Over 54,000 people will be lining up to start the The Virgin Money London Marathon, taking place on the 22nd April.
Many will be running for charities, aiming to break the 2017 fundraising record of £61.5 million.
The 2018 event is extra special as HM The Queen is starting the race from Windsor Castle as part of the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the 1908 Olympic Games marathon.
By the end of the course and after 26.2 miles of pounding the pavements of London, runners will have pushed themselves to their limits, causing all kinds of pain from the joints to the lower back.
The British Chiropractic Association has some tips to help to get the 2018 runners back on their feet on Monday morning.
BCA chiropractor, Ulrik Sandstrøm, comments on the strains of running such a monumental distance and explains how to minimise the inevitable discomfort in the aftermath.
“The atmosphere of the London Marathon is phenomenal and is what enables thousands of participants to push themselves harder than ever. Obviously, this is great in that it helps many reach the finish line; however the adrenaline rush also means that some people are pushing themselves too hard and not listening to their body’s natural resistance. Often it is only afterwards that the damage is revealed. Stopping at the first sign of pain, certainly during training is important, though at a major race or event such as London Marathon it’s obviously not that feasible and runners need to persevere through various forms of pain. They will pay for it, but the thrill of finishing is worth it!”
The British Chiropractic Association has some tips to help to get runners back on their feet on Monday morning with a safe and effective wind-down:
• Don’t Stop Moving: Keep gently mobile, e.g. regular walking for 5-10 minutes. It is the last thing you feel like doing but remaining static should be avoided at all costs
• Ice, Ice, Baby: For specific injuries such as problems with joints, applying ice is recommended. This is most effective when done immediately but still works when applied in the days following the race
• The Heat is On: A hot bath is ideal for strained muscles and overall rejuvenation. After all, the Marathon is physically and emotionally draining, so it makes sense to relax and literally bathe in your glory!
• Food For Thought: Snack regularly on food, ideally that is high carbohydrate, low fat, some protein, (e.g. tuna sandwich) and drink lots of fluids. Refrain from drinking alcohol until fully rehydrated
Sandstrøm continues, “For those who want to have a go at London Marathon 2019 whether as a first timer or a repeat effort, the trick really is in the training. You might want to consider chiropractic treatment as a way of monitoring your progress as you train, as this way no ‘niggle’ is left to develop into a more serious injury. Having regular check-ups can really help overall fitness development, as any slight pain being experienced can be immediately addressed and fixed.”
In practice we are asked whether anti-pronation running shoes or orthotics are the best option for runners. This article will help you to understand pronation and guide you in your choice of running shoes to prevent over pronation.
Pronation describes the rolling in of the foot as it strikes the ground during walking or running. This rolling in is part of the normal mechanics of the foot. It allows the foot to absorb energy efficiently and reduce the impact forces up the leg and into the rest of the body.
For some people the foot will pronate too far, too fast or both. These situations will give rise to increased risk of injury as the impact forces will be greater and the stress on the supportive structures (muscles and ligaments) of the leg and low back will be increased.
Do This exercises to understand the mechanics better.
From this you can get a picture of what is happening to the movement of the joints in the leg. This is called a kinematic chain as it describes a chain of movement.
Go to any running shop and pronation will be on the radar. Since the 80’s running foot wear has been developed to help cushion and stabilise feet and pronation has been seen as the enemy. This approach sprang up following research that linked over pronation to running injuries. Further research corroborated this and manufacturers responded to prevent pronation. This lead to various approaches to aid stability at the ankle. The footwear had increased arch supports or a cant to change the angle of impact or both. This lead to a heavy and bulky shoe.
However, it is important to remember that the foot is supposed to pronate as part of shock absorption and normal mechanics to allow the foot to flex during the heel strike to toe off phase of gait. Stopping this is equivalent to trying to run on a stiff leg or stump. That is not going to help your prevent injury and may even make things worse. So it is important to maintain a balance that reduces excessive pronation and slows its rate if you roll in too fast.
Runners with feet that over pronate will generally need an anti-pronation shoe or an orthotic, runners that have high arches (supinate) will need a better padded shoe.
