Founder of the Running School Mike Antoniades answers our questions
The London Marathon Ballot has officially closed and hopeful entrants have learned their fate. The Support Office has some lucky confirmed runners who are looking at ways to brush up their running technique. For October's Guest Instructor Event, founder of the Running School Mike Antoniades will lead an exclusive Marathon Master Class. We sat down with Mike to learn a little more about his history and get a sneak preview of what’s to come.
Tell us about the Running School. What inspired you to set it up?
I set up the Running School programme after years of working with professional athletes to change their biomechanics to make them more efficient and help them return from injury. I had realised that there was a gap in the market, and only elite athletes seemed to have access to quality coaching resources. I had also discovered that the techniques I was using were easily adapted to teaching children and adults of all levels how to run efficiently and effectively.
So in 2008, The Running School was set up to provide coaching expertise and support to recreational and young athletes to become the best they can be. The Running School now teaches children from the age of seven through to adults how to run faster as well as help them recover from injury.
To us, everyone is an athlete. We treat everyone as an individual and give everyone access to the quality of coaching and resources that are usually reserved exclusively for elite athletes.
Tell us about your background with running.
My running career ended early after having poor coaching and rehabilitation advice. A serious injury to my knee meant it would never be the same. This psychological & physical blow is what would eventually inspire me to develop methodologies to help people recovery from injury and reach their performance potential.
But I still run despite the knee because there is no feeling like it. Free from problems, just you and your running shoes…it’s one of the best feelings in the world!
What is the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?
A wise coach once said, ‘Running is simple but it’s not easy.’
We all think running is something that we pick-up naturally. But when the pain begins, it’s clear that we are actually just running inefficiently, which can lead to injuries.
It’s important to realise that running is a skill and most of us have never been taught how to run. Just like any other skill, running can be taught. If correctly coached and practiced, the skill will become more efficient, leading to more enjoyment and less injury.
What inspires you most?
Helping people achieve their goals and be the best they can be. Whether that is to get to the next game, next championship, next Olympics, the next park run, or recovering from a serious injury to walk again.
What do you think are the biggest training mistakes a runner can make?
Thinking that it’s normal for running to feel painful. Focusing on volume & intensity, but ignoring their running efficiency & technique. Relying on their running shoe to reduce risk of injury rather than their body. And believing that they can’t get any faster because they were “born slow”.
When you are not running, what other workouts do you love?
I do love cycling, but to be honest you will often find me “working out” by developing new training methodologies for speed, explosiveness, functional movement, back health… you name it. You’ll often find me doing Dynamic Movement Skills– it’s a great workout and great for improving running speed.
Mike’s Marathon Master Class will take place October 16 at 7:15 PM in the Soho, London boutique. Places are limited – to reserve yours, call the boutique at 020 7287 5128.