"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: November 2011

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Discovering Pose Running!!!

My daughter had a spinal operation in July and has been seeing an Alexander Posture Technique teacher to help aid her recovery. During one of these sessions I got onto the subject of running and discovered that she was also a Pose Running teacher. After going home and researching this running method I became very interested in learning more and went on to book a workshop.

Today was the day I was educated in the pose running method!

I was slightly daunted at the thought as I knew I was going to be videoed running and was terrified my current style was going to be picked to pieces. However, more about that later!

First let me try and explain! 

The pose method is all about making the most of the effect of gravity rather than fight against it. The running pose is a whole body pose, which vertically aligns shoulders, pelvis and ankles with the support leg, while supported on the ball of the foot. 

Sounds completed but once you get going it makes a lot of sense.  

Main points I learned today
  • I change the pose from one leg to the other by falling forward and allowing gravity to do the work.
  • The support foot is pulled quickly from the ground using the hamstrings.
  • A slight forward lean of the body allows the body to fall forward from the ankle.
  • The other foot drops down freely to become a new support.
Apparently, this creates forward movement using the least energy and effort.  The end result (I hope) is faster running with no injuries!!! The cadence should be at least 180 footfalls per minute! Also apparently, this makes it much easier to learn to land on the ball of the foot and shorten the stride.

Anyhow, how did it go?  Well, I found it all fascinating!  When I first got there I was introduced to the rationale and history of the technique before being taken into a local park and told to warm up and run in my normal style whilst I was videoed.  I felt very self conscience at this point and its very hard to run naturally when someone is following you with a video camera! However, after enduring this slightly humiliating experience I was shown some pose running exercises which I then practised under her supervision. Once she was happy I'd mastered the exercises adequately, she showed me how to transfer these new skills into my running style.  We ran together whilst she gave me verbal instructions and advice. Going up hills seemed much easier using this technique but coming downhill I felt I was going to end up flat on my face!  I suppose practise is required to feel confident.  At the end of the outdoor session she videoed me again running in my new style before we headed back indoors to study the evidence!  It was very interesting and not as embarrassing as I'd thought to watch myself running! 

What did I learn about my running? 

After watching the video at normal speed, we watched it frame by frame so we could analysis what I do whilst running. It was quite amusing to discover that I have one arm (my right) that does what its supposed to do and my left arm is immobile and rigid! I had no idea I did this, and it could explain my neck and shoulder stiffness I suffer after running! I also heel strike and over-stride (again explaining my knee and hip pain) as well as looking down at the ground instead of where I'm going! Quite a few things to work on!!!

However, after analysing the second video I was impressed to see that I had in fact corrected  all these except my arms still weren't as relaxed as they should be! She told me to help me do this I was to imagine holding 2 hamsters in my hands firmly but not squashing them!!!

I have been sent out into the running world to practise, practise, practise!!!  I have been advised to introduce the technique gradually into my runs as it uses completely different muscles then I usually use whilst running!!

I'm quite excited about going out for a run tomorrow and putting all these new skills into practise!!  My homework this evening is to find some music to run to which has 180 beats a minute!!!  Any suggestions welcome!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Running club update - I feel like Goldilocks!

The fast group was too fast, the slower group was too slow, I want one that is just right!  

On Monday night I braved the "slow" running club group and was very nervous and apprehensive after suffering humiliation the previous week. Determined not to give up I turned up bracing myself for a good pace run.

We set off and within minutes I realised this group was at the total opposite end of the spectrum! Three of us set a good pace out in front but at every corner and turn we had to wait for the rest of the group to catch up as we didn't know the route we were running! I began to feel some sympathy for the "fast" group last week who had to keep waiting for us, however I did feel some compassion for the runners we were waiting for... its not a nice feeling I know!!!

I'm not sure where this leaves me ... running on my bill again or concentrating on my speed for a few weeks before braving the "fast" group again?

I enjoyed the social aspect of running with other people  - just need an intermediate group!  

Perhaps that could be my new role - intermediate running group leader!!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

BIG Mistake - I joined a running club!

A friend who I met at Pilates and Steps class is a member of Helm Runners in Kendal and persuaded me to go along as it would be a good way to improve my running speed!!  She said that they ran at recovery speed rather than race speed so I wouldn't find it too fast!  She also said that they have a motto "We never leave anyone behind!".  Luckily for me another friend came along with me and it was only whilst waiting in the foyer of the sports centre we were told that there was a "slow" running group which had left 15 minutes earlier!  We were mortified at being left with the "elite" runners!

We were told we'd be fine and we decided to stay at the back of the group!  We were off - like a rat out of a trap - and by the time we got to the top of the first hill we were way behind!  Feeling sorry for the newcomers the rest of the group waited for us to catch up, and then placed someone behind us to round us up!!  It was the most humiliating experience of my life, I'd much rather have been left to make our own way at our own pace!! Determined as they were not to leave us at first; eventually the majority of the group did, leaving the leader to coax us along at a more appropriate speed for us!!

We made it back to the sports centre after completing a 5 mile circuit, feeling totally unfit, useless and with very little running confidence left! However, we did manage to laugh at ourselves and have vowed to give the "slow" group a go next Monday night!!  If they are still too fast for me I will be giving up my running career completely because my sub 2 hour half marathon goal is unrealistic!

I will let you know how we fair ...!!!