t run without your breath, and you might actually like running a little bit more.
- See things from a different perspective. I used to hate out and back runs. I would do anything to create a loop so that I wouldn’t have to see the same scenery. When I travel for work, I often run. It is the only time that I have to myself, and the only time that I can explore whatever city I am staying in. My hatred of out and back runs changed on my recent trip to Alaska. I ran out and back on a coastal pedestrian trail. IT WAS GORGEOUS! Looking at the city backlit instead of front, city vs trees. Since then, I have appreciated the differences between the out and the back. A great way to remember that every path has its own perspective. What you see, is not what someone else may see. Either way, enjoy the view.
- Find your balance. Literally. Engage your core, be able to balance on your forefoot, be able to balance on one foot. The strength and stability from your lower leg muscles will save you from injury! Your balance is not possible without engaging your core. WORK YOUR CORE! You’ll feel and look stronger and better.