First, a true story!
Exactly 3 weeks (yes, that’s 21
days) before Comrades Marathon
in 2008 I had the misfortune of running at full speed into a short
pole. It was dark and raining at the time! I hit
the pole ‘head-on’, that is, my left quad and the top of the pole
connected at full speed. That I did not snap my femur was a
for me this story has a happy ending. It took 10 days of physiotherapy and
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) before I could actually
WALK pain free. Now I had the task of getting my legs to
RUN! Continued physiotherapy
and a brilliant biokineticist
got my quad into working running order and saw me lining up at the
start of the Comrades
Marathon. Although my run wasn’t pretty
(it doesn’t have to be), I was able to finish, albeit in a slower
time. But hey, what the heck, I got the medal!
of the wisest moves you can make as a runner is to find yourself a
I can honestly say that I owe my running success to some great physio!
going to brag a bit here when I say I have never missed an intended
start line in all my years of running. In terms of the Comrades Marathon
this is an incredible feat. I have run and finished
consecutive Comrades since
1998. The odds on 13 years (plus) injury free years are very
Thank you Helene Simpson and all her physiotherapists and biokineticist
at the Sports Injuries Clinic at UCT!
Some points to consider when selecting a physiotherapist
- Make sure you are seeing a sports physio
sure the physio
is a runner or has a good understanding of running and a runner’s
sure the physio
has a good reputation (there are some dodge ones out there)
other services offered at the physiotherapy
practice? That is, biokinetics, sports
doctor, pilates, back classes. This is usually a good sign!
affordable? Do they offer medical aid rates?
Once you find your physio and/or physiotherapy
practice, and you are happy with them, stick with them. Don’t
hop! This can cause undue mental stress to yourself and
eventually you will start doubting yourself. Sticking to one physio or physiotherapy
practice gives the physio
the opportunity to get to know your “history”. When I see my
physio with a new injury, she knows my history and so can get to the
bottom of what’s causing my discomfort sooner.
a time I have walked into my physio’s
practice and said “Helene,
my hammie is playing up, I’m running xxx marathon next week, work with
that!” And she does! My relationship
with my physio
is based on faith. I have faith in Helene and she has faith
Physios are not
miracle workers (although in my case I believe Helene is!) It
is important that you listen to the advice of your physio regarding rest and
running. If your physio allows you to run while you are
injured, you need to only run what they have sanctioned.
deceive your physio,
the truth has a painful way of surfacing (usually during physiotherapy).
last bit of advice. I know, runners only stretch when they
are injured, but try making a habit of “warming” up your muscles before
your running and here’s to staying injury free!
Key words: Comrades
Marathon, physiotherapist, physio, biokineticist,
Internal links: Stretching, Comrades
Marathon, it doesn’t have to be pretty,
Official Comrades Marathon