In 2001 Benno Nigg (1) proposed a new way of thinking on how these measures work. Rather than assume that they changed the position of the foot he postulated that they changed the pattern of firing of the muscles of the leg. This then created the stabilisation and slowing of pronation. This makes perfect sense as it is the firing of muscles in a coordinated fashion that stabilises and moves a joint. However as we saw in the exercise earlier the knee, hip and pelvis position also affect the ankle. So in order to achieve good ankle stability you also need top strengthen them.
A key muscle in this process are the Gluteal muscles. They stabilise the hip when you stand on one leg stopping the pelvis from dropping forwards on that side. Remember as the pelvis drops forwards it rolls in your ankle.
So in summary, if you want to run well, get your pronation assessed, select the appropriate stabilisation and strengthen the muscles around the hip, knee and ankle by following these exercises.
You may now be able to guess what I recommend to help the problem. In my opinion an orthotic in a neutral shoe is a good option. HOWEVER, it needs to be the right type. It should have an arch that is free to spring and not be a solid inflexible device such as the moulded bespoke carbon or plastic varieties that have little or no give in them.
Similarly it shouldn’t be a foam based orthotic that fills the arch up. Now if you look at the anti-pronation shoes they basically tilt or cant the shoe to take out some of the roll. The problem with this is the lack of spring but also you have a clumpier, heavier shoe to carry round for your 40000 steps. That extra bulk and weight will have an effect after that many reps.
At Back In Form we recommend SOLE orthotics as they give the spring required and they are relatively inexpensive when compared to tailored orthotics. If you’d like us to assess you or for more information on how you can save over 10% off RRP just call us on 01202 733355.
In our busy lives free time is precious and often in short supply. We don’t always have time for the gym workout. This research on speedy 20 minute work outs could be a option to help you get fit.
Exercise isn’t a choice, it’s a must. Movement is one of the key driving forces for brain activity giving us many benefits.
However, making time for hours of running, cycling or gym work is difficult, and perhaps impossible for those with children !
A recent study Gillen et al(1) found that 3 minutes of intense exercise per week has many health benefits. It is as effective as 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity training for increasing insulin sensitivity, cardio-respiratory fitness and skeletal muscle energy release in previously inactive men. In plain English, it gets you fitter just as fast as long sessions.
That’s right, 3 x 20 second burst of maximum intensity cycling, separated by 2 minutes of low intensity cycling, a total commitment of 7 minutes 3 times per week. This gave the same benefits as a 45-minute session 3 times per week! Of course, you want to add on a warm up, and cool down so let’s call it 3 x 20-minute sessions per week. Easy!
You don’t have to own a bike, the same principle applies for any form of sprint interval training. You might choose to sprint for 20 seconds, perform squat jumps, burpees, skipping etc. It can be any exercise as long as it is maximal intensity.
Research suggests that your genes will have an influence on how much of a benefit you will receive. Huge gains can be acheived by some, but for others the benefit will be limited. However, variety is the spice of life and your health program should reflect that, so at the very least try to include some sprint training a couple of times per week.
Important: Please check with your chiropractor, health professional or sports therapist before performing high intensity exercise.
(1). Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment Jenna B. Gillen, Brian J. Martin, Martin J. MacInnis, Lauren E. Skelly, Mark A. Tarnopolsky, Martin J. Gibala Published: April 26, 2016 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154075
The addition of Chiropractor Lucy Rodwell to Blandford Chiropractic Clinic as locum for Karen Oldale now means that with Chiropractor Steven Oldale and Sports Massage therapist Lucy Payne, this must surely be one of the fittest clinics in Dorset.
A trio of triathletes are now ready to transition you from couch potato to ironman athlete. Steven Oldale has completed multiple ironman events but is likely to have a break from the big ones this year as he will be concentrating on the new baby triathlete! Lucy has placed highly in the forestman event and Lucy is a keen triathlete too.
The team may have to consider doing a relay event sporting clinic team kit. With a wealth of experience in competing and treating sports injuries and muscular pain they can keep you on the road. To find out more follow this link.
It had never been my intention to do an Ironman in September in 2017 as I had wanted the late summer off. However the Lanzarote experience (food poisoning) had forced me to seek another one out and as it was the first event in Italy, and the food is so good, Karen was keen to get me to sign up.
