Mr PugRunner and I both had to run Monday morning, leading to some schedule coordination. He went out first, and I got the second position. This meant I didn’t get to venture out until the sun was up (6:50ish), but on the plus side, so was the Supermoon.
I was lucky that it wasn’t super hot and the sky was still a little overcast so I wasn’t hammered by the beating sun. However, it was still hot, so I decided to pay less attention to my speed (ironic, considering the name of Monday’s game was “speedwork”) and more attention to my form.
I figured I could still be productive, even if I wasn’t nailing my pace.
Form is very important to be running. Good form makes you faster, and stronger. It keeps you from getting injured. It’s a good thing.
After my five minute warmup, I paid attention to two things: my arm position and my foot strikes.
I cross my arms over my body, sometimes. It’s inefficient and can throw one’s alignment out of whack (“out of whack” is totally a technical term). On Monday, I focused on keeping my arms parallel to the rest of my body. It was tough. I could definitely feel the difference, as well as tension in my shoulders and across my back as I tried to get used to the new position. Bad habits die hard. I imagine the strained feeling will go away as I get used to doing it the right way
On to the foot strikes. I’ve been reading a lot about heel-strikes lately, but I never really considered what my own feet were doing. As far I’ve been concerned, as long as one foot lands ahead of the other in a reasonably brisk manner, and I complete the distance I set out to attain, I’m golden. I was pleased to see that I seem to have a mid-foot-strike, which seems to be desirable (and is also perfectly comfortable for me).
However, when I transition into speed and tempo runs, I find myself heel-striking. I’m not really sure why I do it, but I do seem to run faster this way. It’s something that isn’t necessarily causing me any issues, but I’m going to keep an eye on it so I can try to move away from my heel and back the middle of my foot.
I do know that running has done amazing things for my posture and my core. I sit and stand straighter and I use my midsection to support myself to keep from hunching or slouching (both while running and not). I can only imagine that correcting my arms and my feet, when necessary, will lead to good things.
And my little experiment was pretty successful. I completed 3.45 miles in the 37 minutes (5:00 warm up, 10:00 steady run, 7:00 tempo run, 10:00 steady run, 5:00 cool down), with negative splits for the running portion. Not too shabby.
How careful are you about your form? Does it matter to you to be as efficient as possible or are do you just run without paying it much mind?