Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I happened to run into a few of my neighbors as I was beginning my run the other day and something I've noticed is that 99% of runners have no clue how to warm up or even what a warm up is really all about. I'm much faster than my neighbor friends at least at race pace and we were all beginning our run and I refused to keep up with them as they immediately started at something near a 8:00 - 8:30 pace. Similarly, I watch a lot of runners jump out the door of their house and immediately start in the 8:30 pace range which I think is insane. The body hasn't awaken much less warmed up. I tend to start in the 11:00 pace range even on days I'm going to eventually do tempo runs in the 6:00 pace range. I learned this from elite level runners who I watched prod along very slowly during warm-up.
And, another thing, the idea, even as promoted by our running magazines, that a 20 min. warm-up is sufficient is not only wrong, but short sided. It was awhile to warm-up the body correctly before launching into a hard effort workout. I tend to warm-up for 40-45 minutes, followed by some active stretching, before moving into hard effort running. This is likely why I haven't suffered a serious injury in many years. Maybe it's a cultural thing in that we are just too darn impatient to let our bodies warm-up. Or, perhaps, we don't have time and just force the issue instead of waiting until maybe the weekends when we have more time to properly prepare. Or, maybe it's a competitive thing where we can't prod along because our ego's can't handle other runners passing us while we are warming up. I don't know but I do know this is one of the major reasons so many runners are injured on a yearly basis and it won't change because we refuse to practice patience.
Posted by - at 3:00 PM
Friday, May 11, 2012
No question I've crossed another successful threshold in my running life. It's amazing what you learn about life and yourself from running. A few random things as I continue my journey.
1. In the near ending quest for the perfect running shoe, I found a shoe that surpassed the Nike XC and it's old school. It's the Puma H-Street. Yes, they are back. These are in that group of the original minimalist footwear and was an all-time favorite of ultra runner Anton K. I started running in these puppies several weeks ago and they are excellent. Just a big better than the Nike XC b/c they are lower to the ground, no arch support and they fit my foot like a glove (note: these are not for wider foot folks). This is the new Terra Plana failed to develop with the Evo. This is what the Evo should have been. And the best part, I bought 2 pair for $35 each and they'll last thousands of miles.
2. I don't do the "pain" thing anymore. I'll run hard, although 90% of my running is nice and very easy, but even when I run hard, I will "within my breath" as is preached by Fred Rohe in "The Zen of Running." As a result, I've lost about :30 - :45 sec. per mile when I run hard. I run in the 6:30 pace range vs. 5:45-6:00 pace range but I run longer at that pace and, more importantly, I run happier.
3. I still "run by feel," and it's the best thing I ever decided to do. I run 20, 30, 40 days consecutively and I'm able to do it b/c I run by feel. I do what my body wants to do each day. I don't run with a watch, garmin, heart rate monitor, or any of that crap. All those devices do is block the natural communication path between the body and mind and that's dangerous, in my humble opinion. I basically run for 1 hr. every day and every 7-10 days, I stretch out a 90-100 min. run and only when my body says "go," then I'll throw in some hard runs, generally in the 15-30 min. range.
4. Trails rock, streets suck. If you believe surfaces don't matter in terms of impact to the body, I think you are crazy, at least with respect to this subject.
5. I love life!!! Of course, the main reason is my wonderful wife and beautiful kids but I'll include running b/c it has changed my life. I'm about 5,000 hrs. into running and half way to meeting that 10,000 hr. threshold everyone talks about. I look forward to the journey to that destination but running has made me a better husband, father and person. God gave me the ability to run so I thank God . . . thanks God!!!
Ok, enough and back to life (and running).
Posted by - at 12:14 PM