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  • Ollie McCarthy

The Off Season Diaries- 3 months of not running


So after deciding to focus on technique in November I basically had 3 months of not really running.

I was doing one 5km per week and the rest of my time was spent working on running technique and strength training.

I have to admit, after a while this got very frustrating but at the same time I understood why I was having to do this.

Working on technique

So the main reason I wasn’t running was because I was changing technique. This is quite a big task considering I have always run a certain way and was now trying to run a completely different way.

When I run I tended to heel strike with my foot in front of me, which effectively meant each step I was taking, was slowing me down a little bit.

Not a huge problem over shorter distances but over longer distances it wasn’t a very effective use of energy.

The new technique I was trying to learn was based on my foot landing under my body and trying to use my hamstrings more to pull my foot up from underneath my body. Essentially using gravity to help me run.

The reason I wasn’t running much was because I was so used to running with this old technique. If I continued to run like that I would basically be reinforcing bad habits. So I stopped.

Whats the idea behind changing technique?

Well what I am chasing is running efficiency. Which essentially boils down to me wanting to be a better runner.

Less energy used for improved performance.

However, for most people I don’t actually think it matters a whole amount. You can become a very good runner while not having great technique through just getting fitter. That won’t make anything easier. But you will improve.

It is also a very long, slow process.

And for most people the trade off of not running, in the pursuit of efficiency, probably isn’t worth it.

The next few months

From a running stand point I will look to translate the technique work into running now. Which will mean shorter intervals to begin with.

Gradually increasing as my running coach sees fit.

From a strength stand point I am enlisting the help of a friend and talented coach Grant Ford.

It may seem a tad extreme having two coaches. But they both have individual specialisms and it basically takes all the thinking out of my hands.

Which allows me to just focus on making sure my clients get wicked results. Plus its a great way of learning off two great coaches.

About the Author:

Hi my name is Ollie McCarthy and I am a Running Coach and Personal Trainer in Tunbridge Wells. I help people to build fit, robust and capable bodies that look good but also perform well. This is done through a combination of running, mobility, strength and conditioning work.

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