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The book

The Secret to Running Fast and Injury Free

A manual for learning how to run efficiently

Older Yet Faster

“Older Yet Faster” is a manual for teaching runners how to transition to efficient running and to help them to avoid incurring almost all of the common running injuries as they do so. It is ideal for beginners to learn how to run well and for experienced runners to changeover to good technique. Coaches can also use this book as a reference on how to implement technique change for their clients, and we expect it to become the go-to manual for medical professionals, to help them deal with running related injuries caused by bad technique and footwear.

After learning how injuries are caused and then gaining a good understanding of running technique in the early chapters you will be prepared to read about our technique-change system which we call “OYF Running”. This consists of “Keith’s Lessons” used in combination with “Heidi’s Strengthening Exercises” and forms the main body of the book.

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein.

Keith shows you how to run efficiently in a simple, step-by-step guide both in the book and with videos. Each Lesson provides exercises set out in a format which is both easy to understand and implement. The first three lessons teach you the basics of running correctly and the last three help you put these into practice and help you to refine your technique over the period of your transition. This program is set up so that runners can teach themselves in conjunction with the online videos and forum.

Heidi’s Strengthening Exercises consists of a well-ordered series of exercises which will help your body safely adjust to the redistribution of the workload and are essential to rebuild parts of the body which have been neglected due to poor technique. It should be started as soon as possible, in order to build strength and to deal with the resultant muscle and tendon soreness that you will start to experience.

We identify specific injuries and how they are caused and we show how by improving running technique, and re-strengthening these injuries are quickly cured. Podiatrists will find Heidi’s experiences and advice particularly interesting, especially as they will almost certainly, be in conflict with what is still taught in universities.
Chapters Twelve and Thirteen, ‘Managing the changes’ and ‘Rehabilitation’, explain what should happen during the transition and what to do should you get injured, or if you are currently injured. Chapter Fourteen is very important as you must have suitable footwear to run with good technique.

There is then a chapter on how your body shape will change as you adopt your new technique and a chapter on general tips and traps a list of commonly used terms, a glossary and an index.

Finally, we have included three appendices: For Coaches, For Podiatrists and a detailed look at Heidi’s strengthening program. In Appendix A, Keith discusses how to implement his Lessons from a coach’s point of view, in Appendix B, Heidi explains how she treats her patients who are suffering with specific injuries and in Appendix C she explains her Strengthening program in greater detail for medical professionals and interested runners.

The First Edition is still available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. The Second Edition will also be available in hard copy from Amazon and direct from this website. A PDF version will also be available.

All the lessons and Strengthening and rehabilitation exercise will be available via this website.

Public YouTube Videos are available on our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/olderyetfaster

Here is a video of Authors running together

There is also a Facebook discussion group where readers can pass on their experience to others. Heidi and Keith also keep an eye on the group postings and help out where possible. The Facebook Group is here: Facebook Group

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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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Author - Heidi Jones

Competitor and podiatrist (Dip. Pod., MA. Pod. A)

Heidi Jones

Heidi developed a passion for running at a very early age. Her father was a PE teacher and as a family they all participated in a wide range of sports. Heidi found that running came easily to her. With the running boom in the 1980s her family ended up travelling all over the state to compete in fun runs every couple of weekends. Before long Heidi was keeping up with the big boys and what started off as spending time with her Dad developed into a high level of achievement by the age of seventeen.

In 1991, Heidi achieved a number of notable results. In that year, she won many races in both Under 20s and Open competitions. She was Combined Schools State champion over 3,000 metres on the track and All Schools State champion over 4 kilometres in the cross-country. She even came 3rd in the Australian Cross-country Championships (U20s) but she was also performing well over longer distances and her times were extremely competitive. For example, she won the Parramatta Open in a record time of 58:13 for 10 miles and set a very fast time and personal best of 33:40 for 10 kilometres in a Sydney road race. As a result of these achievements Heidi was awarded the 1991 New South Wales Open Female Runner of The Year.

However, towards the end of that year, tragedy struck. She got out of bed one morning and couldn’t put any weight on her left forefoot. It took twelve months before she was correctly diagnosed as having a genetic bone disorder in the ball of her foot (Freiberg’s disease). She was then told by three orthopaedic surgeons that she would never run again, and that there was no operation for it. However, she managed to finally find the one and only surgeon in the Southern Hemisphere who could fix this, Dr. Kim Slater. Heidi was delighted that his surgery allowed her to walk again but what she desperately wanted to do was to run.

