Thursday, 12 October 2017

Keith and Heidi come to town!

Two months on, and I still cannot believe how lucky we were to have Heidi Jones and Keith Bateman visit us at the Southampton Sports Centre in July 2017! Heidi and Keith were over in the UK visiting family, and enjoying the New Forest, and for us it was an opportunity too good to miss.

A group of 20 of us, from as far afield as Watford (Adrian Harwood), Bristol (Susie Baker) and Crawley (Adrian Haines), were split into two, taking it in turns to do a gait session with Keith, and a foot strength session with Heidi.

The sessions gave us all something personal to take away.  Some of us are new to the techniques, to the drills, and to the joys of the spiky massage ball!  Others have read the book (in some cases multiple times) and are practiced, filmed, and well on the way on our journeys.

We spent almost an hour on each session, but personally, I could have easily spent two or three.  I get the impression that Keith would be happy to talk, advise, and coach for even longer than that!!  To say that these two are passionate about their disciplines would be a gross understatement, and it's infectious...

As I always say about teaching sessions like this, as long as you go away with at least one nugget, it's been a success.  I took away many, and here are the best two examples:

  1. During Keith's session, as we were practicing technique on the track, Keith noticed that I was lifting my knees too much (for the pace involved), and I have managed to correct that since on my slower/recovery runs.
  2. When Heidi asked if there were any particular points anyone would like to raise, I complained of ongoing dull ache in the Achilles.  Heidi demonstrated an exercise that, with very few exceptions, I've employed to excellent effect every evening since.  Heidi claimed the effects would be felt immediately, and she was right.  I've tried to describe the exercise at the bottom of this post.

Anyway, we all had a fantastic evening, made some new friends, and left with much to think about.  And we sent Heidi and Keith away with a couple of decent bottles of English (Kent) wines as a small redress of the balance of Australian wine that reaches our shores!  And again, a HUGE thanks to Heidi and Keith.

Heidi's Achilles "Fixer" Exercise

This exercise will not only strengthen Achilles, but provide almost immediate relief from Achilles ache, which feels strange at first as most of us resort to actually stretching them to get relief, not shortening them!  But it worked for me and continues to do so.
  1. Take your shoes and socks off
  2. Stand facing the back of a chair, or something that you can hold on to for stability.  A wall is works as it is to stop you falling forward or back, that's all (we used those railings in the second picture above)
  3. reset your stopwatch, or at least have sight of a watch with seconds showing
  4. with straight legs, raise up on to your toes.  Don't strain, but raise as high as you can hold for 45 seconds.
  5. after 45 seconds, keep the feet as they are, but bend your knees.  Again, not so far that you're having to work hard to hold the position, but so far that you are still comfortable.  That's probably kneecaps about 25cm forward from the straight leg hold.  Again, hold for 45 seconds.
  6. repeat these two holds another two times each.  That's 6 lots of 45 seconds in total.  Thee whole exercise lasts 4mins 30 seconds.
Heidi pointed out that as you get stronger you can adapt the session to stand on one leg, so this is what I adapted to after about 3 weeks of executing the above every night:
  1. 45 seconds both legs straight leg
  2. 45 seconds both legs bent knees
  3. 22 seconds right leg straight, 22 seconds left leg straight
  4. 22 seconds right leg knee bent, 22 seconds left leg knee bent
  5. 22 seconds right leg straight, 22 seconds left leg straight
  6. 22 seconds right leg knee bent, 22 seconds left leg knee bent
So still a 4.5 minute session, but just gives you a little extra, and I find that it helps to make sure that neither leg is "cheating"!!!  I still do the first 90 seconds on both legs as a sort of a warm up.

It's now a routine for me, and comes straight after cleaning my teeth (which by the way I do standing on one leg - left for lower teeth - right for upper)

No comments:

Post a Comment