After the Graduation: First Sessions in a Running Clinic

Today was the second session held by the running coach at our gym. His 6 week session is covering everything from warm up to injury prevention and then technique issues and training plans. There are about 12 of us from novices to marathoners, 20 year olds to one guy who I suspect is close to 80. Coach is a former university decathlete turned olympic running coach with exercise physio credentials, so I thought others might benefit from his advice.

Warm up was week 1. At the very minimum, he suggests using the rolling stick over all leg muscles followed by the foam roller for hips, IT band, and upper (quads and hamstrings) and lower legs. If tight areas or trigger points are identified, he suggests using a small hard ball, such as a lacrosse ball, to roll under the knotty bits. This was very useful.

Today, week 2, covered injury prevention. He thinks that core stability is the key here, and like Laura, recommends running tall while keeping the pelvis stable under the shoulders. Prior to the warmup walk or jog, he likes to see us at least walk side to side and front to back then on the diagonal with physio bands tight above the knee and around the ankles, followed by lunges across the lawn and backwards toward the start. Then during the warm up walk, he suggests skipping forwards and backwards holding the core very stable. We did these and many more stabilizing exercises in the gym for an hour and a half and then it was time to run.

That didn't go very well! I was so fatigued that an hour later I could barely manage the speed podcast one time while gasping for air- and that was with just walking between intervals rather than the light jog! Maybe someday I'll be able to do it all in one go. For now, I'm just happy to be alive! Yikes ;) I'll try to run again tomorrow.

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8 Replies

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  • Wow - sounds very scientific. I'm not sure I could run after an hour and a half in the gym! Hope the rest of it goes well and you get what you need out of it.

  • Yes, it was pretty scientific and mostly helpful. Thanks for the support! I really wanted to run for 30 minutes so was disappointed not to get my way. Now that I think about it, even the 24 year old marathoner had trouble getting up off the gym floor...

  • This is all very interesting. I use a physio band to do exercises for my gluteus medius on my non-running days. I currently do a sidestep with the band (I've heard it called Monster walk), but will now add in the forward and backward steps. Does your coach do it like this?:

    I like the idea of the lunges to help with core stability too. I could do some of these, plus the monster walking, instead of my 5 mins warm up aerobic session in the kitchen that I do before starting my 5 ns warm up walk. I think my IT band issue is probably caused by core instability. (I just started doing one-legged squats a couple of times a day to help with stability).

  • Exactly the same exercises! One legged & monster, forward & back, neutral spine. No knees turning in like the girl on the left is doing. For it band he has us doing the stick with direct firm pressure. Very much like "scraping" if you've tried that. Effective but ouch!

  • Those sound like really useful sessions - thanks for sharing the tips.

  • Interesting. That monster walk does look funny! :)

  • Very interesting and like the video, all makes perfect sense having watched it.

    To improve and strengthen core stability a Pilates class once a week would be good for you if your gym does them. Good luck with the rest of your sessions, sounds really good.

  • Yes- thanks to swanscot for the video! Do you do Pilates? I used to have a private Pilates trainer a few times a week (reformer/cadillac work) and found it very useful but have not tried the classes. That's a great suggestion, Girl (just can't call you Oldgirl!), and they do have them at our gym. I'll give it a go soon, hopefully later this week, and get back in touch with my inner ballerina. It really did feel good!

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