Running - How To Stay Injury Free


 Top Tips For Runners To Prevent Injury


1. Pace Yourself

It is important to incorporate a more relaxed running pace in your training schedule.  Often runners make the mistake of running at a pace which isn't compatible with their level of fitness.  It shouldn't be seen as a failure to set a more relaxed pace as a slower metabolic process that converts stored fats into usable energy is better.  How to assess if you are running at the right pace... make sure that you can talk comfortably!


2. Vary Your Training

It is generally easier to stick with what you know and feel comfortable with.  However if you continue with this approach progress will tend to slow down.  Mix it up a bit and do some slow training and some interval training to help the body adapt.


3. Don't Overload Your Muscles

There are three variables in training that can be controlled: frequency, intensity and volume.  If you decide to change all of them at the same time then the body won't be able to cope and has the potential to become injured.  Don't fall into the temptation of always pushing hard and overloading the body.  It doesn't make you fitter!  Ensure you interchange hard periods of training with rest periods and the body will then be able to adapt and grow stronger.


4. Recover Effectively

The body gets stronger when it has the time to heal effectively.  It is important to obtain a balance between training, rest and nutrition to ensure good levels of fitness, motivation and to prevent injury.  Consistency is key.


5. Think Long Term

Ensure that you organise your training into phases and also incorporate strength and conditioning into your plan to ensure optimum fitness.  For example if you have just run a marathon don't suddenly stop running or start intense training immediately after.  It is all about a balanced approach to training.


Top 6 Tips For A Good Recovery Post An Event


The "Recovery" Phase should form a key part of a training plan to ensure that your body recovers effectively and enables you to start training again without injury and at full capacity.  The body undergoes a huge amount of physical duress especially during a long event and experts say that it can take up to two weeks post a marathon for the muscles to return to full strength.


Here are 6 Top Tips to help you recover post your event


1.  Keep moving and keep warm Post Race

- Walk around for a least 15 minutes after the race to let your body cool down.

- Ensure that you put on some dry warm clothes to prevent you from getting cold.


2. Eat and Drink

- It is really important to eat something within 30-45 minutes of finishing the race to keep blood sugars up and to help to start repairing muscles.

- Good foods to eat are bananas, bagels, nuts, nut butters, fruit.

- Drink plenty of fluids such as water or additional energy drinks.


3. Treat any minor injuries

- Treat blisters, chafing or cuts to ensure that they don't worsen and become bigger injuries.


4. Have an ice bath (if you're brave enough!)

- Fill the bath with cold water (ice is optional), get in and stay for up to 10 minutes.  You can stay in longer (up to 15 minutes) but if not used to regular ice baths it is better to stay in for less time.

- Ice baths are believed to constrict blood vessels, reduce swelling and reduce the breakdown of tissue.  The advantage of having an ice bath vs. putting an ice pack on is that large areas of muscle can be treated all at once.

- If you don't have access to a bath then you can take a shower.  Use a combination of warm and cold water on your legs.


5. Sleep

- Key for any recovery. 

- Sometimes adrenaline can hinder sleep post a race but try to get as much as you can. 

- If you have had a light massage post race this can often help with sleep as it helps relax the nervous system.


6. Have A Massage

- You are often able to book in for a quick massage on the day of the race.  Charities often organise a free treatment after a marathon for their runners as a thank you for raising money for them.  These massages will be quite short and light and are worth having as they help kick start muscle recovery and ease any soreness.

- Wait until at least 24 hours post your race to schedule a longer massage.  Within 2-3 days post your race any treatment should be a light flushing massage to help with recovery and muscle soreness.   A deeper treatment at this stage may aggravate any inflammation and delay the recovery process.

- After 3 days you can schedule a deep tissue massage to help deal with any remaining niggles or injuries to get you back to full fitness.


It is also important to keep active in the few days post your race but any exercise should be light such as swimming or walking or a light jog.  The experts say that any significant training shouldn't start until 10 days post a marathon for example as there is the potential for injury if the body hasn't had time to heal and recover efficiently.


Key Benefits Of Massage When Training For An Event



When you are training for an event you will often have mapped out routes and training distances, worked out your diet and nutrition but often we tend to neglect one of the most important factors when training for an event ... "Body Maintenance and Recovery"!

Massage should form part of any training schedule and form an integral part of an effective recovery program.  It can help the body to heal and strengthen between training days.


Key Benefits of Massage When Training for An Event


1. Faster Recovery

 Massage therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body. This enables the body to enter a recovery mode.

The increased and enhanced blood circulation helps to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and helps with a faster recovery.


2. Improves Circulation

You may not realise it, but massage affects the cardiovascular system.  It dilates blood vessels, which helps them work more efficiently to promote circulation.  This manual assistance of encouraging venous blood flow back to the heart enhances blood flow, which delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. 

