I’ve always had a bit of a love:hate relationship with running, writes Reading Osteopath Seb Murtagh. I enjoy the activity, it’s a great form of exercise and it’s really good for my headspace. It gives me a chance to think and digest what’s going on in my life at that point. However, I’ve never been into big distances. Previously 10km is the most I’ve ever been able to manage before I get injured. This has been the case since my mid-teens. I’ve twice tried training for a half marathon and both times topped out at about 8 miles. During training my left knee has been a weak link and given way. It’s been a massive frustration for me over the years. However, somehow at the age of 36 and during a Covid-19 pandemic I seem to have cracked it! I am sure this is due to foot orthotics and their effect on my ability to run.
Beccy recently wrote an article on common mistakes made when people start or increase their running training. I would recommend you give it a look.
Three months into my furlough period, around June 2020, I was getting a bit tubby! The hockey season had been cancelled, I’d not run any significant distance for a good while, and my exercise consisted of a daily pootle along the river bank with my 18month old Freya & Tonko the dog at roughly 0MPH! Whilst this was great fun, I wasn’t burning any calories. I decided that running would be a great way to shift some of my Covid chub.
First off I needed a new gadget to help motivate me. I upgraded my basic activity tracker to a Garmin Forerunner 245 and started the inbuilt 5k training program. My new Garmin, which is awesome by the way and well worth the investment (no I’m not on commission), mapped out a training program for me with three runs per week. Starting with seriously easy walk/runs and slowly building up to a reasonably paced 5k run. I found it a little easy at times, but learning from past mistakes, i didn’t want to burn out so I followed the program pretty closely. This took about six weeks. The Garmin 10k training program followed and over the next eight weeks I was comfortably running 10k.
During the 10k training I had a bit of a eureka moment as to why I had always had so many problems running any significant distance. My Foot Orthotics, about 3 and a half years old at this point, are getting a bit tatty. I decided to send them in for a refurb. Over the next couple of weeks running without my Orthotics, it all started to go a bit wrong.
My left knee was making an unwelcome and painful appearance and my back was also playing up. It was so bad that I had to stop training and didn’t run for another two weeks. Along with some Covid related delays my Orthotics eventually got back to me good as new. After a gentle test run on my shiny new orthotics, my knee and back were both feeling good. I picked up where I left off on the 10K training program and powered through the final 4 weeks of the program.
I’ve worn custom foot orthotics for nearly 4 years. Over that time I’ve come to rely on them and wear them every day in my work shoes and at home in everything from running trainers to hiking boots. I also see the positive impact they have when our guests wear them. However, it wasn’t until I was personally without them for a nearly month that I was truly able to see the full impact they had on my life. My personal experience fills me with so much confidence when I’m completing Gait Assessments at Reflex Spinal Health and prescribing foot orthotics to our guests. I’m more than confident that the Orthotics I prescribe will have as positive an impact my guests’ lives as my bespoke foot orthotics and their effect on my ability to run.
Please phone Reflex Spinal Health on 0118 946 2100 to book your Gaitscan, or to speak to one of our team is you have questions.
Just as I finished my 10k training program, a rather conveniently timed email from Vitality London enticed me to sign up for the London half marathon on 25th April 2021, setting me a challenge I’ve previously not been able to complete.
Jump to the 21st December 2020, I’m out on a training run. I’m feeling good at 14k and just like Forrest Gump I decide to keep on running! I completed my half marathon distance, 13.1 miles (21.1km), cross country in 2hr20. https://www.strava.com/activities/4499600387. I’m chuffed to bits and massively proud of myself! The best bit is that I feel great and the actual race isn’t for another 4 months. Now I can just enjoy my running and work towards running a time I can be proud of.
Perhaps 2021 could be the year I push on for a full marathon distance.
If you have any running related issues then please get in touch to see what Reflex Spinal Health might be able to do, to help you meet your goals.
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.