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Building Your Running Programme – An Expert Review

After a long break from running to pursue other interests, and following some minor niggling injuries, I decided to put together all the expertise I have gained as a physiotherapist together with all the specialist skills available to me at Body Logic Health to commit to rehabilitation and training towards the Richmond Half Marathon in September.

 

As a trained APPI pilates teacher, I spent the last two years developing my flexibility and controlled strength during these training sessions, which was an excellent basis on which to start my running training. It also meant that I was able to pick up the correct movement patterns in the exercise programme that I designed from the Kinetic Control approach to rehabilitation.

 

Initially, I had a biomechanical assessment with The Running School, which was invaluable. Even physiotherapists can lack a full understanding of how they look when they run, without the necessary feedback. This identified that I had a right hip drop (no idea) and my right foot crossed over the midline (which I knew), and that I had insufficient heel lift (could/should have guessed) and that I was twisting the upper body (had no idea) and bouncing up and down using the calves too much (no idea). These are fairly common errors, and your average fitness runner will have some or all of these (and more). However, they all contribute to a decrease in the efficiency of your movement. Reducing the effect of these should improve efficiency and stop you expending unnecessary energy, and reduce the likelihood of muscle and joint strain.

 

I signed up to Running Evolution, and was coached through running by Sam and Patrick, so that I could really concentrate on my technique. Again, knowing and understanding the technique and then executing it well are not the same thing! The constant corrective feedback that coaching provides is the only way to change your technique. Without it, you just slip back into old patterns that are beyond conscious control. Repetition, repetition, repetition is key!

 

In addition to Running Evolution, I had a colleague do a movement screening test on me, called the Performance Matrix. The results of the test identified the specific areas of my body where I need to improve my movement efficiency. From this I was able to design a programme of exercises to target the areas of my body where I did not control movement well (for me this is mainly the back and pelvis). I’m convinced that the combination of pilates and physiotherapy exercises helped me to fire up my gluteal, abdominals and hip flexors muscles in the correct pattern, which prevented my previous injury from casting a shadow over my training (an iliotibial friction syndrome).

 

Finally, Sam produced a running programme for me that included more interval work than I would normally undertake (I have always been a fan of the long slow runs when training) and recovery runs that I would have not known to use from a standard internet training protocol.

 

The result? I came in at 1hr 50…..far quicker than I was daring to hope and 13 minutes faster than when I was 10 years younger and running more regularly….Not only that, but I hit a PB at 10km (for 10k), and did not succumb to the usual coughs and colds in the week after the race… Happy happy, and living proof that doing the right things really works!

 

Susie Martin MCSP HCPC
Is a Chartered Physiotherapist who has just joined our team full time working at both the Battersea and Streatham Hill branches, and has been investigating the benefits of both Running Evolution in Battersea and our wonderful Running Movement Screen with the Performance Matrix.