Changes in the wind

Martin Luther King Day was a holiday for the kids on Monday. We used that opportunity to go to the SHS track (such as it is) at 2 pm. I said such as it is, because the track is basically pavement with a thin layer of maroon paint and no lanes. But, it does appear to be the right length! They have talked about actually redoing the track someday, but I suspect that will end up happening after Joseph has graduated. Today, Joseph did a 10 minute warmup jog, then was about to start some 400’s when Kamau Bostic and Damian Grady showed up. I guess they had some kind of workout they wanted to get in also. So, they jumped in with Joseph for 4 of the 400’s before continuing on with some 200’s. Joseph did 12 400’s with 400m jogs between. He did all of them between 1:02 and 1:09, with the last two being the fastest two. He then finished up with a cool down run. Pretty good workout I thought. Sometime along along the way, Ethan Musser took a break from playing tennis and ran a few 400’s with Joseph as well. Kase Kingery showed up later to hang out a bit I guess, as did Peyton Wolf. School holiday, and everybody was hanging out at the track. Steve Shaffer even showed up to say hello! Kamau and Damian looked good on both their 400’s and 200’s, which they followed by a couple of 150’s. I don’t think I have ever seen Kamau look as good  as he did on his last 150, it was pure fluid running! I videotaped all three of them running 400’s, and of the three, Kamau had the best running form. Of course, he is a senior, Damian is a junior, and Joseph is only a sophomore, so that is to be expected. However, I see great improvement in both Damian and Joseph. Last year, both of them, especially Joseph, had a serious tendency to bend too far forward while running. They both run much more vertical now, especially Joseph. He has worked hard at that. He tends to be an unfocused runner, just cruising around, but gets by because he loves running and is in great shape. His strides look wonderful, long and powerful, but he is still able to land with his torso over his foot on impact. He is able to spring forward a good distance with each step, which is basically how I run, so maybe its genetic. This enables him to cover maximum distance with each step. Now, he is focusing on his other two main problems: not enough strides per minute and having his arms cross the mid line of his body too far. This causes him to turn his body and head constantly while running, meaning not all of his energy is expended on going forward. If he can fix those two things, he will be awesome. I have seen him on occasion run with his arms actually at his sides and at a faster stride rate and was very impressed. I think partly it is just a matter of confidence, but also age correlated with upper body strength not fully developed. His upper body workouts have definitely helped with his posture, so I suspect they will help with the rest, along with some nice drills. Anyway, working on these form issues will be the primary focus for him during the next few months. Really, I think its a good idea for everybody to think about their form on a regular basis. One thing was evident today, Kamau, Joseph, and Damian all looked better today than at any point in the track season last year, which is pretty cool considering they have not done any real speed work since the end of XC season.  I guess the only negative thing about their current ability is that for various reasons and unless something changes it looks like none of them will be running track for SHS this year.

It was raining Tuesday afternoon, so Joseph just did an easy 5 miles at the South Farm (mine were on the bike, still injured). I got in a very nice upper body workout when I got home though. Trying to work on pullups more than in the past. Have a long way to go. Been trying to do some where I hang all the way down after each. Hard! Lucky to get 15 or 16 in a row. Supersetted those with close, wide, and regular width pushups, dumbbell curls, dips, crunches, and  lateral dumbbell presses. Got a good pump going and got all hyped up!

On Wednesday, we went over to the Research Park and Joseph did a fartlek type workout as I paced him on the bike. Pretty good workout, mostly done at tempo pace. Started with a 10 minute warmup, then 2 X 4 minutes fast with 3 minutes jogs between each, 3 X 3 minutes fast with 2 minute jogs, 2 X 2 minutes fast with 1 minutes jogs, 1 minute fast, then a cool down jog. This probably sounds easier than it actually was, because it was windy, some parts of the loop are slightly hilly (definitely not flat), and it was cold!

Thursday was another easy 7 miles at the South Farm. Weather was not bad, cloudy and 60°s, but pretty windy. No running tomorrow, but Joseph will be running the Frostbite Half Marathon on Saturday. In addition to running individually, he will also be part of a two man team with Kamau Bostic running the 2nd leg. This race is somewhat unique in that participants who run the entire course may be part of a two person team as well, with their partner having to run the 2nd half. Last year he did that with Walker Mattox and they won the team competition. Of course, Kamau is much faster, so they should do well.

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