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September 27, 2017
Okay, I’ll get it out of the way. Running is hard, running a marathon is ridiculous, why would anyone want to do it, why the hell did I decide to do it in the first place, blah blah blah, oh god please kill me now.
That’s my usual spiel, and that’s how I always feel 3 km into any run I do. Still. But a few things have changed since my last blog, and the differences are incredible.
Yes, my last blog was ages ago. There’s a few reasons for that. But the most important one is that I didn’t think I was going to make it to the start line of the Melbourne Marathon, so I was a bit embarrassed about continuing to blog when I was just going to fail anyway.
Training for a marathon is just not what I thought it would be. I thought it would be hard slog to push myself to run a little bit longer, and a little bit further. Don’t get me wrong, it IS that, but it’s also about managing injuries that pop up when you start to push yourself that little harder.
Because I’m not a seasoned runner, this was bound to happen. Every time I get a little niggle that pops up, I talk to Michael, our functional movement specialist here, and he figures out what I’m doing wrong and gives me exercises to build up the muscles that aren’t working properly. But in his words, it’s like trying to change a tyre while the car is still moving.
What I SHOULD have been doing was running for a couple of years before I started to load up on the k’s. But I didn’t, and I’m still going.
And there’s a few reasons why I haven’t let anything defeat me yet.
Firstly, I’ve got myself a coach. This guy:
Chris Wright breezed into the clinic one day to have a look around our Recovery Centre. He’s an amabassador for Nokkon – active lifestyle services and product company that aims to support those who are out there helping others to live healthier lives. Chris invited me to join a running crew that meets at 6.05am on Tuesdays – all levels, all shapes and sizes. It had occurred to me before that I might need some running buddies for support and motivation, so I said yes and fronted up to meet the 605 crew the next morning.
I got a lot more than I expected. I thought it would be a casual run and some nice chats with people that share running as a common interest.
What I got was an entry into the Running Community – bucketloads of support, truckloads of encouragement, and a whole heap of lovely new friends.
The running community is incredible – they support each other tirelessly. We share and celebrate each other’s achievements and commiserate our low points – after all, we’re all going through the same thing. We all run for a reason, weather it’s to see how far we can push ourselves, or connect with other runners, or to beat back our demons.
The 605 crew gave me an entry into this community, and I’m so glad I joined. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have made it this far.
So with the 605 crew having my back and Chris on board as my coach and cheerleader, I was on the right path. Chris designed me a training program to help me get to the Melbourne Marathon without dying. My first big milestone on this path would be the half-marathon. So with my heart in my mouth I entered the Run Melbourne Half Marathon.
The Half was a lot harder than I expected. Mostly because I’d set myself the ridiculous goal of trying to do it in under 2 hours, which is too much for a first timer (especially one that only started running at the start of the year!) I struggled very badly, and made a few stupid mistakes. I took on too much water beforehand, and had to stop to pee twice. I didn’t run with a pacer, and I didn’t have my Strava telling me how fast I was going. I hadn’t trained on enough hills, so every slight incline took it out of me. So consequently, even though I finished the half marathon in an incredible time – 2.04 – I spent the rest of the day crying because I was so disappointed that I didn’t break 2 hours.
So I cried, but it was a nice kind of crying, the kind where you’re disappointed, but also kind of happy that you’re experiencing life and all it’s ups and downs. You know, sad but happy that you get to experience the sad. It was weirdly nice and horribly disheartening at the same time.
And now I have another goal to beat before the end of the year – a sub 2 hour half marathon.
But before then, I have to finish this marathon! Until now, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. After the half marathon, my body decided to start letting me know that what I was trying to do was ridiculous. First, my ankle was giving me grief, then my knee, then my hip, and now I’m feeling the dreaded cramp of Plantar Fasciitis.
I’m incredibly lucky to have access to our Recovery Centre. I’m in the ice baths after every run, I chill out in the far infrared sauna, and I’m always hanging on our lounges with the recovery pump boots. It’s been essential in getting me this far.
And I’m still going.
And on Friday, I managed my last long run before taper. I ran 35km, and I’m still alive.
I think I can do this. I HAVE to do this.
Wish me luck!
June 26, 2017
If you’ve ever wandered out into our Recovery Centre, you may have noticed some of our members and athletes leisurely lying back in our comfy reclined lounges with inflatable boots on. Some might be lying there reading a book, others may even be having a little nap, but there is definitely a lot more going on here than just a rest.
You might be wondering what on earth those boots are for and probably a whole heap of other questions… lucky we are so happy to share our knowledge!
Muscle soreness and fatigue builds up after high levels of exercise and training. While it would be nice to have a sports massage everyday, for a lot of people, this is just not possible. However, the recovery pumps and boots can be used as a daily, aggressive recovery treatment for fatigued muscles (and if you become a member of our Athlete’s Lounge Recovery Centre, you can most certainly use them daily!)
The recovery pump system increases blood circulation by applying compression to help clear out metabolic waste build up, while restoring the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
A ‘massaging’ type action squeezes air filled chambers, starting from the foot and sequentially filling to the last chamber at the top of the thigh and hip. If you have ever had your blood pressure taken, it feels very similar to this. The recovery pumps and boots deflate after about 30 seconds, allowing the blood to flow. This cycle then repeats itself for up to 30 minutes or more – depending on how long you’d like to stay in them. It’s highly relaxing and no surprise that our members often fall asleep while using them.
