Race Day Tips

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Barefoot Running

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Running Injuries

Running injuries are usually overuse injuries of the foot, lower leg, knee and hip. View the most common injuries here:

Should I seek professional treatment?

If you have any of the following symptoms you should seek further medical assistance.

  • Severe pain, especially on walking
  • Severe swelling (oedema)
  • Altered sensation in the foot – such as a feeling of “pins and needles” (paresthesia) or a “loss of feeling” (anaesthesia).
  • Unable to complete normal daily activities after the initial 72 hours.

Further medical assistance can be sought through either your local GP or a private clinician such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist, sports therapist, osteopath or chiropractor. If you have followed the P.R.I.C.E. principles (see below) and are still unable to walk after 72 hours or still have severe pain that is not subsiding after the first 72 hours you should visit your local A&E department for further assessment.

Secondly, if you have applied for P.R.I.C.E. principles and still have weakness that lasts a long time (more than 2 weeks) or have ongoing discomfort in your foot or heel, you are highly recommended to seek advice from a specialist expert - such as a podiatrist or physiotherapist, osteopath, or chiropractor - who can provide you with advice and an appropriate and effective recovery and rehabilitation program.

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Immediate first aid for acute injuries

The PRICE principles are the gold standard set for treating acute sports injuries. The acronym stands stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and should be applied as early as possible and continued for at least the first 24-72 hours.


Protection of the damaged tissue is vital to prevent further damage and enable the healing process to start efficiently and effectively. There are a number of ways to protect the injured area all with the same aim of limiting further movement and use of the joint/muscle/ligament/tendon. One way this can be achieved is using a support or splint.


In the early stages, rest is one of the most important components of the P.R.I.C.E principle but is often neglected or ignored. It does not only refer to the prolonged period of time that the athlete will be out of action but also to the immediate period after the injury.

An athlete must know when to stop training and allow the injured area to heal otherwise repetitive minor injuries can often result in a more severe injury that keeps the athlete out for much longer.

If an injury is sustained during sporting activity some athletes have a tendency to 'run it off'. This implies that by continuing to participate in the exercise, the injury will simply go away. In fact, in the majority of cases this is not true and is not advisable.


Ice therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is one of the most widely known and used treatment modalities for acute sports injuries. It is cheap, easy to use and requires very little time to or expertise to prepare.

The application of ice to an injury, in the acute phase can substantially decrease the extent of the damage. It achieves this in a number of different ways:

  • Decreases the amount of bleeding by closing down the blood vessels (called vasoconstriction).

  • Reduces pain (pain gate theory)

  • Reduces muscle spasm

  • Reduces the risk of cell death (also called necrosis) by decreasing the rate of metabolism

Ice is usually applied to the injured site by means of a bag filled with crushed ice which is wrapped in a damp towel. The damp towel is essential as it forms a barrier between the bag of ice and the skin and reduces the risk of an “ice burn”. DO NOT leave the ice on for more than 15 minutes as you could cause an “ice burn”.

There are a small number of areas that you should not apply ice to which include the neck, the outside bone of the elbow, the collar bone (upper end), the front of the hip (bony part) and the outer bone of the knee. The reason for this is there is a superficial nerve just below the skin in these areas that can be damaged by applying ice to it. Always check for contraindications.


Applying compression to an injured area minimises the amount of swelling that forms after an injury in two ways and should be applied for the first 24 to 72 hours from the onset of injury. Compression can be applied through a number of methods. The most effective of these is by using a compression bandage which is an elasticated bandage that simply fits around the affected limb.


Elevation of the injured limb is the final principle of PRICE but is equally as important as the other 4. Elevation allows gravity to drain the fluid away from the injured site. This aids in decreasing the swelling which in turn may decrease the pain associated with the oedema (swelling).

Read more on PRICE principles

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Expert interview

Elite Marathon runner Paul Evans gives his race day tips to give you that extra edge over the competition and explains how to improve your running time.


Barefoot running

Across the running community, people are beginning to ditch their expensive, high-tec running shoes in favor of taking to the streets barefoot (or the closest alternative). But why is this and what do they hope to gain from doing it?


Choosing running shoes

Running shoes are, without a doubt, the most important piece of equipment a runner will ever purchase. We take a look at the different types of shoes available. Their most obvious function is in protecting the foot, however getting the right shoes will also help to prevent injuries, improve comfort and possibility even enhance performance!

Read more on choosing running shoes..

Gait analysis

Gait is the way in which we move our whole body from one point to another. Most often, this is done by walking, although we may also run, skip, hop etc. Gait analysis is a method used to assess the way we walk or run to highlight biomechanical abnormaliti


Knee pain & running

Knee pain is probably the most common injury complaint amongst runners. This isn't surprising as forces of up to 550% of body weight pass through the joint when running!


Avoid marathon running injuries

Injuries in the last few weeks before a marathon race are frequent, but can be devastating, resulting in an athlete having to pull out of the race after months of hard training. To avoid this massive disappointment so close to the end, follow our simple tips!

Read more..

Marathon recovery

The vast majority of people taking part in a marathon meticulously plan their pre-marathon training, and rightly so. This aims to avoid picking up injuries, illnesses and improving endurance and speed.


Surviving the marathon

The marathon itself is only a small part of the overall marathon story and effort. Success in the marathon is down to hours of specific marathon training of both the physical and mental aspects that the marathon bears.