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How to prepare for your run?

In this post I will give you a few different ideas for a warm-up that isn’t time-consuming, has variety and a warm-up you can enjoy. You shouldn’t have to spend 20+ minutes on a warm-up; instead specific, targeted activities can get you prepared for your run mentally and physically.

What should I do before a warm-up?

Before you even get close to doing a warm-up, try to make sure you have everything ready for your run. This way, when you have finished your warm-up you are ready to go. If you spend time looking for headphones or making sure your water bottle is full; all the work you have put in to getting your body ready for the activity is lost. The warm-up is the preparation before the activity. Think of the time before the warm-up as your pre-preparation to success.

running warm-up

What is a warm-up?

A warm-up is a pre-activity routine that you will perform to get you physically and mentally prepared for the activity ahead. How you do a warm-up is personally up to you. By just doing something you are helping yourself out. Even if you don’t want to spend 15-20 minutes on a warm-up, you should try to do low load repetitions of the activity you plan to do. For example, if you are going to go for a run, start off with a brisk walk or a light jog.

What should I include in a warm-up?

The warm-up should include anything that you feel with mentally and physically prepare you for the activity. A warm-up is all personal preference at the end of the day. However, you should look to set yourself a pre-activity checklist, so you can determine how prepared you are.

warm-up exercises

Areas to include in the warm up:

  • Brisk Walk or Jog
  • Dynamic Stretching
  • Functional Movements that include change of direction

Goals of a warm-up:

  • Increase Heart Rate
  • Increase Muscle Temperature
  • Increase Blood Flow to the Muscles

Warm-up routine for a runner

The video below will give you an idea on a few different exercises to help you nail down your warm-up routine without spending ages on it.

If the video doesn’t load follow this link here >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo1EfP9vIw0

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Why Do I Have Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain?

Since Covid hit back at the start of 2020, we saw a huge increase in clients suffering with neck pain and back pain. Many had been sent to work from home, or had been furloughed. This meant they were no longer using their nice comfortable desk and work setup. Therefore, an increase in muscle pain and change in posture was seen. Honestly, the best thing you can do when suffering with neck or shoulder pain is to book in for a deep tissue massage. You will see a significant change in your pain straight after one session!

What can cause my neck pain?

Within the neck region, there are a variety of different structures that can be affected. Typically, your pain will be caused by the muscles, unless you have suffered a significant injury from a car crash etc.

  • Poor Posture
  • Poor Work Environment
  • Lack of Breaks When at a Laptop
  • Sleeping Awkwardly
  • Whiplash
  • More Serious Pathology

The best way to determine what is causing your pain is to seek professional advice. Try to avoid aggravating the neck problem further and rest it. If you think it is caused by your current work environment you can do a few things to ease this.

  • Contact the company your work for. Tell them that your current working arrangement isn’t suitable. Following this, they should put in place a plan to improve your setup or, alternatively, provide you the help you need.
  • Take plenty of breaks throughout the day, get up and get moving.
  • Try to avoid looking down at your computer throughout the day. Have the computer at eye level if possible.
neck pain

My pain is in my neck radiating down through my shoulder, why?

Within the neck and shoulder area there is a large muscle called the trapezius muscle. This runs from the upper back up into the neck and along the shoulder. When this muscle is tight, it can put pressure onto the nerves that run around the muscle down into the arm. This type of neck and shoulder pain is very irritating and can cause a lot of discomfort for you day to day. The best thing to do is to stretch and keep moving. Alongside your stretching, get yourself a treatment with a professional and watch your pain disappear.

I have been suffering with more headaches, how can I ease this?

Tension headaches are a horrible thing to suffer with. These headaches never seem to end, feeling more like a migraine and nothing seemingly easing the pain. Tension headaches have a variety of different causes, therefore, which cause is affecting you?

More than likely, this is due to poor posture or muscle tension. Often, stress can be the cause. It is hard to control the areas in your life, externally, that give you stress. However, you can help yourself with your posture and muscle tension. Get moving, get stretching and get your muscles working better for you. You will find this is much easier to do as a preventative method. When you are suffering with a tension headache you should take painkillers and try to stretch as much as you can.

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Taking Your Sport Specific Rehab To The Next Level

When we get injured, whether it is through running a 5k or playing netball, getting back to full fitness can be difficult. You can completely rehabilitate the injury, but get back to doing what you love and break down again. Making sure you are hitting specific markers or goals you set is key to make sure that when you return to your activity of choice your body is as ready as possible.

rehab

What is sport specific rehab?

Similar to normal stages of rehab, this is where you get your body accustomed to the requirements of the sport or activity you will be participating in. For a lot of sports this will involve multi-directional running. Therefore, you would tend to start with straight line running, building up in stages until you are able to complete change of direction exercises.

Sport specific rehab should cover all aspects of movement, use of equipment and making it as specific to your role as possible. This rehab should be fun and enjoyable throughout, talk with your therapist or if you are doing this yourself, break down your routine when you perform your activity and build this back stage by stage. Be adventurous in your development of your plan, make it challenging but attainable.

