Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Alexander Technique Recap

I've been looking to do a Chi running course recently but couldn't find one that started close enough soon enough ... and once I decide to do something it can't wait anymore ;-).  So while perusing Runners World events in my area there was an odd entry which was the Alexander Technique Running course Sunday 19th August.  Everything seemed to click into place, our road trip would be over, I did some research and there were plenty of adults available to look after the kiddos. It was £75 so I sang "happy birthday to meeeee, happy birthday toooo meeeeee" and I signed up.

I found this great description of the Alexander technique:
"The real secret of natural running lies not in how quickly muscles can contract but in how quickly they release. The Alexander Technique is a tool, which will help you discover why natural running begins where mechanical, habit-locked running ends."

After I finally got there, yes I am about to rant about traffic but I can't believe the trip up to Clapham took over an hour and half ... someone needs to tell Tooting Bec that it was SUNDAY - no need to be busy!!! ;-)

So how did the day go after I got there?
The Alexander Technique Running Course hosts were Claire and Kamal; there were 4 of us on the course. On arrival you instantly feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation ... me and a room of 6 unknowns is not my favourite way to spend a Sunday.  I had missed a few of the introductions but was brought up to speed quickly.  Claire & Kamal briefed us on how the day would flow (yes I battled not to say "run") and then we hit up the common for our first video secession - that in itself is enough to make me bolt for the gate and yet again I didn't.

They told us to warm up as we normally would and then we each ran a quick to and from in front of the camera and then it was back to the house for analysis.  Well Claire & Kamal analysed I just groaned at how I really didn't look like a runner!!  After this we went and had a taster Alexander technique on the couch and in the chair and of course I nearly fell asleep!!

... let me reverse a little here:
Claire and Kamal explained how posture is the base of our running and with correct posture you can run easier and freer and with less effort and injury ... revolutionary RIGHT!!! Yeah well try do that while running!!!

OK, so then we headed back out to the common with our new found long back feeling and had a techniques secession.  Kamal lead a warm up and then Claire went into running technique.  If you have read about Chi running or Pose running or the Alexander technique and running none of this will surprise you: Heels up (a BIGGIE for me) lean from the ankle, feel the length of your back, let the legs and arms swing form their hinge and off you go .... simple RIGHT!!!  SO we practiced and then we were videoed again and afterwards we went back to the house for another comparison analysis - ASTOUNDING - I looked like a runner!

Here is a video of a past student, I had a private link to mine but don't think I can post it as it has all 4 us and not sure if the others have said its OK.

Would I recommend it? YES
Should you look into doing it? Only if you feel the need to

SO, do I now run like a gazelle across the open plains?  eeerrrrmmmm, well I went for my first run today and it's hard, each time I felt I was "loosing it" I would stop and walk.  I would then start up again from standing running and then head off again ... I must have looked a sight ;-)  There was no gazelle floating around the park today but she's coming I'm sure.

Hope you are all having a great week, the boys are keeping me busy so am knackered every night! ONLY 3 more weeks, only 3 more weeks of summer holidays ........