Monday, 2 November 2015

I had an email from Keith (thanks Keith!).  12 weeks in, Keith gave me these balancing exercises to try.  Keith's exercise in blue, my results in black, below.

KEITH: A couple of ideas to experiment with. You only need to get the balance right now. And possibly experiment with the cadence to find what's comfortable.

KEITH: (a) Run along and feel the heels landing in front of you for 4 or 5 landings (heel strike)  (b)now switch and feel the toes landing way behind you for 4 or 5 landings (c) now try for a whole-foot landing - so you have decelerated, accelerated, gone at constant speed. Repeat a few times with the feet going less in front and less behind until you can subtly feel yourself precisely balancing

MY RESULT: The deliberate extending brought back memories of a heel striking past!  As you would expect, brought about a deceleration.
Then switching to toe landing, behind the hips brought about scuffing of the shoes upon landing, but apart from that, did not feel that unnatural. Moving the landing so far back also required some leaning forward with the hips, but I could start to feel what you mean by balance.
Bringing the feet back under the hips felt comfortable. And then I was able to move slightly back and forward with the landing, and interestingly, I think that the balance point is possibly a few millimetres behind where I have been landing the past few weeks. But we're talking millimetres here!!

KEITH: While running raise the back heel slightly and feel an acceleration. then raise the back heel less and feel the deceleration. This too is a balancing exercise.

MY RESULT: I was raising the heel, then dropping the heel, to feel the acceleration and deceleration. I could easily feel the effects here! I know you're not suggesting that the runner raises heels to accelerate, rather that the runner leans forward from the hips. But it was interesting nonetheless. Again, the balance point was clear. I think I'd already had a go at this one, without realising, because of when I was filming at the track on Friday, a the UK National Jumps Coach (happened to be at the track) pointed out that he thought I was raising the heel too much - he was right - I was accentuating the movement for the camera!

KEITH: Wile running fast start lifting the knees slightly you should feel a deceleration - now stop lifting them - this too is a balancing exercise.

MY RESULT: Not as successful as the other two experiments, but I ache a bit today so never quite got up to what you or I might call "fast"! But I did notice that it brought on what you might call "prancing". And also the deceleration you talk of.

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