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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Taking It In Stride

My cadence monitorLast weekend, I took a two day CrossFit Endurance seminar.  The class covered coaching, technique, race day nutrition, programming and injury prevention.  We learned a ton that I cannot wait to implement.  

The coolest part of the class was the video analysis. We were videotaped early in the day on Saturday, and then once on Sunday. For the first video, we were told to run naturally, so that any feedback we got on our form would actually be useful. That made sense, so I made no conscious effort to run any particular way.

There were about thirty of us in the class. Most were CrossFit coaches and/or endurance athletes. I was more or less in my element, but it was an intimidating group, especially once we started running. Everyone was really fast. I am not.

When we watched the first round of videos, I was pleased to see that I hadn't been heel striking. Landing on the ball of my foot must finally be coming naturally, at least when I'm in flatter shoes. But my form was far from stellar. I was broken at the waist, and taking ridiculously long strides.

I wasn't surprised to see that I was bending forward slightly, but the striding caught me off guard.  Thinking about it, though, I guess I associate speed with long legs. And since my legs and I are quite short, I was trying to make myself longer by taking giant steps.  Striding like that is totally inefficient, and it looks very silly, so fixing it became my main goal of the weekend.

The coach suggested that I run with a cadence monitor. I tried that on Sunday and it totally worked. You set the little clip-on monitor for a given pace and it beeps at you. With every chirp, you pull your leg up. The incessant beep-beep-beep is annoying, but being cued to pull-pull-pull was amazingly effective. I had to pull so often, so quickly, that I didn't have time to stride. It simply wasn't possible. I used the monitor when I was videotaped on day two and the difference was remarkable.

I still have a lot of work to do on my form, but it was really encouraging to see such rapid improvement.  I'm a little hesitant to beep my way through Central Park, so I may try out a cadence app for the iPhone instead if I can find a good one.

I'll keep you posted

-Gym Belle-



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