Are you running properly? Poor running technique can lead to unnecessary injury risks if they are not picked up early.

Many recreational runners are placing undue strain on their bodies, as well as compromising their speed, by using the wrong technique. Conditioning coach Mike Antoniades has developed a unique methodology for teaching the correct and most efficient running technique to athletes and recreational users of all levels.

The application of Biomechanical, Gait and Movement Analysis and video documentation helps him to identify any weaknesses and the underlying causes for abnormalities in running, walking, sprinting and motor control

Whether you run to keep fit, compete at the Olympics or participate at any level in a multidirectional ball sport you can always improve your running and sprinting technique.

Running well and running fast is a skill, not something you were born with. And just like any other skill it can be taught.

Are you running efficiently?

Some of the most obvious weaknesses I see in runners and joggers are:

1. Bouncing up and down too much

2. Over striding

3. Not using their hamstrings enough

4. Landing on feet too heavily

5. Breaking action on landing

6. Not using arms

7. Twist midriff side to side while running

8. The head and upper body are bent forward

9. Jogging slower than you could walk!

Most joggers and runners are biomechanically inefficient because their running technique is poor.

They don’t use the necessary body parts efficiently so when they are supposed to be enjoying themselves they are instead suffering pain.


So how can you run faster, more efficiently and avoid injury?

The nervous, muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems of our body are all involved when we run.

They all combine to create the neuromuscular and neuromechanical systems.

We can improve the biomechanical movements for runners by teaching the body and the mind the correct motor patterns.

When you want to change a movement in your body it needs to be stored in your muscle memory so you can repeat without thinking, particularly when you are tired.

When you perform a motion the body sends messages to the brain in a certain sequence.

To create a permanent map in your brain and nervous system you need to repeat this motion many times until it is ingrained in your muscles and your brain.

1. The primary objective of motor learning is to train the Movement rather than the Muscle.

2. Once we have taught the movement then improving the athletic performance of a runner is imperative in the pursuit of excellence and in injury prevention.

3. The neuromuscular system then has to be stimulated to recruit and contract motor units simultaneously and to increase the strength of the contraction.

All accomplished and elite runners run on the balls of their feet. The foot should strike the surface with the ball of the foot, in a dorsiflexed position (with toes pointing forward not downwards) otherwise this creates a” breaking” motionThe heel doesn’t touch the ground.

The foot on landing on the surface should be “light” not heavy, it then “grips and scrapes” the surface. The knee is slightly bent on contact with the surface and the foot lands below the centre of gravity – just below the hips.

Think of your leg working in a circular motion from the hip joint. This brings the heel of the foot behind the body. The hamstrings and gluteus maximus (backside muscles) play a very big part in this movement. The thigh moves forward with the action of the quads and hip-flexors, the leg is extended and the foot drops again, landing on the ball of We call this cycling the leg The hips and waist should be steady without a lot of side to side movement. The back should be straight and relaxed, not bent at the waist.

The shoulders should be relaxed, The arms should be bent at approximately 90 degrees and the motion should be from the shoulder not the forearms. As the arm moves back it should continue to stay in 90 degree flexion.The hands should be held with the palm facing inwards not down. If you prefer to hold your hands in a fist, the thumb should rest on the forefinger.

The head should be up with your eyes looking ahead not down. Try not to think about the movement too much. Instead try to feel the cycling motion, and visualise it in your mind while you’re running. You will know when you have got it right, you will be able you feel it.

When mental toughness becomes physical injury.

By Dave Owen

My greatest sporting influence is an old friend that I met via cycling. His influence helped me hugely with mental toughness and got me to completive times that through the amount of training I did, or lack of it, I did not really deserve. The Major, is the hardest man that I’ve ever met. Yet one of the most loyal friends anyone could ever wish for. A visit to his home in winter leaves you hugely motivated, intellectually stimulated and at the same time with a touch oh hypothermia! He doesn’t do heating, or cooking and his approach to food is best described as raw and best tackled with a tin-opener! He also has a horde of internal medals that like all true champions, aren’t on show.

