When I crossed the line in Boylston Street, it was an amazing feeling, it’s hard to sum up the perfect sentence to describe achieving a goal eight years in the making. I was proud, looking back at the person who started this running adventure.
The person that started this running adventure looked for strength externally. Moaned about the course, how hard the marathon was, how he wasn’t a proper runner etc. Then made lots of excuses and ran his slowest marathon.
Fast forward eight years. With sub zero temperatures, torrential rain, constant headwinds, a knee injury which impacted my running stride for over half the race. I ran to be the best version of myself and drew on strength internally, which resulted in a marathon PB.
However a week later I had the sense of what’s next?
Whilst having goals isn’t intrinsically bad, it’s important to stop, reflect and take stock of what you’ve achieved. So you feel energised for your next goals. I did this in a couple of ways.
1. Booked a family holiday where running wasn’t the focus.
2. I’m fortunate enough to get offers to run in a number of events, I had the option of running several great races shortly after my six star finish, and I chose not to run them. You may think why do that, get back on the horse etc etc… But it was important for me to respect the process, which meant a several week break from running.
3. I watched this video to remember how epic the finish of Boston 2018 was! Yep that’s my voice in the opening credits after picking up my medal!!
4. See how far you’ve come. Whilst there’s still more I’d like to do in the marathon distance, I’m proud to have reduced my marathon time by approximately one hour and thirty minutes, and PB in Boston despite all the challenges on the day.
5. In moving onto the next goal, it’s important to remember how significant your last goal was in your own personal growth. Following the completion of the 2018 Boston Marathon, there are a total of 3,824 six star finishers. 365 are from the UK and I’m one of the 86 that reside in London. Considering that over a million people have run the London Marathon for the past 39 years, to be one of the 86 Londoners to run the six is an amazing achievement.
Post Boston I had to get my knee looked at before I returned back to running gradually.
The stats for the past week, I added 44 miles to the training bank, with the majority of the running done at an easy pace. Which can be done a number of ways, the easiest is by heart rate.
I’m slightly weaker on my right side which is the reason behind the injury, so I took the opportunity to get a second opinion at the Jon Bowskill Clinic, who specialise in healing and recovery from injury’s, then help you stay healthy.
I met with Jon and Ed, then had a running assessment using the dorsaVi technology sensors from ViMove2, which was different to other running assessments I’ve had, which are done internally, for example on a treadmill with sensors on your body and recorded, or running on pressure pad then the footage is recorded, plus the foot pressure is monitored etc.
Essentially the ViMove2 assessment uses dorsaVi technology which uses two sensors which are placed on each shin, then it captures data as you move.
Part of my assessment was done in a controlled environment using a treadmill. Whilst the other part of the assessment was done in the real world, running in the streets of London. The sensors battery life lasts up to two hours and can monitor you in training and in races. It can provide accurate results outside of a controlled environment.
Below is a snapshot of my results, worn with three different ASICS shoes and insoles.
For the first and third rows I wore the neutral ASICS Nimbus 20 and Roadhawks, with the regular insole. The Nimbus are my everyday training shoe for easy runs. Whilst I wear the Roadhawks for shorter runs.
For these two rows my absolute symmetry index (ASI) also known as my general balance (monitoring how much you eithier sway from left to right or keep good posture) was 3% which is still in the top range.
For the second row I wore the lighter neutral DS 23 which is what I’d wear in races. However I switched the stock insoles to my custom Enertor insoles, and improved my ASI to 1% which was a 2% aid, to improve my running form.
The test covers a range of analysis, this snapshot shows the average force (GRT) weight (IPA) ground contact (GCT) time for both legs, and cadence which all help to see where any imbalances are.
Recommendations post ViMove2 analysis:
Despite my weaker right side the test results showed the benefits of my strength and conditioning work, combined with the benefit of the Enertor insoles.
However everyone can work to be better, so post assessment one of Ed’s recommendations for me, would be to start incorporating the single leg squat into my cross training, but focus more on my technique than repetitions.
Ed explained that it’s about maintaining a good posture at your torso (upright) with a good stable pelvic position. The key point is to maintain this posture as you dip into the squat. Only go as far as you can maintaining this control, the second you feel like it is lost stand back up.
Then progression would involve squatting down further, and as I improve my form, this could be combined with standing on an unstable surface like a balance cushion or wobble board. Throughout this process monitoring my leg control would be measured using the dorsaVi technology.
In terms of what my future appointments would look like, Ed would periodically monitor my right side through the running metrics by starting in a controlled stable environment and as improvements are made, then move towards a more challenging or uncontrolled environment (outdoors).
Overall I found the analysis extremely beneficial and would recommend it.
One of my favourite marathon experiences of all time was running the 2016 New York Marathon, and I’m excited to be running it again this November. So I’ll be working hard in the coming months to run my best out there.
In my next training cycles, I’m working on improving my speed and endurance. So I’ve entered a number of shorter races 5k, 10k, to the half marathon distances to help me achieve this. Stay tuned for race details once confirmed.
So to wrap this up, the final bits of house keeping are…
To look at the Enertor insoles click this link. To get 25% off all Enertor products, use the code: BAMARCUS
Final bit of news, you can get 40% off your Science in Sport orders, using the code APRQM06Y which is valid until the end of May 2018.