Category Archives: Articles

Are numbers evil? (should runners quantify their training?)

Are numbers evil? (should runners quantify their training?)

When it comes to reviewing our running training – or quantifying anything related to yourself as an individual – we have never had more numbers and measurements available to us than now. We can safely predict that even more numbers are to follow in the years and decades ahead. This trend comes with benefits and…

Reviewing your training plan

Reviewing your training plan

Today we can collect many measurements on how we performed during a run with the advanced generation of watches and other equipment like power metres and lactate socks. None of these are critical: old-fashioned ways of measuring your progress such as running known courses and comparing time and how you felt subjectively, can provide you…

Running technique – the greatest obstacle (a message for the New Year)

Running technique – the greatest obstacle (a message for the New Year)

  “Form follows function’. Since first hearing this phrase back in 2012, I must have encountered it a few hundred times in books, publications, videos and general discussion related to the topic of running technique, running form and how to avoid injury. Over-used phrases tend to lose value in the repetition but as I sat…

ChampionsEverywhere partners with Stryd! (Power meters for running)

ChampionsEverywhere partners with Stryd! (Power meters for running)

We are very pleased to announce a partnership with Stryd, a Boulder-based company, producing one of the first, and best, power meters for running. What are power meters? Well that’ll be the topic of the first article in a new series we’ll publish about this. While you wait for that: it’s a unit measuring the…

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…

Galtymore Mountain – Irish Championships 2017 Final Showdown

Galtymore Mountain – Irish Championships 2017 Final Showdown

Round 5 of the Irish Mountain Running Championships and I’m over 60 seconds behind Brian Furey as we descend Cush mountain with 2km of descent to go. Moments ago I had all but given in, asking myself: ‘Would 2nd place be so bad after all? Sure just give up and coast home.’ But I apparently…

Arthur Lydiard’s 100th Birthday

Arthur Lydiard’s 100th Birthday

‘Coach of the Century’ now a centurian On July 6th 2017 it would have been Arthur Lydiard’s 100th birthday. If you hadn’t realised by now we are advocates of this great New Zealand man’s work and our company name ‘ChampionsEverywhere’ is derived from one of his quotes:  “There are champions everywhere. Every street’s got them.…

‘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.”…

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…

Here’s mud in your eye! Big brother trying to scare us again?

Here’s mud in your eye! Big brother trying to scare us again?

I mostly stay away from the news because rarely do I read a story that puts a spring in my step, it’s doom and gloom headlines which sells papers. But today I found myself checking out the independent.ie website and low and behold there was the Irish Independent Newspaper headline: “‘Mud run’ and ‘adventure race’…

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…

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…

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…

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