Changing Running Styles

I was thinking of calling this “Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks”. Since I started doing triathlon and running I have been doing a lot of reading about running from numerous sources. I didn’t take much of it to heart until I did my first (and only so far) triathlon. I basically started running in October of 2008 to prepare for the 2009 Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon. I thought it would be fun to do a Sprint Triathlon along the way. My wife being a Photographer thought it would be fun for her to. In my running up until then, I had been fighting shin splints the whole time. Now would be a good point to look a the picture that made me realize I needed to change my running style:

Old Running Style

As you can see, I was a very severe heel striker and after doing a lot of reading, I found that this was probably the cause of my shin splints. I spend a lot of time working on shifting to a closer to forefoot strike and all of a sudden, running feels much more natural and much more like it did when I was a high school kid running the quarter mile. The results can be seen in this picture:

New Running Style

Yes, it is still a heel strike, but it much less severe, so much so, that I don’t really feel the landing in my heels anymore. I have been following information put out by Coach Jeff Kline of PRSFIT and saw a video he put out that explained the difference between forefoot and heel striking and why forefoot is so much better. I can testify to the improvement. I have not had a hint of shin splints since I made the change. I was able to teach this old dog a new trick.

The Bigger Things

Today is my 20th Wedding Anniversary. If you have read any of my other blog posts, you can understand how truly blessed I am to have a wife who tolerates my craziness. I am truly blessed to be married to Tammy and I honestly don’t know how I would live without her. I am not very good at telling her or anyone else for that matter how I really feel. I’m working on that but I have a long way to go.

You learn a lot of things in 20 years of marriage and I am not talking about stereotypical stuff either. I learned how important it is to put my wife first. I have learned that my wife wants me to be a protector and provider. I want to be a better man because of my wife and I want to be the kind of husband I want my daughter to find someday. My wife has helped me understand and deepen my faith in Jesus.

Considering where we started, we sure have come a long way together. We made the move from Michigan to Colorado 2 days after our wedding and we lived there for 18 months until my job transferred me back to Michigan. In 1999 God blessed us with Stephanie who has helped make our marriage deeper and richer.

As I look back on the last 20 years and realize how good it has been, I am encouraged about the future, knowing that God has really good stuff in store for us.

1 Week Down 12 To Go

Well the first week of training for the Half Ironman is in the books. I have only missed one workout, of course it was the Long Run for today. I think I am just going to rest and do the 90 minute run tomorrow morning before work. This week I ran 5.86 Miles in 50:08, did 64.88 miles in 3:47:06 on the trainer, and swam 3.73 miles in 2:48:37. Technically today is the start of a new week, so today or tomorrow will count as next week, but it was a good week none the less. I had some difficult issues at work and ended up working 72 hours, so I was pleased that I was able to get all of my workouts in.

The Journey Begins

Tomorrow is actually the first scheduled workout in my training plan for the Racing for Recovery Half Ironman Triathlon. I am intending to work on this using a training plan from Gale Bernardt’s book “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes”. I will be using a plan called 13-weeks to an Ironman on 13 hours per week. You might ask why I am doing an Ironman training plan when I am only intending to do a Half Ironman Race? The reason is because the training plan is based on time, and I am slow enough that I don’t feel I would have sufficient mileage volume on a Half-Ironman plan.

So my baseline is this. My weight today is 230 pounds. I had been executing a training plan for a Half-Marathon since January, so I had my long run up to 11 miles and was running 5-6 miles on my weekday runs. I was also swimming 1600-2000m per session. I have slacked off on the bike, but I expect that to come back quickly. My long run for next sunday is scheduled for 90 minutes, which should be around 9 miles.

I have 2 training races planned prior to the 6/6 Triathlon. On April 18, I will be running in the Martian Half Marathon and on May 29, I will be competing in the Island Lake Sprint Triathlon. The Sprint triathlon will be a rehearsal for the Half Ironman a week later.

February 2010 In Review

March first is here and I have to say I had a very successful February. For the first time in my life I ran 100 miles in a single month. I had to do 11.49 on the last day of the month, but I managed to pull it off. I also had a very successful Indoor Triathlon. I had a first overall on the bike. I improved my run pace by 15 seconds per mile and went 25m farther in the swim.

Looking forward, my next event is the Martian Half-Marathon on April 10. I’m looking forward to this one, even though it is really just a training run for me. It is 8 weeks out from my Half-Ironman and I figure a good showing here will set me up well for the HIM. My objective for the Half Marathon is 2:10, or 10 minute per mile pace. My stretch objective is to break 2 hours. That would set me up really well for a sub 7 hour HIM.

Hopefully March will bring a warm up that will let me get the bike outside. I have spent so much time on my running that I am a little behind the curve on the bike. My rear can only take about an hour on the trainer. I have to fix that quickly. The good news is that my run fitness seems to carry over well on the bike.