I’ve been trying to lose some weight, and to do that I’ve been running to fulfill the exercise component of the effort.
Lately it has been just grueling to get out there and run even 3 miles. I haven’t been able to get a good pace, I’ve felt winded the whole time, and my legs never seemed to get warmed up – ugh. Maybe it’s a biorhythm thing and I am in a major slump. Whatever it is, it was killing any motivation I had and I was just not getting up and out and on my way.
I got out today and had a really great run! I’d been dreading it because I hadn’t run all week, and I thought it would be pure drudgery, my body protesting the whole way.
My motivation today was an article I’d read on runnersworld.com, “Does form matter?”.
Apparently I, as someone who started running in an effort to avoid paying for a gym membership, have been doing this all wrong. I’ve been landing heel-first which seems like a reasonable thing to do. What trainers, bio-mechanic experts and elite runners have learned is that the most efficient runners land mid-foot – almost flat-footed. This distributes the force from your weight much better along your foot and leg, especially the knee, as well as working more like a spring that pushes you forward again. Your momentum comes from the end of the stride where you really push off and extend your back leg. I gave this form a try, and voila, I took 10 seconds off my average mile time, my legs and knees did not feel abused, and I didn’t feel like it was a gargantuan effort to keep moving forward. It was awesome and I can hardly wait to go again!
Bonus points: I saw a red-headed woodpecker and two red-tailed hawks along the way – and pretty close too. Sort of wish I had a camera on my iPod, but sometimes it is better to just enjoy nature and the environment rather than “capturing” it.