Tomorrow, I'll be running a 30 min tempo. I'm planning on focusing on my form during the peak of my tempo (~7:00min/mi). Maintaining good form is VERY important when running. What's good form? Well, in my opinion, it varies from runner to runner. The more you run, the more your body adapts to perform more efficiently. A strong core is important for any runner to keep good form, so I strongly recommend some form of core exercise (I do Pilates) throughout your training. Try doing it twice a week on your easy days if you can.
Although I can't say what's best for every runner, I can tell you what I do while running to maintain good form (I often get complements on my form from old running guys...so I must be doing something right!!) I always try to focus on looking straight ahead when I run, not at the ground, keeping my shoulders upright and not slouched, and my fists un-clenched (I place my thumb in the middle of my forefinger, and then bring in the rest of my fingers). You want your upper body to be relaxed, not tense, because otherwise you are wasting energy, and you are also preventing your lungs from exchanging gas efficiently. Also, I try to keep my arm swing to a minimum unless I'm bookin' at the end of a 5K. Some people waddle when they run, or keep their arms down and run like they're carrying suitcases, or bob their heads. I can't imagine how that works for those people, and it drives me NUTS when people that run weird like that pass me. But if it works for 'em, who am I to judge? In fact, one of my fav. running girls, Paula Radcliffe, runs with a crazy head bob, and she currently holds the women's world record for the marathon (2:15:25)! So, again, do what works for you!!
|Paula Radcliffe...such a sweetie and super speedy!!|
Usually towards the end of races when I'm wiped, my form falls apart, I'm hunched over and I'm dragging myself across the finish line (not particularly attractive, hahaaa). I'm trying to focus on maintaining good form the entire race, so what better time to practice it than during my tempo! Speaking of beautiful, below are two more of my all-time favorite running girls in action with great form:
|Shalane Flanagan...another girl that runs with lip gloss!|
|Kara Goucher...recent mommy and still a sensational runner! I ran behind her at Boston (waaaaaaay behind)|