Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Your Never Too Old To Learn New Tricks

I'm pretty old but still pretty new to running. Last night at the Tuesday Night Flyer's Clinic Coach Dennis took me to the side and gave me some tips.

First, he wanted me to swing my elbows back more. He explained that this would help my legs kick up and force my mid section to get in much better form. Sounded good to me. Anything to be smoother and faster.

Second thing he wanted me to work on kicking my legs up more and pushing off more with my toes. Made sense that pushing off more would give me more speed and distance with a single push of my leg. He said he wanted to get me out of the "marathon shuffle" that so many runners have. I know I have it, its just old age and stiffness, but I'm willing to work to get better.

We were suppose to meet at the High School Track but luck has it may, there was an unscheduled track meet there so we had to meet across the street at the community center. Dennis had a talk with all of us most of which centered around motivation and positive thinking. He showed us a picture if himself in a book when he was an elite runner for Nike back in the '80s I think. Pretty cool.

The workout tonight consisted of 6-12 200's at interval pace depending on which group you were in. We have a lot of people out injured right now and with Nashville next weekend, I elected to do an in between of 8 intervals. We a 2 mile warm up including 4 strides to get us pumping good.

Concentrating on really pumping my arms back and kicking my legs up, I started flying on these 200's. I should have been doing a 200 in about 1:05. My first one with the new method was :51. Wow. And I wasn't even huffing and puffing. It was amazing how much faster I was without any extra effort other than just firing my legs and kicking my arms back more. Dennis stop me on the 5th one and made the comment that my right leg must be tight because it wasn't firing back like the left one. Weird. He gave me some exercises to try to help it fire better. I concentrated on it more during the last three intervals and that seemed to help. Everyone kept commenting that I looked like a different runner. Wow. How could I have missed this before? I guess we never really talked about kicking the legs back that much, if we did I must have missed the class.

I'm excited to work on this technique more and just see how fast I can do a mile or more at a moderate pace. The cool thing was every interval I did was 5 - 15 seconds faster, and I wasn't even really pushing the pace as hard as I could. My final stats on my garmin showed my active intervals to be for 1.04 miles with a 7:31 average pace. The last intervals I did a couple weeks ago my average was 8:38 and it was much harder. Mmmm.......maybe we are on to something here.


Cheryl said...

Pretty impressive I'd say! Now I want some new tricks too! I can't believe it was just a few weeks ago you were sidelined, keep up the positive attitude and you'll do excellent in Nasville next week!

Anonymous said...

Arland - it's true it didn't even look like you when we saw you running. You did great - pretty soon we will all be watching you FLY by us effortlessly.