For sports such as Netball, you will want to also do positional specific exercises. If you play in a defensive or attacking position you will want to get yourself a netball stand and have a netball. Nowadays, these are well-priced and quality pieces of kit.

Bee-Ball Netball Stand

How to use different types of equipment to hit your goal?

Once you have your netball stand, you can then simulate match specific events for your position. If you play in goal attack, you will want to simulate jumping into the D, catching a ball, keeping your balance and shooting. Having equipment that is specific to your sport can help you in a few ways.

  1. Helps with positioning
  2. Can have a greater variety in your rehab exercises
  3. Makes match simulation far easier
Football Rehab

Having a variety of kit at your disposal can help to develop a sport specific rehab plan that is interesting and enjoyable to complete. Whether that is simply some collapsible cones to run around, a football goal for you to practice shooting or an agility kit to help with change of direction exercises.

Sport Specific Rehab should be the best part of all rehab. It should be the reward for all the effort you put into your early exercises, that can often feel very boring and monotonous. Get in touch with your nearest therapist, then you can formulate a full rehab plan to get you back to your best.

I have limited space, how can I still do this?

A lot of equipment is manufactured to accommodate all walks of life. Netball stands are small pieces of kit that can hide away in a corner of the garden, which is perfect if you have a small space or a large space. It is fully manageable for everyone. Football goals don’t have to have a solid frame, you can buy pop-up goals; in this case the goal is more a target for you to aim your passes or shots at.

Boxing

However big the space is you have available, there are many pieces of equipment that can work for you. Find something that works, and have fun with your rehab!

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How Does My Running Style Affect The Running Shoe I Need?

Whether you are new to running or an experienced runner; having the right footwear is essential to help you get the most out of your running but also to reduce the risk and prevent injuries from occurring. For all of your running shoe needs and to get a gait analysis to determine the best shoe for you visit Fit2Run in Abingdon.

What are the 3 main types of running gait?

To truly determine your running gait, you will need to either film yourself or be filmed running. This will show how your foot is interacting with the ground. Ultimately, this will lead to you find the perfect footwear for your natural running style.

  • Supinated: This is when the outer side of the foot strikes the ground, landing more on the outer portion of the sole. This is usually seen in runners with high arches.
  • Pronated: Around 70% of the population will over-pronate when running. As the foot is planted it rolls inward excessively, transferring weight to the inner edge instead of evenly spreading it over the whole sole. It’s usually seen in runners with low arches or flat feet.
  • Neutral: This occurs when you place your foot down and land on the outer edge of the sole. The foot then pronates in a controlled manner, distributing weight evenly, helping with the shock absorption. On push off, there is an even distribution of pressure from the front of the foot.

What makes a neutral shoe?

  • Majority of the cushioning is in the heel. As the whole foot or majority of the foot comes into contact with the ground, less support is needed elsewhere.
  • These types of shoes may be lighter as there is less cushioning and support needed.
  • The shoes design may make the shoe appear more curved. As there is a less need for more cushioning and support, the shoe doesn’t touch the ground throughout.

You will choose a neutral shoe if you have a neutral or supinated running style.

What makes a stability shoe?

A stability running shoe will provide more support to the inside of the foot. This will help to stop over pronation of the feet when running. These are typically heavier than neutral shoes due to more cushioning and support.

You will get this shoe if you have an over pronation running style.

Neutral Shoe Examples

Men’s Shoes

Asics Gel-Nimbus

Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Men’s

Check it out here

ON Cloudflyer

ON Cloudflyer Men’s

Check it out here

Women’s Shoes

Asics Gel-Pursue 7

Check it out here

Brooks Glycerin 19 Women’s

Check it out here

Stability Shoe Examples

Men’s Shoes

Asics GT-4000 2 Men’s

Check it out here

Brooks Transcend 7 Men’s

Women’s Shoes

Asics GT-4000 2 Women’s

Check it out here

New Balance 860v10 Women’s

If you have any questions about your running style and shoe’s get in contact with the highly experienced team at Fit2Run.

If you want to know more about running injuries check out our blog post here.

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Why Do I Suffer With Knee Pain

Knee pain can present in so many different ways, often being caused through the most innocuous movement/activity. A lot of the time, you will have small things building up over a period of time before you suffer with your pain or injury.

knee pain

What can cause my knee pain?

There are so many potential causes of knee pain that I won’t cover them all in this post. Instead I will try to touch on as many as possible. The two key areas that can lead to or increase the risk of knee is the level of strength and range of movement of the muscles around the knee. Weakness and tightness in the muscles can predispose you to injury. You may be sat there thinking, so what, I stretch all the time and strengthen my muscles but I still suffer with pain. The list below outlines potential causes of knee pain.

