Is your training toxic?

Last weekend, Edinburgh runners enjoyed the Marathon Festival – 2 days incorporating 5K, 10K half- and full marathon options. People run for all sorts of reasons – to support charity, to prove that they can, to overcome barriers both physical and psychological. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, if you are seasoned or a novice; if, at any point, you have both feet off the ground, then you ARE a runner!

I love hearing people’s stories; this year I heard of the lady who did the 10K in the morning and got married in the afternoon; the gentleman who did the half, went back to the start and then did the full; my own favourite is the story of the lady who was helped to finish by her fellow choir members.

Something worries me as a Sports Therapist though…what I’m hearing – repeatedly – is how much pain people are in afterwards. How they’ve actually been in pain throughout their training. How it’s affected their training so they feel that they weren’t able to perform at their best – or even had to drop out because of it.

“Oh no,” said one lady when I asked her if she’d been running “There’s NO WAY I would have made it in to Body Pump this morning if I’d been running at the weekend” (this was 3 days later)

One of my semi-regular clients tried to avoid eye-contact with me – as he described to the receptionist how much pain he was in after his first marathon. “I’d come and see you, but I’m too sore”

Newsflash, people: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS!

I’m not saying that you have to spend a fortune on the services of people like me…(on second thoughts please do, I might have unreasonable bills to pay)

But there are some simple rules you can follow:

  1. Give yourself enough time to do the training SAFELY. Trying to squeeze a 12-week training plan into 4 will not lead to hugs and puppies. Planning and preparation are essential.
  2. Stretch. I’m going to say it again. STRETCH. If you’re going to put in the miles, you need to stretch. Properly. For a long enough time to make a difference. No, sitting in the sauna DOESN’T count.
  3. Cross-train. This doesn’t mean go on the cross trainer! It means do different kinds of exercise that will complement your training – Pilates, Yoga and fusion classes like Body Balance are great for this.
  4. Rest days. You need to recover, both physically and mentally; if you over-train, your body won’t be able to repair itself and you’ll be more prone to injuries – make them non-negotiable in your training plan.

Don’t let pain stop you doing the things you want to do – prevention is WAY better than cure. Get it seen to!



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