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Walking Resources

Posted on 1st May 2018 by

May is National Walking Month, encouraging people to find their feet and pound the pavements or countryside more!

There are lot’s of initiatives, tools and groups set up to help encourage and promote more walking. Walking combined with socialising, whether it be with family of new found friends, will boost your enjoyment and also your likelihood of continuing.

Here are some great walking resources

Walk Unlimited is a fab resource that delivers walking advice and projects. Their aim is to reduce barriers to walking and to ensure that the public have free access to high quality information.

Walks With Buggies has some routes and free information for those wanting to find buggy friendly walks.

National Parks has a huge range of walks, easily categorised by walker or interest. They also do guided walks.

Health Walks are run by Eastleigh Borough Council. The walks take about 1 hour and and are a great way to socialise and get some exercise. They take place frequently throughout the week, covering different areas. They also offer a gentler walk too.

Eastleigh Ramblers are another fantastic resource, take a look at their regular walks.

Nordic Walking is another alternative way of getting out and about and exercising through walking.

Read More 

The ‘Magic’ 10,000 Steps A Day

10 Steps To An Active You

#NationalWalkingMonth


The London Marathon 2018 – Reflections As A Spectator

Posted on 23rd April 2018 by

WOW! What an experience it was, going to London to watch my Sister Helen, in her first London Marathon yesterday! I’m still buzzing from the energy and excitement of the day.

The London Marathon is one of the biggest and most popular mass participation events in the world! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the day. Given that I like to be prepared, I did a fair bit of research so that we would see Helen at a few points, whilst keeping our travel efficient and manageable. Here’s how our day panned out!

Setting Off

We were traveling up from Winchester & Southampton, so decided to park at Westfield, where day charges are pretty reasonable, there are good tube links and we were the right side of London for getting home at the end of the day. It was an early (7am) start, so we could make sure we got parked and allowed enough time for traveling to our first viewing point.

Stop 1

From Westfield, we took the Central Line from Shepherd’s Bush to Bank. And from Bank we took the DLR (thankfully the industrial action strike was called off) to the Cutty Sark. We had originally planned to get off at Greenwich DLR, which on reflection I think we should have done, as the Cutty Sark station and area was very busy – but it worked out OK.

London Marathon Mile 6From the Cutty Sark DLR station we walked past the Cutty Sark, through the University of Greenwich gardens, to Romney Road – directly opposite the National Maritime Museum. This point was just after Mile 6. We arrived there in ample time, by around 10am. At this point we had great, unobstructed views of the route. We were right near a drinks station for the Elite men. Referring to the really handy Pace Guide (from the Marathon website) we timed our arrival so that we’d see the Elite men pass, which they did at around 10.28am.

It was amazing watching these athletes speed past us – great to see and it really got the crowds going, ready for the masses.

The masses started coming through 10 or 15 minutes later. Such a sight! The cheering and encouragement was infectious and we were soon carried away, calling out the names on the shirts of passing runners, ‘high fiving’ those on our side and clapping away! The heat really was intense and some runners were already struggling at mile 6.

The Marathon App was fantastic. You could enter the race numbers of those you wanted to see and track their location real time – this was absolutely invaluable. With so many runners, it was difficult to spot people, so if you knew to expect them coming, you were much less likely to miss them.

We also made some flags and had them on extendable flag poles (a fantastic find – light and collapsed down to fit in my bag!). Just bought plain flags from eBay and used iron on transfer paper for our personal message – very cheap and effective!

Having the flags meant our runner could easily spot us in amongst the spectators. We had also told Helen where to expect to see us and she wrote the miles on her arm, so she had a quick reference to refer to so she’d know when to look out. These 2 things she said really helped – without the flags, it would have been very hard for her to have seen us.

So, our plans all worked out and we were beyond excited to see Helen run towards us still looking fresh and full of energy at Mile 6. A quick passing high 5 and some encouraging cheers, and she was on her way!

 London Marathon Mile 6 spectators  London Marathon Mile 6 Runner Jesus at Marathon Cutty Sark Marathon Greenwich Marathon

Stop 2

And so were we! From here, we walked back through the University Gardens, past the Cutty Sark and went under the Thames via the Greenwich foot tunnel to the Isle of Dogs. There was a very short wait to access the tunnel but it was very well managed. It was only open 1 way, so you couldn’t have accessed it to get the other direction.

From the other side of the Thames, we made our way through Millwall Park up to East Ferry Road (near the Mudchute DLR). This took us about half an hour or so.

