By Nic, Studio Founder & Runity Coach
We are perfectly designed to run. The problem is we have modified our lifestyle the point where our physical activity has been reduced to the absolute bare minimum. Basically we live our lives sitting in a chair and that negatively affects our health. We then try to undo this by heading out for a run only to feel sore and often get injured.
We now know that a sedentary lifestyle kills more people than obesity, hypertension and diabetes combined. This is a staggering fact and one which is easily reversible. Many people think running is damaging to their health but the reality is the sofa is far more dangerous to our health and our bodies!
Studies tell us that 80% of runners will get injured. So back to the sofa we go, nursing our injury. We want more people to get out of their chairs and out enjoying their runs, pain free.
The running story started 4.4 million years ago when we first came upright onto two legs. We didn’t realise it at the time, but coming upright so we could free our hands and move on our feet has allowed us to become the most successful species on the planet. Why is that?
Moving upright has it’s disadvantages; we can’t outrun a squirrel, or out climb a chimpanzee. So why did we stand up? Standing up allows us to expend far less energy, moving long distances, at a reasonable amount of speed. We can also cool ourselves much easier as the sun isn’t on as much of our body - hence why we only have hair on our head! And we have sweat glands so we don’t need to gasp like other mammals which means we can use our respiratory system to generate oxygen for our muscles.
These are the advantages of the human being - we can run long distances more than any other animal. As a comparison, a horse could not finish a marathon in 2 hours on a hot day.
So if you’re designed to run and it’s so good for us, why is it that you’re not running or if you are, you’re not enjoying it? Well that is what we cover in our “Pain-Free Running” interactive workshop.
In this workshop we spend two and a half hours looking at the theory behind running, discuss running shoes and good running technique, explain why running is not fast walking (walking and running are very different!), and test our own movement patterns to see how ready we are to run well and run pain free.
We then spend 90 minutes looking at simple, at-home, exercises which can become part of your daily practice as well as form part of your warm up routine so you are left understanding that training to run is not about the running, it’s about the preparation for your running and what you do on the days you don’t run.
We often use running to get fit, but your body needs to be ready to run.
Even if you don’t run, this workshop is about functional movement which as humans we should all be able to do, even if we don’t take it into a run. We work on glute and core strength in functional ways which really is of benefit to everyone. I use a lot of these exercises with my older clientele and those with ongoing back pain as a result of muscle weakness and muscles not firing when they need to. This workshop is about training the body to work just as it should do. At the studio we say “work smarter, not harder” but this workshop we say “work smarter and harder” so that your body is ready for the load we place on it when we move.
We’ve run several of these workshops at the studio and they are always very popular. Feedback from previous participants, has been amazing with so many of our clients telling us how their competitive runs are considerably faster despite the fact they ditched their apps and making their training runs about time, their warm up routines have totally changed from a static to a much more dynamic routine, how they enjoy their running much more now they understand it in more detail and how they now understand why they were getting injured and feel empowered to change that and prevent it from happening in the future.
To see when our next workshop is happening, check out our Workshops page to book online.
Nic is the founder of Soul Pilates in Bristol. Nic has created a thriving equipment and mat studio bringing together the Soul philosophy of movement, mindfulness and full body health approach. She is Comprehensively trained with Polestar Pilates, a Runity Pain-Free Running Coach and a Reiki practitioner. Her passion for movement and feeling awesome in your body, right now, is the inspiration behind her studio philosophy.
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