It’s Technique!

So I’ve been training for this marathon for a month now, and it still sucks so much.  I’m up to 8 kilometre runs now, it takes me just over forty minutes.  And I hate every second of those forty minutes.

Running is still awful.  I’m hating it.  Sure, there are some upsides, but they aways come with the inevitable downsides.

Happy Lauretta

This is how happy I am when I’m not running.

Upside: I can run for longer before I taste blood in my mouth.

Downside: I can taste blood in my mouth.

Upside: I’m not feeling an aching burn in my hip flexors constantly anymore.

Downside: I’m feeling an aching burn in my wallet because I’ve already worn out my runners and I need new ones.

Upside: I’d lost 2 kilos.

Downside: Husband bought me 2 kilos of chocolate for Valentine’s Day.  Currently wearing chocolate around my upper thighs.

Upside:  I’m following my dream.

Downside: My dream sucks.

My motivation is running at the lowest it’s ever been.  I’ll literally use ANY excuse not to run.  Even now, I’m using this blog as an excuse not to run.  Well, it’s not going to write itself, is it?

I’m well aware that my technique is useless, my stride is atrocious and I’m burning too much energy.  I run like a teenage girl in one of those 1950’s horror movies.  But instead of running AWAY from  the Revolting Blob, I guess I AM the Revolting Blob.

I need some help and for that reason, I’ve reached out to this guy:

Nathan Fenton

Nathan Fenton (The One On The Left)

The Master Of Technique

Nathan Fenton is a life-long runner and endurance athlete, and he’s created  Enfer Running – Running Technique Coaching.  When I made contact with Nathan, I had no idea what I was in for.  I had strange fantasies of a man with giant quads shouting at me through a bullhorn while I ran on a treadmill.  I couldn’t have been further from the truth, even though he still had some pretty impressive quads.

Nathan explained that he was going to teach me the POSE running technique, which is all about guiding you into the ultimate body position to get you moving efficiently and so the potential for injury is reduced, and speed and endurance are improved.

First, so my humiliation could be compete, he took a video of me running down the backstreet behind the clinic.  Through the glare from my moon-tanned legs, I could clearly see what he was getting at.  My stride was too long, my front leg struck the ground hard inhibiting my impetus, and my back leg flicked up jerkily.  It was all unnecessary movement, putting too much stress on my joints and overworking my hip flexors.

The aim, Nathan explained, was to get the big muscles to bear most of the burden – the glutes and the hammies.  To do this, I was going to have to re-learn how to run again.

The Pose

You start with the pose:  Feet together, knees slightly bent, glutes turned on, core activated, elbows bent, shoulders back, head neutral.  He said it so many times that I’ll never forget it – feet together, knees slightly bent, glutes on, core activated, elbows bent, shoulders back, head neutral.

Then you prance like a pony.

Quite literally.

The Path

That’s me stopping on the path because I’m stuffed already

I must admit I felt quite silly, trotting down the backstreets of Port Melbourne, but it all made complete sense to me.  The movement was smaller, the stride was tiny and I was leaning forward enough that gravity was doing all the work in propelling me forward.  If I can master this technique… well, I’m pretty confident that running won’t wreck me anymore.

The downside is that I have to re-learn how to run again.  I’m only allowed to run 100 metres at a time, so I can analyse and re-adjust my technique, then I can build the kilometres back up again.

I’ve been thrown off my path, straight onto a new one.  Here’s hoping I find this path a bit easier to run on.

read more about the marathon journey here