Master the art of running using the Alexander Technique
‘Tis the season to run! And with a big sporting events such as the Brighton Marathon coming up, there’s no better time to brush up on your technique to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your body using the Alexander Technique – Linford Christie did!
Based on the teaching of Frederick Matthias Alexander, the Alexander Technique has been taught and practised for over a hundred years and focuses on positive ‘body use’ – ensuring correct, effective posture, and economy of movement and effort. This means your musculo-skeletal system is working at its most effective to build strength and suppleness, help avoid injury and combat existing muscular or joint pain.
Malcom Balk, an Alexander teacher, running coach and author of ‘Master the Art of Running’, has some simple but effective suggestions that will help to build strength and suppleness and avoid injury;
THE HEAD LEADS AND THE BODY FOLLOWS Although we run in a forwards direction, the spine is happier lengthening upwards. With this in mind, it is important to let the head remain quietly poised on top of the spine and to look ahead rather than down.
SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE Learning not to over stride and reduce braking is the key to running more efficiently. So, stop reaching out with your foot and landing on the heel, instead, let your knees, not your feet lead the stride.
LIE DOWN BEFORE A RUN Before your run, take time to lie down and gently allow your spine to find its optimal resting length. This works much better than ‘posturing’ your self and will prepare you to run in more connected/conscious way.
PRACTICE & PERFECT RUNNING SLOWLY It’s harder in some ways to run slowly as there is less momentum to cover up your bad habits. You also have more of a chance to notice what’s happening when you slow down and pay attention.
Happy practice… See you out there on Hove Lawns!
Email Alan Mars or call on 07930 323 057