I’ve learnt a lot about running in the last couple of weeks, which surprised me because I thought after all these years I already knew quite a lot. But the most important thing I’ve learnt is that I have a lazy arse. Literally.
Whilst my legs have been doing all the hard work for miles and miles and miles (particularly the poor right one), my bum has simply been coming along for the ride, shirking its responsibilities and enjoying a permanent rest.
A few weeks ago I started to get tight muscles around my knee after running, and it got to the point where I couldn’t really run 2 days in a row without feeling like I was doing some damage, not ideal. The pain started to get worse and I realised that I couldn’t really walk, let alone run, without a limp.
A trip to the physio and a running coach revealed that my glutes aren’t firing when I run, apparently a common problem. A video analysis (which I would rather have not seen!) shows that I overstride, lean forwards, don’t lift my heels enough, cross my feet, twist too much and don’t use my arms efficiently. Doesn’t sound like I’m the best runner I can be…
My physiotherapist, Amy, is a running specialist, I don’t really trust phyios who aren’t runners themselves because they just tell you not to run and we all know you can’t say that to a runner! She completely understands my frustration and how long I’ve got left until Amsterdam and is supportive of that. I’ve even managed to get her permission to do the Richmond half marathon tomorrow, at a gentle pace, if I rest today (although Amy is also running the Richmond half so I know I’ll be in trouble if she sees me running too fast!)
She’s spent some time loosening up the muscles in my leg and knee and I have a series of exercise to do on a daily basis. Glute activations twice a day, clam shells and a lot of leg rolling. It’s boring and painful, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get me to the start line in Amsterdam in just 4 weeks.
When I’ve recovered from the marathon I’m going to start Running School to address my sub-optimal form. Hopefully I’ll learn how to improve my efficiency, get faster and protect me from injury.
But for now it’s time my glutes got to work and gave my legs a helping hand because the clock is ticking!