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Podcast

The Secret To Pain-Free Running (and Walking!) with Helen Hall

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  November 10, 2021

Human beings were born to run. No sooner have we learned to walk than we’re breaking into a run – it’s just another gear. So why do so many of us struggle with running as adults?

Today’s guest, Helen Hall, is the running coach I’ve been working with for the past 18 months and who trained me for my recent marathon. As founder of Perpetual Forward Motion Efficient Running Coaching her clients range from elite athletes to ordinary amateurs who want to run or walk pain-free, with greater efficiency and, most importantly, with greater enjoyment. It’s no exaggeration to say Helen has had a profound effect on my life. So I’m delighted to be able to share her wisdom with you in this conversation, which is relevant whether you’re an experienced runner, a novice, or even if running doesn’t appeal at all.

We begin our chat by looking at the core principles to 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 this autumn.

And, this conversation contains my first real deep dive into that recent marathon experience, which many of you have been asking about. 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 this interview – click below.

'The beginning of change is noticing, it's awareness.' Click To Tweet

Helen’s video series:

To access Helen’s video series click here

Helen’s book:

Even With Your Shoes On

Connect with Helen:

Website     Twitter    

Instagram     Facebook  

Related Feel Better Live More podcast episode:

#79 How Running Can Transform Your Life with Sanjay Rawal

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*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.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP