Laura Hume our New Energy Fitness Sports Massage guru tells of her journey from non-runner to runner over the course of a year.
First set your goal …
Having not done much running since my 20s I decided in the summer of 2017 that I wanted to learn how to run … Properly.
Learn the skills …
I had a few sessions with the fabulous Clare Molyneux and, as well as teaching me correct technique, how to improve my speed and educating me on pace and cadence, she really made me believe that I COULD run. My confidence was boosted and, with the help of my energetic dog, I started to get out and run. I slowly began to realise that I was actually enjoying it. I did soon discover that I was a bit of a fair-weather runner but I was determined to get back to it in spring this year and signed myself up for a couple of events in October as motivation.
Practice those skills and ENJOY
With a young child at home and a husband with an irregular work routine, my training was sporadic to say the least. The sprawling Wiltshire countryside and calming woodland trails, however, meant my enjoyment of running was continuing to grow and so was confidence in my ability. Having reached about 5 miles in training, I swiftly signed up for the Andover 10k and was overjoyed to run it without stopping and with a negative split.
Go in for the big event knowing you’ve done the work!
The event I was most nervous about came two weeks later – The Clarendon Relay. 6.5 miles of challenging trail and tailing far behind the mass of strong runners, I felt my confidence knocked. At the same time, I learnt lots and felt stronger physically and mentally afterwards as a result. This set me up nicely for The Great South Run and although I felt underprepared, I was sure that I could do it and determined to enjoy it along the way. As you’d imagine from such a huge event, the atmosphere was amazing, the people inspiring and this really helped the time and the miles tick by. I certainly didn’t find it easy and was struggling for the last 2.5 miles.
Visions in my mind of Clare shouting ‘use your arms, use your arms’ got me through the last mile with a final 200m sprint (it was hardly a sprint but felt like it at the time!). As always, the absolute best part is the end – the sense of achievement and pride, the camaraderie with other runners who feel that same elation and the MEDAL! It’s safe to say I’m hooked and I’m busy planning what events I can do in the new year.
Back to the day job … read this bit, it’s important!
As a Soft Tissue Therapist/Sport & Remedial Massage Therapist, it really is a huge disappointment that I cannot treat my own legs!
If you’re a keen runner but not so keen on aftercare then you may find yourself getting tighter and more stiff with every run. Flexibility is an essential part of physical fitness and being tight will limit your range of motion and contribute to muscle and joint pain. With tight muscles comes a reduced length in your run stride. If your muscles can’t efficiently contract and relax then there is a loss of strength and power and a decrease in your performance. This in turn increases your chances of injury and repeat injury – which will really set you back in your training.
Massage is a wonderful way for you to connect to your body. It is often a surprise to people to find out where they are tight, what range of motion is poor and, on the flip side, it can also put your mind at ease that things aren’t as bad as you think and can be helped with treatment and advice. Issues such as tight hip flexors, runners knee or IT Band syndrome can all be assessed with simple tests and worked on with massage, advanced stretching techniques and trigger points. Massage will help reduce muscle tension, increasing your range of motion and giving you more comfort while you run. By lengthening the tissues and reducing stiffness, you’ll find your performance improving and your legs will feel less fatigued and much fresher.
Come and see me at New Energy Fitness if you’re a runner (or trying to be a runner!) and I’ll sort your legs out and keep you on the roads and trails.
Here’s to the next challenge
To book with Laura contact New Energy fitness on 01962 435064 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org