Posts Tagged ‘London Marathon’

The Diary of a Running Mum

June 9, 2016 at 12:11
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Juggling four kids and a workaholic husband, Tanya Taylor, 43, also decided to take on the challenge of running every day of 2016. Here’s the first of her despatches about life on the run…

 

Tanya at the London Marathon

Tanya at the London Marathon

I’ve just completed my 156th run in 156 days. Sometimes they are long and ploddingly slow and other times they are fast and challenging, leaving me bright red and dripping with sweat. I’ve run in the sun, rain, wind and even in snow when forecasters were warning people not to go outdoors. From New York to Paris, Berlin to London and all over East Sussex, my feet have taken me a long way this year. And I have got another 210 days to go in my bid to run every day of 2016.

Runnual, is part of the Fitbitch challenge community, a list of challenges throughout the year which anyone can follow to help you have goals and keep you motivated.  Some are easy, a park run, others are about adventure, such as a the 24 hour Endure Relay Race and then there are those about consistency, such as swimming every day in July. But other than the Fitbitch founder, Rachael, I am the only one who committed to  RUNNUAL, running every day throughout 2016.

So, why am I doing it, everyone asks? I liked the idea of having a focus and commitment to my training that was simple to follow. Not that I didn’t have my doubts about doing it; what if I got injured, could I fit it in every day? But most of all, I was worried about failing. What if I started and couldn’t actually do it?

I knew the only way I was going to be able to commit and make this work was to make some rules.

Tanya’s Five Run Commandments

  1. No matter what the weather, I have to run outside. I wanted to get the benefit of fresh air and observe the changing seasons not a gym changing room.
  2. I have to wear proper running kit and trainers. No dash to the car with my handbag allowed to be classed as a run.
  3. I have to be kind to myself. If I had a crappy run, I was determined not to beat myself up about it but to just let it go.
  4. I had to run at least one mile, no less, for it count.
  5. I had to record it on Strava. For me, this was a way to keep track of my runs like a virtual diary.

Run number 1 of 366 on New Year’s Day didn’t feel so unusual. For the last 4 years I have run on New Years with my friend E. We run along Brighton & Hove seafront, past the all-night revellers, and discuss our hopes for the forthcoming year. There is something cleansing and empowering about our ritual and it’s always one of my favourite runs of the year.

Fast forward to now and I’m almost six months through my runnual year. It has been both amazing and at times very hard. There have been runs where I’ve seen the sun rise above the sea or set over the Sussex hills. Some have been in pouring rain, into 70mph winds or under baking hot sun. I’ve enjoyed runs where I’ve laughed listening to stories from some of my fellow runners, and others where I have run alone, tears pouring down my face as I’ve worked things through in my head. Running is cathartic, eventually everything comes to the surface as surely as putting one foot in front of the other.

But have there been times when I’ve felt like giving up? Yes, on those runs were my legs felt like lead and my mind is telling me I’m useless. But just as frequently, I’ve been rewarded with runs where I have felt invincible.

Stand out runs have to be running at sunrise alone through Paris, or in Central Park, New York in a -22 degree windchill, clapping my hands above my head in an attempt to keep warm, then returning to the hotel with cheers (and relief that I survived, I suspect) from the hotel doormen. I have run on the track in Berlin’s Olympic stadium having a panic attack following a particularly gruelling 15 mile race, and had my lovely running buddy J grab my hand and tell me I was going to be okay.

Recent runs have included running at night in the woods with some of the Fitbitch running club, with just head torches and giggling for guidance through the dark while training for a 24 hour team endurance race. But the best run of the year (and maybe my life so far) was the London Marathon in April 2016.  It was my first marathon and I’d trained hard, but had spent months feeling anxious, self doubt gnawing away at me. But it was amazing, a total high from beginning to end; the crowds, the atmosphere, the views, it was brilliant. I made new friends en-route (shout out to N and L from Sheffield) who I chatted to for almost 20 miles. Both my mind and body felt strong that day, and I managed to keep a consistent pace throughout. At mile 21, there was a moment when a young woman locked eyes with me and shouted in a thick East End cockney accent; “Go on Tanya, you’ve got this, you’ve got this girl”, and that was when I knew, I had.

If you had told me eight months ago that I’d run every day, I would have said no way. I would have said, ‘I don’t have the time, I’m not fit or strong enough.’ It’s not like running comes naturally to me; my body is not a classic ‘runners body’…I’m more Fatima Whitbread than Paula Radcliffe. But if there is one thing this challenge has taught me, it is that you an achieve anything with the right focus.

