Friday, October 9, 2009

Why do we do that?

One of the things my cross country runners have had to adapt to when they got me as a coach is running drills.

Also, the kids were used to doing static stretching at the beginning of practices and they were running their warm-up run at full fledged speed. I'm trying to get them to slow up the warm up and I have replaced static stretching at the beginning of practices with dynamic stretching.

Many of them don't understand the "whys" yet and so they do the drills in a sloppy manner. (We're working on it.) Each practice I try to share with them something that gives them understanding of why we do what we do.

I think knowing why we do something makes all the difference.

This morning I listened to an interview with Pete Magill and I thought I'd share the notes I took with you. He is talking specifically about master runners, but probably to all runners in general as well.

My notes from an interview with Pete Magill
(Running Times--Great insights from the oldest American to break 15:00 for 5K)

Mistakes Masters runners make:

1. Running too hard. (This one he said everyone makes.) That is, tending to stress yourself repeatedly, in too many workouts, too often.

2. Trying to reach your goals too quickly. Figuring you can take your current training and turn in into a magical performance. "Rocky" syndrome. The truth is this: The faster way to becoming a better runner is take our time getting there. Otherwise you may never end up getting there due to injury!

Learn your effort levels--you may have to put away your watch to do this. If you are supposed to be doing a light easy recovery effort, then keep your effort at that! Slow down and you get the same benefit for the run! (referring to a recovery run)

Keep in mind a group run can sometimes be a drawback because you end up running someone else's pace. Get a few runs in a week by yourself.

3. Do drills. You may need to initially skip the high impact ones at first, but start with something. When it comes to our stride, drills help maintain and build stride length. This is essential- especially to the Master's runner.


  1. Great video of the drills. I need to add some of those to my workouts. Good job trying to explain the why behind the training.

  2. Hi, I came across your blog while researching ITBS. I"m a new runner (16 months) and have an IT Band injury since Sept 1st. I had to give up two half marathons this fall. I've had one PT visit and he said I could run if I keep it to 3 miles. Once the pain (inflammation) went away, I stick with the treadmill and 2-3 miles at a time. Last weekend I did 5 miles on the treadmill. My right leg bothers me the next day, and then I'm fine. I am stretching frequently, and I do have a foam roller but somehow that seems to hurt more than help? Now I feel more discomfort in the hip/buttock area, and since my 'long' run last weekend, I can only get to a mile now before the knee starts to complain.

    I've been rowing to cross train, which I enjoy, but I am VERY frustrated that I don't seem to get any better. ANd the discomfort seems to be traveling all over the leg now.

    I do s ome lower leg strength training on machines (abbductor/adductor and leg press) and wonder if I should just cut out EVERYTHING for a month or so? *ugh* It is making me nuts not to be able to 'go long' for a run. I really want to run my second half marathon in the spring and am worried that I have a permanent issue on my hands!

    Any suggestions? Should I take a complete month of running? My PT wants to see me 2X's a week but I really don't have that kind of time.

    I don't think my injury was as severe as yours from what I've read here. But I think I didn't take enough time off completely (maybe two weeks?) and now I just have this nagging problem.

    I looked for an email here, sorry to hog up comment space. Just hoping for some 'been there done that' advice. I am 42 and just getting started in the sport and I love it - hate to think I may never get to my potential!

    Thanks for any insight!
    Cyndi K.

  3. Hi Cyndi- I feel your frustration!
    Don't worry about comment space, plenty of that here. ;-)
    I do need some space to address your questions though, and I'm headed out the door to run--so check back this evening and I'll write a post. Hopefully something to help you. (I'm more than happy to try anyway.)