Sunday 2015/11/15. Leeds Abbey Dash, which is a 10k on a fairly flat course. (Or at least, flat for Leeds!) After torrential rain all night and early morning, it miraculously stopped shortly before the start (and started again not long after I finished!) The conditions were actually really good, but I felt thirsty very soon after starting. I must start taking pre-race hydration more seriously, because getting thirsty within the first mile is inexusable! I also felt the lack of 'sharpness' due to having done no speed work beforehand. However, my legs felt strong throughout and best of all, I experienced no back pain whatsoever. I concentrated throughout on 'running tall' and maintaining good form and posture. I realise now that the way I've been running for the last couple of years has actually been harmful. This is something I've learnt from a book about the Alexander Technique which I received as a late birthday present, and was very clearly illustrated/reinforced by what I learnt on a Leadership in Running Fitness course which I attended on Saturday. I didn't expect 'instant results', so right now I'm delighted, and really excited about where I'm going right now. In a nutshell, I was focussing on relaxing while I ran, and my torso was slumping down, which was compressing my lower back. I would only 'run tall' when I was going up steps or crossing broken ground. Then I would feel very light on my feet, but was concerned that I was holding to much tension in my chest and shoulders, so would relax downwards again ASAP. Now I'm learning to run 'tall' and up on the balls of my feet. The key seems to be to stay relaxed at the same time, and Sunday was my first chance to really pressure-test this. And it seemed to work very well. Every time I started to feel a bit tired, I simply concentrated on my form and posture, and let the pace take care of itself. And every time, my tiredness seemed to recede very quickly. Okay, I didn't do the PB that I had hoped for, but I did take nearly two minutes off it, and it's the first timed 10k that I've done since this event last year, so I'm content with that. I'm far more focussed on improving my running style right now, rather than pushing hard for PB's. If my form improves then the PB's wil follow in due course, but the important thing is that I will (hopefully) be free of back pain.