Sep 012014
 


There is a lot of discussion in the media and running circles about running technique, and specifically heel strike vs forefoot and the pros and cons of each. Unfortunately almost all the discussions have over simplified the topic and miss a few key points.

Before I go into more explanation let me summarise by saying:
1. There is nothing wrong with heel striking depending on where the rest of your body is when your heel strikes the ground.
2. Changing to a fore/mid foot strike doesn’t necessarily improve your running or decrease your risk of injuries and may even increase the risk of injury.
3. Forefoot strike is not necessarily a more effective, more economical way of running. Read on to find out why. Continue reading »

Sep 062013
 

20130822-153339.jpgEver since Hoka One One was launched a few years ago it has divided runners opinions – depending on who you speak to its either a revolutionary shoe or a fad that will disappear with time.

Since they were launched right at the height of the minimalist shoe trend they stood out amongst the zero drop minimal cushioning alternatives and if you weren’t singing Hokas praises then you were probably firmly in the side against them.

Hoka lovers claim the shoe allows them to fly downhill and run further without muscle soreness.

The detractors claim the massive cushion will decrease the proprioreceptive feedback your feet give your brain, making you a less efficient runner. They will increase ground contact time which will slow you down and the height of the shoe would increase instability making them a poor choice for trails.

Fast forward a few years later and the biggest trend in running shoes for 2014 is for light weight maximally cushioned shoes – very similar to the Hokas.

So why the swing towards maximalist cushioned shoes? Continue reading »

Oct 062012
 

Walking is typically seen as the soft option in running races, however in an ultra its often the smart option. In a hilly race even the elites walk, the difference between them and the back of the pack runners is the amount of walking and the speed at which they walk.

When training for my first Ultra I made the mistake of thinking that I didn’t need to practise walking in training. Surely if I can run then I can walk. This was a big mistake!

Continue reading »

Jul 182012
 


Mental strength is a term bandied about by many runners. It is essential part of performing to the best of your ability but what is it and how can you improve it?

Whilst it is hard to define and many people will have a differing ideas, my definition is that mental strength is the ability to control your mind no matter how your body feels. It’s the ability to stay focussed on the now and not dwell on the what if’s.

Continue reading »

Mar 122012
 


If you are training for a 100k or 100 mile race is there any point including speed sessions in your training? When the winning time in most of these races is slower than 5 minutes per kilometer you may think not. If the fastest runners are running that slow then surely speed is the least of your concerns?

Continue reading »