In the Triathlete's World article "Chrissie Wellington's Racing Tips," Julie-Anne Ryan shares Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington's mental strategies for winning a triathlon. A few of her tips are familiar - I try to chunk a half marathon course into sections in my mind in order to not feel overwhelmed. I liked her idea to listen to meaningful music as she previews the course to create a good memory she can draw upon during the race. Her second to last tip is to stay in the moment. I have found that meditation is great practice for strengthening my 'stay in the moment' mental muscle.
Do you use any of Chrissie Wellington's racing tips?
After struggling for years with injuries that stopped my ability to run for weeks and months at a time and last winter's ankle sprain, I am ready to put a stop to my running injuries and build a stronger body. I am running the La Jolla Half Marathon this weekend and want to strengthen my legs to be able to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon in May 2015 and run the Triple Crown in 2016.
I have always been fascinated with the idea of getting a personal running analysis, so I made an appointment with physical therapist Nicole Miller at Movement Performance San Diego in Carlsbad. Nicole greeted me and asked about my running history, then put LED markers on my joints and used a high speed video camera and treadmill with pressure/force sensor to record video of my walking and running. The best part was when I could take a look at myself running and really see what my body is doing every step of the way. She then measured my hip strength.
My Running Analysis Video from Movement Performance San Diego
Actually seeing video of my running gave me new insight on how my body moves.
I turns out that my gluteus medius and gluteus maximus are weak and my hip flexors are tight. Nicole gave me a list of exercises I can do to strengthen my hips. I look forward to strengthening my hips and staying uninjured for the rest of the half marathon season.
I'm not a physical therapist, so don't take any of this as medical advice. I took one huge a-ha away from last weekend's Movement Performance Institute 'Evaluation and Treatment of the Injured Runner: A Biomechanical Approach' class taught by Christopher M. Powers from USC. Long distance runners absorb a lot of shock every time we take a step, and we absorb that shock in our joints and our shoes. Even the best shoes still leave a lot of shock absorbtion for our bodies to handle. How do we handle it? By using our ankles, knees and hips as shock absorbers. Many runners do NOT adequately use their hips to shock absorb, so the burden falls on the knees or ankles. From what I heard, we runners can use a 'hip strategy' - let our hips take some of the burden of shock absorption from potentially overburdened ankles and knees. How does this happen? I have been practicing strengthening my glutes with the following exercises. Instead of doing repetitions, I am holding the clamshell, fire hydrant and surfer squat for one minute. Clamshell Exercise - https://youtu.be/RNoFmvHkZW0 Fire Hydrant Exercise