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 14: Running Kit
When I began running 40 years ago, we used to run in ‘old clothes’ – tatty old T shirts and shorts – or ‘games kit’ from school. I remember when I got a bit more ‘keen’, my, mother ordered me a tracksuit from an advert in the Sunday Telegraph !
I wore very little winter and summer alike – we were very much of the ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ variety and so whatever the weather, we would brave the elements and just get wet and cold and put up with it !
I can remember showering after a national X country championships in cold water, because as the last race of the day, all the hot water had gone, and the showers were awash with mud!
Well – the elements still do their thing!
But the kit has changed…
It looks great for starters, we can look really ‘fashionable’ when we head out running, and in bright colours too. But the key thing is the materials used really do help protect against the winter weather and mean that running is not only more comfortable, but with warm muscles and a warm core you are less likely to become ill or injured from being over exposed to the elements.
There are specialist running stores that will help you choose kit that works for you and the amount of running you do and where you do it.
Much of the kit now is compress kit too, that can aid recovery and prevent injury, particularly on the calves.
Shoes are a vital part of a runner’s kit of course! If you have your shoes then that is really all you need.
There is a big movement at the moment towards more minimalist shoes that allow the foot more movement and reflect more the lighter shoes of my early days in the 70’s and 80’s
However it is important that you get a shoe that works for you – and some of the running specialist stores have ‘gait analysis’ in store, so that they can prescribe the best type of shoe for you.
Running is essentially a study of one, so take your time, read around the subject; resist taking anything as gospel, it is your body and your feet!
About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor
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!