Chapter 13: Variability, an athletes best friend

13. I had never really felt my buttock muscles working before until I was walking upstairs the day after performing squat exercises for the first time. My glutes were sore, yet I felt as though my new-found muscles were powering me up the steps at the same time. Perhaps because I could feel them, IContinue reading “Chapter 13: Variability, an athletes best friend”

Chapter 12: Becoming an athlete in training

12. I remember an unfamiliar sense of pressure the night before the 2016 Abbey Dash 10km (Leeds, UK). Never before had my training preparations gone exactly as I had planned. At the same time, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because the running programme I had used to prepare looked nothing like a runningContinue reading “Chapter 12: Becoming an athlete in training”

Chapter 11: The road to redemption

11. What a journey it has been. Running for 140 of the last 148 weeks after almost 12 years plagued with injury. That would have seemed like a pipe dream just a few years ago. Consistency brought about performance improvements. It started with accepting I was a 36:40 10km runner in 2015, before improving inContinue reading “Chapter 11: The road to redemption”

Chapter 10: Mind the Gap

10. Chapter 1 referred to a 12-year period of on-off injury beginning in 2004. This period was not without glimmers of hope. In 2008-2009, I ran for a 16-week and 25-week stretch having been introduced to strength and conditioning. In 2010-2011, a combination of strength & conditioning and barefoot running on grass led to aContinue reading “Chapter 10: Mind the Gap”

Chapter 9: Denial

9. I limped off the playing fields and back to my car with considerable pain in my heel. What made me stop running that day? I’m not sure. I guess it always reaches a point when you just know, the game is up. I had been using pain killers for several weeks which had slowlyContinue reading “Chapter 9: Denial”

Chapter 8: The Marshmallow Test

8. I ran for 40 weeks uninterrupted during the 2010-2011 season, the longest streak between my first brush with injury in 2004 and eventually becoming consistent in 2016. This was partly due to discovering the benefits of barefoot running on playing fields in 2010. Very quickly, every physiological measure (heart rate, lactate threshold, body composition)Continue reading “Chapter 8: The Marshmallow Test”

Chapter 7: No brain no pain

7. I had conquered most of my running injuries but for the remnant of one, my Achilles heel. The pain in my right Achilles tendon hung around, reminding me of sins from my past. It didn’t stop me running, usually, but intermittently it would flare up in ways that would force me to modify trainingContinue reading “Chapter 7: No brain no pain”

Chapter 6: I’m a foot get me out of here

6. Once I became a serious runner in 2003, I always had serious shoes. Variants of structured, semi-structured, arch supported or neutral shoes but always highly cushioned and usually highly expensive. There is only one thing that can make a running shoe more expensive and that is the orthotic you put in it. This wasContinue reading “Chapter 6: I’m a foot get me out of here”

Chapter 5: The devil makes work for idle legs

5. It was December 2017, and I had been running for two years consistently. I had just completed a physically and mentally demanding block of training in preparation for a race, which was ultimately cancelled due to snow. My body and mind were tired and Christmas was approaching. I granted myself some rest in theContinue reading “Chapter 5: The devil makes work for idle legs”