6 Tips for the Corporate Runner : The Balancing Act

Young woman runner with earphones in city, using smartwatch.

Now more than ever the ability to maintain the desirable work: life balance is becoming increasing difficult. Finding enough time in the busy schedule to complete our necessary (physical and psychological) exercise is tough. 

Below are a few tips to help you maximise your training time and help you stay injury free.

 

Planning the week in advance

It doesn’t matter whether you are training for a specific event or you are simply the weekend warrior who likes to go out for a few social runs during the week; the importance of planning your week is paramount.

I prefer to plan my week out on a Sunday night (it symbolises the beginning of the working week for me). Open up the smartphone calendar and put those diary entries in – locked in times that are non-negotiable. This is particularly helpful if you are running with a workmate in lunchtime – send a calendar invite so you can both dedicate the time to hitting the running circuit. 

 

Keep the system ‘moving and grooving’

As has become the case with modern society, so much of our time is spent sitting on our backsides at a desk, in the car, on a train, etc. This is no more prevalent than with corporate runners who spend 8-10+ hours sitting at desks during the day. 

Tightness through the hip flexors and associated restriction in hip extension is a very common problem with running gait. Proper hip function, in particular hip extension, is a critical element of running gait (this is too large a topic to discuss here!) and therefore tightness through the hip flexors, which limits normal hip extension, needs to be prevented. 

To help avoid tightness through the front of the hips and improve flexibility, get up from your desk every 90 minutes, walk to fill up your water bottle, go to the toilet. Above all, make sure you are moving those legs, stretching out the tightness that comes with prolonged seated posture. 

If possible, attempt a few tasks throughout the day while standing up – try holding an informal meeting with your colleague while standing instead of sitting. 

 

Substitute for H2O

It’s so easy to get caught up in your busy schedule at the office and forget a really important element of the running toolkit – consuming enough water. 

By simply placing a water bottle at your desk you can continue to sip of the precious H2O throughout the day and ensure you are ready to tackle the run fully hydrated. 

 

Be prepared to let it go

Things can change in the blink of an eye and this is none more evident than in the corporate world. Re-scheduled meetings or deadlines and hastily arranged business trips can impact on our event training plans.

It is normal to miss a session or two during a training program – what we mustn’t do is go chasing the one that got away! If for whatever reason we miss a recovery run or a mid-week long run occasionally that’s ok, don’t go out and try to fit in an extra run on top of another run later in the week. Overloading by adding in extra sessions is likely to lead to injury – resulting in even more missed sessions!

 

Buddy up

Finding the motivation or energy to go for that midday/lunchtime run is much easier when you have a running buddy to push you through. We are much more likely to stick to what we set out to do if there is someone there to motivate/push us through all those painful moments.

 

Cool down

So often forgotten when thinking about our running is the important aspect of cooling down – particularly when running during lunchtime or before/after work. We finish our run and step back into the office and before you know it the time has escaped you and you haven’t properly cool down.

Before you head back into the office – dedicate 5 mins after your run to stretch outdoors. This will save you from getting distracted from work related issue and potentially forgetting to stretch and cool down. 

 

When You Should See a Podiatrist

Save Download Preview Pain in the foot, girl holds her hands to her feet, foot massage, cramp, muscular spasm, red accent on the foot, close-up

As Podiatrist’s we’re often asked ‘what do people come and see you for?’ The answer is often a long winded response involving foot and ankle pain, shin pain, toenail or hard skin issues. The role of a Podiatrist is quite often misunderstood by the community. 

Put simply, Podiatrist’s are lower limb experts whose job it is to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate conditions of the foot and lower limb. 

To help you decide when you should see a Podiatrist, check out the questions below. If you answer YES to any of these, it’s time to book in to see a Podiatrist. 

 

  1. Can you can only walk for a short period before your feet or legs hurt?  
  2. Do you experience pain in your lower limbs at night?  
  3. Do you experience tingling in your feet?  
  4. Have you noticed your legs or feet are swollen?  
  5. Do you have cuts or fissures on your feet that take a long time to heal?  
  6. Are you returning to sport after an injury?  
  7. Are you uncertain about which running or sports shoe to buy?  
  8. Do you find that you wear out the outside of your shoes quickly?  
  9. Have you noticed your toes poke holes in the top of your shoes? 
  10. Does your forefoot become hot and painful after running or walking? 
  11. Do your hips hurt?  
  12. Has pain in your feet or legs stopped you from exercising?  
  13. Are you worried about your child’s feet?  
  14. Do you have arthritis in your feet?  
  15. Do you experience reoccurring gouty attacks?  
  16. Are you worried about the thickness of your nails?  
  17. Do you have discoloured toe nails?  
  18. Are you worried about your foot odour?  
  19. Do your toe nails cause you pain?  
  20. Have you noticed your toes are clawed? 
  21. Do you have hard skin on your feet? Is it getting worse?  
  22. Do you find it hard to cut your own nails? 
  23. Do you find it hard to fit your feet into shoes because of your bunion

Don’t let pain stop you from putting your best foot forward , See your Podiatrist today!

