Monday, April 25, 2011

Warm for your form.

Following a long run, I've noticed that I've switched from a more all over soreness in my legs to just soreness in my quads.  Being the inquisitive CilleyGirl that I am, I decided to find out why.

Based on my research, I believe I may be leaning too far backwards during my runs.  I was sure I was leaning too far forwards -- gravity being what it is and my gigantic breasts being as they are -- but then I found this article here.

Under the Posture heading, the articles suggests you stand in place and lean to get a feeling of how you only feel balanced when your posture is straight.  Duh, I know, but then it says to walk forwards, leaning slightly forwards as you do so.  When I did that, it was the first time I've walked without quad pain in two days.

Interestingly enough, this all seems to stem from the girls.  I always put my shoulders back and relaxed when this gets the boobies up and out there.  Mainly so I don't slouch and they eventually droop to my knees.  (Plus there's just no camouflaging them so I might as well get them out there for all to see.)  That is all well and fine, but what I realized this morning is that in doing so I'm actually also arching my back.  Which is not all well and fine.  In fact, when I do it to a slightly greater extreme, it immediately aggravages a chronic sore spot in my mid-back.  Which explains that. 

If I relax my shoulders and tuck in my core, I get a less dramatic "Hey!  Ta-tas!" effect and more of a "Hey!  I have fantastic breasts" look.  And my back doesn't hurt. 

Overall, I think I lean with the right amount of angle, I'm just overdoing it with my upper back which pulls the rest out of alignment and in turn makes my quads work much too hard.  I've also had some knee pain or strain in that area during my long runs that I've never had before; I think this is the source of that problem as well.  I know I tend to swayback when I get tired, which bothers my low back.  I think working on form will help correct all of these issues.  One mental cue I use that I will continue to incorporate into this is what I call "running flippy."  To get an idea of what I mean, hold your hands out flat in front of you, palms down.  Now lift the fingers of one hand, flexing back through the wrist towards your arm.  Do that with the other hand as you flip your other hand back down flat.  It's kind of like the forwards moonwalk.  It's not precisely the action my feet are taking but it feels that way, and it makes me have crisper steps without raising my knees too much or dragging my feet.  It also gets me into a good one-two one-two rhythm that makes a pace feel easier to hold.

Hydration will also help.  I drank more water on Saturday than I have for just about any long run and felt a lot better physically after the run.  Still had a post-run headache but not as intense as I usually do.  Plus I think running up and down the stairs to the bathroom every 30 minutes the afternoon after my run helped with post-run stiffness.

Anyone ever figure out something about their stride was totally off?  Share!

the CilleyGirl


  1. I'm glad you wrote this. I'm reading the article you linked now!
    I don't tend to worry about my footfall because when I look at my shoes, pay attention to my feet, and see photos of myself running, I don't tend to be a heel striker. I think the exception is when I'm doing a finishing kick and hauling ass. Then I don't care - and it is only a few yards.

    But I always wondered about my torso and what I should do. I've read to lean forward, I've read to be upright. So I'm going to read this one, and then think about whatever it is that I do, and maybe I can change it a bit and improve?

    Question for you - regarding BP - do you use a hand held at a longer race to stay hydrated? I really don't want to use mine in Eugene. They seem to have ample stops along the course. Do you think I'm okay to just depend on them as long as I am well hydrated leading up to the race?

  2. They do have lots of stops along the course but unless you're planning to drink at least two (and probably more like three or four) cups at each stop, you should take the handheld. I was pretty good during the first part of the race but as the weather got warmer I went completely through all the water on my belt well before I finished (I was carrying 20 oz). With the pills you take to dehydrate you, it would be better to have more water than you might need than to run out. You also need it for fueling too. Which reminds me; you should look for plain Gu, I've been told it's a lot less sweet for those who have problems with the sweetness of regular Gu.