I stopped running when I was about 28 weeks postpartum because of icy conditions. I remember having dreams of running along my local trail, legs and lungs burning. When I was finally cleared to run again six week after having TyTy I was so excited to get back into a routine. And then I realized I was starting all over again.
That first run was killer! My legs were heavy, I couldn’t catch my breath, I was starting from zero. Most people would get pretty discouraged by this. I mean, it’s tough enough to carve out time for a run as a new mom and now you have to start building up your fitness again? But I looked at this as a great opportunity to reset my bad running habits.
You know the saying “those who can’t do, teach?” I always said that applied to me when it came to distance running. I knew what I was doing wrong and yet I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) correct it. But now that I’m resetting, I’ve opted to reset my bad habits and I thought I would share.
Retrain Your Stride
When I taught a unit on cross country running, I printed off a fabulous illustration of what their stride should look like. While I taught them to have a longer stride and a mid foot strike, I was going home and running with the poor habit of running heel-toe and taking short steps.
So now when I run, I make sure every step is thought out and proper. When I get tired and notice myself fall back into an incorrect stride, I tell myself to smarten up, and I adjust.
New Shoes Are a Must
Along the lines of having the correct stride, you need to have the correct shoe! I learned my lesson about cheap shoes when I was training the Seawheeze half marathon. But as moms, we always put ourselves last. How many of you are wearing worn out or improper running shoes because you think that money should be spent on your kids?
You can go cheap on almost anything EXCEPT your shoes. The proper shoe is imperative to avoiding injury! Two years ago, I tried my first pair of Saucony’s and I won’t be going back!
I’ve tried the Triumph, the Freedom, and I’m currently trying out the Swivel. These are a lifestyle shoe with FORM2U Memory Foam sockliner. it’s a neutral shoe meant for road running but I’ve mainly put them to the test in the gym (with a couple road runs thrown in). While I still prefer the Triumphs, the Swivel’s are still way better than any other brand shoe I’ve worn, and the mint colour is super cute!
Fix Your Posture
Besides stride, your posture is important. When you hunch over, you compress your lungs making deep breaths a little tough. It’s important to keep your shoulders pulled back and your chest open.
While I’m running and thinking of my stride, making sure I lean forward slightly and keep my shoulders back.
Speed Up Your Mile Time
This is the resetting I am most excited about! I have always struggled with figuring out a proper pace time. With my bad stride and posture, my default pace was 12 minutes per mile. I am determined to reset my abilities and make my default pace a little faster.
On my runs I use my TomTom Adventurer to check my pace and I push myself to stay quicker than a 10:30 min/mile pace. When I can no longer keep up the pace, I walk for as short of a time as possible before I pick it up all over again. In the past, I would slow down to my default pace and wind up staying at that pace the rest of the run.
Slowly but surely, I’m seeing progress and very exited that I’ve used this as an opportunity to improve my running.
Any other things I should be thinking about while I reset my habits?