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Older Yet Faster Publications Pty Ltd

ABN 59 602 112 256

 

Book update

(07 Aug 2018)

The book is back from the copy edit and we will spend the next week dealing with the comments and suggestions. It is looking great though and we are almost there - after 4 years of refinement!

Author - Keith Bateman

Competitor and coach

Keith Bateman

Keith was born in Watford in 1955 and as a teenager he became interested in skiing on the artificial slopes around London.

He qualified as a ski instructor and in 1979 he moved up to Scotland to teach downhill skiing. His interest in running started five years later when he entered a local fun run to get into shape for cross country ski racing the following winter. He did quite well and with a rush of enthusiasm he entered the Glasgow Marathon. The irony is, he now advises people to make sure to build up towards longer races over many years, in order to avoid injuries.

On the entry form he predicted his finishing time to be around 3:15 based on his training times and so he started well back in the field of thousands. He was delighted to pass people throughout the race and to finish well ahead of his expectations in 2:49. It was obviously faster to run with others on tarmac than alone in the forests and glens of the Scottish Highlands. A month later he ran the tough Black Isle marathon near Inverness finishing in a good time of 2:44 and now running was in his blood.

Next, he joined his nearest club which happened to be Inverness Harriers. Over the next 15 years Keith ran in races over different distances and terrain including the Highland Cross and other mountain races, and even a few triathlons. He ran over 5 kilometres, 10 kilometres (36:36 on the road was his best time) and half marathons, and from 1996 onwards he was very active on the Scottish Hill Race scene. However, despite his interest in running, he pushed it into the background for long periods of time due to a very busy lifestyle. At this stage of his life he was renovating houses, raising a family, operating a ski school and running a sports hire shop. Without sufficient time to train properly, he gained 15kg in weight and his fitness dropped significantly.

In 2000, he emigrated to Australia at the age of 45 and got back into running by joining Sydney Striders running club. He was highly motivated to regain peak fitness but didn’t realise how far he had to go until he entered a 10 kilometre race only to struggle to finish in a very slow time of 43:32 – there was serious work to be done!

He continued to run with the club and although he did improve a fair bit, he knew he could run faster. He also knew he couldn’t do that without getting some outside help, so he began to look around for a coach. He was introduced to Sean Williams and started training with his squad in October 2003. This was a prestigious group which contained several future Olympians. Determined to make the most of the opportunity to learn all he could from these elite runners, he paid close attention to how they were running. However, with the increased training load he started to pick up injuries. He was a classic heel-striker without knowing it and training was frequently interrupted with knee, ITB, hip-flexor and shin pain. He was able to keep running with short lay-offs but was frustrated as he was unable to get faster despite heavy training. He gradually incorporated small changes into his own technique and although his times continued to improve, these improvements were only modest.

In 2007, he got a biomechanical assessment and received a detailed report and a set of strengthening exercises. He did try to adhere to them but his running times were only marginally better. However, this last ditch attempt to improve his speed did yield a result. It made him realise that if he was going to succeed he needed to concentrate on the efficiency of his running action rather than trying to build up strength. His eureka moment came when he realised that the simple root cause preventing him and other runners from achieving more was not weakness but poor technique. It was commonly believed that it was lack of strength that held runners back and resulted in injuries. He realised it was poor technique that not only leads to slower times but also causes the stress that leads to injury. He got stronger and fixed his injuries simply by fixing his technique.

He had set a few NSW State records from May 2004 but it was when the technique changes came that he started knocking minutes off those times. The records that he set in the 55-age-group were faster than the records he set in the 45-age-group! At the time of writing, he has broken, and still holds, 38 age-group State Records, 15 Australian age-group records and five 55-age-group World Records: 1500m (4:12.35), 1 mile (4:35.04), 3000m (8:56.80), 5000m (15:29.7) and 10000m (31:51.86).

Now that he had worked out how to run with good technique, it was only a matter of time and small adjustments until he developed his own his technique-change lessons. He stayed with Sean’s group and in 2011, Sean suggested that he start some of his own coaching sessions to relieve him of some of his workload.

Finally, he got lucky yet again when he met Heidi. Amongst other things, she had developed her Strengthening and Rehabilitation Program which fitted in and completed his running system. He formalised his knowledge of good technique and the correct way of running in 2014 when he published the first edition of this book with his wife Heidi. Her Strengthening Program rounds out a complete guide to transitioning into good form and strengthening in transition and rehabilitation from injury.

Keith currently conducts private coaching sessions (keithbatemancoaching.com) and coaches Cross-country and track running at a Sydney public school.

55-age-group world record

5000m Finish (Time 15.29)

Male 55-age-group world record

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