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Jennifer McBride – Improving my running

Firstly I will apologise in advance for this blog being mostly about my coaching with Richard – for those of you who read this and have never had a running coaching session before – do it! Not only has it made me re think how I run it has also shown me that I can improve even at my age!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to having a run coaching session with Richard.  Initially he filmed me running and then on the replay asked me what I thought was going on with my ‘style’. My first reaction was, ‘Jeepers I make running look like hard work!’ We discussed what was working and what wasn’t and from there moved onto some run specific exercises. After an hour I could already see changes in my stance, stride and could actually feel the difference when I ran. The impact had gone out of my calves and achilles and I could actually feel my glutes working. Since then I have been doing shorter runs and trying to put into practice what I learnt.

Even though the session was awesome, I am now in that frustrating place between trying to emulate what I have learnt, and trying not to slip back into old inefficient habits. I know eventually it will get easier but for now I am unlearning my previous style while trying to implement new habits that will hopefully help me to remain injury free. When I get the technique right I run faster with less effort. Am looking forward to the day when that happens consistently!

Richard suggested doing 5-6 shorter runs implementing what he shown me and to cut out my long run at the weekend. When he said that in my head I was like, ‘Gasp, no you’re joking right? No long run? Seriously…” Needless to say I did not heed that advice and have still taken to the hills for my Sunday long run/stroll. Sorry Richard!

This made me realise how much my attitude and motivation towards exercise and running has changed – a year ago I would have been, “Sweet! Good excuse not to have to push myself or get out of bed early on a Sunday…! It was also a bit of a lightbulb moment – I have had training programmes for running events before but never coaching. Knowledge is power and any advice that can help keep my body moving and in one piece is all good.

I am also currently doing the Catch Fitness 20 week Challenge and one of my goals has been to decrease my 5km time. Since starting ten weeks ago I have been steadily decreasing my time and over this past month I have decreased my 5km time by a minute. I believe this has been due to strength training with my amazing PT, Rachel Palmer, as well as the coaching I have received from Richard.

As you can tell my coaching session has been the highlight of my training programme for the past few weeks! Hopefully progress will be evident at my next coaching session…!