Bonjour à tous!
Our (former) colleague and experienced runner, Joe 🙂 , took the time to write us a note about his last race and what we should consider, beside training, to get ready for race day. Merci Joe and, again, congradulations for winning the first place in your category (if I remember well, this is not if first time that he gets first place… And haven’t you also set a record for your category, in another race?). Bravo Joe!
« Hello everyone. I have recovered nicely from the Limberlost Challenge 56K. It was the most difficult ultra of that distance I have ever done. The rain persisted throughout the day which buried the course in mud that slickened boardwalks, rocks and roots. I took two days then fires the training back up. I leave for Colorado in three weeks to compete in the three day Trans Rockies run. I will begin track work this Thursday beginning as I always do with 4 to 8, 400m repeats. These always prove beneficial in getting the leg turnover or cadence a little quicker. If your cadence can quicken to 90 steps/minute it is a great way to improve your speed using the exact same stride.
The closer we get to the September race you should attempt to duplicate your race day preparation beforehand. What time is the race, what time will you get up? What time and what will you eat beforehand? How will you get to the race as parking is not nearby? Are you able to pace yourself when surrounded by a large group of excited runners? The more you can prepare yourself ahead of race day the better race day will be for you. »
STRIDE AND STEPS
When I have started running, more than 10 years ago, I was not paying attention to my stride, mainly dealing with my cardio improvement and having my joints getting used to the high impact of running. But when I began to run more regularly and longer distances, only 4 years ago (I was running for almost 6 years before I ran more than 12 km), I had learned about counting your steps. Yes, another thing to consider while running and focus on!
First my goal was to do at least 80 steps per minute, as recommanded (try it: just count how many time one of your feet, left or right, touches the ground in a minute). Then, I’ve read that running was more effective with 85 to 90 steps, or more, per minutes, not only for speed, but since your feet spend less time touching the ground, so it reduces the impact. For the same amount of steps, try to push your foot with your toes to ease your stride, which should also increase your pace, combining the strength of your quads and calves.
To avoid injury and running more efficiently (using less energy with the same amount of effort), try to land your foot right under you, underneath your body, to keep a 90 degrees angle between you and the ground. So when you are going up a hill, lift your chin and chest up, look at the sky (embrace the hill 🙂 ), instead of bending over (which will reduce the angle between you and the ground, affect your posture and demand more energy. On the opposite, when you are going down a hill, lean foward. Avoid retaining your speed, because it will increase the impact and could likely lead to injuries over time. **
**Unfortunately, I don’t have all the references of those facts, but it is information that I found in many articles and studies that I have read over the years. Here are different sources of articles explaining theories about the right form and running efficiently. Bonne lecture!
- 3 simple tricks to improve running form, GREATIST (October 2014)
- 5 tips to run faster, LIFE (November 2015)
- The perfect form, RUNNER’S WORLD (June 2005)
- Heel stricking, overstriding and cadence, RUNNING CONNECT (April 2013)
Stay tuned for my next article and more resources about food: recommandations and ideas for great fuel for runners!
Don’t forget to share pictures with me! À bientôt et n’oubliez pas de me partager des photos!