DIARY: Cerutty and the miracle cure

Performing my “hop-test” tomorrow proved a revelation: My physio asked me to lift myself up on my left leg every morning and hop on it to test the progression of the Achilles injury. This morning, although a hard pinch on the back would still reveal some inflammation, the leg could just as well have been normal. Full strength, no pain.

This may not have been so remarkable if the leg had not been so poor yesterday, in fact, yesterday it had been the worst day of the week. One of the weapons I unleashed against it is my continued abstinence from wheat products and other similar grain products which inflame the intestinal wall, pollute the bloodstream and just generally mess up you body’s natural ability to heal.

Starting out, I didn’t know that this principle was largely proposed by the eccentric Australian coach: Percy Cerutty, a contemporary of Lydiard’s, whose infamous temper and controversial personality perhaps robbed him of similar status as the New Zealand master coach.

Like Lydiard, Cerutty was “a maker of champions” most famous for guiding Herb Elliott to the Olympic gold medal. While finances still stop me from purchasing Graem Sims acclaimed biography “Why Die? The extraordinary Percy Cerruty”, I’ve done some research on the brilliant Aussie and will shortly publish a series of articles comparing Lydiard and Cerutty and point out places where one may learn from the other.

Back to my “miracle cure”: I had received a pack of K-Tape (Kinesio Tape) yesterday after having been impressed with the feeling of stability that the small straps of tape seemingly provide. What’s better is that the tape is easy to work with but let me review that product separately later.

Watching an old video from Cerutty’s Portsea training camp, showcasing his famous “sand dune running”, I noticed a difference in the way he and his runners ran. I had seen something similar reviewing the “BK Method” of running and now it clicked into gear: There was almost no loading on their lower legs! Hip and knee moved together synchronously, rather than staggered, keeping the body as if suspended over the air and the feet merely tapping the ground

Perhaps we don’t need Alter-G to make us weightless if we could run as if we were weightless? In any case, I rushed out, in full clothing and bare feet no less! And tried out the technique on the grass. It was tough, the heart rate stayed much higher than normal but my feet experienced no pain. Spurred on by this, I grabbed my Vibram’s and ran down to the Upper Lake using this new technique, which I am not sure qualifies as running, and started running laps of the Upper Lake grassy area. My calves were eventually hammered and it was slightly tiresome but as I came home I had done 5.1km in 24:59 and after a slow start began running 4:30min/km in this “funny way.” The first and last kilometre were on tarmac in the Vibram’s and the most noticeable thing was that stride-rate was hugely accelerated and stride-length shortened.

I am not yet sure what I have stumbled upon here, but today my achilles is better and I have discovered a “type of running” that allows me to run even with a bad tendon. Perhaps it is the better way to run and I simply need to get used to it, but I’ll keep you posted on my experiments.


jimmy mac said…
Have my first Achilles injury,its sore but not so bad when I w up have been icing it with no joy,took anti inflamattory tabs last nite,no better,gonna run 5 mile on hills now,probably foolish but gonna try it.fingers crossed.
Renny said…
Jimmy, perhaps not start with hills as if you do anything wrong the stretching is worse on the tendon. Also my inflammation had settled somewhat from the initial stages (it was five weeks ago I got it). To try out the technique he shows you'll need to be sure you can move your legs in a way where your feet come off the ground so quickly that there is no pressure on the Achilles when it lands. I tested it first on the grass behind the house.