On your marks, get set….

It’s the season when folk start donning their trainers and pounding the roads. Whether it is a fun run or full marathon, or if it is your first time or you are an experienced runner, preparation is key. Arun Alex, Physiotherapy Manager at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, offers his advice.

Look at your feet

Bin the old pair of trainers. You need to look after your feet. Running shoes should be light and supportive, and always wear proper running socks. If your shoes are new, break them in before you start serious training. Good footwear is the best foundation for distance running.

Warm up

Before you head off full of enthusiasm, make sure your muscles and joints are ready for action. Build up your strength gradually before running any distance, and always start a run with a thorough warm up session – that way you are less likely to injure yourself.

Take it long, short and slow

If you’re new to running, or if it has been some time since your last big race, give yourself plenty of preparation time and take things slowly to start off with. Remember, the big race itself is the pinnacle, so try not to peak too soon or do something that results in injury. Start with short distances and build up to the length of the ultimate race, building up your speed over time. So, if you’re planning to run a full marathon, prepare yourself by running 10Ks, half marathons and follow a plan.

Remember to drink

Always take on plenty of fluids when you are running. A mixture of water and energy/electrolyte type drinks are recommended. There a multitude to choose from and you should use whatever suits you best. 

If you’re injured

Stop – do not try to push yourself. Apply standard first aid treatment for small injuries. For the more serious injury call the emergency services. To assist with your recovery seek treatment from a registered physiotherapist and follow their advice – it is easy to undo their good work by returning to training too soon.

During and after the race

Never try or wear anything new on race day. Wear your usual running clothes and run at the running pace you have practised in training. Remember to do some cool down exercises, and congratulate yourself on a great achievement!

Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre is part of your choice for NHS care. If you GP (or optician for cataracts) agrees that you need treatment and it is for a procedure carried out at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, you can ask to be referred there for treatment.