Just over 18 months ago I enrolled myself on a crash course at The Running School determined to overhaul my running style and evolve into an efficient, faster, pain free runner. Back in the summer of 2011 I was racked with plantar fasciitis pain and experimenting with barefoot running as a potential cure all for mechanical mis-alignment and associated injuries.
I’m afraid that I was probably guilty of the “too much too soon” mentality that seems to have plagued me throughout my life. High intensity training at The Running School interspersed with snail crushing barefoot runs around the neighbourhood did nothing to ease the PF pain. Finding myself nigh on crippled I quit running for a few months and I’m afraid I had to take a rather long break from school. It perhaps didn’t need to be an 18 month long break but stuff happens.
I attend the Running School at Body Logic in Battersea and they were great throughout my sojourn, sending me regular emails to let me know that I’d be welcome to return for my remaining sessions at any point.
So yesterday, I returned, a little sheepishly, wondering how much I’d remember and if I’d be back to square one.
Kirsty took me through my paces and carried out a few tests to ascertain my core strength and see if I’d been doing my strength homework. I knew she was looking for wobbly pelvic movements so I gritted my teeth and tried to bluff my way to a pass. I fixed my pelvis with all my might and carried out the squats and semi lunges. I thought I’d demonstrated excellent control but I’m afraid she was not impressed and saw straight to the truth of my core – flabby and apathetic.
It seems there is no short cut to a strong core – you have to actually do the exercises.
On the treadmill I tried to make amends and stood tall, pumped my arms chin to pocket, and lifted my knees to attempt the cycling motion. I’d forgotten the key element of my posture though and Kirsty was able to point out in the mirror that I run stooped, with a permanent flex at the waist. To correct this I needed to scoop my pelvis under. It made a dramatic impact on my profile and I immediately straightened up, it plays havoc with the buttocks though.
After a few more sprints my arse was throbbing. You are supposed to run from your glutes and given how large mine are it seems a shame that my standard running shuffle doesn’t encourage their use. The Running School style forces you to switch on the huge muscles so who knows, hopefully in a few more months I’ll be powered by two efficient buttock cheeks and be able to run for hours without tiring.