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Maybe she's born with it?

sarahleonardby sarahleonardDec 21st 2012
Maybe she's born with it?
Whatever 'it' is and no I definitely wasn't. If you'd have seen me when I first got back into running in 2004 then I doubt that 'natural runner' or 'born to run' would spring to mind.

For me, running felt like I was in a bad dream, no matter how hard I tried I just didn't go anywhere.

I felt baffled. I'd always considered myself a good runner and here I was struggling to go forwards. I wasn't very fit, that's true. But, somehow I'd unlearned how to run. My limbs no longer seemed to function correctly. It wasn't as simple as putting one foot in front of the other like I'd remembered.

I decided to take action. I entered a half marathon. I think this is quite a normal response for a 20 something who realised they can't do something anymore. Turns out that running wasn't an innate talent like I'd thought, I was going to have to work for it like everyone else.

But this isn't a blog about running a half marathon (although I could tell you about the sleet and the snow, how I arrived too late for the bag drop and had to run the whole way in tracksuit bottoms and my dads' woolly jumper). No this is about me learning the skill of running (something that I never thought that I'd need to do, but I'm really glad that I am doing now). I only wish that I'd have been able to do it earlier.

On this note I do recommend that you read the book Bounce by Matthew Syed about the myth of talent and the power of practice. Here's a short video that I found on YouTube to give you an idea, but personally I think that the book is so much better.

So fast forward to Dec 2012 after and a slightly longer interval since my last session at Running School I was back in the classroom (or the room with the treadmill and stuff) for my next session.

I didn't feel 100% when I turned up for the session, but I left feeling like I'd worked hard and even when I was pushed my technique held strong. I gave myself a pat on the back. I'd managed to make some more improvements, decreased the over exaggeration and the whole movement had become even more natural. This meant that it was achievable for me to run well for longer periods which was one of my aims.

Improvements in my arm movement were still to be worked on, but my ankle stability had improved and my feet were now landing well. Best of all my chin was now behaving (I won't go into this in too much detail).

I know now that even if you have nightmarish running that you can still improve hugely. There are some fantastic coaches out there to help you get on the right track. Also massive respect to those athletes who really are champions, it can't have been easy.

I'm not done yet, there's still progress to be made and here's a quick and slightly blurry shot of me in action:
Maybe she's born with it?
Running School have various locations so if you're interested check them out here's the link.

Until next week...
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