We found a great spot to watch just after Mile 17. There were lots of grassy banks to rest on and have some much needed refreshments. Again the app was fab, as we could see exactly when to look out for Helen.

At Mile 17 she was still looking amazing – lots of smiles and full of energy!

As we left this point and walked up towards mile 18, there were lots of runners walking and stopping at the side of the road. Not sure if people hit a bit of a wall at this point, but we definitely saw some struggling.

Our plan from here was to walk up to Westferry DLR Station and see Mile 20 but we realised this was unrealistic and so we amended our plans.

Stop 3

Instead we walked to Canary Wharf DLR station. It took a while to get over the footbridge to Canary Wharf, so this slowed us down quite a bit (it may have been easier to try and get on the DLR at Crossharbour or South Quay). From Canary Wharf, we took the Jubilee line toLondon Waterloo. This tube was BUSY (and hot & sweaty, nice!). The driver advised the passengers that it was unlikely they were going to stop at Westminster due to congestion, so advised people to get off at Waterloo. We’d already hear it wasn’t advised to try and access the end via Westminster, so had already planned to get off at Waterloo – which was a wise move.

From Waterloo, we headed straight to Waterloo Bridge (again avoiding Westminster Bridge). Tracking Helen on the app, it was a race against time as she was running along Victoria Embankment towards the bridge as we were in the bridge! So, we literally had to run to see her! We successfully spotted her between miles 24 and 25 as she ran under the bridge – with a great view from the bridge.

Had we known that timing would have been so tight, we would have tried to move faster from our previous stop. We would then have had time to get down to Victoria Embankment to see her from the ground.

The End

From Waterloo Bridge, we walked up towards Trafalgar Square, up The Mall and under Admiralty Arch to the meeting point. Meeting points were labelled according to finishers surname. They weren’t easy to find given the sheer volume of people, but the official helpers were great at pointing us in the right direction. Checking the app, we could see that she’d finished and should be on her way.

4 hours 10 minutes – brilliant! 

We spotted Helen walking to the meeting point and it was congratulatory hugs and celebrations all round! She was full of smiles and had an amazing run.

It was pretty overwhelming seeing all these runners celebrating their achievements with their medals proudly hung round their necks, wearing their finishers T Shirts. We even saw a marriage proposal!

 

From here we all headed for a much needed cool drink and finally made our way home.

This spectator route certainly needed some level of fitness! We clocked up over 20,000 steps and covered almost 15km! But we certainly couldn’t complain about our sore feet & legs having witnessed the extremes the runners pushed themselves to!

This plan was based on timing for a 4 hour marathon, so could obviously be adjusted accordingly for different times.

Alternative Plan

Our alternative (less ambitious plan or had the DLR strike gone ahead) was to have travelled from Westfield to Tower Hill and watched at Mile 13/14 The Highway and then again at Mile 22 The Highway. Some of Helen’s other supporters chose this option, which worked really well. The added bonus of this for the runner was that they saw some familiar faces at 4 points during the race, which was a real motivator!

Top Tips

Having reflected on the day and our plans, it all worked out great! Here are our top tips!

  • Take plenty of food and drink. The schedule was pretty tight and everywhere was so busy, that there wasn’t much time for stopping off for refreshments. We did find an Asda at Mile 17, but the lunch time food selection was already sold out by the time we got there, so we had to be creative!
  • Download the app to track your runners – absolutely invaluable.
  • Take some flags or similar accessory and make your runner(s) aware of it. It will really help them find you amongst the crowds.
  • Get the runners to write on their arm which miles to expect to see you. This will really help motivate them and remind them to look out for you.
  • Prepare for the weather adequately! On reflection, we needed sun hats, sun screen and flip flops given the unprecedented heat this year. However, we could have just as likely needed rain coats & hoodies – it’s a long day out in the open, so do bring the right clothing.
  • If you want to go for something to eat and/or drink after the event, think about booking somewhere. Everywhere is, unsurprisingly, extremely busy. Make sure you allow enough time to get there from your meeting point too, the crowds definitely slow everything down!
  • Have fun – it really is a fantastic day!

More Info

  • You can sponsor Helen (who ran for Sense) here.
  • Read Helen’s marathon blog here.

#SpiritOfLondon #VirginLondonMarathon

 

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Science & Exercise – getting you the best results!

Posted on 28th March 2018 by

When we are putting together an exercise based rehab programme for you as part of your recovery, there’s a lot that goes on behind it. To get you the best possible results and outcome, we want you to be working on the right things in the right way, not only helping you recover from your injury but helloing you building term, physical durability.

