123 Lighter Steps to Running

Having endured a 20 hour journey, back from my holidays in Thailand, Friday was very much a rest day but I couldn’t refuse the lure of the parkrun on Saturday morning. That said, I almost did! I left the house at 9:00am to be greeted by a deluge, as the clouds burst open and the rain poured down onto Glasgow. However I motored through the monsoon and joined with another 243 parkrunners and some twenty hardy volunteers at a rain soaked Pollok Park. Thankfully the rain subsided and the, smaller than usual, assembled ranks were set on our way through the puddle strewn, two lap course.

After running in the heat of Asia over the last three weeks, I settled for a steady run in the cooler but still humid conditions in my 123rd outing at the southside 5k. Instead of concentrating on trying to catch other runners this week, I focused on continuing to improve my running technique. Even with my ankle lateral ligaments being so badly damaged, after years of sprains on the rugby field, I realise that if I’ve to continue my recent progress, I need to improve my technique. Rather than the heavy landing on my heel which I’ve become accustomed to, I’ve been working on landing on the balls of my feet. True, I suffered from sore calf muscles when I adopted this style but a couple of, very reasonably priced, sports massages in the ‘Land of Smiles’ helped me to overcome this. My increased cycling this year has also given me a better understanding of the importance of increasing cadence, rather than churning.

The bad and the good

The bad and the good

The above picture shows Campbeltown’s Fiona Graham’s running on the balls of her feet and me landing on my outstretched heel.

My old running style of landing on my heels, was, in effect, applying the brakes with almost every step, whereas the new technique should see me running lighter and moving quicker into my next step.

The theory

The theory

That’s the theory anyway and it seemed to be working well in the first undulating lap of the course.  I was able to increased the pace, relatively easily, in the second lap and although I was never in all out ‘race mode’, I did manage to gain a few places and was happy to cross the line in 38th place, with a time of 21:40 and get my 170th parkrun under my belt.
Thanks

It was good to catch up with a number of running buddies before and after the race. More than ever, thanks to all the volunteers for making the event happen and in particular to the friendly marshals, on the course, for their encouragement, on what was a much better morning for running in, than volunteering.

Full Results

Picture by Daren Borzynski

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