Knott Kinetics : Run & Injury Prevention talk

kkGroupI recently attended a talk given by Knott Kinetics¬†of Gosport. The phrase “prevention is better than cure”¬†was¬†their topic.¬†The evenings venue and hosts were Knott Kinetics and more specifically Lawrence Knott, the managing director and owner, who was accompanied by two other guest speakers, Edyta Sikorska – Sports Therapy & Chas Staines – Exercise Rehabilitation, both of whom work with Lawrence.

The evening was a joint venture with Nick Carters 545 RunClub that’s a free Wednesday night organised run in and around Gosport. The choice¬†of a 5K or 3K run meaning all abilities are catered for, it’s free and it’s most definitely all inclusive. Sadly I couldn’t make the 5.45 start time but plenty did, as can be seen in the photo above, with Lawrence front and centre of the predominantly Gosport Road Runners !!

Naturally as a running blogger I’m an interest observer and clearly not qualified in this field but I’m going to try my best to pass on some of the great advice we listened to. I have attempted to fill the odd gap here and there as I simply couldn’t remember all of the advice we heard. If I’ve got anything wrong, bear with me !!

As a quick background Knott Kinetics treat beginners through to elite athletics with sports therapy, massage, exercise rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, osteopathy and acupuncture. Complementing this they offer yoga and palates too.

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The main reasons I was draw to come along this evening was¬†after reading on their website that they wanted to promote pro active healthcare i.e.¬†“you” becoming a better version of you and¬†secondly the phrase, I’m sure you will agree that we can all do more to help ourselves. This kind of self help encouragement strikes me as very forward thinking.

Now, ask any runner what their biggest fear / annoyance / frustration is and invariably they will say, being injured !! But, we can minimise the risks by taking “ownership” of our actions, after all it’s better to prevent an injury than have to recover from one. Being injured affects quite a wide circle of our friends and family because they have to put up with us ….. ha ha !!!

I made sure I was right at the front of their exercise studio to get the best possible seat as the presentations started.

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Pictured above is Edyta talking to us about the Achilles tendon, how it worked and what could be done to strengthen it.¬†The¬†talk combined some serious and some amusing demonstrations by her fellow contributor Chas, as she used him to illustrate her talk. Naturally this topic was quite specific were as Lawrence and Chas had wider ranging subjects¬†which I’ve decided to concentrate on. Thank you Edyta I now know considerably more about my Achilles and¬†its function.

Lawrence was up next and he underlined the nature of what the business was trying to achieve with some of the principals that I’ve already mentioned.¬†At this point I have to say the combination of¬†a welcoming reception,¬†a good sized studio, weights, cardio machines and ¬†naturally the treatment rooms all make for a very professional combination.

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Lawrence concentrated on the core principle of running form and what can be done around optimising the best foot position. Naturally as runners we all bring different attributes, some helpful, others not son much but everything is correctable.

Working from the initial thought that each running stride is sending a shock wave of four times your body weight up your frame then this will inevitably have implications for your ankles, tendons, muscles, knees, hips, back and even neck !!

The talk lead us through having the correct footwear for our running as well as the possibility of using orthotics to correct flat feet. Your feet will both propel you forward as well as take the impact of every running stride. Naturally shoe choices are a huge factor in staying injury free.

Do you pronate, if so you’ll need shoes that have flexible soles and padding for the areas of impact.¬†Are you an over pronator ? you’ll need support for your arches or maybe you’re a supinator then you’ll need cushioning on the rigid outer edge of your foot. Finally, if you are a terminator you probably wont even wear shoes but you’ll make return trips to the clinic …. “I’ll be back” !!

We discussed that balance and strength are key to good form and this was a pre runner to what Chas would talk about later.

Lawrence also included the audience by challenging us to stand on one leg and test our stability. I liked the humorous side of his delivery as he overemphasised bad habits and the effects of poor form.

Listening to¬†the mechanics of running certainly made me consider my posture and it’s easy to see¬†how as we increase mileage then overuse of¬†any incorrect element will¬†eventually lead to injuries. Stand tall, chest open and keep your upper body and pelvis stable.

Warm up, have stability, strength and balance, combine this with the correct running posture and then economy and efficiency will follow on, leading to faster times and longer periods of uninterrupted running.

Finally I think its fair to say that we all run forwards !! This naturally means that we work some muscles more than others and this can lead to muscle imbalance and an increased risk of injury. This imbalance was were Lawrence lead onto Chas as the final speaker.

