Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ready, Aim, Fire

My target this year is to become a faster runner. I know I've been a triathlete for 20 years, and have managed to avoid working hard while running for all those years. That's pretty impressive, no? Actually, that's not entirely true. In the last two years, I've been gradually changing my running style, based upon the book ChiRunning. I've been increasing my cadence, and changing my stride from a heel-striking forward-reaching one to a mid-foot striking stride that lands underneath me. While I haven't seen huge speed gains, I've seen my previous IT Band pains disappear.

So this is the year when I really need to focus on my run. It's frustrating to be out in front only to lose the lead time after time to faster runners. One look at my last few sprint triathlons shows a pretty dismal 8:30 - 8:40 pace on the run (you can stop laughing now), even with total times around 1:15, which is reasonable for my age group. In the last few weeks, I've been biting the bullet and working at my run, thanks to some excellent advice from the folks on the triathlon boards at . I've been incorporating cadence work, strides, tempo runs, and trying to ease up the pace on my long runs. Today I warmed up easy for 15 minutes, then did 3 miles at a pace that felt like a sprint tri race pace. 8:32 miles made me pretty happy because I've never run that fast this early in the season before. I think if I keep at it, I might be able to take a minute or two off of my sprint times.

So here, I state it out loud: I'm making a commitment to becoming more of a runner, less of a jogger. I'm considering trying to qualify for the age group Nationals, so a faster run will be imperative!


TriGirl 40 said...

Sounds like you are a pretty darn fast runner to me! Good luck with the impressive goals - I bet you beat them!

Robin said...

Thanks! I live in TrackTown USA and you wouldn't believe the speed at which people pass me here! Very intimidating :-)

Marla Runyan lapped me regularly last year on my Sunday long runs, like I was standing completely stock still. Of course, the woman's like .03% body fat or something:

Ginger Breadman said...

I love the ChiRunning book - whenever I have to run on the treadmill I try and mimic the right form looking in the mirror. Among other things, it has helped me a lot with IT band issues also. I like your running goals - it seems like with tris, there is always something to play with and tweak to change it up a bit and keep improving.