After successfully completing the fourth phase of the 100daysofrunning challenge; my confidence has boosted. I started believing that – yeah, I can do it 🙂 In the fifth phase my whole focus was on leaning forward.
What Was I Doing?
Before I learned about the concept of forward leaning, I used to push my feet hard on the ground to move forward. Yes, I was moving forward but, after every run, I felt tired. I was pushing my feet to work against the gravity.
When I wanted to run faster, I used to push myself even harder, working more against gravity. Also, I used to use my upper body to push even harder, resulting in bending forward but from the waist area.
In this way my foot was also not landing below my center of gravity, impacting more on my joints. This was one of the reasons, I’ve been injured many times in past. After focusing on four bad things in my running and converting them into good, in last 40 days; this was time to focus on the forward lean.
The Idea of Forward Lean
So the idea was to lean slightly forward while running; the lean should be from your ankle, not from your waist. This way your foot lands under the center of gravity, resulting in less stress on the body. Also, we would not be working against the gravity to move forward, instead of gravity will help us in moving forward.
When we lean forward, we move forward not by pushing harder but our feet will move to prevent us from falling. In the first phase, I focused on keeping a stride rate of 180 steps per minute. Leaning forward while maintaining the stride rate of 180 resulted in a faster speed. Now, the important question is:
How to Practice Leaning Forward?
I understood this concept from a great book named ChiRunning, I’m describing one exercise from the book that I practice daily. It’s a great book, if you want to learn some great things about running, I highly recommend to read the book.
Find a rigid support like a wall, a pole, or a car etc. stand facing the support at some length away from the support. Bring your body in a straight posture. Hold your hands in front of you and then fall from the ankle. Catch the fall with your hands hitting the support. While falling forward make sure your posture is still straight, you are not bending from the waist. Also, don’t pull your head up when you lean. Then push yourself back and repeat this exercise for 5 minutes.
As you do this, you and your body will know how to lean properly, then focus on leaning while running too. It feels great to run faster while putting the same effort. Isn’t it?
Summary of the Fifth Phase
I ran a total of 73.3 km in the total time of 6 hours 16 minutes 9 seconds with an average speed of 11.69 km/hr and took total 66726 steps averaging 177.4 strides/minute.
I’m smiling while writing this, as half of the journey has been completed and I’m getting stronger day by day. All the five things I’ve focused in the last 50 days, when combined together had a great impact on my running. I’m very excited for the second half of the challenge.
In the sixth phase, I’ll work on the thing that I’ve always taken for granted and I know that it’ll completely revolutionize my running forever. Ssshhhhhh…… keeping it secret now 🙂 Stay tuned for some great tips on running.
Hope leaning forward will help you in your running too. If you found this useful don’t forget to share this with your running friends. Also, give your valuable feedback by commenting below. Keep Improving 🙂