Tuesday, April 01, 2008
One of my focuses (foci?) for this year has been ... focus.
Recently, I started running easier. How? I started focusing on how I felt when I was running. I have never read chi running, pose method or wear newtons or anything like that, but I started paying to attention to how I felt when I ran. I felt strained, not relaxed - almost coiled up. Why? Who knows.
So, I started relaxing a little bit. Running came a little easier. I noticed my form got better (moving to more of a mid foot strike) with my center of gravity coming over my landing, and all the sudden my cadence increased. Some of you avid runners out there know that this is an "ideal" position to be in. What happened after that? My track times this year are about the same as they were last year - which I find amazing since I have only done 2 track workouts since last June.
It's still my weakness - by far. The last 2 years, I was literally just throwing my arm out in front, and "pulling" (or straining and forcing) back. Although I could still use some stroke analysis or some coaching, I have talked to a few reputable sources to get some pointers on my stroke (Nikee - I'm all ears!).
Now when I swim, I am not focusing on how many [freakin'] laps it will take to get through the set (I hate swimming in a pool), but rather I am focusing on every stroke in the set. Whether its a long, slow, or hard set - I maintain focus. I notice when my form goes to shit. I know when I feel good. I know where my weaknesses are (that is, weaknesses within the entire weakness that is swimming :), and what I need to work on to get "better".
In a sport filled with obsessive people, training zones and gps/hrm geeks (I might be a little of the latter) - I offer to those to take your mind off of those aspects, and just pay attention to what you're doing - it just may be worth more than what your quantitative data may be telling you, and [gasp!], you might just have a little more fun (that is why you do this sport, right?)
ps- now that I realize it, this might be this season's version of this post last year.
pps- I do have a tendency to drop a philosophical/out there post from time to time - thanks for reading :)