Running Diaries: Week 1 - The First Step & Focus on Form

Week 1 - 4.12 miles ran, 2 miles walked

No joke, the first step and that first mile are the worst. Yet, it's such a great payoff to get through it and get into your run. When cycling, those first few miles in the morning are equally miserable. The moral of all this: KEEP GOING. One of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill helps here: "If you're going through hell, keep going." Clearly, that can be applied to war, running and pretty much everything else in life.

Last week's running (and truly, this week's, too) focused on form. I knew I wanted to run a little longer then days before, but after a bit of reading I wanted to be conscious of what my body was doing. Another thing I wanted to keep at the front of my mind was breathing. Yoga taught me in times of discomfort the best way to focus and get through is breathing. That sounds silly but the next time you are in a stressful situation, physical or emotional, pay attention to your breathing. You will be surprised how much you hold your breath when stressed out.

OK, back to form. The things I implemented in the runs last week that truly helped were:
  • Shoulders back, chest forward and back straight. 
  • Gaze is on the horizon, not at the ground. 
  • Arms are bent and swing gently between the belly and torso. 
  • Hands are softly clenched. 
  • Land on the middle of the foot, not the heel or balls of the foot. A great tip to judge whether you are doing this right is to listen to your stride. If you are pounding and scraping the pavement with your shoes, you need to adjust the stride. 
So far so good. I'm not running huge distances and I'm definitely not running fast, but I'm running a little longer each time and it sometimes I even shave seconds off my mile. I also found that while I enjoy music while running, I enjoy listening to Tigers ballgames more. And the news. Sue me.

I'm looking forward to being in the best shape of my life this summer!

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