This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Well this was a little weird, when Bennie and I were walking down the driveway, we could hear off in the distance a little thumping (either Thunder or something) and Bennie decided to just head right back to the house.
I tried a couple of things, but he was having nothing to do with it. So I went out for a run by myself and you know something, I missed the little bugger, but also I probably ran a little more consistently and certainly didn't have any "rest" stops this morning.
However, I did enjoy the light rain at the start of the run and kind of wished that it had continued for the whole run, instead of stopping about halfway through. Then it got humid, that 100% humidity thing, without the rain drops to cool me off.
I have been reading 80/20 by Matt Fitzgerald and something that he wrote in the book about form and attempting to change running form really hit me square between the eyes:
Becoming a more skillful and efficient runner is more like growing a beard than it is like chopping wood. In other words, you don’t make it happen—you allow it to happen. The true essence of skillful running is not correct movements of the limbs but a quiet brain. Therefore the proper goal of all efforts to improve running skill is to reduce brain activity during the act of running. Any measure that helps a runner run more unconsciously is guaranteed to result in better performance.
Likewise, any measure that increases brain activation during running will worsen performance. Consciously altering your natural stride is one such measure. Devoting any more conscious attention to your stride than is strictly necessary is like reverting to an earlier stage in your development as a runner, when the stride action was less familiar and intense self-consciousness was unavoidable.
After all the years that I attempted to change my personal running form to something "better", today I simply used the mantra "relaxed running" whenever I found myself tensing up or thinking about what I "should" be doing. In other words I just let myself run and didn't focus or think about how my feet were landing, how long my stride was, where my arms were and all the other things that the experts say I should be running like.
How did I do?
I still didn't let myself purposely speed up, went by effort more than pace and didn't look at my watch to see what the splits were until I uploaded the run to Garmin.
I was surprised at the consistency of the pace (except for mile 3 - coming back up the Bitch I am always slow). Having 3 out of 4 splits within 4 seconds of each other was best I have done in a while and that is without attempting to go faster.
Overall, a really good run that is going to make me think even more.