Friday, June 08, 2007

Training Week 1 - Friday - Tips for running

Went for the first run yesterday, 3 rounds around Kezar Stadium (route shown below, courtesy Google Earth).

We congregated in the parking lot/field outside at 6:30 pm, and immediately went for 2 rounds around Kezar Stadium. 0.7 miles each, so 1.4 miles. Then came and did a bunch of exercises, for balance and preventing injuries. And then went for a "cool down" run, another 0.7 miles.

In total, I ran 2.1 miles yesterday... after not having run for the last many years. My legs are shot to hell today, and I hope I recover in time for tomorrow's team run.

Tips for running from the head coach:

  • "I never want to see the soles of your shoes when you are running towards me": Basically, in your forward stride, don't have your toes pointing up and don't land on your heel. Two bad things happen:
    1. You land on your heel and it has a big impact on a small area of your foot. This can also cause other problems since you are not in a proper form to absorb that impact.
    2. The way the foot lands acts as a brake or hurdle. This hampers your momentum and your body now has to go up and over that hurdle.
  • "Let your feet naturally come up behind you, using your hamstring": Simple enough.
  • "And then just let your foot fall forward": Don't go for big lunges in running. Let your foot fall forward and have it so that it's underneath your center of gravity. This way you will have your leg right under your body, making it easier for the bady to absorb the impact.
  • "Short light steps everyone, short light steps": Okay, got it.
  • "Your arms are connected to your legs": Don't move them too much, and don't move them forward. Try and keep your elbows back. This helps your feet keep back as well (see tip #1 above).
  • "When you are tired, your shoulders come up next to your ear": Your arms are moving to aid your upper body move in sync with the legs. So you should have your shoulder wide, not up, not back, just wide, and let your arms move freely.
  • "Strong core helps fight strain and injury": Rather than having extra strong legs, focus on having a strong core, i.e. stomach and lower back muscles. This keeps your hips steady and keeps good running form.
  • "The purpose is to get from point A to point B using as little energy as possible... while actually moving": Efficiency efficiency efficiency.

I'll be practicing these tomorrow.

run around kezar stadium

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