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Today’s episode is a re-release of a conversation I had just over 2 years ago, a few weeks after completing the London marathon for the very first time. I have decided to re-release it because I am seeing so much online at the moment about people being injured, struggling with their running, their walking or their sport. I believe that this conversation – and my wonderful guest – can help.
My guest is my dear friend, Helen Hall. Helen is a movement therapist, she’s a running coach, a pain expert…in fact, to be frank, all of these labels feel a little bit limiting – in many ways, I would call her a detective for the human body.
She is quite simply one of the best coaches in any modality that I have ever come across. I myself have had the great privilege of working with her for almost 4 years now and I would say that my body is moving more efficiently and better than ever before.
Helen has had a lifelong passion for analysing posture and movement, and her clients include elite athletes, whether they be runners, cyclists or premier league footballers, but also ordinary amateurs – regular everyday folk who simply want to walk or run pain-free.
She combines objective clarity from the most advanced motion analysis technology in the world, with 46 years of visual experience and study in the field, to seek out the root causes of chronic pain and injury that often seem resistant to standard treatment protocols.
Now, in order to help more people than those able to visit her in person, she first shared her movement philosophy in her wonderful book ‘Even With Your Shoes On’, – since then, she has gone on to create s series of has created a series of online videos and course to help more people move pain-free.
More recently, Helen has launched an online course called ‘PFM Pilot’ which is getting fantastic reviews – it is aimed at both busy professionals working in the field of movement, pain and injury, who can now have access to Helen’s incredible wisdom but also for amateurs who are keen to learn more and help themselves.
We begin our chat by looking at the core principles of Helen’s approach. Awareness is everything and she teaches clients to really notice what their body is doing. Where is your head sitting? How are you using your arms? It’s only when you’ve noticed that you can begin to change. And changing means becoming more efficient – learning the adjustments that help you to move with freedom. Movement, Helen points out, is a ‘job share’. We need to be able to recruit as much of our bodies as we can to do it well.
I can testify to this holistic approach. Working with Helen hasn’t just changed my running, it’s helped me to walk faster, breathe better and stand more comfortably. It’s made me aware of how past injuries and trauma can affect you for decades. I’ve even learned how the surgery I had for appendicitis as a child played a huge part in my experience running the London Marathon.
And, this conversation contains my first real deep dive into my marathon experience. It wasn’t the race I’d planned, but it turned out to be the race I needed. Helen helps me unpack why I found it so emotional and explains why my physical struggles were a sign of progress not limitation. I hope this conversation conveys just how valuable I think Helen’s approach is. Whether running is for you or not, I know it’ll get you thinking about how you’re sitting or standing right now, and noticing how you use your body for the rest of the day.
Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*
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Watch the video version of the conversation here:
*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.
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