Following on from that rant…

I pitched a mini-fit the other day about the misuse of ‘gait analysis’ and in all fairness, one of the things I should do is follow up with the advice I give to people who come to me for a shoe fitting.

If you’ve been in recently or if you are part of the #Zero25k group I will also have addressed the basics of running form and proprioceptive training for runners, but no harm reiterating.

As a runner it is important that you develop as a runner too. When running don’t just switch off and let the shoes, muscles and limbs do all the work. You have to engage your brain too.

What do I mean?

Well, when the watch or app buzzes, beeps or speaks at the end / start of each kilometer (or mile) do a 10 second top to toe check.

  • How’s my head? Neck aligned or lolling around the place?
  • Shoulders, relaxed or tensed?
  • Arms? Crossing, or swinging pendulum like?
  • Hips & pelvis? level, twisted, tilted?
  • Legs? Running balance, stride same length, tension anywhere? Running relaxed from the hips?
  • Feet? Where am I landing, where is the bulk of the landing force happening? Back, front, mid foot? Am I toeing in or out.

Boom! 10 sec check done, adjustments made and jog on. Don’t sweat the small stuff but stay relaxed.

Secondly when you are not running you need to be prepared for when you are.

One of the key things people do when they invest in the new running shoes is switch off their brain when running and place all the trust in the shoe.

To a point this is fine but as a runner you have to work on the feedback loops to stay aware of your body and keep your ‘brain switched on’.

Very simple things to do whether you are neutral or overpronating (but especially for those over pronating) is to practise your balance by doing a very simple drill.

When brushing your teeth (minimum 2 mins, morning and night) standing in your bare feet, try and balance on one leg. If you can’t balance, lightly touch the sink until you can. One minute brushing the top teeth, standing on right leg, one minute on bottom teeth standing on left. Check your alignment, if you are falling over it means your knee is dropping inside and your foot collapsing.

Practise this drill until you can do this without reaching for support for a whole week.

Once you achieve this you can progress onto the next stage. Which I will tell you about another time. One step at a time.

I’d love to have your feedback and hear what you do to improve your running.

Q&A with #RSP – New to #running? What gear to get..

This question often arises for newbies and they wonder what gear to wear when running. For men in particular there is a perception that running in tights is not for ‘real men’ and unless it is dark out or below Zero you should wear shorts..

As someone starting out running for the first time, what would you advise newbies to wear. I hate the idea of wearing a pair of tights.

With many people selecting gear in store you hear all the stories and views. To be honest my thoughts on gear is more about function than fashion and maybe its the stage of life I’m at that I’m not bothered anymore but

My thoughts-

Wear whatever you are comfortable with.

To hell with public opinion!! Well, do wear shorts at least!

I find legging (I don’t call them tights it makes men uncomfortable) incredibly comfortable, I wear a base layer underneath for warmth and support and use them all the time. If you are self conscious shorts over top are fine.

For most people starting out a decent pair of shorts, socks, tops and jacket are all that is needed. I actually advice people to run in whatever shoes they have for 4/5 weeks (unless injured) to ensure the habit is sticking rather than motivating themselves through expense.

This last bit is true. Unless you are being injured when you run and by injury I don’t mean the muscle pain you expect with sudden increased activity, I mean a lingering issue that doesn’t feel right, you should be able to knock out the first few weeks of your #Zero25k or C25k program without too much issue.

Once running has become a habit then yes by all means reward yourself with a visit to the store for video analysis and correct fitting of your running footwear but definitely for the first few weeks it is more about getting out and about.

 

If you want to find out more about our fitting service or to book an appointment be sure to send me a message through the form below.

Thanks for reading.

 

I’m going off on one…

I’ve had it up to here!!

Seriously.

What is it with telling people they have “flat media arches” and that they need ‘special’ insoles to correct their high / low / flat / wonky arches??

Another victim of scam selling in this morning in a relatively decent shoe but also convinced she ‘needed’ extra support and conned into a €50 pair of insoles.