For the first year or so she used an orthotic with a metatarsal dome to take the pressure off the second toe area. This was very successful and she started walking long distances to get back into condition and after three long years, at the age of 21, she could finally resume running. She continued to use orthotics for several years but after sustaining seven tibial stress fractures in a row she threw them out in exasperation. Amazingly, the stress fractures stopped. This experience led her to question whether the orthotics really were the answer to fast, injury-free running. Definitely not in her case. Something wasn’t adding up and Heidi wanted to find out why.

She decided to train as a podiatrist and learn how to treat injuries so that other teenagers didn’t have to go through what she went through. Heidi started her own clinic in 2000 and continued to work her way up to senior podiatrist at St Vincent’s Hospital’s high-risk foot clinic in Sydney and stayed there for 19 years until 2016.

Meanwhile, she was still running in thick chunky shoes ‘for support’, and although she didn’t sustain any more stress fractures, she continued to suffer many injuries from over-striding. For example, ITB syndrome (which plagued her for years), bursitis of the hip (nine months off), and Runner’s Knee (eight months off). She was determined to find a way out of this nightmare and she took herself off to yoga, pilates and the gym to strengthen her body and core stability and to improve her posture. Heidi also found that roller therapy (Self Myofascial Release Therapy), which ‘irons out’ the fascia, was great for smoothing out tight ITBs. Unfortunately, although these things were very beneficial, much of the time she was treating her symptoms and getting short term relief without addressing the cause.

Her future looked bleak. She was in a world of pain and if she continued down this track she would have done irreparable damage and sunk further into depression. She just couldn’t get off the ground. Fortunately, her luck changed in one of those chance meetings that transforms your life. Heidi joined Sean Williams’ running group and she met Keith Bateman. Watching him run and eventually learning his methods would lead to her salvation.

Keith was lapping her in training and it didn’t sit well. Heidi used to race men as a teenager; it was such fun beating them, but she knew she would never beat this one. He trained barefoot on the grass and in the thinnest shoes on the road. Heidi marvelled at how a (then) fifty-five-year-old man kept getting faster and faster! He wasn’t just a good club runner, he was blowing her own personal best times out of the water!

She had to find out what his secret was and so she enrolled in one of his group technique sessions. At the outset he suggested they remove their shoes and do the session barefoot. He took them through a series of very specific drills which seemed easy at the time but for the next two weeks the muscles in her feet and her calves were so sore she could hardly walk. Heidi wasn’t too sure about this barefoot running and decided to have a one-on-one session with him.

Keith filmed her from the side and she asked him why. He smiled and said, “I wanted to see where your foot lands in relation to your hips.” He drew a line through her image and she could see her foot was landing way in front of her hips. This simple observation was very powerful. As podiatrists, in our biomechanics classes, she was taught to view and assess the patient from the anterior/posterior (front/back) view. There was no mention in her studies about the foot needing to land under the hips. Equally important, there was no mention of how damaging over-striding (landing with the foot too far in front of the hips) really is.

She was taught to control excessive pronation and other ailments by placing a hard thermoplastic device, known as an orthotic, in the running shoe. However, Keith’s approach is radically different. It is so simple yet so effective. It gets to the core of most runners’ problems. He was treating the cause of almost all running-related injuries. He teaches that by landing with your foot under your hips, you reduce excessive pronation and the multitude of injuries related to excessive pronation. Most of the measurements taken in biomechanical assessments then become irrelevant.

Using the running technique that Heidi was taught in podiatry school, it was always a mystery to her why she got injured. However, she could now see that her massive over-stride meant she was hitting the ground hard. As her fitness improved she went faster and so she hit the ground even harder, causing her body to break down. Not being able to walk properly for two weeks after just one barefoot session shocked her into realising how weak her calf and feet muscles were. She had been running for 30 years. How could this be? Heidi blamed her weak feet on supportive running shoes and orthotics which she wore from her mid-teens. At last a life-long mystery was solved.

All her adult running life she had been told that she over-pronated and she needed support. The irony is, wearing thick chunky supportive shoes actually made her pronate even more. Raising the heel of the shoe forced her foot to hit the ground early, with a force equivalent to several times her body weight. Her whole body was pushed out of alignment: she was bent at the waist, and this in turn caused her to hunch her shoulders. She had tight neck muscles for 25 years. We show how this happens in the book.

