Athletics Magazine

Why I’m Going to Live An Extra 7-9 Years

By Brisdon @shutuprun

First things first! No one guessed the stray dog’s name or breed (from my last post). She is a Blue Heeler/Border Collie mix named Kaia! I think she looks more an Aussie Shepard myself, but that’s what the owner told me.

As you know, last week I eliminated speed work to make sure my knee was going to behave. When you are slightly on the verge of injury – rest is the best thing. And, if your are not totally idle, for God’s sake cut out/decrease speed, frequency and high mileage.

So, after a successful long run on Sunday, I brought back in my speed today in the form of the tempo run (and no knee pain!). Is it just me or does everyone think tempo runs are more challenging than intervals? Granted, the paces aren’t as fast, but there is no rest like you get with intervals. The point of a tempo is to not take breaks, right? I like breaks. You know, time for a cigarette and stuff.

Typically, a tempo run will start with a mellow warm up and end with a nice cool down. On tap for today was to warm up for 2 miles, run tempo for 4 miles and cool down for 1 mile.  The miles sandwiched in between warm up/cool down were to be my half marathon pace + 10 seconds, with the 6th mile at my 10K pace. Here’s how it shook out:

Mile 1 (warm up): 9:18
Mile 2 (warm up): 9:23
Mile 3: 8:20
Mile 4: 8:10
Mile 5: 8:12
Mile 6: 7:52
Mile 7 (cool down): 9:23

Speaking of injuries, my mom brought me this article from today’s Wall Street Journal about the benefit of having a gait analysis to prevent injuries in runners. I think my mom doesn’t want her little girl hurt (yet, again).


I have had a few gait evaluations done and I think over time it has definitely helped me to increase efficiency and decrease risk of injury. Most helpful for me has been Chi Running and working with a coach who videotaped me running outside so he could pick apart all of my flaws. Basically the things I have worked the most on are increased cadence (180 bpms), shorter strides and posture.

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Some interesting points from the article:

  • Runners have a 50% chance of getting injured. The number is much higher for marathon runners. Well, crap.
  • It’s not how much or fast you run, but HOW you run that causes injury
  • Gait analyses show that many runners stride too far out in front of their bodies, or land with their legs at awkward angles
  • Studies show that runners' joints and bones are healthier than the average Joe. Runners are actually significantly less likely to experience arthritis or require a major joint replacement than people who don't run. YES!
  • Best news I’ve heard all day >>>A study showed running or another form of vigorous exercise postponed disability by 16 years and death by seven to nine years. That means I won’t be using my walker until 70 or so!
  • Regarding older runners – the “shufflers” can hang in there for a really long time. I foresee me and my sagging self shuffling along well into my 80s.

In my opinion there can be lots of factors that contribute to injuries – nutrition, over training, etc – but running form is a biggie. And, proper shoes.

Ever had a gait analysis done? What did you find out?


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