How can official race photos make you a better runner?

cityheights-runners-both-form

(Us this past weekend at this trail race)

Official race photos have lost a bit of value for some since camera phones are small enough to carry along during an event for impromptu selfies. But, does a selfie really void the race photo?

A selfie is an outlet to share how we perceive ourselves, a beautiful scenery, or as proof should marathoninvestigation.com dispute a performance!  However the official race photos are much more valuable, to an athlete, than just documentation of the accomplishment itself.  Only the official race photos clarify what even friends or coaches don’t always catch.

The following 2 KEYS have helped me increase my performance overall in the 5k to marathon, and build confidence in myself!

poor-running-form

  1. RUN FORM. Since running in any speed or distance, even with poor form, can generate endorphins and a sense of accomplishment, many do not know that their form is holding them back.  Unfortunately, your “natural” form could be poor if it’s leading to injuries, plateaus in performance, extreme fatigue, etc.  Adjusting run form is the simplest way to get faster! The proper form should be an ongoing goal to be efficient and faster, with the same machine.

    Common running form ERRORS & the proper correction! Watch the video here

    5 vital keys to faster, more efficient running! WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

    Analyzing your race photos carefully helps to discover the following:kara-goucher

  • What is my actual run form!
  • How, and if, my run form modifies as fatigue increases
  • How much effort percentage were you giving throughout the miles (go out too hard, then walking?)
  • Review the photos & form to test if you can tell when your run pace changed (which miles, what parts of the body)
  • How was your performance affected by the outfit, socks, shoes, accessories used
    • Pro: What went well with my gear?
    • Con: Were those the right shoes for the terrain, and distance? Did I overheat at any point, too many layers? Was there chafing? Was I creating unnecessary bounce in my form with my accessories (phone arm band, jewelry, water bottles, enormous pouches, etc)? Was my hair a distraction?
  • Review the effort of the people running beside you
    • What gear were they wearing?
    • Pro: If you ran better near a certain person, perhaps he/she would be a great training buddy! Research race bib numbers and names to look up on Strava, to connect locally to improve and learn.
    • Con: Compare YOUR run form with the OTHER people around to see if there are similar errors; this is a great sign on where to start the form corrections

beyonce-sasha-fierce2.  DARE TO FIND AN ALTER EGO.   Take advantage of the opportunity to have an unbias photo of yourself running in a race.  Photos for many women are a torment to “always” look flawless, with a perfect signature smile or living the “girls just want to have fun” verse.  Embrace how you really look when you run by actually SEEING how you run.  Run training takes dedication and lots of hours away from other activities, or even family time.  The best validation to that investment is your loved ones seeing what it means to you.  During a sporting event, the photo is to document your entire being in the “this is my working hard face”, “effort is sexy” and “I want my goal this badly face.”

sexy-run-faceFor Beyonce to be able to perform to the level she needed to, she gave herself an alter-ego that she can attribute the “fierce” hard working side of herself to. (Beyonce is her real-life personality, Sasha Fierce is her stage personality)  In my real personality, I’m silly, I crack jokes, I talk too much… but all those actions will steal energy I need for my legs during a race.  I don’t have an alter ego per se, but I do have a determined mindset.  I enjoy an event challenging myself to perform to the best of my training by keeping my form and pace.   This is one of the reasons why I wear sunglasses during a race, I don’t want to think about people looking at me or be distracted by anything other than the mission why I paid and am doing this thing.  In the weeks gearing up for the event, I will visit the location in training to enjoy the scenery while learning the course.

Adjusting to these two keys will unlock areas that will surprise you, which builds confidence!  I’m always anxious to see if my race photos match how I felt form-wise and see how my pain tolerance is improving with times during a race.  Be brave, dig deep, be vulnerable to show your effort level in photos.  Go get your FIERCE on during a race, and save your FABULOUS photos for later when you’re celebrating.

Happy Training!

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