Four Runs = Three Too Many

Last night’s workout: four sprints to the end of the street and back, with sit-ups on the grass in between. It should have been fun to work out outside on such a beautiful evening, but long sprints like those make me feel like I’m running under water. I’m pretty sure the distance was longer than the 400 yards around the building because my time on my first run was 15 or 20 seconds slower than a run around the building when I’m fresh. We were supposed to “sprint,” but more than 400 yards is not a sprint in my opinion! But what do I know.
I ran with Dave, Tom, Nancy, and a younger guy, Josh, who is a runner. Carrie timed us. She called out to me to keep up with the guys, so I really tried to do that. I stayed with Dave and Tom all four times on the way out (Josh smoked us all pretty quick), but when we all turned around, I was instantly out of gas. Each time, I returned at a sad little jogging pace, frowning and panting and way behind the others.
I’ve noticed two things about running styles (and I don’t know anything about running except for my own limited experience). One is that I have two ways of running: flat-out running, with long strides, rotating my hips and reaching out with each foot; and the stiff-hipped exhausted jog, shrugging myself along. They are as completely different from each other as are running and walking.
The second thing I noticed last night is also about stride length. As I stayed with Tom and Dave, I noticed that Dave runs with more steps (moving his feet quicker) than I do. I have a longer stride even though I’m shorter. I think I took fewer steps than he did to get to the end of the block. Maybe that’s why I was able to sprint fairly fast for that distance. I have no idea if that’s good or bad or what the implications are for my running. But later, my achilles tendon on both legs were tired and stiff, and I walked around the house flat-footed. (Today they’re fine.) This stiffness made me wonder if reaching out with the hips and heels for a longer stride is bad for the achilles, or if I just should have warmed up more before sprinting. We did warm up, but then we stood around a while.
I wonder if, if I had been a runner on a track team, if I would have been a short-distance sprinter. I love to fly along, but when I run out of gas, it’s like night and day. I have no sense (so far) of settling into a longer groove and finding the ability to go a distance at a consistent pace.
I can’t remember what my times were on the four runs. I think my second and third ones were 2:21 and 2:35 or something like that.

One thought on “Four Runs = Three Too Many”

  1. One of the only things I’ve learned through my running over the last year (having never run before this) is that the faster I can turn my feet over, the faster I seem. I might not be able to sustain a certain pace, heart and lung-wise, but that’s a function of my breathing and conditioning. Legs-wise, it’s all about how fast you can get your feet to tap the ground and change places. Like running on a hot plate. When I saw the Kenyans at last year’s Boston, they ran as if they were standing on the Sun.
    Great post.

Comments are closed.