Getting Faster

on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I lied when I said I didn't have a goal in mind during previous post.  I would obviously like to try and meet my BQ time which would be 3:15 to run in 2016. Seems such a long time away.  In a perfect world, I would have used NY last year as a springboard for winter training to make an attempt for a spring BQ that would enable me to run next year, but a winter of being lazy recovering messed that up.

So I've been giving some thought to trying to improve my form which a foot pod should help with. I think faster turnover is better efficiency which should result in increaseed speed.  Just manually counting, I am usually around 86-87 foot falls a minute at long run pace.  I can get it to 91-92 when doing LT runs.  I've been trying to do my recovery runs at 90, but it just doesn't seem to translate when I swtich back to long runs.  90@ recovery pace just feels very unnatural to me. Maybe if I keep at it, it will eventually become the norm.

I've been spending a lot of time on youtube researching running form and the big thing seems to be the pose/chi running style of midfoot landing.  This got me thinking of how do I actually land. Judging by the wear on my shoes, I'm not quite a heel striker, but I land towards the outside of my foot about 3/4 of the way down, so not quite a mid-foot striker either. Back in my 3:10 marathon days, the forefoot would wear faster than my heel so maybe my form just naturally changes as I get faster. I'd like to change that around though and change my form so that it results in increased speed.
Decided to try and confirm with a video. Drove my DSLR camera and tripod to the track and recorded myself running at various paces. 

Channeled a bit of Baywatch and Michael Bay as I probably overkilled a bit on the slow motion. It's only about 30 sec of actual running that somehow became almost 10 minutes of video. These are at increasing paces so scroll towards the end to see the more relevant runs.

The first two are at recovery pace and I'm just sort of hopping along and the last two are at strides pace. At strides pace, I'm pretty sure I'm mid-foot landing, but it's hard to say as my foot is pointing upward until the foot almost touches and them it sweeps under me as it takes my weight to land mid-foot. At slower paces, there's the odd time that I appear to mid-foot land, but for the most part, it looks like the 3/4 foot landing.  It could be as simple a fix as just pointing my foot down or increasing my flexiblity to land more mid-foot or just increasing cadence, I'm not sure.  I'll try the video again in a few months once the speedwork starts kicking in and see if there's a difference.