Originally, Heidi thought that she could find a solution to her injury problems by studying podiatry, but it was only now that she was in a position to do this. With the insights that she gained from Keith, combined with the knowledge she gained from trying to deal with her own injuries, she knew what she needed to do. She went right back to basics. It was time to strengthen her feet and to take a more holistic approach.

Not only did her feet feel amazing, she could see the arches in her feet developing nicely. She started offering her foot program as an alternative to orthotics and received amazing feedback. No runner has opted for orthotics since. She works closely with Keith, stressing the importance of technique-change sessions and is up front with her patients, telling them that they must drastically cut down mileage while their feet and calf muscles adapt. Footwear is also important, especially the shoes that are worn during the day. Heidi gets her patients into thin, flat flexible shoes with no heel so that their spine is vertical and their postural muscles are engaged. As well as fixing foot problems she is also a devoted runner and her experience in Podiatry puts her in the perfect position to help her running patients by teaching them her unique foot-strengthening program. She wears thin, flat, flexible shoes all the time and since wearing a thinner shoe, together with technique change, she has not experienced knee, ITB, hip or back pain.

She did have some pain and stiffness in her calf muscles and foot arches while she adapted but she carefully managed this and now she feels strong and confident. Her running is fluid and she is finding it difficult to run slowly. For the first time in her life, she is not worried about getting injured. Heidi went from 4 minutes 10 seconds per kilometre average training pace down to 3 minutes 40 seconds within a few weeks. She had found the ‘sweet spot’ by landing balanced.

Heidi now works full time at her Bondi podiatry practice - ‘Feet on the Move’ which she founded in 2000.

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Book Sales

First edition Paperback sold out

Second edition due shortly (final edit stage)

Please check back here or on Facebook for up-to-date news.

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Book videos

Companion videos for the book Older Yet faster

Book videos are for our readers only -
please select your book edition below

Public YouTube Videos are available at youtube.com/olderyetfaster

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Shoes

How to choose a running shoe

Video based on American College of Sports Medicine advice

How to choose running shoes

Running shoe

Prio by Xero Shoes - for men and women

Mens Prio from Xero Shoes


We love these shoes

Most of Keith's clients move into these.

They feel a little less flexible than some other minimalist shoes but once you have worn them for a few days they are perfect. Clients love them too!

If you run well, these should last for years - and being flat, thin and flexible they will not interfere with your running action.

Here is a short video of us running in the Prio

Mens Prio running shoe

Ladies Prio running shoe

Prio shoe review by Heidi

Prio shoe review by Keith

Xero Shoes website

Xero Shoes on Facebook

Xero Shoes on YouTube

Trail-running shoe

TerraFlex lightweight minimalist trail shoe - from Xero Shoes

Terraflex shoe


This is basically the popular Prio with a grippy sole - perfect!

Terraflex trail shoe

See the review here

Running shoe

Primalevo by Tadeevo Shoes

Primalevo by Tadeevo Shoes


Well worth a look. Well constructed and very flexible.

Some less experienced runners might find that they feel a little thin on the road (5mm stack height).

In the book we suggest that running shoes should be between 5mm and 10mm depending on your skill level and the terrain.

Tadeevo website

Running shoe, fitness shoe

Merrell Vapour Glove

Merrell Vapour Gllove

This shoe is much less chunky than it looks.

I does fit me like a glove, and the sole plus the insole give me just about the right amount of cushioning on the road and plenty of protection on trails too.

The slightly rigid plastic under arch was annoying when I first wore them but I quickly became used to it.

This shoe would be excellent for dry cross-country courses and for those with good technique it makes a good road shoe. It is also very nice to walk in.

Running, Fitness shoe

Vibram

Vibrams - go for one-piece sole


Comment by Keith

Obviously, at first, these look a little odd but the concept and feel are great and I have worn them on and off for years.

Some of the soles are over-complicated in that they are made of multiple parts so if possible go for a model with a one-piece rubber-style sole.

Heidi and I wear these mostly in cold weather or where the ground is a little rough. I have raced well in them and they are just superb for trail running. The bulkier ones are thicker-soled and so are more comfortable if the trail is particularly stony but they tend to be a bit 'clunky' on the road.