  • Age
  • Previous Injury
  • Excessive Weight
  • Significant Trauma
  • Lack of Strength
  • Lack of Flexibility
knee pain causes

Pain on the inside of the knee

If this is you, and you are suffering with pain on the inside of the knee, the first you should do is book in with a professional. Most causes of medial knee pain are typically traumatic in their onset. If you have the sensation of locking, giving away or feeling as if there is something in your knee catching as you move your leg; you may have damaged some important structures.

Sports that have lots of twisting and turning can increase the risk of medial knee pain, this can cause extra strain on the MCL. Activities that involve planting of the foot and then a twist can put you at risk of a meniscus injury. As you get older however, you are naturally at a greater risk of arthritis. If untreated/managed can cause significant damage to the knee.

Pain behind the knee

There are several causes again of pain behind the knee. Muscles that attach in and around this area include the calves and hamstrings. Straining these muscles, if they are inadequately prepared for activity can lead to pain behind the knee. Alternatively, your pain can be caused by a Baker’s Cyst. This is normally quite obvious to diagnose, due to the big lump that sits in the back of the knee. All the cyst is made up of is synovial fluid. This may need to be drained by a doctor, however, if the true cause of the Baker’s Cyst is determined it can be possible to get rid of this through specific exercises and treatments.

knee strengthening

Pain on the outside of the knee

This is a common problem that is seen in runners. Often referred to as Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The repetitive bending and straightening can cause the IT band to become inflamed and painful. This is commonly seen in runners who have had a sudden spike in their workloads, whilst also having reduced levels of flexibility. The best place to start with this if you suffer with this is to look at 3 things.

  • Your week to week loading/mileage
  • The footwear you have
  • The surfaces you run on
  • Or if you are a cyclist, look at the position of your knee as you pedal
Lateral Knee Pain

Pain on the front of the knee

So again there are multiple causes that lead to this. I see this often most weeks and it is usually caused by 2 specific areas of tightness. Tightness in the hamstrings and/or tightness of the rectus femoris muscle (front of the thigh).

Both of these muscles being tight will affect the tilt of the pelvis, which in-turn will play a part in how your kneecap is tracking. When the kneecap is influenced by a tight rectus femoris muscle you can find that you have pain just under the kneecap. This is due to the greater strain placed on the patella tendon through the tight muscles.

How can I get rid of my knee pain?

First things first, get assessed first to fully determine the cause of your pain. It isn’t a one shoe fits all when it comes to exercises to get you pain free again. However, working on your flexibility really does help. Although, if you are doing mobility exercises, make sure you are strengthening your muscles too. What is the point of increasing your movement if it is going to be weak throughout the movement?

  • Get Stretching
  • Get Strengthening
  • Get Assessed
  • Get Fixed
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The Concussion in Amateur Sport

Concussion is a big thing in todays society; with more interest in professional sport day by day, is the grassroots game being left behind? Are we risking the safety of children, young adults and everyone else that plays the sport they love. I can recall several incidents from games I have played in where if it was the elite level the player would be pulled from the action.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. This doesn’t need a massive impact to the head to occur. In its simplest form it is where your brain rattles around in your head hitting the inside of your skull. Not all symptoms are present straight away; you should air on the side of caution if you ever suspect a concussion. Some symptoms can include; nausea, headache, double vision and episodes of anger.

concussion

What happens when you are diagnosed with a concussion?

Dependent on your sport, the protocol for return to play will differ. In the elite setting the standard of protocol is far higher than what you will find elsewhere. In amateur sport, there are no medical professionals at clubs who will clear your player to return. You will have to have the player talk to their GP before doing anything.

You need to be cleared at every stage of the return to play protocol. Many people are aware of the RFU or FA concussion protocols; but, if they are not, why are they not? This shows a clear lack of care about safety of athletes.

For the first period of time you need complete rest. This means no phone, laptop or TV. From there you gradually return back to exercise in a controlled manner to reduce the risk of secondary impact syndrome.

Are we failing young athletes who get concussed?

Personally, I think we are. You will have seen that they have limited the amount of heading in football at the younger ages; but what is the point in protecting them in the early formative years to let them down when into their teens?

I can recall several events where a player has taken a blow to the head and they are told to continue. Are we promoting the correct response for head injuries, definitely not. However, this is a difficult thing to change; it takes a lot of education of parents, players, coaches and governing bodies.

Is the treatment of concussion at the grassroots level appropriate?

I appreciate that there are no medical staff at the grassroots game, with all first aid lumped onto the coaches. They are there to coach not to treat injuries. If their best player takes a bang to the head they are going to want them to continue no matter what the cost.

So the treatment of concussion at the grassroots level is absolutely rubbish. No player wants to have to sit on the sideline, they are always going to say they are fine no matter what. Did you know that if they had another bang to the head they are at risk of death? Secondary impact syndrome is a fatal problem. Yet we still risk the safety of our players for a win…

I feel that each club should have a concussion first aider. Every time there is a bang to the head the player has to report to them immediately to be cleared for a return to action. If this isn’t possible then the player should take no further action in the game.