At goPhysio your bespoke programme will be constructed and tailored specifically to you using evidence-based research.

Here you can see an example of the top five exercises proven to target the glutes and hamstrings most effectively.

Hamstring Muscle activation

Gluteus Medius muscle activation

Gluteus maximus muscle activation

So, if you want an effective recovery plan from your injury, read more about our bespoke small group rehabilitation here.


goRUN10 – New Running Training Programme to get you to 10k

Posted on 26th March 2018 by

goRun10 10 Running ProgrammeNew Training Programme to get you to 10k!

We are delighted to be teaming up with Mike Chambers, from Next Step Running, to offer you a fully supported run coaching programme, to get you beyond 5k!

With a new Eastleigh 10k date, this is the perfect chance to refocus and get the expert support and guidance to run 10k!

Achieve your goals! Learn lifelong running skills!

Book your place online here! 


What does the programme include?

This unique programme is the perfect combination of a practical running programme with an experienced, qualified coach alongside an informative schedule of educational and practical sessions, structured to support your long term running journey.

The programme will run on a Wednesday evening from 6.30 – 8pm.

Week 1, 11the April –  Introduction to the running programme & getting to know you. This will include what to expect from the programme, outline of the training plan and a gauge of where you all are, so that the programme can be tailored accordingly. We will cover some key important issues in running, so that you can get the most from the programme and maintain lifelong love of running!

Weeks 2 – 9, 25th April – 13th June – These weekly sessions will include a 1 hour supervised run, including not only running but drills, technique, strength and conditioning work and more. There will also be a 30minute practical or educational workshop, covering a different topic each week. These sessions will include the following:

  • Warm up and cool down – dynamic stretching vs static stretching – why & how.
  • 10k Training – key components – interval training, threshold & tempo runs, hills, the long run and running easy.
  • Tapering and last week preparation.
  • Strength training for runners.
  • Foam rolling for runners.
  • Race day – hydration & fuelling, pacing for 10k, post race recovery
  • Pilates for runners.
  • Managing load & capacity, making sure you avoid injury.

By adding this unique, educational element, to your running programme, you will benefit from being able to ‘run better’ – avoiding injuries, achieving your goals and loving your running!

Why would I benefit from a supported running coach programme?

With access to so many online training plans, running apps, free running groups and with running training programmes in every magazine, Running Coaching can be seen as a luxury only needed for elite level athletes. Surely everyone can run anyway? It’s just a matter of how fast and how far! You just need a pair of trainers!

But think again! Recreational runners arguably benefit more from a structured running programme with a qualified, experienced Running Coach than those club level racing snakes!

Too many runners do the same run several times a week, run too hard too often, plateau and / or pick up an injury. These issues can really hamper enjoyment of running and progress and often cause people to give up on running. With the right education, guidance and support, we can help you avoid this.

Having a structured programme with a Coach will motivate you, challenge you when they think you can give more, but more often than not recognise when you need to back off and take it easy!  A Coach will structure your week so you include all the key components to make you a fitter, stronger and faster runner.

How much is the programme?

The 9 week programme costs £79. This will include:

  • Week 1 introductory session
  • Bespoke 8 week training programme based on 3 sessions per week
    • 8 x 1.5 hour weekly sessions with the Running Coach & goPhysio
    • 2 x homework sessions to do with the rest of your group or on your own in between
  • Support on creating more variety in your running, including hill sessions,interval training and strength & conditioning work, with lots of support and tips to help you build strength and speed throughout the sessions
  • Email support throughout the programme
  • 10% off at goPhysio for Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy or Sports Massage, should you need it

Who is this for?

This programme is suitable for those who are able to run at least 5k. Maybe you’re a Parkrun regular but aren’t sure how to get to the next level. You may have signed up to the Eastleigh 10k but heaved a sigh of relief when it got postponed as you weren’t ready. Maybe you’ve run comfortably on your own but now want some extra support in a group environment. Or it might be you’ve recently returned to running from an injury and want to make sure you are armed with the right skills and knowledge so you don’t get injured again?

Places are limited, please book your place here or to find out more or if you have any questions, email fiona@gophysiotherapy.co.uk

 

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National Bed Month

Posted on 1st March 2018 by

This month reminds us of how important a good nights’ sleep really is and how it benefits our health, as it’s National Bed Month! 

So what’s so important about sleep?!

