iSportsAnalysis are serialising “Running Sussed”, a book by ex international runner Julia Chi Taylor. In today’s chapter Julia will be talking about “Practical Considerations”. Thank you Julia Chi for sharing your wisdom and insights.
It is a book to open people to the ‘how to run” aspect – or “how to become a runner“ and yes, definitely those who haven’t run much and a interested to follow a path of least resistance
But – it also has a philosophical aspect that means that people who have run for years can get something from it – some deeper insight or connection to themselves through the art of running.
Julia has been running all of her life, it has informed how she has chosen to live from a very young age and has been the bedrock of her ‘practice’ both physical and spiritual – in fact it has become her spiritual practice through the mirror of seeing herself reflected back in her running endeavours.
Julia achieved her first international vest at the age of 19 and went on to run at international level for the next 13 years.
Her most notable achievements were winning the Dublin City Marathon, being placed 7th woman in the London Marathon ( 3rd British) in a time of 2.36.31 and competing in the Commonwealth Games Marathon in 1986.
Chapter 5: Practical Considerations
The beauty of running is its simplicity; wherever you are you can run. A pair of trainers and some shorts and a t shirt – or a bit more weather depending and you can head out of the door. So when embarking on a running journey is there anything more to consider that put on the shoes and off you go…
In some ways ‘no’ – in others the more you consider and the more you are prepared then the smoother the journey.
The first thing to remember is that your body is your instrument, if it is out of tune, or broken in any way then it will not play the tune that it is truly capable of. Think of your body as a musical instrument of a highly tuned car or a race horse and you will be more likely to put looking after it as a top priority. It needs to be balanced and aligned and so this means that regular visits to a sports therapist is of the essence and before you set off on the journey a whole body check and tune up is a good idea to see that the essential system is in good working order.
Daily awareness is an ongoing consideration and a running programme must be aware of regular work to keep the body strong and supple and agile. Stretching and strengthening and balancing exercises, ideally on a daily basis will ensure that you are not stressing yourself and heading for break down. The whole programme must always consider that if you are in balance and strong in the core, flexible and agile that you will be able to run as far as want injury free, whereas even a slight imbalance can cause pain and trouble to your running and mean that the steps don’t feel as joyful as they could.
With the body being your temple in mind – a pair of running shoes that truly suit you and your unique way of running and your body is essential. There are very good running stores now, with people running them who truly know what is needed and can advice you fully. Take time because the ‘wrong’ running shoe can affect the whole programme and it is essential that you change a shoe if it doesn’t suit you.
The running kit itself is your preference of course – for the winter weather there are great products which mean that weather should never be a reason to ‘not run’!!
These can come in any form that life offers us, from long work hours, to the needs of our family, to social life, to other hobbies; life happens and causes practical obstacles to a training programme.
The answer is to allow for your lifestyle, take a good look at it and see what is genuinely likely to happen and then it is possible to see where you need to make changes to your own life, to fit in the running, and to negotiate with others that they support you, this way everyone can work together.
About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor
Julia is an ex international distance runner.
In the late 70’s all through the 80’s and into the early 90’s she competed regularly for England and GB at distances from 5k to Marathon. Some of her best performances include winning the 1985 Dublin Marathon and finishing 7th woman (3rd British woman) in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31 where she was selected to run in the Commonwealth Games.
She still competes now as a master over 55, regularly winning her age group in races around the world. She’s was also part of the winning team for the national master X country championships in March this year, 2016. Julia has coached and mentored others to achieve their dreams in sport and life for the past forty years!