Nearing the end of my second week of marathon training, and those motivational problems are resolved – I’ve told everyone I’m doing the race and committed to a time goal, so there's no option of dropping out now!
But upping my game means also upping my risk of injury. Whether it’s a dull ache in my shins, a twinge in my ITB band or stiffness in the ligaments around the knee, what I’m convinced is the same, finite little bit of stubborn pain keeps travelling its way randomly around my body like a game of running roulette - no-one knows where it'll come to rest next.
The solution? I’ve taken on board Zest expert Jon Stratford’s advice and started taking my warm-up seriously. After a little light jogging, I forcibly push aside my embarrassment and do some dynamic stretches (static stretching – the kind favoured by tyrannical PE teachers – has been debunked as a pre-run practice).
For my cool down, I’ve invested in a muscle-massaging foam roller – that disco-coloured torture instrument you see on the right. A tube of hard plastic padded with studs of hard foam, it’s basically a meat tenderiser for the human thigh – and as painful as it is at the point of use, it’s been really effective at getting right into tight muscles and cutting down the pain and stiffness I feel the next day. Onwards...
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