Injury free running: yes, you can!

My left hip is burning, my left foot is aching. My achilles had been playing havoc ever since I ran the Boston marathon in April. But Chicago added some more aches. And suddenly, everyone in running land is expert. You just have to drop a question in a group (online or offline) and you’ll be drowning in advise. I have resorted to strength training in the gym, Supermans and lunges till I dropped and even the 30 day Plank Challenge is a bit too familiar to me. That core has to be strong! None of it helped me any further. With the Tokyo marathon in my near future I was convinced that I have to quit trying to use Google as doctor. I had heard a lof of good about Franklin van Doesburg. It’s time to call an expert.  

You’ll never get a six pack!

Franklin will immediately ask you to forget all you’ve learnt. All those books about running, websites, advices of other runners. Strengthen your core, flex your hips, Pigeons, crabwalks, lunges. It’s not that this is wrong, it’s just that is wrong for my body. And so the reprogramming starts. I have to learn to run from my back, not my tummy. To stretch those legs, no longer lifting my knees. And yes: let my inner Rocky free, it’s time to loosen those shoulders. 

“Stretch your legs!”
“Bend those arms!”
“Buttocks out!”
“Start boxing!”
“Shorten your steps!”

It takes 2 sessions of 3 hours for a very patient Franklin to teach me how beautiful running can be. And to show me that running doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t feel like you’re running through mud. It takes just 2 days to feel it. A broad smile starts to surface. Not just with me, Franklin is radiating: he did it again! And that’s where the real work starts.

You run, maybe, 1 hour per day. But what’s your posture sitting at your desk?

Because, let’s get real: I run 1 hour, maybe 1,5 hour per day. But what’s my position sleeping, 8 hours per night? How do I sit at my desk, 6 hours per day? When I’m on my bike, how high is the saddle? And you know what? The moment I start paying attention to my posture at my desk, the pain in my foot disappears. With Franklin I go through all my exercises, I got taught at the gym (and YouTube) that should strengthen my running. Can you imagine my relieve, when he tells me I should stop planking? “You will never get a six pack, no matter how long you plank. Your back! That’s your strength. Use it!”  The bridges stay though, so do the Pigeon stretches. Franklin doesn’t stop there. He also teaches me how to properly ice. Six times per day. T

Isn’t running beautiful!

It takes two weeks. Two weeks of sitting very conscientiously at my desk, two weeks of analyzing every step during running. Stretch that leg, lift that hip, start boxing. Till one morning I realise I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night because of my hip! I don’t have to stop running, because I’m afraid I’m doing something wrong. I can really run painfree. And not only that. I am four weeks away from the start of the Tokyo Marathon and I’m running 6 times per week instead of 4 times. And doing double the miles I did in my training cycle for Chicago. And I’m still injury free! And that’s when I know, Franklin had it right the first time I met him: “Running is  the most beautiful thing.”

 

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