Wednesday, 12 February 2014

My session with a running coach....

I am used to my body just working; that is, until I hit my mid 30s and beyond. Since then, all my past carelessness has come home to roost and has led to me taking extended breaks from my running. I know from my work that improving posture and functional movement can have a dramatic impact on performance, whether you are looking to beat your PB or just be able to get out of bed in the morning and walk down the stairs without pain. Many of my clients have benefitted from sessions with remedial personal trainers so I was very interested to meet Chris Adam, a running coach.

Chris invited me to his dedicated indoor space for a training session. As well as a treadmill and other training equipment there is a large whiteboard; Chris likes to keep up to date with the theory behind biomechanics and efficient movement, and to educate his clients. He asks them to fill in a detailed questionnaire before the session so that he can get a feel for their history, where they are now and what their aims are.

The session began with me running on the treadmill. I never use gyms so this was a new experience for me! Once I had got used to the sensation and felt I was running with something like my normal style, Chris began to film me from the front, side and behind. I was then let off the treadmill so that we could view the video together; he identified strengths and weaknesses and issues to work on that session.

Then the hard work began. We started with how my feet were functioning - toega, or toe yoga, is hard work! -  and worked upwards to improve my proprioception and muscle activation with Chris continuously assessing my progress. By the end of the session I had squatted, hopped, skipped and bounced my legs into exhaustion! I was put back on the treadmill to run again, which felt surprisingly easy considering that a few moments earlier I had declared myself finished. The new video revealed that my posture and footstrike had both improved.

I now have greater awareness of how I am moving, and not just when running. As Chis says on his website, it's not just runners who benefit from coaching.

Finally on facebook!

You can now find me on facebook:

I am using the page to keep people up to date with my availability for appointments as well as courses and any other information that I think may be of interest to you.

The joy of learning new skills!

I'm back in Sheffield, exhausted but inspired by the weekend advanced course on Muscle Energy Technique for the pelvis and lumbar spine that I attended at the London School of Sports Massage. In summary, the aim was to stretch relevant muscles and fascia, mobilise a restricted joint and alter the tone of the muscles surrounding the joint. All this requires great accuracy in order to be effective, so our anatomy and palpation skills were put to the test! Our tutor, Alex Fugalo, was excellent and very patient with us. From the practice we did on each other I could both see and feel for myself how effective this technique is, and I am looking forward to introducing it into my practice.

The blurb for the course was as follows:
'Muscle energy technique encompasses a very wide range of treatment approaches. Based upon a biomechanical model used in osteopathic practice, this course will teach the assessment of pelvic dysfunction and treatment of the lumbo-pelvic region using MET. Accurate assessment and localisation of forces is key to a successful outcome and means that minimal effort is required. The aim is to use light force isometric contractions as the principal method to restore normal articular mobility to the individual joints. The overall result is improved function and in some cases reduced pain.'