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!

 

 

Quick Tips for Marathon Training

Runners run urban marathon in the the city

1 – Look Down

Test out the shoes and socks that you plan on wearing on race day. If the shoes aren’t your regular training shoes, wear them on at least one 12-15 km run at marathon pace. This test run will determine whether you’re likely to develop blisters or get sore feet–before it’s too late. If the shoes bother you on this run, get yourself another pair.
 

2 – Don’t get greedy 

Try to stick to your training plan in the weeks leading up to the race. You’re not cramming for a test so running more KM’s than you’re used to late in your training can hinder your performance rather than help it. 
 

3 – Taper

During your final week you should feel like you’re storing up energy, physically and mentally. Keep runs short, try to get good sleep and keep stress at bay. Get work projects under control, decline late night invitations and try to avoid long flights if possible. You should arrive on the start line feeling fresh and ready to smash your goals! 
 
The Melbourne Marathon is only a couple of weeks away. If you have any questions, niggles or need some more personalised advice get in touch today!

3 reasons why you should add strength training to your running program

By Chiropractor Luka Fantela

 

Back in the day, if you wanted to become a better runner you would simply run, and then run some more!

While this can be a useful strategy to some extent…

More and more, we now see recreational runners all the way to elite-level runners incorporating strength training into their weekly training routine and the outcomes have been impressive.

So here’s why you should be adding strength training into your training schedule…

Improved Running Economy —

  • Defined as the the oxygen uptake required at a given sub-maximal running velocity (1). In other words, the better your running economy (RE), the less oxygen you need to maintain your running pace.
  • In recent studies, both strength and resistance training have been shown to be effective means at improving RE in all levels of runners (1,2) So yes, even the weekend warrior can supplement their running with some resistance exercise and reap the rewards.
  • The great thing is, these demonstrated benefits don’t require months to years to attain but only several weeks before these changes can be achieved (3,4).

Improved Running Performance —

  • Typically defined by the parameters of VO2 max, maximal anaerobic running velocity & power generation, which habe all been shown to significantly improve in conjuction with a sound strength training program.
  • In a few recent studies, direct improvements have been shown not only in short to intermediate distances but longer distances as well (eg 1,500m to 10,000m) (2,4,5).
  • Once again, these changes in running performance were achieved in as little as two to three strength training sessions per week (6).

Reduction in Running-related Injuries —

  • Although it’s difficult to determine the injury risk in running due to so many potential variables at play. What we can do is take the data we have from common running injuries involving the knee, Achilles, shin and hip and consider the similarities among them, with one of the most prominent being reductions in strength.
  • Also, if we consider the main interventions in the management of running-related injuries, exercises focused on building strength, endurance and power has been highly considered first-line and recommended treatment (7,8,9,10).
  • We know running places considerable loads through our body, with the foot and ankle requiring to withstand loads of 6-8x our body-weight at a jogging pace (11). In order to improve our bodies ability to handle these loads we need to ensure we have sufficient capacity in the muscles attenuating the loads. What better way to do this then with a resistance training routine tailored to your running requirements?

Takeaways

  • Adding in 2-3 resistance training sessions into your running can improve running economy, running performance and make you more injury resilient
  • The benefits associated with resistance training can be seen in just weeks
  • Apply this now by adding in some exercises into your training routine, focusing on key muscles involved in running such as: calf complex, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip stabilisers to improve physical capacity.

Thanks for reading.

Want to find out more about how strength training can optimise your running? Please feel free to reach out to me below:

E: luka@pinnaclehealthgroup.com.au

  1. Balsalobre-Fernandez C et al. (2016) Effects of strength training on running economy in highly trained runners: a systematic review with meta-analysis of controllled trials. J Strength Cond Rest, 30(8):2361-8
  2. Yamamoto LM et al. (2018) The effects of resistance training on endurance distance running performance among highly trained runners: a systematic review. J Strength Cond Res; 22(6):2036-44
  3. Denadai BS et al. (2017) Explosive training and heavy weight training are effective for improving running economy in endurance athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med, 47(3):545-554
  4. Alcaraz-Ilbanez M & Rodriquez-Perez M (2018) Effects of resistance training on performance in previously trained endurance runners: a systematic review. J Sports Sci, 36(6):613-629
  5. Beattie K et al. (2014) The effects of strength training on performance in endurance athletes. Sports Med, 44(6):845-65
  6. Blagrove RC et al. (2018) Effects of strength training on the physiological determiants of middle- and long-distance running performance: a systematic review. Sports Med, 48(5):1117-1149
  7. Zouita S et al. (2016) Strength training reduces injury rate in elite young soccer players during one season. J Strength Cond Res, 30(5): 1295-307
  8. Santos TR et al. (2015) Effectiveness of hip muscle strengthening in patellofemoral pain syndrome patients: a systematic review. Braz J Phys Ther, 19(3):167-76
  9. Esculier JF et al (2018) Predictors of clinical success in runners with patellofemoral pain: secondary analyses of a randomized clinical trial. J Sci Med Sports, 21(8): 777-782
  10. Van der Vlist AC et al. (2019) Clinical risk factors for achilles tendinopathy: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med
  11. Dorn DW et al. (2012) Muscular strategy shift in human running: dependence of running speed on hip and ankle muscle performance. J. Exp. Biol. 215, 1944-1956

5 Handy Hints for preparing for The Corporate Games

Five Handy Hints for preparing for The Australian Corporate Games

By Physiotherapist Josh Lambert

This year, we have teamed up with the Australian‬ Corporate Games as the official Health‬ Partner to help prevent and manage injuries for the competing ‪athletes‬ throughout the demands of their events.

