Running is somewhere between swimming and cycling, and is somewhat equal, in importance, between form and conditioning. Everyone “thinks,” they know “how,” to run, because, how much more technical could it be than walking??!! (Donʼt get me started). I believe that in the early stages of a running training program, it is important to allow, for musculoskeletal adaptations, that are necessary for the body, to absorb the constant pounding that occurs, in running. Although, good technique, can minimize peak ground reaction forces, running will still result in 4-5x body weight, at foot strike. Therefore, in the preparation and base phases, of training, emphasis should be on high frequency and low to moderate intensities, to facilitate these adaptations.

This week, I would like you to try to run some everyday; with the shortest of the runs being 20-30 minutes, an intermediate day of 45-60 minutes, and maybe a longer run, on New Yearʼs Day, of maybe no more than 12 miles, easy, depending, on how you are feeling. As you know, I am not a huge fan of treadmill running, but max is 1-2x/week. I am sending 5 days, of specific focus. All of your run days should include a 5-10 min warm up and cool down.

Day 1:

Concept is Speed = stride rate (cadence) x stride length (increased ” air time and distance, NOT taking great big steps!!) ” Todayʼs focus is cadence. I would like you to maintain between ” 85-90 rpms. Remember that you cadence is independent, of your ” overall speed, as you can just push off with less power. It is good ” to count your strides occasionally and see if 90 rpm doesnʼt equal ” a minute. Than, if I want you to run 2 minute intervals, you could ” just count, to 90 twice, and not have to keep looking, at your watch.

Day 2:

Todayʼs focus is stride length. ” As discussed above, stride length is in reference to increased air ” time, in a HORIZONTAL direction. Try to lean forward slightly, ” maintaining your pelvic tilt, which allows your foot to hit ” ” ” simultaneously under your base of support (your hips), with a mid ” foot strike, driving your knee FORWARD, not up. Forcefully driving ” the knees upward, while landing on your forefoot promotes vertical ” displacement which decreases both economy and efficiency, of ” running. Once the foot strikes the ground, apply a backward push, ” as if you are trying to scrape something, off the bottom, of your ” shoe.

Day 3:

Todayʼs focus: “What the heck are my arms for??” ” In running, the arms assist in balancing the trunk, and driving the ” legs. The legs must follow the rate that the arms are moving. ” Keeping the concept, of a strong core (pelvic tilt/hip abduction ” strength/stability), concentrate, on pushing the elbows backwards, ” which will drive the hips forwards. The shoulders, neck, wrists and ” hands should remain relaxed. The only muscular tension should be ” felt between the shoulder blades. With the continued thought that ” all movement should contribute to forward motion, try to avoid ” swinging the arms and hands across the midline, of the body.

Day 4:

Todayʼs focus: Hill training ” To keep the foot strike under the center of gravity, take slightly ” shorter strides, maintain or slightly increase you cadence (85-90 ” rpm), and take smooth, quick and light strides. Lean slightly into ” the hill, maintaining a pelvic tilt, and always leading with your hips. ” Running uphill is the most running specific strengthening and power ” exercise that you can do. ” When running downhill, maintain control, but not to the point, of”braking.” Avoid over striding, as this can result in injury, to the ” hamstrings. Run with light, quick steps and smoothly glide down ” the slope.

Day 5:

Todayʼs focus is on using your HR monitor ” Today, I would like you to play a little game with yourself. The point ” of the game is for you to learn to match your perceived exertion, ” with your HR zone. In other words, zone 1/perceived exertion very, ” very easy, zone 2/perceived exertion easy, zone 3/ moderate to ” moderately hard (marathon pace), zone 4/ moderately hard to hard ” (10 km to half marathon pace), and zone 5/very hard to extremely ” hard (5 km/sprint). Once you feel, you are at a certain level, of ” perceived exertion, see if your HR matches.