When I was running (note the ‘was’) my mental approach was ‘what would Graham think’ or ‘what would The Major do?’ What I forgot was that roughing it out is easier on a bike – it really is.

In running, we go for a run to ‘test the injury out.’ We worry that our eating habits are only sustainable if we run. If we don’t train then we won’t hit a goal or beat a PB. We live in a Strava/Fetcheveryone (is it still a thing?) bubble. I used to see the total mileage of friends and then force myself out to get more miles in. I’d see their average pace and go out harder. I’d see how little rest that they took and thought I was a whimp and then train on rest days. I’d see that they were training sometimes twice per day. I’d do that! Sometimes, I’d even run around the block to make sure that my Garmin said x.0 miles and not an odd number (e.g. 20.4km).

I rarely cross-trained as it wasn’t specific to running and I was desperate to take age category prizes and finish high up overall. I even thought that I had super-human knees and that I wouldn’t suffer like others! Wait for it …. how wrong I was!

Life, ladies and gentlemen, is about happiness and enjoyment. I adore running! I miss the feeling of movement and the simplicity of the pastime. I massively miss running over the fields and through woodlands with my dog. Every day the terrain changed and running at sunrise was often breathtaking. Headphones were never needed as the birds provided the soundtrack. Even running with a head-torch was fun. Running on the road was tedious and headphones were essential (MarathonTalk and Tom’s many dietary fads were listened to. I laughed and cried with Tony and I eventually caught on to Martin’s running age theory)

My message to you is don’t tough it out!! Cross-train. Do things that make you smile. Avoid Strava and alike like the plague. Chuck the Garmin on eBay and let others suffer from digital anxiety! Measure your runs by how much they make you smile and most importantly, wear suncream.

PS. The Major missed a national championships at the weekend. He had tried to tough it out through a chest inflection and nature won!

Nutrition: What should I eat to enhance performance?

There is information everywhere on diet and nutrition, everyone has a view. The diet and nutrition industry is a multi-million pound industry and the diets and product are marketed to convince us that they will make us lose weight and/enhanced our performance. The industry convinces us that there is a magic formula because we want it and they make money. So what will enhance performance?

If you are not taking illegal performance enhancing drugs then the advice then there is 3 simple pieces of dietary advice outlined below which most Nutritionist give. However, if you do take drugs e.g., Anabolic Steroids there would be different advice. Taking Anabolic Steroids will enable your body to metabolise more protein to amino acids to build muscle as long as you are overloading the muscles with something like regular weight lifting. With no Steroids any extra protein after repairing and building is either converted to the body’s carbohydrates stores or if they are fill they are converted to fat (so think about that before you eat that protein bar, with all the E numbers and sugar too). As you do intensive exercise your body will use energy from your carbohydrate stores and converting replenishing the stores either from what you eat or your fat stores. You body can’t convert much when you are working hard. It is one of the reasons that you feel tired and slow down. Your body can convert carbohydrates to fats, fat to carbohydrates and protein to carbohydrates by chemical reactions in your body.

Three important pieces of advice:

1. Eat a wide variety of unprocessed food to ensure you are eating all the vitamins and minerals you need. No one food is 100% protein, very few foods are 100% carbohydrates (with the exception of alcohol and sugar/sugar syrups), or all fat (the exception maybe Lard). Most foods have a bit from each food groups.

2. Eat very few processed foods like sugar, alcohol, cakes, pies and biscuits. These food are usually high in calories as well. You should not eat too much.

3. Keep yourself well hydrated and follow the advice in the boxes below.

are your individual needs and don’t forget to keep yourself well hydrated.

Nutrition: Stick to a balanced diet and try to limit food that are highly processed e.g., Sugar, Alcohol, Biscuits.