The recovery pumps and boots manipulate the venous system through compression, rather than the muscle itself to remove inflammation in the joints, soft tissue and muscles. The pumps also achieve quite a different outcome to massage therapy and ice baths, although we recommend all three for fantastic forms of recovery and injury prevention. Massage primarily works muscle groups, elongates them, draws fluid from them and relaxes them. Ice baths constrict blood vessels resulting in reduced swelling, tissue breakdown and flushing lactic acid. For injury, this is great news, but for muscle recovery from daily training, the recovery pumps are a more desirable tool. Plus, this means you don’t have to brave freezing temperatures in the middle of winter everyday!
Recovery pumps and boots can actually be used pre and post training – it all just depends on the desired outcome. For pre-training, try using them for 15-20 minutes to get the blood moving and dilate the vascular system. This is pretty much the equivalent of a warm up jog, but can be done in a passive way without dipping in to your energy stores. Awesome!
If using the pumps post training or immediately after a workout, 30-45 mins is sufficient. But if you are using the pumps on a pure recovery day where no training goes down, you can be in them for up to an hour. They are simple to use, fully adjustable and incredibly relaxing.
We can’t encourage the use of the pumps more highly and if you’re interested in starting up a recovery centre membership with us, please enquire next time you’re in the clinic, or call us on 9939 1133.
*If you’re into studies and research, this might float your boat:
May 31, 2017
It’s cooling down big time in Melbourne and let’s face it, with cooler weather comes a myriad of lifestyle changes. The motivation to train outdoors begins to wane and the desire to stay snuggled up indoors (with Netflix, a cosy dressing gown and chocolate, anyone?) kicks up a HUGE notch.
While it’s tempting to start having rest days curled up on the couch, don’t forget that often the best performance gains can be made over the winter time, so it’s never an excuse to back off the training or the recovery. But if the thought of an ice bath in winter makes you shudder (even more so than normal) what are your other options?
May we present (drum roll please…..) the INFRARED SAUNA. This may very well become your new best mate this winter!
We’ve addressed the most frequently asked questions about the infrared sauna, but if we’ve missed any, feel free to give us a call at the clinic, or ask next time you’re in.
So, what the heck is an infrared sauna?
Infrared saunas are a type of sauna that use both heat and light to help detoxify and relax the body. At Fluid, we us a far infrared sauna which emits a safe and penetrating heat that actually raises the body’s core temperature and not just the air around it.
Why should I use one?
Far infrared saunas can be used to treat acute or chronic conditions, aid in sports recovery and are a great, gentle way to relax in everyday life.
Infrared saunas are designed to aid in –
- The infrared’s heat effectively stimulates metabolic activity which causes the body to sweat and sweating is the body’s most natural way to eliminate a build up of sored toxins within our system.
- Pain relief. If you suffer from any joint pain or muscles aches and soreness, infrared saunas can relieve this kind of inflammation by relaxing muscles and increasing circulation.
- Infrared saunas promote relaxation in two ways. First, they are believed to have a parasympathetic healing effect and help balance your body’s level of the stress hormone, cortisol. This allows you to relax. Secondly, actually taking time out for yourself for at least 30 mins in a space where you cannot be disturbed is automatically relaxing. Infrared saunas can often be ‘you time’, giving you time out from social media, emails, texting and any other work or life duties.
- Active Recovery. While stretching, foam rolling and trigger point work all have their place in sports recovery and injury prevention, sometimes it’s nice to not have to physically do anything and be promoting health at the same time. Infrared saunas are fantastic for sports recovery because you are getting the benefit without having to do the hard yards.
- Burns calories. Yep, infrared saunas have the ability to burn calories while you are lying there doing nothing! The heat you experience in an infrared sauna causes your body’s core temperature to rise, which leads to an increased heart rate (the same increase as you’d experience during exercise). Your body has to work harder to lower your core temperature and as a result, your body will burn calories.
- Boosts immunity. During the colder months, colds, flu and infection ramp up and infrared saunas are a fantastic way to boost immunity. They increase white blood cell count, enabling you to fight infections.
- Infrared saunas aid in some pretty prominent health and lifestyle issues including improved sleep, reducing blood pressure, wound healing, improved circulation and regenerating cell health.
- Keep warm. An infrared sauna generates a gentle heat that you can comfortably sit in for up to an hour. It is the perfect way to warm up quickly after an ice bath, before a training session or even just to warm up if you’re really feeling the cold. Once you’re in there, it’s hard to want to get out!
How long should I sit in an infrared sauna?
We usually recommend between 30-45 mins but some like staying in there for 1 hour. It comes down to personal preference, but 60 mins is plenty.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! Far infrared is from the safest end of the sun’s spectrum and you will be getting the beneficial exposure without being subject to UV rays.
Will I be dehydrated?
We definitely recommend drinking plenty of water before and after the sauna because when you sweat, this depletes the body’s natural water supply. Infrared saunas can only cause dehydration with excessive, prolonged use but is easily avoided through upping your water intake before and after.
What should I do in there?
Relax! Chill out, read a book, meditate… you might even fall asleep.
Which is better? An infrared sauna or a steam room?
Steam rooms operate very differently to an infrared sauna, the main difference being steam rooms don’t provide the deep toxin releasing affect as an infrared sauna. The humidity in a steam room is far more intense than an infrared sauna and some people find it difficult to breathe or tolerate it for long periods of time. You are also unable to read a book in a steam room as the humidity causes everything to get wet. Pores tend to block up in a steam room too, due to the moisture and can also be cause for discomfort.
How can I book in?
Easy! We have an online booking system through www.fluidhealth.com.au or give us a call and we can book you in. Just wear your swimmers, bring a towel and water and you’re good to go!
Need more info/references? http://www.sunlighten.com/infrared-sauna-health-benefits/