After my lesson with Lee Saxby I am very motivated to get out and try my new technique straight away – all I need is a clip on metronome, but since I am too impatient to wait for one to arrive from Santa (Amazon), I download a metronome app for my iPhone. It’s a little tricky to set at 180 and the ticking instrument is clear for all to see and hear – but it does the job and I head out on my three mile run.
It is a freezing cold morning, so I am wearing full length leggings and a new bright green adidas anorak – which is a really nice colour, but maybe a bit too eyecatching for today, I think I would rather be a bit less conspicuous.
The mantra is Posture, Rhythm, Relaxation. Posture I can do, rhythm is proving somewhat more elusive.
The trouble is I keep drifting off in my mind and not realising that I have lost time, then I get tense from concentrating too hard, so my relaxation goes too. I am hoping that I will just fall instep after a while and keep reminding myself that it could take six weeks to re-train my brain.
The good thing is that the new technique is not physically demanding and the combination of smaller steps and upright posture seems to having a positive effect on my calf muscles, which are totally fine. In fact if anything it is my thigh muscles that ache a little bit more.
Back to the metronome, tick tock, tick tock – 180 is pretty fast so in an attempt to keep time I decide on a new tactic – I will concentrate on one foot at a time. ONE two ONE two, but the trouble with this is it makes me form a sort of gallop. Lee said to stop each time I lost the pace and start again, so I stop and start again trying to relax into it a bit more.
With about half a mile to go I have a moment where it seems to come together, but then the minute I realise this the excitement makes me lose it again. Damn and blast it, this is not so easy. I reach my front door, slightly irritated, only to be greeted by my other half shouting to the kids ‘watch out it’s the crocodile from Peter Pan’. Oh, ho ho!…it must be pantomime season.
Below: Metronome app for iphone, me (left) and members of the British press testing the adidas Virgin London Marathon gear