‘Hip’ ‘Hip’ Hooray

After the overwhelming and humbling response from our video last week there is a repeat, of sorts. This time I will show you an easy and quick stretch you can do almost anywhere to help loosen the stubborn hip flexors as well as the back of the hip and pelvis.

Just click on the video below and it will open in a new window or youtube app.

Breathe Easy

This week I am doing something a bit different – me on screen. Gulp. People keep telling me that I should be doing this video information thing but I have yet to take the leap until now. Please forgive the fact I didn’t smile, until I knew it was over and stumbled over what I was trying to say, hopefully the main points came across ok!

What I cover is fairly simple to get anyone running any long distances this weekend or beyond a helping hand. The advice isn’t specific to anyone in particular but it is good all round advice that you can take and think about while you are running.

Help Your Breathing:

  • Use your elbows to push backwards. This helps open up your chest and allows your diaphragm to work.
  • Stay relaxed, keep your shoulders almost floppy to stop yourself using too much energy.
  • Use your diaphragm! If you are relaxed, your diaphragm can draw air in easily using up less energy than if you are tense through your upper back and shoulders.

Pace Your Feet:

  • The difficulty of the marathon or any long distance running event is that it is a lot of repetition on your feet and legs. By changing your pace or even your stride length for a short period of time you can alter the stress and ground shock going through the same ligaments and muscle fibres and so increasing the time before they fatigue.

Good luck to everyone running on Sunday, your hard work will be paid off!

To Taper, or Not to Taper?

Ok, so it’s not really a debate, all experts agree that tapering before a long distance event like a marathon are vital. But why?

Tapering doesn’t get you fitter but it stops you from fatiguing before the big day. You’ve put in all the hard work over the weeks and months and by skipping the taper you run the risk of overworking your muscles and not giving them time to have a full recovery.

Tapering is hard to do for someone used to training hard multiple times a week: too much rest is not what the body is used to, meaning the muscles feel sluggish and achey, nerves used to firing get twitchy. However, it is the only chance your body get to build up energy stores and repair any workout related damage to the muscles you will be needing once you cross the start line!

Three Weeks to GO:
1. Reduce Weekly Mileage by 85-90% of maximum
2. Maintain Intensity – the ideal time to perform your last high intensity workout is 13 days before your event to allow your body to raise the benefits of that workout.
3. Reduce the long run by 10-20%, or more if you are feeling sluggish or tired.

Two Weeks to GO:
1. Reduce Weekly Mileage by 70-75% of maximum
2. Reduce Intensity to 60-70% of your usual high intensity workout
3. Reduce long run by 50-60%

One Week to GO:
1. Run a total of 30% of your previous weekly distance – this is hard to do if you are used to churning out the miles!
2. One mini-fartlek session. This will alleviate the nervous twitching and remind your body of what your race pace will be.
3. One day before the race go for a very easy 1-3mile jog. And I say jog, not run. The aim of this is to get the blood flowing and your nervous system to fire but without any of the fatigue. Following this run you should be itching to get out there the next day!

Good luck to all our patients running in the London Marathon – you have done some seriously good work and we know you can do it! 

**If you ever have any doubt or questions always ask your osteopath for advice – there is always something that can be improved upon so never feel like you are the only one! To ask one of the team email us here, we like helping!**

Walk [Run] This Way….

Many people asked after the last email about specific situations our last exercises could be beneficial for aside from just back pain. Well, given it is the London Marathon coming up, gluteal bridges are something that we give out a LOT to our running patients who are threatening to develop Piriformis Syndrome – a pain in the bum, literally!

In the video below, James Dunn (a fab Norwich based running coach) discusses some of the common causes and some great self-help tips for coping with Piriformis Syndrome in runners, as well as the importance of addressing the root of the problem, not just the symptoms!

The good news is our team in London Bridge, Kensington Olympia and Clapham Junction are all experts in finding and treating the root cause of the problem that is leading to your pain so a few tweaks and shifts in what you are doing might be all it needs to get you running in a straight line again…

So if you are struggling, then we are always here to help, whether that is on email, phone or in person.