 

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis? 

Closeup young woman feeling pain in her foot at home.

The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that runs from the base of the heel to the tips of toes. One of its primary functions is to encourage effective movement and stability of foot through the ‘Windlass mechanism. Plantar fasciitis or fasciopathy is characterised by overuse of the plantar fascia with resultant irritation and damage to the tissue which contributes to pain. 

Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

People experiencing plantar fascia pain most commonly report the following:

  • Pain in the heel/arch of foot when standing after rest (sleep, desk work)
  • Aching sensation that can be sharp at times
  • Usually feels better with athletic footwear and worse barefoot

 

Who is at Risk?

It most commonly affects women (sorry ladies!) but it does affect men also, and occurs equally in highly active and non-active populations. People who are overweight or pregnant are also at an elevated risk. Typically it occurs after long periods of reduced activity that are followed by burst (weeks/months) of increased activity (running, jumping, walking).

Our biomechanics (the way we move), exercise frequency, muscle tightness/stiffness, weight and age all play a part in why we get Plantar Fasciitis. 

 

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

As we use our feet every day, early and active treatment is the best strategy to keep you on your feet. Treatment will include a combination of:

  • Load management or relative rest (yes, we want to keep you moving 🙂 )
  • Offloading
  • Stretching
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Targeted strengthening
  • Orthotics (not in every case)
  • Footwear changes
  • Soft tissue release
  • Return to exercise
  • Injection therapy (in some cases)

 

Contact our Experts!

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the heel that we see at Pinnacle Health Group. Although often quite painful and upsetting, it is a treatable condition with a variety of different treatment options available. As with all injuries and pain, if in doubt get it checked out. Our team of Podiatrists at Pinnacle Health Group are experts in the management of foot and ankle conditions and are here to keep you on your wellness journey.

 

How to Enjoy your Oxfam Trailwalker Experience

As we farewell to Summer and dive straight into Autumn it means only one thing – that the Oxfam 100km trailwalker is just around the corner, April 7-9th to be exact! The Oxfam trailwalker is one of Melbourne’s iconic bucket list events with team’s of 4 tackling the equally gruelling and scenic path from Wheeler’s Hill to Wesburn Park, to raise money for Oxfam to support people in poverty all around the world.  

While walking 100km in 48 hours may not seem like much, it certainly takes it out of you. Many walkers end up on the on the physiotherapy table or the podiatry chair to get some much needed treatment during the walk. Below are 3 handy tips to ensure you have a truly incredible Oxfam trailwalker experience:

Start training early: If you’re reading this blog and thinking now is a great time to sign up, it’s best to reconsider. Ideally you should start your training about 3-4 months prior to the walk. Start with smaller walks, 8-12 km on the weekend and start building up from there. You want to be hitting between 45-60km walks during your preparation.

Footwear + feet: As with any activity, the proper footwear choice is essential for having a great event. Throughout the walk there are many different surfaces/terrains that you encounter, including footpaths, gravel tracks, muddy roads. Therefore you will need a couple of pairs of shoes to tackle the event. It’s best to get 2 different styles of shoes, ideally a running shoe (for the easier parts of the track) and a trail walking/running shoe for the more arduous areas. Get these shoes at a minimum of 6 weeks before the event to give you time to wear them in and make sure they’re comfortable.

Be proactive, not reactive: Each year, out of the 1000s of walkers who embrace the challenge of the trailwalk approximately 20% do not cross the finish line! That’s 1 in 5 people who have to pull out. Usually this is a result of easily preventable issues such as blistering, foot/leg soreness, fatigue. Use your training walks to assess if you get blistering, hot spots or abnormal pain in your muscles. Prevention is the best cure possible, so if in doubt, get it checked out by our Pinnacle Health Group Podiatry team prior to walk to ensure you get through the walk with flying colours.