A few weeks ago I got one of those emails offering a free workshop – now I tend to view these with scepticism but as it was from UKC Sports where I am a student (not a sports student I hasten to add!) and it mentioned Parkrun I thought it might be ok, so I signed up.
This meant that I will remain ignorant of what a ‘lollipop’ day at Whitstable Parkrun is (thought I suspect it involves the loop around Long Rock. Canterbury Parkrun is pretty much the opposite of Whitstable, I got lost twice (no-one is surprised really), there was no sea, there was a sharp downhill and a sharp uphill 4 times. I was ‘taking it easy’ after yesterdays 20ish, but as usual this lasts until I try to ease past the first person, at which point I forget and just race the damn thing. So I came in just under 28 mins which is fine by me. There are an inordinate number of Moorhen pics on their Flickr group, entirely because I stood to the left of the photographer at the finish, so inserted my hand or body into a lot of pictures (with my patchy hair colour for which I apologise, and my lovely running skirt for which I don’t).
After that for the workshop participants there was a free breakfast (bacon butties, cereal, juice, tea and coffee- like a hotel breakfast) in the Pavilion – where we all sat down and started the basic runner chat. (For the planty people reading this, runners are like plantspeople, you always have a ready-made conversation opener so it is quite easy to just talk to strangers; for the runners reading this – get into horticulture, it is as friendly as running..). So after a good 3 cups of coffee we had a talk from Vicky a physio and runner, on the advantages of doing drills and various other things (she did actually just invite people to tell her about their problems, she was that nice!). We then went to go and practice some drills and exercises on the all weather courts.
From the perspective of someone who never ever stretches (I do about 10 sun salutations a year, and stretch my peaky hamstring on long runs if I have to), and warms up by walk- running until I forget I am supposed to be walking; this was really interesting as it was working on strength and flexibility (squats, lunges, Monty Python-type walks – then working on running on the spot in a very exaggerated manner and eventually carrying that through to a sprint. I am really feeling it now (about 5 hours later) but in a good way. They are going to email through a list of what we did, so I will stick it up here when they do. I did actually pick up more technical terminology than this, but I hate to write stuff without reading it first – a lot of the initial information was about loading, working with your feet (a totally new one on me) and not assuming that because you run a lot that you must be fit (which I do realise, it chimes with something they were saying on Marathon Talk [I think it is 288] recently)
All in all, it was about 2.5 hours of free training, from professionals in a friendly and supportive environment. I was a tad concerned that as I had received it through the Uni it would be young people, but most of them are not here at this time of the year; the email seems to have been sent to most of the Kent running clubs. so it was full of people just like me really. Though none of them appeared to be ready to fight for the third coffee, wimps..
And and and. I have entered the Kent Coastal Mara (pretty much the same scenery as my two recent long runs) and UKC are offering free psych help, I mean who wouldn’t say yes?