Here We Are Again (not a line from an Abba song!)
The well-known Aussie running coach, FM Alexander was once quoted as saying “there’s no sitting on the fence mate, you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse!”
Nowhere is this more apparent than when if comes to running. Take a couple of weeks off you feel it….unless you’ve been over-training but that’s another topic!
I went for my morning run today on Montreal’s Mt Royal after the first substantial snowfall of the winter and took the following selfie:
It suddenly struck me that I took a very similar picture about 12 months ago…what 2 winters in the same year…must be a sign of aging. And then another thought occurred: What’s different this year? Have I gotten better or worse? And on what do I base my judgment?
Well the answer for me was a very definitive YES: I’m better!! : I’m not injured (the pain in my right hammy that’s plagued me for years is completely gone!!) I have more bounce and elasticity in my stride, I’m experimenting with new ideas (nose breathing for example) and most of all I’m enjoying running, the sheer joy that comes with moving freely and easily. Notice that speed and performance were not included in my evaluation. And the reason for that is both require a level of fitness, training and commitment to which I was not able to commit to last year for a variety of reasons. Trying to force a performance when you aren’t ready is not a good plan in my book.
And to what do I owe these improvements: finding and working with a couple of really good coaches (Douglas Wisoff, John Macy and Helen Hall) who helped me work out some issues with my stride that I’d missed, in spite of my knowledge and experience.
So as 2018 is winding down, perhaps it’s time to take stock of your own running. Are you enjoying it? Are you moving better than you did this time last year. Are you looking forward to what the New Year brings?
If you answered no to any of the previous questions, maybe it’s time to bust a move and make some changes . Find a coach or an Alexander Technique teacher and work on your form. I guarantee that if you improve your stride, you will enjoy running more and who knows, you might having something different to say about your running this time next year!
Here are a couple of chances to do something now about your running form