The Yarm Clinic is Open for Business!

We are open for business from next week! As I mentioned in an earlier post, the clinic is located at The Pilates Studio, where there are great Pilates instructors and a lovely refurbished studio. You’ll find the clinic above Cafe Nero, 117 Yarm High Street (just look for the blue door) and parking is free for the first hour so it’s ideal for your appointments.

The Pilates Studio Yarm logo

I will be in Yarm on a Thursday between 15:00 and 21:00 and Josie will be there on a Tuesday from 12:00 until 19:00. If you would like to book an appointment or just have a chat about an injury or training advice feel free to get in touch (our details are below).

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New sports therapy clinic, Yarm.

I popped into the clinic to deliver the couch this morning (even managed not to scuff the paint work!) and it’s looking great, we can’t wait to get started. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the Pilates regulars in between their classes and I hope to meet a few more in the coming weeks.

Remember: You don’t have to be an athlete or injured to come into the clinic, we regularly treat occupational injuries and provide sports massage too. Why not give us a follow on Twitter and like our Facebook Page to keep up to date with what we’re up to?

Contact Details:

Ed – 07837276444, ed@edprattsportstherapy.com

Josie – 07496359697, josie.grieve@outlook.com

10 tips for starting exercise safely in the New Year

I’ve seen it regularly on Twitter and Facebook, where people are announcing a time for change and to get fit again. I’ve also seen several posts about how it’s not necessarily a good time to make a New Years resolution. In reality does it matter whether it is a good time or not? This is the time of year where people are looking forward and want to make changes after the binge eating of the Christmas season.
So with this in mind, I thought that I would post 10 simple pointers, which may help keep you injury free and motivated, if you are someone who is starting exercise after a long break:

1. Take it steady

– Start slow and gradually increase your exercise volume. I regularly see people who have “caught the bug” and don’t want to stop or done way too much too soon. We would would love to see a nice linear progression, but the reality is often much more complex.

Recovery_Meakins

Credit Adam Meakins, @AdamMeakins, http://www.thesports.physio.com

2. What are you trying to achieve?

– For some people goal setting can be really helpful, but keep it realistic and start with bite sized pieces. You can always adjust them if they are too easy.

3. Listen to your body

– I say this quite often, but it’s your biggest clue to something going wrong. Yes the exercise will be/should be tough, but you should also be recovering in-between sessions, if not you may need to reduce the intensity or take a longer rest.

4. Make a plan, but a flexible plan

– Once you’ve made your goals, make you’re plan. When is your time for exercise going to be? With our busy lives, it can be hard to fit stuff in, so make time for yourself. Having said that I quite often see injuries where people have been unwilling to deviate from their plans, where a rest week/low mileage week might have been all they needed.

5. Exercise with a friend

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Ullswater Trail Race

– This can be a fantastic motivator, if you’ve made that commitment to exercise, you’re less likely to skip a session.

 

7. Measure your progress

– Again this can really help to motivate (can also go the other way if things aren’t going to plan), but think about what you are monitoring. If it’s just weight loss, there are quite often other improvements in fitness before you will see much change in your weight. So do you see a reduction in your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) for a particular exercise, can you do more reps/walk/run/cycle further in a given time?

6. Use an app/technology

– I quite often suggest apps such as the “Couch to 5K” running app as a way of gradually increasing running volume. Other apps such as Strava, Endomondo or MapMyRun can also be useful to help monitor progress or log activity.

8. Diet and exercise go hand in hand

– After the excess of Christmas, this is important to recognise, but I’m not suggesting you need to jump on the newest fad diet out there. Look at what you eat and be honest with yourself, make small changes first and then build on these improvements.

9. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

– Enjoy it! Find an exercise that you love to do and getting fit becomes so much more enjoyable. It should still be hard work though!

10. Keep it simple

– All of the above is so much easier if you keep it simple, find your way to exercising and fitness. I am a firm believer that there is a form of exercise out there for everyone, you just have to find yours.

On a final note: If you already have a niggle or injury which you feel is holding you back or even preventing you from exercising, get it checked out. At Ed Pratt Sports Therapy we can work with you to help prevent injuries, as well as treating current problems, with the aim of getting you back doing the exercise/sport you love.