So we arrived a few days before and settled into the hotel and the great atmosphere these events generate. Despite my gastronomic disaster last time I still played shellfish roulette at dinner. It wasn’t much of a risk as you could toss the shells and hit the fish market behind if you wanted.
The day of the race was perfect. Smooth warm water and a gentle breeze. I had sought out my first ever swim lesson 2 weeks before and this paid dividends as I was 3 minutes faster than my PB. So I was up for it, the target was a sub 10:30hr race, previous PB was 10:53. However the transition was over a kilometre long and the bike was 5k longer than usual so that was a big ask. Still nothing ventured nothing gained.
As I had exited the swim fairly quickly I found myself in a fast group of riders who initially worked together within the rules (no draughting) and the pace was high. However some soon started to realise that two brits, me and a chap called Duncan were pushing on and they started to draught. In fact there was a lot of draughting. This is very annoying as it wears you out but rests the opposition. So I had to pace myself to not be spent when the marathon started.
To make matters worse the top of my water container popped off and I was getting covered in sticky drink which should have been going into my stomach! Any small loss of hydration can have serious effects on performance. It also makes it hard to eat your food. This cost me time and I lost the quick group.
By the time I finished the bike I felt as if I had made up the deficit and my legs felt good as I ran up T2 with the bike. A quick change and I was off on the run with an expected finish time of sub 10 hours. I was feeling great and stoked by the time. Karen was cheering me on fervently and we were in for a good one.
That is the biggest mistake Ironman Triathletes make. They get carried away and run off too fast. First 10k, flying along (for me) at 8 min miles, next 10k just a little slower then BOOM my quads went tight and I was struggling to run. Stretching nearly gave me cramp so I gave that a miss and it was shuffle, jog, walk, curse, question my sanity at doing something so crazy such as entering and then being stupid to not run enough in training.
It’s tough being in the mind of an exhausted person when you still have a half marathon to race. You want to stop and give up. You want to swap places with the person being pushed around the course in a buggy. Wait a minute. Did I just see that or am I about to collapse? No I was not hallucinating. There really was a team who had swum with a less abled chap in a rubber dinghy for 3.8k, then towed him on a bike for 185k and now there they were, on the run smiling. Yep, smiling. I couldn’t give up now, so it was gels and flat cola by the bucket load, plenty of thigh slapping, swearing and gradually my legs returned.
With a huge effort I started to run continuously and pick up the pace again. I was hopeful that my target of 10:30 was still on but as I got to the final 5k I realised that was long gone. The next target was a PB of sub 10:53 and I managed to get to the line (which you feel may never come) in 10:42. Respectable, but could have been a lot better if I had paced my run. The run came in at 4:05 which was only 4 minutes slower than last year when I ran all of it. So I really had been the hare when I should’ve been the tortoise.
I am not doing a big one next year as life is likely to get a little too busy, but I can manage a couple of middle distance Tri’s and may have a pop at Time Trialling on the bike.
I had trained all winter, braving freezing dark evenings, plus bleary eyed pre dawn starts in the pool. May had come round all too quickly and it was time to head off to Lanzarote for the Ironman. Unfortunately, some under cooked chicken put me out of action for 5 days and so the less said about that the better. To rub salt in the wound it was my Birthday too, so not a great trip.
That left me eager to make amends at the Titan Brecon. This is a race in the Brecon Beacons and a half distance but a tough one. So I was ready for it, however it was also the hottest day of the year which proved a problem on the run.
I was doing pretty well overall, lying in 19th place after the bike. The heat meant that I ran out of fluids just before the big hill climb with a further 10miles of the bike to go. This left me dehydrated for the start of the run. The result was cramp setting in hard in both legs at mile 3 out of 13. Add in shade temp of 33c and you had a recipe for a true endurance test.
The result was that I had to keep stopping to gulp down lots of water at every chance plus pouring it over myself. In the end I gave up on a PB time and ended up getting to know some of the helpers quite well. So another disastrous race, only plus side was the pro female winner was also 15 minutes slower on her run than usual too.
