About me

I’ve been a running coach with UK Athletics for many years and a runner forever. A runner who had twice completed the Marathon Des Sables (150 miles across the Sahara Desert in 6 days), ultra marathon races, countless mountain marathons including Mont Blanc Marathon 3 times and raced on the fells every weekend. Like many I was susceptible to a series of the usual runners’ niggles, managed by visits to Physios and completion of a succession of the usual treatments that just seemed to microscopically deal with the afflicted body part, then, out of the blue, I had a devastating injury that stopped me running for 9 months, this started with a severe pain in the groin whilst running. The following months desperation forced me into a cycle of diagnosis and treatment. GP appointments, scans, pain killers, Physio appointments for my eventual diagnosis of a ‘Sports Hernia’ and so much stretching my poor Psoas could not take the strain!

Nine agonising months later I was no longer a runner. I really thought that I would never run again. I had been to different therapists. I didn’t tell each one what the others had said. They all said the same thing. I had an overly tight Psoas muscle which needed to be stretched. They all said it. They must be right. The evidence of so many people saying the same thing was compelling.

Eventually, after reading a book by Adharanand Finn I found myself in front of a different kind of therapist who called himself a body mechanic. This was new. This was something different. This involved a whole body approach testing muscles, looking at alignment and posture. Exploring my history of injuries and coming to a comprehensive picture of me. The exercises I was given were different, dealt with the source of the issue (which was in the ankle) and absolutely didn’t involve stretching.

In fact, I went on to write a book – My Border Collie Doesn’t stretch – which is all about why runners should never stretch and offers alternative approaches. Writing the book led me down into the deep labyrinthine hole of human gait biomechanics.

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My Background and Qualifications 

I studied to become a Corrective Exercise Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. This looks at assessing movement and movement deficits in people and then prescribing corrective exercise drills to strengthen, mobilise and address issues. But it was studying the Anatomy in Motion (AiM) System with Gary Ward that changed everything. The therapist who had eventually fixed me was trained in the same system. I studied online and in London and Amsterdam. AiM is based on human gait and looks at the function of the foot and its relationship with every other joint in the human body at each stage of the gait cycle. I trained alongside physiotherapists, osteopaths and others who had all come to realise the limitations in their own learning.

Initially I worked with individuals. Runners. Runners with unresolved injuries and the chapter in Richard Askwith’s book A Race Against Time (Richard is also the best-selling author of Feet in the Clouds) in which he visits my treatment room describes this work well. Alongside all of this and enabling me to marry my studies and new qualifications with real life experience I have undertaken thousands of running gait analyses since April 2016 from elite runners to beginner runners and everybody in between.

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