Well Run Melbourne has been run and won (big congrats to Sarah Bellchambers and David Ridley winning the blue ribbon half marathon distances). It was great to see thousands of happy runners enjoying the perfect fresh conditions on Sunday morning around Melbourne.
At PridePlus Health we’re all about physical and mental health. And Sunday saw a great contingent of PridePlus staff and family getting out and enjoying our running. As with all aspects of our professional lives we try to learn from each encounter we have to ensure we always offer the highest level of care that reflects the evolving nature of podiatry, physiotherapy and exercise physiology. With this in mind, here’s a few reflections on race plans and recovery.
Tim Mulholland – Half Marathon
It was absolutely perfect conditions for a trot around Melbourne. This lead to a decent run only a few minutes off a PB. A few days on from the run and there’s a little bit of fatigue lingering in some of the key muscles used for running, the quadriceps and deep in the calf (the soleus muscle).
Reflecting back on my race preparation I spent more time on the bike rather than running which is not ideal, but completely understandable for fun runs (it was fun!) where the goal is fitness, camaraderie and challenging yourself. I was pleased with my running shoe selection and race day plan which was to start with my friends, go out at a comfortable pace and then beat my first split in the second half if I was feeling up to it. My Mizuno Wave Rider kicks were super comfortable with the right amount of support but not too much weight. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, treating myself to a brand new pair of running socks for the event felt like a luxury my feet really appreciated.
I would consider my recovery more in future as rehydrating with a celebratory cold beer or 3 is less than ideal. But it was a fun run, and having fun after your run is all part of it.
The next time I do a half marathon I think I will spend more time getting quality miles in the legs with some more soleus and proximal strength work and who knows, that PB could get a shake down in my older years!
Run Melbourne 2020? Definitely!
Naveena Seethapathy – 10Km
Truth be told, I wouldn’t have signed up for this, if not for the encouragement shown by the PridePlus Team. Running has never been my forte and has caused me a lot of grief in the past, in the form of shin splints and stress fractures. I thought I would go for a trial run and see if it’s worthwhile my time (and more importantly not make a fool of myself!). I surprised myself and ran a whopping 20kms for the first time on Mother’s day! And I could not stop.. my ego kicked in and I ran mile after mile every day until my nemesis, the dreaded ‘shin splints’ were back! ‘Hindsight’ is a beautiful thing I like to say-and here I have summarised the good and the not so good bits about my training and recovery, hoping that ‘a warning bell pings’ in your head whenever you do a ‘rookie mistake’ like I did.
I listened to my Podiatrist Angus McSweyn who prescribed exercises, orthotics and a running program. It was vital that I backed off completely (a month of rest from a lung infection came in handy with de-loading the ‘angry anatomy’) and started adding pace very very slowly-giving a chance for my body to adapt. This was probably the hardest bit of my journey-jogging at that real slow pace was a mind-numbing experience, but I persisted (accountability from being a client of the podiatrist helps!). This was also when I learnt that ‘junk miles’ are useless and can result in overuse injuries. I could not afford to run for the sake of running, every mile is precious and it should make me stronger today than yesterday, not the other way around. And then I discovered the ‘metronome’. The modest gadget (amongst all other technical wizardry running has at the moment) that allowed me to get the rhythm back in my running. I was running more efficiently and not being ‘all over the place’ with my cadence. Leading up to the race, I hydrated well and increased my intake of iron and other vitamins/minerals, which really helped me I think.
I completed my 10k a little disappointed with myself as I had taken 10 mins longer than my practice runs-not because I physically struggled that day but I had mentally checked out by 7kms! Running is a mind game too. Something I have to work on. Nevertheless I completed the run pain-free in a decent time, into the hands of my little cheer squad. My recovery included hydration, a salty pho at the QV market, yoga and chasing after my kids-active recovery always helps me get rid of the ‘whole body heaviness’ quickly. I had an epiphany whilst running the race that day. ”What an incredible privilege it is to be able to run, what an amazing machine the human body is and how grateful I am to the PridePlus Team for this opportunity”…right before I zoned out! This is why ladies and gentlemen, I need to go back to the Run next year and set some things straight – I can’t wait!
Rachael Leary – 5Km
Having run a lot during my high school years and having a dad who runs marathons I thought it was a great opportunity to get back into running and prepare myself for run Melbourne. My main source of activity is F45 and occasionally I go for the odd run around the block but I decided to get myself into the gym and running on the treadmill (admittedly because the weather is so cold and I found the motivation to run outside extremely hard). I found running on the treadmill easier on my knees and therefore running 5km quite easy, reflecting back on my training I should have alternated between the treadmill and running outside as my knees became quite sore on Sunday during the run. My new Brooks Adrenaline runners were extremely comfy however my orthotics started to irritate the arch of my left foot. The learning from this is to not use old orthotics in new shoes when they have been prescribed for walking, not running!
However, despite a bit of knee pain and a sore left foot I was lucky enough to have my partner run beside me (took a bit of convincing as he plays football on Saturday’s) and it was that extra bit of motivation and support that got me over the line, we both really enjoyed run Melbourne and are so happy we decided to do it. My main goal was to finish the 5km without stopping and I did so I was really proud of my efforts on the day. Now I am keen to start running more and training myself up to run 10km next time!
In preparation for my next run I would like to have a new more comfortable and appropriate pair of orthotics and start focusing on ways to improve my running technique and strengthening up certain areas to help with my knee pain.