Okay, this is serious now.
When I first started tweaking my action, you’ll remember that without concentration, I tended to fall back into my old style, with its braking motion feeling more comfortable. This is no longer the case. My new action (which I have come to know personally as “Pose+Brian) is starting to become a habit.
In fact, on my long run yesterday (long being relative, considering current injury status and time of year – 14km) I actually tried running the old way every now and then. Incredibly, what used to be the most natural thing in the world, now feels disgusting. With every horrible heel strike, I could feel the shudder of impact come right through my leg, hip and even my back.
That’s not to say that I have Pose+Brian down pat. I still find all running, even short distances pretty draining in my new style. My need to concentrate has merely switched from just remembering to maintain the action, to getting it “just right”. I am using suggested mental cues at each position in the stride, to help me remember to get my body into the right shape for the next landing. At 150+ steps per minute, I’m finding it a lot to process.
The main thing at the moment is trying to get my leading thigh high enough, so that I have room to activate the hamstrings and glutes prior to landing. I’m also trying to be conscious of making each landing as stable a platform as possible. Well balanced.
Some big positives emerging now. I’m pleased to report, that my calves are now feeling much better. They are coping with even the extended sessions, and I’m not nearly as proppy afterwards as I was the first couple of weeks. It’s great to be able to say that the body feels really good too! My hips in particular do not feel the post run pain that they did before. I feel more elastic and bouncy just walking around. New muscles are starting to feel like they’ve been woken up. The hamstrings (both) and the muscles at the front of the hip are the main ones.
The one negative at the moment, is how bloody slow I am! When I think I have this right, I feel like Craig Mottram, strongly cruising towards another record. A quick look at the Garmin though, reveals that I’m running at Buster’s grandmother’s pace, beautiful though my action surely is! Running technique tells me however, that serious changes take up to 6 months to get right, and in Brian I trust (at the moment!). Perhaps at that stage Pose+Brian will be so natural to me, that it will be hurling me forward faster than ever. Fingers crossed.
Pic: Brian Martin. Get his eBook. It’s only $10!