On my runs I've become increasingly aware of, and to a degree concerned about, how I'm putting my feet down. I can tell the left is less well controlled and that I tend to develop 'slapping' feet as I tire and also if going downhill.
After seeing a Tweet about a Daily Telegraph article
on fell running that featured Dave Taylor
, a local coach I contacted him and arranged to meet up within a week. He thought it best to look at basics first. He took a brief video of me running up and down a slope and that showed a rather bent posture and some overstriding with a straight leg strike.
After establishing that my base cadence is reasonable he demonstrated variations on a high knees exercicse. This can be done as a static balance through to high intensity jumps and reminded me of the 100-up
of the 19th century. The arguments for this exercise vary from balance, activation of gluteal muscles and principally by an exaggerated movement one learns to recruit a more varied range of muscle fibres. Throughout I was encouraged to stand a little taller and whilst keeping my chin tucked in, not to let it drop to my chest. I'm now aware that I do slouch! The final area for development was arm movement. Although I can be fairly relaxed with arms I was shown how to drive them backwards
when running more forcefully. The rearwards action is to counterbalance the advancing leg and the forward action should almost occur by elastic recoil.
Dave made some recordings of me at the beginning of the session and I'm sure that they will reveal all sorts of shortcomings. Hopefully I'll see improvements. I'm intending to meet up every few weeks and maybe I will be able to move on to new areas of development.
I'd not done a run last night to save my legs for today but in the end it wasn't too much work for them. Now I need to practise these drills a couple of times each week and catch up on my distance.