1. Elasticity Is Everything
Who doesn't want some free energy? The Art of Running is all about getting more out of your running with less effort. To do that, the method takes advantage of something called Elasticity--loading muscles to stretch them, and then getting a free bounce off of the release of the contraction. Most of the specific points of the method--getting the foot to make solid contact with the ground, increasing stride length and width, pelvic and rib movement, how to 'bounce' off your feet on each strike, and even the inclusion of your arms in your running are all aimed at maximizing this internal force. It can be elusive to tap into, but when I found it I had this wonderful feeling of the body 'running itself'--all I had to do was sit back and enjoy the flow.
2. It's Okay to Go 30%
As someone who finds running to be a challenging activity, I have long done what most people do when they encounter an activity that is difficult for them--I try harder. I learned though this training that my effort appointment for running is way more than is useful for me--I put so much into it, it is really hard to access and take advantage of any natural Elasticity in the body. To help with this, I received the advice to try running at 30%--enough that I wasn't under working, but also enough that I could concentrate on form, calm down my legs, and start to feel Elasticity helping me out. Now that I'm getting more used to it, I can concentrate on maintaining the 'feel' of the running while slowly filling the form with more velocity.
3. Practice Intentionally, Run Mindlessly
One thing was crystal clear from the training--there is too much going on while running to try to control every element consciously. In fact, if you do, you are most like to gum up the works and interrupt the natural flow of your run. So, it is better to take one specific element at a time, work on it intentionally through specific exercises, and then let it filter into your run and don't worry about it. This one at a time, alternating mindfulness and mindlessness approach is a great way to improve while enjoying the fruits of your labors at the same time
Thoughts on what is going on in the work and the world right now. Many posts to come.