Monday, August 15, 2011

Tracking your workout without gadgets, continued...and a little more...

I recalled this while running Lake Fayetteville trail today and also had left them out of previous blog because it was getting too long.
Using your senses while running let you have a sense of how well you are doing. The particular example I have is with hearing and feeling the wind on your skin. The hearing is for the friction of wind on your ears. Pay attention ext time and you will know what I mean. Under similar weather conditions and even similar terrain and vegetation (all these factors influence how wind behaves), start running slow. Pay attention to the friction caused by yourself moving through air. Then increase your pace and you will notice some friction, similar to when you start driving your car with the windows rolled down. As you increase speed, the friction noise increases. In the beginning, because of the lower speed, you may not hear friction but as the car increases speed, the friction can be annoying.
This part applies to similar conditions (weather and terrain) and even applies to a personal level. If you think about it, this subjective indicator is influenced by aerodynamics and, yes, your ears and hair length and hairdo play a role there too.
The second piece I wanted to mention is a way to seek improvement in your workout. This time is by always trying to increase the length of your stride. Look ahead and analyze the ground in the immediate feet ahead of you, especially when running on dirt. Lake Fayetteville has about one third of its length in dirt and through the woods so there are many spots where superficial tree roots lay across the trail so in situations like that, think of making a longer stride instead of two short ones in order to run over a tree root or a stump on your path. It may seem silly but it adds up and, perhaps more importantly, help you condition yourself to a faster and stronger pace.
Third, when you run with the sun in the horizon on either side of you, try to spot your shadow with the corner of your eye and check if you line what you see. You will see your shadow but pay attention to the form and pace and consistency. You should be able to tell whiter you are going too slow, strong or weak, and at ease or struggling. If you don't like what you see, you will know what to do to correct it. Do anything that comes to your mind except stopping!

Last, I want to poke your brain: when do you lower your head, looking down to your feet and keep your mouth shut when running, even if you are exhausted?


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