Running Breakthroughs

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Over the years of running, I have experimented and refined my approach. Many of these changes have helped my running, but occasionally I have made a change that has produced more radical benefits. These running breakthroughs may or may not produce similar benefits in other runners, as each person is unique. I list these changes in the order they occurred rather than my perceived importance.

  • Cadence. Changing my Cadence required some adaptation. To begin with, it felt like I had my Shoes tied together, but after a while my running speed and efficiency increased. I believe my change in Cadence was key to my first sub 3 hour marathon.
  • Modified Nike Free. These Shoes helped me overcome a number of minor, but nagging problems with my knees and hips. By running in MNFs I was able to train more consistently and with greater mileage.
  • Downhill Running. When I started ultrarunning, I would get part way through a race and my quads would be weak and painful. Once I started doing hill training and focusing on the downhill, my quad resilience improved dramatically.
  • 4 Days per week. By not running some days, and running longer and harder on the remaining four days, I have gone from a mid-pack runner to finishing near the leaders. (Occasionally even winning some races.)
  • Foam Roller. Sometimes a simple change makes a lot of difference. Before I started using the Foam Roller, I was finding that my quads would start to hurt around mile 16-18 of a run. I could continue running for many more miles, but the pain created a limiting factor. By using the Foam Roller to deeply Massage my quads, I am finding they are pain free for many more miles. My quads still get tired, and eventually there is some pain, but it occurs much later and is much softer in nature.
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