Yesterday I finished my long run for the week. It was eight miles which is a little over twelve kilometers on a hot, hot day. Because it has been so hot, I try to do my running in the early morning. I couldn’t do that yesterday. My youngest had a baseball game at nine in the morning and I got off work at midnight and I like my sleep so I slept. I ran after the baseball game. In 28 degree weather (82 degrees Fahrenheit). It was hot.
Like in any activity, form matters. Some people believe running is just putting on some shoes and going. I thought that too. When I started running some time ago, I was a little heavier. I started to get pains in my shins and my knees. It was discouraging. I took up swimming laps to get rid of some of the weight so I could get back to running. I like swimming but I love running. So, I lost the weight and got back to running. Same pain cropped up. Finally, I did what I should have done at the start: I looked it up.
Running form is very, very important. Keep your hips forward, make sure your feet land under you and not ahead of you, try to land on the midsole, swing your arms forward and not side to side and don’t bounce, push forward. You want your head to stay as level as possible while going ahead. Lots of stuff to remember. I worked on them one at a time and away went the injuries. On a long run, keeping this form will prevent pain and keep you going.
For those of you who run outside, you’ll notice you perform better when the temperature is cooler. Performance suffers in great heat. I was aware of this and brought along enough water and two small energy snacks for the run. I put my headphones in, started my music and away I went.
Past the halfway point, the heat sucked the energy from me. My breathing was fine but my legs were not. I noticed I started to lean over, drop my hips and kept my arms still. No, no and no. For the rest of the run, I concentrated on my form. Even though I moved slower, I maintained the proper movement and consequently, was more efficient.
Still feeling good and having fun. On a side note, I bought a new pair of running shoes. I had been using the Newton which is a forefoot running shoe design. Now, I’m running in Hoka. They are ridiculously lightweight and so cushiony that it feels like I’m running on clouds. I can’t say enough good things about them.
With each run, I’m getting closer to the Marathon. I’m pretty dang excited!