I decided that the most important thing for me to focus on if i want to continue to run is my running form. I did a short run of about 1 mile from my house, I was in agony! As i was slowly limping back to my house I started thinking about running form and Cadence. I have done a fair amount of research into this since that day. Up to that point all I knew was that a good running cadence should be about 180 steps per minute (SPM) so as a test on the way back I counted my steps in my usual stride. 145 SPM OUCH! This is what is essentially causing all of my injury problems! My legs, feet and hips are taking a pounding everytime I go for a run and doing that over 20 miles a week for an extended time has taken it's toll. As an experiment i started running again and this time focused on trying to get to 180 SPM - It was really, really awkward and uncomfortable and I felt like I was taking baby steps.
From that day on I ran 2 very short runs 1.6 Miler and a 2 Miler. I only focused on getting 180 SPM during the whole run. I usually managed around 170 - 180 range but still a significant improvement from my previous 145.
Yesterday I did a time trial and figured I would do 3.1 and see how it went. All in all it went really well. My Avg. HR was 165 and my pace was 8:40 per mile. I compared this to the last time I ran a 5K in early April after i had been running up to 6 - 8 miles at a time and my Avg. HR was again 165 but my pace was 9:45 per mile! I was way more efficient! My max HR for my 180 SPM run was 175 but my max for the April run was 187! I can't wait to keep this up. As a side note, my legs were feeling pretty crappy during most of the run as my calves/achillies were in pain most of the time and my left foot went totally numb at about mile 1.75 (this is nothing new). Even after that started I ran my last mile at 7:59 Pace! I can't wait to see what I am capable of.
Injury update. After my successful time trial yesterday I strected really well afterward and I iced my achillies and lower calves. I'm not sure what did it but this morning I woke up and my calves and achillies feel fine. No pain at all.
I am going to start blogging again just to keep up on my diet so here is what i have so far today:
Breakfast: 1 Cup of French Vanilla Coffee and 1 packet of Oatmeal - Total calories: 200