You're gonna need patience for the journey.
The New Gait is well and truly embedded now. I'm not having to think about it very much, and on the occasion that I do mental check, I find everything is in order.
In fact, in terms of running style, I AM The Fonz, in this clip:
However, not everybody is happy.
Here I am, 15 months into the Older Yet Faster journey. The big skeletal muscles are fine - in fact they've complained very little since the beginning. Perhaps some tenderness in the calves, but then they are twice the size that they were 15 months ago (and 3 times as powerful)(ish).
But some of the connecting tissues, ligaments, tendons, are having a little moan now and again. There are some that are regular whingers, and some that seem out-of-sorts for a day or two tops. None of them stop me running, and believe me, I'm the first runner to "down tools" at the first sign of trouble!!
Some examples (from the past couple of weeks) include: pain behind the left knee (a coupe of days off sorted that one), trapped nerve in the top of the right foot (a quick stretch mid-run resolves it), some complaint deep inside the front of the right hip (proving harder to shake off, but doesn't hurt when I'm running).
I'm not too worried. In fact, I'm not worried at all. I have to remember, many parts of my body (particularly lower half) are relatively new to running. As far as some of my small connecting muscles are concerned, I've only been running 15 months, and I'm asking them to run at some silly speeds, when they have little base training. The big long muscles are fine with this. They don't understand that some of the little ones are playing catch-up to support my new style.
Tuesday night track session have shown this up. It's taking me 3 days to recover from Tuesday nights. Last weeks 8x600m had me hobbling on Saturday still! This is a classic sign of missing base miles.
Don't get me wrong, the new gait is starting to pay off. Even at what I would estimate as approx. 75% fit, I'm bagging some good results at the start of the XC season, and I recently ran a 17:12 on a parkrun course where my personal best from a few years ago is 17:09. That PR is going to go in the next 2 months that's for sure.
But given that I've made such a big change to my gait; from horrendous over-strider to, well, the running equivalent of the Fonz; I know that I will still be "combing my hair" for many months to come. That 17:12 could end up being a 16:40 for all we know....