Z is for Zero

That’s right folks. We’ve reached the end of our A-Z series with this being the last one. Here’s a summary of the topics we’ve covered:

A is for…Adductors

B is for…Blood

C is for…Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

D is for…Dry Needling

E is for…Epicondylitis

F is for…Fatigue

G is for…Golgi Tendon Organ

H is for..Habits

I is for…ITB

J is for…Joints

K is for…Knee

L is for…Lumbar

M is for…Mobility

N is for…Nerves

O is for…Overbreathing

P is for…Pelvic Floor

Q is for…Quadriceps

R is for…Rest

S is for…Stretching

T is for…Thrombosis

U is for…University

V is for…Vibration

W is for…Winging

X is for…Xiphoid Process

Y is for..YMCA

Zzzzzzz The End.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and although we say this is The End, if there’s any topics you’d like us to look at and write about just drop us a line by email contact@globaltherapies.com. We will of course be back very soon with more articles as usual.

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Y is for…YMCA

The YMCA have been around for a long time (it was founded in 1844). Their strapline is “Helping Young People Build a Future“. I don’t know what your experience of ‘The Y’ is, but I’ve always associated them with activities, some sort of movement in the form of sport or physical activity. My first introduction to them was well over 20 years ago at the local aerobic classes I went to. Later on, in central London, I saw a sports massage therapist who rented a room in their Tottenham Court Road centre.

The main thing that I took from the various interactions I’ve had with The Y is that they promote physical activity. At Global Therapies we know that being active and moving our bodies is vital to good health. We’ve written many articles about movement and the body, and why these two aspects are interlinked at the physiological level. Have a search through our archives if you want to learn more about this.

The message today is short and sweet, simply: MOVE.

movement

Take inspiration from wherever you like, a friend, the sunshine, springtime, your cat or dog, The Y, local youth groups or the local park. Moving doesn’t need to cost anything. Walking is free. Just MOVE and have a healthier body and a happier mind. If you think you have few opportunities or lack time then think again. Just stand up now at your desk and stretch. Stretching is movement. See this article and the links at the bottom for some thoughts and ideas.

If you need some inspiration try your nearest ParkRun - a free weekly 5km run (many people run/walk these so don’t be put off), or join in with the Sport Relief fun from 21-23 March.

Posted in balance, benefits, fascia, movement | Tagged | 1 Comment

Strength training for running – a waste of time?

Strength training for running is a bit of a funny subject amongst runners. Some people say that the best training for running is running – which, to a point is true, but there are some processes which will help you run further, faster and more efficiently which you cannot improve just by pounding long miles.

The main “reason” for not doing weight training (if we, for a moment , forget about downright laziness) is the somewhat long in the tooth “But I don’t want to put on muscle! – it will increase my weight, and that will make me slower” excuse.

Very true. You don’t. That’s why we are not looking to increase muscle mass.

lunge

No. We are looking to improve Power to Weight ratio.

One very good example of is Mo Farah – a pretty good runner a few years ago, exploded into superstardom and double gold medal-ness in 2012. What was the key to success? What was the main thing that they changed in his training program? More miles? More Soy based Protein?

No.

Less miles, and an extra weight training session each week. Mo can squat one and a half times his body weight – which is pretty damn impressive when you stop to think about it – and is he overly encumbered by muscle? Is he slower because of it?

It doesn’t seem like it, does it?

Why?

Some very brief science for you – some of the reasons why weight, or resistance training will help you be a faster, better runner.

You can get stronger without getting bigger muscles.

This is the crux.

No-one, but No-one uses 100% of their muscle mass.

Within each muscle you have millions of muscle fibres, each bundle of muscle fibre is controlled by a motor neuron. When you use a relatively well trained muscle, maybe 30-40% of this muscle gets a signal from motor neurons to fire.

When you use muscles for a long period of time, the recruitment of the fibres takes place in a cyclical way. Within the whole muscle, some fibres are used, and then they cycle off and recover while other fibres take up the workload enabling you to go for longer.

At low intensities, this can go on for a long time, but as you up the pace, more muscle is needed to keep up the speed, so there is less time for the off cycled muscle units to recover Deadsbefore being needed – this is one reason (of several) why your muscles get tired when you run faster.

If you were able to access and recruit 40, 50 or 60% of that muscle, the same size muscle, with the same amount of fibres – imagine how much faster and further you could go.

Mind boggling. Right?

How can you access these fibres? How can you get your brain to fire those motor neurons to make more of the muscle work? How can you be more efficient?

jump

The number of muscle fibres recruited is not dependant on speed, nor is it dependent on intensity of training. It is dependent on force.

Salazar knows. Mo knows. Cerruty knew. 

Strength training.

It’s not about getting big.

