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Confined to Run – running during Coronavirus

Over the last few weeks one positive that has surprised us in the clinic is the number of people seeking our expertise for exercise related injuries. It seems that half of North Sydney has managed to dust of their running shoes and hit the pleasantly empty streets.

With gyms closed, CEO’s working from home and a temporary hold on the school run, time has been created for the most important thing – the self. New work out routines and self-imposed running schedules are abundant.

With all of this in mind I thought it would be a good idea to provide some encouragement and education on how to prepare for your run, progress as a runner and how to keep version 2.0 of yourself running, exercising and meditating when the virus is nothing but a distant memory.


Our clients are so keen to lace up the runners and race at the door that many of them are missing the most important part of the run. The old phrase ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’ rings true.

School PE lessons would have us take a few laps around the oval and then some good old-fashioned hamstring stretch and this is exactly that – old fashioned.

Instead ask your self – how’s my butt? The glut muscles are the powerhouses of the body. Not only do they keep our pelvis aligned, contribute to single leg balance and knee alignment when running they also serve to drive us forwards and thereby taking the stress of those sore calves you are plagued with!

The series of exercises below should be completed prior to starting your run. They can also work, as a set of exercises to be used when taking a mini-break from your desk as those hours spent sitting will have your backside snoozing.

1. Single leg bridge

2. Lying hip abduction (With or without resistance band)

3. Single leg dead lift.

Bonus point:

Before you put on your running shoes spend 2 minutes rolling the base of your foot with a lacrosse/spiky ball. This simple movement will re-awaken your constricted feet and begin to mobilise the 26 bones, 33 joints and 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments.

How to increase running distance:

If you’re completely new to running then the Couch to 5KM is the most commonly used program that has people up and moving in no time. (

If you’re already pounding through 5km and, the proverbial carrot is not getting any closer, then keep reading. Every time we increase our running routine whether its distance, time or speed we also increase our likely hood of picking up an injury. But good news, there is ways to prevent this.

1. Increase running distance by no more than 10% each week. So if you’re running 10km this week – next week you can do 11km.

2. Ensure you are wearing well-fitted running shoes that are suitable for your running style. Head over to Pace Athletic ( for a running gait analysis and a pair of runners made for you.

3. Cool down – this is more important than most people realise.  Aim to complete a cool down that is 10% of you’re workout – add an additional 1km to your workout at a slower pace gradually reducing to a walk.

4. Implement a preventative programme including, stretching, Pilates, good nutrition, hydration and adequate sleep.

Upgrading version 2.0

Now you’re running at version 2.0 its time to keep upgrading.  It is commonly thought it takes 66days to form a new habit. The length of time public health restrictions have been going on for means we are almost there!  When events are up and running (excuse the pun) and we can start to be more human by gathering outside there is a few ways you can push your exercise to new heights.

1. Join a running club

2. Park run – The world’s biggest running event. A free, weekly 5km in open spaces and parks around the world. Park run offers a positive, welcoming experience. Feel free to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. (

3. Sign up to an event – This single most effective way to give yourself a purpose. 5km, half marathon, mud-run or sponsored walk. Put it on the calendar and keep working!

Now you have managed to find time for all your new healthy habits – exercising, connecting with food in your kitchen, listening to and engaging as a family – I hope that life doesn’t return to the way it was.

Sydney City to Surf

Last minute preparation for Sydney City to Surf

With the Sydney City to Surf just under 3 weeks away, are you only now realising you’re not feeling quite as prepared as you would like. That perfect 12 week training program that you promised yourself you would do this year never happened. For some, the regret is real.

But now is not the time to psyche yourself out, look at the positive, you still have 3 weeks to prepare, as long as you know how to train smart. Keep reading, and we will share some tips from training, wearing the right gear and fuelling your body appropriately.

You’ve got 20 days to go!


