Are you Preparing for Your Next Dash? | Align Jersey
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Are you Preparing for Your Next Dash?



This time of year is all about long-distance walking and running. On our beautiful Island of Jersey, we are spoilt with activities including the Durrel Dash, Island Walk, and the Jersey Marathon. Taking part in activities like these is challenging and demanding even on an athletic body. It requires significant physical and mental strength and preparation. Most importantly it requires developing good training habits and athletes must-have optimal body function for race day. Have you thought about creating a bulletproof training recovery plan, and post-race recovery plan? It is important to understand that to have an optimally functioning body it needs to recover from the training as well as from the race itself! Our in-house Sports and Rehabilitation Therapist, Daniel works with clients regularly who are training for a challenge such as a race or a marathon, or getting themselves back to function after an injury. At Align our services are set up to support you throughout your training process, from strengthening your musculoskeletal system and addressing injuries to helping you actively recover post-race.



There are multiple ways Team Align can support you with your dash. Daniel can reduce the risk of developing overuse injuries during training and can help you target important muscle groups with specific strengthening exercises. Ian one of our skilled Chiropractors can ensure you are in optimal alignment so that you are less likely to injure yourself or get musculoskeletal strains. Our team of massage therapists are ready to help iron out all those tight muscles so that you function at your very best and triumph at your challenge.

Here is what our expert Daniel recommends:






Marathon Preparation:

When preparing for a Marathon it is important to understand the stresses you are going to be putting on your body and make sure you are in a good place to deal with these stresses. The most important thing here is to not jump into the deep end with your running – build yourself up! Allow plenty of time before the Marathon to start with a distance you know you can run comfortably and gradually progress the distances by about 10% each week. As well as distances, think about the gradient you are running on: uphill running is low impact and so is good to start with and helps to build the muscles up, flat running is standard and will have a decent amount of impact with a good muscle burn, downhill running is the hardest on your joints and tendons and so this is good to start when you are used to running a bit more and at low gradients initially.



A great way of training your body to deal with constant repetitive impacts is to start some plyometric training alongside the running prep. Plyometrics are jumping exercises like squat jumps or hopping. When beginning this style of training, start with double leg jumps and progress to single leg jumps as you get more comfortable. Single leg jumping closer mimics running mechanics so is an important progression. In general aim for 80-100 jumps in a session (20 reps X 4/5 sets) and feel the burn! If you struggle with 20 reps initially start small and build up. Strength training takes time which is why we recommend starting your training schedule well ahead of time, so you can be race ready, strong and confident to conquer your challenge.



Finally, a common belief is that running is bad for your joints and leads to injuries, but the most recent literature actually found that there is cartilage structure improvements when comparing runners to the non-runners (Van Ginckel et al., 2019).



Furthermore, there are loads of associated health benefits from running including improved bone mineral density, blood glucose regulation and body composition. Even mortality rates are better in runners with a 3-year average increase in life expectancy (Lee et al., 2017). So get those running shoes on!



Common Running Injuries

Common running injuries mainly occur from sudden increases in running volume, change of footwear or running surfaces.

These include tendinopathies which is damage to the tendon from repetitive micro-tears. If you have pain in the front of your knee, back of your heel or base of your glutes which is aching or throbbing and gets worse directly after activity and came on gradually, then you may have a tendinopathy. Tendinopathies are relatively common in general and can be treated by reducing volume of provocative activity and a specially tailored rehabilitation protocol in place.



Post-Marathon Recovery

Ok, so you’ve completed the Marathon and now your body feels beat… how is the best way to recover?



Using ice-baths is a good method for reducing the inflammation in your muscles and promoting recovery which will help with the next day soreness. Furthermore, a sports massage by a competent practitioner can help to knead out all the knots and tender spots which may come about from such a large bout of activity to reduce the muscle tightness. Deep stretching after the Marathon is recommended to deactivate the muscles and flush the lactic acid away. Additionally, a good dynamic warm-up before the Marathon will go a long way to help your post-Marathon recovery and reducing injury risk. Finally, give yourself a rest! You did good so kick your feet up for about 48 hours, then onto the next one.


Marie-Chrstine Dix
Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) M.Chiro & Managing Director



Van Ginckel, A., Hall, M., Dobson, F. and Calders, P., 2019, June. Effects of long-term exercise therapy on knee joint structure in people with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. In Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Vol. 48, No. 6, pp. 941-949). WB Saunders.

Lee, D.C., Brellenthin, A.G., Thompson, P.D., Sui, X., Lee, I.M. and Lavie, C.J., 2017. Running as a key lifestyle medicine for longevity. Progress in cardiovascular diseases60(1), pp.45-55.

Marie-Chrstine Dix
Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) M.Chiro & Managing Director

Jersey-born chiropractor Marie-Christine, is dedicated to promoting good health choices within the island’s community.