I really like drawing on inspiration and ideas from outside of swim, bike and run and triathlon for my coaching - and this week I had a bit of a revelation from an unusual source.
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to attend an amazing revival of what was in its time, almost thirty years ago (and still is today) a ground breaking, high energy, quite unique dance performance: Wim Vandekeybus' What the Body Does Not Remember.
In a succession of different scenes, dancers act and react at lightening speed, throw themselves together and brush apart and invade each others' space. In a constant flow of busy movement they steal each others' clothes and towels, hurl breeze blocks and bricks high in the air and across the stage whilst on the run, invasively frisk and aggressively stomp and stamp. A raw mix of instinctive movements that in our safe, routinised world the body has forgotten.
In a talk after the show the Rehearsal Director and some of the dancers revealed more of how they perform the 80 minute, complex piece combining tightly choreographed 'tasks' with improvisation. My moment of revelation came when one of the dancers said all their training and focus on technique enabled them to come to such a challenging, different form of dance and feel a freedom in their performance.
And here's the slightly lateral thinking association I made... I thought of the run coaching I'm currently doing with Brighton Tri Club where we've started a phase of short hill sprints. These help build specific strength and technique that will come into its own as we prepare for race season. I always like to include in these hill sessions a section of running on the flat: freely and fast, a kind of relaxed gliding to tell the legs that the hard effort of sprinting uphill is in order to feel that kind of freedom as you stride out.
So watch out Club members for the next sessions - I'll hold off the brick hurling and stomping but we'll be doing even more of getting the body to remember the freedom of running fast and fluently.