If you want to be a better runner, the best thing you can do is run. Get outside and go for a run! Try a running app like ‘Couch to 5km’ or the ‘Nike Run Club’ app if you need some ideas or a program to help you get prepared.  Start slowly, first aim for 2km and make sure you give yourself a rest day in between and then maybe aim for 4km. Before race day on August 11, you should look to have completed at least four longer runs in preparation.

If running continuously is difficult due to time or ability, start with some interval training. Work on 30 seconds running, and 1 or 2 minutes of walking…whatever works for your level of fitness. Slowly build up the length of time you are running, and reduce the rest time between.

REST! This is so important even when you feel like you don’t have time. The body needs rest to allow the muscles to get stronger after running. Give yourself at least 1 day between runs, maybe even 2 depending on how you feel. And ensure you have 3 days off before race day. Not giving your body time to rest will only increase your risk of injury. Make sure you get a good nights sleep before race day too.


Use your training runs to work out what gear is best for your body. Do you like your leggings to fit tight around your waist, or are shorts more comfortable? You don’t want to regret wearing those brand new clothes that you’ve never tried before. Shoes…most of us know how important the right pair of shoes is. The right footwear will work with your natural biomechanics, boost running efficiency and ensure comfort and support, but most importantly, reduce your risk of injury. Pace Athletic are a great place to go with knowledgeable staff who can help find the best footwear for you. But don’t want too long to get this organised, as wearing in new shoes is crucial before race day.


Fuelling the body before running is so beneficial to your performance, and again use your running training to try different foods and find out what works best for you. Everyone is different and what works for one person, may not work for you. Try to avoid the ‘carb-load’ too much on race day and the night before and instead choose your whole fruits and vegetables. These sources are much easier to digest and will keep you going for longer.

Finally hydration is so important. Focus on being fully hydrated in the few days leading up to the race and then on race day, sip as you go. Whatever you do, don’t scull a litre of water before you run, the only place you’ll be running is to the bathroom.


Most importantly regardless of where you are in your preparations, make sure you HAVE FUN. The Sydney City to Surf offers some of the best of Sydney, with fantastic views, music and after all it is called a ‘fun run’. You are surrounded by thousands of people all giving it their best shot, so take inspiration from the people, enjoy the music and keep smiling…. all the way up heartbreak hill and over the finish line at Bondi Beach. 

Click here to read more about preparing for Sydney City to Surf on the day.

How to prevent injury for an endurance event

With an active community of clients and ourselves having participated in trail runs/walks we understand the importance of preparation and injury prevention. Nothing can be more disappointing than putting in all the training only to pull out of your event due to injury. We’ve put together some simple tips to ensure you get the most out of your event.

  1. Preparation

It might seem simple but the most frequent comment from walkers who visited us at the physio tent at Coastrek 2018 was that they hadn’t trained enough. Many walkers thought “it’s only walking, I can do that” but when do we ever do 30km or 60km walk in 1 day or multiple days of walking if you’re preparing for an adventure tour. Your feet, legs and body need to get used to walking long distances to understand where you might feel niggles, what energy you require for that distance, how much water will you need to drink. These are all important factors that can stop you in your tracks on event day but are so easy to find out during training walks. Put together a training plan, grab a friend to keep you accountable and you will fly through the event knowing you’ve given it your best with the amount of preparation you did.The right gear

2. The Right Gear

Again being prepared and discovering during the training walks what gear is best for your body is going to prevent injury on event day.  Most of us know the importance of wearing in new shoes, but what if we have the wrong shoes. There are great shoe stores with knowledgeable staff who can help select the best footwear for you to prevent blisters, plantar fasciitis or tendonopathies (to name a few). Likewise you may find during training your knees start to hurt, this is where walking poles can help to take some of the load off your knees particularly when climbing stairs or descending hills.

3. Strength training

This is where your physio can help you be event ready. The stronger your legs and core the less likely you will suffer an injury. We’ve included a few key exercises we recommend for our clients who are training for endurance events.

Calf raises:

Start in a balanced stance with your feet shoulder width apart and then raise yourself up on your toes as high as possible, keeping your ankles straight and not rolling in or out. This can be done standing on both feet or just one foot.
Return back to the starting position. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
Engage your core muscles and gently squat down. 

Bend your knees, pushing your hips back behind you and leaning your body forwards, as though you are about to sit on the chair. Make sure your knees don’t come forwards of your toes, or come closer together. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets


Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. 
Tighten your buttock muscles and lift your hips up into the bridge position. 
Make sure you keep your hips up and level throughout the movement. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets.

Sit ups:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.  Place hands behind your head.

Draw in your deep abdominals and lift your chest/upper torso until your shoulder blades are just resting on the mat.

Make sure your spine stays in neutral, not flattening or arching.  Your neck and shoulders should be relaxed, and the weight of your head resting in your hands. Repeat 10 x for 3 sets.

You shouldn’t experience any pain with these exercises so if you do please chat with your physio.

4. Address the niggles

Nothing is better than addressing your aches and pains before they become full blown injuries. If something feels tight or stiff a remedial massage can help but if that area starts to become painful see your physio straight away. With some treatment and exercises your niggle can go away and not stop you from completing your event.

5. Have fun

We’re hearing a lot about the benefits of mindfulness and mental wellbeing on pain. With a positive outlook on event day what can be seen by the brain as a threat or injury (but is actually just muscle soreness) can be overcome through having fun with your peers. The power of positive thinking is true and will get you through those hard kms to the finish line. And even better your achievement might even get you forgetting the pain and signing up for next year.

We look forward to supporting Coastrek 2019 and if you need any physio before the event please get in touch with us at Physio On Miller, Cammeray.

Physios for Coastrek

We’re excited to be the supporting physios for Coastrek this year. The event, which raises funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation, is a 30km or 60km walk starting from Manly/Kirribilli and finishing at the iconic Bondi Beach.

We’ll be at Kirribilli after midday on Friday 16th March providing physio treatment, advice and taping for any injured walkers. As part of the event we are offering all new Coastrek clients 40% off their initial physio consult. It’s important to rehab/manage any injuries before the event to ensure a great day out.

Our top tips for event day are:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear good shoes and socks to prevent foot blisters
  • Warm up your muscles and keep them warm at each checkpoint
  • Dynamically stretch your muscles
  • Come see us if you’re injured

We hope your training is coming along well and look forward to seeing you on event day.

Fred Hollows


Ankle sprain, how physio can help

Ankle sprains are extremely common in both the sporting and non-sporting worlds, with 70% of Australian’s reporting a history of ankle sprain during their lifetime. It has long been regarded as a harmless injury with very few individuals following a rehabilitation program after injury. However current research indicates that the pain, swelling and ligament damage that occurs with ankle sprains result in reduced functional capacity and the potential for the development of chronic ankle instability.

Research conducted back in 1995 demonstrated that 25-50% of first time ‘sprainers’ went on to develop functional instability or the inability to control the position of their ankle within normal range. This increases the risk of future sprains, can change the way other joints in the lower limb (such as the knee and hip) are loaded and may affect the activities and sports that individuals can play comfortably.

Thankfully, research also demonstrates that with correct acute management, followed by a 8-14 week progressive exercise program individuals can regain good stability in their ankle and dramatically reduce the risk of future complications.

Initial ankle sprain management should follow the PRICER acronym: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral. Physiotherapy can assist in this early stage with taping, compression, manual therapy techniques to reduce soft tissue and joint stiffness and providing guidance on a safe level or early movement and activity.

Once pain and swelling have reduced, strength, flexibility and proprioceptive exercises can be progressed appropriately to regain that normal level of control around the ankle. Further muscles higher up in the kinetic chain such as around the hips can be assessed to identify whether any weaknesses or imbalances exist that predispose the individual to ankle sprains.

Call us on 80656902 for a comprehensive rehabilitation program to ensure safe return to sport, work and daily activity demands