The 52nd Annual JFK 50 Mile Ultramarathon was on Saturday November 22, 2014. It was my 6th JFK 50 (see previous year’s summaries: 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). This year my time was about 23 minutes slower than my 2011 course PR. Although I thought a PR was possible this year, perspective suggests that 50miles is 50 miles and there are many more ways to quantify the experience than the finish time.
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Here are my top seven elements of “nutrition” that I currently focus on to promote a high level of consistent and almost boundless energy. When my energy or my mood drops I can usually point it back to one of these elements being neglected or out of balance.
Since I am big on measuring so I can also adjust in the desired direction, I have also graded myself on each element and my current focus point to Read the rest of this entry »
Gradual progress is a key ChiRunning principle which allows the body to adapt to changes in stimulus so that greater skill, distance and/or performance can be achieved safely. This principle applies to any change in running and in life. A tree knows to change gradually with the seasons to limit risk.
This concept is very important in shoe type transitioning as skill increases. Typically a transition moves toward more flexible, flatter and lighter shoes. The suggested approach is to focus on technique first; and allow that to signal when less shoe is possible for each individual. As technique improves Read the rest of this entry »
The 51st Annual JFK 50 Mile Ultramarathon was this past Saturday November 23, 2013. It was my 5th JFK50 (see previous year’s summaries: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). This year my time was an hour+ slower than my 2011 PR, but not my slowest. Although I had aspirations for another PR, in retrospect it was simply good to completed this event after having to miss it last year.
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One ChiRunning concept that can sometimes be a challenge – is developing the mindset of a fitness “practice”. Adjusting your position and motion requires creating new skills and habits through consistent practice. To do this, the approach is to focus on getting something FROM each run … and not just getting THROUGH it. This is the mindset of a fitness practice, which might be defined as Read the rest of this entry »
This past weekend I was at a regional meeting for an international bio-tech company (*ASEA) I represent; and one of the speakers made the distinction between having the “skillset” vs. having the “mindset” to accomplish your goals. I, as usual, immediately related this distinction to coaching (and practicing) running/walking technique. It was a good reminder that no matter how much skill and body sense one can experience, it is the longer term discipline mindset that supports lifelong success.
If your goal is to run/walk efficiently and injury-free, it will take Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I was able to go for another run with a great friend. It was a refreshing, head clearing, perspective run. We did not need a watch, or know the distance. We did not need all the ‘stuff’ that is supposed to enhance the running experience. We simply filled the time we had to share our life challenges and successes, while still focusing on technique and terrain.
Afterwards I consider how both my shoes and my friend helped me “run” real. Here are 10 Ways Running in Minimalist Shoes is Like Read the rest of this entry »
I usually post a brief update to Facebook and Twitter about each run as evidence of my “practice”. Each update highlights the intent of the run and which form focuses I am working on. But those updates have been very limited the past few weeks because … I have not run much in the last few weeks. In early September, I was on target to run 2200+ miles this year and to be well prepared for an important November ultra marathon. But I had to take a break from running, the first real break in many years and for Read the rest of this entry »
When you start to body sense your position and motion you start to realize more and more that it is all connected. Every aspect of you is connected, in more ways than one. Effort or tension in one part of the body affects the rest of the body. Mental focus creates effort (and possibly tension) at the focus point. And what you think about, as in your emotions, also greatly affects how you feel.
We have probably all heard some variation of the following Read the rest of this entry »
There are many that suggest “gravity is a vertical force”, which is true, and that “it only acts downward”, which is also true. But then they say “gravity can’t help you move forward”. This I contend is not true. Without a full physics analysis considering all the forces present it is not possible to determine the net force on the object or whether acceleration or deceleration will result. Plus you can feel this effect is about 30 seconds …
Many have noticed that day to day times, distances or other running statistics are rarely posted here. It is not that I don’t like numbers, it is just that my health goals usually have little to do with them.
One goal I do like to set and measure is consistency. One way to measure consistency is distance or minutes per long(er) timeframe … say monthly or yearly. I like to set goals yearly. This removes my tendency to think and sometimes overtrain short term.
A great way to measure while limiting the day to day effects of measuring is to Read the rest of this entry »
A previous post (The Physics of ChiRunning, Lean … Analysis) with a physics analysis suggested you can use the external force of gravity to your advantage. Doing this adds the concept of a “controlled fall” to your running gait cycle. You can get the feeling for this concept in just a few moments as described in this post (The Physics of ChiRunning, Lean). But the key to this is allowing the fall to happen as described in this post (It’s Not (All) About the Lean).
“Allow is a huge study word.” – Danny Dreyer, ChiRunning/ChiWalking Author
You can think in terms of allowing yourself to fall subtly with each step, but you can also Read the rest of this entry »
The ChiRunning concept that seems to be most referenced is that of a subtle forward lean forward to aid in propulsion. There are challenges in the subtle forward lean position (Blog Post: ChiRunning Common Challenges, Lean) and there are challenges implementing other concepts to support overall balance. One very important supporting concept is relaxation; and specifically relaxation in the lower legs, ankles and feet. To “get” ChiRunning, it is not so much about leaning some amount as it is about relaxing in any angle of lean. Lean too much and you will likely tense up. Just tense in general and Read the rest of this entry »
This is the first of a few posts on the subject of physics in the running gait cycle. This post is a little long with some more technical content but my intent was to keep a potentially complex subject simple. A previous post (The Physics of ChiRunning, Lean) provided a way to feel the pull of gravity on an aligned column. If you can feel this effect and it works for you, leave it at that and keep practicing. If you want to dig a little deeper to see what might be causing this effect, then this and other posts here may be helpful to you.
Recently a number of opinions have surfaced online that oppose this body sense of falling Read the rest of this entry »