Tanya’s top tips on how to incorporate regular running into you life

  • Use your run as part of your social life. It is more fun to run with company, and you can always have a cup of tea at the end.
  • Fit it into your daily tasks/routine: I run from the supermarket carpark after I’ve done my shopping or I leave half an hour earlier to pick the kids up from their friends house/clubs and do a quick run before they finish.
  • Utilise your local running group. At Fitbitch, we have a community run on Tuesday’s, a pace session on a weekday evening and usually a long run on a Sunday. That means I only have 4 runs left to plan myself.
  • Think outside of the box. I recently had a boxing lesson, then washed in the sea, applied my moisturiser and make-up on the beach and headed straight to Charleston literary festival (You can roll your eyes here…) When the talk had finished, I changed in the carpark (there was a boob flash, but hey!) and did a quick run through the countryside stumbling across an amazing teahouse in the middle of the country as I did.
  • Download the free App Strava onto your phone. It’s ridiculously addictive. Strava allows you to monitor your speed and distance, and keeps you posted on any improvements. You can also follow your friends’ training and allow them to follow yours. I recently got approached by a (friendly) guy in a carpark who follows me on Strava and congratulated me on my achievements to date. I’d never met him before.
  • S-T-R-E-T-C-H and have massages. It may seem indulgent, but it literally is the oil to your wheels.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. There is nothing worse than someone having a meltdown because they’ve missed getting a PB at a local Parkrun when there are people fighting much bigger personal battles.
  • If I’m having a bad run, I shift my focus. I think about my form, keeping my torso upright, my feet light, making sure my arms are not crossing in front of my body…and if things are really bad, I imagine I’m Rocky running through Philadelphia.

With any luck, I hope this post and my monthly updates will encourage a few of you to try running regularly. The beauty of running everyday is that it removes the pressure about running to mileage and shorter, consistent runs have been as equally beneficial to my fitness levels and endurance. But the main thing I’ve learnt is no matter how tired/ill/sad I feel, I always feel better after running. Always.

I look forward to keeping you posted over the year with my progress, and will also introduce music for your running playlist, let you know of any new kit I’ve sampled and new races I’ve loved. In the meantime, happy running!

Training for Endure 24 Relay

Training for Endure 24 Relay



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Join the Fitbitch Challenge Community 2016

March 10, 2016 at 6:35
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Why not join our Fitbitch Challenge community, where we will help inspire and motivate you to take on exercise challenges every month and you could win reward points? From beginners’ challenges to those for regular exercisers our challenges will help you bin the bulge and motivate you to move – magnificently – every month

Exercising and participating is always better with others

Exercising and participating is always better with others

 

All you have to do is become a member of our FREE Fitbitch online community and complete our ONE of our selected challenges EACH MONTH from the list below throughout 2016. You can join ANYTIME in the year but from the month you join, you must continue thereafter to do one challenge per month. Besides, the more months that you complete, the more points you are rewarded and these can be redeemed for up to £150 of our products and services. (T&C apply).

You can stick to level 1 challenges, or mix it up and progress through the levels up to level five (each level corresponds to points and the more you get, the more fitness rewards you will unlock). And if you DO achieve a challenge every month you’ll get a bonus ten points.

Committing to a goal every month will provide focus, motivation and consistency. And the benefits?  Improved fitness, body shape and and an incredible sense of achievement.

We are not leaving you to motivate and exercise alone though.

When you sign up to our Challenge year, you will become part of our 200 strong Fitbitch online community on Facebook and Strava, where you will be able meet up with others to train and participate in the challenges – just like our pictures from previous years highlight. Because at the end of the day, the key to getting fit and staying fit isn’t the promise of weight loss or a perter bum, it’s the fact that you enjoy yourself which all comes down to making sure you exercise with a group of great women. #bettertogether

I’m in, what do I do next?

SIGN UP HERE

The Fitbitch Community Challenges 2016

(if you have a challenge that you would like included, please email rachael@fitbitchbootcamp.com for consideration)

January

(1) Complete a Parkrun, a Fitbitch Run Club Members run or any 5km at any speed

(1) Complete a four week Fitbitch course

(1)  Road cycle over 25 miles

(1)  Complete the Run-uary Challenge

(5) Run 365 days of the year

February

(1) Parkrun or a Fitbitch boot camp course, a Fitbitch Run Club Members run or any 5km at any speed

(2) Complete the Fitbitch Flexibility Improvement Challenge (a video of the ‘Runner’s Sun Salutation’ will be released. Add one sun salutation a day to improve your mobility).