Let me know what you think of the above tips and if you have any to add, which you think others will find useful add them to the comments box below.

Preventing Hamstring Injuries

This is a brief post predominently about the Nordic Hamstring Exercise, which can be used as part of a preventative programme for hamstring injuries.  It should not be used in isolation and as in all preventative programmes the sport involved, level of participation and physiological/psychosocial requirements must be accounted for.

Hamstring injuries can be a significant problem in sports involving rapid changes in pace/direction, with between 12-16% occurrence in English and Australia professional football (Peterson and Holmich, 2005). Recurrence rates are also high (12-63%), with the first month after return to play (RTP) being the highest risk period (Brukner et al., 2014).

So not only is the rehabilitation of hamstring injuries important, but the prevention of further hamstring injuries at RTP, especially in the first month. To understand how to prevent injury we need to understand the risk factors for that injury. Peterson and Holmich (2005) nicely distinguish between the different risk factors by sub-grouping them in to non-modifiable and modifiable. The main risk factors for hamstring injury are:

Non-Modifiable:

– Age – older individuals are at greater risk.

– Black or aboriginal ethnic origin.

Modifiable:

– Muscular imbalance – low hamstring:quadriceps strength ratio.

– Muscle fatigue.

– Hamstring tightness.

– Insufficient warm-up.

– Previous injury.

In terms of preventing hamstring injuries, eccentric exercises (muscle is working as it is lengthening) have received a lot of attention over the last few years (Mjølsnes et al., 2004; Small et al.; 2009 and Brooks et al., 2006) and more recently the Nordic Hamstring Exercise. Mjølsnes et al. (2004) compared Nordic hamstrings with a concentric leg curl strengthening programme and found that greater gains were achieved with the Nordic hamstrings and also a greater improvement in the hamstrings:quadriceps strength ratio compared to the hamstring curl exercise. Subjects in this group were healthy individuals with either no history of hamstring injury or “fully recovered” from previous injury.

Nordic Hamstring Exercise

The Nordic Hamstring Exercise is performed by anchoring the lower legs and slowly leaning forward from a tall kneeling position. The individual tries to control their lean until they reach a “tipping point” when they use their arms (not face!) to break their fall. See the video below for a demonstration:

Nordic Hamstring Video:

The training protocol used in the Mjølsnes et al. study was over a 10 week period and is reproduced below:

Training protocol for Nordic hamstring exercise

Reproduced from Mjølsnes et al. (2004)

Points To Note

– The subjects in this study had no current injuries.

– The Nordic hamstring exercise is a high effort level exercise to perform.

– It can be great as part of a rehabilitation programme, but should only be used as advised by a suitably experienced and qualified therapist/trainer.

– A suitable warm-up should be performed prior to performing the exercise.

– The Nordic hamstring exercise should be used as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation/preventative programme and not in isolation.

Thanks for reading, get in touch if you have any questions.

Ed

References:

Brooks, J.H.M., Fuller, C.W., Kemp, S.P.T. and Reddin, D.B. (2006) Incidence, Risk, and Prevention of Hamstring Muscle Injuries in Professional Rugby Union. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 34:8, 1297-1306.

Brukner, P., Nealon, A., Morgan, C., Burgess, D. and Dunn, A. (2014) Recurrent hamstring muscle injury: applying the limited evidence in the professional football setting with a seven-point programme. British journal of Sports Medicine 48:11 929-938.

Mjølsnes, R., Arnason, A., Østhagen, T., Roasted, T. and Baar, R. (2004) A 10-week randomised trial comparing eccentric vs concentric hamstring strength training in well trained soccer players. Scandinavian Journal of Sports Medicine, 14:, 311-317.

Petersen, J. and Holmich, P. (2005) Evidence based prevention of hamstring injuries in sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 39:6, 319-323.

Small, K; McNaughton, L; Greig, M and Lovell, R. (2009) Effect of timing of eccentric hamstring strengthening exercises during soccer training: implications for muscle fatiguability. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23:4, 1077-1083.

