Take my last Shetland run as an example. It was too windy to hear my metronome and, what with the wind and the hills, I really struggled. I knew that I was overstriding, heel striking, and shuffling - just like I have for years and years - and I had the achilles and hip pain to prove it. My next run, once I was back home, was fine. I kept my cadence up, focused on good posture and a strong core, and let my legs relax. However, I got carried away and ran too fast; by the evening, my achilles tendon was tender to the touch. Too much, too soon.
Today, I was back to struggling again. Sore achilles on and off for the first mile and a half, not able to keep up with the metronome, slouching, overstriding...and then, for the last mile and a half, it suddenly got better. And I had an epiphany. I might be evolving a more healthy, sustainable, and efficient running style, but I still have the same body. I still need to take a substantial amount of time to warm up, I still need to stretch before I run, and I still need to go slow for at least the first mile, none of which I did today. ChiRunning is about observing, listening, and adapting according to what one's body needs on a moment by moment basis, not having a plan that must be followed at all costs.
So, here's what I've learned over the past week. Relax. Warm up properly and stretch before each run. Initially turn off the metronome because I need to go slow until my body loosens up and because I find it really hard, at this stage anyway, to run slow enough with the metronome for that to happen. Slow down even once I'm warmed up; the speed eventually will come but, for now, it's more important to allow time for my tendons and muscles to get strong.
Sigh. This is going to take FOREVER. And learning lessons about 'patience' obviously will be for another week.
|Kinvara 3 in white, citron, and pink|