Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Form And Such

Running should be easy right? Why should I ever learn anything about it? If you can walk, you can run.

Yes and no.

Even though running might be the least technique relevant sport of the swim-bike-run, there is still a whole bunch of stuff that can be done wrong. And wrong technique can either make you prone to injury (heal striking and such) or inefficient. I hate to be inefficient in all areas of life, but for the longest time I didn't even know ignorned, that I was running inefficiently.

Terry actually pointed some things out to me, pretty early on... But why should I listen to somebody, that just runs since highschool.... 20 something years or so. Hmmmmm.

After getting a lot of feedback from different people and then eventually working with a coach, I started to slowly break my bad habits, to name a few: chicken wings and having the pelvis unengaged.

Chicken wings (this is not an official name) are, when you stick your ellbows out and then on top of it swing your arms from side to side. I hear it's pretty common with women and I sure wasn't an exception to that. So I want to move foward, but waste momentum (energy) by moving my arms from side to side. To eleminate (reduce) this, I spent weeks of running while saying over and over in mind: no chicken wings, no chicken wings. While running, I constantly checked that my ellbows are, where they are supposed to be and that my hands swing by my hips to ensure that I don't move my arms sideways.

The difference in form when your pelvis is engaged vs unengaged is amazing. First, I had to understand what I was supposed to do... That took a while. Then I started to comprehend, that this type of adjustment is going to take some core strength and that realization opened a completely different can of worms. But things are improving and I can actually feel the difference now and if I bring it to my attention every couple of minutes while running, I can fix it whenever my form starts sliding.

Is my running form perfect...? No. But I am pleased that it is much improved from a year ago, so I'll take it.

This morning, I did my planned track workout on the treadmill due to rain and lightning (weird time of the year for lightning right?). While I don't necessarily enjoy running on the treadmill, listening to Pandora and the intervals help to make time pass fairly quickly. I also picked out a treadmill in front of one of the windows, so I was able to check my form in the reflection and that is helpful as well.

When I walked out of the gym, I ran into coach and she also said my form looked good. Always nice to get positive feedback. I feel like I am on the right track.

One more note: They have new treadmills at the Caine Halter Y where you can hook up you iPod/ iPhone. So you can watch TV or watch/ listen to a video/ music that you have on your iDevice. While this is entertaining and a "nice-to-have" feature from my standpoint, I am more intrigued by the Nike+iPod feature. Of course, I didn't now anything about this, when I got on the treadmill this morning, but when you stare at the "Nike+iPod" logo on the treadmill for an hour... It kind of got me interested, so I did a little research. Turns out, that you can record your workout (mileage etc) over your iPod and then later look at it in iTunes and even download it.... They do have this feature for their treadmills, but also for the ellipticals and stationary bikes.

I'll have to get myself a little more educated on this and how I would be able to utilize it along with training peaks for workouts that I can't do outside and still want to have the data. I know, I can be a total geek, when it comes to stuff like that.... But if you want to share your knowledge, I can possibly make a litte short cut on my research activities! ;-)

Happy hump day, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. man those are some hightech machines. i'm gonna have to google this engaged pelvis.