 Sleep and the Brain

  • Sleep enhances your learning and problem-solving skills and helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative.
  • Sleep deficiency can make it difficult to control your emotions and behaviour or cope with change. It has also been linked to depression and risk-taking behaviour.
  • Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Without it, there is an increased risk of heart/kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
  • Deep sleep triggers the release of hormones that promote healthy growth and development. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells.

Sleep and Athletic Performance

  • Sleep deprivation negatively effects athletic performance, especially in submaximal, prolonged exercise.
  • Compromised sleep can influence learning, memory, cognition, pain perception, immunity and inflammation.
  • Changes in glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function as a result of chronic, partial sleep deprivation can result in alterations in carbohydrate metabolism, appetite, food intake and protein synthesis.

Sleep and Weight Loss

  • Sleep is crucial in retaining energy and stamina throughout the day.
  • There are two key hormones released when you sleep; ghrelin and leptin.
  • Ghrelin enhances your appetite and leptin suppresses it. A lack of sleep disturbs this natural hormonal balance and can lead to weight gain (or a lack of weight loss).
  • Growth hormone, released in abundance when we sleep, is responsible for facilitating muscle growth and increasing your metabolism which means energy is burned more efficiently and can lead to weight loss.
  • Adequate sleep lowers the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Higher cortisol = lower metabolism. More sleep = less cortisol, better weight loss.

Morning Mobility Routine

Laying horizontally for an extended period of time can cause your joints and muscles to feel achy or stiff in the morning. Getting into a morning routine will increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness associated pain and boost the longevity of your global joint health.

  1. After a warm shower, take each major joint through its full, pain-free range of motion.
  2. Gently stretch those achy muscles.
  3. Use a foam roller or tiggerpoint ball to target the areas that need some extra attention.
  4. Perform daily to assist in retaining your range of motion.

6 Tips for a Better Kip

  1. Bedroom – clean, peaceful & welcoming. Achieve complete darkness with blackout blinds. Ideal temperature 16-18° Avoid televisions, computers and any distractions if you can’t nod off. Limit the bedroom for sleep only, it shouldn’t be used for work, watching TV, eating, even talking on the phone.
  2. Bed – comfortable! If you regularly wake up with aches and pains, it may be time to change your mattress. You should consider changing your bed after 7 years.
  3. Lifestyle – today’s typically fast-paced and chaotic lifestyle provides non-stop stimulation from the moment we wake up. Reduce the intensity of artificial light, maintain a regular bed time routine, avoid alcohol/caffeine before bed, switch off your tech, and empty your bladder before sleeping.
  4. Stress & worry – scientific evidence has shown a direct link between anxiety and rhythm of sleep. An alert mind produces beta waves, preventing sleep. To relax, breathe in deeply for 4 seconds and then breathe out slowly. Repeat until you feel your heart rate slowing.
  5. Diet – you are what you eat! Food and drink can have a drastic effect on your sleep. Choose milk, cherries, chicken and rice. Avoid fatty meat, curry and alcohol after 6pm.
  6. Exercise – promote sleep by working out effectively. Don’t work out too aggressively, this will be counterproductive by increasing your alertness. Yoga is renowned for its relaxation and sleep benefits.

Read more about the 4 pillars of a healthy life and ‘being well’ on a previous blog.

Why sleeps the magic elixir for runners.

 


Runners – We Need Your Help!

Posted on 27th February 2018 by

We are trying to find out more about what injured runners do to get back to pain-free running, and would love to hear from you! If you’re interested in helping us out, please take a few moments to answer a couple of questions by clicking here. Many thanks.

The Injured Runner Project

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National Longevity Day

Posted on 19th February 2018 by

Today is National Longevity Day – and with our purpose here at goPhysio being……

Helping local people live a healthy, active, positive life pain and injury free

…….we couldn’t let the day pass us by without acknowledgement!

The message of the day is to get more people thinking about their health and living a longer and happier life. The day acts as a reminder for you to look after your body and think about how your lifestyle and choices impact now can affect your body in later life.

As a Physiotherapy, Health & Wellbeing Clinic, we play a fundamental part in helping people live a long and happy life. How? 

  • By helping people overcome their injuries, we help keep people physically active, doing the sports and activities they love to do.
  • We ease the worry and stress surrounding an injury, when people often think there’s no way out, we guide them through the injury maze, providing support and relieving the fear and uncertainty. We help you do something positive about your injury.
  • We relieve people’s pain, helping them feel better and relieving the anxiety and distress that pain often brings with it.
  • We encourage people to be physically active, providing fully supported, specialist exercise based sessions, that are accessible to people who may not think exercise is possible. This includes our Clinical Pilates, Active Backs and Positive Steps classes.

