What is GRACE-full Running?
What followed was years of reading, studying and experimenting to try and find the formula that would get her back running consistently. It was only after retiring from athletics and allowing herself the freedom to start dancing (such reckless abandon would not have been permitted as a serious athlete!) that all the pieces of the jigsaw started to fit together. She realised that the postural requirements of dancing applied just as effectively to running. An epiphany whilst stretching in front of the fire conveniently packaged the 5 pieces of advice she would regularly give out to athletes she coached into the GRACE-full acronym.
Since January 2019 she has been delivering monthly technique workshops to help others shortcut their way to a better understanding, appreciation and execution of running form. Something I am pleased to say (as it is Becky writing this!) that she herself has consistently enjoyed doing over the hills and trails surrounding her base in the beautiful Peak District.
The content of these workshops is now freely available via this website, as is the ability to purchase online technique analyses and physio screens to help you to get to the root of your unique running quirks too.
Benefits of Running GRACE-fully
- Decreased injury risk
- More efficient, faster running
- Increased enjoyment
Plus a multitude of physical (increased cardiovascular fitness, strength bone density etc) and mental (decreased anxiety, depression and stress, improved sleep etc) health benefits.
A further epiphany a few months later was planted in her head (this time in the shower!) that the acronym could also be applied to your mindset, nutrition, living your purpose (why), ensuring you replenish yourself (fullness) and your relationships. Now she had an outlet for all her other years of geeking out on self-improvement literature! (She also has a first-class honours in Sport and Exercise Science).
The audience for the past year has been a wonderful group of teenage middle-distance athletes from her old athletics clubs, Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, now affectionately referred to as her ‘GRACE-lets’. Mixing conditioning sessions with ‘personal optimisation seminars’, not only does she aim to help the girls to become fitter, stronger and healthier athletes, but also people that can GRACE-fully ‘End-ur’ life’s obstacles.
This online programme has now been opened internationally. See our GRACE-full Girls page for details of what’s involved in the programme and how you can sign up.
Landing underneath your centre of mass reduces breaking forces.
Lifting your hips up and forward discourages you from jolt-ily heel planting in front of your body
The resonant frequency of leg muscles is 3 hertz.
Get free elastic energy from your muscles and tendons by running at 180 strides per min
Backwards displacement of centre of mass decreases your horizontal force vector.
Having a strong aligned body allows you to use gravity to propel you onward by tilting forward from the ankles
Smoothness reduces wasted energy due to vertical displacement
Your legs should feel like a wheel underneath you, using all energy push you forward functionally instead of bobbing up and down.
Running induces BDNF serotonin, anandamide and kynurenine aminotransferase release
Hormones and enzymes that physiologically and tangibly reduce stress, anxiety and depression