Sunday, July 20, 2014

Marathon Prep - Its Prehab Time

So I sit here writing on a laptop outside of a very fancy grocery store in Seattle where I have just finished dinner. This is week 2 of my 2 week work trip and this is right in the middle of my training for the September Marathon Race Weekend marathon.

So what better topic to write about than prehab. What's that Ian? Don't you mean rehab? Nope.

So I have certainly been through my fair share of rehab as I have taken to sports in my adult life. ITBS, Glutes, Peronial, lower back, calf strain, etc.... You name it, I have been through it. And I have always had great help from the local support community in Halifax. But then, my races and training have been shorter in distance and the type of things where I could in the past gut out the pain just a little bit. But with my first marathon coming up (last years was aborted sadly), I knew that gutting things out and dealing with the pain later would be of no help. You can't cheat a marathon I say.

So in anticipation of the marathon, I visited a few of my favorite sport professionals to get myself ready. Luke at Aerobics First of course helped me get the right shoes picked out, and for this race it will be the NB 890v4. Jeff Zahavich at Kinesic Sport Lab has helped me with my lactate testing and establishing my heart rate zones for training. He also has helped me develop my training plan. But first and foremost, Anita at Beaverbank Physio helped me find my main weaknesses.

In the Spring we did a pre assessment, before I ever got too far into training.At that point Anita found a few spots that we should work on. Again, if I were racing shorter distances, these weaknesses weren't that bad, but they were definitely the kind that would start to show up as my training mileage kicked it up a notch.

In my case it was mostly 2 issues which I have been working on. My left hip/glute area are weaker than my right. And of course due to the kinetic chain, this transfers some issues down my left leg, notably my left ankle is very flexible, maybe a little too much. The other issue is that my right ankle is extremely tight.

So I have an odd assortment of things to do for my prehab (see, I'm not really injured yet, so it is pre rehab - oh now it makes sense). I am doing quite a bit of strength training on my left side (and some on my right of course) all while working on flexibility on my right.

But I don't have time to fit all of this in and get in my runs as well!! Sure you do. Likely 15-30 minutes a day can help prevent issues that may lead to you not running for days at a time, if not weeks. And maybe a longer session once a week if needed can also be a good thing, depending on your problems.

You can't do your best at running if you can't get through training with off time, so seriously consider getting some sort of physio style assessment and plan put together. And don't just join any old gym and go through the motions. If you want coaching, find a coach that understands runners and can get you through a weekly strength session that is designed to work the area where we get hurt the most.

Okay, it is getting dark, so back to the hotel for me. Oh and travel is no reason to lay off the training. This is day 6 for me, and I have been on the treadmill every night (8-10 km each time) followed by 15 minutes of prehab. And all I had to pack was my running gear and a cool little physio band, because, well I have a workout all planned using just that little band. It is working well. The bands are cheap at you favorite running stores so you have no excuse not to have one.
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