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Marathon done – what now?

Marathon done – what now?

What’s the best strategy for getting the body back in the right condition after the marathon and how should your training look like? Read on…   Finishing a marathon usually presents a huge climax (or sometimes anti-climax) leaving both mind and body somewhat drained. In running circles, the phenomenon has sometimes been described as the…

Why didn’t I hit my marathon pace target? (or factors to consider)

Why didn’t I hit my marathon pace target? (or factors to consider)

Ok, I had a good target but still didn’t reach it! You may come back and re-read this second part of our two-parter on marathon target pace AFTER your marathon but if you’re curious now the factors that can skewer even good predictions can have some value ahead of the race. Let’s take them one…

What time can I run for my marathon?

What time can I run for my marathon?

This is the million-dollar question isn’t it? Whether you’re experienced or brand new to the marathon, it will likely play on your mind unless you are one of the lucky minority who sets this question aside and simply says ‘I’ll run to feel this time and see where I end up’. The latter can be…

Marathon doubts: The question of volume and the longest run

Marathon doubts: The question of volume and the longest run

There’s probably nothing more dangerous than generalized advice if it’s used without adjustment to your individual situation and expeirence. Recently I have been hearing runner’s I train vocalizing similar fears and doubts to those I remember having when I prepared for my first marathon. I was lucky in many ways: my first marathon build-up happened…

Running technique analysis: Case Study Part 3 (Achilles injury sufferer)

Running technique analysis: Case Study Part 3 (Achilles injury sufferer)

In part 1 and 2 of this series we looked at two phases of the running stride – initial contact and mid-stance – and their influence on Achilles injury for our Case Study – GAA footballer Myles Conway. Today we will be looking at a part of the running stride called ‘terminal stance’ consisting of…

Running technique analysis: Case Study Part 2 (Achilles injury sufferer)

Running technique analysis: Case Study Part 2 (Achilles injury sufferer)

Yesterday’s article began taking a look at a running analysis on Myles Conway, a GAA footballer and Achilles pain sufferer. We looked at the part of the running stride commonly called ‘Initial Contact’. Today we will progress to talk about ‘Mid Stance’. This position occurs shortly after ‘Initial Contact’ and stops when the full weight…

Running technique analysis: Case Study part 1 (Achilles injury sufferer)

Running technique analysis: Case Study part 1 (Achilles injury sufferer)

Myles Conway is a former Wicklow County footballer and he kindly allowed me to share his story so far and the results of our first biomechanical assessment a few weeks back. Myles related a familiar story to me of having tried pretty much every intervention and therapy under the sun from the mainstream to the…

Why is assessing running technique so difficult?

Why is assessing running technique so difficult?

Today I’d like to divert a bit from the long-standing discussion on whether it’s useful or not to assess someone’s running technique and instead look at why it can be so difficult and why consistent results from analysing running can be hard to come by. Let’s take a minute to refamiliarise ourselves with the key terms: Technique:…

How costly are you to ‘run’?

How costly are you to ‘run’?

In our last article we looked at the effect of bodyweight on running performance. We mentioned in fleeting the rather bland term ‘unit cost’ as part of this discussion. ‘Unit cost’ describes the amount of energy you spend per kilogram of your bodyweight to cover the distance of 1 kilometre. For a long time, experts…

How much is your weight slowing you down?

How much is your weight slowing you down?

Have you ever obsessed about the weight of your racing shoe? It’s important because weight below the knee has a big relative impact on running efficiency. Well, if you do, you are very right but do you have a clear idea of much the weight on your body matters? Runners sometimes laugh at the cyclist…

Your training paces for running

Your training paces for running

A key question before doing any run will be ‘at what pace’ or the related question ‘at what effort’. In our personalised training plans we provide the full level of detail: heart rate, subjective effort target (Rate of Perceived Exertion) and pace ranges. We do this to avoid the MAIN TRAP of training: If you…

‘Why would I run at a higher cadence’? (a detailed look at stride rate)

‘Why would I run at a higher cadence’? (a detailed look at stride rate)

Cadence (definition): the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement (Dictionary.com) “Walking and running speeds (metres / second) depend on two characteristics: stride length (m/s) and stride rate (strides/s). Running speeds will increase if stride length remains constant and stride time decreases (stride rate increases) or if stride rate remains constant and stride length increases.”…

Overview of our training plans

Overview of our training plans

In this four part video series René Borg talks you through how to get started with your training plan: Part 1 We begin with an overview of the ‘frame of the picture’ – how to understand what each week of training is all about. Part 2 The second part looks at how to begin understanding…

Niko niko pace – the gentle path to success

Niko niko pace – the gentle path to success

Niko niko running is a Japanese concept pioneered by researcher dr Hiroaki Tanaka in his book ‘Slow jogging’ from 2016 (not a title destined to sell many copies in Europe or America but I decided to buy it anyway). Hiroaki Tanaka formalised his system after using it to improve from 4:11 for the marathon in…

Three tests to measure your running potential

Three tests to measure your running potential

Have you ever started a training schedule not quite sure of where you are at fitness-wise and having to make an educated guess? This poses a big problem for runners – over-estimate your ability and you may over-train and under-perform. Under-estimate your ability and you may sell yourself short and not get the training stimulus…

Four things to think about during your marathon taper

Four things to think about during your marathon taper

When I ran my first marathon, in my very first year of running, I decided to ally with a coach from the very beginning. I felt that there was no point committing all my efforts to such a lengthy race and then risk having a bad performance on the day. In the end it turned…

Running (technique) – simple, complex or just complicated?