Being physically active is a crucial part of living a long, healthy, life – so, if you need help, we’re here for you.

Read More 

Productive healthy ageing and MSK health

Be well

 

 


Overuse Injuries

Posted on 12th February 2018 by

What is an overuse injury?

An overuse injury is normally a chronic injury that gradually occurs over a period of time, rather than a sudden acute traumatic injury. Repetitive trauma to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon such as a tendinopathy or stress fracture are just a couple of examples of overuse injuries.

What causes overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries are often linked to training overload in athletes, or sudden changes in activities that put stress through the body which they are not used to and therefore overload the soft tissue or bone. When we take up a new hobby, sport or activity or increase training levels/load this will put increased stress onto our body, this will lead the body having to adapt. However, if the body is not given time to adapt and the body is overloaded then this can, in some cases, lead to repetitive ‘microtrauma’ to the tissues. This can be unnoticed for a long time, or thought to be just a muscle ache. Some causes of this include:

  • Poor Technique
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Training overload/level
  • Biomechanics of your foot

What might it feel like?

Depending on the affected tissue or body part will depend on how it will feel. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that starts initially during a warm up that then eases of and returns at the end of your sport or activity
  • Consistent pinching or sharp pain on specific movements
  • Constant dull ache

How do the symptoms progress?

Overuse injuries can be slow in developing and last a long time. The longer the problem is ignored the worse or more frequent the symptoms can become. This may lead to pain every time you engage in your sport or activity and may also lead to pain/swelling afterwards.

How is it diagnosed?

If you think you may be suffering with an overuse injury, it is important to get an assessment by a physiotherapist or sports therapist. The key to effective management of an overuse injury is accurately identifying exactly what’s causing it and addressing this. This will help to prevent any of those niggles turning into a bigger problem and possibly preventing you doing the sport of activity that you love.

What is the best treatment for overuse injuries?

There are lots of treatments that can be used to help, depending on the injury. Treatment will often start with easing the symptoms of the injury, such as pain and inflammation. In parallel to this, addressing the underlying cause and working on strength and stability to prevent reoccurence is key. Treatments may include:

Outlook

When the underlying issue is addressed and appropriate changes are made, overuse injuries can be solved. They can often be a very frustrating injury, as they inevitably need a bit of rest and trial and error to work out exactly what’s causing the issue. That’s where we come in, seeing an expert can guide you through the puzzle of injury and help get you back doing what you love as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Read More 

Achilles Injuries

Running injuries – The basic principles

Treatment of calf pain in runners

Runners knee (patellofemoral pain)

What’s physiotherapy got to do with a dripping tap?


 


Selective Rest – When to rest and when to keep running?

Posted on 6th February 2018 by

“Should I keep running or not?” is a question we get asked a lot by runners here at goPhysio.

There are many factors that can lead to injury from excessive training loads, running technique, poor foot mechanics and muscle imbalances, to name a few. But, whatever the cause of your pain or injury total rest is rarely advocated, as this will, in general, only slow down your progress and can cause many more secondary, longer term issues.

At goPhysio, we prefer the term ‘selective rest’

This means to selectively rest from the aggravating (pain causing) activities. So, if you’ve got an ankle injury and you’re a keen runner, it is usually better to rest from running until you’re recovering but gentle walking and alternative non-aggravating activities such as swimming or cycling to maintain movement and fitness can be really helpful.

Essentially, your body’s tissues (muscle, tendon, ligaments and bone) will adapt to the demands you place upon them. When you rest the muscles may tighten and weaken, joints will stiffen and your whole body will also de-condition. The long term effects of complete rest will often prolong injuries, with you suffering unnecessary secondary complications and time off running due to inactivity. We’re designed to move, hence movement and exercise is therapeutic.

