What do I mean by this? What do the strides of March encompass? Lots of hazardous things can go wrong in March running: winter weather, including snow, ice, cold, darkness; Daylight Savings Time (where’s the daylight running in the AM?); wicked winds; pollen is callin’, allergies, asthma, exploding sinuses, unexpected illness, fatigue, a sudden lack of clouds and predominance of the sun, causing sunburn; fallen twigs/objects just waiting to “trip” me. (Have a nice trip, see you next fall!) Sorry, I’m clumsy so anything hazardous object that can create a dramatic fall while running does.
Primarily my challenges in running this month have been related to running away from the wind, lots of cold, and the allergy/asthma/pollen/sinuses drill. Yes, I need to read those allergy and asthma warnings I get in my e-mail box, especially when they warn me on the same day! (Note to self: always wear sunscreen before my runs or my dermatologist brother will chase me if he sees me sunburned!) For darkness with my early morning runs, I wear a headlamp and switch between the white and red lights depending on the hour/visibility. Also wear blinking wristband and bright colored reflective clothing for safety.
For the allergies/asthma problem, I’ve had to slice off a few miles from my expected distances this week to allow for recovery from sinus/allergy/asthma problem. Getting good sleep makes a big difference too with fighting fatigue. Running long this weekend to make up for the lower-than-expected mileage during the week.
So who should we emulate in our March running/striding for perfect running form? I’m thinking Strider. That’s right, Aragorn from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. (No, not while riding his horse!) Aragorn would take very short strides to run towards (or away from) enemies to ensure maximum acceleration/speed (cadence of 180-200+ steps per minute ideally because good, efficient running form matters)!To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt (with Aragorn), Speak softly and carry a big sword when you run! No not a real sword! (Maybe a lightsaber, a geekier option?) Use all your running ability when you run. Don’t let anyone hear your footsteps before you pass them! (It’s better running form to not be pounding your feet anyway!) Savor every step! Love your runs! Beware the (shorter) strides (avoid hazards + perfect your good running form) of March!