Category Archives: fore foot running

Aspiring to twenty-six miling without expiring #04

Twenty six days to go and it hasn’t escaped my attention that there is one day left for every mile I will have to run. I feel that this is somehow apt – the marathon is not only run over the 26 miles on the day, but over the many more miles run over the days and months leading up to it. This miniature mountain of time and distance (and hills) already covered is what makes my sensations heighten as the event draws nearer – I have put in so much effort to get this far that I don’t want to miss out due to injury or illness at this late point.

The exercises John has recommended have adjusted my posture to the point that the right calf is much less problematic, although this adjustment does seem to have ignited soreness in the left achilles. I am working on my gait to push right through to the toes on the trailing leg, increasing speed and reducing effort in the legs. This weekend will be my last truly long run before the marathon. As long as that goes well it will be all about keeping the legs ticking over for a few weeks and giving absolutely everything on the big day.


Photo showing: Testing off road shoes with AAA-Physio @ Moti BS8. 14kmph : foot contact slightly ahead of body centre of gravity
Testing off road shoes with AAA-Physio @ Moti BS8. 14kmph : foot contact slightly ahead of body centre of gravity

Top of right glute painful, John has identified that my right foot veers left just at the end of my stride, meaning my hip twists probably causing the pain. It’s only in the last month.

Question is what causes it; shoes, stance or what?
1. New tyres – popped in to Moti and the attentive chaps spent 45 mins sorting that in line with John’s instructions. Very different but comfy, hope an old foot injury in my foot isn’t aggravated as it always casts a shadow over new shoes.
2. Posture – while standing – ‘peering over cliff’, this is the one I’ve been concentrating on, feet, knees, pelvis and head, oh and chest and shoulders if a man can concentrate on more than 4 things at once! While sitting – pelvis, shoulders and head (superman eyes)
3. Running style – shorter stride landing on ball of foot not so heavily on heel, pelvis, elbows (pushing back and not too far forward), and the head, again. Needs working on at the next session.
I really should stretch more.
Been running and out on MTB, neither very good. Torn between resting and pain of getting fit again once John has worked his magic vs glute and back pain of continuing exercise.

Why no magic button John can crunch?

Posture and stability training for teenagers

These drills from The Running School (R) , have great potential for improving the trunk and lower limb strength and stability in a range of age groups.

I can see this style of exercise being particulary effective and engaging for teenagers. JS Physio MSc

Bristol Physio John Stephenson has been providing movement retraining courses for Health Professionals & Physiotherapists since 1999. He also works on a 1:1 basis with private clients wishing to improve their low back stability and running efficiency. Or for a more gentle introduction, ask about the Walk:BacK & Row:BacK programmes!
Book a consultation or free minute open clinic online:

getting there

Hello – I’m still a bit behind in my plan of being able to run 5 miles in 45 mins. 

I have a whole raft of excuses…

But anyway – I ‘m now happily running for 30 mins, no calf pain, no stress-fractured-but-now-mended metatarsal pain – just a couple of blisters  (from running in walking shoes…) and the odd footy twinge (from being a bit too slothful over the weeks and not running enough…)

So – hooray – I think I’m well on the road to my goal


Today at physio I got straightened out…

The background: last year I got a stress fracture in my left foot: absolutely no fun at all, and quite possibly the most painful thing ever to have happened.  While it was on the mend I came to see John at Moti who diagnosed all the bits of me that weren’t working as they should, by which I mean a foot which didn’t land correctly, a stiff hip, stiff shoulder etc etc. After much manipulation and spine-popping I was back on the road to running.

This year, I’m aiming to get myself back up to running 5 miles in 45 mins (or less). I was running for about 30 mins fairly regularly when a couple of weeks ago, my right calf muscle suddenly went pop. Or snap. Or some other not very scientific diagnosis.  So I went back to see John.

The upshot is, after years of sitting at a desk, typing away, (and, weirdly, cycling slightly lopsided as well) I’ve turned into a bit of a spiral (I blame the spinning chair) with very tight neck muscles and hip muscles and so on – all down my right hand side.