So a great choice for trail walking, trail running, cold weather training and racing if your technique is good.

There are a wide range of models - too many to show here

Best to do a Google Search for'Vibram'

Casual shoe

Mens Hana by Xero Shoes

Mens Hana from Xero Shoes


Comment from Keith:

Simply superb. Ultra comfortable shoe that looks great.

When I had them on test I was stopped at the airport by another traveller who wanted to know where to get them!

No problem running for the bus in these - fast!

Here is the YouTube review I made

Here is the YouTube review Heidi made.

Check them out here:

Mens Hana casual shoe

Xero Shoes website

Xero Shoes on Facebook

Xero Shoes on YouTube

Casual shoe

Ladies Lena by Xero Shoes

Ladies Lena by Xero Shoes



Lena casual shoe

Xero Shoes website

Xero Shoes on Facebook

Xero Shoes on Youtube

Shoes for Work, School, Casual, Hiking

Minimal shoes from Vivobarefoot

VivoBarefoot RA


Almost every patient of Heidi's and every running client of Keith's end up wearing VivoBarefoot shoes.

The Men's RA shown here are Keith's favourite but they also make trainers, walking boots and running shoes - we find the running shoes generally have a sole that's a little too hard and they don't hug the foot so well under the arch but we love them for day use.

One problem reported (and experienced by Keith) is that the shoe tends to split where the sole and the upper join after extended use.


Vivobarefoot

Cross-country (okay for track too)

Nike Zoom Waffle Racer 2016

Nike Waffle

This is the only shoe in the Nike range that fits our requirements for a flat, thin, flexible shoe - flat meaning no drop, thin meaning 5mm to 10mm and felexible meaning it bends easily in all directions.

It only just meets the requirements and it is possibly a little narrow in the toe box. However, it's the best we have found so far.

Cross-country (okay for track too)

Saucony Carrera

Saucony Carrera

Like the Nike above, this could be a little narrow, and a little too chunky but it seems to be the best avaialable

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Reader Experiences

Your technique-change journey

Share your blog link or send us your text

We encourage our readers to write a story or blog about their running transformation - the ups and the downs, the mistakes, the 'eureaka' moments. This helps everyone to improve and learn from everyone else's mistakes. That includes us, the authors

Email us your story or a link to your blog via the Contact us page and we'll add your story below:

Blogs

David Blackman, Southampton AC, UK

We met David at a track session in Southampton in June 2015. For David, big improvements started to happen after 15 months:

“Four days after my 50th birthday, and 15 months after starting the Bateman/Jones journey, I equalled my 5km PB/PR from almost 10 years earlier (16:37). In the same month, I also ran within 20 seconds of my 10 mile PB/PR (58:04), which I set in 1990 at the age of 23.”

There is also a Facebook discussion group where readers can pass on their experience to others. Heidi and Keith also keep an eye on the group postings and help out where possible. The Facebook Group is here: Facebook Group

Add an entry

See coaching customers' comments here

John Shaw @ 8th July 2015 07:55:50

What have you got to lose by buying this book? Well for me it was 20 seconds off my 4.30 endurance pace simply by adopting it's simple technique change, This change also helped me run a sub 2.50 at the recent Gold Coast Marathon. Considering I am 62 (older than Keith) and have only been a runner for less than 3 years you can definitely take my word for it that it will be money well spent.

Etienne @ 20th January 2015 11:23:54

I think this is the best money I have ever spent on anything training related, what a great book. It has made a huge difference to my running. I was injured with shin splints and was able to rebuild my technique on my return to running using Keiths technique. I am now looking forward to many years of injury free running. Thanks Keith & Heidi.

Ian Fischer @ 30th December 2014 15:53:25

Absolutely Fantastic Book. Profoundly simple in theory and application. With my professional background in sports rehabilitation and a long association with distance running, I will be recommending this book to all of my clients as "The Must Read Book on Running" in 2015.

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Help Group and YouTube Channel

Join the group and start learning from others

Perhaps you can join a local group in your area to run, socialise and practice technique - there is one local group so far: Coogee, NSW, Australia (meets Sunday 7:30am)

Join the Facebook Group here


Subscribe to the YouTube Channel

See the videos associated with the book and other useful information


Subscribe to the Older Yet Faster Youtube Channel here

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