Running (technique) – simple, complex or just complicated?

Shouldn’t running just be about going out the door and putting one foot in front of the other? There is an old saying in soccer that it is ‘a simple game, complicated by idiots’? Have we done the same to running? As the science around running has expanded and the commercial interests in the sport with…

Are runners just too lazy to practice technique?

Are runners just too lazy to practice technique?

As a technical coach it is tempting to blame resistance to the idea of ‘technical’ training as opposed to ‘just running’ on inherent laziness in runners. I could bemoan that runners just want to ‘run, run, run and think of nothing else’. Superficially this seems to be true for many runners – they just want…

5 reasons your running injury won’t go away…

5 reasons your running injury won’t go away…

Injuries are the scourge of the running community today. Depending on what study you read 50 to 90% of all runners are injured every year and despite all the ‘advances’ in medical science and shoe manufacturing, nothing has made the slightest dent in this trend. So the constant irritation and frustration of injury remains hanging…

RADIO PODCAST: Running surfaces and running technique

RADIO PODCAST: Running surfaces and running technique

Jason and Rene appeared on RTE’s Ray Darcy Show and Matt Cooper’s ‘The Last Word’ last week to join in on the debate about running surfaces, injury and running technique. If you missed the interviews, listen back below and don’t forget to read our detailed response to Ger Hartmann’s article in ‘Roads are not to…

Road running is not to blame, YOU are…

Road running is not to blame, YOU are…

      This article was written as a response to the radio interview ‘Road-Running will leave joggers on the scrap-heap’ with Ger Hartmann. We will discuss our view here on TodayFM tonight at 18:30 GMT.     You’re driving along, inattentive, shortly after acquiring your driver’s license. As you look up from your mobile,…

ARTICLE: Fear, stress and injury

ARTICLE: Fear, stress and injury

If you’ve ever had one of those injuries that seems to ‘come and go’ or be ‘ok one day worse the next’ even when you’re not running on it, then there might be an explanation. When the body prepares for a stressful or dangerous situation it creates noradrenaline (the fight or flight hormone) and cortisol (the…

Glutes or feet – what really causes your running injuries and muscle pains

Glutes or feet – what really causes your running injuries and muscle pains

When I speak to runners who have recently been treated for injury one of the most common pieces of the information they share with me is that ‘the physio told me I had weak glutes’*. This often goes with a comment that ‘I have tight hips’ and a prescription to do an exercise like this…

TOE DRILLS (TOE-GA)

TOE DRILLS (TOE-GA)

Toe drills or ‘toe-ga’ is a series of drills invented by Lee Saxby and taught as part of the VivoBarefoot Coaching certification education. Please find in this article a simple video showcasing coach René Borg executing some of the moves.*   Read our full article on the topic here Note the drills shown here are…

Should runners train their upper bodies?

Should runners train their upper bodies?

The short and snide answer to the titular question could be: Because you will look better. But vanity aside, the real answer is more interesting and no less true. We need to begin by abandoning the notion that running is primarily a lower body exercise, when in reality it is a ‘full-body movement’. We will…

PODCAST: CE & Barry Murray on nutrition and performance – part 3

PODCAST: CE & Barry Murray on nutrition and performance – part 3

René Borg speaks to Barry Murray, performance nutritionist and owner of OptimumNutrition4Sport, after our first of joint workshop in Wicklow. This time we are taking questions submitted by you.  This is Part 3. Listen to Part 1 or Part 2. Listen now (note we had a few outages, they have been largely edited out) In part 3…

ARTICLE: Runner fix your foot – toe and foot drills for injury free running (‘toe-ga’)

ARTICLE: Runner fix your foot – toe and foot drills for injury free running (‘toe-ga’)

 “In the first year after you took up running – what did you learn most about – shoes or your feet?” This was the simple question I asked the audience at my recent talk at the Dublin Marathon Expo 2014. When I asked “Was it shoes?” all the hands went up and when I asked…

PODCAST: CE speaks to Barry Murray on nutrition and performance – part 2

René Borg speaks to Barry Murray, performance nutritionist and owner of OptimumNutrition4Sport, at the time of our first joint workshops in Wicklow held on the 1st-2nd November.  This is Part 2. Listen to Part 1. Part 3 now available here.   Listen now In part 2 of this 3 part series we cover What’s the story…

REVIEW: ‘The Complete Guide to Bodyweight Training’ by Kesh Patel

REVIEW: ‘The Complete Guide to Bodyweight Training’ by Kesh Patel

So what’s the story with Kesh Patel’s third book ‘The Complete Guide to Bodyweight Training‘? The plot can be summarised something like this: “Once upon a time, as we grew up, our own bodyweight was the only tool we had to develop our movement ability, strength and other basic abilities. Through playful experimentation we began to make…

PODCAST: CE speaks to Barry Murray on nutrition and performance

René Borg speaks to Barry Murray, performance nutritionist and owner of OptimumNutrition4Sport, ahead of the first of our joint workshops in Wicklow on the 1st-2nd November.   Listen now In part 1 of this 3 part series we cover Why are nutritionists talking about movement and lifestyle and why coaches are talking about food? What’s up…

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