The next big one was Weymouth Middle, after a bit of argie bargie in the swim that nearly saw my goggles go floating off it was onto the bike. My glasses rapidly misted up and I was riding practically blind up the first big climb. I managed to pick off quite a few of the faster swimmers and was well placed on my return to T2. It’s always a good feeling to see the leader still only just on the run as you come back into town. I also had my number one support crew of Karen and our friends’ dog Hero to encourage me.
The run went quite well and I managed to overtake a couple of runners ahead of me but was past by one other. The aim then was to keep him in sight and hope he fatigued. It was close at the end with him only 40m ahead of me. However I just didn’t have the legs to catch him in the final sprint so finished in 11th place overall, just 1 minute off 5 hours overall. So close. Still the home made organic speciality ice cream after was a real highlight!
July saw me fall off my MTB and slice my knee so the next race suffered from lack of training, less said the better. August was back to Swanage where my lack of training showed and I came in at my usual time of 2:30. A week later was a trip to Weymouth for the classic Tri. Despite my running being off parr I managed to go 4 minutes faster than 3 years previously, so I was quite please with that. The next step was Ironman Italy which you can read about here.
If you were asked ‘how is your sense of balance?’ how would you reply?
For many people their idea of good balance would be whether they are good at walking along a wall or narrow beam, or if they are comfortable to go up scaffolding and clamber around on a roof. Indeed, these things do require a good sense of balance but day to day we all need our balance systems in order to know where we are in space when just sitting or standing still. Even more so to stand up from a chair and simply walk across a room, let alone turn around.
Now, when our balance is acutely disturbed we can experience a feeling of spinning (vertigo) or falling. There are various different reasons for this including alcohol, which is particularly toxic to the cerebellum, (the area that is associated with balance and co-ordination), is just one reason. Think of the clumsiness , slurred speech and stumbling of someone who has had a few too many.
When those changes are more gradual or a subtle loss of balance we may not even realise we have a problem.
Our brain and body will do its upmost to compensate but these adaptations can result in changes of posture and maybe spinal problems. Slowing of general movements occurs. Walking speed is a common sign as are changes in tolerances of movement around you, this can manifest as travel sickness or feeling uncomfortable in supermarkets and busy streets.
Another common complaint of people with giddiness, dizziness or balance issues is anxiety and nausea. It is estimated that 15-35% of the population will experience a complaint of dizziness and at least a third of those will develop a secondary psychological disorder. (Ref: Susan Herdman PT, PhD Vestibular Rehabilitation 2nd Ed)
Are you noticing these changes in your balance, co-ordination, speed of movement or someone else’s .
Do you think you might benefit from having your posture, balance and co-ordination checked? Chiropractors at Back In Form are trained and practiced in looking at the integration of these systems and may be able to improve or resolve your complaint with treatment and ‘vestibular rehabilitation’. If you’d like to know more then please call the clinic for further advice or to make an appointment.
What, are you kidding? No it really is a busy time at A&E. In the US there were on average 17 hospital visits each year in 100 hospitals surveyed. That doesn’t include those people who didn’t bother to go or sought help somewhere else such as the Chiropractic or Osteopathic clinic.
I clearly remember the Christmas I got my first pen-knife. To test how sharp it was I ran my thumb along the direction of the blade instead of running my thumb across it. Well those Swiss know how to make blades. It was immediately confiscated and I didn’t get it back for a couple of years!
Christmas really can be a dangerous time. So here’s a breakdown of the types of injury, when they occurred, the ages of the injured.
Obviously the peak day was Christmas day and that was due to the big increase in scissor related injuries. Probably as the sherry had been opened a little while earlier. So go easy on the Sellotape to protect the ones you love.
The biggest injury cause was decoration related, with a few keen beans getting them up in early November.
Careful though, the peak of Xmas tree related injuries comes in the next two weeks.
If we look at breakdown of ages there is a big spike at 0-5 years old as the excitement all gets too much and the little ones run into the stocking hooks or poke their eyes on the tree branches. The rest of injuries were spread fairly evenly through the parental 25-55 years. The older wiser age group must have stayed seated out of the way.
