Learn to Love Running Slower
As a distance runner and student of running technique, I have had to learn to love running slower. Last year, when I first started to experiment with running to heart rate, I found that I had to run a lot slower than I was used to in order to keep my heart rate down. I didn’t enjoy it for a while but the truth is it was a golden opportunity to work on my ChiRunning technique. If I was going to stick with it and enjoy it, I simply had to do more work on my form. I cannot pretend I found it easy and it took me a few months to start to enjoy it.
When I see a student struggling with their running technique and still getting niggles, I often suggest they do some slower running. Invariably, I will be told that they don’t enjoy it and that it feels awkward and uncomfortable. That is music to my ears!
This is a sure sign that they have more work to do on their running technique. When we learn to run slower, we are better able to listen to our bodies, look for any flaws in our running technique and any tension that may be there. We can more clearly body sense how we are moving and begin to make the necessary corrections. If we can master our running technique at slower paces, we are laying solid foundations for the future.
Put aside any race goals and invest the time, look at the bigger picture and take as long as you need to feel fluid and relaxed at slower paces.