I'm not talking about numbers necessarily, I hope they will come later in the form of good times in races, but just the feeling of running on the hills.
Its something that I have noticed over the last couple of outings in the hills, just trying to get faster, and I have to say its a great feeling. No longer am I just kind of plodding along, nor am I just "running" without any real thought behind what I do.
I suppose in the past what I have done is just put one foot in front of the other and just kind of gone along with it, which seems to work pretty well. That style of running has done me well for quite a while. I suppose the change has really come from the work that is being put in at Strength and Performance, an "underground" gym where I treat athletes, and also have the privilege to train.
Sean and I have been working on a few things to help my running and climbing, as well as general fitness. A few goals were set by me at the beginning, based on some adequecies set by Dan John for pretty much any runner. I'm not quite at the adequacies yet, but I am working on them, along with some other interesting movements. This, accompanied by running, and also a lot of intelligent recovery has led me to how I felt this morning on a quick run.
As I mentioned, in the past, running has been pretty much a one foot in front of the other- kind of thing for me, and in the long runs, it was more of a plod along and make sure I was eating enough food and taking on enough water. After looking at a couple of videos of some very decent runners hooning their way around the hills (Killian, Lloyd etc), I noticed that they looked, for the most part, pretty effortless. I suppose being 170cm and only about 58kg does tend to help with that, but thats another story.
What I am getting at is that as I was running today, I could actually feel power going through my legs and transferring into the ground. It wasn't a passive running action, but actually my muscles(all of them, including ones I didn't really know I had) were engaging at the same time to provide me with some fantastic forward locomotion. All without me really thinking about it. Unconsciously focussing muscle and fascia to power me forward, and feel like I was being powered by someone elses legs. A pretty amazing feeling.
I have to admit, it didn't last for all that long, and a bit of endurance will need to be built up, but the feeling of bouncy floatiness was quite something else.
While it cannot be attributed specifically to more running, more training, more time in the gym or more recovery, I suspect it is a combination of all of them, melded together with a fair amount of work.