(2) Get a ParkRun PB

(2) Feb 7th Run a 9 mile trail race

(3) Run the Vitality Brighton, Worthing or Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon

March

(1) Parkrun or a Fitbitch boot camp course, a Fitbitch Run Club Members run or any 5km at any speed

(2) Parkrun PB, or two Parkruns 

(3)  March 19,  Run the Birling Gap 10km Trail Race

(3/4/5) Ride a sportive in Burgess Hill – 36 miles, 54 or 72miles http://www.srs-events.cc/event1/event-details.htm

(4) March 6th, Run the off-road Steyning Stinger Half Marathon Or Birling Gap Half Marathon March 19th

April

(1) Parkrun or a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) April 17th, Run the BMK 10 km

(3/4) April 24th, Run the RawEnergy Pursuits Bluebell 10 km or 10 mile 

(5) April, Run the Paris, Brighton or London marathon 

May

(1)Parkrun, a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Get a Parkrun PB or run 2 parkruns

(2/3/4) Girls Run the World Berlin 10km, Half Marathon or 25km (early bird prices to be released February)

(4) Ride every day in May – whether it’s down your road, on Preston Park cycle track or up the Beacon, just ride. You can join our online cycle community here to meet others to ride with.

June

(1)Parkrun, a Fitbitch boot camp course

(1/2/3/4) 5th June, Ardingley Triathlon  (Supersprint, Sprint, Open Water Sprint or Olympic Distance Open Water – we will also organise relay teams if you don’t want to do the full event)

(2) 22nd June, The Weakest Link Relay Race (we will organise teams)

(3) 12th June, Run the Pollesden Lacey Off Road 10km 

(3/4) 12th June, Ride 52 or 74 miles in France with the Wiggle French Resistance Sportive 

(4/5) 18th June, Run the South Downs Half Marathon or Full Marathon (5). Or join a Fitbitch relay team (4) or 24 Hour Relay Enduro 11-12th June 

July

(1)Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns

(2) 13th July, Run the Brighton Phoenix 10km  or Wednesday 20th July Beat the Tide 10km Worthing

(4) 9th July, Team up and navigate, run, bike and kayak in the Chilterns Adventure Team Race

(5) Swim everyday in July  – whether it’s up and down your holiday pool, in the sea or in a training pool just swim

(5) Race to the Stones, 100km UltraMarathon 16-17th July

August

(1) Parkrun

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns 

(2)  3rd August Tri It Aqualathon Pells Pool Lewes  (350m swim,3km run)

(3/4/5) 7th August, Ride 47, 72 or 103 miles in the cycle sportive Haywards Heath Howler 

September

(1)Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns 

(3) 3rd September, Team up and navigate as you run, ride and kayak Questars Adventure Race 

(2/3/4) 10th September Run trails through the beautiful Kent countryside, 7km (2), 15km (3) or 21km (4)

(2/3/4) 11th September, Brighton and Hove Triathlon SuperSprint, Sprint, Relay or Olympic

(2/3/4) 25th September, Brighton to Brighton Sportive,

(5) Man Vs Mountain, Lake District 3 September 

October

(1) Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns

(3) 16th October, Brighton 10 miles 

(4) Girls Run the World trip – TBC

November

(1)Run parkrun, OR complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB

(2) 13th November, Brooks Brighton 10km 

(3/5) 29th November, Three Molehills Team Relay or run it solo

December

(1)Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(1) Santa Dash

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 Parkruns

(3) December 3rd, Mince Pie 10 miles 

 

Fitness Rewards

12 points and over – £25

20 points and over – £50

30 points and over – £75

40 points and over – £150

Terms & Conditions

  • You must subscribe to the community challenge obligations as outlined on the sign up form
  • Fitness rewards can not be redeemed along with any other offer
  • They can not be redeemed against personal training or Girls Run the World trips
  • All rewards must be redeemed for services that start before the end of April 2017
  • Rewards can not be transferred to another person
  • Only three spaces will be eligible per camp/time where £150 rewards are redeemed.


