Running injuries often start with a niggle. Knee pain, muscle strain, tendon pulls, bursitis, ligament sprains and all sorts of other aches and pains are a constant reminder that marathon training and actually running it can be a hazardous business. Many people who enter for the Grand Brighton Half Marathon will not complete it because of injury. We aim make sure you are not one of them.
For the next few weeks we are offering a free Runners MOT especially aimed at runners in the Brighton Half Marathon. We want you to be fit, strong and ready to run in support of the Sussex Beacon or whichever charity you might be supporting.
Our physios will check you out top to bottom concentrating on your footwear and leg and foot movements. We will check all the usual things like over-pronation but also things that often over-looked like jamming of the hinge joint of the ankle which changes stride length. We will look at knees, hips and backs too. At the end of our Runners MOT you will have an in-depth risk profile of the likelihood of future running injuries and a plan for prevention. If you are having problems currently then we will give you a plan for the best recovery.
So don’t let a niggle turn into a pain, call to make an appointment.
After running the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday you may still be getting muscle soreness or other aches and pains. Simple muscle soreness will get better over the next few days and massage can help speed this up. If you have a more persistent or painful niggle then you probably want to know whats wrong and what to do about it.
We understand how annoying aches and pains can affect your running and can even stop you doing what you love. You don’t have to put up with it.
We’ll give you 50% off your next physio or massage session here at Sundial for all Brighton Half Marathon runners.
Book an appointment for a massage or physio session
Get a customised treatment plan based on our review
Take the first step towards pain free running
50% off your next physio or massage session – Book now
We have treated thousands of runners over many years and have been the clinic partner for the Brighton Half Marathon for the last four years. Our patients say: A sequence of physiotherapy and home exercises continued over the next few weeks and gradually the condition improved until it completely cleared.
He tried various techniques with me to find exactly what worked for me. We tried different physio exercises to build up the strength in my knees and the pain has reduced massively. I am really grateful for his help, and the lovely team at Sundial who are always welcoming and kind.
50% off your next physio or massage session – Book now
If like me you’re considering starting your preparation for the up and coming marathon season then take a look at my top tips for staying injury free and completing the 26.2 miles with a smile on your face says James Masterson, a physiotherapist here at Sundial, Brighton.
Which running shoe shall I buy?
Inappropriate footwear is the root of all evil when it comes to running. Before embarking on the long and tedious road to the finish line every runner should start with their feet. Visiting your local running shop for a gait analysis is a good place to begin. As well as being advised on the most appropriate running shoe for your foot type it’s also an opportunity to view yourself in action. Video analysis taken during these consultations will allow you to look at your lower limb alignment whilst you’re walking and running, giving you a good idea of movement patterns which could potentially lead to overuse injury.
Top 5 running injuries caused by over use and inappropriate footwear:
When it comes to purchasing your shoe it’s likely that you will come across the below terms. Remember it’s not all about what foot type you are! Take the time to get a feel for the shoe, being able to stand, jump, walk and run before handing over your cash is a great way to find out if the shoe works for you and reduce the risk of injury later in your training.
Useful tips for purchasing your running shoe:
Try having a foot analysis in the late afternoon/evening as your feet swell as the day goes on and may give you a false feel when purchasing your running shoes in the morning.
Pick a shoe that matches the contour of your arch, you won’t be able to feel this by just standing in them so always make sure you take them for a spin before handing over your cash.
Try and have your feet measured before trying on your shoe, this will give the running shoe assistant an idea of the size and width of your foot. Different brands suit different foot types and not all shoes will equal in size, for example, Nike shoes tend to be good for wider feet and Adidas tend to be better for a narrow foot type.
Don’t buy your shoes too small, the fabric will loosen as time goes on but generally if a shoe has hot spots that aggravate your feet whilst trying them out in the shop then it’s likely this will occur during your training. Remember! Tight shoes equal blisters and potential toenail damage, this will limit the amount you’ll be able to train and will also look horrendous in a pair of flip flops.
