New year, and many of us are planning some races, signing up for challenges, making promises to get fitter, keep fitter, do the strength work and remember to stretch. All of that is great! New year is a brilliant time to take stock of what your priorities are. Life is often so busy, and distractions are many, that we often get fixated on the activity itself and end up side lining important supplementary work and treatment, that we know will help us to achieve these goals.
As a Soft Tissue Therapist, Running Coach and also a keen runner, I know that making time for strength and stability work is a key ingredient in becoming a stronger, less injury prone runner, but I manage to find umpteen ‘distractions’ to put it off and not get round to it. Equally I know the benefits of regular massage and soft tissue techniques, not just when injury strikes, but as a preventative treatment and to help recovery from training, but often struggle to ‘make time’ to go for treatment myself.
Its very hard to ‘prove’ the benefits of massage because its impossible to run placebo-controlled, double-blinded experiment on the effects but most people who have regular treatment, will tell you about the benefits (see my own testimonials page) and the therapist gets to know the people they treat, understands what their goals are.
Viv at Bridge 2 Fitness was a godsend during my London Marathon training, I saw her at least monthly for ‘maintenance’ massage plus a couple of extra times first when I had a sudden episode of knee pain and then when I had pain in my hip and ITB. Not only did she take time to really work out what the root cause of any pain or stiffness was and use various techniques to tackle it, she also suggested exercises and stretches I could do at home. JTL
Through regular treatment I can spot changes in my clients, muscle tension, restricted range of movement and feel areas of muscle fibres that could be potential causes of injury before they happen. I assess clients at the start of treatment and regularly reassess to check whether improvements are made. As a BTEC Level 5 Therapist, I use a range of soft tissue treatments (not just massage) and can set rehabilitation and exercises to address muscle imbalances which may be at the root of a problem (or potential cause of a problem). As a running coach I can also advise on training elements at all levels.
So whatever your goals and challenges are for 2016, whether just to start some walking or cycling or your first 5k, 10k, half marathon, triathlon, you would be helping yourself on the first step of the way by booking an appointment to check any areas of potential problems – whether you are aware of them yet or not. Then make regular treatment part of your plan to achieve your goal(s) and don’t wait till injury side lines you. Happy New Year and make this year a time to make your goals a reality.