Small Details Matter

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Most runners focus entirely on running itself and not nearly enough on the details that significantly impact their runs.  For instance, preparation for the next run begins at the conclusion of the previous run.

Stretching, hydration, and eating well upon concluding a run helps in the recovery and fuels muscles for the next run.  Another often overlooked aspect of training is monitoring RHR (resting heart rate) each morning to determine how well your body is responding to your current level of training and what adjustments are necessary to upcoming workouts.  Many runners base their workouts on a training program they’re now following, the weather or how much time they have.  While these things are certainly important factors, it’s far more beneficial to base the distance and intensity of each run on how you’re feeling.

Actually practicing your form is the perfect beginning to each run.  I recommend running the first 2 miles 90-120 seconds slower than the pace you expect to run the remaining miles.  This allows your body to acclimate to the rigors of running and to also practice efficient and proper running form.  Establishing this routine at the beginning of each run will help battle negative thoughts and the demons of doubt that appear in the early stages of a run.

Incorporating regular and brief walk breaks during a run also help to sustain energy levels that result in more efficient running.  As fatigue develops, form diminishes and the risk of injury increases.

Surprisingly, running shoes require rest.  It takes approximately 24-48 hours for the midsole of running shoes to fully recovery.  This part of the shoe is composed of thousands of air bubbles that act as shock absorbers for the 3-4 times your body weight of force that’s placed on your lower extremities with each foot strike.  Rotating more than one pair of running shoes provides extended life to your shoes and helps to prevent injury…your lower extremities don’t become accustomed to one pair of shoes and one gait cycle.  Surprisingly, runners that train in only one pair of shoes can actually be at higher risk of injury when going to a new pair of shoes.  This results from such a radical change in the gait cycle of changing from shoes with a lot of miles to a brand new pair.

Runners that focus on all facets of running (i.e.. stretching, proper warm-up,  incorporating regular walk breaks, rotating shoes, wearing proper clothing, adjusting training according to feel, and eating well) experience greater progress and more enjoyable running.

Paying closer attention to the smaller details results in a far greater return on your investment of time and energy into your running.

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