Should you use Physiotherapy to boost your marathon training?


Should you use Physiotherapy to boost your marathon training?

It’s just a few weeks until thousands of runners take to the streets of London to take part in the 2018 London Marathon. We are seeing an increase in running related injuries at the clinic from runners who have been intensely training but not taking as much care of their body as is needed when training for a marathon.

Unidentified men run the London marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England, UK. The marathon is an annual event.

Professional athletes have a whole team of people (coach, nutritionist, physiotherapist, masseuse, etc) to ensure that their body is in peak condition and while it’s not realistic for the average marathon runner to have that kind of entourage there is help available; help in the form of a physiotherapist.

A physiotherapist can be invaluable in helping you to get through your training plan and minimise the risk of injury. Here we look at a few ways physiotherapy can benefit your training…

Screening

When you first begin training it is a good idea to undertake a screening process. Bev Brocklehurst runs a screening programme specifically for runners and will carry out a full and thorough assessment of you; focusing on gait analysis, legs and core. This will highlight any potential problems that could arise, particular attention will be paid to your:

  • Flexibility
  • Control
  • Stability
  • Strength
  • Alignment

Running Analysis in Progress

Bev will take your lifestyle into account when creating a bespoke training plan, as you may be physically fit but postural issues from your day to day routine could lead to issues that may hamper your training.

Your bespoke plan will help to improve strength, flexibility and endurance which will boost your performance and reduce the chances of injury.

Strengthening Exercises

Long distance running takes its toll on your muscles, so it is essential that you strengthen them as much as possible. On your rest days it is a good idea to spend some time completing a few short exercises, that not only strengthen your legs but also your core and back. A physiotherapist, here at The Physiotherapy Centre, will be able to recommend exercises to help you strengthen the relevant areas and show you how to undertake them effectively and safely.

Sports Massage
When training for a marathon you should think of a sports massage not as a luxury but a necessity. The same way in which you take your car for regular services as it builds up mileage, a sports massage should be the equivalent for your body.

A typical sports massage will combine several massage techniques and will be tailored to the muscle groups affected by the activity that you do. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a sports massage will be like a relaxing massage that you get at a spa, it can be slightly uncomfortable as the trained professional works to relieve muscle pain, increase your mobility and prevent injury. Here are 5 benefits of a sports massage:

  1. Decreases muscle tightness
  2. Maintains and conditions muscle tissues
  3. Minimizes the recovery time required between training sessions
  4. Improves circulation
  5. Works to reduce pain and inflammation

If you need any further reasons to add sports massage to your training plan, then feel free to have a chat with Will Moyes and Claire Cootes, who are our dedicated sports massage therapists.

We hope you have found these tips useful, if you would like to find out more about the impact of incorporating physiotherapy into your training program then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and one of our friendly, highly qualified and experienced therapists will be happy to help.