Friday, 24 October 2014

Funny walks

This is the year I moved up in my running to half marathon distance. Various memory tags recall the progression.

My first 21 km training run on 21 April made me over confident. I pulled a muscle in my knee two days later, which interrupted my running for 6 weeks.

My first half marathon race was on 6 July. Time just under two hours.

Then I embarked on a training schedule to improve my time and knocked 15 minutes off in my next half marathon just over two months later.

In the final half marathon of the year before easing back on the training, I knocked another 5 minutes off my time, while feeling much more comfortable on the run. My pace over the 21 km was 4:37/km, which also gave me my fastest 10 km time of about 46 minutes.

I am now going to concentrate of 5 km and 10 km races for a while to try to improve my pace further. My next race will be 10 km and I have a target to beat 45 mins.

I feel I am still a long way from my potential. At the moment I sense improvement will come from strengthening my leg muscles to improve power and technique.

On training runs I think about two aspects to strengthen my hamstring muscles: semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris (long and short head). I'm cribbing this information from this website:

At some point I think about pushing further back to strenthen the hip-flexing function of the muscles.

At another point, I think of the knee-flexing function, so lift my heels more powerfully.

It feels like I am Monty Python's Ministry of Funny Walks. Going from a flat, extended rhythm to a bumpy, bum flicking trot. Both exercises cause my legs to ache in a good way, telling me the muscles are working.

At inervals, I'll recover by easing back on these exercises. My achilles-flexing push-off then becomes more of a focus.

Then I try putting it all together, which is faster, but tiring. With time, as my muscles strengthen, I will hopefully become faster and less tired.

My 5 km time is already falling and consistently below 21 minutes. My next target is to knock a few seconds off my best time to drop below 20 mins.

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