Posts Tagged ‘injury prevention’

Strength for Running

January 4, 2018 at 7:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston

If you are a runner, strength and conditioning should be as essential to your training as running. It will help you to become a better, more efficient runner and most importantly, help to prevent injuries. What you spend on strength and conditioning now – particularly if taking on the Brighton Half Marathon or Marathon, will save you lots of money that you’re likely to end up having to spend on expensive physio treatments later on.

I’ve been running now for over 17 years, and have done 10 marathons in the last five years, countless half marathons, trail races and long endurance events and have developed this 30 minute class to provide the essential strength work that your body needs. You need to be doing at least three sessions per week but you can use some of these exercises to do your own at home 15 minute version, we’ll show you how.

We are keeping the class limited to eight people only. No drop ins are allowed because we work on a personal level to regress/progress each exercise according to each individual. Plus, to get strong, you need to be consistent which is not possible when you do the occasional class.

This class will run for 30 minutes. You will need to bring a yoga mat. We meet at at the top of The Droveway as it intersects Goldstone Cresce

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GRTW Strength for Runners

September 7, 2017 at 7:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston

The number one way to help you prevent injuries and become a more efficient runner is strength training. But how to fit it in when you love running and you want to just do that all the time?

With this course that gives you a 30 minute session focused entirely on building stability and strength in your legs, gluteals and core using kettle bells, medicine balls, body weight and TRX.

The class meets at 7.15pm (bring a mat) at the park where Woodruff Avenue meets Goldstone Crescent. Meet at my car to pick up the necessary equipment for your current level of fitness and we’ll start as soon as possible after that, running for 30 minutes.

This class is suitable for ALL LEVELS, and will be progressed or regressed according to your current level of fitness.

We will be trialling this course over a four week period at Hove Park.



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Yoga for Runners

November 7, 2016 at 1:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Suitable for all levels, including total beginners, our yoga classes are specifically aimed at those who run/cycle or are active. Mat based most of the class involves using props to help you maximise the release of your muscles. £12 drop in or book the full six week course for £60.

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Injury-proof your running body

September 14, 2016 at 3:21
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Is your running always halted in its tracks by injury or constant niggles? Help remove the obstacles with a course that helps you to build your stability and strength whatever level of runner you are..


Over the last eight years, we have coached hundreds of women to become runners, get faster and run further so there’s not  much we don’t know about when it comes to women’s running – and motivation to run and keep going.

The biggest reason we see many women fall by the wayside when it comes to running is trying to do too much too soon. And without the correct foundations, this often ends in injury setting you back months.

Our Run Rehab course is aimed specifically at strengthening all the muscles which are essential for running to help you prevent injury and become stronger, fitter and more efficient. Over our six week course (starting Friday 16th September) we will help you build stability and balance both through core and gluteal work in a small group environment.

This course is ideal for ALL levels of runner and will help you rehab and get back to running if you are injured OR help to prevent you getting injured in the first place.

If you have only JUST started running for the fun of it, our Run Fit class may also be suitable. For those new to Fitbitch, you can try your first class of RunFit free by entering the code RFP at checkout.

RunFit, a running and conditioning class for beginners. 7pm Thursdays, Preston Park (Five weeks free with Learn to Run 5km, £7 drop in/included in outdoor season pass)

RunRehab for all levels of runners with targeted exercises to help prevent injury. 8-8.45am Hove Seafront until October and then New Fit Studio, The Level, Brighton. £60 for a six week course.





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SOS Marathon

March 2, 2016 at 7:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston

So, it’s March and you are only now beginning to get focused that you are about to run 26.2miles? Never fear.

If your training has suffered and you need help to get you back on track, come and join our small group training. We can’t help you with making up the miles that you may not have done yet, but we can help you work on race day focus, improving your pace and just getting you into the right head space to approach race day.

All sessions will last 45 minutes to an hour and will focus on tempo and pace work in a small group environment. We can also help you to address injuries with stretching advice and more.

Dates: 6 weeks form March 2nd – April 10th

£60 non members, £50 for run club members.

Don’t forget to join our online group too

Coach: Rachael

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How to heed the warning signs of a running injury

October 29, 2015 at 3:26
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Want to injury-proof your body? Learn to listen to your body’s warning signals and take the correct course of action

Injury-proof your body

When it comes to running injuries, there are very few that come out of nowhere. 99.9% of the time, the body gives you a clear warning, and it is only when you ignore it, that you risk the chance of it developing into an injury that at the very least, will disrupt your training, and at worst will completely take you out of running.

Learning to heed the warning signs come with running experience… or reading our mini and simplified guide* to the niggles not to ignore!

Painful knees

This can start as a general ache in the knee, and eventually feel so bad after a run or the day afterwards, that you can’t go down the stairs and even sitting with your knee bent can be excruciatingly painful. The best description of the pain? Like you have ground glass underneath the knee cap.

What is it? This can either be caused by tight quadricep muscles, and more commonly Illitobial Band Syndrome. Put simply, this  band of tissue runs down the outside of the leg, and helps to stabilise the knee. Except that it can get over worked.

When this happens, it begins to ‘pull’ the knee camp causing aggravation. At worse, the patella – or knee cap, is pulled off it’s tracking causing that horrific ground glass feeling. This can also be a result of tight adductors and quad muscles.

Cause: Poor hip and core stability.


Symptom: If it is very severe, you need to stop running and seek specialised help. Sports massage can help greatly, and RockTape used to help ‘pinch’ the fascia away and improve movement as you run.

