Coach had mentioned, two weeks back, that I should come during the week to work on form. So today managed to make it happen. We started with some exercises, pushing the foot into the ground and moving it forward, getting the hips to engage. Did some sprints. Some skipping. Some single leg bounding.
Then I have to admit my heart sank a little when I realized we were headed over to a piney section, where we do sprints up a very steep trail. It just requires so much power (and technique) to get up that hill! After two sprints I was “having a moment” had to take a break. There was just nothing left. I have to give him credit, he knew. He didn’t even ask. And he knows when to say, “That’s ridiculous.” And when to back off.
After recovering we ran a downhill sprint and then some very focussed hill bounding. Marked of a section and counted the number of bounds it took (24 for me to start) to get there, uphill. We did this section several times, quite deliberately. For me, it’s all about planting the right foot squarely, I’m not using the whole foot, and so getting less power.
Then we coasted round a few bends to a relatively flat section, which ends at the spot above, of which I just happen to have a photo. At the flat section I was used as a rabbit while the other runner focussed on form. And I was encouraged to pick up my cadence when the other runner passed me, which he did. And I did. That was a good sprint. He said I got up to 4 steps a second, which is “good for a beginner.”
More and more, I’m convinced this guy knows what he’s doing. He claimed, offhandedly today, that when he was nationally ranked, he was coached by Gordon Pirie. And that Pirie’s nickname for him was “the fuckup.” Says Pirie got things out of him he didn’t know were there. I don’t doubt it.
All in all, it was only 2.5 miles. But I’m sure I’m going to feel it. And I’m going to feel it in my shoulders, ribs. Weird places. During my long run tomorrow, perhaps.