Easy Thanksgiving Day Run with Strides


I am thankful for the fact that I’ve recovered from plantar fasciitis and can run without having relapses. I must say though that I can run long miles and do strenuous hikes with sole support. I walked in sandals along the beach in Malibu last Sunday and my left foot was having very slight discomfort in 20 minutes, which showed that, without good sole support, my left foot is not healed enough to take on even a short stroll.

So, it was a quick reminder that I still have to have my FootBalance insoles for a while. Especially, it was a bittersweet reminder that I had to sit out of the Long Beach Marathon in October due to the injury. As much as I was disappointed then, I am truly grateful that I can run again and train for the Surf City Marathon. My goal has always been, even before the injury, to qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon, for which I still have time till next September when the registration opens. But I really want to make sure that I qualify for it early on.

Since I learned about the qualifying time for my age bracket (2:58) for the New York City Marathon earlier this month (immediately after the race), I’ve decided to give it a try at the Surf City as well. Of course, it’ll be almost impossible to finish it sub 3, but it is the only time when I can give it a try for the 2015 NYC Marathon. Otherwise, I have to wait for another year. So, why not.

Although part of me kept telling myself that I should run early, because today is Thanksgiving Day after all, I was having a lazy morning. And by the time when I stepped out, it was quite warm. 79F. Actually, it was too warm to run, but since I’m planning to go hiking tomorrow, I didn’t want to run later this evening. By the time when I was done with the run, it was already near 82F. Welcome to SoCal.

Along with increasing my cadence, the new technique that I am applying, I’ve also started teaching my body to run faster by adding strides in my training. The basic idea is that by running loose and relaxed and ranging from 60-150 meters at the end of each easy run, I am reminding my body to run fastest at the end of a race and also practice good form, which results in faster speed. I literally can use any techniques to run faster to qualify for the Boston and NYC.

Once again, the temperature was already too high to run for long. So, I decided to combine a short run with strides, instead of doing them separately afterwards. Of course, like the article says, it will take time to see full results that I want to see because it takes time for my body to embrace it.

Screenshot 2014-11-27 13.31.40

While running, I focused on two key things – my cadence and strides.

Screenshot 2014-11-27 13.31.53

As seen above, I had 3 solid short bursts (bumps in blue) toward the end of the run. They were indeed intended bursts, as opposed to the other burst with a pointy peak seen near the bottom of the elevation drop at about 2.6 mile mark, which occurred due to the elevation drop. By adding those 3 strides, I  shaved off a second for the last 0.7 miles.

Screenshot 2014-11-27 14.55.37

Yes, there’s a slight drop in elevation at the end too, but I actually waited till the 3 mile mark where it was pretty flat at 120 feet of sea level where I had my first stride.


Now I have less 10 weeks left (Week 6) and am planning to run 11 miles this Sunday as a scheduled long run. Maybe it’ll be too early to tell but I believe that it’ll be helpful.

How’s your training coming along? Which race are you training for? Are you training for the Surf City Marathon?

Thanks for reading.



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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

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