Well it’s only 11 weeks until the big day! Cannot believe this will be the third year of the event taking place in Stirling.
The revised route last year, as well as the introduction of the half marathon, was a tremendous improvement on the first year which put a lot of runners off from even entering in the first place and others who did take on the challenge swearing they would never do it again unless it changed. Fortunately the organisers listened and hopefully this year will be the best so far. What has always been amazing and I am sure will continue to be so is the support from the members of the public. I plan to take up my usual spot on the roundabout at Logie Kirk with emergency rations of fresh orange segments, drinks and so forth as well as an encouraging word.
At Stirling Massage Clinic we have already been working for some time with runners who intend to take part. This has ranged from ensuring they are preparing themselves properly for the task ahead through regular massage and trying where possible to avoid any injuries which may get in the way of their training plans or indeed prevent them running on the actual day itself, as well as dealing with niggles and injuries that have already occurred.
What we tend to find can happen are some of the following issues that can prevent you from doing your best as well as lead to injuries if you are not careful and as you read on, you may realise that you yourself are at risk of falling into one or more of these categories.
- INCREASING YOUR MILEAGE TOO QUICKLY. THIS CAN LEAD TO OVERUSE OF MUSCLES AND INJURY.
- NOT INCORPORATING REST DAYS INTO YOUR TRAINING PLAN. YOUR BODY NEEDS RECOVERY TIME.
- TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH ‘RUNNING BUDDIES’ WHO ARE NATURALLY QUICKER OR INDEED THE OPPOSITE OF THE ABOVE AND RUNNING AT A PACE THAT’S TOO SLOW FOR YOU. FIND YOUR OWN PACE. THAT GOES FOR THE DAY ITSELF TOO.
- NOT WARMING UP OR COOLING DOWN PROPERLY. (STRETCHING IS BEST AFTER YOUR RUN WHEN MUSCLES ARE WARM). TRYING TO STRETCH COLD MUSCLES CAN LEAD TO INJURY.
- NOT VARYING YOUR ROUTE ON A FAIRLY REGULAR BASIS. NOT ONLY IS IT BORING DOING THE SAME RUN ALL THE TIME BUT IT DOESN’T GIVE YOU SUFFICIENT CHALLENGES TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR THE ACTUAL RUN.
- RUNNING ROUTES THAT DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH OF A COMBINATION OF FLAT AS WELL AS INCLINES. REMEMBER THE FIRST HALF OF THE FULL MARATHON INCLUDES QUITE A FEW INCLINES FROM THE SAFARI PARK THROUGH DOUNE TO DUNBLANE AND AROUND STIRLING UNIVERSITY. IGNORE TRAINING FOR THIS AT YOUR PERIL! I SPEAK FROM FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE!!!
- OVERDOING HILL TRAINING. YES ITS IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR OVERALL PLAN BUT YOU ARE NOT RUNNING UP EVEREST. TOO MUCH OF THIS TYPE OF TRAINING LEADS TO MOST OF THE INJURIES WE SEE AT THE CLINIC.
- NOT FUELLING YOUR BODY SUFFICIENTLY TO GIVE YOU ENOUGH ENERGY AND HYDRATION. IT CAN BE A CHALLENGE GETTING THIS RIGHT SO YOU SHOULD BE GETTING INTO GOOD HABITS NOW WITH WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK AND WHEN. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. IF YOU INTEND TO TAKE ENERGY GELS/ DRINKS DURING THE RUN MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THEM DURING YOUR TRAINING OR YOU MAY REACT ADVERSELY ON THE DAY ITSELF IF YOUR BODY IS NOT USED TO THEM.
- OVERTRAINING AND PEAKING TOO EARLY. THIS CAN LEAD TO YOU UNDERPERFORMING ON THE DAY ITSELF DUE TO THE FACT YOUR BODY IS OVER TIRED.
- NOT TAPERING PROPERLY. YOU NEED TO ALLOW YOUR BODY TO RECOVER FROM YOUR LAST LONG RUN BEFORE THE EVENT BUT AT THE SAME TIME STILL KEEP EVERYTHING TICKING OVER.
Some of the issues we are dealing with at the clinic currently are:
- TIRED LEGS IN GENERAL, INCLUDING TIGHT HAMSTRINGS, ACHILLES TENDONITIS, STRAINED CALF MUSCLES, PLANTAR FASCIITIS, AND KNEE PAIN.
- MISALIGNMENT OF PELVIS.
- LOWER BACK AND HIP PAIN.
- PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME/ SCIATICA.
- SHOULDER AND NECK PAIN.
- GENERAL MUSCLE ACHES AND TIGHTNESS.
As long as you have some sort of plan in place and you stick to it as much as you can, you still have plenty of time to be in the best possible shape and perform to the best of your ability on the day. Remember also that the race is in the morning so if you always train in the afternoon or evening you should try to plan in morning runs too if you can.
By following the bullet point dos and donts above, you will give yourself the opportunity to not only complete your run with as few aches and pains as possible but also allow yourself to actually ENJOY the entire process.
The team at Stirling Massage Clinic are here to help you do that in any way we can.