Are you thinking of Running a half marathon for the first time?
If so, it will be too late to sign up for the Ealing Half on Sunday 25th September. However there is plenty of time to prepare for the Ealing Half or similar events next year as you will need at least a 15 week preparation program.
Here are some ideas on how to get yourself in shape and hopefully without injury in preparation for such events. There are a wealth of online resources to check out and you could always join a running club to get motivated and educated on preparation.
Running 13 miles may seem like a daunting challenge especially if you’re new to running but fear not, laying down some good foundations when preparing for it, can give you the confidence you need.
To begin with here are some tips to get you going:
- Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. At Health in Motion Osteopaths we can help advise you on the sort of shoe to look for that is appropriate for your feet and body type.
- Make sure you warm up properly before your runs. Five minutes of walking, then building up to a brisk walk before you start running is a good way to approach it.
- If you can, try and have a rest day between your running days. This is very important for recovery and to allow your muscles and tissues time to repair properly before the next run.
- You should be running about three times per week to get things started. These don’t have to be long runs, maybe about 30 minutes each.
- At the weekend consider doing a slightly longer run than you do during the week. Aim for about three miles to start with and gradually build on this as you go adding around 1.5 miles every two weeks. On alternate weekends go back to the three mile run.
- Make time for conditioning work, such as swimming, static cycling, yoga or pilates. We will also be able to produce a conditioning program for your rest days.
- Plan to take about 15 weeks to prepare for the Ealing Half Marathon doing your longest run 2 weeks before the race.
As your body adapts to running you may find that muscles ache after a run. This is normal and should be resolved during rest days. Pain serves a useful purpose and should not be feared. However, any pain that seems uncharacteristic, of a sharp or burning quality; and increases while running, or is preventing you from running, needs to be investigated by a professional such as an osteopath. There are lots of conditions associated with running. These include achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and ankle and knee pain; hip strain. Don’t ignore uncharateristic pain! Come and speak to us at Health in Motion Osteopaths for advice. We can help to diagnose the issue properly and suggest ways of adapting your training to get you back on track.
Treatments like osteopathy and sports massage that we offer at Health in Motion, can help to reduce the chance of injury during training. With proactively scheduled treatment sessions we can make adjustments to improve your biomechanics so that the risk of repetitive injury are minimised. In many cases prevention is much better than cure!
Here are some frequently asked questions from the many runners that visit our clinic.
Do you see a lot of marathon runners at your clinic?
Before and after a high profile race is when we are introduced to new patients who are runners – and there is broad mix of running experience within this group. Existing patients who are runners are usually seeing us throughout the year and are “tactically” programming treatment into their training and event schedules.
If I get a “niggle” should I run through it or will I do myself permanent damage?
In the absence of meeting the person asking this question and diagnosing the cause of their symptoms, the best answer we can give is as follows. Keep an open mind. If it continues; or changes in behaviour; and/or it is undermining your confidence, then get it checked out by us or a similar professional. Chances are you developing a repetitive strain as your training intensifies and your body needs some adjustment to cope with the increased mileage and frequency of training. These symptoms are much more straightforward to deal with if we have at least 3 weeks before the event.
I have injured my hip / calf / back / etc! I really want to do the race. Will I be able to run?
We will only be able to advise on this if we have examined and diagnosed your injury at the clinic. The most frequent injury that I see in the 2 to 3 weeks before a race is either a calf injury or a hip injury. So far all runners that I have seen, bar one, have been able to overcome injury to enter the race. Most runners are concerned about whether or not they are doing lasting damage. Again, we can provide treatment and advice to make sure that no lasting damage is being done.
Will I have to stop running to recover from my injury?
That depends on the injury but it is our intention to keep you active during your recovery We can do this by making any of the following recommendations which are applicable to your case.
- Regress your training plan / reduce mileage to recommended level for a recommended period
- Rest but continue with non-weight bearing CVS and conditioning exercise for a recommended period
How will I know I am safe to push my injured body after recovery?
We will teach you how to do your stress test on the injured area after, we have confirmed that you are ready to resume running or increase your distances. Stress testing is low risk loading of the injured area to give the runner confidence that they are safe to proceed with training.
How much treatment will I need?
This recommendation varies according to each individual and the nature of this injury.
What exercises can I do to help recovery or prevent injury?
This is very individualised advice, because it is based on full evaluation of your case. We will produce a bespoke exercise plan to suit your condition. The exercises will include stress testing, once we judge you are recovered enough to do them yourself. Do not be surprised if we give you exercises that do not seem related to the symptomatic area. We are giving you these because we have judged other areas to be linked to your current complaint. This is all explained in your consultation.
When would it be considered too late to get help?
Although early assessment and intervention is recommended, it is never too late to seek osteopathic advice and treatment in the last weeks leading up to the event.
Should I get an X-Ray or MRI?
This depends on whether your practitioner feels it is necessary to do so.
Is it beneficial to see you after the race and maybe for proactive treatment to assist my running throughout the year?
Absolutely, post-event osteopathy can help in many ways. Osteopathy is hugely beneficial for prevention of any further potential injuries. For example, if you have suffered from a knee injury after your event, we will be able to work to relax and strengthen the structures supporting your knee and hence retain mobility of the joint. This will then prevent any further injuries throughout the year and allow you to continue running!