Training for a marathon can take its toll on your body. Pounding the pavements for mile after mile, often stepping up your distance quite considerably on a weekly basis from what you trained before – it all adds up. From personal experience, I’ve learned it’s far better to address any concerns you have about your running gait or any niggles you might be feeling before they progress to potential injuries. So I took advantage of an offer to go and visit the Ultra Sports Clinic a few weeks ago – call it Marathon Prehab!
The Ultra Sports Clinic
Proud supporters of Save The Rhino International’s 2018 London Marathon campaign, the Ultra Sports Clinic recognises how much of a strain marathon training can be. Working with professional sports teams, private health insurance companies and the general public, they really do have London’s sports fanatics covered across all bases.
I happen to work just a 10 minute stroll from the clinic so managed to fit in a lunchtime appointment with the clinical director and lead physiotherapist, Ashleigh Wienand, who took the time to understand my goals and current complaints. She then took me through various assessments before describing what was causing my niggles.
Assessment & Diagnosis
Ashleigh started by asking questions about my physical state and my current training. She assessed my movement patterns in various exercises – CrossFit has made me move a lot better, but doing pistol squats without a heel raise made me feel like a complete idiot… I’m sure physiotherapists do that on purpose sometimes for a giggle! But they seemed to give her the answers she was looking for, and she quickly came to the conclusion of what was holding me back and giving me my ITB and knee pain.
With the cause of my issues identified, Ashleigh described what was going on with my movements, detailing how and why they were leading to me repeatedly picking up minor injuries. Having seen physiotherapists multiple times, it wasn’t a shock to learn that it all boiled down to my extremely poor ankle mobility. But this time, Ashleigh had given me some new detail to complete the picture.
Treatment & Rehabilitation
Ashleigh ran through some manipulation and gave my back a good click before introducing me to Kate Hayes, the Ultra Sports Clinic’s biokineticist, who took me through some exercises. The focus was to build strength in my soleus and super weak glutes and to encourage balance and stability in my legs, as well as working on my soleus flexibility to push through my limited motion. The exercises she showed me included side lying glute exercises with a band, standing glute abduction, soleus isolation exercises, some single leg pick ups and aeroplanes.
Carryover to Running
Set with my diagnosis and a plan of action, I now know what to add in to my accessory work to help improve my movement and mobility. Kate and Ashleigh have given me the top advice of doing glute activation exercises before every run to make sure they kick in where they’re needed and, alongside my previous experiences, I feel as though I have all the knowledge I need to really work on this issue that’s been plaguing my fitness life for so long.
Thanks to the Ultra Sports Clinic for giving me the opportunity to really learn about my body, and for the kick-start I need to (hopefully!) get through this marathon injury free!
Disclaimer: I was given a free appointment and treatment plan at the Ultra Sports Clinic to understand their services. As always, my opinion is my own and not affected by payment, or items/services gifted to me. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page.
Clinic photos courtesy of the Ultra Sports Clinic.