Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday Morning Run and Running Form

YAY!  My friend Karen and I finally got out for an early Saturday morning run this past weekend!  (I know.  It's already Tuesday and I'm just getting around to this post.)  We hadn't gotten out there for an early morning weekend run since before Thanksgiving and, oh, how I'd missed it!  I must say, though, when the alarm went off at 6:30 it was cold and dark outside and I was more than a little bit confused.

Why was the alarm going off??
Was it a weekday??

Then I remembered that I had, in fact, agreed to get up for a run...

At that point, it wasn't sounding like that great of an idea...warm bed? cold run?  warm bed? cold run?  hmmm.  But, luckily, there was no backing out.  Karen and I were going to get out there early enough to beat the crappy weather that was heading our way.  But, it was still only in the mid-30's.

Here I am being a dork while I wait on my porch for Karen to come outside.
Yes, I do have hair.  No, that's not my actual skin color.

Early morning running pals!
Gosh dangit, Karen!  How do you look so cute and I look so bald and double-chinned?!
(Sorry about the nostril shot, people.)

Well, the cold really wasn't that bad.  But, the WIND was pretty wicked.  (This is becoming somewhat of a theme and I'm starting to think that I should just tell you when it's NOT windy.  Sound good?)  Even though the wind was howling, Karen and I were shocked when she looked down at her Garmin (God love her) and saw that we were going at an 8:30 pace.  Yeehaw!  Honestly, I expected to feel kind of crappy on this run, but was pleasently surprised that I felt really good.  It is so good to have a friend to run with!!

This run took me over the 20 mile mark for the week.  23 to be exact.  That's a new weekly mileage high for me.  I was happy with it.

Running Form...

My Monday run was back at the gym...on the treadmill.  *yawn*  The first 20 minutes pretty much sucked.  I just could not get into it.  At 6 minutes in, I gave up on running, slowed down the pace to a walk and took the incline up to 15% (sometimes I just like to see what those things can do.).  After 5 minutes of that, I put the incline back down to 0% (I'm such a stud) and took it back up to running, and then realized I had to go to the bathroom (darn).  When I got back from my bathroom break, I felt much more energized and had a great 30 minute run at an 8:30 pace.

During the 30 minute portion of my run, I was thinking a lot about my form.  I find that I think about this a lot more on the treadmill than I do outside.  Maybe it's because there's just not that much to think about when you're running on a treadmill?  Anyway, this is what I think about with reference to my form:

  1. Landing on my midfoot (aka not heel striking), and running "quick and light" (I almost laughed out loud when I typed this, because when I started running again a year ago I lovingly referred to myself as "the plodder".)
  2. Keeping my hands loose and not letting my arms crossing my mid-line.
  3. Keeping my shoulders relaxed.  I do have to let my arms go limp every once in a while to shake out the tension.  I tend to carry stress (and exhaustion) in my shoulders.
I know there are a bunch of other things to think about with running form, but this is all I can handle at this point.

How cold is too cold for you to run outside?

What do you think is the most important part of running form?  What do you focus on most?


  1. We were right there with you on Saturday - we started early to beat the snow - but unfortunately we didn't. I always talk to Michael and my daughter about keeping their shoulders back. I know it's a modesty issue for most women for obvious reasons, but I think it helps keep your core upright and strong!

  2. that's exactly how i look when i run with my hat...i just told my hubs "i look bald or like i am in a swimming cap". if the temps fall below 30, it is too cold for me. today, it was 35 outside...it was cold, but, manageable. i have a problem relaxing my shoulders during my runs, i know i have to work on that.

    so happy for your mileage high!

  3. Under 40 degrees is cold for me!!! I probably don't have good form... so I should have someone like, check my form or something!

  4. I dont LIKE to run outside when its under 40 degrees but in the 30s is still decent. If its under 10 I'm not running outside unless I HAVE to!

  5. Too cold??? ha I better not answer that question! I focus on not tripping or twisting my ankle...I hope to eventually think about form!

  6. I try to focus on my form on the treadmill too. What else is there to do!

  7. wow, dont think I could run in the 20's or 30's...but here in Texas it only gets to those temps like twice a winter! we're already in the 80's over here....SO HOT! ughh. I think you both look great for 30 degree temps and a super early morning run, you should see what I look like at that time of the morn...I scare my neighbors!

  8. One run this winter was -5 degrees. That's cold. I try to focus on my form while I treadmill run too. I am mostly a plodder but trying to become light and airy. :o)

  9. I love the self photo! Hehe

    I ran twice in the cold and it was really ok...you're right though...it's the wind that really irritates me. :)

    I think about my form A.LOT when on the tmill but like NEVER when I'm on the ground.

  10. I hate running in the cold, but sometimes it's still better than running on the awful treadmill. Great job on the run though. I ran Sat morning too - it was cold and windy and I didn't do it early enough to beat the snow. Oh well, I still had a good run - at least for me. Too bad you are on average 3 minutes faster than me or we could run together sometime - but I am truly a turtle!

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