If you’re read my blog for a while or stumbled across my Instagram, you will have probably ready about my dream to run a sub 40 minute 10km. It’s been my goal pretty much since I started running. To join the exclusive sub 40minute 10km club and edge closer to achieving British Athletics standards. I decided a few months back that this year would be the year. I’ve got the race booked in my diary and started a 12 week training plan but can my legs actually take me there?
Everything about my athletic ability, mind set and running capabilities says that I can do it. But a running analysis at ProFeet showed me that I have a lot more work to do than I thought. And the work that needs doing doesn’t actually involve running at all. There’s so much more to running than just lacing up your trainers and eating a balanced diet. If I am going to run a sub 40minute 10k, I need to start paying attention to the science in sport to help me get there.
Emma who works at ProFeet is one of my close friends and a highly skilled running technician. I was actually blown away and humbled by her knowledge. She knows how much I crave a sub 40minute 10k so when she asked me if wanted to have a running assessment. I know that I’m going to need all the help I can get to cross the finish line in 39 minutes something so I ventured down to ProFeet in Fulham to find out exactly what was going on. We did several tests with me running barefoot, in my running shoes and at different paces too.
Barefoot running at a comfortable pace
Comparing two different trainers. It’s funny how a shoe can alter your run
I ranked an A+ for my running economy whilst running barefoot but the rest of the test didn’t go as planned. If I’m honest, I was shocked. I may have received 5 stars for my cadence and lateral force, but I scored 2-3 stars in pretty much everything else. And as for my breaking force, I got 1 star. The amount of force applied to my lower leg when it hits the ground is way higher than it should be due to overstriding and calf tension.
How can someone who is ranked in the top 70% for their running age grade be scoring an average of 3.1/5 for their stride rating? My right side scored higher on pretty much every test too. And I complained to Emma about having a dodgy left hip which was flagged immediately in the test. Yes I’m running well and a good runner but the test made me realise just how far I have to go. That being said, I didn’t actually score too badly on the test. I’m using this as a a starting point, I am excited to see what my body can do at 100%.
How am I going to achieve a sub 40min 10k?
Stretching and foam rolling is something that I can no longer avoid. My body, especially my calfs, are so tight and stiff. If I want them to help me run that sub 40minute 10k, I need to be kind to them. I need to look after my body. This will also help to improve my breaking force and make running feel a little bit easier. It’s funny because my body feels fine and I feel like I am running fine too but the ProFeet test showed otherwise. I guess I’m used to feeling this way. Emma immediately identified that I had tight calfs and I looked at her confused. To me they felt normal and how they always feel….tight!
Single leg plyometrics will also feature more frequently on my training plan to help me generate more power off the ground. The more I practice exploding as my foot makes contact with the ground the more my muscles will become comfortable with exerting maximum force. Single leg work combined with stretching will help to strengthen and lengthen my hamstrings. Seeing as my hammy are my tighest muscle groups, I’ll take all the help I can get.
I usually hit the track once a week and I’ll be doing track drills to help with my stride. The test showed that my foot strikes the ground quite far in front of me, instead of underneath me. Which means i’m wasting energy as my body tries to play catch up with my legs. As for my left hip? I think it’s time to see an osteopath to find out exactly what is going on. The test proved that it doesn’t really show any cause for concern but I want to make sure it stays that way.
I’ll be returning to ProFeet just before my race to see how much I have improved. For now, I just need to make sure I stay injury free and keep on top of my training!
Have you ever had a running analysis before? Did it throw up any surprises?