One thing that I have noticed with this increase in mileage is that my running form feels better. I don’t feel like my hips are going all over the place or that my arms are swinging unnecessarily or that my posture is bad. It just feels really good and I like to think this is how Caballo Blanco felt while running throughout Mexico. Like this is what we were born to do.
I was talking about this tonight with Mario. I’m trying to figure out what has changed and why my running feels like it’s now at a different level. Is it because I’m running a few more miles? Is it because I do running drills at the track? Or does it have something to do with improving my overall strength? Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things. After all, it takes more than just running to be a good runner. However, while reflecting on this tonight, I started thinking that maybe my track workouts are doing more than to just increase my speed. I really think they are helping to increase my leg turnover.
To run faster, you need to increase your leg turnover. While some runners try to boost speed by increasing the length of their stride, you are limited in the amount of success you can gain by doing this. Forcing yourself into an unnaturally long stride will make running awkward and uncomfortable. More frequent leg turnover, or the number of times your feet hit the ground during each minute you run, is the key to improving speed.
To increase your leg turnover, Hunter has four recommendations: wear lightweight running shoes, practice faster leg turnover, run downhill, and then put it all together. For a description of each step, you can read the entire article here. The two things that I know I have been doing more of are practicing faster leg turnover (track workouts) and running downhill.
I’m really excited that I’ve been able to run so much and feel great doing it. Is it weird that I feel like I have a new connection with running? It really does make me happy.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running Update: Holy cow it was windy!!! Today was our last day of short intervals for speed workouts. The workout was warmup, 200m, 30 second rest, 300m, 1 min rest, 500m, 2 min rest x 4 and at mile pace. After each 500 I was breathing quite heavily but I was pretty consistent with the pace. It ranged anywhere from 5:40 to 5:57 / mile. We also did 6 stride repeats and drills followed by a 1 mile cool down. I actually felt really good when I left the track. Stats are here.