Physiotherapy News & Blog

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…


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.









Insider tips on training for a marathon

Physio Beverley Brocklehurst is currently preparing to take part in her 8th marathon! Here she shares with us how she prepares...

'Like some of you I now well into my Spring marathon training and about to hit my longest training runs. This will be my 8th marathon, which in some eyes makes me a novice, but does the training get any easier?

'In my opinion probably yes and that is because I have learnt what training loads my body can take. For my first marathon I followed a standard training plan religiously, running 5 times a week with an ever increasing mileage, peaking a month before. I was meant to include tempo runs but never could because I was just too tired, all runs were pretty much the same speed.

'Nine years on I have the hindsight of experience and I no longer put myself through such a heavy schedule because like many of you I work, run a home and I am the wrong side of 40! I can’t train and then recline on the sofa for hours on end. Admittedly I now have a much stronger running base and am a club runner. I've found that for me, it works to  train by doing a weekly long run, one tempo run ,one running training session, one strength/ circuit session interspersed with a race every 3-4 weeks or an off road run short run. When the runs get longer I may drop the tempo run because I find that I gett just too tired and also recovery is such an important part of your training plan, as it allows you to stay injury free.

'Have I got slower? No, I have consistently knocked minutes off my marathon time peaking with my best time in 2016 . I have no easy answers but my advice would be always do your long runs, allow time for recovery, try and work on your muscle strength and include a session which allows you to run at a quicker pace.

'Finally, if you are running a Spring marathon I wish you all the very best. As for me I will be running the Barcelona marathon in March!'

If you need any support pre or post marathon then please speak to a member of our team who will be able to relieve the pain and help get you back to training safely.


All young tennis players have aches and pains from time to time, but when can they be dismissed as growing pains and when do they need professional intervention?

Overuse injuries are common in the setting of organised sport due to repetitive increased loading on otherwise normal tissue. Overtraining and exposure to excessive levels of physical activity are the main culprits. Many talented children, who have commitments to clubs, county and national teams, are still expected to participate in school sport activities. Coaches, players and parents need to be alert to the risk of certain injuries and seek help if their symptoms don’t appear to be settling down.

Symptoms of injuries in youngsters may mimic the adult version but should not be managed automatically in the same way. Injuries in children can be unique to their age group and need a very different approach to ensure they recover fully and avoid further damage. The prevalent ligament and muscular injuries of adults can occur in children, however, they are more prone to traction injuries at the point where the muscles and tendons insert into the bone.

Another area of injury unique to children is at the growth plate within the bone, which can be subjected to shear forces during sport. Symptoms are generally self limiting and will settle down with the appropriate management. Although, if the pain is sever or not recovering within 10 days then it’s better to seek advice from a doctor or contact us at The Physiotherapy Clinic. Early identification of the problem and modifications to training is essential.

London Marathon 2016 Tips

With only a few months to go until this years’ London marathon here are some tips to help you along the way.

  • You should now be varying your running distances with the aim of gradually reducing them about a month before the event in order to prevent overtraining and the depletion of your glycogen reserves.
  • Take every opportunity to be on your feet, especially if you are not a regular runner or have a sedentary job/lifestyle. walk more, use stairs, park further away than usual, get up and walk around when taking phone calls or talking. All this will help you get used to being on your feet for several hours, there is a lot of standing around before you even begin the race!
  • Stretch regularly – calves, quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • If you are getting pain or niggles then get them checked early, it is much easier to deal with problems when they first appear.
  • By now you should be deciding what suits you best to eat and drink around the course and have practised taking on both when running – not always easy to do!
  • If you are running in warmer weather then make sure you are well hydrated but do not take on large amounts of fluid in one go, it is easier and much more effective to keep sipping small amounts frequently.
  • Use the few months before the event to increase your carbohydrate intake – pasta/rice/potatoes/bread/pulses and cereals. These will build up your glycogen levels for slow-release energy; avoid fatty food as it is difficult to digest.
  • Do not save new shoes, clothes or socks to wear on the day, comfort is all. If you have two pairs of shoes and socks alternate wearing them during training. If possible get a friend or family member to have one pair ready around the course to change into if the weather is wet.
  • Use plenty of Vaseline or talc on your feet and anywhere else that has creases or may rub or chafe, ie. groin, bottom, belly button, underarms, inner thighs, nipples or toes. Moisture will give you blisters.
  • Stay close to the middle of the road to avoid the camber if possible.
  • Eat something within half an hour of finishing a longer run and try to have a high carbohydrate meal within three hours if possible to help restore those energy levels. Again, keep sipping those fluids.
  • PACE yourself and practice timing your distances, miles or kilometres, so that you get used to knowing what your pace is and what is a comfortable and realistic time for you. It is easy on the day to get caught up in the free for all at the start of the race and go off too quickly.
  • Don’t train if you feel unwell or have a cold or flu, when symptoms settle gradually get back on track with your training schedule and try not to make up for lost time by pushing yourself too hard.