Marathon Base Training
In my last post the plan was to follow a pain free marathon training program from ChiRunning in order to prepare for the Nashville Marathon on April 24th, 2010, and I have started that training which is now into the fourth week of base training, with a slight twist.
Just before the posting of my last blog, I attended the ChiRunning instructors weekend in Asheville, NC, where, like many other instructors, I had my running form analyzed by my fellow instructors and Danny Dreyer. It was, at first, disappointing to learn that my form was not as correct as I had imagined. The video of me running showed that I was not running as tall as I could have been, as well as some shoulder movement and I was also lifting my knees which caused my foot to be out in front of me. I really looked bad in the video! As the old saying goes – an opportunity was presented.
The first task I gave myself was to use the base training time to revisit the ChiRunning principals and to re-read the newest 2009 editionChiRunning book and watch the newest ChiRunning video. I also learned some new techniques at the instructors weekend that I wanted to try to incorporate into my running. My base training time was to be used to correct my deficiencies and further my ChiRunning abilities. (BTW the new 2009 edition ChiRunning book is a lot easier to read and understand than the original version. If you have the older version, the new content and explanationsare well worth the investment.)
So here we are at the end of four weeks, and I really feel a good difference in my running technique. Heals higher, knees are down, feet landing under my column, and my neck extended to lengthen my body fully making me a lot lighter on my feet. At first, when I changed my form and technique, my body did complain a bit, but now everything has settled in and I feel strong and confident as I continue my base training into the new year. The other thing that has really helped my form is that I am simultaneously teaching and walking with a ChiWalking class three times a week. ChiWalking really does help loosen up the hips for (and from) running.
My message today is simple – maybe it would be beneficial to review, revisit, re-read, and analyze your running form before you start a new race training program. The many miles leading up to the marathon will be a lot more enjoyable with your form tuned up! Contact an instructor near you for a video session.