Our Physiotherapy team unfortunately assess and treat far too many avoidable injuries that our clients suffer in the lead up to, during, and after the event – mainly a result of poor preparation!

Corporate Games Promo

Here are 5 key tips to ensure you prepare sufficiently for the Corporate Games, and avoid letting your team down during competition!

  1. Prepare a training plan
    You have under a month until competition now, but still plenty of time to schedule training sessions for fitness, skills, or a mix of both
  1. Practice matches
    Ensure that you undertake at least 4 sessions (preferably with the whole team for team events) that are simulated match practice, or training at match intensity – a great way to condition the body, whilst getting to know your team-mates!
  1. Don’t forget flexibility and core stability
    As your training increases, so too does the demand on the body. Performing dynamic stretches daily – such as leg swings, trunk rotations, and shoulder circles – will lengthen muscle tissue, and help prevent injury
  1. Deal with injuries or niggles now
    If your issue is dealt with early enough, you can ensure a more enjoyable competition, and risk further damage during the event
  1. Have fun!
    The lead up to the Corporate Games is all part of the experience for you and your team mates, so make it fun and social to build a great team culture!

Good luck to all the teams taking part this year!

Need some help getting prepped for the Corporate Games? Get in touch!

 

Runner’s Knee: Iliotibial Band Syndrome

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome is a condition that commonly presents in runners and typically causes pain at the outer aspect of the knee where the iliotibial band (ITB) crosses the knee joint.

Iliotibial band syndrome describes a condition where the iliotibial band rubs against a bony prominence at the outer aspect of the knee and typically causes inflammation and damage to local tissue.

girl running

What is the Iliotibial Band (ITB)?

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a long band of connective tissue than runs down the outer aspect of the thigh. It originates from two muscles on the outer aspect of the hip (the tensor fascia latae (TFL) and gluteus maximus – figure 1) and runs down past the knee to attach into the lower leg bone (tibia). As the ITB crosses the knee, it overlies a bony prominence known as the femoral epicondyle.  As the knee bends and straightens the ITB flicks over this bony prominence which places friction on the ITB and local soft tissue. If this friction becomes excessive or too repetitive (such as during excessive running) the ITB or local tissue can become damaged or inflamed resulting in pain. When this occurs the condition is known as Iliotibial band syndrome.

Signs and symptoms of Iliotibial band syndrome

Patients with iliotibial band syndrome usually experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain on the outer aspect of the knee
  • Aggravated by repetitive bending and straightening of the knee
  • Aggravated by downhill running
  • Pain may be worse in the morning, or after cooling down post-activity
  • pain on firm touch where the ITB crosses the outer aspect of the knee
  • The ITB may ‘click’ with bending and straightening of the knee

Contributing factors in the development of Iliotibial band syndrome

There are several factors which can predispose patients to developing Iliotibial band syndrome. These need to be assessed and corrected with direction from a physiotherapist. Some of these factors include:

  • excessively tight ITB
  • muscle tightness (particularly TFL, gluteus maximus, or vastus lateralis)
  • excessive or inappropriate training or activity
  • abnormal biomechanics
  • excessive pronation (i.e. flat feet)
  • poor pelvic or core stability
  • muscle strength imbalances
  • muscle weakness (especially the VMO and gluteal muscles)
  • tightness in specific joints (hip, knee or ankle)
  • inappropriate footwear or surfaces
  • poor running technique

Treatment for Iliotibial band syndrome

Most cases of Iliotibial band syndrome settle well with appropriate physiotherapy. This requires careful assessment by the physiotherapist to determine which factors have contributed to the development of the condition, with subsequent correction of these factors.

Some of the the key components of early management are:

  • Ice and  possible anti-inflammatory use (as advised by your health care practitioner)
  • Adequate rest to allow symptoms to settle
  •  Pain free stretching and flexibility work
  • Assessment by your Physiotherapist

treadmill pic

 

 Physiotherapy for Iliotibial band syndrome

Physiotherapy treatment for Iliotibial band syndrome is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Treatment may comprise:

  • soft tissue massage (particularly to the ITB)
  • mobilization
  • dry needling
  • ice or heat treatment
  • exercises to improve flexibility, strength and balance
  • activity modification advice
  • biomechanical correction
  • anti-inflammatory advice
  • clinical Pilates and core stability exercises
  • footwear advice