Wednesday, 8 January 2014

So I Found Myself A Running Coach...

Back in November last year I caught up with some friends who a toured around Europe with.  One of the guys, Lincoln, had just completed a Half Ironman, which consists of a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run.  He came 35th out of 1,060 people and 5th in his age group - AMAZING!!!  His Half Ironman was on the same day as my 14km run at City2Sea.

At dinner I was amazed with how well he did in his Half Ironman, whilst he was amazed at how well I did at the City2Sea run.  Somehow during dinner, we came up with the crazy idea that Lincoln would help me out with my running.  He would write me a program to make me a better runner.  I really liked the idea about this as not only is he an amazing athlete, he is also a fully qualified personal trainer, so he knows what he is doing.

B, me, Mel (Lincoln's fiance) & Lincoln at Run Melbourne 2013.  He had just run a Half Marathon & does not look tired!

Finally on Monday Lincoln took time out from his busy schedule (he is currently training for another Half Ironman in February) to have an hour long running session together.  And it was exactly what I needed.

We started off by talking about my running goals this year, which is to run a half marathon in 2 hours or less, which we decided was totally achievable as my next half marathon is in July, which is over 6 months away.  The important thing is to make sure that my training program doesn't burn me out (or bore me) but thankfully I have a few smaller fun runs that I will be running between now and the next marathon, which will keep me on track.

I have to tell you that when we talked about increasing my average pace to 5:00 minute kilometres, I seriously nearly fell over!  In my world, that is fast, but I know that if I put my mind to it, I can do it.  If I can achieve and maintain a 5:00 minute running pace, that means I would run a half marathon in 1 hour and 45 minutes!  WOW!

Next we started on some drills for me to do when I am out running.  These drills are designed to warm up my muscles, strengthen my legs and improve my technique.  A lot of these drills were similar to the warm-ups that I would do in the 12WBT Half Marathon Program, but finally I now understanding the importance of them and what they do to my body.

Now it was time to look at my running technique.  I know that I have a strange technique.  I do this funny pointing thing with my feet, which I developed when I started running on my mid-foot.  Lincoln told me that my current running style was a bit bouncy and I was running way too up-right.  I need to learn forward more when I run, kick my feet back more and focus my eyes on the ground.  The key to increasing your speed is not to increase the size of your stride but for your feet to strike the ground more often.  After spending some time working on my new technique I could feel the difference.  I was using a lot less effort to run and my pace was much faster.  I felt good!

Me demonstrating how not to run at my half marathon last year.

And to finish the session off, we went through some lower body exercises.  I need to increase the strength in my legs, in particular my hamstrings and glutes, to prevent injury.  And I also need to increase the strength in my core to help me run better.

The next day I received the first four weeks of my program.  I was so excited!  I now finally have a program to make me a more efficient and faster run that is tailored to me, which is awesome.  The program is very structured, however I am use to it due to the 12WBT training programs.  The program sees me running 4 days a week (including a treadmill run), with one long on Saturdays.  I also get to do a couple of cardio workouts where I can do anything I want, except for running.  Mixed in with this, there is also two days of core work and two days of lower body exercises.  Thankfully I still get a rest day on Sundays.

I started my program yesterday with a 45 minute interval/speed session on the treadmill.  It was a really hard session as I had to swap between running at 10km to 12km on the treadmill.  12km on the treadmill is very fast for me at the moment, but give it time and it'll become much easier.

Thankfully I watched The Carrie Diaries, which stopped me from watching the time and the distance on the treadmill very second.

I ended my session by collapsing on my yoga mat and then doing a lot of stretching.

Tonight B and I are off for a bike ride and I am so excited!  It is finally getting warm in Melbourne, since it isn't windy we can go bike riding!  I haven't been bike riding since summer last year, so hopefully I can still remember how to ride my bike!

Take care!

Lady Lou!

1 comment:

  1. This coach of yours sounds pretty awesome! LOL

    Nice work Lou. Glad it's enjoyable.