Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Will it work?!

I'm not gonna lie .... there have been a few occasions in the past three months when I've thought "I wonder if this gait change really will make me faster." 

Actually, that is a lie.  What I actually thought, was: "...will this gait change actually make me SLOWER?"!!

My goal, as I explained in the first entry (second sentence!) of this blog, was that "I hope this will lead to an improvement in performance."  That improvement in performance, as I progress from late 40s to early 50s, is probably not so much about getting faster, as not slowing down.  Aside from the incredibly talented (and dedicated) David Heath, my 800m times over the last couple of years would give me a comfortable national medal and possibly European. 

But there is a risk that my old gait worked for me, and I'd spent 7 years perfecting it, and strengthening the muscles that drove it.  Now I'm starting again - will there be another 7 years before I've fully honed this new gait?  It's possible.

Nothing, however, will weaken my resolve.  I'm hooked on this new gait, it feels much smoother, I love running in shoes that weigh 1/3 of what my old shoes weighed, and being completely vain, I know that I look more like Mr Farrah than Mr Bean!

There's a bit of me that wants to fast forward to the end of this film to see how it ends.  I won't truly know until the summer of 2017.  Next summer (2016) will not be a true test, because I'm not hitting enough mileage this winter.  This time next year, winter 2016/17, I will be back up to the 80km/50miles per week, so summer 2017 is judgement day.


  1. It will work - you'd be the first failure if not :-) And your smoother style will mean less injury = more training time (less downtime) - you just need time for those old muscles to rebuild but I am 100% confident it will come :-) You will find it will be slow at the start but then you will suddenly start to go further and faster - and then it will be a series of false summits :-) That's my confident prediction :-)

  2. Thanks Keith - I'm glad to say that I'm as enthusiastic as you are. And as confident. I was thinking on this morning's commute, that an athlete's training is probably limited to the weakest link. So, perhaps she or he is at the limit of what her or his Achilles can take. With an improvement in style, we are probably bringing up to speed all those small elements that are holding back the rest of the body. Or, in other words, that old 'weakest link' may no longer be the new 'weakest link', and the body as a whole is stronger

  3. Yes. In the second edition I have likened the feet to a circuit breaker - and if you negate it with chunky shoes it's like putting a nail across the fuse in the fuse box. You'll probably be okay for a while but eventually the house will burn down/the body will break further up and it will be worse :-)

    1. Like it! With the nail in place, there could be things going on elsewhere in the house that you just won't know about until it's too late; until after the catastrophic failure that renders the property unusable for a long long time. With a fit-for-purpose fuse, you get an early warning, and with a small change, like a rewire of the plug on the coffee machine, things can be up and running again in no time.

  4. David. Following your lead I have created a new page on our website and I am encouraging other readers to blog their experiences. It will make great reading and an excellent resource for us all ;-)