Women who LOVE to RUN workshop blog

As most people know, I’m a keen trail runner. Sometimes I run and race short distances, but sometimes I like entering trail running events in the mountains that take 2 days to complete.

I’m probably one of the few people that you will ever meet who says they actually ENJOY running up hills. My main sport of mountain biking over the last 15 years has given me enormously powerful leg muscles which makes going up hill a lot easier.

Doing sport, whether a little bit, or a lot of it – places demands on our bodies. Long ago I felt constantly injured – I would seek a number of different therapies to try and ‘fix’ me. I hated getting lots of different answers to the same problem – but this only fuelled me to go on a journey of seeking out to learn more about how we as humans move, and ultimately what led to my obsession in human movement biomechanics.

Our gait cycle is the one fundamental movement pattern that all humans share. I became a Master Run Coach with the London Running School so I could learn how to assess running and know how to help people ‘improve’ their running. This was great, but still, this did not give me the answers I was looking for. There had to be more to learn.

Then I discovered a guy called Gary Ward, Author of What the Foot, and who was famously seen on BBC’s Dr in the House last year. I met Gary 5 years ago after reading his book – I had a 2 hour session with him in London. And from that moment, my life changed. Finally I could see what I was missing. I found not only what movement was missing in my own body (he helped solve my 8 year shoulder problem by getting my right ankle moving), but also what I was missing when helping my clients.

Walking comes before running. If you don’t walk well, how well do you think you will run? Or for the matter, perform any sport that involves impact and load?

Our bodies are whole – not made up of individual body parts. So many things effect our skeleton which will ultimately affect the whole system, not just the area that received the knock. How have we ended up in world of treating individual body parts? Is pain a good indicator of where the problem is in the body – hell NO!

One of my aims for the workshop was to bring this idea alive. To show how the whole body is connected – that everything effects everything. Understanding where our movement comes from and how we are designed to move with incredible efficiency helps us to realise that the magic in becoming a better runner (or any other sport) may lie in the stuff we do when we don’t run.

Its my belief, that by understanding the fundamentals of human movement, everyone can start to find where we can find more movement potential. The other day I had a really stiff lower back after 3 long mountain bike rides and long drives. I spent 10 minutes working movement through both my wrists – back pain fell away. Sound crazy? Not really – mountain biking involves gripping the bars of my bike – especially when I’m heading downhill fast – imagine how jammed up the joints in my wrists were, how that would effect the movement potential of my arms, and ultimately my spine.

Movement potential can be found in unexpected places. A good injury history and understanding of what you do repetitively will help lead you to the right places…

More movement potential, more ease for the body to move. And I’m not talking about stretching. I’m talking about full body functional movements that mimic gait so our brains light up and go – THANK YOU, now I can shift my body easier to the other leg with every 10,000 or more steps I take a day!

How can we generate more free kinetic energy from all the catapults that we have in our bodies? I think our running bodies would like that. Then you can run how you like – with freedom. Effortless, rather then effort-full.

Any feedback or questions from the weekend, feel free to send me a message. Big thanks also to Claire Treen for sharing her amazing knowledge on this workshop with me .

As always, move well. Sally x


"I've been to loads of physios over the years for sporting injuries - mountain biking, snowboarding, running. None of them are a patch on Sally. Rather than treating the symptoms Sally focuses on the root cause to fix the problem and stop it occurring again. I would heartily recommend Sally to anyone. I'm back able to do the things I love most which is what is all about!"

Andy Barnes, Engineer, Bristol

"With the help of Move Well my right foot is feeling awesome! Although, my big toe is in shock with now having to actually behave. What a huge difference it's making and looking forward to seeing more improvements."

Vicky Weare, Engineer, Bristol

"Thank you so much, I can’t tell you what a difference you have already made, physically and emotionally! You’re amazing!"

Vikki Ellis, Mum, Bristol