Running is a skill

Run injury free for life

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First principles

The new rules of running? Nope. The rules of running are not new. Humans have been running on hard surfaces for 2 million years. Running explains the human body form. Feet, Achilles, Glutes, Nonchal Ligament and more. According to Professor Daniel Lieberman of Harvard there are countless adaptations in the human head to cope with endurance running, not least a very efficient cooling mechanism. Simply put, any sheep can run faster then Usain Bolt, any bear would rip Mike Tyson to shreds, we are not fast and we are not the best fighters. Yet humans can beat horses over long distance, the longer the distance and the hotter the day the more likely humans win.

If humans are the best endurance runners why are there so many injured and/or unhappy runners? Time for to discuss all things running: from technique to evolution; footwear to training. Lets see how aligned conventional wisdom and science really are. Lets pit the Mainstream Press and Product Science against Evolutionary Biology and Sports Science.

Running is more than just putting on a pair of trainers and getting out the door! You also need to consider technique. Technique is the no.1 cause of injuries in runners and everyone can improve their technique. The best runners focus on technique to prevent injuries whether they are experienced or not. Technique is equally important for beginners. Technique can be mastered at any speed!

We will cover Micro Exercises to improve your feet, ankles, quads, glutes, spine and head position. Posture is a skill. Together, we will discuss training plans and what is right for you.

Our goal is to empower beginner runners to know how to run and provide them with the right training program and support in their journey to running success. We will beginning by walking and running as slowly as we can then gradually build up running time bringing everyone along with us. Community is motivation.

Happy running is a choice!

Start your happy running journey with Running is a Skill in Dulwich Park!

Ben Le Vesconte has coached over a thousand runners in the UK, Europe and North America. Ben launched Running Technique Instructor courses for The American Council on Exercise in New York and San Diego, at Canfitpro in Toronto and for Premier Training in the UK. Ben featured in the Guardian guide to running. “Everyone has the opportunity to learn injury free running and enjoy pain free feet. Simple tweaks can have dramatic results!”

Children’s feet and shoes

Take Off Your Shoes and Walk
by Simon J. Wikler D.S.C

Take Off Your Shoes and Walk

Take Off Your Shoes and Walk by Simon J. Wikler D.S.C. (Doctor of Surgical Chiropody)

. . . most adults' foot trouble would either not exist or would be much less bothersome if properly-shaped shoes had been worn during childhood or, better yet, if those people had gone barefoot . . .

. . . The introduction of the elevated heel and the pointed toe marked the beginning of modern foot disabilities . . .

1. Optimum foot development occurs in the barefoot environment.

2. The primary role of shoes is to protect the foot from injury and infection.

3. Stiff and compressive footwear may cause deformity, weakness, and loss of mobility.

4. The term "corrective shoes" is a misnomer.

5. Shock absorption, load distribution, and elevation are valid indications for shoe modifications. (…for genuine leg length discrepancies and as short term interventions for extreme injury rehab).

6. Shoe selection for children should be based on the barefoot model.

7. Physicians should avoid and discourage the commercialisation and "media-ization of footwear. Merchandising of the "corrective shoe" is harmful to the child, expensive for the family, and a discredit to the medical profession.

Shoes affect the gait of children.

With shoes, children walk faster by taking longer steps with greater ankle and knee motion and increased tibialis anterior activity.

Shoes reduce foot motion and increase the support phases of the gait cycle.

During running, shoes reduce swing phase leg speed, attenuate some shock and encourage a rearfoot strike pattern.

The long-term effect of these changes on growth and development are currently unknown. The impact of footwear on gait should be considered when assessing the paediatric patient and evaluating the effect of shoe or in-shoe interventions.

Walking faster with longer strides is hazardous… reduced impact into feet and increased impact into shins, knees, hips and back.

Heel yourself!

Shoe Qualities to Avoid: • High, thick cushioning: Soft cushioning may actually encourage runners to adopt worse biomechanics and land with greater impact than shoes with less cushioning. • Shoes that have a high heel cushion and low forefoot cushion (a “high profile shoe”, or a high heel to toe drop) • Extra arch support inserts or store based orthotics. These items are often not necessary. Orthotics should be considered temporary fixes (<6-8 weeks) until foot strength is increased. A (running) therapist can help you with exercises that can strengthen the foot so that you do not need arch supports on a daily basis.

Shoe qualities to look for

• Be sure the shoe has a wide toe box. The toe box is the area where your forefoot and toes are. You should be able to wiggle your toes easily. Narrow toe boxes do not permit the normal splay, or spread of the foot bones during running. This will prevent your feet from being able to safely distribute the forces during the loading phase of gait. • There should be at least ½ inch of room between the toes and front of shoe, about enough space to place your thumb between your big toe and the front of the shoe. • Test the shoe to determine if it is too narrow: take the insert out of the shoes and step on them on the ground. Does your foot hang over the sides of the insert? If so, your shoe is too narrow. • When you test running in the shoe, be sure that the heel does not slip

• Per above, thin, flat and flexible

Why don’t any of the major shoe companies make shoes according to the recommendations scientific research?

If you want your kids to have healthy feet wear VIVOBAREFOOT. VIVOBAREFOOT are unique. They do less than any other shoe whilst protecting more than most. Thin flat flexible wide protective. All we need for all activities. Use the Code RIASM for 30% off. If you want to learn how to run as therapy…how to skilfully glide on prepared shock absorbers using gravity for propulsion… please get in touch!

1. To lean or not to lean?Stand tall. Leaning as a coaching cue can make runners worse. Don’t lean can also make runners worse. The wisdom is in a balanced approach - upright torso, leaning at the ankle. It is difficult to master technique without being filmed and coached. To experience skilful technique contact us for an evaluation.

2. Quick rhythm. At least 3 strides per second, 180 strides per minute. The no.1 piece of advice for all runners. Get a metronome now!

Ben Le Vesconte is a running technique specialist and skillful movement coach

This special episode was filmed at Technogym located in Soho, NY. Ben Le Vesconte analyzed the running technique of five runners. After coaching to improve posture and rhythm with tips on relaxing the shoulders, neck and hands the five were recorded again running on the treadmill.
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