I’m opening this week with a note about Club membership. You should now have all received your email and details on your renewal, if you have any questions or concerns please drop an email to: memberships@bexleyac.org.uk.

Well done and thank you to everyone that took part in the January Time Trial. We had nearly 40 times submitted across all groups and it’s great seeing the motivation for each other every month. Thanks once more to Brian for the collating and publication of the result lists.

So onto this week’s topic, and uh-oh! It’s the thing we don’t like talking about, we dread admitting to it and we certainly do try to ignore it. Injury.

There is a clear and obvious caveat to begin with here – I am in no way medically trained to give medical advice and would always recommend you consult a professional if symptoms persist longer than a few days. But that doesn’t mean I can’t bat about a few little things that have got me through some tough times.

I guess I’m very guilty of this, but the earlier you admit to having a problem, the sooner you can deal with it. Even if it’s taking a couple of rest days, those early days are crucial to getting back on your way.

R.I.C.E. – often served with curry, or a dollop of jam in a warming pudding.
….or in case of an injury, a combination of:
Rest – Take some time off, lower intensity of training, let you body recharge. Usually a minimum of 48 hours for the affected area.
Ice – Anything from a fancy ice pack, to your choice of frozen veg (peas or sweetcorn preferred over broccoli or cauliflower florets due to their size to encase the area). Go for 15-20 minutes at a time, once every hour or 2 throughout the day.
Compression – to limit swelling and help reduce movement, compress the injury with an elasticated or tubular bandage (don’t leave this on overnight though).
Elevate – Ideally, raise the injured area above your heart, and keep it supported. Now I’m not great with my balance, so always prefer to lay on the sofa with a stack of pillows under my leg (usually where the injury is) – rather than trying to do this standing up or in a yoga plough pose!

Ask around your running group or your coach if you do have a worry, someone may have been there before, or know the funny Latin name at least for similar symptoms – plantar fasciitis anyone?

You’ll be surprised at things you can do at home to prevent injury in the first place, such as taking time to properly warm up, cool down and stretch out around your running routine – the extra 10-20 minutes here could be the golden ticket to not getting hit with a long-term injury.

Get yourself a form of massage aid for home use. Lots to pick from and varying in costs (remember last week when I mentioned running related birthday gifts – ideal time to get a new piece of kit). From using a tennis ball and rolling this on the affected area or simply under your foot as you make a coffee; foam rollers – varying densities and smooth or bumpy all focus on different methods of use and benefits; muscle roller sticks I find easier to use – you can really target the muscle group needing relief, then you can go for a deep tissue massage gun which is relatively new to the market and gives massage through vibration into the muscles.

For both prevention and cure you could even go for sports massage therapy or see a specialist who deals with your particular niggle. Some see a sports massage as an MOT for your body and go every 4-6 weeks, some go a couple of times a year and others simply when they get injured. It’s a personal choice but again, certainly worth going from references given in your coaching group.

I guess to wrap this all up I would say train to your limit, gauge when to push and when to yield, and ask for advice – there’s never a silly question, and always someone willing to share their experience or advice.

Stay safe and keep us posted on your runs!

Kind regards,
Paul Dallison, Road Running Secretary