Saturday, 21 April 2012

A little is better than nothing

It's hard to describe how I felt when I arrived in Skatås for a running technique course with Markus Stålbom. Upon seeing the familiar clock and football fields, there was a knot in my stomach and an almost unbearable longing. Skatås has been the place where magic has happened on so many occasions. Many a long run with the group started here. Not to mention the Ultra Intervals that we ran here together last November. My legs ached to take me on one of Skatås' many paths. But I couldn't do it this time. And not for many weeks to come.

We gathered up, we who had already done one of Markus' courses before but who needed some extra help. We started by getting filmed while running a few times and then getting our running style and its strengths and weaknesses analysed. Afterwards we headed out for some technique exercises. Markus encouraged us to think about our posture and cadence, and to try to run relaxed. We ran up some hills and down some hills. We ran with our eyes closed (safer than it sounds. Promise). We ran leaning forwards and backwards. And we got our hands muddy by doing some strength exercises.

To say that I had fun would be an understatement. Notice how I used the verb "run" a lot in the paragraph above? I did all the exercises, and maybe ran 1-2 km in total. I didn't hold back, and I worked so hard on the hills that my lungs got themselves a visa and emigrated to Australia to escape me and what I put them through. My knee was quiet until the very end, when it very discreetly ”ahem”-ed. I listened to it. Besides, the course was over. That's not to say that I left immediately. Markus has helped me with my injuries before, and he offered to do so now too. He had a look at my knee, showed me how to stretch it. Then he showed me some strength exercises. That's when a part of the problem was identified: my hips rotate towards the left, probably because my left side is stronger. When I tried to do the strength exercises, I did them wrong, precisely because of this rotation. And my right knee, the one with the problem, falls inwards.

It was truly a learning experience. I couldn't recommend Markus highly enough, if someone wants to have a look at their technique – he's brilliant and knows exactly what he's talking about. Plus he truly wants to help people, even after the course is over. I'm even considering a private lesson with him, to sort out the aforementioned technique problems.

My longing for running has been softened and made manageable. For now. Hope that my knee doesn't hate me for it.


  1. Visst är det underbart när "poletten trillar ner" och man har något konkret att jobba med! Nu kommer det att bli helt bra ska du se!
    Och Skatås...
    Ääääääälskar det!
    Snart flyger du fram där igen. Jag lovar!
    Inget är för evigt. Inte ens ett trilskande knä. :-)