Types of injury of injury varied considerably, but I clearly read the textbook as lacerations were number one. That was closely followed by strains and sprains, contusions and fractures. If you bunch the last 3 injury types together those groups make up over half the injuries.
So be careful out there and if you do get hurt give us a call so that our Chiropractors can give you advice. In the meantime have fun and enjoy the time together.
Susan has been practising Chiropractic for 28 years and has worked in many locations before settling in Dorset. She has been working at Casterbridge Chiropractic Clinic for many years but has now decided to work closer to home.
Susan has a particular interest and experience in Functional Neurology and has attended and qualified to Chiropractic Board Certified level in Neurology. This puts her in an exclusive club of specialising Chiropractors. She is also a contributing author to Chiropractic textbooks.
Susan’s approach looks at the whole nervous system, particularly brain function. The brain controls how we function and interact with our perceived environment. Weaknesses result in patterns of weakness which can eventually manifest in functional problems.
Using standard Neurological tests and Optokinetic (eye movements) evaluation it is possible to identify weaknesses that could easily be overlooked. A program of exercises to strengthen the weak areas is then devised and if the problem is functional, positive changes will occur that help to rebalance the reflexes that control us. You can find out more from Sue by following this link.
We will be updating topics regarding this in due course so if interested please follow us through facebook and we will post links to them there.
After an encouraging 2015 coming on the back of glandular fever the year before I was keen to step it up and start to become competitive. I learnt a lot the year before regarding nutrition, preparation and recovery and was itching to get going again. The problem was I’d been injured from attempting to kite surf since October. A few months of DIY hadn’t helped the recovery and so when I had an MRI of my right knee in Feb I had tough choices to make.
I wanted to revisit Mallorca and go sub 11 but I had a tear in my lateral meniscus, mild bursitis and tendon damage. Not from running I hasten to add. From failing to release from my binding when I wiped out mildly. So come the end of Feb I decided to take a gamble and book Mallorca. I also invested in a new bike to help trim some time of the ride. There could be no excuses then.
Training started slowly, mainly building up the bike which I hadn’t been on for 4 months. Running started slowly too but soon I was doing 50 mile rides without a sore bum and getting off feeling reasonably Ok. The running built up steadily to 7k over 3 weeks but then I stupidly went back to 10k followed a week later with 15k. That irritated the knee and I had to ease off. Rule of thumb 10%-20% a week from base of your normal run. Not 50% each time. Come April I was feeling good and took part in a tough sportive in Pembrokeshire. An upset stomach and back ache from the 7 hour journey to get there put paid to any decent time. I was disappointed but it was good base training. I didn’t feel ready for the first middle distance in May so booked up to the Breacon race again.
BRECON TITAN (Middle Distance)
So in mid June I headed off to Wales again hoping for a better journey. I got there in plenty of time and familiarised myself with the course again. This time for breakfast I had cold porridge (as they don’t do brekkie at 4am) with plenty of low fibre carbs. I had my bike loaded with gels and three water bottles as there aren’t bottle replacements on that race like Ironman. However it is half the cost and just as much fun. So the swim went OK, it was a better field this year, the lake is shallow so the weed was a problem until towards the end I realised it was quicker to pull myself along on it!
The bike started well passing a lot of better swimmers early on, including one who stopped for a pee. All that training ruined by a full or nervous bladder! The big descent was a little slower this year due to bigger profiles on the wheels making the handling a bit dodgy in the crosswind but the flatter sections were a breeze until a lorry coming the other way nearly blew me off the bike. Going back up the hill was much faster as I stayed seated this year. It’s much more efficient and shaved a lot of time. So I arrived back in T2 in a good position. The run this year didn’t start with a cramp as I had trained a little better, but I had forgotten my salt caps so started to tighten up. The only solution was eating some crisps at a fed stop. Here’s a big tip, remember your caps, crisps aren’t easy to breathe. Mild choking over I continued on and nearly got to the end without cramp. It got me on a downhill about two miles out. End result over 37 mins faster than my first year, 6th in my age group. So getting closer to the silverware.