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Chas gave a compelling talk as to the necessity of building a good foundation of strength and conditioning as the cornerstone to success. One of his opening comments was that given a choice would we run for half an hour or use strengthening exercises ? He knew we’d all be running but he then tried to convince us otherwise.

How many of us have lost our running form in the later stages of a race because we are tired. Strengthening your core and conditioning can help both improve and maintain your running form, which in turn, makes you more efficient. Increasing your strength increases your endurance and will prevent injuries.

Chas mentioned that both people new to running as well as seasoned runners should view strength training as part of your total running package and if you don’t then you could be missing out on various gains that improve your technique and lower the risk of injury.

Strength training or resistance can be achieved with free weights, rubber bands, general gym machines and bodyweight exercise. The good stress that this puts our body under forces it to adapt and boost its ability to take on extra loads.

Stronger legs, arms and shoulders will all contribute to a stronger core and as mentioned earlier an imbalance of the muscles can also be worked on. Chas takes a Monday evening class at 6.30pm and is also available to be booked for individual assessments.

Strength training our muscles and bones will naturally help fight off stress fractures which are a common overuse injury. The training doesn’t all need to be in the gym and it doesn’t need to take up hours. Naturally advice from¬†an expert like Chas is recommended as to which exercises suit you the best.

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Chas was keen to underline that every top athlete uses strength training¬†so if it helps them then there’s every chance it can help us. That concluded the talks and¬†we finished with “any questions” which actually went on¬†for nearly ten minutes and was a testament to all the speakers being eager to help.

The audience was mainly Gosport Road Runners but I do hope my blog will be of interest to all the runners in our local area as well as further afield.

Huge thanks to Lawrence and Nick for organising this run/talk night as well as Edyta and Chas for their thought provoking talks.

I was impressed with future possible talks that Knott Kinetics are looking to host such as mental wellbeing, nutrition and multisport training so keep your eyes peeled !!

Thanks for reading

Roger

 

Langstone Harbour running

Image-13The coastal path that follows Langstone Harbour makes up a large proportion of the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside marathon. This event is in its tenth year now and has built up quite a cult status what with the race being the weekend before Christmas.

My training had to be put on hold last week due to a back twinge so the aim of todays run was to get back to double figures.

This blog isn’t so much about the ten miles of running but more about my observations of the area with its tidal mudflats and seabirds.

Over the recent years I’ve looked at my running from a different¬†viewpoint. Yes, I run¬†to the best of my ability but, no I¬†don’t beat myself up over my pace.

Running gives me¬†a sense of wellbeing and mindfulness purely due to the locations that I pass through and the sights that I take in.¬†Photography also allows me to express the enjoyment that I¬†experience while I’m¬†out running. Stopping for a moment¬†to¬†take a photo means that I can both look back on my adventures as well as share them with others.

Image-14The two photos that I’ve used so far really capture just why¬†I chose to enter the Believe and Achieve marathon. Naturally the event has a Christmas buzz with many¬†people wearing fancy dress and¬†with rum and mince pies on offer over the previous years these are also reasons for me to return having run the marathon and ultra options before.

The weather conditions this morning were perfect with no wind¬†and the water was as¬†flat as a mill pond. Race day may well be¬†a different matter !! It will definitely be colder in December but extra layers and gloves can remedy that. I love running on the “South Downs” but it’s also good to visit the coast on occasions.

Running next to the water¬†offers a completely different¬†experience to the hilly trails inland.¬†There’s something relaxing and hypnotic about running next to the sea.

My route took me along trails close to the seawall and with the mud flats to your right, the yachts moored out in the deeper channels and¬†wading birds¬†to watch¬†you¬†get¬†a sense that you’re travelling through daily coastal life.

The trail is fairly narrow with the exception of a tarmac section near Farlington marshes but the majority of the time there’s the smell of seaweed, occasional shingle¬†and the lapping of the water onto green¬†algae covered¬†rocks.

Virtually the only people I saw were fishermen who were¬†out early morning bait digging and it struck me that this was probably something they’d been doing for years. I do like to run through areas with some natural history and the old Hayling railway bridge at half way is a great example of this.

Image-15The clear water was a perfect mirror to the yachts masts and the individual supports of the long gone railway bridge were a reminder of times gone by. The low tide certainly brought in various birds that feast on the rich offerings. Their calls and chirping was a constant feature of my run.

Some sections of the coastal path are rough underfoot so it’s important¬†not to get too distracted with¬†your¬†sight seeing but overall the conditions¬†underfoot were good.

I’m thoroughly looking forward to a longer run along the coast path next week and as an added bonus I aim run earlier in an attempt to catch the sunrise.