48 miles in 48 hours update, and how best to prepare for your own challenge?
As previously mentioned, the White House Clinic are supporting our client and friend of the clinic, Ben Graney, in the build-up and through his endurance challenge to run 48 miles in 48 hours all in support of Sheffield Mind (charity).
As the challenge grows closer, we are taking a closer look as some of the advice we have given to Ben for his challenge to help him be as prepared as possible. The principles of this can be applied to any challenge.
The basic principles to consider when preparing for a physical challenge
When advising our clients on how to prepare and be ready for a physical challenge, there are some basic principles to consider. These principles can be adapted and applied to any physical challenge, whether that is running your first 5km, taking part in a ‘Strongman’ competition or hiking the ‘3 Peaks’.
Using these principles will have you better prepared, reduce your risk of injury and will also have you performing better for the challenge itself.
The basic principles to consider are:
- Engaging in an appropriate Training Plan
- Completing appropriate Strength & Conditioning
- Using ‘Load Management’ strategies
- Seeking Advice and Treatment (if required)
Engaging in an appropriate Training Plan
When committing to undertaking any physical challenge, it is important to review the task at hand and pick the most appropriate training plan to match this. Without this, your training plan may fail, you may suffer setbacks or injury and ultimately you may fail in your attempt to complete what you set out to do in the first place.
If we use Ben as the example to explain this, our first bit of advice to him was to set his training plan out to best serve the task at hand. In this instance, he is running an endurance challenge and therefore his training plan need to match this. There would be no point in him working on his running speed, he needs to prepare his body for endurance and this simply means ‘time spent on feet’, not running as fast as he can in the build-up.
When looking at your own challenge, review what type of challenge you are wanting to complete (i.e. endurance/strength/speed) and pick a training plan that reflects this. This is simple advice, but it will allow you to set off on the right path.
For further information on picking a suitable training plan specific to Running, please review our article “A Physiotherapist's Guide to Training for Running - Part 1”.
Completing appropriate Strength and Conditioning
An appropriate Strength and Conditioning programme is essential in the build-up to attempting any challenge. It is a well-researched topic that Strength and Conditioning of the body is the best means for improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. When preparing for a challenge, only completing an appropriate training plan, without a specific Strength and Conditioning programme, is not enough.
Using the example of Ben again with his endurance running challenge, we advised that he needed to condition and strengthen the areas of his body which will be taking an ‘extra beating’ over the weeks of his training plan and with the actual challenge itself, i.e. his hips/knees/ankles and core. This therefore included a series of exercises to add strength and stability to each of these areas.
When selecting a Strength and Conditioning programme appropriate for your challenge, think about which areas of the body you will be exhausting or ‘overloading’- these are the areas that will need to be conditioned and given extra care over the weeks of your training plan. A simple Strength and Conditioning programme can easily be run alongside your training plan.
For any Runners wishing to understand more about Strength and Conditioning and what some of these exercises entail, please review our article “A Physiotherapist's Guide to Training for Running - Part 2”.
Using ‘Load Management’ strategies
Effective ‘load management’ is essential in any good training plan to prevent injuries or setbacks. ‘Load management’ is ensuring that as you ramp up your training, you are doing this in a way so that your body can cope. Without this, you risk ‘overloading’ areas of your body, leading to niggles and/or pain and injuries.
Again, using Ben’s challenge as the example, a few weeks back he sadly suffered a setback with his training plan whereby he had a flare-up of an old pelvic injury. By seeking advice immediately and being educated on how to manage his training load appropriately, he was able to continue to engage in his training plan in some capacity, whilst constantly monitoring his pain symptoms and his body’s reaction, ensuring his progress was not derailed altogether.
Experiencing pain symptoms and niggles whilst engaged in a vigorous training plan is common, seeking early advice can often ensure that you are able to overcome the issue, but also continue with your training plan with only minor tweaks.
‘Load management’ is something that physios are well positioned to advise on, so do not hesitate to contact us if this is applicable to you. For any Runners wishing to seek more advice on avoiding or identifying running injuries, please review our article “A Physiotherapist's Guide to Training for Running - Part 4”.
Seeking Professional Advice and Treatment (if required)
When attempting a new physical challenge or task, do not be frightened to seek advice. This is not admitting defeat and early intervention can often prevent a complete derailing of your training plan, and failure of completing your challenge.
With the example of Ben, he will confirm that by seeking early advice and intervention, he has been able to ensure he has stayed engaged with his training plan in the build-up to undertaken his challenge of running 48 miles in 48 hours.
Alongside all the above, Sports Massage can also play an important role in recovery, and this can be utilised throughout any training plan to ‘iron out’ muscle tension and aid performance.
Undertaking a vigorous or new physical challenge is difficult. Applying some basic principles as listed above will allow you to be as prepared as possible and it will assist you to be able to feel confident in completing your desired challenge.
We at the White House Clinic have a team of clinicians with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience for all sports and are well positioned to advise and treat you (if required).
If you have a challenge upcoming and would like to ensure that you best positioned to complete it, do not hesitate to contact us.
Our team are ready and waiting to assist with your recovery.