Sunday, 20 September 2015

Right, this is getting interesting!

I ran in the SEAA 4 stage Road Relays today - a fairly exclusive event open to UKA affiliated running clubs only, and [with a couple of exceptions] has been held on the same course for decades.

I approached today, adamant that I was going to concentrate on style, and hold it for as long as I could.

This is the fastest session that I have run since starting the programme 4 weeks ago.  So there are some interesting observations.

The first lap (3km) felt easy, and I had another athlete giving me a good pull (as you can see).  I was able to keep the hips up and forward without much trouble. see picture:  I think this is looking MUCH better, although far from "there" yet.  I can also see where I am almost "pulling" my head back, as alluded to in previous blog.
I'm in the stripes...

The second lap, I noticed some things (sorry, no pic):
  1. As fatigue started to set in, I could consciously lift my hips and maintain style, but it was hard to maintain this.
  2. As fatigue advanced yet further, this became much more difficult
Right, so the BIGGEST lesson today was about time in the air.  I've noticed how, as Keith points out, to go faster, you don't "walk forwards" with the feet, and you don't (can't) increase cadence.  But it's all in the take off.  Really pushing off with the toes, and getting more time in the air, makes a huge difference to speed.

And the result?

My preparation for the event was fairly typical, and I wore the same racing shoes as the last 2 years (Saucony Fastwitch - light, flat)
But this time made my eyes pop out:

year time
2007 20:38
2008 20:46
2009 21:03
2010 21:20
2011 21:36
2012 21:45
2013 22:27
2014 22:29
2015 21:52


  1. On the "in the air" subject I measured a few things last week: 184 cadence throughout - 3:10Km stride length 1.80 metres, 2:57 km stride length 1.81 - One centimetre, 13 seconds off 1 km! Once you are up to speed simply not braking (landing balanced, foot under hips) will maintain your stride length :-) It's just a matter of concentration and strength to keep holding form as long as possible - but that's just training :-)

  2. Yes, I see. Thanks. Even as I was running, I was thinking about your book when it says (to paraphrase) 'don't worry about the landing but do think about the take off' So to get that extra 1cm stride length, then it must be *partly* a function of power in the foot, Achilles and calf. Certainly I notice that putting more power in the foot gave a noticeable longer flight. I am conscious that the back leg should not lock straight either, but I've not found myself thinking about that whilst running.