Tuesday’s track session was interesting. Very interesting. Over the next 5 or 6 weeks a guest coach from Tri4U will be leading the sessions. Tuesday was the first time and we were introduced to Barry Jameson.
We were shown some trainers and Barry described just how much information you could glean about a runner’s style just by looking at the wear on the trainer. He also talked about efficient running form; how running more on the fore foot was much more economical than heel striking. A few weeks ago at a track session, we took off our trainers and did a few 60m sprints. I found that I naturally ran on my forefoot when I didn’t have the cushioning of the trainers beneath me.
We started off by doing a slow 400m on our forefoot. It felt strange at first and it was difficult to stay at a steady pace; this method of running seemed to be encourage speed! The next 400m was interspersed with faster bursts of running. This was followed by two 200m sprints where we focused on form, rather than trying to beat the person in the lane next to us…
Then, we went into the main session. This was 4x400m reps with a 400m slow jog recovery. Again, the focus was on form; eyes forward, arms pumping and landing lightly on our toes.
I was really happy that the reps got faster, and especially happy at that last rep! That’s quick for me!! It felt quite natural to run this way, although I did start feeling pain in my calves towards the end. We did some stretching off and headed home.
The next day I awoke to extremely sore calves, particularly the right one. I spent the day, and the following day, hobbling round work feeling extremely sorry for myself. Deep Heat became my friend over those two days.
Thankfully, the pain has eased off today. The lesson learnt from this is to be cautious and take things very slowly when adapting your running style. Especially when you have a half marathon in 8 days!
There is more information about ‘toe running’ here..