Cause: To help prevent it from recurring, or happening at all, you need to strengthen your core and hips so that you are stable as you run, and don’t over-pronate causing the ITB to be overworked.

Some people recommend wearing shoes with inserts to help with this but the best thing to do is to ensure your body is doing the work needed rather than a shoe. Try clams, bridges, and dead bug exercises.

Also, foam roll the quads and inner thighs. Hip flexor stretches can also help.

Heel pain

It can start as a slight tightness in the heel, often preceded by a tight calf. Perhaps when you get out of bed in the morning, you feel like you can’t walk properly for a few minutes? This can also be a warning sign, along with pain in the arch of your foot. Eventually, the pain in the heel can feel like someone is sticking in nail right into the centre.

What is it? The dreaded plantar fasciitis, caused when the flat band of ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes, and supports the arch of your foot, becomes irritated.

Cause: Tight calf muscles, poor stability, insufficient stretching, and sometimes a high arch or flat feet.


Symptom: if you have heel pain so severe that it feels like someone is drilling into your heel, STOP running and seek specialised help. Otherwise, always foam roll your calf muscles BEFORE and after a run, and roll underneath the foot with a massage ball or even a frozen bottle of water.

Cause: To help prevent this happening, or nip it in the bud before it develops, self massage, foam roll and use a massage ball under the foot religiously.

But also, do the above exercises mentioned for the preceding problem; having weak gluteal and core muscles, often mean that other parts of the body such as calf muscle are overworked.

Also, have your running technique assessed to see if you overpronate or could benefit from a different style of running shoe.Those with flat feet, can benefit from strengthening the arches of the foot by ‘walking’ a resistance band towards them barefoot.

 Backache/Bum pain

Suffer from tightness right in the curve of your back? Or an uncomfortable sensation in your glute/hip as if someone is pinching or pushing their finely manicured long fingernail into your butt?

What is it? Well, hello there piriformis muscle. This tiny little muscle, hidden deep beneath the gluteal muscles works to stabilise your hips as you run. But if you are not stable (perhaps you only run and have never done any strength training?) it gets overworked and inflamed.

Alternatively, if  you can feel it in the ‘curve’ of your back, an overworked Quadratus Lumborum is the culprit.



Cause: At the risk of repeating ourselves, the culprit again is lack of stability in the hips and core, although factors such as having one leg slightly longer than the other (which may be muscular rather than skeletal) could also be an issue.


Symptom: Yoga stretches like pigeon, or figure four against a wall can all  help release the piriformis while a correctly performed trikonasana can help release the QL.  Also, try a massage ball rolled into the gluteal and a firm, strong sports massage.

Cause: You guessed it, clams, bridges, and lots of core work.

To sum up…

Almost all injuries are caused by muscular imbalance that can be avoided with the correct strength and stretching work, as a way to injury-proof your body. You can search YouTube for many of the exercises that we have mentioned in this post to do at home.

Alternatively, try our Marathon Foundations course for men and women. While aimed at those training for a marathon in April 2016, the work we do within this course is specific to all runners of all levels and goals.

We are also trialling a 30 minute Run Flex & Mobility class, launching this Monday November 2nd at an indoor studio on Brighton seafront from 7.00-7.30am open to men and women limited to 8 people. HiiT class passes can be used to book these sessions or pay £10 for a single drop-in.

* This guide is a simplified explanation of some of the most common running injuries. It is not meant to replace specialised advice from physiotherapists. If in doubt about any of your symptoms seek professional advice.

Our physio partners in Brighton are

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Performance Half Marathon Training Camp Mon 28th Oct – Thurs 21st Nov (6am & 7am)

June 22, 2013 at 5:20
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Want to know more about this camp? Hover your mouse over the cursor on our Timetable for more information. This camp will run Mon, Tues, Thurs and is open to MEN AND WOMEN. Some sessions will be indoors. Early bird of whcih there are only three deals on this camp end 1st October.

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Foam Rollers for Running

August 5, 2011 at 3:52
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Foam rollers: opt for the full size

Ask most people whether they do enough stretching  after exericising and the answer is invariably no. Yet flexibility is a vital element of fitness and you neglect it at your peril.

If you only focus on strength and cardiovascular fitness, you are effectively building a good looking facade but on shaky foundations. And eventually, the cracks and strains will show.

Think this doesn’t apply to you. Do you suffer from aching knees after running? Pain at the side of the knee or behind? Sore thigh muscles? This is all down to a lack of flexibility which can easily be avoided.
But what do you do if you don’t have the time to spend hours doing yoga, and you can’t afford a regular sports massage? The solution is a simple, inexpensive piece of kit called a foam roller, which does the same work as a sport massage therapist but at a fraction of the cost.

So, what is a foam roller? It’s a small,  cylindrical piece of hard foam which  helps to lengthen and release muscle fibres, increase blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues and  myofascia.

This is the soft connective tissue that wraps and connects muscles, bones and blood vessels. When we exercise regularly without sufficient stretching, this tissue can get stuck together, a bit like a wad of chewing gum. This results in restricted movement and reduced range of movement in joints.
Moreover, if one muscle is affected, another will start overworking to compensate. The result is a dominio affect which severely affect’s the body’s natural movement pattern invariably resulting in injury.

When all this can be avoided with a simple piece of equipment costing £15, why would you not use it?

Foam rollers are available on or to buy in Brighton and Hove at Nick Rivett Sport and SweatShop on Queen’s Road, Brighton. Please quote FitBitch for a discount.



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