Meet Ben Stolz, marathoner and myotherapist and Athletics Bendigo sponsor in the first of our new series of Q&As with Bendigo athletes and supporters.
Ben has recently re-opened his myotherapy practice after an extended period of shutdown, with a number of COVID-19 safety procedures in place.
We caught up with Ben to find out what kept him running during COVID-19 and his newly added services: running analysis and online coaching.

Athletics Bendigo: So, before COVID-19 impacted ‘everything’ – what were you looking forward to with your running during 2020?

Ben Stolz: I was really looking forward to the 2020 season. I had put in a big block of training for the O’Keefe Marathon, but unfortunately, that was cancelled due to COVID-10.  I was then hoping to roll that fitness over to a big Athletics Victoria XCR season and play my part in the mission to get the Bendigo Bats into Division 1!

Hopefully, we might get a couple of races in later in the year, but we will have to wait and see.

AB: As someone with a strong focus on Marathon distances, tell us about how your running has been going during COVID-19? How have you stayed motivated (or not motivated!)?

Ben: My running has actually been ticking along pretty well. I’m using it as a great opportunity to explore some of the local trails, adding some strength training and doing all those little things that you always “don’t have enough time for”.

As fun as racing is I’ve found it quite nice to not have the pressure of PB’s and racing and to just run for enjoyment for a while.

Running Analysis and Online Coaching

AB: How did your new Running Analysis and Online Coaching services come about?

Ben: I love all things running – not just participating – but also the finer details like training philosophies, technique, strength training and recovery. With my studies as a Myotherapist it gave me a great opportunity to start exploring more into running technique and how the body moves while running.

I have been fine-tuning this over the last few years and am really excited to be able to expand that side of the business.

With my coaching I have been helping a few people out for a number of years with their running and early last year decided to formalise things by doing the Athletics Australia coaching course and become accredited.

AB: Who would benefit from your Running Analysis service and what does it involve?

Ben: I believe everyone could benefit from having their running technique analysed. My aim isn’t to completely rebuild a person’s running technique from scratch. Most people have a pretty solid running stride that works for them and messing with that can create other issues.

Most of the time though we can find one or two simple things that can be worked on to maximise running efficiency in order to improve running performance as well as reduce injury risk.

AB: How does it actually work?

Ben: Currently we have two options for running analysis: ‘Face-to-Face’ and ‘Online’.

First is we meet for a face-to-face session where I observe and film you running from the side, front and back. From this we will target one or two areas to work on. We will then repeat the process of observing and filming to see how these changes affect your gait and repeat until you have one or two things to take home and practice. After the session I put everything in a report with any additional exercises or drills and send it out to you.  I then like to have a follow-up session 2-3 weeks later to make sure we are on the right track and to further refine your stride.

The second option is online – which has been helpful in the current COVID-19 world – will still be available as restrictions lift.

It works very similarly to the face-to-face method, but you send me a video of you running from the side, front and back and I will analyse your stride and send you back a report with my observations and any suggestions and changes.

AB: And with Online Coaching, if someone has never had a coach before, what can people expect?

The beauty of having a coach is they take all the thinking and guesswork out of your running. You no longer have to spend all day thinking about what session you should do or how far you should run or whether you should take that rest day, the coach does it all for you. The other benefit over the ‘stock standard’ training plans is that it is customised to you and works around the other things in your life like work, kids and social events.

AB: How does it work?

Ben: I like to structure my online coaching in four-week blocks. This means you can see where your training is going, but you’re not looking too far into the future that it becomes daunting. After getting your running history and your running goals I sit down and work out your first four-week block.

We can then go back and forth as often as we need to make sure that it fits in with the rest of your life. I find communication really important so if there are any issues or changes that need to be made during the four-week blocks I’m only an email or message away.

Contact Ben Stolz Myotherapy

To get in touch with Ben, contact him via: