Alex has given me hope when I thought my Ironman race season wouldn’t happen due to chronic Achilles issues.
Declan, London

Don’t Ignore Your Dashboard! Stay Proactive Not Reactive!

Q1. Your car’s fuel gauge indicates a 10 mile limit but you want to travel 60 miles, do you?

  1. Pull into a petrol station and fill up. Continue on your journey and get to your destination on time with happy passengers?
  1. Ignore it, chance your luck and end up sitting miserably on the hard shoulder 50 miles away from your destination contemplating how to explain this to the recovery driver when they finally arrive to help?

I’m hoping most of you chose answer A.  Those who opted for B, I hope you have learnt from the first incident and don’t chance it again.

It seems a silly analogy, but we see lots of people at the clinic who have ignored their dashboard.  Regardless of the sport or activity, when it comes to looking after their body far too many people become reactive rather than proactive.

Proactivity of treatment while training makes sure you’re ahead of the injury curve. Take control of the ‘niggles’ or ‘twinges’ before they become a full-blown ‘ouch’ that stops your training in it’s tracks.

But what can help?

  • Identify Your Weaknesses

It’s sometimes easier to ignore the aches when it’s difficult to identify what’s causing them in the first place. Google is a wonderful source of information, but at times it doesn’t quite cut it. Proactivity starts before training starts.

Gait analysis, cycling analysis, bike fitting, technique training, biomechanical assessment. There are options out there. Getting a qualified practitioner to assess you prior to embarking on a big training set can be really useful in identifying risk factors that may predispose you to certain injuries.

Once you have identified the areas that could be improved on, this can be factored into your training program to reduce injury risk as much as possible.

  • Progressive Training

And so training begins….

Having a training programme to follow can be great for motivation and focus. It gives clear goals and targets along the way and makes sure you don’t stagnate or get bored doing the same old set.

A good training programme will gradually build load and intensity towards your event, limiting the risk of overtraining.  Having a plan and rough gauge of when training is going to get harder or easier also gives you a decent idea of when more of the maintenance work needs to be completed.

  • Foam Rollers & Tennis Balls

As soon as they’re mentioned there is usually a collective groan. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, but using your foam rollers and tennis balls to self-massage aching muscles is a great way to help them recover between training sessions. If you haven’t already, feel free to visit our vimeo page to get some inspiration on how to release certain areas. (

  • Regular Sports Massage

As with the roller and tennis ball, sports massage helps increase circulation and aid muscle recovery. A big benefit though, is that you can communicate with your massage therapist!

A good massage therapist will identify, treat and keep track of tight and sore areas throughout your training.  They’ll help get to the areas where the rollers or balls just don’t fit and be able to pick up on tightnesses that you may not have noticed.

This will all help to guide you to areas that need a little more attention from your roller and tennis ball to maximise you time efficiency.

An extra benefit is that sports massage is often cheaper than physio, so using them to avoid injury and a physio bill is always a bonus!

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