Running isn’t easy, never has been and I don’t believe it ever will be! HOWEVER, running is enjoyable and I have a new found love for running. On the weekend I just ran my fastest 10km in well over 15 years. I did the Beans for Brains fun run at the Wynnum foreshore. It was a two lap run and my pace wasn’t as consistence as I was hoping but it was on target for where I am currently at! Check out the splits here
About the fun run:
Upon reflection I am amazed at how quickly my running has improved and is returning to a respectable level. I am still over coming chronic calf injuries and this time a year ago I was struggling to be able to run 5km per week and recovery was long and painful. After 3 years of constant physio and stressing if I was going to be able to complete my next triathlon, I decided to change something. In November 2014 (a mere 10 months ago) I attended an introductory running clinic with Will Wragg from the RIFREV team (I know what your all thinking, doesn’t everyone know how to run, haven’t we been doing it our entire lives? All correct, but I was desperate to run injury free!). Will has an amazing story of completing 50 marathons in 50 days, google it he’s very inspiring! He introduced me to a very simple concept of using gravity to run naturally, he helped me make some changes to my gait to help me move as efficiently and as effortlessly as possible to prevent any potential injuries.
Following the course, I decided to attempt to build some consistency into my running by implementing the strategies and knowledge gained. I started attending parkrun regularly and even ran 14 days in a row! I now average approximately 80km per month or 20km per week (time permitting)! A far cry from my 5km per week last year. I now run 3 to 4 times a week with a very simple mantra in my head, lengthen, relax & lean, repeated at a frequency that allows me to run at 150 to 180 cadence (strides per minute). Lengthen is all about running as tall as I possibly can, lifting from the collar bones through the top of the head, lengthening through the abs and hips. Relax is all about relaxing the lower legs and allowing momentum to carry me forward, reducing stress and strength require in the smaller muscles of my lower leg to run. Lean is the important part of allowing gravity to generate the momentum, finding that sweet spot where my foot placement is below my center of gravity / hips (or slightly behind) allowing me to almost fall through my running! I am certainly no expert and I truly recommend seeking the assistance of a professional if you are struggling with injuries or recovery. Discovering this information and implementing in my technique has allowed my love of running to return and flourish!
My involvement in parkrun has changed significantly this year, from being a participant to now being a run director. As a runner I was always looking for a PB every week and thoroughly enjoying the notion of having a timed free weekly 5km event,right on my doorstep. As a regular parkrunner it wasn’t long before I started to engage other runners at the event’s and the community aspect of parkrun hooked me even further. I then invited my wife now parkrun is our regular ‘date’ time away from the kids. A parkrun and coffee on a Saturday morning instead of a movie and dinner. The encouragement at parkrun by other runners is infectious and you cant help but want to see others achieve their personal bests. I find myself finishing my run and heading back out to cheer others home or run with them.
My participation in parkrun has contributed to my love for running almost as much as my ability to run injury free has. If you have never heard of parkrun or are interested I insist you follow the links above, join, get a barcode and join your nearest event, they are all over Australia, UK, Europe, NZ & USA!
A famous cyclist, Greg Lemond, once said “it never gets easier you just go faster”. As it is with my running, it never gets any easier and I am getting a little faster, but more importantly i’m loving running now!
I guess the point of my blog today was to state that running is always going to be tough, but run easy, with the correct technique and surround yourself with inspiring people and it can be awesome fun!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!