So, if you’re feeling the odd niggle or pain when you run, our top tips to help keep you running are:

  • Pain during a run? If you feel pain during your run and it is getting worse throughout your run then stop. Make a mental note of the distance or duration at which the pain started (that becomes the point you’ll use to gauge progress on your next run). Avoid running for the next 48 hours, use ice and anti-inflammatories to help settle any inflammation. Then attempt another run within 2-3 days, running to the point at which you felt your pain on your previous run. If you make it to that point and beyond great, just gently progress your running over the next few weeks, ensuring you don’t progress more than 10% distance or mileage in any one run.
    However, if the pain and distance is the same or worse than you experienced on your previous run, it will be indicative of an overuse injury. So, stop and seek an expert physiotherapy assessment to identify, modify and remove all the predisposing factors, to get you back to running quickly.
  • Rest days are training days If your training/distance has been increasing and you feel your legs are finding it hard to reach your planned distance it may be time to rest to allow your body to recover and repair. This selective rest will allow yourself to continue progressing whilst also preventing injury. Intersperse running with other activities such as swimming, cycling, Pilates, yoga or strength training. These activities will allow your body to recover from the repetitive, high loading forces of running but will still help with your running training in other ways.
  • Listen to your body It’s important to use common sense and listen to your body. We all experience natural aches and pains during running, due to the natural high loading forces of the activity. These symptoms are often one-off red-herrings, that subside within 24hrs. However if the pain is sharp in nature and doesn’t feel quite right, or persist’s for a few runs, it’s your body warning you that something is wrong and you need help.
  • If in doubt, see a specialist By seeing a specialist like a Physiotherapist or graduate Sports Therapist when you have an injury, we’ll be able to reassure you what you should and shouldn’t be doing to help your recovery. We spend a long time with you 1-2-1 to fully understand your problem and answer all your questions. You’ll go away knowing exactly what is wrong with you and exactly how to help it get better. There’s nothing worse than sitting around worrying about what may be wrong and whether you’re doing the right thing. We’ll help alleviate your fears and the result is a speedier recovery, getting back to running pain-free quicker, without the worry of the unknown.

Good Luck & Enjoy your Running!

The Injured Runner Project
We are trying to find out more about what injured runners do to get back to pain-free running, and would love to hear from you! If you’re interested in helping us out, please take a few moments to answer a couple of questions by clicking on this image. Many thanks.

Change just 1 thing to boost your running performance

Posted on 4th February 2018 by

Learn from the expert’s – here’s 5 great short cuts to rapidly improving your running performance, it’s not cheating honest! Just focus on 1 and see if it helps. From our Clinical Director, Paul.

1. The HOKA Difference: I regularly and happily recommend HOKA trainers to all my patients that require improved shock absorption and reduced tissue loading when running. They involve marshmallow, rocking chair and bucket seat technology!

To me, a clinician, they’re a unique mash up of styles, designed to simply and easily improve your shock absorption, comfort, running gait and foot stability. They are designed with only a 4mm rise from heel-to- toe, with a slight rocker shaped sole, to help with midfoot strike and smooth propulsion. Think ‘barefoot running’ style with comfy shock absorbent trainers on. The best of both world’s! So get down to your local running store and test drive a pair today. Read more about Hoka’s here. You can read more about the importance of running footwear here.

You’ll feel 10 years younger & 20kg lighter – I know I did!

2. Heel to Buttocks: Essentially it’s about improving the efficiency of your running style, by spending as much of your energy as possible in the propulsion phase. Avoiding long strides in-front of your body and the increased ground reaction forces, in this inefficient deceleration phase of running.

It’s about switching on your large propulsion muscles (gluteals and hamstring) at the end of your long levers (legs) and pushing off optimally through your big toe. It’s easier done, then you may think, just think of the cue “heel to buttocks”. So as you jog along bring your heels up towards your buttocks, and lean your trunk forwards, be prepared to getting faster as you go!

3. Pump with the arms & the legs will follow: To improve speed for that sprint finish, if you pump fast with your arms, your legs will automatically move faster. It’s the way we’re neurologically wired for reciprocal movement and the pro’s have been using it for years.

4. Sleep Better: Ensure you get approx at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night especially in the midst of a running training programme, to allow your body to recover and achieve the full benefits of training. Walker (2017), in his book ‘Why we sleep’ explains that there is a significant increase in the risk of injury with a lack of sleep.

There is no better insurance policy to mitigate the risk of injury than sleep!

Walker also explains that If your consistently not getting adequate sleep, less than 6 hour per night, you will not gain the full benefits from a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and good nutrition. He concludes that “Sleep is one of the most sophisticated, potent and powerful – not to mention legal – performance enhancer’s everyone should be using fully”. So do yourself a favour a ensure you get – 8 hours of sleep each night!. Read more about the ‘Magic Elixir’ of sleep for runners here.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight: A shortcut to making the most of what you’ve got is to maintain a healthy weight. For middle aged, social, fun runners it is by far the biggest contributor to easily increasing speed, distance, enjoyment whilst reducing the risk of injury. An average rule is that for every 2-3 kg lost you’ll easily improve your mile pace by a minute.