So – I’ve been manipulated and spine-popped once more and already I feel freer and more likely to be able to hit my target time/distance by the end of May. Nothing like having a target to aim for.

Going for a run feels like a bit of a leap of faith when I have the spectre of pulled calf muscles hanging over me, but later this week I will be giving my new-found realignment a test run on the downs.

Watch this space…
I’ll be watching with interest – PhysioJohn

Rehab the body – not the injury!

Picture showing - London Marathon Finishers Medal 2013
London Marathon Finishers Medal 2013

Speaking at the recent Physiotherapists in Sports conference, former Olympic USA coach Vern Gambetta called on delegates to consider the whole body and the brain when treating patients. ‘If it hurts, we look for where it hurts, and we rehab the hell out of that, and leave the rest of it,’ he said.

‘You can see a lot by watching’ – Gambetta said, ‘We miss what we don’t see. Sometimes it’s as simple as watching someone from all sides.’

This approach resonates and underpins everything we do in the AAA-Physio clinic at Moti – Which is why we get great results!
So if your are stuck in a loop of; injury – rest – re-injury and can’t see a way out. Book some expert help from the Therapy Team at Moti

book Physio online LOGO

10K Bristol in 60 or less #2

To cut a long story short (ish). Basically I was getting very annoyed and frustrated back in June 2012 because my head wanted to run long and fast but my body wasn’t having any of it. My IT Band was hurting every time I reached about 3 miles.
My IT band problem came on suddenly in Autumn 2011. I think it was when I did a 10 mile run having previously only done about 7 or 8 miles. I rested it and then kind of got used to it happening. It became worse in the spring of 2012 when I was trying to do sprint intervals as a build up to the Bristol 10K. I became really fed up when it slowed me down at the Bristol 10K 2012 and messed up my aim of finishing in under 60 mins (by 1 min), so I decided to seek help!
Moti recommended John to me. John is very thorough and finds out what is the cause of the problem and after a couple of sessions he had me running in a whole new way and after quite a bit of thought (there’s a lot of thinking involved) and effort I can now run basically as far as I want to without ITB pain. Have been back on several occasions for re-tweaks and re-aligning after my body rebels.
I didn’t manage the Bristol 10K in under 60 mins in 2013 I think it was because I had been taught a whole new way to run by John. I’m pretty sure I will do it soon because now I think I have mastered the new technique!
Oh, and don’t tell John, but I’m back doing sprint intervals training once a week! (My speed is definitely improving), and i’m still rubbish at doing any of your exercises so I don’t bother!
Hope to be back soon for a re-tweak. Thanks John 🙂

10Km in Sub 42′

Welcome receptionist
Hi David!

You can get started by logging in – The login link is right at the bottom of the /BLOG home page

Your user name is: runningriddle
you initial password: was sent to your phone

Physio John will post the pictures of your running here
and rowing. You might like to make a few notes on what your learned about head position and increasing your cadence on the hill?

This post is currently PRIVATE and only visible to you and me.

Runner video good technique on hill
Video good run technique on hill

hill_run_smooth <== Click for video

ONE LEG – Rowing
coming soon!

1. Route to running & skiing well – Learning to Run with AAA-Physio John S – Updated

running school booking in Bristol
£10 Session and Some FREE Sessions with a BLOG - Ends 27th Dec.

I started running only about a year ago and managed to complete the Bristol 10k last May but have had various injuries as a result of my running ‘technique’.  “Learn to Run with AAA” seems like the perfect opportunity to improve my technique and prevent injury; hopefully it will help me when I go skiing next month for the first time too!

We met at Rubicon at 6.30pm, started with a general chat and some technical chat (who knew there was so much to putting one foot in front of the other?!) before heading out about half an hour later for some practice.  I hadn’t realised but I was running with completely the wrong posture and not really using my arms.  My take home points were to use my arms with a bigger back swing, to correct my posture before starting off and stopping to correct myself if I went back to where my body found comfortable.

I went for a run on Boxing Day and definitely felt an improvement – it took much longer to get tired and I could feel that my running was smoother.  I have had some twinges in muscles that I didn’t know were needed for running so we’ll have to see how that goes in the future!