Fit to Run

Walking around Paris and being your typical tourist I’ve made one rule with myself whilst being here on a business trip, that rule – Minimal phone use and to admire this beautiful city.

I’ve adhered to my rule and Paris has surpassed Barcelona and taken top spot on ‘My favourite European destinations list’, incredible architecture, great food (the bread with every meal is a serious willpower tester) and lots to explore and do.

Because of having my head out of the ass (phone) and taking everything in around me, I’ve also noticed the high amounts of people hitting the streets and running.

Myself and my client (on a run this morning) even had to take a detour from our planned route as there was a female charity run next to the Eiffel Tower, it was great to see.

Firstly I’d like to state I will always promote people to move more, train and lead a healthier & happier life, so anyone making a conscious effort to lace up your running shoes and hit the road I salute you!!!

One thing I can’t help but do, is observe (analyse) peoples running technique.

What I’ve noticed is some people may be doing themselves more harm than good with inappropriate and potentially dangerous running mechanics which could lead to ankle, knee, hip and lower back injuries etc

It sounds silly, but unless we are coached in a sporting setting or researched off our own backs, then none of us are really taught how to run, it’s just something we are supposed to know, ‘How hard can it really be?’

And I’d say, not very.

Though running in an optimal and bio-mechanically efficient manner isn’t something I regularly witness.

If you’re overweight running to lose weight may not to be the smartest thing available to you, due to the high amounts of stress placed on your joints and likely poor running mechanics.

Using the cardiac output method (Low intensity work – 120-150bpm Heart Rate) on a bike, x.trainer or walking up hill may be the better options at first.

My advice would be to get stronger in the gym, bring your bodyweight down and then look at re-introducing running once these goals have been met.

The last thing I want to do is seeing people who have got themselves in a positive mental position to exercise only for their physical capabilities to let them down and then get injured, pushing them back to square one again.

Phase 1 –

Reduce total body weight

Mobilise correct areas to ensure positions can be reached

Strengthen the glutes to improve hip extension

Get some lifting stimulus to aid with running economy in later phases (Strength work)

If your hips are tight you can’t get sufficient knee drive or glutes are weak and you can’t extend your hips properly.

Or you’re too heavy you can’t maintain any of the correct positions and technique goes out of the window

Or after 2 minutes from an ESD (Energy System Development) point of view you simply aren’t fit enough to deal with the demands of proper running

If you’re just starting your training journey and your body is breaking down from the continual impact of running for whatever reason (maybe one of the above), then simply reducing running volume might be your first intervention (say you run 4 x p/w, reduce this to 2 x p/w) then add 2 x strength sessions that will aid your running.

Another simple intervention may be to change your footwear or have a specialist access your running mechanics or gait

You can also observe for yourself, by filming your running technique on the treadmill, albeit you may not know what you’re looking for, but you don’t need to be a biomechanics specialist to know what looks right and wrong

Hopefully these small tips, won’t deter you from running, but work up towards it, so you can maximise it and really enjoy your runs.

Sometimes we need to take a small step backwards in the short term to ensure we continue pushing forwards in the long term.