This improved blood and lymph flow helps brings damaged, stiff, and tense muscles the rich blood supply they need to promote healing.

3. Better Movement

Massage can help with increasing blood flow allows the tissues (muscle and fascia surrounding the muscle) which can help release the tightness of trigger points of muscles and which can help enable fluid movement. 


4. Promotes Relaxation

Massage can help with reducing stress and tension while promoting relaxation by activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

This can help reduce any mental stress and anxiety which could hinder performance and focus.


How Often Should You Have A Massage?

This will be different for everyone and it will depend on how often you are training, at what intensity, previous injury and cost. 

Some elite athletes will have daily massage leading up to an event, for others every 2-3 weeks can work well in between your own maintenance program which should include Foam Rolling and Stretching.

However if you already have an event in the diary then it is worth scheduling in your regular maintenance massages leading up to this. 

Pre- Event - every 2-3 weeks.

Post Event - 2-3 days after your event to help with recovery and to reduce any muscle soreness.


Top 6 Tips to Staying Injury Free When Exercising




It's the start of the New Year and the time when people tend to start to exercise more as they aim to become fitter and healthier. 


It is important to start slowly and build up your training over time to avoid over training and to prevent injury. 

Overuse injuries can be caused by repeated motions or impact which can cause muscles and joints to become inflamed and irritated, and this can happen when you start training too intensely too soon.  It is natural for your body to feel a bit sore as you start to exercise but you don't want to over do it so that you need to take too much time out from your training and then potentially lose your motivation.


We all know that regular exercise has both physical and emotional benefits but it is important to stay safe when training. 


Here are 6 top tips to staying injury free


1. Train at your level

Don't try to keep up with everyone else!  Go at your own pace; start slowly and build up to a more intense level.  This way you will avoid over stresssing your body and risking injury.


2. Wear the right gear

Ensure that your shoes fit properly and are appropriate for the activity.


3. Cross Train

Enjoy a range of exercises to balance the workout intensity on your body.  For example if you have started running then include swimming or spinning which are non weight bearing activities but are still aerobic to maintain fitness.


4. Recovery/Sleep

Ensure you have a least one rest day a week and make sure you get good quality sleep.   This is key for your well-being and essential for our bodies to repair effectively.


5. Diet/Hydration

Hydration is key and an essential part of any training plan.  Drink plenty of water before, during and post exercise.  Ensure you eat a balanced diet, including enough protein for your body weight, choose wholegrain, avoid processed foods where possible and eat lots of fruit and vegetables.


6. Sports Massage

There are a number of benefits to having regular sports massage when you are exercising regularly.  It improves circulation which brings fresh blood to tired muscles, improves flexibility and range of motion which can result in increased power and can help prevent and heal injuries through preventing and breaking down adhesions.

6 Tips On Ways to Cut Down On Sugar



With Christmas just over a lot of us will probably have consumed too much sugar.  The abundance of chocolate, sweet treats and alcohol all tend to lead to us over indulging during the seasonal period.  A little bit of what we fancy is fine but too much sugar on a regular basis can lead to health problems in the future.   There is strong evidence which links a regular high sugar intake with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and some conditions such as Alzheimers, so it is important to regulate our sugar levels and also be aware of those hidden sugars that can increase our daily intake without us realising. 


Obvious sugars are chocolate, fizzy drinks, sweet treats and alcohol but the not so obvious sugars can be found in pasta sauces (often 6-12gr per serving), and granola bars, often thought as a healthy alternative to a chocolate bar can contain at least as much sugar as a chocolate bar!  Low fat and diet foods which people often turn to in the New Year to try to lose weight usually have extra sugar included in them to improve taste and palatability.  A good way of checking sugar content in these types of products is to check the traffic light system on front of pack.


6 Tips to help cut down on your sugar intake


1. Reduce sugar added to hot drinks;  instead try sprinkling some cinnamon on your cappucino.  Cinnamon can help stabilise blood sugar levels.


2. Avoid low fat diet foods; low fat foods tend to have more sweeteners added to them to make them palatable as the fat has been reduced.  Try having smaller portions of the regular full fat versions.


3. Be wary of "sugar free" foods;  These often contain synthetic sweetners don't help curb a sweet tooth.


4. Balance carbohydrate intake with lean protein like fish and chicken;   Protein foods can help manage cravings as they slow down the process of emptying the stomach.  If you need a pick me up then a handful of nuts or a small natural yoghurt will help balance your blood sugar.


5. Skip white bread and pastas and opt for the wholegrain versions.


6. Try not to drink too much fruit juice; 1 glass a day is a recommended intake, and try to keep alcohol and sweet drinks as treats at the weekend.