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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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Join the Fitbitch Challenge Community 2016

January 21, 2016 at 6:10
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Want to bin the bulge and say goodbye to the guilt of not sticking to your exercise vows?  Then join our FREE Challenge community where we will inspire and motivate you to move – magnificently – every month

Exercising and participating is always better with others

Exercising and participating is always better with others

 

All you have to do is become a member of our FREE Fitbitch online community and complete our ONE of our selected challenges EACH MONTH from the list below throughout 2016. You can join ANYTIME in the year but from the month you join, you must continue thereafter to do one challenge per month. Besides, the more months that you complete, the more points you are rewarded and these can be redeemed for up to £150 of our products and services. (T&C apply).

You can stick to level 1 challenges, or mix it up and progress through the levels up to level five (each level corresponds to points and the more you get, the more fitness rewards you will unlock). And if you DO achieve a challenge every month you’ll get a bonus ten points.

Committing to a goal every month will provide focus, motivation and consistency. And the benefits?  Improved fitness, body shape and and an incredible sense of achievement.

We are not leaving you to motivate and exercise alone though.

When you sign up to our Challenge year, you will become part of our 200 strong Fitbitch online community on Facebook and Strava, where you will be able meet up with others to train and participate in the challenges – just like our pictures from previous years highlight. Because at the end of the day, the key to getting fit and staying fit isn’t the promise of weight loss or a perter bum, it’s the fact that you enjoy yourself which all comes down to making sure you exercise with a group of great women. #bettertogether

I’m in, what do I do next?

SIGN UP HERE

The Fitbitch Community Challenges 2016

(if you have a challenge that you would like included, please email rachael@fitbitchbootcamp.com for consideration)

January

(1) Complete a Parkrun, a Fitbitch Run Club Members run or any 5km at any speed

(1) Complete a four week Fitbitch course

(1)  Road cycle over 25 miles

(1)  Complete the Run-uary Challenge

(5) Run 365 days of the year

February

(1) Parkrun or a Fitbitch boot camp course, a Fitbitch Run Club Members run or any 5km at any speed

(2) Complete the Fitbitch Flexibility Improvement Challenge (a video of the ‘Runner’s Sun Salutation’ will be released. Add one sun salutation a day to improve your mobility).

(2) Get a ParkRun PB

(2) Feb 7th Run a 9 mile trail race

(3) Run the Vitality Brighton, Worthing or Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon

March

(1) Parkrun or a Fitbitch boot camp course, a Fitbitch Run Club Members run or any 5km at any speed

(2) Parkrun PB, or two Parkruns 

(3)  March 19,  Run the Birling Gap 10km Trail Race

(3/4/5) Ride a sportive in Burgess Hill – 36 miles, 54 or 72miles http://www.srs-events.cc/event1/event-details.htm

(4) March 6th, Run the off-road Steyning Stinger Half Marathon Or Birling Gap Half Marathon March 19th

April

(1) Parkrun or a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) April 17th, Run the BMK 10 km

(3/4) April 24th, Run the RawEnergy Pursuits Bluebell 10 km or 10 mile 

(5) April, Run the Paris, Brighton or London marathon 

May

(1)Parkrun, a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Get a Parkrun PB or run 2 parkruns

(2/3/4) Girls Run the World Berlin 10km, Half Marathon or 25km (early bird prices to be released February)

(4) Ride every day in May – whether it’s down your road, on Preston Park cycle track or up the Beacon, just ride. You can join our online cycle community here to meet others to ride with.

June

(1)Parkrun, a Fitbitch boot camp course

(1/2/3/4) 5th June, Ardingley Triathlon  (Supersprint, Sprint, Open Water Sprint or Olympic Distance Open Water – we will also organise relay teams if you don’t want to do the full event)

(2) 22nd June, The Weakest Link Relay Race (we will organise teams)

(3) 12th June, Run the Pollesden Lacey Off Road 10km 

(3/4) 12th June, Ride 52 or 74 miles in France with the Wiggle French Resistance Sportive 

(4/5) 18th June, Run the South Downs Half Marathon or Full Marathon (5). Or join a Fitbitch relay team (4) or 24 Hour Relay Enduro 11-12th June 

July

(1)Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns

(2) 13th July, Run the Brighton Phoenix 10km  or Wednesday 20th July Beat the Tide 10km Worthing

(4) 9th July, Team up and navigate, run, bike and kayak in the Chilterns Adventure Team Race

(5) Swim everyday in July  – whether it’s up and down your holiday pool, in the sea or in a training pool just swim

August

(1) Parkrun

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns 

(2)  3rd August Tri It Aqualathon Pells Pool Lewes  (350m swim,3km run)

