Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I had to have a talk with coach about his week 1 post. I'm already having to break his orders. I received my orthotics this week and I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to them. I don't want to re-injure my achilles so I'm taking it easy. I'm also still working with the physical therapist on my running form. I figure it's best to work out the kinks now before I increase my mileage and potentially reinforce poor form.

The trouble so far seems to be my hips from biking. I noticed it a lot during the portion of the Wrightsville Beach marathon that I ran recently. From what I can understand ....mmmmmmkay....(that's what my doctor continually says....mmmm...kay) My form is pretty perfect when running between 6:40 and 9minutes. When I try to run faster I start to bounce a little and my feet come toward the middle in front of me. Like I'm trying to run on a line. This happens he has decided, because I'm not flexible enough and because I don't properly increase my cadence when I run faster.

Since I've only been running slow runs with a heart rate under 135 I haven't done a lot of faster running, so my hips and legs aren't quite ready for it yet. That, plus the years of cycling in which your hips never fully extend, have my hips unusually tight. When I tried running faster (I tried 6:20 for that marathon workout) instead of increasing my cadence, I overstride, not noticeably, but enough to wear out my hips and slow me down. On the treadmill it became very pronounced when I tried to run faster than 6 minutes and a bit ridiculous under 5:20..

Most people have a normal cadence of around 80-90 (I'm talking one leg hitting the ground) when running slow runs, and it gradually increases. Studies have indicated 90+ is ideal based on videos of elite runners in races. There isn't a study indicating what they run based on their training runs, but having run with enough elite runners I can tell you that it's slower. I think everyone's cadence dips along with stride length when they slow down. Running the same cadence is possible (as the pose and chi running methods prescribe) but in practice I don't think that's the case. I'm certainly a bit too slow (currently between 78 and 82). I need to get it up to around 86-92. I'm blaming all those slow miles I've been doing.

So for now I'm going to try, even 0n my slow runs, to up my cadence only so that when I'm running fast I'm more comfortable at a faster cadence. When initially increasing my cadence, and with my new orthotics, I'm quite sore....so for now I'll hold off on worrying about my mileage until I get those two dialed in. The doctor gave me a bunch of strengthening and stretching exercises to do...mmmmmmkayyyyy...So that's what I've been doing.

That picture was taken by Alexandra. I was busy stretching and watching political shows while she was cooking wonderful homemade soup.

Before the stretching, the soup, and watching the movie "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". We had gone running down at her favorite running place. While I was there, feeling goofy as hell trying to run a faster cadence...I continually came across foreigners walking on the wrong side of the trail. I'm not exactly sure of their nationalities.. I'm guessing Indian's or Pakistani's and some sort of Asians, but wherever they come from it seems they probably drive on the left side of the road.

I witnessed this in Australia almost instantly when I was there. Since they drive on the left....they also walk on the left. I made a conscious effort to comply with the cultural norm. Sometimes I'd forget...most dangerously and embarrassingly when I was flying down the road on a scooter after hours and hours and many stops to admire the view...on a lonely road without traffic. Not paying attention to where you're going, and following the flow are irritations I probably developed cycling. Founded by numerous circumstances where others mistakes often were paid for by my skin being left on the pavement. So I've become a bit of an intolerant grump in that regard when I'm exercising. Especially with the numerous folks playing with cellphones who become oblivious to the life and beauty going on around them.

Last night there was plenty of mixed traffic to remind them where they were, and plenty of beauty to be seen outside of cellphones... so I'm guessing these folks were either unaware of our practice of sticking to the right or not entirely caring to comply. What ensued was a rather comical game of chicken. Me doing some sort of goofy (it felt anyways) prance around the lake counting my steps. Them walking head down consumed in their thoughts. They'd look me straight in the eye. I'd move a little more right...I thought they'd move, they thought I'd move...I didn't move....and sometimes it didn't go well for them. Unfortunately some lessons are best learned the hard way. I meant no harm by it. It's just much easier if we all comply, as I do believe they have now realized.

Here's the Garmin data from that run on Monday. 4 miles at like 7:30 pace. Notice some of the complete stops. usually that was to step over someone after concluding our chicken dance.


Tuesday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill so that I could increase my cadence without varying pace. I don't have data from that run. I ran 6:40 pace because the 86 I was clumsily able to accomplish felt ridiculous enough at that speed and nearly impossible any slower. Hopefully 90 will slowly get more comfortable. A trick I learned is that if I run right up at the front of the treadmill...fear that I'll step on the front keeps my feet back forcing me to chop my stride. I don't remember cadence being a problem before so hopefully I'll relearn this quick without looking like a prancing fruitloop.

1 comment:

  1. O.K. Prancer, Dancer, Vixen, Fruity Pebbles, or whatever your new dance is; you can do your strides and stretch work and let me know when you are ready for the week one plan. I will await your feedback. I will probably be unconscious from monday until thursday anyway from that idiot digging around in my knee. Yes, I tried that pose method and a variety of ways to increase my stride frequency, but at slow speeds, it just was never that great. We shall see how it goes for you little gay stride boy!!!