July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014

I’ve started writing this post a few times, but life, being sick, and of course the World Cup (Go TEAM USA!) seems to have gotten in the way. So, now is the moment when I will finally finish my post! Whoo Hoo! Yay! So, I wanted to write about how I’m going about figuring out my pace. It started during my first long run on the weekend. I wanted to give myself an opportunity to finish the run without feeling completely drained. I have a habit of just trying to run and pushing myself towards my mini goal during the run, and ignoring the fact that my knees are probably going to be screaming at me when I’m done. While I know that my muscles are going to be sore, I made a promise to my mom before I started training for my first race that I would make sure that I took care of my body, in particular my knees. So, since that day, I’ve been trying to stick to my word. I make sure that I invest in the proper running shoes and that I spend time stretching to make sure I’m concentrating on my form.
july11-blogMy form has become one of the key points to figuring out my pace. I was lucky enough to live with a high school track coach and athletic trainer when I first began running. There were some key lessons I learned that I remind myself of when I’m running. The first is that my arms should move front to back as I run. I have a hard time with this because for some reason, they always want to sway across my body as I run. The next tip I received was to simply relax as I ran. I have a tendency to over extend my stride as I run, trying to run faster, but I usually end up hurting for a few days when I do this. When I relax, my stride is shorter, my foot placement is done properly, my arms move the way they’re supposed to, and I have more fun. All of these things add up and it can seem like A LOT to think about. While working on finding my pace for the race, I am trying to make sure that I find a pace that makes it easy to maintain the correct form when running.

july-11-blog2It doesn’t make any sense to sacrifice my form and possibly the health of my knees to finish a race faster. I make sure that I stay within the limits of the race, but I also want to make sure that I finish the race standing tall and able to walk the next day.

So far, I’ve been fortunate enough to get in my miles with a great race pace that includes intervals. I made an interval workout on my running app and do 1 min slow jog, 1 minute medium pace, and 1 minute “fast” (or at least what’s fast for me). This routine is working out pretty well! I love that when I finish, I feel invigorated and not like I’m going to pass out (even when running in this Florida heat!). I imagine as I increase my miles I’ll get to a 1 minute medium, 1 minute slow pace for my race day. Overall, I’m really enjoying the first weeks of training and getting into a schedule. I’ve even found a 5K to run before my half marathon so that I can practice a race since it’s been so long since my first one. I even convinced a friend and my brother to run this one with me!

I hope everyone is having a FANTASTIC week!

To support Stephenie please visit her SoleMates page

SoleMates is the charity running leg of Girls on the Run of Alachua County (GOTRAC). SoleMates provides adults an opportunity to raise money for GOTRAC while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon, half marathon, or 10k event to raise money for GOTRAC. SoleMates raises critically needed funds that helps our council to serve more girls in our community.
For more information or to become a SoleMate for GOTRAC please visit our SoleMates website http://alachuagotr.org/solemates/

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