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Are you physio fit? Follow these steps to be prepared


Expert advice from your Chartered Physiotherapist on preparing for the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon

Walk, jog or run, no matter how you plan to tackle the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon on June 1, a chartered physiotherapist can play a key role in helping you to reach your goal safely.

The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) has expert advice not only on getting started but on the steady progression of your programme that will leave you fighting fit on race day.

Using their extensive scientific knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, chartered physiotherapists can assess, diagnose and treat any conditions that might arise as you run. This series of tips should help to ward off unnecessary injuries while training:

1 Check your running shoes for any signs of wear or breakdown around the midsoles. Ideally, vary between two pairs during your preparation. When buying new training shoes, go to a specialist sports shoe shop for advice on the best running shoe for your foot type. Using proper footwear will help to prevent injuries often associated with poor biomechanics including over pronation of the feet. If you feel you have a problem with over pronation or other foot complaints then visit your local chartered physiotherapist and they will assess you.

2 Follow a training programme that is suitable for your age, weight, lifestyle and current fitness level. Never increase your mileage by more than 10pc in a week, and if an increase proves too tough, take an easy day or rest to allow your body to refuel and recover. As your fitness improves, it will feel more natural to train more often, and enhance your chances of enjoying the marathon experience.

3 Orthotics (permanent insoles) are often used by runners to help prevent common running injuries. Check with your chartered physiotherapist if you feel any niggles developing and a biomechanical assessment could ascertain if you require such insoles in your shoes to alleviate a problem.

4 Don't forget to warm up adequately before you run. A dynamic warm-up including gentle jogging and stretches will gently increase your body temperature and prepare your muscles for exercise. Cool down after your session using static stretching and a warm shower to minimise muscle soreness and joint stiffness. This will also prepare your body for your next training day.

5 Check yourself. Keep a training diary so you can monitor your progress, keep an eye on any issues and most importantly celebrate your continuing improvement.

The ISCP is an official partner of the 2015 VHI Women's Mini Marathon. To find a chartered physiotherapist near you, visit www.findaphysio.ie