Yep, I’m A Curvy Runner…And Lovin’ It
I’ve set the date for my first 5K that I intend to run – September 12. That gives me 11 weeks to continue my training. It feels great to have a date to work towards. Lately I’ve felt pretty aimless in my 5K training. Don’t get me wrong, I love running, but it’s just nice to work towards something more concrete.
I plan to do a total of 4 races this year. I’m not sure if I’ll physically be able to completely run my first 5K of 2014, but by the time my last race of the year rolls around I’m confident 3.1 miles will feel like nothing.
So what inspired me to finally get off my duff and set a date? Attending FitBloggin’14!
It was an awesome conference and soon I’ll post about my adventures. But on the drive home, I kept thinking about one session in particular – Running With Curves.
The speaker, Jill Angie, has been a curvy runner for 15 years. I learned a lot about technique, best gear (Holy crap! Bodyglide for bleeding nipples!?! Yikes!), and ignoring that little voice in my head that says I’m too heavy to run.
During the presentation, Jill shared her 10-week training program for beginners. Currently I’m using Jeff Galloway’s Easy 5K app and love it. However I’m toying with trying Jill’s 10-week training plan. Where the Easy 5K app has to appeal to a broad audience, this 10-week plan takes into account that I’m
overweight big boned.
If I do go with Jill’s plan, I’ll need to break out my Gymboss Interval Timer! Woo hoo! I got it for Christmas and haven’t had a need for it. Maybe it’s a sign.
Working On Form & Breathing
For the next few weeks I want to really work on form. I tend to lean forward too much rather than running tall. Also, I need to work on keeping my feet low to the ground and not bounding forward. My feet need to land under my body and not very far out front.
After Jill’s presentation I went out on a run and focused on what she said about form, especially how my foot hits the ground. Boy what a difference. I felt awesome. Usually I’m a heel striker when I run, mostly because I over stride.
Not this outing. I focused on keeping my foot strikes low to the ground and close to my body. Result — I landed on my midfoot more often than not.
Now I don’t know if heel striking is necessarily bad form, but I worry that it puts too much pressure on my joints, especially my knees. I can’t say that heel striking caused my torn meniscus, but my knee is healed and the last thing I want to do is poke that bear again.
Besides injures, I’ve heard that bad form causes wasted energy. I’m not sure what that really means or if it’s true, but I know when I finished my last run, I felt like I could go for another 30 minutes (and that’s saying something since the heat and humidity were insane).
Breathing is another area I need to work on. Form is important, but if I’m not breathing right, my muscles won’t get enough oxygen, I’ll tire sooner and I can kiss running a full 5K goodbye.
Thankfully yoga can help! To get more oxygen into my system, I need to breathe from my belly and not my chest. I have a class Friday morning and I’ll chat with my instructor for proper technique.
Thanks to my Facebook running peeps, I now know I need to breathe in rhythm. My speed doesn’t matter. I need to inhale and exhale at a consistent rate. So I need to sync my breathing and footsteps by inhaling or exhaling once every 2-3 steps.
Easy peasy, right?
The best thing about FitBloggin – it got my mojo working again! I haven’t felt this fired up about running since I finished reading Born to Run. So to keep my enthusiasm up I ordered Jill’s book, Running With Curves: Why You’re Not Too Fat To Run, and the Skinny on How to Start Today. It looks like a good, fun read.