How Are You Running?

The spring marathon season is just around the corner and those planning running a marathon should really be starting to think about your training and preparation. Yes it seems like its ages away, but as the saying goes “it soon comes round” (is that even a saying? I’m not too sure). Now is the ideal time to take stock of your training and look at making any changes you deem useful.

One aspect you may want to look at is the way you run. The vast majority of us learn to run not long after we learn to walk and from that point on think very little about how we run and why it might be important in terms of both performance and injury prevention. There is an emerging body of evidence that would suggest modification of an individuals running technique (gait re-training) and cadence can help in the treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. There are certain injuries, which appear to correlate with a particular running style or pattern, for example cross-over gait could, possibly be linked with ITB syndrome. A study of 15 runners, by Meardon et al. (2012) found an increase in ITB strain rate as step width decreased (Reference).  By looking at the whole body it is possible to look for patterns of movement, which may effect running style or performance, for example the action of the arms and amount of rotation in the upper body correlates with the leg swing and counter rotation in the lower body and vice versa.

Blog Post 1

Some aspects of an individuals running form can be picked up just by watching them run, whereas other are more subtle, happen quicker and therefore difficult to pick up with the naked eye. This is where video gait analysis comes in. Here I do not mean the knee down, focussing on the foot landing, gait analysis you get in sports shops. I am talking about a whole body top-to-toe video analysis that looks at not only what happens at the feet, but also the knees, hips and upper body. It is only by looking at the whole body that you can get a true reflection of an individuals running style and therefore make adjustments to suit them as an individual.

However, to go back to my previous point about marathon training, if you are going to make adjustments to your running, it takes time for the new movement patterns to develop and to break old habits. Running drills and cues need to be accompanied by the correct strength and conditioning exercises and mobility work, which again need to be developed for the individual. The autumn winter seasons are the perfect time to start looking at your running style and making any changes required.

It is not about pigeon holing you into a category, it is about finding the right style of running for you!

If you would like further information about video gait analysis service provided at Ed Pratt Sports Therapy, please click here.

Happy running.

Ed

Squat Technique

So as promised here is the video of my squat technique, with a bit of a breakdown below :

 

The technique in the video will be by no means perfect, for instance I could relax the shoulders a bit more (think I was keeping the arms out of the way of the couch) and I have a slight tilt of the head to my left, which is something that was picked up at uni.  However the main points are there, we are all different so variations are going to occur.

Important points for squat technique for me are:

  1. Set up – feet comfortable distance apart (this is not a wide stances Sumo squat), feet slightly angled out, stand tall. Engage the glutes prior to starting the movement.
  2. Push back with the hamstrings and the glutes.  Just sitting back with the glutes alone seems encourages a forward tilt of the pelvis and increase extension in the lumber spine.
  3. Don’t rush, work on quality of movement over just getting the reps done.
  4. At the bottom of the range aim for parallel line between your shins and torso (lots of people through my clinic lean or slump too much in the lower back).
  5. On standing drive up with the whole leg rather than just the knees, make sure you engage the glutes too.

So thats my tips on squats, let me know what you think, weighted squats are different to bodyweight squats and if you’re new to these then I advise you get some proper advice.

 

30 Days of What?

Squat PicFrame

This post relates to the 30 Day Challenges that keep popping up in my Facebook feed, for example 30 Day Squat Challenge, 30 Day Press-up Challenge, Plank, Squat thrust etc. etc.  Its not the 30 days I have a problem with or the challenge part it’s doing just one exercise for 30 days (and yes I am aware that there are challenges involving multiple exercises), why would you want to do this? Is it for the mental challenge and fighting the boredom of the same exercise day in, day out for 30 days? Add some variation, I am bored at the thought of planking for 5 minutes! As a test of muscular strength-endurance, 2 minutes would demonstrate this.  It is important to note that gyms are not for everyone, so finding time and a suitable form of exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I would question how healthy it is to do just one exercise for 30 days.

However my main issue is the lack of instruction that comes with the challenges, quite often just a list of “Day + Reps”.  Again, I am aware that those responsible for the photo may provide some instructional information on how to complete the exercises, but this is not evident when the image crops up on Facebook.  In my opinion the high volume of reps, a desire to complete that days challenge and the boredom factor would encourage participants to “go through the motions” and lead to poor form.  So, starting with the squat, I am going to post some instructional information on some of the exercises included in these challenges. Whilst I do have concerns over these types of challenges it is great to see more people taking an interest in exercise and that’s where social networks like Facebook can be really valuable. Taking exercise has so many health benefits and so the positive from the challenges has to be more people thinking and talking about their health.  But I really  want to ensure everyone exercises safely and to get the right results.

Just to mention again it is not the 30 Day Challenges that I have a problem with, I am currently in the middle of one myself (http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/30daychallenge/welcome-to-the-challenge/).  However, this challenge is aimed at strength training for runners, multiple exercises are used and expert instruction is provided.

I would love to get your feedback on these challenges – has anyone completed them? Has anyone been injured through doing the same exercise over and over? What benefits did you get from it?

Thanks for reading.

Ed

Almost 20 Questions…

After a great race in Ireland at the European Cup last weekend (placing 11th) I thought I’d ask sponsored triathlete, Fergus Roberts (right), a few questions about triathlon, racing and life as an athlete.

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1. How did you get into triathlon?
I first started triathlon when I was 9 years old following in my brother and sisters footsteps, after competing in triathlon for two years I decided to concentrate fully on running as this was my strongest discipline and brought me lots of success. I then returned to triathlon after struggling with injury with solely focusing on running in 2010 and haven’t looked back since!

2. Mid way through the season, how have things gone so far?
As far as results are concerned the 2013 season hasn’t been great, however I know that I am in good shape and believe that future races this season will improve.

3. What’s your strongest discipline?
All three disciplines are on a similar level, although I would probably say that my run is the best when I am in top shape.

4. Do you have any pre/post race superstitions?
Not really, but I always make sure I eat bang on 3hours before a race and have a certain routine of stretches that must be done!

5. Any advice for aspiring athletes starting out in their first season of multi-sport racing?
From a training point of view, to make competing in triathlon slightly easier I would suggest that you work very hard on your swim, I have learnt that if you can come out of the swim in the front pack you can usually do well in the race. Also a race can’t be won in transition but it can definitely be lost so make sure you are as fast as possible through transition which takes a lot of practise but it is an easier way to gain time than doing lots of training. The most important advice is to make sure that you enjoy the sport, as you spend a lot of time feeling tired or in a bad state and you need the enjoyment to get you through!

6. So far this season you’ve made several trips to Europe, what’s the best/worst thing about travelling?
The best thing about racing abroad is experiencing new courses and meeting different people. I hate all the waiting around that is involved in travelling, I always feel sluggish on arrival for the rest of the day (It is worth it though!)

7. What are your aims for the future?
My aim is to keep on improving over the next few years and hopefully that will take me to racing on the world circuit and competing at the highest level, I would love to represent GB at a major competition!

8. What’s the best advice you’ve had regarding your sport/racing?
“listen too you’re body, only you know how you are feeling” Shaun Purkiss

9. Who are your sporting/non sporting heroes?
I don’t really have any sporting hero’s although Lance Armstrong inspired me in early life. My main hero is my mum, she is always helping me to be the best I can be and has supported me tirelessly throughout my life. She pushed me as a youngster and planted my desire to compete at a high level. I have a very good relationship with my mum and dad and believe that this is a key factor to me getting through difficult patches throughout my life. I have only just started to appreciate how much my parents have sacrificed, with limited resources and knowledge, in order to support me and help me achieve my dreams.

10. You come from a sporting family how did that influence you growing up?
This has helped me massively. Me, my brother and sister all compete in sport at a high level so there must be a reason for us all still being involved. My family provide encouragement and inspiration for me to keep improving for example not many people my age can still go out for a fast ride on the bike with my dad aged 52, I always try to beat him up the hills but he is never far behind and when we get back for lunch I ask him what he’s doing in the afternoon and he says “going for another ride”.
My parents have brought us up in the outdoors, instead of computer games and toys it was walking in the Lake District or cycling in Scotland. An example of our childhood is when Doug was eight and Jessie was ten we cycled for two weeks in the French Alps averaging 50miles a day climbing passes that many fully grown adults wouldn’t even contemplate, this sort of holiday is probably where we all started building our base fitness for the future (nowadays I don’t know any parent that would do this).

11. What kind of diet do you have to follow?
I don’t follow a strict diet, but generally speaking I eat very healthily although I do have a weakness for chocolate like the rest of my family. I eat plenty of fruit to boost my immune system because triathlon is highly demanding and you are always on the edge of illness due to the vast amount of training and intensity that is involved. My mum always makes lovely meals that are very nutritious, one of my favourites is prawn and salmon pearl barley risotto although you can’t beat a nice pizza or barbeque.

12. How does what you eat affect your performance?
I have never really analysed which foods improve or decrease my performance, but I try to avoid any red meat before a race as it is slow to digest and can often give me a stitch or make me feel lethargic.

13. What support did you get at school and do you feel this has helped you?
Throughout school I have always been encouraged and recognized for my sport which I have appreciated. At secondary school (Allertonshire) was where I was most pushed by Mr Byrne my PE teacher. He was always so enthusiastic when taking us to cross country events and his team talks before the races were always worth a listen. Other than that most of the support I have received has been from clubs, teams, friends and family such as Richmond and Zetland harriers, the Hambleton road club, Northallerton ASC and Richmond dales ASC. I race for redvenom.co.uk which is a compression clothing company and have given me endless support such as taking me to races and helping me to find sponsorship which I am very grateful.

14. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
It is hard to think which the best piece of advice is because I have been given so much. But the piece of advice I am told most is to “enjoy what I am doing while I’m young and fit and make the most of every opportunity I am given because I might not get them again!”

15. What advice would you give to a young person considering competing professionally?
Don’t be afraid of your competitors let them be afraid of you.

16. What is the biggest challenge you face as an athlete?
Injury and illness are the biggest challenges. When you are an athlete you are bound to experience an injury, you feel awful and being unable to do what you love is quite depressing and hard to take but I would happily have a few injuries if it helped me to get one perfect race and result!

17. How important is it to have support from Ed Pratt Sports Therapy?
The support I receive from Ed is so important for me competing in triathlon, due to the physical nature of the sport. Ed has a very good knowledge of the sport and is always willing to go the extra mile when there is a certain aspect of my performance that needs improving. If there is something that he isn’t quite sure about, he spends a lot of time researching and comes back to the next session an expert in the topic. The therapy is usually preventative measures to avoid injury but when I do get an injury he gives me great rehab work and helps me regain my confidence. I put my full faith in Ed and always look forward to treatment as I know how good you feel after and how much harder you can push yourself. Ed isn’t just about the sports therapy, he is a good friend and I always walk out of the room feeling more confident about performing. Recently I have just completed my A-levels and he even helped me revise my PE without knowing by going through some biomechanics.

Almost 20 Questions…

After a great race in Ireland at the European Cup last weekend (placing 11th) I thought I’d ask sponsored triathlete, Fergus Roberts (right), a few questions about triathlon, racing and life as an athlete.

1. How did you get into triathlon?
I first started triathlon when I was 9 years old following in my brother and sisters footsteps, after competing in triathlon for two years I decided to concentrate fully on running as this was my strongest discipline and brought me lots of success. I then returned to triathlon after struggling with injury with solely focusing on running in 2010 and haven’t looked back since!

2. Mid way through the season, how have things gone so far?
As far as results are concerned the 2013 season hasn’t been great, however I know that I am in good shape and believe that future races this season will improve.

3. What’s your strongest discipline?
All three disciplines are on a similar level, although I would probably say that my run is the best when I am in top shape.

4. Do you have any pre/post race superstitions?
Not really, but I always make sure I eat bang on 3hours before a race and have a certain routine of stretches that must be done!

5. Any advice for aspiring athletes starting out in their first season of multi-sport racing?
From a training point of view, to make competing in triathlon slightly easier I would suggest that you work very hard on your swim, I have learnt that if you can come out of the swim in the front pack you can usually do well in the race. Also a race can’t be won in transition but it can definitely be lost so make sure you are as fast as possible through transition which takes a lot of practise but it is an easier way to gain time than doing lots of training. The most important advice is to make sure that you enjoy the sport, as you spend a lot of time feeling tired or in a bad state and you need the enjoyment to get you through!

6. So far this season you’ve made several trips to Europe, what’s the best/worst thing about travelling?
The best thing about racing abroad is experiencing new courses and meeting different people. I hate all the waiting around that is involved in travelling, I always feel sluggish on arrival for the rest of the day (It is worth it though!)

7. What are your aims for the future?
My aim is to keep on improving over the next few years and hopefully that will take me to racing on the world circuit and competing at the highest level, I would love to represent GB at a major competition!

8. What’s the best advice you’ve had regarding your sport/racing?
“listen too you’re body, only you know how you are feeling” Shaun Purkiss

9. Who are your sporting/non sporting heroes?
I don’t really have any sporting hero’s although Lance Armstrong inspired me in early life. My main hero is my mum, she is always helping me to be the best I can be and has supported me tirelessly throughout my life. She pushed me as a youngster and planted my desire to compete at a high level. I have a very good relationship with my mum and dad and believe that this is a key factor to me getting through difficult patches throughout my life. I have only just started to appreciate how much my parents have sacrificed, with limited resources and knowledge, in order to support me and help me achieve my dreams.

10. You come from a sporting family how did that influence you growing up?
This has helped me massively. Me, my brother and sister all compete in sport at a high level so there must be a reason for us all still being involved. My family provide encouragement and inspiration for me to keep improving for example not many people my age can still go out for a fast ride on the bike with my dad aged 52, I always try to beat him up the hills but he is never far behind and when we get back for lunch I ask him what he’s doing in the afternoon and he says “going for another ride”.
My parents have brought us up in the outdoors, instead of computer games and toys it was walking in the Lake District or cycling in Scotland. An example of our childhood is when Doug was eight and Jessie was ten we cycled for two weeks in the French Alps averaging 50miles a day climbing passes that many fully grown adults wouldn’t even contemplate, this sort of holiday is probably where we all started building our base fitness for the future (nowadays I don’t know any parent that would do this).

11. What kind of diet do you have to follow?
I don’t follow a strict diet, but generally speaking I eat very healthily although I do have a weakness for chocolate like the rest of my family. I eat plenty of fruit to boost my immune system because triathlon is highly demanding and you are always on the edge of illness due to the vast amount of training and intensity that is involved. My mum always makes lovely meals that are very nutritious, one of my favourites is prawn and salmon pearl barley risotto although you can’t beat a nice pizza or barbeque.

12. How does what you eat affect your performance?
I have never really analysed which foods improve or decrease my performance, but I try to avoid any red meat before a race as it is slow to digest and can often give me a stitch or make me feel lethargic.

13. What support did you get at school and do you feel this has helped you?
Throughout school I have always been encouraged and recognized for my sport which I have appreciated. At secondary school (Allertonshire) was where I was most pushed by Mr Byrne my PE teacher. He was always so enthusiastic when taking us to cross country events and his team talks before the races were always worth a listen. Other than that most of the support I have received has been from clubs, teams, friends and family such as Richmond and Zetland harriers, the Hambleton road club, Northallerton ASC and Richmond dales ASC. I race for redvenom.co.uk which is a compression clothing company and have given me endless support such as taking me to races and helping me to find sponsorship which I am very grateful.

14. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
It is hard to think which the best piece of advice is because I have been given so much. But the piece of advice I am told most is to “enjoy what I am doing while I’m young and fit and make the most of every opportunity I am given because I might not get them again!”

15. What advice would you give to a young person considering competing professionally?
Don’t be afraid of your competitors let them be afraid of you.

16. What is the biggest challenge you face as an athlete?
Injury and illness are the biggest challenges. When you are an athlete you are bound to experience an injury, you feel awful and being unable to do what you love is quite depressing and hard to take but I would happily have a few injuries if it helped me to get one perfect race and result!

17. How important is it to have support from Ed Pratt Sports Therapy?
The support I receive from Ed is so important for me competing in triathlon, due to the physical nature of the sport. Ed has a very good knowledge of the sport and is always willing to go the extra mile when there is a certain aspect of my performance that needs improving. If there is something that he isn’t quite sure about, he spends a lot of time researching and comes back to the next session an expert in the topic. The therapy is usually preventative measures to avoid injury but when I do get an injury he gives me great rehab work and helps me regain my confidence. I put my full faith in Ed and always look forward to treatment as I know how good you feel after and how much harder you can push yourself. Ed isn’t just about the sports therapy, he is a good friend and I always walk out of the room feeling more confident about performing. Recently I have just completed my A-levels and he even helped me revise my PE without knowing by going through some biomechanics.

20130710-183738.jpg

Your Pace or Theirs?

This is just a quick post about running training partners and follows on from my last post on training programmes.  From personal experience having a training partner is great, whether its running, cycling or gym workouts.  Benefits include:

  • Increased motivation to train,
  • Increased commitment to training plans,
  • Most of all, greater enjoyment of the sport you love (or are commited too!)

With the recent increase in runners through the clinic, due to the start of a new season and training for marathons, I have seen injuries that, although might not have been as a direct result from training partners, may have been influenced by them.  As the title of this post suggest the problems arose from running at either too quick or too slow a pace to suit them.  When running with someone else there is pressure to match their pace, which can effect your running style and therefore the stress on the body. Also, anthropometric variations (body shape, height and mass measurements)  mean that you may not have the same running pace as your training partner.

Below are some tips to help reduce the risk of injury when training with someone else:

  1. Work out your own pace (average min/mile),
  2. If they are better at  a particular aspect of running ie uphill / downhill, let them go ahead and catch up again on the flat,
  3. Do some of your training on your own, at your own pace.

Another option, which is very popular is to join a running group or club.  Here you will find many like minded people of all ages and abilities, making it easier to run at your own pace.  These clubs are usually already organised into slow, medium and fast groups.  There are several local running clubs and some of them are listed below, if yours isnt on there and you would like it to be either put the link in the comments box or send it to me and I’d be happy to update the post.

Northallerton – Swaledale Road Runners.

Bedale – Bedale and Aiskew Runners.

Thirsk – Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.

Richmond – Richmond and Zetland Harriers.

Best wishes, Ed

But my programme says I have to run!

This is a quick post about running training programmes, whether they are for marathon, half marathon or 5/10k the information below should still be applicable. It is aimed more at the novice runner, but there may be a few pointers for the more experienced runner too. This post is definitely not out to knock the training plans or discourage runners from using them, only to make runners more aware of the risks of generalisation and overtraining.

Running training programmes are widely available on the Internet and will be providing structure and direction to 1000’s of runners taking part in events this coming season and the vast majority of them will have no problems. The
Runaddicts.netproblem comes with the “one size fits all” approach. Using a generic programme means its not design for you personally, but for everyone and sometimes that just doesn’t work.

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When training days are labelled “rest or recovery run” pressure to improve/increase mileage can quite mean that the rest is forgotten and the athlete runs instead. Rest days are an important part of the training process, allowing the body to adapt to the stresses placed upon it during training. By not allowing sufficient rest periods, you run the risk of overtraining as the body is unable to recover sufficiently between training sessions, thereby increasing physiological stress and risk of overuse injuries.

Rest days should be used to assess how your body feels between runs and check for any areas of soreness or increased stiffness
Humankinetics.combetween limbs. Initially for the novice runner, or athlete returning from injury, do not run on consecutive days aiming for three runs a week depending on how you feel.

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A quick note on over analysing – it is very easy, especially after being injured, to over analyse and think that every bit of tightness is a new injury! You are looking for tightness or discomfort over more than one run or something which progressively worsened during a long run.

Finally if the training program suggests an increase in training volume and intensity and you still feel tired form the previous weeks training or you found it really tough, then be cautious of how much you increase your training the following week. Listen to your body, you do not have to run just because its in your programme!