So who can’t run – it’s a basic thing, right?!! However, Lily Luik, an experienced runner who has competed in the Olympics, says that whether you are new to running or a veteran, it is wise to have a professional review your technique from time to time or to train with a group and under the guidance of a coach instead of trying to do it alone. 

An expert bystander’s eye is a great help

Lily Luik says that running seems like the obvious thing to do, but it’s not as easy as it seems. “Even experienced runners who have clocked up a lot of kilometres should have their running technique checked by an expert coach from time to time,” says Lily.

She points out that there is a lot of misunderstanding, for example, about how to put the foot down when running. Often, people automatically run over the heel, when in fact they should land with the midfoot, so that the heel is very light. It is a rolling technique where the step automatically goes over the thigh.

“Some run with such poor technique that they can injure themselves and end up in pain,” admits Lily. According to her, knee and shin problems are the most common, for example, shin splints often occur. To avoid this, it is important to run with the correct technique that is gentle on the feet, but also, for example, inappropriate running shoes or running on hard surfaces can be a contributing factor. 

“If you’ve been running incorrectly for years, correcting your technique with the help of a coach and changes in running technique or physical exercises can help alleviate the problem. Some runners have been able to get rid of knee pain completely because we have helped to strengthen the muscles they need with the right exercises,” says Lily.

She adds that a coach can look at the whole body’s posture while running, in addition to the legs – paying particular attention to the arms and head position. A lot of people tend to keep their head too far back, for example, or the other way round – on the ground – while running, and a lot depends on that. 

“It’s difficult to realise you’re running the wrong way and a professional onlooker’s eye is very helpful. A trainer can give guidance on how to hold a certain body part if needed, give specific exercises to strengthen weak spots and improve posture to make running more enjoyable,” says Lily, explaining why she needs specialist advice.

Group training makes running more varied 

As they say, the most challenging part of exercise is getting up to exercise. Lily Luik suggests that joining a training group, for example, can help you get over this difficult part.

Lily reassures those who are anxious about training with a group because they feel out of shape and unlikely to be able to run at the same pace as others due to a lack of lung power that group training is not a race. 

“If you’re worried that you don’t have enough stamina, we can help at Luik Triplets Teami running club and the trainings aren’t just about clocking up the kilometres with a blunt, hinge-tied neck,” says Lily. She explains that, for example, the warm-up run can be done by anyone, the main training part is about staying in each other’s sights and not losing anyone, but you can still run at your own pace.

“It’s more boring alone, it’s easier with others and being part of a group is motivating. Other people are going – how can I not?” says Lily, highlighting an important aspect of group exercise.  

She confirms that training in a group is often easier for many people than running alone, partly because the coaches take a playful approach to what can otherwise seem like a rather dull workout, and make it more varied and interesting with different exercises.

“In the joint training sessions, we do a lot of other things besides running – we improve technique, do different exercises, accelerations, tempo runs, stair jumps, hill climbs and more. Sometimes it’s like you don’t realise you’re actually doing a running workout,” laughs Lily.

She adds that the above doesn’t mean, of course, that you have to run all the time under the watchful eye of a coach, but it’s worth checking yourself from time to time.

If you’d also like to practise your running stride under a coach, look for  running groups on Stebby.

Keep an eye on the Luik triplets through Luik Triplets Team Tartu and Harjumaa Facebook and Instagrami.

Similar posts

View all