Instructing Virtual Clinics for New Runners

So this all begins again on Saturday…and am looking forward to another 10 weeks.

These virtual clinics have become interesting..I’ve instructed a lot of in person clinics, but these are different……..they seemed like they’d be pretty straight forward, but they’ve been populated by a lot of runners that are anything but beginners.

Sure, a few that haven’t taken a step, some that have, or have been power walking, and every age group you could think of….but my most recent included some that had run marathons, half marathons, triathlons amd even a few Sparten races…..which made for a bit of a challenge….how do you keep such a large varied group invested and interested, engaged?

Luckily I like to talk, and sending lots and lots of emails.

So far over 2 sessions I’ve worked with 114 people, very different people, and as usual, with any group, it seemed that I got as much out of being the guy at the front, or leading the Zoom meet, as I hope those in it…..

The questions, the concerns always really make me think and question pretty much everything….how I run, why, footwear, how my feet land, why some things hurt, and why others react differently……how we all run, how we’re told we’re supposed to run…my fave all time questions is ‘how do I breathe?’

Clothing, shoes…effort…and it seems a lot of what I do is basially be a cheerleader…a lot of those just seem to want permission to run…….and to be able to run.

We do seem to make it sound simple right? Just run, put on shoes and just run…..but then, well, run how?……and again, how are my feet supposed to land? And now, the main creature feature is still mid foot strike vs heel strike right?…….

I’m pretty sure I’m going to hear a lot of people Saturday asking how to run in winter, how to run in the cold, and how to not slip and fall……..

The one part that always seems to be a challenge, even more so now is finding guest speakers to talk to this group about things, some maybe I do know a lot about, but when talking about nutrition, injuries, and of course sport bras….sometimes an expert in the field is better…….and also provides a different perspective……and yeah, I know a lot about sport bras, and oddly enough womens running, but, well, coming from someone else just makes more sense…..and, well, nutrition…..sometimes telling others that Snickers bars and Coke isn’t much help either.

Actually that’s a kind of an interesting development, the majority of those taking clinics, and I guess taking up running are female, so that has a lot to do with how I build the topics for a clinic….the days are gone when women are just considered just smaller weaker men……nutrition, training,recovery, strength training (it’s interesting how a female body reacts to speed training as oppsoed to men…for them, it is like stength training)…….aerobic and anaerobic training; women and running, a whole new world, and I actually believe that what works for them, may actually help us men as well…….

Today’s run was a bit of a challenge……the cold, and the trails were pretty rough and full of snow, but still, more strength, and there’s a good feeling to just getting outside, getting that fresh air into the lungs, and feeling frost bite back……can hardly wait for the next heat wave though!

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