It’s about being more efficient, accessing more of your current muscle, and above all,
enhancing your power to weight ratio.

For those of you who want to read more about the science…. Behind this, there is a fantastic literature review which I have paraphrased a few times – it is here… http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2011_08_01_archive.html and is written by Steve Magness. Excellent read if you have the time.

Posted in Fell running, injury prevention, Sports Massage, Strength training, training | 3 Comments

Olympic Dreams for Andy Turner and Ice Climbing

It’s amazing to think that 18 months ago Tim and I were working at the 2012 London Olympics, and now we’re in the midst of the 2014 Winter Olympics. We’re having a great time watching the winter sports over in Sochi, and even more exciting, one of our regular clients is on his way to Russia right now. Andy Turner set up the Great Britain Ice Climbing Team, and as well as climbing for the team he also coaches other climbers.

We saw Andy on Tuesday for his final session of soft tissue therapy before flying out to Sochi. Over in Russia Andy will be taking part in the Olympic Ice Climbing Festival doing what he does best, showcasing ice climbing to the world.

Andy Turner and global Therapies

Andy Turner and Global Therapies – Andy is explaining to Tim the difference between hail and graupel after a massive storm passed over Glossop on Tuesday night.

 

Here’s what Andy said about why he has regular treatments with Global Therapies and there’s more about Andy on his blog which can be found here.

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University – the 2nd year continues

My degree in Physiotherapy continues on apace. The first semester of year 2 was very crowded with a lot of specific learning on the Spine, Cardio-Respiratory and Neurological physiotherapy, with only 3, 4 and 4 weeks worth of teaching time given over to each.

All that cumulated in exams and a written assignment, which all collided in the first couple of weeks of January. I even missed a race as I thought it was probably a better idea to stay at home and revise the day before one of the exams, rather than batter my way across 22 miles of icy bog.

Thankfully my focus and concentration paid off, and I came out the other side of the exams with an aggregate 1st, so I’m pretty happy with that.

University lectureAfter a weeks worth of break, during which I spent my time putting out markers for a Mountain Marathon on Bleaklow, we plunged into Semester 2 – during which we are in University for about 4 weeks, working on group presentations on Health Promotion, which will be marked at the end of February, and as of the Monday after the assessment, I’ll be out on Placement in the NHS.

Exciting times.

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Dawn Patrol

For the past few weeks Lynne and I have been out and about on Wednesday mornings for “dawn patrol”, a pre-work morning running group. Global Therapies Dawn Patrol The idea originally came from Lynne doing a few pre-breakfast runs last year, with me lying in bed thinking I’d never be able to do ANYTHING  before breakfast, let alone run.

Last October, though, I started to drag myself out of bed pre-6am for a quick half an hour run around the local area, basically as a bit of an experiment. This certainly wasn’t a day-to-day activity. Promising myself that I’d do it everyday would just be setting me up to fail.

What I found was that by the time I was back at home, I was awake, alert, refreshed, REALLY ready for breakfast and a coffee, and actually quite focused on what I needed to do for the rest of the day.

As a result of this, at the beginning of the year we thought it might be nice to open this up to other people – to give an open invite to those around Glossop to join us on our Dawn Patrol. So far we have done fice, with numbers ranging from one to six other people, out for the exercise and fresh air. I always thought that it would be weird, running around with other people at that time of the morning, but it’s actually rewarding and very sociable.

Even if you don’t “do” mornings, even if you think you’ll hate it, even if there are a million and one excuses not to, try it, give it time, it might grow on you. We meet for our morning Dawn Patrol run once a week on Wednesday morning, starting at 6am outside Glossop Leisure Centre. There’s only 52 weeks in the year, and we’ve already had 6 of them.

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Global Therapies – taking part in research

Last week we were both over in Salford University, taking part in a bit of research about barefoot running. There is a piece of research being done about whether traditional running training or barefoot training has more of an effect on running economy. I thought it sounded pretty interesting. I don’t really have much of an opinion either way, which is good as that is what the research is meant to find out.

There is a lot of information and disinformation out there about barefoot running and how good, or not, it might be for runners, both in terms of becoming more efficient and also in terms of long term injury prevention.

The idea for this study is that a number of runners get tested for their running economy, spend 8 weeks either doing the intervention or not, and then get re-tested at the end to see if the numbers have changed significantly (and statistically).

Lynne and I both got tested, we don’t have the actual numbers, graphs or any of that kind of info yet, I suspect that we’ll get that at the end of the study along with an idea if we have improved or not. All interesting stuff, and although you can’t necessarily put numbers on the enjoyment of running, you can put numbers on performance, and it will be intriguing to see what happens over the next 8 weeks.

(If nothing else, its even more incentive to keep on training right through the Christmas period)!

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