So, a while back I mentioned that I had begun running again. Well, it's been a slow progress but I am past the 5km mark and have been spending the last few weeks consolidating that. Sheffield is VERY steep and hilly so I find it wise to use the couch to 10k plan as a rough guide rather than an absolute training regime, not least because I am still building up from a long period of injury issues and at my grand age of nearly 49, I don't bounce back quite the way I used to. My knee has been fine on the whole although it still had its not so good days, but unfortunately I managed to irritate my Achilles tendon on the other leg last week so I am having to settle that back down again. Too much, too soon - I had begun pushing myself on those hills!
I have found all the JEMS exercises I have been doing really helpful, both in my running and walking. I was making my way up some very steep steps out of a valley and I noticed that my trunk was staying upright but relaxed and responsive because I was flexing so well at the knee and hip, allowing my pelvis to carry my trunk whilst my gluts and legs did what they are supposed to. I think as well as the foundational exercises such as listening foot, hunting in the forest (explores how you are carrying yourself as you walk) and thigh slides, the frequent knee raises and vertical hip release practice have been a turning point for me, especially with keeping my weight over my feet whilst lowering my centre of gravity to keep relaxed control when going downhill. There are links to the exercise videos for these both on my blog and on the JEMS website:
Go to the YouTube channel link.
The JEMS Facebook page also has useful videos such as this one, so much shorter than my explanation of vertical hip release! There is also another one on the YouTube channel.