These next few weeks are the busiest weeks of the year for the Life Ready Physiotherapy team, due to the huge number of people that participate in the Chevron City to Surf for Activ.
Whether it is for a pre-race piece of advice or post race injury management, the team at Life Ready Physio will be able to help you to achieve your goals.
Here are some helpful hints to get you through the preparation, race day and recovery!
One of the simplest areas of preparation to get right, yet so frequently overlooked. We know that “A decrease in body water from normal levels (often referred to as dehydration) provokes changes in cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, metabolic, and central nervous function that become increasingly greater as dehydration worsens”1
The straight forward solution is to ensure you are adequately hydrated before commencing the race, but unfortunately with everyone being different shapes and sizes there is no magic number or even any good evidence to support an amount of water intake per kilogram of body mass, it simply comes down to being able to drink as much water as can be comfortably tolerated by the individual.
For half marathon and marathon competitors ensuring you are replenishing body water levels greater than the amount of perspiration is essential to avoid dehydration.
There is evidence to suggest that an active warm up improves performance in aerobic activity2, however there is no definitive evidence that warming up and pre-exercise stretching decrease the rates of injury in runners3.
A combination of dynamic (light jogging, heel flicks, high knees) and static stretches is a series of warm up exercises that I would recommend to anyone pre and post running any distance in the Chevron City to Surf for Activ.
In the 12km course there are 3 significant hills that should be factored in your running plan, they come at the 500m, 6.5km and 9.5km points of the course. Being aware of these challenges and knowing the relative distance of each will help you to overcome the mental and physical burden these nasty inclines present on race day. Stay positive, don’t shorten your stride length and let yourself recover on the downhill that follows.
Ice baths and contrast (hot/cold) baths have evidence to support their efficacy in decreasing the physiological and functional effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness4). The good news is that we are fortunate enough to have a big ocean on the finish line’s doorstep, which at this time of year will provide the perfect sanctuary to aid your recovery. Wade in waist deep water for greater than ten minutes after the race to decrease the effects of DOMS in the days following your run.
Race Day Wear
Whilst everyone wants to look his or her best on race day, a simple of rule of “if you haven’t tried it, don’t test it” is important to remember. If you’ve fallen into the trap of making a last minute impulse buy to help get you across the line, save those new running shoes, sleek running shorts or fancy GPS watches for next time, once you’ve tried and tested them and you are sure that they are beneficial to your performance.
Injuries and Soreness
Once you’ve finished the run, it is most likely that you’ll be feeling some sore points and the best management in the first 12-24 hours is to employ the basic principals of RICE (Rest from aggravating activity, Ice, Compression and Elevation particularly for lower limb joints and soft tissues) and avoid HARM (Heat, Alcohol, Running and Massage) during this time period.
If you are unsure whether an injury requires further assessment, please employ these simple principals initially and if this doesn’t put your mind or pain at ease please contact one of our Life Ready Physiotherapy Clinics and one of our fantastic Physiotherapists will steer you in the right direction.