Its been 3 months since I finished reading TCI and started on strength training and just under 3 months for wearing my B2R road shoes. To be honest, I thought I'd be further through the program, especially as I've been diligent about doing all the strength exercises 3-4 times per week but I'm kind of stuck on the Transition phase and not wanting to go further until I've sorted out some lingering soreness in my right heel.
While I haven't progressed along the training program like I'd hoped I have gained a lot since the year began. Here's some of the things I've learnt so far:
- I used to over-stride and my cadence was too slow at around 164
- I can now run with a cadence of 180 pretty consistently (a metronome app on my iphone sorted me out)
- when I'm running on the flat and feel my elbows starting to flap out sideways from my body, I'm feeling unsteady and need to focus on form
- when the inside of my right ankle starts to ache I need to pay attention to how my forefoot is striking the ground - nice and even and not too high compared to the rest of my foot
- when the inside of my right ankle keeps aching (even when I'm not running) then I need to stop and feel for the lump in the muscle running down my shin bone and press on it while flexing my foot (a la the sock doc's plantar fascia suggestions) to get it to ease
- when my ankle starts aching I'm feeling unsteady and I need to focus on my form, especially my knee drive
- when I run slowly to keep my heart rate low but keep my cadence around 180 it can feel a bit like prancing ;)
- when my cadence drops off I need to focus and be mindful of what I'm doing
- when my feet or ankles start aching I need to relax them and focus on my knee drive
- it doesn't matter how long it takes to complete the transition program and I felt more at ease with how I was going once I let go of a timeline (doesn't mean I'm not eager to move on to the next phase but I'm not going to beat myself up about it either!)
- when I first try to do an exercise (hello wobble board lunges!) and can't even manage to do it at all, I know that its OK and just the act of trying means that it will get easier the very next time I attempt it and keep getting better from there
- some exercises are easier some days than others
- I can do a lot of different things to help my body when its feeling a bit 'off' - eg if my hips or lower back is feeling sore or tight, I can do some 'windshield wipers' and it will ease
These things are not what I thought I'd gain when I started out but I guess that's the way with any change: you never really know what you're going to get until you get going.
I stopped eating sugar in January 2013 (since I read Sarah WIlson's I Quit Sugar book - I'd definitely recommend this if anyone is struggling with letting sugar go) so haven't made massive tweaks to my diet since reading TCI but I've been testing out my relationship to carbs like bread and rice. I don't think that relationship is over but its certainly become less involved and far more casual.
Bring on the next 3 months...