Old school running principles

There is no one set definition of “old school running” but in our coaching model we wrote up this list of ten principles that we teach as the essence of what the old masters (such as Newton, Cerutty, Pilates, Georges Hébert and Lydiard) taught. Each principle loosely precedes the principle before it and they should generally be mastered in this order:



  1. First move well technically
  2. Mirror a natural lifestyle and make activity part of daily life
  3. Train the mind
  4. Abandon inhibition and fear
  5. Run by feel and improvise
  6. Learn to have fun with your training and don’t associate your training with work
  7. You only get stronger in rest
  8. Minimise distraction from your training
  9. Then train to get tireless
  10. Progress from generic to specific training

One of our main goals for 2013 is to teach you how to master these principles. Some are not as straightforward as they seem at first glance, so keep checking back and rest assured we’ll do our best to teach you these principles.


Principle 1 – First move well technically

To succeed in any sport you need consistency and a large volume of quality practice. The only way to stay clear of injury and perform to your maximum is to move the way nature intended. Old school runners did this pretty much naturally, whereas modern runners have impaired movement from sedentary lifestyles, poor coaching and inappropriate footwear. To practice running to the extent done by old school runners, you first need to coach back a natural running stride – putting in place the foundation for high volumes of work and a happy and healthy organism.

How to do this, along with the other principles, is an art that we will deal with in great deal in 2013 – so stay tuned.

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Director and coach at Borg Coaching Services
Rene Borg is the head coach of Glendalough AC and a passionate runner competing over all distances and terrains.

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