Taking natural human movement and turning it into “human performance” is a fascinating task and probably the biggest of all of the challenges I face as a coach and researcher.
I believe that taking an anthropological approach to a runner is the best way to create a good athlete. However, to maximise our potential and take on tasks that we were not necessarily designed for, we must take natural human movement and focus on the idiosyncrasies of an individual’s body and mind in order to create human performance.
My coaching and research work as the SME (Subject Matter Expert) on movement for the military’s Human Performance team at Hereford, the British Diving Squad in London and world record holding athletes around the world, is creating a better understanding of just what the body and mind can do, especially when working as one.
Our hunter gatherer ancestors would not have run 100 miles non-stop, run a sub 10 second hundred metres, run through the mountains for a day and night or run a sub 2 hour marathon. Neither do I believe would they have carried their own body weight for many hours and then become incredibly dynamic whilst carrying that same weight! I’m also pretty sure that none of them contemplated diving into the water from 10 metres up and performing a number of disciplines on the way down. So sometimes it’s not enough just to move naturally, sometimes we have to take it to the next level.
As well as working with runners all around the world, international divers and the military, I spend a lot of my research time with tribes and indigenous people. Much of what I learn and share comes from these projects. You don’t have to have a race or squad number to be an amazing athlete and do incredible things with your body.