Lace your shoe up from the bottom up, not just at the top two eyelets! This allows you to support the shoe around your foot equally and avoids excess movement. Your heel should fit snug within the shoe and your toes need to have some wriggle room at the front. A good test for this is to see if you can still scrunch up your toes whilst the shoe is fully laced up.
Change your shoes according to your individual usage, most manufactures will recommend that you change your shoe roughly every 300 – 500 miles but this is dependent on so many factors, for example a person’s weight, gait mechanics and running terrain will all play a massive factor in your choice to change your shoes. Let’s be honest running shoes are expensive, so my advice is look for signs of wear and tear and as soon as the natural cushioning of the shoe starts to depreciate this is probably a good time to start looking for your new runners.
The Brighton Marathon is the highlight of our sporting calendar. We have supported Brighton runners and their charities for many years but we have noticed that many people are not getting the support and advice they need to complete the marathon injury free. One in five people who enter the marathon will not complete it because of injury. We aim to make sure you are not one of them!
Before you begin marathon training, you should be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping. Distance is not important right now. You just need to get your body used to running.
Combinations of runs/walks are great to use during pre-training because they ease your body into the exercise and minimize the chance of experiencing a running injury. Follow a set schedule or rota of training leading up to the event, so that you can set yourself small goals to work towards on a weekly basis.
Take recovery days equally as serious as your running days.
You should not run every day as your body needs to rest between runs, so it can recover from one run to the next, getting stronger between each run.
Use your non-running days to rehabilitate and to refuel with the right foods. Ice any soreness, particularly in your knees or shins, four times per day for 15-20 minutes. Stretch all the muscle groups in your legs, spine and upper body as you use them all!
Never run through an injury, get it checked out by a professional! Most of us are aware to use the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) principle if we sustain an acute injury such as an ankle sprain or shin splints but there are other, less acute pains to be aware of, that may turn from a niggle into a strain.
Wear the correct footwear. Your trainers should be no more than 6 months old or have been subjected to 500 miles of running. Older shoes lose shock absorbing ability and increase the risk of injury. Check the soles of your trainers for abnormal wear as this could indicate a biomechanical problem elsewhere. When choosing new running shoes go to a running shop staffed by experienced runners who can advise you on the correct shoes for your foot and running style.
The 7 R’s for marathon training
Run for 30 minutes before starting specific training
Rota – set up a schedule of training with goals
Rest is important because your body builds muscle, strength and stamina in this recovery phase
Refuel – improve your diet with our video program to get the right building blocks for recovery
Rehabilitate – stretch all over and ice any injury
Replace worn out running shoes
RunnersMOT – this free check up is available to all Brighton Marathon runners – don’t let a niggle turn into a pain
Our physios and chiropractors support Brighton marathon runners with the offer of our Runners MOT at either of our Brighton clinics. So if you have an injury or just a niggle, call and get it checked out!
Shin splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) is easy to treat if the problem is caught early. If symptoms of pain along the inner border of the shin bone (tibia) goes on for too long then significant damage can occur to the muscle and bone bone coverings and the condition becomes chronic. Brighton physio, here at Sundial, James Masterson explains.
What can I do to help myself?
Rest and ice – Ice can be an extremely effective pain relief for shin splints as it acts as a local anesthetic by numbing sore muscle tissue. It also helps to slow down the inflammation and swelling process which occurs with injury.
Take down inflammation – Anti inflammatory medication may help to reduce any swelling and speed up your recovery time. Please consult your doctor before taking any medication.
Wear appropriate footwear!! – It may be beneficial to visit a specialist running shop where you can be advised about what might suit your needs. On average running shoes should be replaced when worn for between 300 and 600 miles, depending on factors such as body weight, running style and training surface. In some cases orthotics (inner soles) may be used to help abnormal loading throughout your lower limb and correct issues such as over-pronation and supination. More information on orthotics here.
What can the physio’s at Sundial do to help?
The first stages of rehabilitation may include advice to rest from aggravating activity for a while. We can give you ice packs to use of the first 2 day after the pain starts or is aggravated by the offending activity. We will help you switch to low impact exercise such as swimming and cycling and advise on how best to incorporate changes to maintain strength and fitness. Only in extreme cases is protected weight bearing necessary.
