Hi everyone

It was a pleasure to spend the week with you guys in Portugal for the inaugural marathon ready retreat, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!

I just wanted to summarise some of the content myself and Alex covered during the week including some videos of the exercises we went through.

Also, wanted you all to have my direct contact if you have any running questions/issues now or in the future. We do lots of things online now so I am sure we can still help if you’re not local to Bristol.

Running Injuries and Technique – 

Why do we get running injuries – training errors, muscle imbalances, poor technique and previous injury history. On the retreat we tried to cover all these points and a summary is below.

We looked at the leg motion (wanting hip extension, heel lift, knee drive and pulling foot back under body for contact – almost like cycling a bike). Torso we wanted to be upright with relaxed shoulder. Arms moving forward and backwards. Pelvis level when absorbing the force through one leg or the other (avoiding a hip drop/cat walk hips).

The cues we tried out were – lengthen neck, thumb on finger, arms forward and back, activate core (20% effort at most), lift knees slightly higher (or for some it was lift heels slightly higher).

Nutrition – 

Before – Practice everything you do before race day so nothing is new. Find a meal that works for you the night before (doesn’t have to be pasta!).

Fasting is a great way of training the body to use fat as a fuel rather than carbohydrates. Hydration – takes 4 days to fully hydrate before a race. Just drinking a bit more water than usual. Alcohol stays in your system for 72 hours.

During – Lots of gels out there, again find one that works for you. Test it in training. Every 30-45 mins when running a marathon as a rough guide but is very individual.

After – Need to eat something within 30 mins of finishing exercise and a full meal within two hours to enable your body to recover without increasing stress and ‘breaking down’ muscle.

Training sessions and plans

What is the purpose of your run is the question you should always ask yourself. No junk miles. Longer runs should be really slow! Work out your marathon pace and practice it (should be able to do that pace without looking at your watch). Tempo runs are 20-60 mins of effort (with a warm up mile and cool down mile). Hills are great for technique, strength and cardiovascular fitness. Speed work can increase your top speed, making slower speeds easier to maintain. ‘The higher your top speed, the higher your average speed can become’.

Strength work

A vital part of training for both injury prevention and increased performance. 2-3 times a week but doesn’t have to be a big work out – at home exercises below are enough.

Activation exercises pre run

Glute activation with a band – https://youtu.be/tidEnlGp6S8

Hip flexor release – https://youtube.com/shorts/qeAExpSLUz8?feature=share

Calf raises (bent knee and straight legged) – for activation pre running just body weight and for strengthening can add external weight

Footwork drills (can also be used as a training sessions 20 secs on/15 secs off x 5 of each – https://youtu.be/eXisrdpU7-U

Strengthening exercises – 

Glute med strengthening (against a wall) – https://youtu.be/h5fVtU1rKmA

Glute bridge variations (with or without a band) – https://youtu.be/2vZuAo8OnkY

Single leg balance – variations with eyes shut or with a knee bent to challenge the exercise

Lunge variations (remember to go down not forwards with the movement and want to feel in front leg) – https://youtu.be/5hvKH4cxyjw

Hamstring bridge with feet on chair/bench – https://youtu.be/8PKYBE0lqOo

Single leg squat, holding on and sitting back – https://youtu.be/hV7KQsqkhtE

Plank variations – https://youtu.be/Q4Na2Zr0IAA

Side plank with leg lift – https://youtu.be/eHYKE8txzY0


Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Chris Kay