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I like to move it move it

by kirsty
Friday 22nd May 2015
Tags  MovNat   |   Paul Tierney   |   Kirsty Reade

During her latest Lake District training week Run247 columnist Kisty Reade refines the 'Sendlhofer-Reade method' and tries out a MovNat class

Photos: Hill training the 'Sendlhofer Reade way'

It's hard to find big hills in Berkshire so I like to venture up to the Lakes when I can, to see Run247 editor, Britta. Our training regime when I visit goes something like this: walk our dogs a lot, drink coffee, debate the merits of various trainers, eat cake, run up some hills, drink more coffee, eat more cake. This is why we are such finely tuned athletes. We may start to market it as the Sendlhofer-Reade method. 

Photos: Collies Don and Rook with Kate, Britta and Kirsty

This visit promised all the usual delights, athletic and otherwise, but the week before Britta also asked if I wanted to go to her friend's MovNat class. 'Sounds brilliant!' I said, before hastily googling to find out what on earth it was.

I discovered, from the official MovNat website (www.movnat.com) that it's all about natural movement, a skill we used to have but is now largely lost to us due to sitting in chairs, driving cars, and just generally becoming lazy sloths in a modern world. We no longer crawl, jump, balance or climb in our everyday lives but these are actually pretty useful skills (a thought which occurred to me a few days earlier when I was running the Marlborough Downs race and cursing my body's inability to get over stiles and jump over logs without feeling about 90 years old).

MovNat teaches the skill of quality movement for sustainable health and conditioning. It sounded good but I still had no real idea what the class would consist of. 

Britta and I prepared for the class by spending three hours in the hills that morning. For the really serious training geeks amongst you, this particular Sendlhofer-Reade session broke down approximately into two hours of walking uphill, five minutes of dragging a collie called Don out of some marsh and trying to wash the black, sticky mess off him, 30 minutes of taking photos and eating snacks, 20 minutes of running and five minutes of hurtling downhill very fast. Then we went to buy some artisan bread and some nice cheese. It's all part of the science.

Photos:  Crawling, playing, sparring, balancing and avoiding imaginary hot lava...

The class instructor was Paul Tierney, an exceptionally good runner and an exceptionally nice man. He was really passionate about the approach and very knowledgable about physiology, so I instantly felt confident that this class would do me good. We started with some bouncing, which seemed fairly normal, but within minutes we were crawling on all fours, playing games, sparring, balancing on a plank of wood and avoiding treading on imaginary hot lava. And I haven't had so much fun in ages! Until we went into the woods...

Just to clarify, nobody was harmed in the woods, unless you count my pride.

We'd come down to the woods to practice vaulting and, as predicted, I was rubbish at it. I'd sum up my vaulting issues as: tiny weak legs and no upper body strength. And that five minutes of hurtling downhill earlier in the day hadn't been kind to my quads either. So vaulting is something I really need to work on and I took away a lot of other aspects to work on as well. MovNat is a practical, real world approach and I could see how balance, vaulting and jumping were going to benefit my running if I worked at them. And as for the sparring and games, they were going to give me those quick and nimble feet I so need for hurtling down big hills and avoiding stoned teenagers and Boris bikes on my run-commute to and from work.

The next day brought achy legs and shoulders and a feeling that I might now pass for a sprightly 75 when climbing over a stile. And I walked into an outdoor shop in Ambleside and recognised the assistant who said to me 'hey, we were having a fight last night'. MovNat will bring out your inner child and you'll start wandering around looking at fallen trees and garden walls as nature's gym.

Photos: Getting close and personal with nature


About The Author

Kirsty Reade

I’d describe myself as borderline obsessed with running, racing, reading about running, and watching others run so hopefully I’m fairly typical of Run247’s visitors. I tend to do longer races, particularly off-road marathons and ultras, but am pretty much a fan of any distance. I'm passionate about helping runners of all levels to improve through running communities I'm involved in, such as Underground Ultra and Free Range Runners. 


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