Are You Race Ready?

With finals footy under way and the Melbourne Marathon just around the corner, it’s crucial to ensure that you are optimising your performance and preventing any niggles/aches from progressing into injuries.

Good habits can be made in 21 days but, at this stage, it is important not to drastically change your routine in this small time bracket.

Leading up to an event, many of us will question:

  • “Am I race ready?”
  • “Should I be doing this before a run?”
  • “Can I be eating this?”
  • “Is it okay to push through this niggle?”
  • “How much do I eat/drink?”, “How often?”
  • “What is the best routine?”

As a VFLW football player and marathon runner, here’s what I recommend focussing on to optimise your performance on race day:

Fuel:

Have you experimented during your training runs with what brand gels and energy bars you are going to use for race day?

This is very important as different ingredients can have different effects on your gut.

It is also important to figure out a rough plan of how frequently you will be taking the gels. For example, every 8 km for marathon distance, this can not only keep you fuelled and prevent hitting the wall but also provide some motivation

Figuring out what you can eat in the morning before runs and the night before.

Some recommendations for gels include in below image:

 

Hydration:

Two litres or approximately 8 glasses of water a day is the recommended rule of thumb.

I encourage extra hydration measures to replace the chemicals that are lost from the body during physical activity. For example:

Nuun electrolyte tablets – no sugar, therefore avoids the peak and crash. These dissolvable tablets can be diluted in water before, during or after events to replenish the 4 main electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium) stores.

 

Recovery:

There are many recovery options that have shown to be effective in preventing muscle soreness and also in facilitating the flushing out metabolic by-products which accumulate during runs.

For optimal recovery, one or more of these strategies listed below should be completed straight after the run until 48hrs after.

  • Active recovery: I recommend completing an off-legs active recovery such as a light bike ride or a swim following a long run.
  • Ice bath: 8-10 mins ice bath.
  • Hot/Cold bath: 1 min hot, 1 min cold x 6.
  • Compression garments: Wearing compression socks and tights decrease post-exercise swelling, encourage blood flow and are effective in the removal of waste products.
  • Magnesium salt baths: These can be purchased from the chemist or at our clinic and assist with relieving muscle cramps and soreness.

 

Aches & Niggles:

Tuning into your body and taking breaks and rest days when required is vital.

By increasing your training by 10% each week is a great rule of thumb to prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Soft Tissue Treatments: Weekly or Fortnightly

Frequent soft tissue therapy is fundamental to release any tightness and to treat any niggles. This can prevent anything eventuating into an injury

Mobility & Stretching:

Using a roller to roll out the lower back, hips and legs.

Massage balls are also great tools for trigger pointing taut muscle bands and the muscles under the feet.

Mobility and stretching should be done at LEAST 4 times a week if not before/after every run

Strength – Maintenance:

Don’t think that just because your event is coming up, that you should cut strength out of your training routine.

Continuing strength work is vital to prevent you from breaking down and to ensure the muscles have the capacity to withhold the intensity and load of your long runs. As the event is coming up, low-moderate weight and high reps is encouraged.

Target muscle groups should be any areas you have had previous injuries/niggles in and also the glutes, core, quads, calves, hamstrings and the feet.

Footwear:

Ensure your runners are up to date. Remember, a typical runner last 600-800 kms before the cushioning and support compresses.

if you are purchasing new ones one month prior to the event, stick with the same model or allow longer to break in and adapt to the shoe, if they are a different model. We recommend a professional fitting with our friends at Active Feet.

Stick to Your Normal Routine:

Whether it is having a glass of wine the night before you do your long runs or setting out your running gear before you go to sleep, it is very comforting to stick to a routine that you have been following throughout your training schedule.

Nerves are a normal part of competing and following a routine can help channel this nervous energy into results!

Rest Days:

These days are as important, if not more important than actual training days! You must have at least 1-2 rest days a week that involve no weight-bearing or running to allow for the muscles to recover and rebuild.

Relaxation or Meditation:

It’s easy to be quick to dismiss meditation, but there is a lot of evidence in regards to the effectiveness of a couple of minutes of meditation.

I strongly recommend listening to the podcast on ABC Radio- “Mindfully” which talks about the importance of reducing tension and boosting your performance. It is also very helpful in channelling stresses in everyday life and work situations.

What our clients are saying about us

Bree BrittBree Britt
05:41 22 May 24
Mehar was fabulous! Not only was she warm, welcoming and funny, but professional and thorough.From the moment I walked in I felt well supported. She was able to identify what was going on, factoring in older ailments, and provide me with a treatment plan and options.Her focus was on sustainable changes and support moving forward, and I had a written plan and clear explanations and clarifications on everything. I never felt like she was encouraging me to need to come back unnecessarily.It took a few visits, and each time was met with the same warmth and professionalism. I got consistent progress and feel so much better now, even though it's a few months on from when I last saw her.It's very clear she is wonderful at what she does, thinks about the whole person and I would definitely recommend her to others considering needing podiatry support.
Rose StewartRose Stewart
02:32 14 May 24
The whole client therapist experience has been amazing. My Myotherapist provided me with a detailed plan to ensure my progress to meet my goals as well as addressing my issues of pain.Each follow up session is reviewed, discussed and any changes added/deleted or modified.The timely reminders and follow up from the clinic and experience with the Client Experience Officers have been always polite and friendly.
Patrick MonahanPatrick Monahan
00:37 13 May 24
Mehar Sandhu has been an absolute delight. She is very professional in her treatment and most personable and friendly to deal with.
Yolanda OppyYolanda Oppy
03:13 10 May 24
Ezyk ArtistEzyk Artist
00:07 19 Apr 24
I've been coming here exclusively since my first consultation. I've had constant shoulder and arm pain from my line of work; the exercises my physio, Carina provided are easy to remember, not time consuming and super effective!Bonus: the space feels super clean and calming - highly recommend coming here
Natasha KhongNatasha Khong
23:58 22 Mar 24
I had a great experience here. The gym was well equipped and the atmosphere of the clinic was amazing. I had Carina, who was very knowledgeable about my injury and helped construct a great solution plan! Her manner was beautiful and she had great energy. Definitely recommend!
Annabel ChandlerAnnabel Chandler
20:28 14 Mar 24
I’ve been seeing Talia for a few weeks now for treatment on my shoulder bursitis. From day 1 she was great! She explained everything about my condition to me and what she wanted to do which helped me visualise my own recovery. Could not recommend her enough.
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