Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Small Mechanical Change Can Make All the Difference

As you know, I've been dealing with some calf and hamstring soreness after my ridiculously hilly run in the Palisades 10 days ago. I was able to run but could not run any of my fast workouts. The best I could do were easy miles on flat terrain. During that week, I did a lot of stretching, foam rolling, and I got a sports massage. All three of those helped but I was still sore and could still not run fast. I was beginning to get worried and flipping out. "What if I can't run Vermont?" I asked Mrs. Ansky. I really thought I was injured and my hopes of a sub-3:30 in Vermont were slipping away.

Then I had a talk with Coach Jeff. He calmed me down and after talking through how my legs felt, he was pretty sure that I was not injured and that I just beat my legs up running up some very steep hills. Then he reminded me of something we talked about when we met up in Denver. During my visit, he took some video of me on the treadmill. He pointed out that I was running up on my toes instead of on my forefoot. He told me to focus on landing "flat" so I would not be engaging my calves as much as I was. The next day I went out for another easy run. This time focusing on landing "flat" and guess what happened? My calves much better. Not yet 100% but much better than earlier in the week. I ripped off a few sub-8:00 towards to the end of the run and it felt hard but sustainable. I probably could have run more miles at the pace had time permitted.

I am currently down in Boca Raton, FL celebrating Passover with my family. I'll write more about my running down here later but between the extra rest and the mechanical change I am back on track.

No comments: