Running Talk – Can We Run Without Getting Injured?

So the short answer is probably no, most of us would get injured eventually. But… there is an interesting discussion to have along the way and we can maybe reduce the risk of injury.

On Friday 22nd February 2019, I will be giving a talk at Northallerton Leisure Centre, where I will discuss running injuries and how we might reduce them. Including:

  • Training,
  • Footwear,
  • Gait retraining,
  • and more.

If you would like to attend the cost is £5, 100% of which will be donated to the British Heart Foundation (via the Rock Up In Red Ball), to help some good friends of mine in their fundraising efforts. Please let me know if you are going via the event page on facebook:

Thank You! Come and say hello!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post to say thank you for all the fantastic support with the new Yarm clinic. The response to “The Yarm Clinic is Open for Business” post on Facebook and Twitter was amazing and really appreciated. We have been busy behind the scenes and all the online booking buttons should have been updated to include the new clinic info.

It’s a great space and clinic room and Ed will be there this Thursday (14th January) so feel free to pop by and say hello (just look for the blue door next to Café Nero on Yarm High Street).

To make an online booking click the images below or call Ed (07837276444) or Josie (07496359697).


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).


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,

Josie – 07496359697,

Over Reaching or Over Training?

Its that time of year, with the Spring Marathon season just around the corner, when lots of people up their running volume and intensity in an effort to reach the training goals on their training plan.  Sometimes this can lead over training (OT) and injury.  But what (apart from the obvious) is overtraining? How do we define it? Recognise it? Manage it? In this post I aim to provide some kind of definition, differentiate between over reaching and over training and provide some info on how to manage the two conditions.

Over Reaching Vs Over Training? Non Functional Over-Reaching (NFOR) can be defined as:

“When athletes do not sufficiently respect the balance between training and recovery”

Meeusen et al. (2006)

And is different, although not easily distinguishable from over training.  The defining characteristic of which, is an reduction in the ability to perform at established levels, which may persist for weeks or months (Matos et al., 2011).  By the way these two terms are different to the regular “overload” we do in our training to get adaptations and improvements in our physical fitness.  The main difference between the two conditions appears to be recovery time. Recovery for NFOR can be measured from days to a couple of weeks, whereas OT can take weeks to months to recover from.

Who is affected?

NFOR and OT can affect both endurance and non-endurance athletes (Matos et al., 2011), but measuring the exact incidence of rates can be difficult due to the difficulty establishing set characteristics and measurable markers.  The range of the incidence of OT varies greatly, dependant on whether the measurements were over a single training season (21% in swimmers) or a whole career (60% in elite runners). It is more like to be more common in elite athletes, with high training volumes and intensities.

Signs and Symptoms of NFOR & OT

This can be split into 3 main areas: Physical, Psychological, Psychosocial.


  • The defining characteristic is a reduction in the ability to perform at established levels.
  • Reduced sleep disturbances, despite fatigue.
  • Increase in perceived effort during normal training.
  • Increased upper respiratory tract infections. Thought to be due to a depressed immune system secondary to chronic physical and emotional stress.
  • Increased frequency of injuries.
  • Muscle heaviness, during and after training.


  • Reduced enjoyment during training.
  • Lack of confidence and feeling intimidated by opponents.
  • Frequent mood changes, especially feeling sad during competition or training.


    • Multiple stressors from family/own expectations, busy/work school life.
    • Sport is often the most important factor in an athletes life and can often lead to reduced involvement in aspect of an athletes life outside their sport.


Possible cycle of psychosocial factors during NFOR & OT

Managing NFOR & OT

      1. Rest and recover – this is the most important aspect of managing NFOR and OT, you must allow the body and mind to recover. Encourage normal sleeping patterns.
      2. Training modification – reduction in volume and intensity and change from single sport/discipline to include cross-training.
      3. Communicate – athletes try to communicate with family, friends and coaches. Coaches and parents communicate with the individual.
      4. Resumption of training should be tailored to the athlete, based on their signs and symptoms and monitored and modified accordingly.

