Honestly I wish I knew what contributed to the success of this run. It had a few things stacked against it. I had loaded up on birthday cake and burgers the night before while at a cousin's birthday party. I reset my alarm from 5am to 6am because I was so exhausted - resulting in an ending run temperature of 90 degrees. However, I DID hold off on any birthday beers (don't all 5 year old birthday parties involve drinking?) and super hydrated to the point of a stomach ache. I did the same thing before my 5K last weekend and wanted to see if it would help on the longer runs as well. Needless to say, I will be doing this from now on.
Here is the graph of my overall mileage. I don't show this for you to have an epiphany about the massive quantities of data exploding into your cornea, but to show you that I really did have a consistent, solid run. (And, Okay, maybe to try to explode your cornea)
Relatively steady pace (with spikes for stoplights)
Note that I pushed the pace ever so slightly for the last 5 miles
I've had a string of long runs that have required these mid run pit-stops. I really need to figure out what is going on prior to the Denver Marathon as losing an entire 5 minutes during the races doesn't appeal to me - which would likely result in a Paula Radcliffe style "break".
As you might recall, I recently taped myself running to have my gait analyzed by a certified running coach. I've been given the green light by Chris @ BQ or Die to let you know that the coach (his coach) was Coach Jeff @ PRS Fit. Because I know that you are all wondering with baited breath at seeing me shirtless, here again is the video of me running, Baywatch style.
When I spoke with him on the phone, as much as I thought that he would, the coach didn't say that I ran like this guy:
The good was that at 5K speed, I:
- Landed my feet under my body with my knee bent slightly
- Kicked my knees high
- Minimized my bounce thereby putting my energy forward
- Maintained a high cadence
- Landed more on my heel resulting in more man-boob inducing bounce, more impact on my legs, and almost a breaking effect
- Landed my feet more out in front of me
- Slowed down my cadence
Ok, that is all fine and good, but what can I actually DO about it? What is going to keep me off the couch and out of the co-pay hungry doctors office? That is, what kinds of things can I do to improve? There seemed to be two major points:
- Stay only slightly bent at the waist (if any), but bend forward slightly at the ANKLES. This seemed to make sense, however in practice was/is very hard to do. The reason is that when you bend forward at the ankles, you will naturally land more underneath your body, land on your mid/forefoot, and will keep the majority of your stride (kick) behind you. All of these aim to reduce the impact of energy down and instead use it for moving forward. Try it the next time you are out while NOT bending at the waist - it doesn't have to be a lot....just a few degrees or minutes on the clock-face. Difficult.
- Keep my cadence high and adjust my speed using stride length. This was actually a little counter intuitive to me. Jeff's thought process is that when I keep my cadence high, I will be lighter on my feet making the above adjustment easier. (If I remember right)
Thanks to Coach Jeff @ PRS Fit. While I am not financially (babies are by far cost/weight ratio the most expensive things in the world) ready to go balls-out with a coach, I really appreciate his comments. I'm really going to incorporate his feedback into my runs bit by bit to see if it helps get my feet under me.
Have you ever thought about a coach? I'm still on the fence.