Friday 13 September 2013

Training Week in Review 14th September

Running is a past time that should be enjoyed and this week was the first time in a while that I really enjoyed my running. Everything seems to be finally coming back on track for my Melbourne Marathon training and my body feels really good.

My week started off in the office of my miracle worker physiotherapist Unna, from Panacea Movement Medicine in Carlton. Unna got me onto the treadmill again and she could see a big improvement in my running form from only ten days earlier. All the core and leg strengthening exercises and training drills had done their job. The overstriding and heal striking were both almost gone and my body was strong and upright. Gone was the collapsing that I was experiencing previously. Unna showed me the video analysis and I looked like a much better runner.

This is where a major breakthrough came. Unna mentioned that during the running cycle, the foot which is in flight (moving forward) should pass the other leg in a much higher position than what she was seeing from me. This action brings the knee up which allows you to get more power from the hip and means your leg is bent at the knee rather than straight. When I started visualizing this as I ran, everything seemed to click and I could instantly see what I was doing wrong before. I'd gone from barely lifting my feet off the ground and having very straight legs to getting plenty of flight and driving forward with a bent knee and more forward thrust.

The next area of focus was my arm swing. At times I feel very robotic in my arm movements when running. In particular my left arm is quite stiff and swings a lot less than my right arm. After a couple of tests Unna could see that I had a lack of flexibility on the left side of my torso. This meant some new exercises, mainly with the roller to try and loosen up my side. This would also help my breathing with the increased flexibility allowing me to take in deeper breaths in and out.

On the Sunday I went out and put it all to practice. The result was extremely positive. I ran my stock training route along Merri Creek for a total of 20km. It was the first time in weeks that I managed more than 10km in a single session and I felt reasonably good afterwards with very little soreness. I focused on short strides, lifting my knees and landing under my body and it all seemed to fall into place.

The next day I had surprisingly little soreness after such a long run and my ITB was behaving itself. I continued my strength and flexibility training and then on Thursday morning I ran 16km into work. For the first 5km I had some soreness on the front of my left lower leg but once I'd loosened up I got into a nice rhythm and it was a pleasant commute into work!

Today I hit the running track and knocked out a fartlek session with a 1.5km warm up and 6 laps of the track where I sprint at 100% effort for 100m on every lap. I felt fast and powerful and it was a really enjoyable short training session.

So after a week of success I've gone back to my training plan and modified it with the aim of getting enough kilometres under my belt to knock out a marathon effort. You can see my new training plan here. Tomorrow I'm stepping up to 25km and Thursday will be week 3 of the Spring Corporate Cup will give me another chance at a PB around the Tan. Another fun week of running ahead!

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