Thursday, May 10, 2012

Running with Resonance

Resonance is special. Just a tiny accurately timed and tuned impulse, repeated over and over can move mountains. Well, in that case, perhaps it can also help me cycle over them. 

The Obree WayThe Obree WayTraining is cyclic - a process of wrecking yourself and then rest, nutrition and recovery. Getting it right however is a bit of a mystery. Three years ago Bradley Wiggins did incredibly well in the Tour de France without expecting it. The following year he prepared specifically for it and got nowhere. At least we share something in common - an experience of getting nowhere though my nowhere is much more profoundly nowhere than his. Some people seem to just know how to get it right and I wonder if it's because they sense a resonance - they just know exactly when to train and how hard - so that the cycle goes into a resonance. Perhaps what counts most is the "exact" bit - because resonance doesn't happen anywhere without it. The images from Graeme Obree's website perhaps give a clue. "Training is bad for you! Training followed by rest and proper nutrition is good for and will make you better prepared for the event you are training for."

Perhaps the key is to make sure you wait until the right moment to train so that resonance kicks in and amplifies the effect. Proper rest and recovery then diligent hard workouts. Last year I definitely got it wrong and was just tired all the time - but rest and recovery were not respected. We'll see.

Working on "Presence"
Today I was still feeling tired so respecting "resonance" I didn't go out on the bike. I decided to run  because running uses different muscles. Sure enough there was no energy for going fast, but it wasn't a problem. I worked on ChiRunning principles and that means running with resonance. It was interesting to run 10k tired but with enjoyment.

Overall the goal was to work on "presence" - or awareness. Until recently that would have been accompanied with too many physical problems to really appreciate the value of it. On this run there was a feeling of relaxation the whole way - regardless of tiredness. The main focuses were on posture - forward lean - lower abdominals connecting the first two - leading activity from the centre axis, the spine - lifting the feet high behind - not pushing off - not reaching forwards - active arm use - feeling the whole action connected, hands to feet - high cadence - relaxing joints. The overall feeling was one of refreshment. This is the first time I've felt that when running - it's not a feeling of euphoria from endorphins but a feeling like having eaten good nutrition.

Around the 9k mark I started to feel the usual blister on my right big toe. This always happens when I'm barefoot inside the VFFs. I worked to avoid pushing off but the friction seemed to remain so I just observed. Eventually I could feel that the friction was caused be the foot sliding forwards inside the shoe during the foot strike. This was unexpected and the movement was tiny but noticeable. Basically it meant that I was still over-reaching ahead with the right leg. With a slight adjustment I was able to correct this. Perhaps the next full barefoot session will be less painful with this adjustment. Contrary to current wisdom on the subject I wasn't able to get this feedback when running completely barefoot! 

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