May 18, 2016
Dave Dawes - Sports Physiotherapist
With the HBF Run for a Reason 2016 fast approaching, now is a great time to
revisit some principals around preparation for the big run. Or for any training
session for that matter.
There are plenty of different components that will help you to achieve your goals
on the day. From running gear and footwear, to sleep, to the weather that Perth
decides to put on for us on the day, it all counts towards turning this into one of
your best runs yet. Another critical part of your preparation is of course
nutrition and hydration. For some great and very practical info on this, I would
strongly suggest checking out this excellent blog by dietician, performance
specialist and friend of Perth Run Collective, Julie Meek
From a physical preparation standpoint, there are some great (and simple)
strategies that you can implement before you run that should have you feeling
ready to go as you cross the start line.
Trigger point release and foam rollers
In the days and hours leading up to the race, spending time on your foam roller
and/or trigger ball can free up some of those tense muscles around the hips,
thighs lower legs which will allow for longer strides and a more energy efficient
Try the following 16 minute routine for starters:
Move your body slowly along the
foam roller, so that you get pressure
from the bony part of your hip to
about 10cm above your knee
Repeat for three minutes each side.
With a tennis ball, golf ball, cricket ball or
specific trigger point ball (depending on
your tolerance) position yourself like this
and try to get the ball on the fleshy part of
the front and outside of your hip.
(NB you should not be feeling this on the
Hold for 2 x 30 sec each side
With one leg crossed over the other
(see picture) find the fleshy part at the
back of your hip (glute). With a trigger
ball, position with the ball’s contact
point on the glute. (NB: you should not
be feeling this on the bone)
Hold for 2 x 60 sec each side
Roll your body up and down along the
roller, this time feeling pressure behind
your knee to about 10cm above your heel
Repeat x 2 mins each side
Particularly early in the morning, your nerves can still be a bit sensitive and need
some waking up, which will contribute to a feeling of general stiffness through
the low back and legs. Try this activity in the last hour before you start your
Slumping on a table or chair with
chin to chest and knees bent at
Keep your knees and heels together.
One leg out straight with toes pulled
back towards you. You should feel a
gentle stretch in behind the knee, back
of the thigh and perhaps in your back.
Return to start position and repeat on
Repeat this exercise 20 times on each leg
Dynamic warm up
Our bodies have lots of physiological systems that all need to “ramp up” as we
approach the start line. Breathing rate, heart rate, adrenaline levels, lung volume
and body temperature all need to increase before you start the run to ensure that
the first 10 minutes isn’t spent catching up (and therefore working harder than
you need to!!)
A dynamic warm up done as close to the race as possible is ideal. Whether it be
10 minutes on a bike or a five minute walk/jog to the start line, this will take care
of all these other things and have you poised and ready to go with little effort.
I hope that some of these tips make for a great run for everyone. All the very best
with whatever distance you are taking on this Sunday!!!