It was too beautiful a day to resist. Breathless, slightly chilly, but glorious spring sunshine; perfect running weather. And I had to go into town anyway, so I slipped quietly out of work and tried a cautious mile down to the bike shop. And I didn't collapse in agony on the side of the road. My knee held up pretty well, perhaps feeling very slightly sore in the last 100m or so. And I didn't seem to have forgotten running form, and with lots of things to think about it may even have improved. Fast into the knee drive... and then let the ground come to you - be patient. I was worried this would slow that hard won high cadence, but no, spot on 180bpm, straight out of the box. Running (even!) taller, straighter - could I feel those fitball lunges coming into play? No idea of pace, no idea of HR, but it felt effortless. I could imagine running 50 miles with that kind of efficiency. And, oh, the feeling of sun and wind on face and skin.

There's lots still to do, particularly on getting this knee strong. It's not just building up the non-existent quads - it's getting them to fire appropriately - they have an annoying habit of sagging on the slant board, even with my knee locked out - I have to watch them in the mirror and consciously tense them up again. But it's getting there. I can even do pistol squats, provided I've got support on either side so that the knee doesn't take all my weight on the way down. Cheating? Probably, but it feels like work and the right muscles are getting tired.

Blah blah blah.

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Comment by Robert Burpee on April 1, 2014 at 4:52am

Not too bad Paul, I'm week 4 of the Foundation program and though today was an optional rest day I went out in the late evening and concentrated on form for about 20 min. However I did find out how week the suspension was over the weekend, spent the best part of a day and a half on my knees and haunches sanding a timber deck that we could'nt use a drum sander on. I was suprised actually how sore I was on Monday morning when I woke, the good news is I loosened up by early afternoon with the use of a bit of WD40.

Comment by Paul Weeks on April 1, 2014 at 4:43am

Hi Robert. It's still an Austin 7 and it's a bit low on mileage at the moment - fear of blowing a gasket. It feels great on the hills, surprisingly, a V8 4x4 engine magically appearing under the bonnet (in ten second bursts). Otherwise it's limited to first gear dawdling while I tweak the suspension and universal joint. Better than my wife, however - she recently totalled the chassis on her previously indestructible rally car - the mechanic has identified the problem, but it requires a lot of basic bodywork before she'll be out on the road again... Thanks for the interest! How's your own vehicle???

Comment by Robert Burpee on April 1, 2014 at 4:22am
Hi Paul, have you up-dated the Austin 7 yet for that MG-TD or has the workshop told you the Austin's not that bad after all. It's great to hear that your out and about and running again.
Comment by Paul Weeks on March 26, 2014 at 10:15am

Great. Will do. And no danger of ripping any down hills - I'm not going anywhere near a downhill! Will try to post some pictures of form soon.

Comment by Eric Orton on March 26, 2014 at 8:48am

Yes, hills verity good, but keep them short right now and powerful.  Like in TCI, 10-15 seconds short.  And, don't rip the downhills right now. I would really slow down to work on form right now - this is a form of strength training and will help the knee(s).

Comment by Paul Weeks on March 26, 2014 at 12:57am

Thanks Eric - I'll definitely work on those. I'd imagine hill work is good for knee strengthening/muscle firing? Legs can't get lazy on a hill! Oh, and I'm also cross training on the bike.

Comment by Eric Orton on March 25, 2014 at 5:15pm

This is so great to hear Paul.  Keep us updated.  On the pistol squats, try a few modifications AND continue doing what you are.

  1. Try doing one leg squats using a chair or fit ball tucked into a corner.  Squat down onto the chair and then back up.
  2. Try doing the pistol squats with NO disk, only barefoot on floor and reduce your range of motion and add more reps.

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