Prevention This can be more difficult than it may first seem. The effects of overtraining can take place of a protracted period and so changes in performance and general health can be quite subtle. Mood state can influence the willingness of the athlete to recognise the symptoms of over-training and thus become worse.  The points below may help:

      • By keeping a training log and note of race results (i.e. for 10k races) it is easier to identify patterns before they develop into problems.
      • Ensuring that you are getting adequate sleep and recovery. Plan this into your training week and make rest days exactly that.
      • If you compete in one individual sport (i.e. swimming or running) try and introduce some cross training into your week.
      • Keep your training varied and fun (that should be the main reason why we exercise after all)

This was a bit of a long post for me, but I hope you’ve found it useful. Feel free to leave a comment/feedback (but probably best to not comment about my lack of artistic ability!).

Best wishes


MATOS, N. F., R. J. WINSLEY, and C. A. WILLIAMS. (2011) Prevalence of Nonfunctional Overreaching/Overtraining in Young English Athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise, 43:7, 1287–1294.
MEEUSEN, R., DUCLOS, M., GLEESON, M., REITJENS, G., STEINACKER, J. and URHAUSEN, A. (2006). Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the Overtraining Syndrome. European Journal of Sports Science 6:1, 1-14.

What would you like to do?

This is just a quick post relating to a recent client, who had been advised not to do any more rowing following a back injury.  Even without going into detail about the history of their injury, I find this advice unhelpful, catastrophising and discouraging. There may be extreme circumstances where an individual has to stop doing a particular sport due to an injury, but by encouraging rather than discouraging movement, activity and exercise the end result is often more pain free movement and improved function. So often I hear from patients what they can’t do and are not supposed to do and a lot of the time I think it would be better if, as therapists, we asked them what they can do and what they would like to do and worked with that.

By helping people change their perceptions of their pain and the movements that are coupled with that pain we can help people to improve quality of life and increase their levels of activity.

Why am I here?

The title of this post was a question I asked to year 9 pupils at Hurworth School last week, when doing a presentation on the importance of exercise and promoting exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. After the usual answer of “Because you’re being paid” and the follow up questions of “Do you have a nice car sir?”. I explained that I did not mean the question in a philosophical sense and was not looking for the meaning of life, but rather why was I there talking to them instead of at work in the clinic earning money? The answer for me was simple, it is something I’ve believed since before I started my Sports Therapy degree, from when I taught swimming and was a gym instructor. I was there because I love sport and being active. I feel very privileged to have had a very active upbringing, always encouraged to be out doing exercise from swimming to rugby and walking with the family. The benefits I have received from this upbringing have not only provided me with good health, but given me skills to help me in my business and social lives as well. The health benefits of exercise are demonstrated brilliantly by Dr Mike Evans in the video below. Those of you who have followed the blog/Facebook page for a while, will know that I have posted this video before, however I think its message is so important that I have no qualms about posting it again. I had a great week visiting the Hurworth and Applegarth schools for National School Sports Week, the response from the students was great and we had some interesting discussions about why we exercise and what happens to our bodies during exercise and injury

What’s The Cost to You?

When you get injured you can choose to leave it and hope it gets better; visit your GP and possibly get a referral or pay to be assessed and treated privately.  Whichever option you choose there is a cost involved either of time, emotion or money.  That cost can have a direct effect on you and your injury.

By making an appointment to be seen privtely you may get peice of mind and a plan of action for injury, thereofer reducing the emotional cost.  The following course of treatment should reduce the amount of time you spend out of action, therefore reducing the time costs.  There is of course still the financial costs and these need to weighed against the other benefits of piece of mind, reduced frustration, faster access to treatment and a swifter recovery.

Why me?

Injuries can be frustrating, debilitating and have a great impact on our daily lives. The above question is one that crops up a lot in the clinic: Why Me?

Sometimes the answer can be more obvious than others; it can be from a poor tackle, insufficient preparation or a lack of suitable equipment. At other times the cause of injury can be less obvious; overtraining is a major cause of injury in both recreational and elite athletes, with microscopic disruptions in the soft tissue leading to macroscopic trauma.

If you’re injured it can be of benefit to look retrospectively at the period leading up to the injury to see if there were any contributing factors such as an increase in training volume, change in training surface or poor preparation. If nothing seems to stand out as a possible cause of injury you may find yourself in the most frustrating category of all: you were just unlucky!