Thursday, 24 October 2013

Back to basics

2012 was my best year for running achievements. I ran my second marathon in under 4 hours (just..3:58) and was probably as fit as I'd ever been. Fast forward to the end of October 2013 and I feel way off my best. Ok so what do I expect after 5 months out of action with a serious ankle injury, I came straight back after that to try and run a marathon within 7 weeks. 4 weeks on from that and I'm desperately trying to run as fast as I could 18 months ago. Reality check needed!

I was off work ill for a day this week, I went out with a couple of friends on Tuesday night for a trail run and had never been so sick on a run before. The trouble is we were half way round in the middle of nowhere so I had no choice but to run/walk my way around. With a couple of miles to go I let my friends carry on as I walked the rest of the way. As well as feeling awful we were running in an electric storm on the trails under trees, not a place you want to be at a time like this! Then an almighty downpour erupted. I was soaked through, alone,feeling sick, out of condition and fed up.

But it was an enlightening moment, down and out with my running and only one way to go...back to basics.

Time to dust myself down, forget about the poor marathon performance in Loch Ness and forget about trying to run as fast as Usain Bolt!

I'm a self taught runner so I'm sure all my techniques are totally wrong, while in my sick bed I stumbled on a great series of videos by Everyman Tri on You Tube.

There are some great breathing exercises for runners, stretches and some good running drills that are easy to follow and understand. 

One point that particularly interested me was running cadence, and how this improves your speed and efficiency. To work out your cadence you need to time how many times your right foot hits the ground in a minute. The way this was done in one of the videos was to count the foot strike in 15 seconds and then multiply by 4. The guy being analysed had a score of 80 when it should be around 90. It's all interesting stuff, and even if you're a seasoned runner I'm sure there's plenty to be gained from these excellent videos. Running seems such a simple process but you never stop learning.

This is exactly what I need a good makeover on my running form. So for the time being I'm starting from the bottom and working my way back up with my training and learning how to run again; the end result being that I'm a better/faster runner then I was in 2012.


  1. Eve and I would like to recommend three books that we found helpful...
    "Body, Mind and Sport" -John Douillard
    "Endurance Training and Racing" -Dr Philip Maffetone
    "Slow Burn" -Stu Mittleman
    Also, is a great systematic running form guide!

    Happy Running!
    Bart & Eve

  2. Thank you both, I will check them out :-)