Alan O’Brien, middle-distance runner from Crusaders AC, was a relative late-comer to the sport but rose quickly through the ranks of the sport to represent Ireland five times at full International level. As a late call-up to the European Team Championships in Slovakia, he was instrumental in securing Ireland promotion when he out-kicked the field to win the 1500m event. Alan is a 2x British Milers Club Grand Prix winner, Dublin Novice cross-country winner as well as winner in the 1500m event at the Celtic International 2009 and Irish 3000m Indoor champion 2010. For the last two years his rise o prominence has been curtailed by severe hip injuries with few signs of long-term recovery. Alan attended our “Run injury free” course in January 2013 and below gives a brief overview of this experience. We plan to chronicle Alan’s journey here, so consider this story …to be continued…
“On the way in the car to Laragh on my way to the ChampionsEverywhere “Run injury free” clinic weekend, I reflected on what had got me to this point, and like a lot of athletes injury had put a sudden stop to my progression and to competing. I decided I’d be open minded, as nothing I had done had worked to this point.
It was an early start, and location seemed perfect up in the Wicklow mountains were clean fresh mountain air wasn’t scarce. We got straight into lectures and introduction which I found very interesting and had a good few Eureka moments. When Tony, the “master coach” explained that running was a skill, I noticed I had never thought of running that way. It hit it home that I had never really tried to master that skill, yeah I trained hard like everyone else, but I had never taken time to perfect technique until now.
We all got a chance to show our skill that morning on a treadmill with our normal running shoes on and when I saw how I actually ran afterwards, in slow motion, I could see how inefficient I was. Tony pointed out straight away where I was making fundamental errors that we could work to correct.
That day we all spent hours on drills, flexibility exercises, with time for some lunch to refuel, before stepping back on the treadmill that evening in bare feet to see how we had progressed. I was shocked to see how much my body posture and alignment had improved.
This course is no silver bullet, but any course that says it is, I’d be worried about. This course is suitable for any athlete from beginner to advanced who wants to learn the skill of running efficiently and cut out all those nagging injuries that keep us all from progressing. Very enjoyable weekend, and a big thanks to Tony, Ben, Rene and Jason.
– Alan O’Brien
Alan O’Brien – personal bests
- 800m – 1:48.47 (2010)
- 1500m – 3:43.46 (2010)
- Mile – 4:09.62 (2010)
- 3000m – 8:11.44 (2010)
- 5000m – 14:25.20 (2011)
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