Monday, February 9, 2009

7 Miler on a Beautiful Morning

Yesterday morning I went out for my weekly long run. This week was a 7 miler - not too long compared to what I will be getting to in another month or so, however, it's my longest run in quite a few weeks.

My plan - keep my HR in the 150s, don't worry about pace and don't worry about all the stuff I learned about my inefficient form at Saturday's Stride Clinic.

It was a great morning for a run when I stepped out of the house at 7:30am. It was 48 degrees and overcast - just chilly enough to keep me from overheating, but warm enough that I didn't need to bundle up.

The first mile was slow - 11:17 - but I kept my heart rate down, which had been my issue with the last few outdoor runs.

As much as I was trying to not think about the Stride Clinic feedback, of course it was going through my head from the beginning. It was like an "elephant in the room" - impossible to ignore. I was hoping this was going to be just a nice, easy run to get lost in the morning, the music and my thoughts. Instead, I started to experiment a bit with shortening my stride to increase my turnover, and ensuring that my right arm did not cross over my body.

What I found was truly surprising. When I started to shorten my stride and increase my turnover, my heart rate started to decrease - not increase like I figured it would. It ended up that my pace in the 3rd and 4th miles were under 11 minutes at around the same average HR as the first 2 miles. Wow! When I changed my stride, my body ended up being more upright - I was able to feel the difference between the posture of my previous form - leaning forward a bit and not being as "crisp" in my movements - and the new form. Of course, I would eventually space out and then realize I was going back to my slower strides, leaning a bit forward, etc., however, I would then get back into the "new groove".

The decreased HR with shorter strides ended up holding true until after 6 miles into my that point my heart rate started to elevate. However, it may have started to elevate just because I had been running for a while.

All in all, it was a great run. 7.39 miles, 1:19:43 (10:48/mile), avg HR 153. I'll try to run again on Tuesday morning...and work on turnover. I'm going to try to count footfalls every few minutes to see how I'm doing. I think this may be easier to do on the treadmill at the gym, but I'm not going to waste a nice morning to run outside - and it is looking like it will be a nice morning.

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