Posted on November 1, 2017 by Ciara Mulrooney - Health, Running
If you’re just setting out on a new training goal it’s an exciting time, I’ve got some tips and training aids to help you on your journey and reduce the risk of injury.
- Training load– pick a training plan, there are plenty available online and it saves the guess work. Aim to not increase your training load by more than 10% each week. The key for new runner is to listen to your body- if you need a rest take it and alter your schedule to suit you. We all lead busy lives don’t be disheartened if you miss a training day, just make up for it.
- Recovery – Just as important as the run itself allow your body adequate time to recover. Running places loads of upto 2.5 times your bodyweight through your body- it’s a brilliant exercise to loads the muscles and keep healthy and strong, but we need to make sure we can adapt and recover from the training sessions. Take time to foam roll after your run, include stretching and mobility work, the following day go for a short walk or swim, your body will thank you for it.
- Nutrition – also a part of recovery what you eat and when will influence how you feel during and after your run. Ensure your meeting your daily requirements for all nutrients. Don’t obsess over carb loading initially, if you’re meeting your daily needs you should be fine.
- Sleep – aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night, especially after a training day. During the sleep cycle the body resets, adapts and processes muscle memory- it’s a key part of training.
- Water – if you’re feeling thirsty it tends to mean you normally haven’t taken enough water on board throughout the day. We’re composed mostly of water so it’s an element we need to fuel our cells. During the day ensure you’re drinking water- leave a water bottle on your desk or set a reminder on your phone- it’s easy to remember if you have to.
- Strength and conditioning- one way to reduce the risk of injury is to implement strength and conditioning alongside your run schedule- this can be once or twice per week and will benefit your overall health and running ability. Next week I’ll post an easy strength and conditioning circuit that can be done at home.
Posted on September 10, 2017 by Ciara Mulrooney - Health
If you’ve suffered with any type of pain long term, you’ll know how frustrating it is. Rest assured that you’re not the only person and please don’t suffer in silence. Approx. 13% of the Irish population have chronic pain (Irish Journal of Medical Science). Chronic pain can be from tissue which was injured, nerve related, fibromyalgia, referred, low back, neck, knee, ankle, arthritis, sciatica, post dislocation to name a few… As you can see it can affect anybody anywhere! The type of pain may be sharp, dull, intermittent, or constant. Sometimes people who may look fine are suffering pain. The one common factor is that it tends to decrease a person’s quality of life, which is a huge factor to consider when getting help.
What is pain? Essentially pain is a reaction to a threat which may harm us, on a basic level pain is what keeps us alive, we become aware of something which might cause us danger and we react to take steps to avoid this danger and protect ourselves from any more harm. We experience a stress reaction to this threat and the brain initiates our systems to call a halt to any danger and try to heal the area as quickly as possible.
Isn’t that a good thing? Well yes, it is, we need this type of response to be able to heal fractures, muscular strains and protect us from harm. It’s when this response becomes heightened and in a constant state that the problem arises. If this occurs the body will be apprehensive to move or use some muscles more than others to keep us safe, this can lead to increased tension and perceived pain when doing certain movements. When we’ve healed from an initial trauma we don’t need to remain in this state, we need to let the body know that it’s safe to move and use it otherwise we become more sensitised.
What else can affect it? Many different factors can alter how the pain affects you. This can range from the severity of the injury to the length of time we are sensitised. The longer the pain persists the less it takes to aggravate the pain- it’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken down. Stress, lifestyle, sleep, nutrition, exercise, memories, nerve/tissue health, anxiety can all affect pain – in a nutshell pain is multidimensional.
What can I do about it? There is no one size fits all answer because after all we are human and all individual, what works for one person may have zero effect on someone else. But what we can do, is determine what’s causing the issue, work on getting muscles desensitised and back doing their job, letting the overworked muscles relax and creating more control. Thus, allowing us to decrease the pain threat and get on doing things we enjoy and improve our quality of life. At Recalibrate I work with you to devise a plan to get you back moving, managing your symptoms and getting the most out of life.
Posted on July 31, 2017 by Ciara Mulrooney - Health
What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?
- Inadequate recovery – sleep is key to recovery, and recovery post exercise is key to progression, if we don’t recover enough we run the risk of overtraining and becoming injured. This can lead to an increased perception of DOMS and lack of motivation to exercise.
- Increased stress – prolonged fight or flight state using energy up we need to exercise, stress can impact many different factors of our lives. Chronic prolonged inadequate sleep can lead to an effect on mental wellbeing.
- Decreased reaction times– the more tired we are the less reactive we become, making the likelihood that we’ll overstep or miss a cue due to a delayed reaction
- Decreased learning capacity – when we learn skills we need to fine tune them, sleep is crucial to motor control and memory letting us build these patterns to use next time we need them.
- Lower overall health – not enough sleep can lead to an increase in illness due to an effect on the immune system – our bodies reaction to not having all the required elements it needs to function at its peak
Why is this important?
Research has shown that those who get less than 8hours sleep were at an increased risk of injury.
Sleep is something we can put measures in place to control and is a simple component to increase recovery and decrease the risk of injury or performance impairment. Aim for 7-9 hours per night if possible and see how you feel!