My next race was Swanage Olympic which went well apart from nearly crashing on loose gravel on a dangerous corner (that should have been swept). At T2 I was 4th overall for the first wave of athletes, I was holding my own and eventually overtook the chap in front. Stupidly though I let him pass me on a steep narrow section. I hate steep downhills as they hurt me behind my patellae. If I had kept him behind I would have been able to stay with him till the end. So I assumed I was 4th in my age group and went home disappointed. However I forgot that there were younger ones running with us older folk and I was actually 3rd. So I missed what would have been my first trophy presentations. Dumpkoff!
All of 2016 had been building up though for another shot at Ironman Mallorca. This time I was better prepared with my feeding strategy and had support with nutrition for the run. In hindsight I hadn’t done enough run training again.
The day started with thunder and lightening off to the East in the pre dawn sky. Adding to the nerves was a late announcement allowing us to use wetsuits as the sea had cooled from the day before. This lead to mass stress and lots of haunted looks as people ran around trying to get back to cars to get kit. Not the best preparation but with about 15 minutes to spare I was at the start and ready as I’d ever be.
The swim started in calm waters and I found myself in the usual washing machine wondering why on earth I do this sport. That was soon followed by me repeatedly trying to sight the turning buoy which seemed to be off in infinity somewhere. After an age we were making the first turn and heading back to shore only to do it all again. From there it was off to T1, at this point I was 1 minute down on 2015. Thankfully I had been given a good spot in transition and didn’t have to run the bike too far. The bike leg was a breeze to begin with and I made good time until unexpectedly (and it’s never happened since), the chain came off and jammed in the back brake. Thankfully a support mechanic was passing at the time on a motorbike and assisted me. I then got cramp in my thigh getting back on the bike. He gave my leg a massage, which was very kind and off I went to catch up the 100 people who had gone past!
As the bike leg went on thunder clouds started to build and the main worry by this point was how I would survive slick tyres and carbon rims in heavy rain coming down the mountain. Having had a similarly traumatic experience earlier in the year I was pushing hard to get down from the mountain before the rain came. Thankfully I made it down in the dry. By this time the wind was picking up and heading back to Alcudia where it all started was hard work into the wind. I was very annoyed by some cyclists who were grouping together and draughting. This makes it a lot easier and is illegal. There were no Marshalls in sight which was equally annoying as there should have been penalties aplenty. Anyway as I headed back to T2 the sky was black as ink and riven with flashes of lightening, the second time up the high street to T2 there was hardly anyone in sight and it was all a far cry from a couple of hours earlier. The bike was over 30 mins faster than the year before.
T2 went well, a quick stop for necessities and I was on my way to great encouragement from my wife Karen who was there in the rain trying to give me fluids and gels. I was fully loaded so declined and splashed my way round the first 10k in good time. The run was 4 laps of about 10k plus a little bit. At lap 2 Karen was still there getting wet and I still didn’t take on some fluids and gels. That was a mistake. I soon started slowing my pace and no matter how hard I tried couldn’t get faster. This was partly due to fatigue but also down to lack of nutrition. Lap 3 I took some on board as it was need badly, but also Karen was going to murder me as she was still in the rain and feeling like a spare part. I trundled o and got steadily slower, but importantly I didn’t walk. Last year I had walked at the feed stations as it was the only way to get fluids down. This time I carried mine round and it made a big difference to my time. Eventually I was on my last lap and running faster than those around me. It was still slow though and I had run out of salt caps. When that happens cramp is far away. So with just 2k left out of the 42 I got a twinge of cramp, slowing didn’t help and it grabbed me hard in the hamstrings as usual. Trying to stretch just set of another and I was immobilised. Lots of panting and swearing at my legs later I managed to shuffle along and eventually got back my pace. So finally after what seemed an age the finish line was in sight and I put in one last sprint to overtake a bearded chap ( Karen wanted me to beat the beards) and virtually collapse over the line in 10:53 hours. My marathon time was 4:01 so I was gutted that it wasn’t sub 4 due to the cramp.
I was overcome with emotion and had to have a lie down for 30 mins while I recouperated. That helped me feel better but I had stiffened up significantly in that time. The lessons I learnt this time round. Run more as it gets hard on the run when you pass your normal training distance of 15 and there’s still 27 to go! Take on fluids when you feel you don’t need them on the run. Don’t stop moving when you finish.