Tag Archives: 5k

properly execute speed training workout

How to Properly Execute Your Speed Training Workout

Check out this video to make sure you know how to properly execute your speed training workout!

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Key Tips:

  • Finish your last interval fastest.
  • Workout on breathing.
  • Think about your form


Runner’s World published an interesting article giving a review of a new app called Kangarun.


Runner’s World seems to think the app works pretty well.  Unfortunately, since I am not an iphone user I haven’t been able to test the app myself, but I would highly recommend anyone with an iphone try out this app!

Why would I have someone try out this app?  For one, it is only $.99.  We make so many silly purchases in life, why not one for $.99 that can help our running form?  Half the battle with teaching running form, is the inefficient runners don’t realize they are running inefficiently and the efficient runners keep trying to correct their stride, making them more inefficient then they started out.

Having an app to give you an overview of what you are doing is a perfect, inexpensive way to begin to increase your running efficiency!

kangarunThe app works by giving you feedback on vertical movement during your run.  If your running is inefficient (or if you are type A like most of the runners out there and want to work to improve the efficiency you already have) reread Good Running Form is a Easy as Listening to Your Own Body and How To Find Dorsiflexion.  Then during your next workout see if your efficiency graphs improve!  If they don’t improve the first time, focus on another cue.  Overtime if you watch the efficiency graphs and keep working to improve different aspects of your form, your running will increase greatly!  You will also learn which cues give you the most efficient run.  If your efficiency score greatly increases when you focus on landing on your mid foot, you are most likely a natural heel striker.  If this cue doesn’t improve your efficiency much, it may mean you already do that well, but you have to work on your forward tilt!

I don’t recommend working on form every day.  Obviously we all want to get faster and work to run longer.  Therefore, we can’t always focus on form.  Sometimes we need to focus on speed and use our natural form.  Over time you will begin to see the more efficeint running pattern becomes your natural form!  I recommend aiming to use your efficiency app to track progress twice a week:

  1. When you do your easy recovery runs.  (This is a good time to focus on form since you aren’t running hard or for a long time.)
  2. When you do speed work.  (Often when we work to run faster form goes out the window.  Don’t necessarily focus on running cues if it destroys your ability to hit your times, but do check the graph afterwards.  If you spend some time each run thinking about running form, the largest efficiency gains will come during your speedwork runs!)
Kangarun recommends using a treadmill when using the app to get the best results.  Often we naturally vary our speed as we run and a treadmill is a great way to maintain constant speed so the app can correctly calculate our vertical movement per mile.
Have you tried Kangarun? Let me know what you think!
good running form

Proper Running Form is as Easy as Listening to Your Body

There was an interesting article in the New York times, given to me by my Dietitian friend Chelsey Bobcek.  (Thank you Chelsey I love having articles sent my way!  I would love anything YOU think I might find interesting!)  In Finding Your Ideal Running Form by Gretchen Reynolds, Reynolds states,  “ ‘You can optimize your gait naturally,’ she** says, ‘by becoming more conscious of your running movement and how it feels.’ Your body, at least in the early stages of becoming a runner, can be a fine and knowledgeable coach.”

The research proposes that maybe, “’If runners can self-optimize,’ as the women in this study seemed to do, then ‘maybe we should teach runners to learn to understand how the movement feels to them,’ she says, rather than completely change how they run to one standardized form or another.”

If a runner can become more efficient running with improper form.  They could most likely accelerate the process of becoming a good running if they understand the form they should be working for.

So then the answer is, we as coaches need to teach you, the runner what it feels like to run correctly.  If we could, you would run in a way which causes your bodies the least amount of pain.   (ie: If it’s painful now, you may be doing damage to your joints that will hurt more, later.)  When you run correctly you put less strain on the joint.

running form

So what does correct running feel like?  As a beginning runner you should be rotating these thoughts or cues continuously through your head.

  • Belly Button: Suck it in so you support your lower back and hips.  Remember the hips stabilize the knees from the hips down, whereas your shoes stabilize the knee from the foot up.
  • Chest: Tall, feel yourself rise out of your hips leading with the chest
  • Shoulders: Relaxed, keep them away from your ears!
This is all part of having good posture!
  • Foot: Dorisflexed with each strike!
  • Strike:  On the midfoot, underneath the body.  Do not overstride.  Do not land on your heel.
  • Quad:  Begins to engage upon strike to initiate extension all the way through the glute.  This will help cushion the knee joint on impact.
  • Glute: Activates through push off with the ground:
  • Big Toe: Gives the final push off, with ankle never leaving the doriflexed position.
  • Foot:  Never leaving that Dorsiflexed position.
When you are first beginning to run repeat these cues over and over in your head.  Reminding your body to do this motion will train you body to activate the muscles that you wouldn’t have used before, making you a more efficient runner.  When you feel like you’ve hit every cue, start making your turn-over faster,…and faster,…and faster until you are running as fast as you can, same form until you can’t keep going.  You can take a break to catch your breath, it’s ok. (Your heart will thank you for pushing it! 😉 )  If you want to improve your speed, you have to show your muscles what that would feel like.  One day when you’ve practiced enough and your cardiovascular level has caught up, it will come natural!
Lastly, when you are done; make sure you foam roll!  As you start to develop your stride, you will be using muscles you have never used before.  Treat them right, massage them when you are done so they want to keep working for you!
**Quotations within quotes are from Isabel Moore, a researcher at the University of Exeter, who led the study.