5 races you could do if you didn’t have knee pain

Knee pain is a familiar problem for runners and accounts for about 20% of running injuries. The big problem with it is often in tackling hills where it can be fine as you go up but the pain really increases as you descend and as a result you are always looking for flat courses while you deal with it. Here are 5 courses from across Scotland that really do require your knees to be in pain free before you tackle them.

The Whangie Wizz

The Whangie Wizz has to be in the list for it’s name alone but it would be a great introduction to hill racing if you hadn’t done any before.

Glentress trail runs

Famous for it’s mountain biking trails Glentress also hosts 3 trail races over 10k, 21k and 42k. I had two clients do the half marathon event this year on what was a dry day but pretty grim conditions under foot as it had been raining heavily that week.

The Fort William Marathon

With a route that is anything but flat, this multi-terrain route will give you plenty of challenges and some amazing views.

Edinburgh 7 Hills

I would suggest infinitely more interesting than the Edinburgh Marathon itself, in my opinion. The Seven Hills of Edinburgh doesn’t have a specific route beyond you have to cover all of Edinburgh’s 7 hills starting on Calton Hill before you finishing back on Calton Hill. The course is just over 14 miles and has 2,200ft of ascent/descent and takes you around the city from Edinburgh Castle, Corstrophine Hill, Craiglochkhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill and Arthur’s Seat. It takes the top finishers around 100 minutes and has to be one of the most interesting city races about.

The Harris Half Marathon

I’ve been to Harris, though not to do the race, and it is stunning regardless of the weather and we got everything except snow when we were there. Whilst not as hilly as you might think there are enough descents that you would definitely want your knees to be in good shape before tackling it.

Illiotibial band syndrome; What’s the cause and what to do about it

Illiotibial band syndrome often seems like a plague for runners. Everyone knows someone who has it or has had it themselves but it is much misunderstood as to what and where it is.

The illiotibial band is a thick, fibrous length of connective tissue that runs from the illiac crest to the lateral condyle of the tibia. It crosses both the hip and the knee joints and plays a role in the stabilisation of both of them.  As well as aiding the stabilisation of the knee and hip it is involved in the abduction and extension of the the hip through the attachment of Glute Max and Tensor Fascia Lata.


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The 5 most common running injuries

What are the 5 most common running injuries? Running is such an easy form of exercise to get into and a fundamental requirement for a huge range of sports that it is no surprise that a huge number of people run as part of their fitness regime. Running injuries are very common with a figure of around 70% of those who run getting an injury of some sort every year. This isn’t because running is particularly risky rather it’s more that it’s very easy just to stick your trainers on and get cracking.

As a result of the very easy access to using running as a means of getting fit etc people tend to do it without much thought as to what they are doing. When I say this I am talking about how much they are doing in terms of either volume, intensity of effort and also in terms of the skill of running.

Whilst I would agree that we are all born to run not all of us are going to run well straight away and we tend to forget it is actually quite a demanding activity. Training load, the volume and intensity bit above, is generally the biggest factor in the causes of injury whilst the actual skill sits about 3rd but its importance increases as you get better at it and look to make more demands of yourself, the better your form the more likely you are to distribute the stress over the correct areas.

So what are the most common running injuries?

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Why do I stiffen up a few days after treatment?

During an appointment at Performance Sports Therapy we are able to make meaningful changes in how you move and feel. Unfortunately these changes do not always ‘stick’. It isn’t that unusual to get told by people that they felt great for 2 to 3 days and then they stiffened up again. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about because of the reasons why you are feeling tight are not what you might think.


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Knee pain and warming up for a run

Googling exercises for knee pain isn’t really the best way to deal with any problems you may be experiencing as they aren’t specific to YOUR problem. Having said this when it comes to looking to prevent getting knee pain the specificity issue becomes less of a problem as we aren’t looking to rehab an injury rather we are looking to ensure the areas that impact on the knee are in good condition. Runners knee or anterior knee pain is one of the more common issues that affect runners but adjusting how you warm up can help reduce the chances of it being a problem for you.

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Why are you using rehab exercises in your training?

I often find when clients develop nonspecific aches and pains they start, almost randomly, introducing low load rehab work into their program in an attempt to solve the problem.  This is usually done after a quick google search which makes various reasonable suggestions as to what might be wrong and the exercises to do to help the problem. This though really doesn’t tackle the problem well, if at all, given it misses out looking at why the aches and pains developed to begin with.

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