(3/4/5) 7th August, Ride 47, 72 or 103 miles in the cycle sportive Haywards Heath Howler 

September

(1)Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns 

(3) 3rd September, Team up and navigate as you run, ride and kayak Questars Adventure Race 

(2/3/4) 10th September Run trails through the beautiful Kent countryside, 7km (2), 15km (3) or 21km (4)

(2/3/4) 11th September, Brighton and Hove Triathlon SuperSprint, Sprint, Relay or Olympic

(2/3/4) 25th September, Brighton to Brighton Sportive,

(5) Man Vs Mountain, Lake District 3 September 

October

(1) Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 x Parkruns

(3) 16th October, Brighton 10 miles 

(4) Girls Run the World trip – TBC

November

(1)Run parkrun, OR complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(2) Run a Parkrun PB

(2) 13th November, Brooks Brighton 10km 

(3/5) 29th November, Three Molehills Team Relay or run it solo

December

(1)Run parkrun, or complete a Fitbitch boot camp course

(1) Santa Dash

(2) Run a Parkrun PB or 2 Parkruns

(3) December 3rd, Mince Pie 10 miles 

 

Fitness Rewards

12 points and over – £25

20 points and over – £50

30 points and over – £75

40 points and over – £150

Terms & Conditions

  • You must subscribe to the community challenge obligations as outlined on the sign up form
  • Fitness rewards can not be redeemed along with any other offer
  • They can not be redeemed against personal training or Girls Run the World trips
  • All rewards must be redeemed for services that start before the end of April 2017
  • Rewards can not be transferred to another person
  • Only three spaces will be eligible per camp/time where £150 rewards are redeemed.


No Comments »

Marathon Foundations

January 14, 2016 at 6:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston

When it comes to running a marathon, or an event of any distance, having strong foundations in terms of the correct muscles firing, as and when they should, is essential.

While aimed at those training for a marathon or half, it is suitable for all runners.

Build stability in your hips and core, and it will not only help you to avoid injury, it well make you a stronger, more efficient and faster runner.

This small group class of only eight people (open to men and women) continues on from our four week course in November, using anti-gravity training to build strength and endurance, as well as working on mobility and stretching to avoid injury.

It takes place in our indoor studio located near Brighton Pier (parking free at this time in the morning) but if the course is not full, we will also open it to drop ins.

You can choose to book the entire eight week block for £120 (saving £5 per session on the drop in price) or combine it with our Wednesday night Pace and Preparation 14 week course, saving a third off booking this separately.

* Please note Weds evening sessions are women-only.

You can see some of the personalised work we do in the class by visiting our video channel here



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Marathon Foundations Course

November 2, 2015 at 9:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

London Marathon

Whether this is your first or your fifth marathon, this course is an essential conditioning phase that ALL runners should undertake before starting to build any distance.

We will be using suspension training to build important gluteal and core stability that will help to ensure efficient running technique, as well as keeping you free from injury during your training.

Sessions will also include foam rolling and yoga for runners stretches.

Any of those on the course will also gain complimentary access to our online marathon mentoring group worth £50.

If you want to take your marathon training seriously to ensure you enjoy race day and reach the finish line feeling strong, and running happy this is the course for you.

Only 8 spaces, this is open to both men and women and will take place indoors at a venue on Brighton seafront.

Coach: Rachael & Tara

Cost: £160

Course dates: Monday and Thursday, starting 2nd November and finishing 26th November.



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Marathon Foundations


Posted by Rachael Woolston

London Marathon

Whether this is your first or your fifth marathon, this course is an essential conditioning phase that ALL runners should undertake before starting to build any distance.

We will be using suspension training to build important gluteal and core stability that will help to ensure efficient running technique, as well as keeping you free from injury during your training.

Sessions will also include foam rolling and yoga for runners stretches.

Any of those on the course will also gain complimentary access to our online marathon mentoring group worth £50.

If you want to take your marathon training seriously to ensure you enjoy race day and reach the finish line feeling strong, and running happy this is the course for you.

Only 8 spaces, this is open to both men and women and will take place indoors at a venue on Brighton seafront.

Coach: Rachael & Tara

Cost: £160

Course dates: Monday and Wednesday, starting 2nd November and finishing 25th November.



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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.

Treatment

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.

Treatment

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.

piriformis

 

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.

Treatment

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 www.bodyrehabstudios.com



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