Friday, August 12, 2011

The Survivor Shuffle

We've all experienced it before,it's the last few miles of a marathon or long trail race; you're gone,totally depleted of fuel,well on your way to some degree of dehydration;your previously short walking breaks are getting longer and more frequent,you feel as if you're getting no closer to the finish line. What can you do? The following is something you may be familiar with,you may have tried a variation of it.After running several trail races over different distances in the Finger Lakes Trails, I found the following quite effective in getting through the times when the last few miles are agonizing,I call it the Survivor Shuffle. Here goes: Allow your stride to become much shorter(like that's hard to do at this point), as you run(or shuffle) give a slight forward lean to your body,now here is an important aspect to this,make sure you "drop" your shoulders and go to your arms more,even though it may seem as if you're moving them too much,your arms will work with your spent legs to get you through. Lastly,fix your eyes 10 to 15 feet in front of you as you go. I say this because, have you ever noticed when you're spent and depleted, if you focus on a water tower,building or street sign a quarter mile or more away,these landmarks never seem to get any closer? Your body may be telling your mind to give up and walk it in, you don't want to add to this by thinking, "I'm not getting any closer." As Ralph used to say,"there's little tricks you can do to get you through."

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