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Perfect Running Form

What is the perfect running form? An article from RunnersWorld.com gives us a few pointers because every little thing affects our running form. Where is your head tilted? How do you sway your arms? Are your shoulders relaxed? Is your stride too long? I remember my first season in Team In Training my running form was so bad, I was aching everywhere! I would get shin splints so easily, and my shoulders were so sore. I made a few adjustments, to my stride, and payed attention to my upper body motion, and eventually, it fixed itself. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but be a little patient and make adjustments on each of your runs. Your body will adapt. For best results though, there are some training centers out there that will record your running form and recommend adjustments. I haven’t tried it myself, but close running friends of mine highly suggest it.

Read The Perfect Form on Runner’s World.

Truth About Stretching?

The New York Times’ Gretchen Reynolds just wrote a great article on stretching. I remember back in P.E. where we would have to do static, cold, stretches before any activity. Now, studies show that static stretches before any warm up to the muscles are ineffective. The best way to increase muscle strength and effectiveness is by loosening muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and to warm up the body. In Team In Training, we actually do a mix. We actually do some static warm ups, but only after a light jog to the beach. I wonder if this new way of thinking will change up our coaches mind about stretches? The article and video introduces some new dynamic stretches to try out.

You should read the article and/or watch the video at New York Times.

Negative Splits

smocean.jpgWeek 8 Sunday Run: I missed last Sunday’s run due to Easter in San Diego with the family, so the last time I did a long run was two weeks ago. Boy, time surely flies. I can’t believe it’s week 8 already. Today’s scheduled run was 8 miles. It was our usual course, from Shutters, to the end of Venice, back north to San Vicente, then back to the parking lot where we meet.

This week was the perfect example of using Negative Splits. Negative splits is a running term where you run faster on the second half of your runs instead of the first half. So for the first half, you keep a slow pace, conserving energy, and warming up your muscles getting ready for a faster second half. This is truly my running style because usually, my aches and pains get introduced in the beginning, then towards the end I am good (or maybe it’s the fact that my muscles and joints get numbs that I can’t feel it anymore? I don’t know, I’m not an expert).

Towards the end, Ilana and Philippa, my running partners of the week, kinda strayed away from our usual pace group 4 and picked up the pace a little bit. Philippa even got us to RUN up the incline where the pier starts (great use of hill training there). We felt we had a very energy efficient pace, and I admit, we were conquering that last half of the run very well! It felt awesome. When we finished the 12 miles, it’s really hard for me to say that it wasn’t a problem. I was a little scared at the finish line because I actually felt a small pinch in my right leg muscle, so I ended the run slowly, walked, then stretched it out. Tomorrow I recover.

Negative Splits: Use Them to Perform Better in Your Next Marathon

Cardio At The Clubs

No, not fitness clubs… dance clubs.


Last night, I got a few hours of dancing (ouch, my thighs are sore) at the JLounge in Downtown L.A.. I would consider this part of my cross-training program. Kenn Kihiu seems to think so. According to this Calories Burned Calcultor, I burned approximately 925 calories @ 2 hours of dancing, give or take.

Ok, if you know me, all that dancing, especially at a club, cannot be done without the help of alcohol, which pretty much cancels out all the cardio I did. It is, though, better than drinking alcohol and just standing there.