For Christ’s sake, sell her the proper shoe in the first place!

Oh, no you won’t, that’s right because your margin in in the insoles. Grab people’s attention with “Buy 1 get one 50% Off” and con them with unnecessary insoles at a ridiculous mark-up to make up the shortfall.

And then you wonder why the examiners were circling?

For what it is worth I let this lady go with advice on improving basic running form, proprioception and leg strength to improve her chanced of becoming injury free.

You lost a customer, I gained a friend for life who will tell everyone about her experience today.

Q&A with #RSP – What is in your go to running bag?

Turning up to an event and discovering that you have forgotten something small but important (like toilet paper) or your favourite pair of socks can ruin your day.

A good way to avoid any last minute surprises is to be a little organised and lay out your gear at least 2 days in advance of a big event, you know, the one you trained for all year. Don’t leave it til the night before to run around grabbing gear. You will fill a bag with stuff you don’t need and likely forget the stuff you do!!

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So to the question…

Question – What basics should be in all our running bags as standard.

My thoughts on this are fail to prepare, prepare to fail:

Another good question that makes me think!

Assuming that this is in preparation for an event this is the stuff I would be recommending otherwise the drawer under the bed should be exclusively for all your running gear!!

For everyone: Toilet paper(!!), Bodyglide / Skin Balm / Run Guard, good shorts with flat seams, tried and tested running socks, your #RSP top/ singlet 😉 , safety pins; hat, hoody, tracksuit (for before & afterwards), babywipes, shades (weather dependent but have them in the bag) black bin bag (great temp rain jacket, shelter and portaloo 😉 )

For girls: Decent bra, hair bands / scrunchie

For guys: Nipguards!! #RSP#AskAKW

Now we got a few extra suggestions in the comments which was great. Things like nutrition, recovery wear etc. I would expect to see in your bag as normal. It is the everyday stuff like the pins or glide or bin bag that are so easily overlooked and forgotten.

Stuff like fake tan and makeup…….well, I’ll leave that up to you!! 😀

Fake tan & Makeup!! Running essentials??
Fake tan & Makeup!! Running essentials??

 

If you have any more suggestions or would like to find about my recommendations for running bags please use the form or comments section to get in touch.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Q&A with #RSP – Waterproof Jackets for IMRA races?

I was recently invited to host a Questions & Answers evening on the Runners Support Page on Facebook. I was following in the footsteps of some esteemed hosts with Gerry Duffy, Gary O’Hanlon and Hannah Nolan having set the bar height already. I had a lot of fun preparing answers to some great questions so without further ado I am adapting the questions and answers to Blog Posts.

Here’s one for the #TrailTuesday fans!

Question – Is there such a thing as a waterproof running jacket? Can you recommend a lightweight one for trail running (as required for imra races) that won’t cost the earth?

My thoughts –

Excellent question and there has been quite a bit of confusion and debate around the IMRA mandatory kit. (Check out the forum on IMRA.ie for up-to-date information on this.)

Personally I would refer to the mandatory kit for Adventure Racing as a guide and leave absolutely nothing to chance with personal safety on the hills. I use a Ronhill Trail Tempest jacket and pants combination for Adventure Racing and these are waterproof and windproof to a high extent (10,000mg) They are expensive though but Ronhill also do a Trail Microlight, packable jacket which is good for protection against the elements, though if you are thinking of scaling up to full on mountain running definitely look at the Tempest or Typhoon Smock.

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Ronhill Trail Tempest Jacket
Ronhill Trail Typhoon Smock
Ronhill Trail Typhoon Smock

I was recently well impressed by the Mac-in-A Sac range which gives you 5,000mg of waterproofing for around €40. I haven’t gotten to test this out yet but I think it represents excellent value to help anyone that is looking to get started (or tick the required kit box) with IMRA style races.

If you would like to know more about any of these products simply drop me a message: