I'm a bit of a plodder. I've written about running "like I'm sitting in a bucket" plenty of times, and it's a hard habit to break. Thinking about propelling myself forward with each stride and wasting as little energy as possible when I strike the ground takes up much of each run, and when I concentrate I sometimes feel I get it right for at least a minute or so.
Mystery Coach has commented on form often since he started helping me, and he chipped in again after looking at several still photos from my marathon last month. I simply bend my knees too much and waste too much time and energy while on the ground. There's a photo in Arthur Lydiard's "Running the Lydiard Way" that shows Lasse Viren running on the track. Arthur comments that you can see that his leg just after take-off is a straight line from his hip to the tip of his toe after push off. I'm all angles. The good runners are already starting their paw-back just before they hit the ground, which is something I'm trying to ease into myself.
There's no way to fix this overnight, but I have been working on it. To that end, today I headed out to Sabino Canyon for a few downhill 800's at the coach's suggestion. I'm not running off a cliff or anything, but it is enough of a hill that I have to force myself forward to keep from braking, which is what I start doing (inadvertently) when I tire during the latter stages of a run. I started with just two today and covered the roughly measured 1/2 mile in 2:23 and 2:13. It took a fair amount of concentration to stay upright and in the right position, but with some practice it should get easier. This on top of the 8x300 jogs/100 sprints I did earlier in the run on the icy track made for a good day of leg-stretching. The hips should feel it tomorrow.
I ended last week with 71 miles after a long-ish run of 15 miles with my local running gang. Kiera enticed a good group up to our side of town with homemade cinamon rolls. Yeah, I guess those 10 pounds might take a bit longer to lose.
Training: 2/5, 10 miles, 1h8m, 6:56 pace, w/8x300 jog, 100 sprint, plus 2x.5 mile downhill in 2:23, 2:13
2/4, 6 soggy miles, 41m, 6:46 pace
2/3, 15 miles, 1h47m, 7:08 pace m