An important part of the recovery process is assessment of foot alignment and walking/running analysis to highlight any potential problems. Advice on appropriate footwear and the
In more severe cases our physio care involves laser therapy which improves healing, reduces pain and takes down inflammation. Soft tissue techniques such as massage may also help to ease tight muscles associated with shin splints or MTSS. application of inner soles may also be of benefit. We are experts in this sort of advice and work with local running shops to get the best footwear for you.
We will also advise on a home exercise plan consisting of stretching, balance and strength exercises to help too. This is an important part of your recovery along with a graded return to activity with symptom free progression.
Brighton Marathon training is in full swing now and we have prepared some top tips to avoid injury whilst training and to make sure you complete the course.
Don’t let a niggle become a pain
Other than normal post training muscle soreness don’t ignore niggles as at this stage of training you can’t afford them to become an injury. Get them checked out by someone. At Sundial Clinics we are offering “Free Runners MOT’s” with our physio Quentin during March and April where we can do some checks and give advice so that problems don’t worsen, become painful, and stop you completing your marathon. We also use RockTape which can help prevent problems.
The long run is the most important component of your marathon training and will get you to the finish line as painlessly as possible! It should, by now, make up about 80% of your entire training program.
Use the Right Equipment
Which type of shoes work best for you? What is the mileage on the pair you are wearing? Will they make it through both the training and the marathon? Running shoes lose up to 50% of their shock absorbing ability after about 250 miles of use. You have 2-3 times your body weight going through your foot at every foot strike. That’s about 100 tonnes per mile. If you have foot pain let us check it out.
Consider your clothes. Chafing is a major concern especially during long runs and the marathon so make sure your clothes are tried and tested. Vaseline is a necessity for many
runners to reduce chafing. Also consider how much and what type of clothing you need,depending on the different temperatures and conditions that could occur on a spring day in
Socks are another area to consider. Which type work best for you (i.e. thin, thick, two layers, etc.)? Try out some and find out which suit you before marathon day. Race day is not a time to be trying new equipment! Merino wool based socks are great for temperature regulation and moisture wicking.
Don’t forget to hydrate.
The current advice about running and hydration is very simple — try to drink to thirst. And during long runs and your marathon, you’re going to get thirsty. Also, make sure you’re
rehydrating after your runs — you’ll know you’re hydrated if your urine is a light yellow colour.
Recover and Rejuvinate
As soon as the race is over:
Get something to drink.
Eat! Carbohydrates replenish depleted energy stores. Fruits, vegetables and salty foods replace essential minerals. Protein enhances muscle repair.
Determine if you need any medical attention (aches, pains, blisters, etc.)
Gently stretch within 20 minutes of completing the race and twice daily for the week after the race.
Keep walking. Sudden stopping or lying down will cause a drop in blood pressure and perhaps fainting, leg cramps, and/or nausea.
Get a post-race massage. Also, get a massage or two in the week after the race to help you recover.
Get a few laser sessions here at Sundial. It has been shown to improve muscle recovery and tissue healing
Avoid long soaks in hot water which may cause swelling and exacerbate muscle soreness. In the early stages of recovery you are better off to cool your legs by soaking them in cold water which will reduce inflammation.
During the first week of recovery, it is best to avoid running altogether. Instead try walking or swimming each day to loosen your body and promote healing.
Finally, good luck from me with the rest of your training and race day!
Most runners know that a good warm-up and warm down routine, including stretches, is likely to minimise the risk of injury whilst running. In spite of this, the injury rate in runners is still too high, especially knee injuries. Runners are increasingly us to help prevent injuries as well as treating them once they have occurred.
We are helping out with the Rockinghorse runners again this year. Antony our physio has already been giving training tips and we have all been helping runners get over niggling training injuries. If you are running, whether for Rockinghorse or not, you might like to book an appointment for our Runners MOT. Bring your running shoes along and we will check them out along with your back, hips knees and feet for running problems. Some problems will not cause pain until they build up to a critical point so don’t wait for symptoms to tell you if there is an issue.
The fee for this service is £5 which we will donate to the Rockinghorse charity.